Pick it up. Pack it out.

While walking at Row River Nature Park recently, we found a baby Canada Goose that had become tangled in fishing line. Its parents swam nearby as we freed it, but I'm not optimistic about its survival. It did swim off and join its family, but the encounter left it tired and perhaps injured. It wasn't swimming as fast or as well as it should have been. We walk our dogs every week, usually along some waterway in the Cottage Grove area, and every time I see fishing line, I stop to pick it … [Read more...]

Willamette Fish Hatchery: Oakridge

The Willamette Fish Hatchery sits just outside of Oakridge.  I can't tell you how many times I've driven down Highway 58 without noticing the road sign pointing toward the hatchery. Luckily, at some point it captured my attention, and the hatchery ended up on my "things to see" list. When we stopped by the hatchery last fall, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. I knew there would be ponds full of fish, I suspected we'd have the opportunity to feed some, but I didn't know we would be … [Read more...]

Captivating Darlingtonia

Plants that eat bugs. Just the thought of them and I am instantly transported back to third grade, when our teacher brought several carnivorous plants into our classroom. I’m not sure I ever saw one eat a bug because, of course, the third grade boys liked to poke the plants to make them close. Regardless, as a nine-year-old I was captivated. While I may have been captivated, it took about 40 years before I finally saw my first carnivorous plant in the wild -- the "Darlingtonia Californica" … [Read more...]

A Whale of a Weekend

Last September, on a whim to buy tuna fresh on the dock, we found ourselves in Charleston, Oregon. It had been a long time since I had been in Charleston and I realized that it was a place that deserved more time and attention. So earlier this month we created a 4-day weekend and explored Charleston, the Coos Bay area, and down into Bandon. There is something special about the Oregon coast which speaks to me, and I know it does to many others as well. For four days we put aside work and other … [Read more...]

Western Snowy Plover: Share the Shore

Last summer, while canoeing the Stiltcoos Trail we floated through Western Snowy Plover habitat.  From our seats in the canoe, we saw several plovers along both banks of the river. The plovers on the north side, which consisted of hard-packed sand, I later identified as the Semipalmated Plover. However, the plovers on the south side, which was banked and dune like, are harder to identify. Until told otherwise, I am going to hope they were Western Snowy Plovers. We floated quietly past so as not … [Read more...]