Exploring Nature

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Trip Report: Cape Perpetua

For our third installment of the Oregon Winter Adventure series, we take a look at Cape Perpetua and the geological marvels that it holds. Learn about this gorgeous spot along the Oregon Coast, and how to maximize your visit if you choose to head south for some seaside adventures.  Read more…

Forays into Forest Bathing: Exploring Nature One Tree at a Time

Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is a Japanese nature therapy practice to help individuals develop strong connections with nature and reap the physical and emotional benefits that this connection provides. Although its roots are far older, the modern understanding of this practice began in 1982 when the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries instituted a national forest bathing program. Now gaining traction internationally, forest bathing is a tool that many are beginning to explore. Read on to learn about one member’s experiences, and steps you can take to begin your own forest bathing journey. Read more…

A Magical Owl of a Surprise

"Look there!" Danielle pointed across the marsh to the west, her binoculars just below her eyes.

"What do you see?" John quickly lifted his binoculars. Read more…

What Are The Ten Essentials?

The Mountaineers Ten Essentials™ dates back to our climbing courses of the 1930s. This widely respected safety and packing system was formalized in the third edition of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, released in 1974. Each of the nine editions of Freedom, as it is affectionately known, was written entirely by volunteers and reflects the collective wisdom of hundreds of outdoor skills instructors. The list has always sought to answer two basic questions: Read more…

How To: See Golden Larches This Fall

Crisp days and bright fall foliage call hikers out onto the trails each autumn, but few trees draw crowds like our much-loved larches. Located primarily on the sunny eastern slopes of the Cascades, larches are deciduous conifers whose needles turn a rich gold each year. Their stout frames and bristling branches dot hillsides with color each October, and make alpine scenes all the more magical. Read on to learn more about these unique trees and the best hikes to spy them on. Read more…

Did You Know? Birding Basics: Start a Lifelong Journey of Bird Watching

The Black-capped Chickadee flitted through the fir branches. It was about the size of two ping-pong balls, and nimble – it twisted, turned, and darted through my Seattle neighborhood. This bird is common across much of North America and always brings a sense of joy each time I see one. In fact, it may be one of the first birds I learned to identify when my mother caught me sitting in the kitchen sink, watching birds coming to her feeders. I was five, and she patiently stood behind me naming each species. Almost 65 years later I remain delighted by these incredible creatures, and I would like to share with you some of the lessons I have learned in my many (well-spent) years of birdwatching. Read more…

How to Start a Nature Journal

Nature journals are often recommended as a great way to get in touch with the outdoors and become more intentional with your time outside. Which begs the question: what is a nature journal, and how do you start one? Read more…

Discover Mushrooms of the PNW - August 26

What do Chantrelles, Morels, Lobsters, Oysters, Shaggy manes, Cauliflower, King Boletes and  Matsutake have in common? They are all wild edible mushrooms found in Northwest forests. If you would like to start gathering wild mushrooms or if you are looking for a refresher, this one evening seminar is for you. Read more…

Embracing the Slower Side of Life

There’s something truly wonderful about not knowing what lies over the next ridge, or how to get there. If I climb down into the creek bed, will it connect? And if so, will I be able to climb back out? Or is it better to scramble up the talus and hope things aren’t too steep on the other side? Read more…

Trip Report: Mima Mounds Preserve Trail

The word "Mima" in Mima Mounds is derived from a Native American language meaning “a little further along” or “downstream.” Modern scientists argue about what causes these unusual land formations, but what I find fascinating is that the Mima Mounds are not unique; mounded forms are found across the United States. In California they're called “HogWallow Mounds,” and New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming have “prairie mounds.” In the Northern Great Plains they're known as “Pimple Mounds.” Read more…