February 2019 Book Selection

On Monday, February 25, the JLT Natural History Society book club will discuss Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator by Jason Colby.  We will meet at the Charles Pink House next to the Carnegie Library in Port Townsend, from 3:30 – 5:00.


Orca is a definitive historical account of how the common view of the fierce “killer” whales was transformed into that of the beloved “orca.”

Author James Colby, who grew up in Bainbridge and now lives in Victoria, BC, draws on historical records as well as his own family history. He begins by telling how orcas were killed by the thousands when they were viewed as dangerous predators.  Then in the 1960s a Seattle entrepreneur captured a “killer whale” and began to perform with it.  Human encounters with these captive orcas changed American values and influenced environmental activism. In the years to come, this marine predator has become an icon of the Northwest.

January/February Outings

A Winter Hike for the New Year

Whidbey Stones

Join the Natural History Society on Friday, January 4,  from 8:45 am –
5:00 pm for a winter hike at Ebey’s Landing on Whidbey Island. Named
after the first European settler on Whidbey, Ebey’s Landing is
comprised of state, national, and private parcels totaling 17,400
acres. We’ll walk across fields to golden bluffs that tower above the
surf, then drop down (a bit steeply) to wander along a beautiful beach
and gaze at the snowcapped Olympic Mountains.

Nereocystis luetkeana (Bull Kelp)

We will take the ferry
(reservations required) and begin at the Prairie Overlook for a
5.2-mile lollipop loop-hike with about 300 feet of elevation gain and
loss. RSVP to Janell at JLTnatural@saveland.org. Please indicate
whether or not you are able to drive so carpools can be established.

If you are not driving, please plan to compensate your driver for the
ferry fee plus $5 for gas.


Walk the Wildlife Corridor

Male Pileated Woodpecker

Walk four miles with the Natural History Society on Friday, January
25, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm between North Beach and Middlepoint through the Quimper Wildlife Corridor (QWC). The QWC is a conservation partnership led by Jefferson Land Trust. Lands within the corridor are owned and protected by the Land Trust, the state, county, city, and private landowners.

Licorice Ferns

According to Sarah Spaeth at the Land Trust, QWC “is important for managing storm-water and keeping our local water clean. It also creates an urban wildlife refuge that provides natural habitat and safe passage for mammals, birds, and amphibians. For Port Townsend’s growing population, it provides open space and recreational trails.” RSVP to Lee: JLTnatural@saveland.org.

January 2019 Book Selection

On Monday, January 28, 2019, the Jefferson Land Trust Natural History Society book club will discuss Nature’s Temples: The Complex World of Old Growth Forests by Joan Maloof.  We will meet at the Charles Pink House next to the Port Townsend Carnegie Library from 3:30-5:00.


Joan Maloof, the director of the Old-Growth Forest Network, makes a case for the importance of old-growth forests. She describes the life-forms in an ancient, undisturbed forest—including not only its majestic trees but also its insects, plant life, fungi, and mammals—and contrasts them to the life-forms in a forest manipulated by humans. These fragile ecosystems exist only in scattered fragments, and Maloof urges us to cherish those that still exist.

Winter ID—Appreciating Plants All Year Long

Join the Natural History Society on Wednesday, November 28, for a
morning exploring Fort Worden with botanist Cheryl Lowe.

Identifying plants in the winter involves looking for different clues than at other times of year. These clues also give us an increased
appreciation for things that we might not notice when flowers or fruits are so obvious. Bark patterns, bud scales, prickles or spines,
branching patterns, or maybe a few lingering berries are the winter characteristics we notice now. Please bring your binoculars and a hand lens, as well as a field guide, if you have them. Trails are in good shape, but there may be some wet sections.

RSVP to Lee at JLTnatural@saveland.org and she will provide details about when and where to meet.

November/December 2018 Book Selection

The Jefferson Land Trust Natural History Society book club will gather for its final 2018 session on Monday, December 3, 2018. We will meet at the Pink House next to the Carnegie Library in Port Townsend, from 3:30-5:00.

The book selected for November/December is Upstream: Searching for the Wild Salmon, from River to Table by Langdon Cook.

Upstream is a look at the intersection of man, food, and nature. Cook takes us on a tour of the areas where salmon live, from Alaska to the Pacific Northwest to the Central Valley of California. He covers all sides of the debate over salmon: the legacy of overfishing and industrial development; the conflicts between fishermen, environmentalists, and Native Americans; the modern proliferation of fish hatcheries and farms; and the longstanding battle lines of science versus politics, wilderness versus civilization.

Langdon Cook is the author of The Mushroom Hunters, which we read in October 2016.