Nature’s Call: Effie Yeaw

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,

and roughhousing.

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.

Walk With Me

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After all the year-end projects are finished and the holidays are put away – my mind goes blank, and my motivation flies right out the window. It’s time to get outside and clear the head. Getting off the beaten path and out in nature returns perspective – and appreciation. I hope you don’t mind me taking you off our usual garden/rescue path for a short detour.


“Sometimes we must unfocus our way to clarity.” ~ Terri Guillemets


It’s so easy to get lost in our daily lives. Tasks take on undue importance until we return them to their proper place. Headlines make us worry for the world we share. On sheltered trails under big blue skies –

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by the pond’s edge on cold, crystal days –


all of it is temporarily shed and I’m reminded of all the beauty this world holds.


“If you do not raise your eyes you will think that you are the highest point.” ~ Antonio Porchia


Restoration and rejuvenation lead to innovation and renewed passion – in any undertaking. Change your point of view, and be reminded of the world’s good grace.


I took a couple of days off to walk our American River trails and explore the nearby Bobelaine Audubon Sanctuary. The creatures were not as cooperative as my camera would have liked, but that’s OK.


It made me look up. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but I do resolve to do this more – and to bring others along. So thanks for walking with me.


“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~ Marcel Proust