Naturalist

Naturalist

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Learning Mosses: The History of Mountaineer Moss and Lichen Workshops

Mountain photography has been a passion of mine for over forty years, but I had little noticed (or perhaps intentionally ignored) mosses. After rejoining The Mountaineers in early 2015 to take the Introduction to the Natural World (INW) Course, I signed up for a few Naturalist activities that were oriented around mosses and lichens on wintertime hikes. I don’t recall wanting to learn about mosses and lichens - I barely knew what the latter were. I just wanted to expand my hiking repertoire. So I joined “moss hikes” on Cougar and Tiger Mountain. Read more…

The Winter Solace of Birds

It was early February 2021, and Seattle had been darkened by overcast and rainy skies for weeks. Even worse, we were eleven months into the pandemic, and I was feeling isolated. Birds in my yard had been my only physical companions throughout Covid. Other than my two sisters I’d visited in Pennsylvania, I’d not been hugged or, for that matter, even had a handshake since the previous March. I generally don’t mind solitude, but that degree of isolation felt far different. Read more…

A Local Waterfront Gem: Beachfront Cabins at Cama Beach State Park

As life changes, the way we play outside does too. This is true of families with newborns, folks with caretaking responsibilities, those of us who might be nursing an injury or just want to take it a little slower for whatever reason. If you’re looking to get outdoors in a way that requires less planning and is less strenuous, consider an indoor adventure like renting a beachfront cabin at Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island. Read more…

My Life in Tents

When I reflect upon my life of 74 years, many treasured memories are of nights in tents. What is it about the little nylon-framed shelter that offers so much? It provides protection from the elements, yet allows us to be closer to nature and the world around us. When in tents, we can hear rain pelting off tent walls, owls hooting in the night, ice breaking off glaciers, rivers rushing, waves lapping, and sometimes the sounds of bears and wolves coming into camp. Read more…

Youth & Families Invited to View Salmon Run at Kitsap Forest Theater - Nov 12 & 13

The Kitsap Forest Theater invites all Mountaineers youth and their friends and families to witness the natural wonder of the chum salmon returning to Chico Creek this Saturday and Sunday!  Read more…

"What is a Raptor?" Free Seminar - Nov 16

In our upcoming November 16 seminar, "What is a Raptor?", we invite you to learn more about the birds we call raptors, their evolution, and where they live. This evening will take you on a world tour that covers 100 million years. The seminar will be both in person and over zoom; please register for the version you want.  Read more…

Did You Know? The Fall Salmon Run

Starting in the summer and peaking in the fall, our local salmon embark on a lengthy and laborious journey from Puget Sound to their native rivers, streams, and lakes. These efforts, which will ultimately end in their death, is known as the salmon run. The reason for their fatal trek? Spawning time. Read more…

Shorebird Identification Seminar & Trip Report - Sep 13

Become a beach-side naturalist in our upcoming seminar designed to help you develop your shorebird identification skills. Offered by the Seattle Naturalist Committee on Sep 13 at 7pm, Introduction to Shorebirds of the Pacific Northwest will open your eyes to the stunning beauty of our local shorebirds.  Read more…

Did You Know | The Perseid Meteor Showers

After a long, hot day on the trail, you’ve finally settled in at camp. With the tent pitched and your Mountain House Creamy Mac n’ Cheese devoured, the temptation to sleep can be overwhelming. Every bone in your body is telling you to climb into your tent and get horizontal. But you have to fight it: if you hold off long enough, you may get lucky and witness a remarkable natural spectacle in the summer sky. Read more…

Did You Know | High Country Bumble Bee

After a long winter, there's nothing more wonderful than seeing the mountains in bloom. It’s that time of year when hikers are returning to the trails, hoping to admire the petals popping up to color our landscapes. Of course, wildflowers wouldn’t be possible without pollinators. But did you know that out of the 28 species of bumble bees found in the Northwest, one in particular is largely responsible for our alpine blooms? Read more…