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”

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”