December 2019 Book Club Selection

Our December 2019 natural history book club selection is Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape by Barry Lopez. We’ll be meeting at the Pink House next to the Port Townsend Public Library on Monday, December 9th, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. After the discussion, we’ll be making a list of suggested reading for February-July 2020. We’ll be e-mailing the list to all book club participants to vote for their top 6. If you have any titles you’d like us to consider, please e-mail Kathy at and I’ll add it to the list. Keep in mind that we prefer books on natural history topics that are related to the Pacific Northwest.

Arctic Dreams
Originally published in 1986, Arctic Dreams won the National Book Award and remains a classic in natural history literature. Please join us to share in discussion and experiences in arctic wildlands.

Exploring a Lost Wilderness

Join the Natural History Society on Friday, November 8, from 10:00 am-1:00 pm, for an exploration of the Quimper Lost Wilderness in our own Cape George backyard.  

This outing will be led by Steve Grace – local naturalist, author, and educator – who happened upon this 30-acre stand of old growth forest and then spearheaded the effort to recognize its value and protect it.  We will not only see this sacred place but also get to hear firsthand about the efforts to preserve it.  We will be walking approximately one mile across some uneven ground.

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

September-October 2019 Book Selection

The September 2019 selection for Jefferson Land Trust Natural History Society book club is Wintergreen by Robert Michael Pyle.  We are honored to have the opportunity to meet with the author for our book discussion on Monday, October 7, from 3:30 – 5:00.  Please RSVP to Jean at for information, including directions, about the location.








Naturalist, scientist, and poet Robert Michael Pyle describes the land, animals, plants, and people of the Willapa Hills area of southwest Washington State.  In spite of the obvious disruption caused by widespread logging, Pyle moved to the little town of Gray’s River, Washington, in the 1970s and continued his career as a writer and naturalist.  His explorations of the area are recounted in Wintergreen, winner of the 1987 John Burroughs Medal for the best natural history book of the year.  Although originally written in the 1980s and republished with a new preface in 1996, the well-written book has valuable insights and lessons for today.


Meandering on Marrowstone

Channel linking Kilisut Harbor and Oak Bay

Join the Natural History Society on Friday, October 18, from 1:00-3:00 pm for a visit to Marrowstone Island. First, we will gather at the entrance to Marrowstone with oceanographer Peter Rhines to review the restoration of the channel linking Kilisut Harbor and Oak Bay.

Then we will walk through a vernal pond and swamp system on a beautiful property owned by Kurt Steinbach, a recent graduate of the Land Trust’s Northwest Naturalist program.  Kurt says these habitats are locally common but hold many secrets due to their inherent inaccessible nature.

Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail fungus) on Kindbergia praelonga (Slender Beaked Moss)

We have timed this outing to coincide with the end of the dry season for easier access, and to take advantage of walking paths he maintains. Expect to see lichens, mushrooms, and mosses revived by the returning rains. We will look for species that have evolved to thrive in a dynamic system with such a variable water table.

RSVP to Ken at for meeting time and place, what to bring, and additional information about both projects.

Walk the čičməhán Trail

Join the Natural History Society on Friday, September 27, for a walking tour of Port Townsend’s new čičməhán (Chetzemoka) Trail. Lys Burden and Luzi Pfenninger, Trail Team members, will lead us on a specially designed 4.5 mile loop, following parts of the designated interpretive trail, but also neighborhood shortcuts and sections of Port Townsend’s off-road trail system.

As we visit seven sights, including čičməhán’s grave site, Kah Tai Lagoon, and Kah Tai Prairie, Lys and Luzi will share stories of the tribal signs. We will learn about the ethnographic, hydrologic, and glacial history of the San Juan (qatay) Valley.

American Goldfinch

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