Berry picking season in the forest

Oregon has the best berries in the world. Everyone knows our about blueberry farms, marionberry syrup, sweet local strawberries and the ubiquitous Himalayan blackberry. But dive into the forest and you can find native berries that have been part of Oregon’s bounty for much, much longer. One of our family’s favorite hiking spots is theContinue reading “Berry picking season in the forest”

Updates at Dalton Lake

Since the bike trail at Dalton Lake became “Dalton Lake Nature Preserve“, we’ve enjoyed watching the place change. There are now info kiosks and bike stands on both ends as well as new benches. Friends of Dalton Lake has worked to widen trails and remove some invasive vegetation, and Patrick Birkle leads nature tours. SophiaContinue reading “Updates at Dalton Lake”

Rosey, Lucas, Matt, and Jon year in review

To add some fun to this freezing New Year, I asked our main blog participants to give their 2021 highlights. What was your favorite trail, favorite reptile, favorite moment? Here are their replies and photos – share your own answers in the comments! Hike of the Year Rosey: In June I did an 11-mile hikeContinue reading “Rosey, Lucas, Matt, and Jon year in review”

McCormick Park 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 “McCormick Park on cold and rainy days”

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”

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”

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”