Spencer Island Park, which is home to the Snohomish River Estuary, is about 6 miles east of Everett, Washington, past the sewage treatment plant. The big draw here is bird watching, and in my case, trying to catch a bird in my lens. The birds I saw were mostly robins, but also a Downy woodpecker (I think that’s right, but not sure) and a few Cedar Waxwings, along with plenty of Mallard ducks, some seagulls and starlings.
The Snohomish River Estuary is formed by the mixing of the waters of Snohomish River (freshwater) and Port Gardner Bay (saltwater). The park is co-owned by Snohomish County (the south half) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (the north half). In 1994, the dikes around Spencer Island were breached, restoring tidal indundation and connections to the Snohomish River Estuary.
The week before we hiked the Old Sauk Trail a little further north of Everett just past the town of Darrington, Washington. We could hear the river in some places and walked right past it in others. The trees are pretty much all covered in moss, the trail is framed and touched by a proliferation of ferns, mosses, downed trees, and mossy logs. It felt so peaceful and relaxing to be there, but then the weather was undoubtedly calm. The mountain is Whitehorse Peak as seen from “downtown” Darrington, which is still recovering economically after the terrible mudslide in Oso this past March.