On December 6, 2019, the Natural History Society walked through the Kinney Point State Park, approximately 3/4 mile on a moderately well-maintained trail through a mature Douglas-fir, cedar, and maple forest on the southern end of Marrowstone Island.
Kinney Point was transferred to State Park property from State School Lands because of the exceptional old growth habitat. The trail ends at the ‘kayak camp’ just up from the cobble beach at the mouth of a shallow ravine. The majority of the shoreline is high, steep bluff, so access to the beach is challenging. The forest is quite beautiful and there are also opportunities for the hale and hearty to explore off trail.
Although we don’t usually limit numbers on our outings, this outing was limited to the first 12 participants to request attendance.
Our December 2019 natural history book club selection is Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape by Barry Lopez. Originally published in 1986, Arctic Dreams won the National Book Award and remains a classic in natural history literature. Lopez offers a thorough examination of this obscure world-its terrain, its wildlife, its history of Eskimo natives and intrepid explorers who have arrived on their icy shores. But what turns this marvelous work of natural history into a breathtaking study of profound originality is his unique meditation on how the landscape can shape our imagination, desires, and dreams. Its prose as hauntingly pure as the land it describes, Arctic Dreams is nothing less than an indelible classic of modern literature. Please join us to share in discussion and your personal experiences in arctic wildlands.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
On November 8, 2019, the Natural History Society explored the Quimper Lost Wilderness in our own Cape George backyard.
This outing was 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 not only saw this sacred place but also got to hear firsthand about the efforts to preserve it. We walked approximately one mile across some uneven ground.
Eileen at JLTnatural@saveland.org provided meeting time and place, suggestions for what to bring, and additional information.
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 email@example.com 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.