Naturalist highlight of the week archive: Tree Sale

by Bianca Perla on January 31, 2012 0 Comments


Vashon Maury Island Land Trust Tree Sale February 4th

The Land Trust is holding a native tree and shrub sale on Saturday February 4th at the Land Trust Building (10014 SW Bank Road) from 10 am-2pm. People who have pre-ordered trees and shrubs through the mail or website can pick them up on Saturday. There are also some trees and shrubs for walk-in sales.  This annual event is a fundraiser for the Land Trust as well as a chance for all of us to add native plants to our home landscape and improve island habitats. 

The Land Trust is looking for help bundling tree orders at the Fisher Pond warehouse for the whole week January 30-February 3 in preparation for the sale. This is a fun opportunity to handle some plants, learn some native planting techniques, and make some friends. If you would like to help contact Beth at the ...

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Slater Museum of Natural History

by Bianca Perla on January 31, 2012 0 Comments

Naturalist highlight of the week archive:  January 9


The Slater Museum of Natural History: a great resource in Vashon's backyard

The Slater Museum of Natural History (part of the University of Puget Sound campus) is located in Tacoma, an easy bus ride (#11) from the Pt. Defiance ferry terminal.  This museum has collections of species from all over the world with a special emphasis on Puget Sound. While there are no interpretive exhibits currently, construction on interpretive exhibits will begin this summer (2012). 

Currently the museum website has plenty of interesting pages for looking up animals and plants found on Vashon.  The museum has put together a naturalist curriculum for 4th and 5th grade, as well as a biodiversity page. They also have many educational videos on nature in the Puget Sound. 

Vashon's own Gary Shugart is Collections manager at the museum. If you find dead birds/mammals ...

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Big Storm Offers Big Chance to Follow Some Tracks

by Bianca Perla on January 17, 2012 1 Comment


My 12-year-old has been teasing me about how I’m more wound up about the prospect of new snow than she is…and she might be right (I’m wide awake at 3 am writing this because I’m so excited for the onslaught that I can’t sleep).

There’s something about how snow transforms every tarp, bucket and stump to create a monochrome sculpture park—all is forgiven. I enjoy the minutely exquisite symmetry of a snowflake, and trying to get close enough to discover its individual secret before my breath transforms it into a common drop of water. Scraggly bare branches adorned in frosty coats become beguiling artistic studies. Not to mention the joyful abandonment that is sledding, and the rare island event: cross-country skiing to the neighbor’s for a cuppa.

Waiting for snow also evokes childhood mornings, impatiently listening to the ...

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Cycles in nature and change in our lives

by Bianca Perla on January 1, 2012 11 Comments

written by: Bianca Perla


As the winter solstice passes and the New Year begins, I hear excited whispers about snow and look out to the early blackness as dinner simmers on the stove.  The falling leaves, the cessation of growth, the turning of movement from branches to roots, the warmth of decomposition, the stillness of death, the stealth of the hunters, the bounty of apple harvests-all these seasonal happenings carry great metaphors for living our human lives.

One of the biggest metaphors contained in our seasons, and other natural cycles, is that of uncontrollable change. Nature can help us deal with fear surrounding the fact that some changes are beyond our control.  At the same time, it shows us that sometimes change can yield unanticipated beauty, and delight us with surprises.

As a new mother, I stumbled upon the power of nature to teach my kids about change when my ...

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