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From Argentina – With Love?

Posted by on May 30, 2015 in Blog |

Cheesy as it may sound, it is hard for me not to be uplifted by a trip to our forests – if I am paying attention.  Yesterday was no exception. Still groggy from vacating the sack at 3:15 AM, we were more or less awake as the deep blue of a clear dawn came on and we started the second of our three annual bird counts at 5 AM.  On this unseasonably warm morning, the birds were already in full voice as my headlamp illuminated to data sheet and I hurried to mark down the birds identified by Lori Hennings, the lead birder. Two hours later, our two teams of four had covered a pair of transects of roughly two miles each, and done a total of 24 point counts of three minutes each.  The data sheet from one of the counts looked like this: Six hours later, this article in the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/30/opinion/saving-canadas-boreal-forest.html?_r=0) reminded me of the remarkable annual migrations of the bird most often heard on the morning count – the Swainson’s Thrush. Four fifths of the way down the sheet above you can see 36 marks in the row for SWTH.  Combined with the 15 heard on the other route, this means that we recorded 51 Swainson’s Thrushs in just two hours in only a small percentage of the forest’s 750 acres.  “So, what’s the big deal about hearing 51 small, non descript, brown birds?” you might reasonably ask.  For me the big deal is knowing that these birds may have migrated this spring from as far south as Argentina and may be headed as far north at the northern beaches of Alaska – and yesterday morning our forest way alive with them.  If I am inspired and amazed by the feats of just this one bird, how might I be uplifted by the stories of the other 25 species that we heard?  We’re so fortunate to have them, and they seem to appreciate finding our little patch of rewilding forest to stop over in.   I wanted to ask them “where have you come from and where are you...

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Students Share Their Learnings and Findings

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Blog |

This past winter, seventh grade students and faculty from Catlin Gabel school invested time, effort, skill and heart into the important work of helping us better understand the workings and condition of Hyla Woods’ Timber Forest.  Like all students who come to the forests, their work was organized around several simple, clear, and real questions.  There’s were: “How can we assess the health of an ecosystem? and How healthy is the ecosystem of Lousignont Creek?”   On the morning of April 22nd 65 students presented their answers to the Hyla Woods team. Two main forms of inquiry and data collection and analysis were used – scientific analysis of the creek and poetry.  Through their excellent presentation, the students shared the results of both approaches.  The poems were assembled into a beautiful and inspiring published anthology of poetry.  Details of the stream science were communicated through well organized presentations as well as through individual student blog posts.  Students selected what they think are some of the best blog posts.  They are pasted below and we encourage you to read them.  All on the Hyla Woods team want to thank the students, the teachers -Jesse and Christa, and the adult helpers for all of the effort and care that went into this successful project.  The poems will provide inspiration for years to come and the scientific results with inform our ongoing restoration work and help us better understand the ever changing health of this wonderful creek. Hyla Woods, and Why it is Healthy  – by Chiara This year, our 7th grade class of Catlin Gabel, went to Hyla Woods, located in Timber, OR. We went to these woods to figure out the answer to our primary essential question: how can we tell if an ecosystem is healthy? We’ve been trying to figure out an answer to our question, using Hyla Woods as our ecosystem. Peter and Pam Hayes own the beautiful, and quite fascinating, forest and ecosystem known as Hyla Woods. Thanks to them, we were able to go. Also, thanks to their stunning forest, they are able to make a timber industry, so if you are interested in buying wood, visit...

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