November is a chilly month on the Olympic Peninsula, and a time of transition to winter. In past years, our Natural History Society has visited these special places to explore the biodiversity:
•Fort Worden– Bring your plant guide and a hand lens, and try to identify plants that look quite different this time of year. Clues like lingering berries, bark, or autumn leaves can help.
•Cappy’s Trails– Walk slowly and watch for ways that plants and animals are preparing for winter. Find a map and learn about the Quimper Wildlife Corridor on the Land Trust’s website: saveland.org/protected-properties/quimper-wildlife-corridor/
•Waterfalls– Follow a one-mile trail to magnificent Murhut Falls near Brinnon, and a much shorter trail to Rocky Brooks Falls near the Dosewallips River. See how many different mosses and ferns you can find. While driving, keep an eye out for Roosevelt Elk. If you see them, stay in your car to respect their needs.
•Mushrooms– Bring a mushroom field guide and explore the dark, damp trails at Fort Townsend. Look for the features that distinguish one mushroom from another. Don’t plan to cook them unless you’re an expert!
•Indian Island– Cross the bridge to the island and turn right to park at the first County Park. Follow the trail that parallels the road toward the second County Park. Notice the beautiful Madrona trees, seabirds, and maybe a view of Mt. Rainier.