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I love Fall, we all know this, but there is a downside. This time of year, the daylight hours decrease, which means it gets dark earlier and morning seems to take forever to arrive. Since I don't get home during the weekdays until 6:15 p.m., getting out into the forest isn't that easy. I usually rush to somewhere close and try to absorb as much of the Fall colors in the 20 minutes I have between the time I arrive somewhere outdoorsy and the time the sun sets. I've, then, resigned myself most evenings to just staying at home and doing things I need to get done anyway.
Thursday was a gorgeous day. I walked out of work and into 75 degrees of sunshine. Nature Girl and I rushed home as quickly as we could, changed clothes, and made a beeline for Wild Heron Haven. Wild Heron Haven is a small wetlands located in Northwest Omaha. It's a place for the herons to stop during their migration and many geese make their home here for awhile while they hatch their young.
I've been here a handful of times, but, for the most part, I avoid it. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that it's not a place to get a hike in (which is what I'm usually looking to do when I get outside) as their trails maybe total 3/4 of a mile. Their forested trails are pretty though and the haven also includes swamps, wildlife watching blinds, a flower garden for the bees, and a few pretty wooden bridges.
I had a crappy day Thursday--as did Nature Girl--and since it was close, I figured this would be a good place to spend enough time in some pretty nature to elevate our mood and reset our batteries. Nature Girl and I took our time, getting about 45 minutes worth of nature time, and ended having a good time to boot.
Flowers from the Bee Garden.
The last of the pretty blooms still alive in the Bee Garden.
A view looking out into a part of the wetlands that runs into the main wetlands area. We didn't actually venture into the main area, because we've been to that part plenty of times. Besides, we saw it from a different view, which you will see coming up.
Nature Girl stops to admire the beauty of the approaching wetlands as we wandered the short trails.
Tucked away in the back area of the Haven is a blind where one can sit and watch the herons when they are around. You can also use it to view the wetlands themselves and check out the variety of life that lives in the wetlands part- and full-time. They have some animal charts to help you decide what kind of wildlife you're looking at. Nature Girl and I thought that was pretty cool and tried to figure out which one of the birds we saw in the pond was. This was the waterfowl chart.
Another of the bird charts. This one was of regular birds, and Nature Girl had fun admiring the different kinds.
A view of the main pond from our seat in the blind. The birds out there in the distance, on the water, looked like geese to me. Many geese flew away as we walked through the Haven.
Nature Girl taking Nature Notes on a seat in the blind.
Nature Girl and I admired the gorgeous sunset as we prepared to leave. Look at those colors!
Wild Heron Haven is dedicated to wetland preservation, and is a great place to take a light stroll, admire nature's beauty, and learn about wetlands. They have special events and a nature center to explore as well. Great for families with little kids. For more information, go to their website.