Natural World | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Insect Apocalypse

The persistent problem in persistent pesticides
"Apocalypse" is a Greek word meaning revelation—an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known, and which could not be known, apart from the unveiling. "As a genre, apocalyptic literature details the authors' visions of the end times as revealed by an angel or other heavenly messenger," Wikipedia posits.

The Barred Owl is Here—to Stay!

The nemesis of the threatened spotted owl
First it was rumors: "The barred owls are coming, the barred owls are coming..." Next, it was the dire warnings that the barred owls were going to either chase all the Northern Spotted Owls out of the Northwest, or breed with them and bring forth a whole new sub-species called, "Sparred Owls."

Putting Porcupines on a Pedestal

A surprise pup, found at the High Desert Museum
In our part of the country, where trees were once thought of as a cash crop, porcupines were not thought of as heroes, or worthy of a pedestal. I can recall back in the '50s, when signs nailed to trees and poles all over the forest around Bend read, "Please Kill Porcupines!"

Homes for Birds and Bats

Don't let Central Oregon's housing shortage affect wildlife, too
OK, good people, now's the time! Head out to the nearest housing construction project, and if they're using plywood (not particle board), ask the builders to put leftovers aside.

Healing and Loving the Land

On efforts to preserve parts of Central Oregon for wildlife... and future generations
Several years ago, while conducting some fence lizard business at the Deschutes Land Trust's Metolius Preserve, I ran into Amanda Egertson, the land trust's stewardship director. She was conducting a restoration project on the preserve with a vigor I found remarkable—planting grass over and over and over, day after day.

Rock Chuck Day

Oregon doesn't have groundhogs—but these creatures could spur a new "holiday" around these parts
A few years back—on Feb. 22, 2014, to be exact—my wife, Sue, and I were driving a Jefferson County road headed for Eagle Watch. And as it is when we're driving anywhere this time of year, we were also watching for Golden Eagles to see who's hanging around, hopefully getting ready to start nesting.

Get Your Head into the Clouds

The first speaker in ONDA's 2020 High Desert series spends a lot of time looking up
Mark your calendars, now! On Feb. 11, from 7 to 8:30 pm, the Oregon Natural Desert Association is starting off its 2020 High Desert Speakers Series with a program on clouds.

How Does Your Water Taste?

Memories of the waste dump that is Alkali Lake
Back in the '70s I was hired to help fulfill one of the great ideas that went with what Sunriver is today. Sunriver is what it is because landscape architect Bob Royston, out of San Francisco, planned it that way and John Gray made it happen.

Those Good Ol' OMSI Days

Meeting a jokester of a state geologist and more from the '50s and '60s
In the mid-1950s I was working with Bob Couch cutting lodgepole on the west side of Newberry. One morning I fired up the old corn-binder, checked the tie-downs and was out on the logging road in minutes.

My Feathered Foster Son

From blending up gophers to owning up to the harvest of the neighbor's cat, our nature columnist recalls the days of having his very own Great Horned Owl
"Way back, when the Sun was a tiny thing and the Big Dipper was a little tin drinkin' cup," (thanks Reub Long) I was living in the Jones House in Bend with Dean and Lily Hollinshead. One evening the phone rang.


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Recent Comments

  • Re: Putting Porcupines on a Pedestal

    • A couple years ago on the road up to Bachelor I had to stop while…

    • on March 11, 2020
  • Re: Healing and Loving the Land

    • Jim, I'm in. We don't get many chances to put things right but this is…

    • on February 27, 2020
  • Re: Healing and Loving the Land

    • I’ve been thinking about you....owls hooting from trees in my neighborhood the past few days…

    • on February 25, 2020

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