All Posts by Nature Stories Category


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+5 5 votes

The Colors of Touring

My daughter paints in oils. One of her paintings of a goat’s face looks realistic from a distance but is a swatch book or color when examined closely. “There are so many colors within color,” she has told me. I decide to practice observing like an artist on an early morning ski tour.

+13 13 votes

Steamboat Rock: It's Not A Rock

We had been wandering around the perimeter of Steamboat ‘Rock’ for over an hour when my wife commented, "You know, this is not a rock. Rocks have little summits. This is huge up here. This should be called Steamboat Butte."

+7 7 votes

Northrup Canyon

This hike near Steamboat Rock State Park offers interesting human history, natural history, and geology. It also offers excellent rubber necking up at the surrounding cliffs. Whether you come for the academics or the aesthetics, you'll leave well pleased.
+7 7 votes

Star Potential - Star Lake & Star Peak

She wanted a larch hike that would compare with last autumn’s hike through the Enchantments. “What else should we try?”
“Star Lake and Star Peak, "I told her. "It's gorgeous at any time, but doubly gorgeous when the larches turn gold."
+7 7 votes

Methow Valley Birding

The Methow Valley with its rivers and mountains, shrub-steppe and forests, low-lands and alpine zones has some of the most diverse bird habitat of anywhere in Washington State. Over 250 species of birds live or migrate through this watershed. This post lists a dozen places in the area to walk and view birds.

+6 6 votes

Bird Quiz – North Central Washington

Peter Bauer is an enthusiastic amateur photographer. For many years landscapes held his highest interest but, of late, he’s been focusing on the fast, finicky, fleeting challenge of bird photography. We've put together a bird quiz using about 45 of his images. Test your knowledge and enjoy the beautiful photos.
+5 7 votes

October Gold- Our Local Larch

Susan Ballinger observes the changing colors of the larches: Low-angled, fleeting October sunshine sharpens the fall foliage display of our native deciduous shrubs and trees. My favorite tree this time of year is the larch, ...

+5 5 votes

Goat Do's and Don'ts

Goat-human interactions are escalating in various places around North Central Washington and the picture is even worse in Olympic National Park where a few hikers have been gored by goats. How do you know if you're dealing with a bad goat and what should you do?

+1 1 vote

Weed Whacking on the Go

We live in an era of shrinking Forest Service budgets that pay for the backcountry trail maintenance. We also live in an area where our local frontcountry trails are owned or managed by public agencies, conservation organizations, or private land owner lacking the funding or the manpower for very much trail maintenance. So what are dedicated trail users to do if they hope to keep the trails they frequent in good shape? Answer: Perform some . ...

+5 7 votes

Island Park Trail

Two islands at the south end of the town of Okanogan had all but been forgotten. But in 2010 high school students started converting this riverside area into a preserve that now offers local residents an extremely pleasant place to walk, run, and observe wildlife.