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.
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 March 23, 2019, the Natural History Society organized a two-part outing to explore Fort Flagler. First, Biological Technician Willie Richards led a late morning tour of the USGS- Marrowstone Marine Field Station. He explained their research on Pacific Herring and the focus on disease and pathology. Willie also told 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:
On August 18, 2016, all were welcome to join the Natural History Society for a summer hike at Fort Flagler State Park on Marrowstone Island.
We hiked the five-mile loop along the beach and back through the forest. We were back in Port Townsend by early afternoon. A minus tide that morning allowed us to explore the rocky, slippery intertidal zone, and head down the beach.
We recommended: shoes with rugged soles that can get wet; dressing in layers for changing weather; field guides to plants, birds, marine invertebrates or insects; binoculars; and food and water. There was no limit to the size of the group.