In pursuit of new adventures, you sometimes lose sight of the jewels in your own backyard.
Effie Yeaw Nature Center sits inside Ancil Hoffman Park in Carmichael, CA – a treasure embedded among 100 acres of oak woodland along the American River.
It was named for Effie Yeaw, a teacher, conservationist and environmental educator who led natural and cultural history walks in the area once known as Deterding Woods. The Deterding family has a long history in the area dating back to the 1800s. Their ranch in Carmichael called San Juan Meadows became Ancil Hoffman Park. Effie Yeaw worked with citizen groups to ensure that this magical place would be forever protected from urban encroachment as the surrounding area was built up.
Today, the American River Natural History Association and Effie Yeaw Nature Center work collaboratively to provide educational and interpretive programs and information about the natural environment. Children and adults come to tour, learn, and explore. But Mondays, only the trails are open, and in January, the skies are grey and threaten rain which makes it the perfect time to visit.
Hawks, owls, pond turtles and even rattlesnakes call this home along with a deer, rabbits, hare, squirrels and rare sightings of coyote (not seen by us!).
Egrets, quail, and a host of birds feed at the river, on the ample berry brambles and on bugs hidden in giant oaks. And wild turkeys…everywhere!
Getting a late start, we saw fewer birds than expected. A California Towhee,
an Egret happily fishing for lunch,
and acorn woodpeckers enjoying their snacks. How do they hang on at that angle?
But SO many deer!
feasting on the tender early spring grasses,
Rut season is in the fall, so this was more about a whos-who in rank.
Surprisingly, the middleweight conceded to the featherweight.
But before savoring the victory…
consider that it might just have been a case of nature’s call.
The American River Parkway has so much beauty to offer.
Effie Yeaw is one of its most precious gems.