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”

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”

The Hidden Carcus Creek Falls

Oregon is a state laden with beautiful waterfalls and Columbia County is no exception. While some of our county waterfalls are Instagram-famous roadside attractions like Bonnie and Beaver Creek, others take quite a trek and are known online as little more than approximate GPS points. Jon and I have decided to search out and documentContinue reading “The Hidden Carcus Creek Falls”

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?”

The Elusive Columbia Torrent Salamander

The only salamander that shares Columbia County’s namesake, the Columbia Torrent salamander, had never been officially recorded in the county and that just didn’t seem right. These “Torrents” were one of the first salamanders I ever searched for as their habitat niche is in the spray zones of the waterfalls I love. Years ago theContinue reading “The Elusive Columbia Torrent Salamander”

Nehalem Divide on the CZ Trail

This is an entry by Matt D’Agrosa, a Scappoose native who will contribute regularly to the blog. My favorite section of the Crown Zellerbach Trail is also its highest point; the remote Nehalem Divide trailhead. The trailhead lies alongside Scappoose-Vernonia Highway at the turn for Mt. Pisgah Home logging road.  Heading down from the parkingContinue reading “Nehalem Divide on the CZ 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”

Name this waterfall!

This mirrored treasure is visible from your car, but you’re an official veteran of Columbia County’s backroads (and proximate to some colorful history) if you can have seen it in person and remember where it is. (If you want to show you’ve been there before without giving away the location, just write in the commentsContinue reading “Name this waterfall!”