Birdsong at North Beach

Redwing BlackbirdJoin the Natural History Society on Saturday morning, April 13, for a bird walk focusing on birdsong. Expert naturalists Ken Wilson and Dave Rugh will lead an exhilarating outing teaching us to recognize some of our common birds by their songs. They will share insights on the functions and ecology of birdsong, and enhance our listening skills and appreciation of beautiful spring mornings. 

White-crowned SparrowWe will walk through the North Beach neighborhood, mostly on level ground with some small hills. Be prepared for any weather by dressing in layers, and bring binoculars and a field guide, if you have one. Please RSVP to Nan at for details and to find out time and meeting location.


April 2019 Book Selection

The JLT Natural History Society book club will read Beyond the Outer Shores by Eric Enno Tamm in April 2019.  We will meet on Monday, April 22, at the Charles Pink House next to the Port Townsend Carnegie Library 3:30-5:00.





Beyond the Outer Shores: The Untold Odyssey of Ed Ricketts, the Pioneering Ecologist Who Inspired John Steinbeck and Joseph Campbell is a biography of the man who was the inspiration for “Doc” in Steinbeck’s writings on Cannery Row.  Ricketts was the not formally trained but influential marine biologist who wrote Between Pacific Tides, the widely known text on intertidal zones.  His ecological and philosophical thoughts were way ahead of his time, and as the subtitle states, many of the ideas of Steinbeck and Campbell can be attributed to their association with Ricketts.

Herring and Birding at Fort Flagler


Join the Natural History Society on Saturday, March 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: http://


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

March 2019 Book Selection

In March 2019 the Jefferson Land Trust Natural History Society book club will read What a Plant Knows by Daniel Chamovitz.  We will discuss the book at our meeting on Monday, March 25, to be held at the Charles Pink House (next to the Carnegie Library in Port Townsend), from 3:30-5:00.



Renowned biologist Daniel Chamovitz presents an intriguing look at how plants themselves experience the world―from the colors they see to the schedules they keep. Highlighting the latest research in genetics and more, he takes us into the inner lives of plants and draws parallels with the human senses to reveal that we have much more in common with sunflowers and oak trees than we may realize.  Covering touch, sound, smell, sight, and even memory,  What a Plant Knows offers us a greater understanding of botany and science and our place in nature.

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.