Natural World

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Natural World
6:41 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Natural World: Mary's Peak

The summit of Mary's Peak is an island refuge of a retreating Ice Age.  The sub-alpine plant communities found here are unique in the Coast Range.

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Natural World
7:56 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Natural World: Berggren Watershed Conservation Area

Nearly all of the meandering back channels in the Willamette Basin have been drained and filled to create more agricultural land.  Unfortunately, this vanishing habitat is critical for the survival of a number of indigenous species.

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Natural World
6:34 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Natural World: Great Snakes!

Early summer can be blustery in the Pacific Northwest.  Our native snakes have emerged from hibernation and are out hunting for a meal.  These cold-blooded animals often need to bask in the sun to bring their bodies up to a temperature that allows them to function efficiently.

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Natural World
6:00 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Natural World: Horse Rock Ridge

Horse Rock Ridge sits at the bald summit of the Coburg Hills.  This time of year the wildflower show is spectacular.

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Natural World
6:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Natural World: Cosumnes River Preserve

The Cosumnes River is the only remaining large undammed river flowing into California's Great Central Valley.  The Nature Conservancy, along with other conservation and government groups have preserved 46,000 acres near the river's confluence with the Mokolumne River, south of Sacramento. 

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Natural World
12:01 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Natural World: Intertidal Life

Extreme tides reveal a world of unfamiliar plants and animals.

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Natural World
7:48 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Natural World: Last Remnant of the Wetland Prairie

The endangered Fender's Blue Butterfly at Willow Creek Nature Preserve.
Credit Matthew Benotsch / The Nature Conservancy

Willow Creek Nature Preserve is one of the last relatively intact examples remaining of Willamette Valley wetland prairie habitat.  The plants and animals found here have been living together for centuries.  Many cannot survive outside of this environment.

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Natural World
5:37 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Natural World: Swifts at Agate Hall

Swifts entering the chimney at Agate Hall in Eugene.
Credit wikimedia commons

During spring and fall migrations Vaux's Swifts have been using the tall chimney at Agate hall for an evening roost.  How these birds know where to congregate remains a mystery.  The evening spectacle when they enter the chimney is easily accessible to anyone taking the time to observe.

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Natural World
3:33 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Natural World: Goshen Fossil Bed

Drastic changes in climate have occurred many times in Earth's history.  There is direct fossil evidence of global cooling that took place 35 million years ago, when a tropical climate shifted to a temperate one.

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Natural World
4:43 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Natural World: McCartney Landing

McCartney County Park and Boat Ramp.
Credit www.linnparks.com

Upriver towns in the valley depended on the Willamette River for a connection to the outside world for decades before the railroads were built.  Today much the the hustle and bustle of early city life has been replaced by agriculture.  Periodic flooding has taught people to remove permanent structures from the floodplain.

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