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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

December 31, 2012 at 7:00 AM

A hike to start the New Year

What better way to work off the holiday pounds and kick off those New Year’s resolutions than with a nice bracing winter hike? Washington’s lowland forests provide excellent winter hiking opportunities. Photo by Steve Ringman, staff photographer, The Seattle Times There are plenty of snow-free options suitable for families, including the dog. Washington State Parks is launching a…

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December 28, 2012 at 7:00 AM

It’s Audubon Christmas Bird Count time again

It’s bird count time again, as birders both novice and expert head out all over Seattle to take stock of the birds in our midst. Begun in 1900, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count is believed to be the longest-running citizen science projects in the world. The notes taken help scientists understand how bird populations are…

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December 26, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Frost flowers: beauty in the far north

Jeff Bowman had never heard of frost flowers when he decided to study them to earn his PhD in oceanography at the University of Washington. But, as it turned out, they are a ubiquitous, spectacular marvel at both poles, forming whenever the conditions are just right, with superchilled air hitting newly formed sea ice. The…

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December 19, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Now open: Port Susan Bay

The Nature Conservancy of Washington has just completed a tidal marsh restoration that reconnects 4,000 acres of tidelands at the northern end of Port Susan Bay in Snohomish County to Puget Sound. The project included taking out 1.3 miles of a sea dike built in the 1950s to create more farmland. The conservancy built…

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December 5, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Capitol Hill Snowy back on the wing Saturday at Volunteer Park

Last week I reported that the region is enjoying a visit by snowy owls, in an echo of last year’s spectacular irruption. One of those owls was spotted ripping up a seagull on Capitol Hill, causing quite the sensation with photographers. Some quick work by Don Reiff of Seattle working with a serious telephoto garnered some amazing…

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