Eel Lake: Winchester Bay

I know that many people go to the coast specifically to walk the beach -- and I love the beach too -- but I also like walking through the coastal forests with its salal and rhododendrons filling in the understory. While at the coast a couple weeks ago, we stopped by Eel Lake to explore. Eel Lake is a good-sized, fresh water lake, surrounded by forest.  Located a few miles south of Winchester Bay on Highway 101, the lake is accessed through William M. Tugman State Park. We found a wide, … [Read more...]

From Lake to Ocean: Siltcoos Canoe Trail

We explored the Siltcoos Canoe Trail for the first time two years ago. It was such a memorable trip that I've been trying to get back there ever since. Twice we made plans for the trip, and twice they were cancelled at the last minute. Earlier this month, everything finally came together. The Siltcoos River is about three miles long, flowing from Siltcoos Lake to the Pacific Ocean. In 2014, we put-in mid-way down the river at the Lodgepole Picnic Area/Wayside. This time, we did the whole … [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...]

Thank You John Cooney

For many years, I commuted to Eugene for work every morning, Monday through Friday. Just after 7:30  on Thursday mornings, I always looked forward to John Cooney and the Natural World which played on KLCC. If you aren't familiar with the Natural World you can hear archives of the show on the KLCC website. I learned a lot from the Natural World over the years. Often the episodes left me feeling encouraged to get out and explore the places John visited. And, always, I enjoyed how John mixed the … [Read more...]