A Year in the Life of North American Owls

On Friday, January 6th, 2017, award-winning photographer Paul Bannick returned to Highland Wonders with a presentation based on his new book, Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls. In Owl, Paul uses his intimate yet dramatic images to follow North American owls through the course of one year and in their distinct habitats.

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Dragonfly Field Trip

Dragonflies and damselflies are often called birdwatchers’ insects. Active and brilliantly colored, these four-winged predators fly everywhere over pristine wetlands. Their very different-looking larvae are dominant predators in the water below. They have the best vision and the most versatile flight of any insects, and their sex life is similarly superlative.

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Walk through Time in the Highlands

Ecology & Evolution at Our Feet

Route Map (click to enlarge)

Life has been on an immense journey through time, and it turns out that much of the evidence for that journey is all around us in the natural world. On this short hike we will look for the evidence that the plants, animals and even the rocks have changed over time, creating ever more complex ecological relationships and ever richer ecosystems. This walk offered a condensed version of a 5-day program on this subject that Dana taught last summer in the Methow Valley.

Dana Visalli, botanist and editor of “The Methow Naturalist,” led a guided hike along a hidden canyon connecting the Burge Mountain road and the Highlands Nordic Sno-Park near Havillah.

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Native Bees of Washington State

A passionate naturalist and pioneer in native bee biology, Dr. Don Rolfs presented his own unique and beautiful photographs of native bees of Washington State. Seven years in the making, this fast-moving, profusely illustrated presentation on April 1st, 2016, was thoroughly enjoyed by both adults and children.

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Gifts of the Crow

Crows are mischievous, playful, social, and passionate. They have brains that are huge for their body size and exhibit an avian kind of eloquence. They mate for life and associate with relatives and neighbors for years. And because they often live near people, they are also keenly aware of our peculiarities, quickly learning to recognize and approach those who care for them, even giving numerous, oddly touching gifts in return. The characteristics of crows that allow this symbiotic relationship are language, delinquency, frolic, passion, wrath, risk-taking, and awareness—seven traits that humans find strangely familiar.

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Lost Lake: Inside the Gem

This presentation on February 5th, 2016, outlined how OHA is preserving the Lost Lake wetland, making the site available to researchers, and teaching youth about the value and function of wetlands, using Lost Lake as an example. Delve with us here into the depths of this gem, and take a look at the array of botanical wonders that thrive at the Preserve…

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Grouse and Spouse

The Highland Wonders educational series kicked off 2016 with an opportunity to learn about the world of grouse breeding behavior, with an inside perspective on grouse mating systems Dr. Michael Schroeder. Mike has a Ph.D. in wildlife biology and is the upland bird research scientist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Reading the Story of the Land through Soils

Luke Cerise, US Forest Service Soil Scientist, hand textures soil in Myers Creek, north of Chesaw, to gauge the clay/silt/sand composition

On June 14th, soil scientist Luke Cerise discussed the soil environment at the Triple Creek site north of Chesaw, on the ground with community members. In this event, we learned about the living layer of the earth, soil; where air, water, minerals, and a vast array of macro and microscopic organisms make life on land possible. Climactic processes (such as freeze-thaw & weathering) have acted upon geologic processes (such as glaciation & volcanism) over billions of years to create sand, silt, and clay that make up what is considered soil.

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