Local Environment

Beaver Sign at the Capitol Lake Interpretive Center

Bees, Birds & Butterflies - Sun, 11/27/2016 - 1:33pm
 Text and photos by Nancy Partlow© Yesterday, I came across a large alder tree that beavers had toppled across the CLIC main trail.     
I spoke to a couple who were walking by.  I commented that  "it must be really tough to be an alder tree here because of the beavers."  The woman asked if I really thought beavers had brought the tree down.  I showed her tooth marks on the branch stubs and wood chips littering the ground.  She was amazed.  She didn't know that there are beavers at Capitol Lake.

Beaver tree-gnawing activity at the CLIC has increased in the last few weeks as the weather has gotten colder, just as it does every year.
Even though I've searched extensively for a beaver lodge nearby, I haven't been able to find it  yet. I think it's probably tucked away in one of the two CLIC wetland ponds.  I only wish I could have returned after nightfall to watch the beavers continue to harvest branches from their felled tree. That would have been really cool.  A friend told me he once saw a beaver on a CLIC trail during the day.  I would have loved to see that! 
I've often observed a male Anna's hummingbird perched in the upper branches of this alder, vocalizing and defending from all comers the large twinberry bush right across the trail, and  a rambling stand of salmonberry bushes close by.  Both these shrubs are good sources of hummingbird nectar when they're in flower.  I guess the bird will just have to find another perch now. I also found a bushtit nest lying in the middle of the trail, probably knocked from nearby branches by the wind.  It  retained its still-beautiful construction of natural materials - moss, twigs, lichens and spider's web.     Yesterday's soggy weather could have hardly been less conducive for a nature walk.  But with a good umbrella I was able to take a much-needed stroll and respite.   My discoveries on the CLIC trail show me that even on the worst of days, nature  provides endless opportunities for wonder, restoration and learning.   In this season of thanks-giving, I am grateful for that. 
Categories: Local Environment

Beaver Sign at the Capitol Lake Interpretive Center

Bees, Birds & Butterflies - Sun, 11/27/2016 - 1:33pm
 Text and photos by Nancy Partlow© Yesterday, I came across a large alder tree that beavers had toppled across the CLIC main trail.     
I spoke to a couple who were walking by.  I commented that  "it must be really tough to be an alder tree here because of the beavers."  The woman asked if I really thought beavers had brought the tree down.  I showed her tooth marks on the branch stubs and wood chips littering the ground.  She was amazed.  She didn't know that there are beavers at Capitol Lake.

Beaver tree-gnawing activity at the CLIC has increased in the last few weeks as the weather has gotten colder, just as it does every year.
Even though I've searched extensively for a beaver lodge nearby, I haven't been able to find it  yet. I think it's probably tucked away in one of the two CLIC wetland ponds.  I only wish I could have returned after nightfall to watch the beavers continue to harvest branches from their felled tree. That would have been really cool.  A friend told me he once saw a beaver on a CLIC trail during the day.  I would have loved to see that! 
I've often observed a male Anna's hummingbird perched in the upper branches of this alder, vocalizing and defending from all comers the large twinberry bush right across the trail, and  a rambling stand of salmonberry bushes close by.  Both these shrubs are good sources of hummingbird nectar when they're in flower.  I guess the bird will just have to find another perch now. I also found a kinglet nest lying in the middle of the trail, probably knocked from nearby branches by the wind.  It  retained its still-beautiful construction of natural materials - moss, twigs, lichens and spider's web.     Yesterday's soggy weather could have hardly been less conducive for a nature walk.  But with a good umbrella I was able to take a much-needed stroll and respite.   My discoveries on the CLIC trail show me that even on the worst of days, nature  provides endless opportunities for wonder, restoration and learning.   In this season of thanks-giving, I am grateful for that. 
Categories: Local Environment

South Sound Science Symposium Registration Open

Squaxin Natural Resources Blog - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 3:24pm

Registration is now open for the 6th South Sound Science Symposium to be held September 20th at the Little Creek Casino Event Center.

Registration information, a call for posters and general information can be found here at the Symposium website.

Categories: Local Environment

Shelton Harbor Restoration

Squaxin Natural Resources Blog - Wed, 06/29/2016 - 1:55pm

We are pleased to announce the kickoff of a project designed to restore the Goldsborough and Shelton Creek estuaries in Shelton Harbor. When complete the project area and other high quality habitat in the harbor will be placed into permanent protection.

Existing conditions.

Shelton Harbor existing conditions.

Conceptual drawing showing completed project.

Conceptual design for the completed project.

The overall project involves-

Landowners: Simpson Lumber, Sierra Pacific Industries and the Port of Shelton.

Partners: South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group, Mason Conservation District, Capitol Land Trust and the Squaxin Island Tribe.

Funding obtained to date has been provided by the Washington Department of Ecology National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program (information here) and the Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB, information here). Significantly, all of the Lead Entities present in South Puget Sound contributed to the project enabling the SRFB to increase the amount of money available.

The project is large in scope and when complete will:

  • remove 811 creosote pilings
  • remove 1/2 mile of armored shoreline
  • remove 1/4 mile of inter-tidal dikes
  • restore 47 acres of saltmarsh
  • restore 1/2 mile of shoreline riparian
  • conserve 51 acres of tidelands and over 14 acres of riparian upland

The partners are currently in the permitting phase and anticipate construction to begin in the summer of 2017. To keep informed of the project status we have created a website sheltonharbor.org. Check in regularly for updates.

 

Categories: Local Environment

2016 South Sound Science Symposium

Squaxin Natural Resources Blog - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 10:04am

The sixth South Sound Science Symposium will be held September 20th, 2016 at the Little Creek Resort Event Center. A save the date announcement and a call for poster abstracts can be found here.

 

Categories: Local Environment

Kindergarteners Burfoot Park Field Trip, Puget Sound Sea Life, Scuba Divers too!

Squaxin Natural Resources Blog - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 1:20pm

 

Burfoot 9 Griffin kindergarten student examines a sea star.

It’s that time of year when classrooms take a day to go on an end of the year field trip, somewhere fun, but somewhere educational.  On Tuesday May 24th, Griffin School and Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA) kindergarten classes planned a trip to Burfoot Park along Budd Inlet, where they were greeted by Squaxin Island Tribe Natural Resources staff  in scuba gear and two wading pools full of sea life.    “It’s always fun to do this for the students.  To see the excitement in these young learners faces when we come to shore in all our scuba gear is priceless,” says Joseph Peters, Natural Resources Policy Representative for Squaxin Island Tribe.

Burfoot 7 Burfoot 10

This is the second year that Griffin School kindergarten classes have coordinated with Squaxin Island Tribe Natural Resources to have a “touch tank” of sea life for the class to learn about.  It was great that we could extend this to be a full day event so ORLA could participate in all the fun.   The hope is that we can make an impression on these young students about the importance of the Puget Sound and the life it contains.

Burfoot 3

Joe Peters and Scott Steltzner of Squaxin Island Tribe Natural Resources answer questions about Puget Sound sea life.

“Watching them interact with the sea stars, crabs, moon snails, and other sea creatures is amazing.  We like to keep our eye on those kindergarteners that stay around the touch tank the longest.  Those kids are our future marine biologist or scientists”, boast Peters.  There are plans to do this again next year with Griffin and ORLA. Squaxin Island Tribe Natural Resources does a number of educational outreach activities throughout the year.  Over three days in late April the Tribe and Shelton School District conducted the First Grade Field Experience.  First graders from Evergreen, Mountain View, and Bordeaux Elementary visited Arcadia Point where Squaxin Island Tribe set up three exploration stations and traditional story telling station.  Explorations stations included touch tank, watershed demonstration, and scavenger hunt.

Burfoot 1

Candace Penn, Joe Peters, & Scott Steltzner of Squaxin Island Tribe Natural Resources discuss Puget Sound sea life with Kindergarteners.

Burfoot 4

Categories: Local Environment

Summer Rebels by Bus adventures…

giant wheel from ferryWe’ve already had a taste of summer… and it’s only May!  The summer Rebels by Bus adventures focus on fun in the sun and WATER!

The trip (sponsored by South Puget Sound Community College) destinations will be:

madison parkMadison Park (on Lake Washington) and the Arboretum in Seattle.

 

Vashon Island vashon art deco

 

 

 

 

Alki beach in West Seattle (taking the passenger-only water taxi to get there) water taxi

 

 

Ballard and the locks (connecting the Puget Sound to the ship canal and Lake Union) ballard locks

 

 

Details on each of these trips are already on the SPSCC continuing education website.  Registration will be open soon!

www.spscc.edu/cce

Categories: Local Environment

Centralia, here we come!

centralia.HiddenTreasure.Did you know that you there is a public transit system from Tumwater to Centralia? Rural and Tribal (R/T) transportation connects Thurston County to Lewis County.  Depending on the route, the 15 (or so) passenger van has pick up/drop off spots in Tumwater, Yelm, Tenino, Grand Mound, Rochester, Bucoda and Centralia.

On a beautiful day in early May, the Rebels boarded the R/T bus at Tumwater Square. The bus stop is not marked, but the van stops beside the Intercity Transit stop on Cleveland Avenue, across the street from the Safeway.  On the way to Centralia, we took Route 3, which left Tumwater at 9:45 am.  At the Grand Mound Park and Ride we changed vans, taking Route 4 to the Centralia Amtrak Station.  We passed many beautiful farms and fields.  This is THE way to see the rural parts of Thurston County.  The entire trip (one way) is $1.00!  We also found out that if you have an Intercity Transit pass, this ride is free!

Out first stop in Centralia was to visit the amazing Hub Bub boutique (505 North Tower Avenue). Rebecca Staebler, HubBub (hubbubshop.com) owner, greeted us warmly and gave us a brief overview of current happenings and past history of Centralia.

After we left HubBub (with a few things we couldn’t resist buying), we walked down Tower centralia.streetAvenue and had a very good lunch at Boccata, (405 North Tower).  After lunch we visited The Rectangle Gallery (thanks to Rebecca for setting this up with her friend, Jan, who is the owner of this new gallery.) The Rectangle is AMAZING!  The grand opening was planned for the coming weekend.  No doubt the gallery and the classes Jan will be offering are a great addition to the community!  We loved that she has named a youth (age 10) adviser to the gallery.  They are planning a child art exhibition in early September to coincide with the annual ARTrails, which offers an open studio tour of dozens of regional artists on the 3rd and 4th weekends in September.  To find out details, see ArtrailsofSWW.org.

One storefront away from the Rectangle Gallery is Fruffles, a “boutique department store”. A little of this and that… all lovely and tasteful.

Next stop was The Shady Lady. Their facebook page describes the store as “Upscale Resale Clothing & Funky, Fun, Fabulous Home Décor!!” Good description. The reason we visited (again, thanks to Rebecca for setting this up!) is to see the Bordello Museum, which is upstairs from the shop.  Holly, the owner, greeted us and shared a few details before we viewed the exhibits.  I won’t give away details, but this little museum ($2.00 admission) is definitely worth a visit!  The museum is open on weekends.

centralia.libraryNext we wandered over to the town square park, where the Centralia (Timberland) Carnegie public library is located. Across the street from the library is the US Post Office, with a lovely mural from the 1920’s… so glad it’s being preserved.  We really enjoyed the many murals throughout town.  It’s sad to see that most are faded.  centralia.mural

We visited the Olympic Club, a McMenamins hotel, theater, and restaurant. The building was constructed in 1913 as a railroad hotel (since it is beside the rail depot).  Since 1996 the McMenamins have owned the property.  The huge bar and Tiffany lamps are beautiful.  The theater shows current movies ($4.00!) while you lounge in comfortable chairs or sofas.  You can purchase food or drink to eat while watching the movie!  One of the employees gave us a grand tour of the hotel.  There were lots of pictures of the early days of this building; interesting and colorful history!  The rooms are basic, with bathrooms down the hall.

After walking for a few hours we relaxed with an iced latte at Santa Lucia.  It was nice to sit down for a bit… comfortable and friendly place for a break.  We commented that everyone we met today was very friendly and helpful.  This town has heart!

Next we wound our way back through town stopping at a few of the many antique/collectible stores. We found some treasures, then headed back to the Amtrak depot to catch our bus for our return trip.  Heading back home we took the 4:00 pm R/T Route 4 to Tenino.  In Tenino we transferred to the R/T Route 2 which returned us to Tumwater Square.

Another fun day… this trip is definitely on the “repeat” list!

 

Categories: Local Environment

Lunch and Peonies in West Seattle

This post was written by guest blogger, Karen Valenzuela, an enthusiastic Rebel by Bus.  Thank you, Karen! 

pagoda so seattleOn a recent blustery spring morning, nine rebels gathered at the Martin Way park-and-ride in Olympia to board the 605 Intercity Transit bus to Lakewood, on our way to pay a visit to South Seattle Community College.   At the Highway 512 park-and-ride in Lakewood, we caught the Sound Transit 594 bus, which toured us through several stops in Tacoma on our way to downtown Seattle, where we then hopped the Metro 125 at 3rd & Pike.  That route took us along the soon-to-be-closed Alaskan Way viaduct where we were able to get a quick glimpse of the resting Bertha, the huge machine that’s boring the enormous hole in the earth for the tunnel that will someday replace the viaduct. And though by this point in our adventure it was misting heavily, the view of Elliot Bay was nonetheless deligso seattle chinese garden 2htful as always. We arrived at the college just in time for our pre-arranged luncheon at the Culinary Arts Center, and were served by no fewer than three waitstaff who took very seriously seeing to our every need.  We enjoyed a three-course meal, and lingered so long over coffee and dessert that we were behind schedule to visit the Chinese Garden and arboretum. Peonies in the garden were in full bloom, and were an elegant complement to the spare Chinese architecture of the garden.  This is really an impressive facility, and open to the public for rental peonies so seattle collegefor weddings and other kinds of events.  The arboretum, adjacent to the Chinese garden, is small-ish but also breathtaking in the number of plants and how they’re all arranged.  Both the Chinese Garden and the arboretum, as well as a nearby plant nursery, are part of the community college’s horticulture program, training students in all aspects of the cultivation, care and business of plants.  We caught a later bus off the campus than we were originallycarp so seattle college scheduled for, which put us in Lakewood just after our bus to Olympia had departed.  But even with an hour wait for the next 605, we were back in Olympia shortly after 6:00 PM, tired but generally happy after our day as rebels by bus. This is an adventure by bus I cannot recommend too highly!

Categories: Local Environment

Mariner Fans: Unite!

safeco_field_1Hope does spring eternal for loyal Mariner fans… Every spring we believe that THIS may be the year!

What better way to celebrate the Seattle Mariner’s baseball team than to take a tour of the Safeco field?

So, that’s exactly what several Rebels by Bus did… a week before opening day.

The weather was perfect… brilliant blue sky and sunshine.  The grounds crew was hard at work to prepare the field.  All of the seating was being pressure washed.  There were several lawn mowers (walk behind type, NOT tractor/ride-ons) hard at work.

We were charged a special $10 rate for this excellent tour.  The tour started at 12:30.  We had time after our arrival to the Team Store on 1st Avenue to browse the store and get a snack.  We were advised to buy our Key Griffey Jr. (1st Mariner to get into the Hall of Fame, doncha know?) tee shirts now… they will sell out quickly!

The tour was excellent.  Our guide was not only well versed in Mariner history, but also the intricate workings of the amazing Safeco field.  We visited many sections of the field… from the Lookout landing to the press box to the exclusive Diamond Club.  We also went inside the Visitor lock room.  The final stop was the field itself…to the dugouts and right next to the grass.  We were advised NOT to step, or even touch, the grass!

After the tour, which lasted close to two hours, we walked across 1st Avenue to the Pyramid Alehouse.  We had a satisfying lunch, then trekked over to the  Sounder train for our return trip home.

Another fun day… Go M’s!

Categories: Local Environment
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