Showing posts from September, 2015

Wanderings: Blue Lake

I nervously eyed the temperature display in the truck as it quickly dropped from a near-balmy 59 to a bracing 47 degrees as we climbed up Highway 20 in a cold, steady rain. My husband and I were headed home from a brief visit to the Methow Valley, and had planned to stop for the short hike up to Blue Lake, but the weather didn't appear to be cooperating. We parked at the trailhead and sorted through our things to see if we had the appropriate gear to hike safely in this weather, and ultimately decided we should be okay. With hoods pulled tightly over our heads, we splashed across the wet parking lot and headed out on the muddy trail to make the 2.2 mile ascent to Blue Lake.

Truth be told, I was actually excited to finally have an opportunity to test out the waterproof hiking pants I received as a Christmas gift from my husband last year. Yep, it's been that long since I've hiked in the rain. Thanks, drought...

We set out onto the trail, following a few sets of rain-sodden…

Wanderings: Adventures in Forest Ecology

These forests each have their own ecological stories.
Last weekend, I was lucky enough to attend an Adventures in Forest Ecology program at the Cedar River Watershed with my older sister. Led by forest ecologists Rolf Gersonde and Bill Richards, the program allowed us a rare opportunity to see up close the work being done under the Watershed's Habitat Conservation Plan to restore healthy forests, water, and wildlife habitat to this landscape historically altered and degraded by logging.

Although I was already familiar with many of the forest ecology concepts discussed during the program, it was a marvelous experience to get out in the field and see it firsthand, standing in the cool damp shade of the trees, smelling the fresh air, going off the trail to climb through the forest and getting an uncomfortable amount of conifer needles in my pants... but more about that later.

After checking in at the welcome center and making a brief visit to the rain drum installation, my sister an…

Musings: Environmental Issues and Reasons to Care

How do we get people to care? This is an enduring challenge in regard to environmental issues and the central question of an excellent article I came across today.

The Messengers, an article published in the current issue of Pacific Standard Magazine, explores messaging in relation to environmental issues, and how that messaging either inspires action or sinks us into a defeated state of depression. Do we focus on hope, or do we take a chance on forcing people to face grief over what's lost and cross our fingers that they'll be propelled forward into action rather than down into defeat? The need for hope seems like a no-brainer, but this article suggests that both tactics - including grief - may actually be necessary.
What we might do and what we might change, were we to stop hiding from grief and instead face the profoundly painful, profoundly beautiful truth of all that we’re losing. The subject of this article is artist and photographer Chris Jordan. I'm sure most of…