Walking local on cold and rainy days

As the days shorten and the skies turn dreary, mist and rain frequenting the landscape more often than not, it can get hard to get outside. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing, the result of too little sunlight and too much time indoors. But don’t despair! All of our towns have close hikesContinue reading “Walking local on cold and rainy days”

Birdwatching at Carr Slough and Prescott Beach

Whenever I’m driving back from the Rainier area, I stop to check out the birds at Carr Slough. This waterway next to Trojan Park is one of the best local spots to birdwatch any time of year. But in winter the waterfowl really start to fill it. I park just off the highway at theContinue reading “Birdwatching at Carr Slough and Prescott Beach”

The Final Stretch of the CZ Trail

Matt and I got around to hiking the recently completed Holce-Wilark leg of the Crown Z Trail, now that the route negotiation is complete and active logging near the Holce end has finished. The terminal trailhead is signed and connects through to Banks-Vernonia Trail via city streets. It is a beautiful conclusion to a greatContinue reading “The Final Stretch of the CZ Trail”

Squirrels of Northwest Oregon

Folk often ask me what kinds of squirrels live in our area. I figured it was time for a post. In Columbia County we have: 1 chipmunk 1 ground squirrel 2 native tree squirrels (one little and one big) 2 introduced tree squirrels 1 flying squirrel Without further ado, here they are! There are severalContinue reading “Squirrels of Northwest Oregon”

A pleasant little trail in the corner of the county

A few weeks ago I learned about a short trail that commemorates “Four County Point” – the only place in Oregon where four counties meet in a single location. While the trail is a bit out of the way, it goes through some beautiful forest. Last week I finished a survey in Vernonia early andContinue reading “A pleasant little trail in the corner of the county”

Stumbling upon Wilark Pioneer Cemetery

It’s not as easy to hike logging company land as it once was. But if you get access there are gems to be discovered. One Friday morning I drove Sophia up Pittsburg Road for a walk in the woods. Way up the ridge (long after the road goes to gravel) we turned left onto CampContinue reading “Stumbling upon Wilark Pioneer Cemetery”

Walking Sauvie Island’s Westside

On a warm July morning Rosey and I crossed the bridge, picked up our parking pass, and headed north on NW Sauvie Island Road. The road parallels the Multnomah Slough and osprey nests spring up everywhere. We were aiming for the Westside Unit of the Sauvie Island Wildlife area, which begins about eight miles northContinue reading “Walking Sauvie Island’s Westside”

How to enter data for Columbia County Reptiles and Amphibians

You may have seen our booth at the Columbia County Fair. (We’ll be in front of Brad’s World Reptiles every day through July 18th.) Here’s how you can take part in our research. Why this project? Columbia County has received little attention from wildlife biologists, thus we don’t know how our wildlife is faring. MattContinue reading “How to enter data for Columbia County Reptiles and Amphibians”

New possibilities for Salmonberry Lake

I’m excited to learn that Columbia County’s new parks and facilities director, Riley Baker, is looking to work with the city of St. Helens to set up Salmonberry Lake as a county park. County hires new leader for parks and facilities Salmonberry Lake (also called Salmonberry Reservoir) is one of the best birdwatching spots inContinue reading “New possibilities for Salmonberry Lake”

Unsettling Encounter with a Young Elk

I was hesitant to write this post. My hope is that people can learn from my mistakes just as much as from the positive experiences. I set off at 6:30am to avoid the predicted high temps. The early start brought me to a coyote sauntering along the logging road. As I descended a switchback IContinue reading “Unsettling Encounter with a Young Elk”