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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
On October, 18, 2019, the Natural History Society visited Marrowstone Island. We gathered at the entrance to Marrowstone with oceanographer Peter Rhines to review the restoration of the channel linking Kilisut Harbor and Oak Bay.
Then we walked 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.
We timed this outing to coincide with the end of the dry season for easier access, and to take advantage of walking paths he maintains. We expected to see lichens, mushrooms, and mosses revived by the returning rains. We looked for species that have evolved to thrive in a dynamic system with such a variable water table.
Ken at JLTnatural@saveland.org provided meeting time and place, what to bring, and additional information about both projects.
On September 27, 2019, the Natural History Society took a walking tour of Port Townsend’s new čičməhán (Chetzemoka) Trail. Lys Burden and Luzi Pfenninger, Trail Team members, led 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 visited seven sights, including čičməhán’s grave site, Kah Tai Lagoon, and Kah Tai Prairie, Lys and Luzi shared stories of the tribal signs. We learned about the ethnographic, hydrologic, and glacial history of the San Juan (qatay) Valley.
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.