Exploring Nature

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Astrophotography Weekend Fun at Baker Lodge

For the second weekend in August, the photography and naturalists committees teamed up for a weekend of events at Baker Lodge. We used the great opportunity to share our love of the outdoors together and develop an enhanced sense of connection. And to take in the Perseid Meteor showers - or so we hoped! Read more…

Secret Rainier: Goat Island Mountain

Many of the 100 peaks in Mount Rainier National Park are seldom visited and we believe under appreciated. In this sense they are “secrets” and worthy of being featured in this series. In this chapter of Secret Rainier we describe Goat Island Mountain, one of our favorite scrambles. Notable are the views of Little Tahoma looming above Rainier. It’s is a super summer scramble and a great destination to plan for in the midst of winter. Read more…

1,000 Words: The Worth of a Picture

My first time as a photographer “in the field” is stored in a place in my memory banks reserved for other indelible firsts — kiss, published story, time I set my eyes upon my daughters. I remember slogging along in a flooded farm field with a small group led by Paul Bannick, the renowned owl expert and photographer and Mountaineers Books author. Well, I was slogging at least; I’m sure Bannick was prepared, as usual, wearing some sort of waders. I was stepping daintily in my duck boots, fearful of sinking to my thighs in water and mud that smelled faintly of rotten eggs.  Read more…

Baker Lodge Photography Weekend - August 10-12

The photography and naturalists committees have teamed up for a weekend of events at Baker Lodge. This is a great opportunity to share our love of the outdoors together and develop an enhanced sense of connection. Read more…

Did You Know? Mt. Skokomish Wilderness

With its steep and rugged trail systems and its proximity to Olympia, the Mt. Skokomish Wilderness is a great training ground for the locals. It's not just for locals though - many of its mountains and trails are well worth traveling to visit.  Read more…

On National Nature Photography Day: Thank you photographers!

Today is National Nature Photography Day. Mountaineers Books and, especially our conservation imprint, Braided River, works with a number of amazingly talented and dedicated nature photographers. These folks frequently spend long hours alone in the wild capturing images that the rest of us would never see without them. These images have a huge impact on how we come to understand and feel about nature. Often their photos are the only reference we have for faraway places, and they move us to care about those environments. Nature photographers are on the leading edge of connecting us emotionally to the world that we depend on for all of our physical needs and for which degradation in a faraway place  affects the place where we live. Read more…

An unexpected encounter in the great Northern Temperate Rainforest

It’s very difficult to forget that we live in one of the world’s great rainforest ecosystems here in western Washington – the Northern Temperate Rainforest. After all, with very little coaxing (just a few decades), the trees grow tall and dramatic, the mosses and ferns quickly drape the fallen debris, and – lest you need a reminder – it rains a lot.  We are now in the midst of what my droll spouse likes to call “June-uary”, that nondescript but agonizing period from about May to mid-July when the rest of the country is bursting into spring and summer and we are just….drippy. Read more…

Happy World Otter Day! - Citizen Science Opportunity

Happy World Otter Day! Organized by the International Otter Survival Fund, this day aims to raise awareness of the 13 otter species worldwide and the threats they face. Locally, the Woodland Park Zoo is looking to understand the behavior of PNW otters and you can help! Read more…

Orcas of the Salish Sea

Resident orcas of the Salish Sea may be wild creatures, but satellite tags, drone images and individual health profiles are making them as familiar as family to researchers. The distinctively marked, largest members of the dolphin family that comprise the J, K, and L pods, also known as killer whales, are being studied inside and out. While scientists monitor the whales’ whereabouts, new babies, and what’s happening with food sources, they’re also analyzing the whales’ feces and blubber to better understand the health of individuals.  Read more…

How To Choose Binoculars

Having binoculars can make any trip more fun and memorable. At The Mountaineers, we aren't experts in the technology that goes into seeing far away, but lucky for us, our friends at Binoculars Today like to share! Read more…