Author Archives: jltnature

Insects at the Illahee

Insects at the Illahee

Paddle-tailed Darner (Aeshna palmata)

Join the Natural History Society on Saturday, June 15, for a summer afternoon exploring insects at the Land Trust’s Illahee Preserve. Entomologist Richard Lewis will lead us on a short hike to look in open space, clearings, forest edges, the forest, and aquatic environments.

Tribe Chironomini
A member of Non-biting Midges Family Chironomidae

Richard will tell us about insects and their role in the natural world. He will discuss different types of insects we find here and their life histories and roles in nature. Richard will introduce a variety of sampling techniques including sweep nets, aerial nets, aquatic nets, traps, and beat trays. In each area we will also look for and discuss evidence of insects such as feeding damage, nests, tracks, and prey.

Harpaphe haydeniana (Yellow-spotted millipede)

RSVP to Nan at for meeting time and place, what to bring, and additional information.

June 2019 Book Selection

On Monday, June 24, 2019, the JLT Natural History Society book club will discuss Pilgrim on the Great Bird  Continent by Lyanda Lynn Haupt.  We will meet in the gazebo at Ilahee Preserve from 3:30-5:00.  Let’s gather at 3:15  in the parking lot across from San Juan Taqueria on Prospect Avenue (where you turn off Hwy 19 to go to Kala Point) so we can carpool to Ilahee.

The complete title of June’s book is Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent: The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin’s Lost Notebooks.  Author Lyanda Lynn Haupt is familiar to book club members, as we have read other books by her – Mozart’s Starling, Urban Bestiary, and Crow Planet. 

Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent combines observations on nature, a poetic sense, and wonderful detail on Charles Darwin. Haupt focuses mostly on the birds Darwin observed, having researched meticulously some of his lesser-known writings. She describes Darwin’s transformation into a “true naturalist” while helping us understand the human relationship to the natural world.


The Emergence of Spring: Lyre Conservation Area and the Mouth of the Elwha River

Rhododendron macrophyllum

Rhododendron macrophyllum

Come experience the obvious and the less-than-obvious changes that occur with the emergence of a Pacific Northwest spring.

Join the Natural History Society on Tuesday, May 7, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm to observe a rich variety of life through the lens of ecological relationships as well as through the lens of the purely aesthetic. 

Elgaria coerulea (Northern Alligator Lizard)

Northern Alligator Lizard

This will be a day of discoveries, insights, and fun, as we visit both the Lyre Conservation Area and the mouth of the Elwha River, both on the Strait of Juan Fuca, west of Port Angeles. 

Carpools will be organized. Non-drivers should be prepared to pay their driver $12 for gasoline. RSVP to Eileen at for additional information.

Herring and Birding at Fort Flagler

Join the Natural History Society on SaturdayMarch 23, for a two-part outing exploring Fort Flagler. First, Biological Technician Willie Richards will lead a late morning tour of the USGS- Marrowstone Marine Field Station. He will explain their research on Pacific Herring and the focus on disease and pathology. Willie will also tell us about some of the highlights of his experience with USGS, including field sampling in Cordova, Alaska, and capturing wild Pacific Herring in the nearby waters of Puget Sound. For background on herring:

Test your herring knowledge

Bald Eagle

After our tour of the USGS Field Station, we will eat our picnic lunches and wander a bit in Fort Flagler to look for seabirds and other birds. Naturalist and expert birder Ken Wilson will lead our birding.

RSVP to Eileen at JLTnatural@saveland.orgfor details about when and where to meet, as well as information about disinfectants required before entering the USGS Field Station.

May 2019 Book Selection

On Monday, May 20, the JLT Natural History Society book club will discuss Eager by Ben Goldfarb.

We will meet at the Ilahee Preserve from 3:30 – 5:00. Let’s congregate at the parking lot across from San Juan Taqueria on Prospect Avenue at 3:15, carpooling from there to the Ilahee.  (Jefferson Land Trust is doing what it can to minimize the number of cars on the road and in the parking lot at Ilahee.)




Ben Goldfarb, Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter (2018) is the story of one of the world’s most influential species and the ecological consequences when that species is lost.  This book reveals how beavers can help us fight drought, flooding, wildfire, extinction, and the ravages of climate change. Habitat for species from salmon to swans can be restored by returning beavers to the landscape. There is a growing coalition of “Beaver Believers”―including scientists, ranchers, and passionate citizens―who recognize that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier, for humans and non-humans alike, than those without them. This book describes both the elimination of beavers as well as current efforts to reintroduce them in various geographic regions.