News: Naturalist Blog

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

New this week!


The warm dry spring is bringing an early ripeness to our local woods.  The salal is blooming and the Oregon Grapes are setting their fruit.


The trillium is done with it’s spring bloom.  If you look closely below, you’ll see one of the ants that help nurture our rich trillium fields.

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Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker, borrowed from the public domain

Pileated Woodpecker, borrowed from the public domain

Last week I spotted another Pileated Woodpecker, this time in Cheasty Main.  Of course I couldn’t get a decent photo, so I borrowed the one above from the internet.  See if you can spot the one in my photo below.  They’re pretty spectacular birds- the largest of the … read more