Family Forest Walk

July 18, 2012

Last Saturday’s On The Land Family Forest Walk at the Ecola Creek Forest Reserve was a big hit with young and old alike, and one of the people who enjoyed it the most was walk leader and NCLC Executive Director Katie Voelke.  I’ll let Katie tell you about it in here own words:

I love exploring the Ecola Creek Forest Reserve with my son Gus, so getting to share one of our favorite spots with lots of new people was a lot  fun for us!

This was a  discovery walk: we looked for and found things that were yellow, things with seeds, something fuzzy, and so on.  The something fuzzy was funny because a little boy found something fuzzy but said “I don’t think I’ll put that in my collection bag because I think it’s poop”  Sure enough it was fuzzy moldy poop.  Great observation!

We all shared our treasures at the end of the walk. One on the kids was so excited to show us his rock that he had collected from the road.  Another had been carefully holding a salmonberry to share and as soon as he showed it to the group, he popped it right into his mouth with a big smile. 

At one point we were surrounded by salmonberry bushes, and I showed them the ‘secret treasure’ that is in the leaves of the salmonberry bush.  When you pull back the apical leaf, the two remaining leaves make the shape of a butterfly.  There were lots of ohss and ahs and cries of “There’s another one, I see  another butterfly, they are everywhere!”

Michele Patterson next to one of the giant cedar trees in the Ecola Creek Forest Reserve

One of my favorite parts of the walk was having local ecologist Mike Patterson (who took all of these great photos) and his daughter Michele join us.  Mike and Michele are great  program leaders themselves, and Michele has an amazing depth of knowledge about the natural world for someone who just finished their first year of High School.   Many of the folks on the walk thought that Michele must be a college botany major!

Mike and Michele will be leading another great On The Land program this October: Amphibian Adventures, looking for salamanders and other cool creatures along the forest trail at NCLC’s Circle Creek property near Seaside.  Gus and I are looking forward to going on it-hope we see you there!

Thanks for sharing your memories of the day with us Katie!

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