Just a few minutes drive from Eugene, Oregon's largest mall (Valley River Center) and downtown itself is a 150-acre waterway that welcomes birds and other wildlife next to Delta and Beltline Highways.
This peaceful oasis is known as Delta Ponds, atop what was once a wild floodplain of the Willamette River and then used as a gravel pit.
As cars rush by, nature enthusiasts walk the trail around the ponds and look for migrating juvenile salmon, river otters, beaver, pond turtles, migratory birds like Canadian geese, ducks, egrets, and other water fowl and wildlife.
It's a slice of nature in the heart of Oregon's second most populous city. The wildlife is wary, but accepts the human intruders as long as they don't get too close.
Delta Ponds is a series of waterways, ponds, channels, and wetlands fed by waters from the Willamette River flowing through Eugene on its way to Portland and the mighty Columbia River.
In winter and during spring snowmelt runoff from the Cascade Mountains, this water wonderland is a welcome retreat for wandering wildlife. Delta Ponds is a great escape for a few hours for nature lovers bound to Eugene's city boundaries.
Rick Obst is an Arizona native who moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2005 and fell in love with the verdant Pacific Northwest. He works as a Regional Marketing Manager for the Home Lending division of a large community bank and enjoys photography and discovering the many people, places, and events that make this part of the world so special.
To learn more about Eugene, Lane County, and western Oregon, visit 365 and More Things to do in Lane County, Oregon on Facebook. You'll see hundreds of pictures and links to discover the beauty and attractions of this special area.