Oregon has the most delicious mushrooms

The rains are coming back, and with them the fall mushroom season. On September 28 the Scappoose Public Library is hosting Jordan Weiss for a presentation on the fall mushrooms of NW Oregon. I didn’t grow up picking mushrooms, but during last year’s surveys I couldn’t help but see fungi everywhere. At first I wasContinue reading “Oregon has the most delicious mushrooms”

Introducing Mayfly Falls

Matt and I planned to hike to Lava Creek Falls, but in preparation Matt spent time looking for secret waterfalls on Google Earth. He located a potential unmarked falls on West Fork Carcus Creek and decided we should try to make a go at it on our way to Lava Creek. This June day endedContinue reading “Introducing Mayfly Falls”

Searching for the long lost Kerry Tunnel

Nehalem Divide is the most famous logging railroad tunnel in Columbia County, but it wasn’t the largest. That honor belongs to Kerry Tunnel, a landmark so grown over and remote that few residents even know it exists. Both entrances to the tunnel were blown over 80 years ago to keep people from going inside, andContinue reading “Searching for the long lost Kerry Tunnel”

Rare and extirpated butterflies of Northwest Oregon

Butterflies are often among the most endangered of insects. Some of their caterpillars can only survive on select host plants, so if their habitats are destroyed and the host plants disappear, the butterflies disappear as well. Of the 65 species of butterfly native to northwest Oregon, 15 are now rare or missing entirely. (“Extirpated” isContinue reading “Rare and extirpated butterflies of Northwest Oregon”

Do you want to survey turtles with us?

Wild Columbia is working together with the Oregon Native Turtle Working Group and Scappoose Bay Watershed Council to organize turtle surveys this spring and summer. We’re trying to survey every potential water body in Columbia County. Do you want to help? To volunteer, you have to attend a training day. The first one will beContinue reading “Do you want to survey turtles with us?”

Migrating amphibians – have you seen a toad?

As rain falls and the temperature warms up, frogs and salamanders have been out and about. Perhaps they’ve been stopping in your yard or crossing your roads at night. You may have heard them call from your local ponds, or even seen them floating in the water. Where did they come from? Spring is theContinue reading “Migrating amphibians – have you seen a toad?”

Camp Wilkerson’s quiet forests

When I was a boy scout Camp Wilkerson was a decent jamboree and camping site. After scouting I didn’t think about it much until Matt and I began our Columbia County Reptiles and Amphibians project. Now that I’ve been back to visit 30 years later it’s turned into a gorgeous family hiking destination with beautifulContinue reading “Camp Wilkerson’s quiet forests”

Birding at Santosh Wildlife Area and Honeyman Road

The longer we work on this website and wildlife survey, the more hidden locations we turn up. One new discovery is “Santosh Wildlife Area” at the north end of the CalPortland property in Scappoose. Marlea Berumen told us about the place, otherwise we never would have known it existed. We started at the CalPortland officeContinue reading “Birding at Santosh Wildlife Area and Honeyman Road”

Failing to find Mist’s Big Spring

The journey can be better than the destination, and not finding what you were looking for doesn’t mean you didn’t find everything you needed. Our friend Lucas is a budding herpetologist who has been assisting Matt and I in our Columbia County Reptiles and Amphibians project for several months. Last week we made a tripContinue reading “Failing to find Mist’s Big Spring”

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”