By Rick Lamplugh
When Mary and I arrived at the Joseph, Oregon rendezvous site, we joined others in pitching our tent in the backyard of a rustic, rental house, its brown paint faded by the weather. From the yard we had a view through the pines of the tip of nearby Mt. Joseph and the distant Zumwalt Prairie.
In the mid-1980s the organization now known as Oregon Wild was only a very small group, but despite our size, we resolved to end the logging of old-growth forests in Oregon. At the time, two square miles per week of Oregon's ancient forests were being clearcut.
We were desperate to make news in this pre-internet era, when daily newspapers were the sole papers of community record, and the majority of citizens actually read them.
I am – quite literally – a card-carrying wildlife advocate (it's my job title). Though not everyone is as big a wildlife geek as I, I'm comfortable knowing I stand with the vast majority of Americans in valuing native wildlife.
I'm lucky to spend my days working to protect the wildlands, wildlife, and waters that play an irreplaceable role in maintaining our quality of life.
I just wish part of my job wasn't necessary.
Oregon White-topped Aster, Aster [Sericocarpus] oregonensis
As late summer begins to advance into fall, one of the most commonly seen wildflowers of the season is the late-blooming Aster. Members of the Sunflower Family, Asteraceae, the Greek word “aster” means “star” in reference to its supposedly star-like flowers.
Lilaeopsis occidentalis, otherwise known as Western Lilaeopsis, has no special common name - as the common observer may never see its delicately arranged, tiny flowers, or give it much notice at all. Thus, while little noticed or appreciated, I considered it to be a special nymph of streams and other wetland places, where I always greet its unexpected discovery with special warmth and delight!
Artist’s Conk, Gandoderma applanatum
Superficially, the Artist’s Conk looks much like last week’s featured bracket fungus species: the Red-belted Conk, Fomitopsis pinicola. The Artist’s Conk is perhaps only second in abundance to the Red-belt Conk, and has a similar grey, brown to black upper cap surface.
Red-Belted Conk, Fomitopsis (Fomes) pinicola
When the weather turns cold, wet, and even snowy, there is one group of fungi that can always still be found attached to branches and trunks in our Northwest woods. These are the Polypores—so named for the multitude of tiny pores that release spores from their generally smooth appearing under surfaces.
Written by a participant in the 2011, Oregon Wild Wolf Rendezvous:
Last weekend, I was privileged to be able to take a journey to northeastern Oregon, where the first wolf pack to return to Oregon resides. It is an area of great beauty, bounded by the majestic Wallowa Mountains and bordered by the amazing Zumwalt Prairie. It is also an area of great controversy and contention, an area in which the main enterprise is cattle ranching, and in which many of the cattle ranchers are rabidly anti-wolf.
I’ve spent a lot of time in wolf country and even more time advocating for wildlife in offices and meeting rooms. Still, I’ve never seen an adult wolf in the wild before. With only 21 wolves (now 20) in the state, not many Oregonians have. In fact, as our friend – photographer Joe Whittle pointed out, as far as we know, no one outside of ODFW has taken a picture of an Oregon wolf.