News: Naturalist Blog

Life Span in a Forest

A neatly tied bundle of ivy root.

Cheasty Woods is a spirited place, and some of my favorite spirits here now are with the youth group from Interagency Academy that are exercising some of their gardening expertise to help bring balance and health to the ecosystem of this forest.

Ivy shoot emerging from buried wood.

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Marching forth.

Indian Plum emerges to gobble up that early spring sunshine.

Being in the forest for our March Fourth work party was a treat for the senses!  We had a large group of volunteers ready to put some stupendous sweat equity into this neighborhood forest.  They planted tender young plants and tucked them in with a … read more

Survival Rings

January 2017, A perfect (frozen) day to cut survival rings.

The world was frozen during our regular January work party in Cheasty- Mountainview, so we couldn’t plant new plants and it seemed silly to fight the frozen soil to dig out weeds.  But it proved a perfect opportunity to cut the last of the survival … read more

Garden Club

We’re usually having too much fun playing (I mean, working) in the forest to take many pictures, but here are some of our recent Garden Club participants getting to know the Cheasty woods.

Garden Club hideout

Discovery in the forest

It never fails to give me a thrill when someone comes running up with an … read more

Snow in the forest

We rarely see snow at Cheasty, but this year we’ve seen quite a bit.

Snowing at Cheasty

The plants don’t seem to mind.

A rare snow in the forest

A rare snowfall in Cheasty

But the supply of snowberries is getting low.

Early 2017, the last of the snowberries.

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Weeds love hot and dry

Wall Lettuce

Wall Lettuce

Herb Robert, buttercup, nipplewort, wall lettuce, catchweed .

With the recent rains, all these annual seeding weeds pull up pretty easily in our local greenspace, but all this hot dry weather is turning them to seed pretty fast this year.



Now is a great time for neighbors to … read more

Flickers in the forest

This Northern Flicker was seen in the meadow at Cheasty Main this month.  My guide book (Birds of Seattle and Puget Sound, by Chris C. Fisher) says that Flickers “squish ants and preen themselves with the remains.”  Apparently, ants have formic acid, “which is believed to kill small parasites living on the flicker’s skin and … read more

A Productive Spring


Sadly, the Kimball Garden Club has wrapped up their forest work for this school-year.  With one last load of woodchips to spread, and one or two more discoveries to make, the kids all look forward to spending more time with the trees this summer and getting back to work in the fall.



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Ahh, the rain…


After a hot and dry early spring, our local forest was eager for a shower, and one could almost hear it sigh with contentment as the rains continued long enough to soak in.  Here are a few grateful locals from the May work party at Cheasty Main.

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Kids being kids, naturally


The kids of the Kimball Garden Club are  helping to grow a healthy forest, but few of them have had much opportunity to know what one looks like.  This month, they went on a field trip to Cheasty Mountainview, one of their nearest and best examples of healthy native northwest forest.


They were thrilled with … read more