Wenatchee exposes its beauty landscapes in any direction you look causing a great place to explore and learn about nature. A magnificent nature area is White River, which is the northern and larger of the two rivers that flow into the west end of Lake Wenatchee. White River is in a vegetative transition zone between wetter forest and the drier pine and fir habitat types, resulting in a diverse and unique vegetation and wonderful wildlife diversity.
Working in a project with Chelan Douglas Land Trust (CDLT), a Team Naturaleza partner, we developed a snowshoe tour to get people up to White River. What a great team to work with! The snow shoe tour was led by the wildlife biologist and artist Heather Murphy, who has been studying the area for around 13 years. The tour got 20 people in a mixed group from Team Naturaleza and CDLT, where a few people are professionals in different nature careers (it was really fun to learn from all of them something different).
I never went to White River until the snowshoe tour, but I was already fascinated with it just by the view on the way there. As some of the participants, I was amazed walking in the snow through the middle of a forest surrounded by strong pines, large cedars and old-growth firs to the bank of the river. While we stopped by the river to enjoy the view, we were talking about ecosystem and its conservation. Suddenly, we heard a songbird singing nearby the river and it caught everyone’s attention to the stream finding out an American Dipper, a small round grayish body walking on a trunk in the water moving its body up and down. While we were observing the bird, Heather Murphy shared with us an amazing fact about American Dippers explaining that the songbird can dive, swim and move rocks on the stream-bottom to get some food like fish eggs, aquatic insects and small fish.
After a few minutes walking, we went back to the dense forest and the excitement and enthusiasm kept on everyone, talking about different types of lichens and identifying trees that we were finding on the trail. When I looked around, I saw everyone smiling, talking and laughing while they were enjoying in the snowshoe tour. What a great day! And new friendships were made.
It is really nice to explore new place learning about the environment and forest in Washington state while you are meeting amazing people to explore nature together.