Category Archives: History of hikes and outings

Field Tour of the Tarboo Watershed with Northwest Watershed Institute

Great Blue Heron

On August 20, 2019, the Natural History Society took an all-day tour of the Tarboo Watershed with Peter Bahls, biologist and Director of Northwest Watershed Institute. The Institute and many project partners have been implementing one of the largest landscape-scale conservation projects in Puget Sound.

We explored from the headwaters of Tarboo Creek to spectacular Dabob Bay, and stopped to take short walks to see a diversity of wildlife, stream, forest, and shoreline habitats, and a full spectrum of land protection and restoration projects.

Thuja plicata (Western Redcedar)

Janell at coordinated meeting time and place, what to bring, and additional information.

Flower Families of Mt. Ellinor

Eriophyllum lanatum (Oregon Sunshine)

On July, 17, 2019, the Natural History Society joined for a summer hike up rocky Mt. Ellinor. We were fortunate that botanist Coca Sanchez led us on her annual wildflower walk for the Natural History Society. She took us up a steep mountain to seek endemic wildflowers. Coca also discussed some of our most common flower families, and pointed out blooming species.



Chamaenerion angustifolium (Fireweed), Eriophyllum lanatum (Oregon Sunshine), Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)

Mt. Ellinor is known for its wildflower meadows and spectacular views from rocky ridges. We hiked from the upper trailhead to the summit for views of Lake Cushman and the surrounding Olympic peaks.

Eileen at arranged meeting time and place, what to bring, and additional information.

Insects at the Illahee

Paddle-tailed Darner (Aeshna palmata)

On June 15, 2019, the Natural History Society spent a summer afternoon exploring insects at the Land Trust’s Illahee Preserve. Entomologist Richard Lewis led 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 told us about insects and their role in the natural world. He discussed the different types of insects we find here and their life histories and roles in nature. Richard introduced a variety of sampling techniques including sweep nets, aerial nets, aquatic nets, traps, and beat trays. In each area we looked for and discussed evidence of insects such as feeding damage, nests, tracks, and prey.

Harpaphe haydeniana (Yellow-spotted millipede)

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

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

Rhododendron macrophyllum

Rhododendron macrophyllum

On May 7, 2019, the Natural History Society experienced the obvious and the less-than-obvious changes that occur with the emergence of a Pacific Northwest spring. We observed 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 was a day of discoveries, insights, and fun, as we visited both the Lyre Conservation Area and the mouth of the Elwha River, both on the Strait of Juan Fuca, west of Port Angeles. 

Carpools were organized, and non-drivers paid $12 for gasoline. Eileen at provided additional information.

Herring and Birding at Fort Flagler

On March 23, 2019, the Natural History Society organized a two-part outing to explore Fort Flagler. First, Biological Technician Willie Richards led a late morning tour of the USGS- Marrowstone Marine Field Station. He explained their research on Pacific Herring and the focus on disease and pathology. Willie also told 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 ate our picnic lunches and wandered a bit in Fort Flagler to look for seabirds and other birds. Naturalist and expert birder Ken Wilson guided our birding.

Eileen at provided details about when and where to meet, as well as information about disinfectants required before entering the USGS Field Station.