News: Naturalist Blog

Kids in the forest

Being in the forest with children is a special treat that brings youthfulness and joy to even the oldest heart.  They find excitement and pleasure in all the tangible objects around them, and explore the nuanced textures of their environment like scientists.

Their drive to make sense of the complex ecosystem is a testament to … read more

The Fighting Goldfinches!

A local Girl Scout service unit has been a valuable partner in restoring this greenspace to healthy forest, improving habitat for our local wildlife like their namesake Goldfinch.

They came dressed to the 9’s in their work gear,

worked hard all afternoon pulling out ivy and blackberry,

and know how to take break and enjoy … read more

Fun Fungus

The variety of fungus, moss, and lichens in Cheasty never ceases to amaze!

Send your photographs of growth in Cheasty to for inclusion in this Naturalist blog.… read more

Where’d all the blackberries go?

Children in a newly mown blackberry field

This group was surprised last month to find gone the field of blackberries that surrounded their small section of forest, but thrilled to find new downed trees to climb on.  

Blackberry thickets make a hospitable nesting site for some of Seattle’s many native birds, so local forestry practices … read more

Natural Emergence

Fringecup emerging from a mossy stump

Because we spend so much time planting in this forest, it’s especially gratifying to look around the restored sections and find a diverse array of native life springing forth on its own.  

Young Indian Plum emerging from the forest floor

read more

Unteachable Moments

Discovery in the dirt at Cheasty

As an educator, I am always looking for opportunities to teach but an even more difficult skill is NOT teaching!  Sometimes when we back off and allow room to explore, children will learn worlds on their own.  This group repurposed a hole into a “worm hospital.”  It’s true that … read more

Spotted at Cheasty

Spotted Towhees have been active this spring.  Look for these native sparrows scratching around on the ground for seeds, though they’ll take a break and find a safer perch when they see you coming.

These birds are ground-nesters, and will try to raise two broods in a season, so if you walk your dog in … read more

Bud of spring

Spring blooms

Even without the new growth, red-twig dogwood is stunning, but as the leaves emerge in spring, it’s even more amazing.… read more

Slugs and discoveries

Look what I found!

As a gardener, I have a healthy distaste for slugs, but I have to admire the magic they hold for children discovering them for the first time.

Have you made any discoveries in the Cheasty Woods that you’d like to share in the Naturalist Blog?  Email your stories to for … read more

Today in the forest:

Today in the forest:  a redtailed hawk being chased by crows.  Did you know that hawks are happy to raid the nests of other birds to pick up a tasty snack?  Crows will often harass the hawks at every opportunity to drive them out of their territory.  If you hear a lot of crows cawing … read more