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Posts Tagged ‘Long Island’

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Allan’s Day, part two: Long Island

This was the feature of the day, the weekend, to me: A guided trip by naturalists of a route to easily land and hike up to the small stand of old growth cedar that has been preserved on Long Island.

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Here’s Long Island as it compares to the Long Beach peninsula

Here’s another view of the island.

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I’ve paddled into the bottom of the large green meadow in the center. Another time I paddled to the meadow opposite the Refuge and Baby Island but didn’t spot a good place to land with a trail. Actually, I felt it was OK to just sit in the boat.

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Not all birders are boaters, therefore, canoes and planning.

Once again I ran across Baylee Layman, owner of Willapa Paddling Adventures. She had just driven 35 miles south from Raymond with a customer’s rental. Her shop has a fleet of varied kayaks and paddle boards. It’s a great place to get a lesson and into the water.

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Baylee with one of her kayaks

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Robert Pyle loading up with Tom & Ann

I was the last to leave as I had boots to help push boats off.

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We were careful not to break the bug net

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A canoe returns for more passengers while the kayaks head for the old ferry landing.

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The pickup truck of the paddling world

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I dragged the little Mary Beth kayak to just over the grass bank.

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Robert Pyle & crew followed. The tide is a +1.3′ 

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Here’s the party getting ready. Someone suggested I pull the Mary Beth up even further and tie it to a post next to Dr. Pyle’s canoe.

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Here’s the same scene after we came back. The tide had risen six feet and fallen back a half a foot and was still flooding the grass bluff.

There was a large group paddling around to the far side of the island to set up camp at Smokey Hollow, one of five campsites on the island.

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The evergreen huckleberry grabbed the focus

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Here’s a story

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Dr. Pyle pointed out a solitary Silverleaf at the boat landing.

The trail was easy to follow as it was an old logging road covered with grass and fallen branches.

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Fungi on the trail

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Water droplets – I just had to touch one and find out. I don’t recall any rain that day either, just fog maybe four hours earlier.

 

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The underneath was quite different from the top

 

After about two miles we came to a sign and a narrow trail.

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The beginning of about a fifteen-minute loop trail

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An evergreen huckleberry high up in the grove.

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A topped tree with multiple new trunks

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A fallen tree is bridged instead of sawn.

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The differences between lichen and moss are examined.

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Not sure of the book’s title but this sighting turned out to be a grey jay, sometimes called a whiskey jack.

A phone app that was recommended was ‘Merlin Bird ID’ by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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Back to the landing with the boats still there

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Steve, on the left, handled the logistics that made this trip possible.

 

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Dr. Pyle, Tom and I are the last boats back.

Now I can share this trip again with a friend or several. I have one person already angling for a trip to be organized later this summer.

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From the Refuge to the grove and back, at an average of 1.6 mph, with side trips took almost five hours and covered eight miles according to my ‘MapMyTracks’ app.

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Smokey and our Robert Pyle book collection


 Post Script…Emails from Steve & R.M. Pyle June 4

Hello All:

Just wanted to say a final Thank You to you for a fun & friendly gathering last week at the refuge.  We managed to stay safe on the water and to enjoy the incredible beauty of the several environments we visited, plus see, and hear, some birds.  I think the hiking was a bit more than what I had estimated but a welcome workout nonetheless.  It was a pleasure to be involved and great to meet some new folks.  I think we all enjoyed our human company as much as the flora and fauna.  Hope we can do this again.  I’m looking at the Ellsworth basin nearby as a potential trip next Fall or next year.  For those of you who are not Willapa Hills members I invite you to join or at least visit our website http://willapahillsaudubon.org/.  So long!

BTW, we had 25 bird species identified, several by sound only.

Steve

Bob Pyle wanted me to forward the following missive:
Dear Folks,

Thanks so much for coming out with Steve and me to Long Island Saturday. Everything seemed to work out well, and I, for one, had a fine time. Thanks to those who helped with my big canoe.
I was glad to see that the Grove of Ancient Cedars was named for Congressman Don Bonker. Don was a great representative who sponsored ALL the major land protection bills passed during the Reagan administration, which wasn’t many: Columbia Gorge, Mt. St. Helens, Bowerman Basin, and Long Island. Even then, Weyerhaeuser tried to hold the cedars hostage for more money than they had agreed to take in the first place. Bonker called their bluff, and saved the rest of the cedars. (This, of course, with lots of local support, including from WHAS.) His successor, Jolene Unsoeld, got the refuge expanded and the island protection completed. We won’t see their like again in the Third District, the way it has been gerrymandered by the Republican Party.

If you would like to know more details, you will find a fairly complete summary of the whole story in my book Wintergreen: Rambles in a Raveaged Land, in the chapter called “The Last of the Old Growth.” Earlier editions leave the story somewhat up in the air, but the latest (fifth; 2016, Pharos Editions/Counterpoint) brings it all up to date.It’s available in Redmen Hall, Skamokawa, at Powell’s Books (Including Powells.com, far preferable to Amamonster for on-line book shopping), and of course in our fine libraries.

The trail penetrates just a corner of the cedar grove. There are many more, and denser, ancient trees protected there than we saw, but they take some work and time to get into. Dr. Jerry Franklin (UW & USFS), the old growth guru, said upon beholding them that this was the first climax forest he had ever met outside a textbook. He thought there were 3,000 year-old cedars there, and no significant disturbance for 1000 years. Their survival  was a close call.

Oh, and I was  little surprised to see NO butterflies on the island, given our lucky warm, sunny day, and plenty of nectar in the salal, evergreen blackberry, and spring beauty. Not many species occupy the coastal strip, but a few have been recorded on the island, and half a dozen or more could easily have been in the habitats we traversed. The long, wet winter and spring (so-called) have been rough on their survival through the winter, thanks to what I call the Rot Factor. Another, warmer & sunnier spring we might have seen some.

I much enjoyed meeting and seeing you all, and I thank brother Steve for getting this great outing together. Hope to see you again soon.

All the best,
Bob

R. M. Pyle
Gray’s River

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In 1995, we went to an Oysterville Home Tour.  These are the photos that survive:

Oysterville

Oysterville

window

window

Oysterville window

Oysterville window

iconic Oysterville picket fence with Columbine

iconic Oysterville picket fence with Columbine

When we had time, we would go up to the Nahcotta Natural store and hope to find it open.

Nahcotta

Nahcotta

in Nahcotta

in Nahcotta

in Nahcotta

in Nahcotta

Nahcotta Oysters

Nahcotta Oysters

salad boat and oyster shells in Nahcotta

salad boat and oyster shells in Nahcotta

the back of the Nahcotta Post Office and Nahcotta Natural store (now Bailey's Café)

the back of the Nahcotta Post Office and Nahcotta Natural store (now Bailey’s Café)

in Nahcotta

in Nahcotta

Nahcotta oyster baskets

Nahcotta oyster baskets

Port of Nahcotta

Port of Nahcotta

My old friend Carol and I had lost touch after she moved out of my Seattle house in winter ’91 and then I had moved to the beach.  I wrote to her to reconnect and she came to visit!  We went on a bay tour boat that was offered in 1995.

view of the docks from bay tour boat

view of the docks from bay tour boat

Carol on the Willapa Bay tour boat

Carol on the Willapa Bay tour boat

Long Island on Willapa Bay

Long Island on Willapa Bay

Long Island

Long Island

Long Island

Long Island

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