Enjoy Learning About Nature Here

Northwest Naturalist is a public service website and information clearing house.  We are here to bring tools and information about the natural world to you.  Our goal is to help you get better aquainted with nature and the planet we all inhabit.  What is a naturalist you might ask?  The definition below is an excellent one. 

A person who specializes in natural history, especially in the study of plants and animals in their natural surroundings.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.

You need not have a college degree or be employed as a biologist to be a naturalist.   As long as you have a passion for the natural world you can be "Naturalist".  How skilled you are may be a different story.  The more I learn about the natural world the more a realise how much I do not know.  Every answer to a question brings only more questions.  This never ending process of learning and discovery is what makes studying nature so deeply rewarding.  No matter how young or old we may be or when we started learning about it, nature always has something new waiting for us to discover.  

     One of the Finest Tools Available to Us  is the Journal.  It need not be anything fancy, a notebook and pencil will work.  Anything we take note of will help us remember and internalize the things we have taken in each day.
If you can't make a journal entry each day then try for one every week.
I will try to keep the NWNaturalist Journal up to date for our location here in the Coast Range Mountains of Oregon.  See it below.

NW Naturalist Daily Nature Journal

April 6, 2009
Weather: Sunny with occasional high clouds.  Temps 36-70 degrees F.  Lights winds throughout the day.

Animal Observations

Birds: Evening Juncos were in the maple trees in the morning, In the afternoonVaried Thrushes were feeding on the ground on the south side of the house along with a robin.  Thoughout the day Juncos, Chickadees, Mourning Doves, Stellars Jays, Sparrows, and Nuthatches fed at the bird feeders in the yard.  Humingbird male go into fights with the bees in competition for the little purple flowers that grow in the front yard.
Mammals: The ground squirrels are now out of thier burrows in force and easily observed if cautious not to alarm them.  Tree squirrels are also becoming more frequently seen.
Insects:  The honey bees are out in force and starting to go to town on the Indian Plum blooms.  The small ants have been seen in the house for the first time.

Plant Observations:
The Indian Plum blossoms are starting to come into bloom.  The skunk cabbage is blooming fully though the leaves are still quite small.  Walked through a patch of SKunk Cabbage today that had been in full sunlight for a few hours and the area was scented heavily with a sweet musk from the flowers.  Stinging Nettles are now poking up all over, now is the time for gathering them at thier finest as greens/spinach substitutes. 
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