4-H outing to Trojan Park and Welter Cemetery

Last week my sister and her colleagues invited Matt and I to lead a 4-H herpetology and conservation event. For the site I chose Trojan Park and the area surrounding Welter Cemetery. The Welter Family Cemetery is a 100+ year old cemetery on PG&E land directly off of the Old Columbia River Highway, across fromContinue reading “4-H outing to Trojan Park and Welter Cemetery”

Family walk from Ruley Trailhead

Rosey and I took little Sophia to the Ruley Trailhead for a 5-mile walk. The area has been transformed since the new trailhead was built, with restroom facilities, a bike-repair station, and both historical and natural history information. It’s a nice place to connect yourself to the history of the land and how it gotContinue reading “Family walk from Ruley Trailhead”

Winter stroll at Sauvie Island

“I [s]lept but verry little last night for the noise Kept [up] dureing the whole of the night by the Swans, Geese, white and & Grey Brant Ducks &c. on a Small Sand Island … they were emensely noumerous, and their noise horid.” Diary entry of William Clark, 5 November 1805 Sauvie Island has longContinue reading “Winter stroll at Sauvie Island”

Whitetails of the Columbia

Our county’s most unique mammal may be the Columbian White-tailed Deer. Just 50 years ago these beautiful creatures were nearly extinct, hanging on in a few islands in the Columbia River. In 1978 another small population was discovered at the southern end of the Willamette Valley. The subspecies was added to the federal Endangered SpeciesContinue reading “Whitetails of the Columbia”

Old Highway 30 and Little Jack Falls

Imagine a Columbia County with no roads. It’s easy if you try – I grew up with family members older than that. In 1899, E. Henry Wemme, a German-American businessman based in Portland, brought the first car to Oregon. Before the roads came, newcomers traveling by boat and wagon built a small mill on theContinue reading “Old Highway 30 and Little Jack Falls”

Loooong hike with Sophia on Banks-Vernonia Trail

On occasion we give Rosey a break and take Sophia out for the day. Matt and I got ambitious and decided to take the little girl on a two-leg stretch of the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. Sure it was a big chunk to bite off, sure there were rainstorms forecast all day, but we were upContinue reading “Loooong hike with Sophia on Banks-Vernonia Trail”

Bushwhacking to a Pygmy Owl

Small owls warm my heart. On a day when we had to push through too much brush, soak our shoes thoroughly, and see few herps in the cold air….a little owl sighting made it all worth it. Matt and I drove into central Columbia County and took an ancient logging road into some medium-young forest.Continue reading “Bushwhacking to a Pygmy Owl”

Fall walk at Nob Hill Nature Park

A couple weeks ago I took a stroll at the Nob Hill Nature Park. The trail was basically empty. It provided a quiet place of beauty in the middle of downtown St. Helens. Driving up to the Plymouth Street entrance, I noticed that the adjacent water treatment facility sported quite a few birds. At leastContinue reading “Fall walk at Nob Hill Nature Park”