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”

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”

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?”

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”

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”