Eugene has done a good job of providing wetlands within or next to the urban areas. Last week two grandsons and I were exploring a pond area. It was the middle of the day so I didn’t expect we would see anything unusual. Best sightings of birds and other “critters” are in early morning or early evening. We were on our way back to the car when we noticed a small brown animal with sleek, wet fur paddling toward shore. We tried to guess what it was–muskrat?, nutria?, baby beaver? when suddenly a larger version, an adult, appeared and came to shore a few feet beyond the young one. It immediately charged into the grasses and shrubs and we were astonished to hear a loud squawking and see a Great Blue Heron, wings flapping, backing up rapidly to get away from the protective mother nutria! Just never know what you might see when you get out of a car and walk about.