Exploring Nature

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Did you know? Snafflehounds

One of the more unusual pieces of climbing jargon, the word ‘snafflehound’ fails to strike fear into the heart of the uninitiated. However, snafflehounds have ruined more than a few climbers’ days, and for good reason. Read more…

Birds of the West - Exploring Wetlands

Birds accompany us daily in our neighborhoods with their songs, bright colors, and energetic activity. We seek them out, from urban wetlands to wilderness trails, following the sound of a distant twitter or song. In Birds of the West: An Artist's Guide, award-winning artist Molly Hashimoto captures the likeness of nearly 100 species using different media. Read more…

Did You Know? Wynoochee Lake

Wynooche Lake is a remote, hidden gem in the southern Olympic Peninsula. Framed by steep, rugged peaks, the lush conifer and hardwood forested shores of Wynoochee Lake provide many opportunities for recreation. With just over 13 miles of shoreline, two campgrounds, boat access, Roosevelt Elk, a river, and many waterfalls, Wyoonchee Lake will be your next weekend getaway. Read more…

Nature's Way | Seabirds Abound in Puget Sound

Sometimes a seabird is simply a bird that lives on the sea; other times it can lead you to a deeper connection with the world around you. For Joe Sweeney, that magic happens every time he visits the shore. Read more…

Jonathan Franzen Wants to Bring Back the Birds

We hear their songs in the morning and almost subliminally note their presence throughout the day. While some of us seek them out, watching for certain species that herald a new season or hoping to see unusual ones, others have a more passive awareness of these feathered wonders. Either way, birds are part of all of our lives.  Read more…

Celebrate Spring With Birds, Flowers, and Mounds - May Events

Our Mountaineers naturalist committees offer opportunities to learn about the plants, animals, marine life, and geology of the Pacific Northwest. To help you get involved, the Olympia Naturalist Committee is offering new activities in May and June to help you learn more about the birds of our region. Read more…

Spring Plants To Spot on The Trail

Some regions have to settle for a simple rainbow after a storm. But here in the Pacific Northwest, the abundant rainfall brings us a vast array of native plant life. From delicate flowers to prolific ground cover, we’re already finding plenty of growth along the trail. See if you recognize these spring plants on your next hike. Read more…

Did You Know? The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is an exciting and interesting trip largely due to its uniquely well-preserved fossilized records of Cenozoic life. The evidence of past life is observed in the geologic strata, hills, valleys, and rock terraces of this incredibly spot in Eastern Oregon. Read more…

Trail Talk | Reflections on a Life Reared Outdoors

I was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut; the largest city in one of the country’s most densely populated states. Located 50 miles east of New York City, Bridgeport was an industrial powerhouse from the late 1800s to just after World War II. The city attracted waves of immigrants and was, and still is, incredibly diverse. I lived in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood where Italian and Yiddish were freely spoken. I remember a lot of little old ladies in black dresses. My parents were not outdoorspeople, nor were my friends. My neighborhood of tightly-packed two and three family homes was no Walden Pond. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Gordie Swartzman

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Gordie Swartzman, a naturalists leader with the Seattle Branch who encourages new leaders to lead out of their passion! Read more…