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”

Are there turtles in your water?

Do you have a pond or slough on your property? Now that warmer days are upon us, you might see some turtles on the logs. Our project at Columbia County Reptiles and Amphibians is recording every lake and river that is home to turtles in Columbia County. If you have a pond, stream, or sloughContinue reading “Are there turtles in your water?”

What happened to Laurel Beach Park?

It was a mystery. I was perusing the internet, trying to find additional parks in our area, when I ran across the name “Laurel Beach Park”. I found it on an old testing site for Columbia County Parks. The site said: Laurel Beach is a day-use facility featuring access to one of the Columbia River’sContinue reading “What happened to Laurel Beach Park?”

4-H outing to Trojan Park and Welter Cemetery

Last week my sister invited Matt and I to lead a 4-H herpetology and conservation event. For the site we chose Trojan Park and the area surrounding Welter Cemetery. The Welter Family Cemetery is a century-old cemetery perched on the Old Columbia River Highway, across from Trojan Park. The Welter family moved here from LuxemburgContinue 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”