Monday, September 24, 2012

Mindful Movement Retreat

What an amazing way to spend a long weekend in the Methow Valley!  Together with Mary Marmorstone and Quin Brett (through Vera Wellness), the North Cascades Basecamp hosted an amazing weekend of challenge, restoration, and wellness for a group of ladies throughout Washington.  Yoga on the grass or in the lodge filled everyone's stretching and strengthening needs, while time on the rock pushed everyone to new heights.  We hope to do it again next year!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Raptor migration festival weekend

a snowy owl and golden eagle in Pateros
The Third Annual Raptor Migration Festival was a great time this year with many participants enjoying the weekend.  The weather held out for a weekend of great raptor viewing at Chelan Ridge and Harts Pass.  The North Cascades Basecamp was proud to be involved with face painting at Pateros Memorial Park. 

A crowd joined us at the Basecamp on Saturday night for summer squash soup and homemade bread, live raptors from WSU Raptor Rehab Center, and a great presentation by Jim Watson (WDFW Raptor Research Biologist) about his collective 40 years of studying raptor migrations.  Jim led another 15 participants up to Harts Pass on Sunday morning to watch more of the migration magic.  The highlight of the day was continual great views of 2 juvenile prairie falcons unsuccessfully hunting a hoary marmot (quite a sight indeed) and resting on rock and tree perches at the Slate Peak parking area.  We watched over 40 birds in their migration south, catching those thermals and riding the gusty winds.  Happy travels and we’ll see you next year! 

Harts Pass field trip
Raptors observed at Harts Pass on Sunday, September 9th, 2012
sharp shinned hawk- 12
red tailed hawk-15
golden eagle-1
prairie falcon- 2 juv, 1 ad fem
unidentified falcon- 2
merlin- 3
osprey- 1
American kestral- 2
harrier hawk- 1
coopers hawk- 1

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wild Foods Harvest

It is early fall, late summer in the Methow Valley.  Bears are roaming low and high on the valley floor and mountain country due to the ripening of so many wonderful foods.  BERRIES! 

collections of wild berry harvest

We setup a booth with help from the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project at the Mazama Farmers Market last week to describe to folks bear activity during the fall season, and how many wonderful foods (for bears and humans) are naturally occurring in our environment right now.  Huckleberries, strawberries, blueberries, mountain ash berries, elderberries, raspberries, thimble berries, blackberries, bitter cherries, apples, and more...  These are all foods that both black bears and grizzly bears depend on for their winter fat stores.  We of course, also love and cherish the harvest of many of these foods as well.  GBOP's website describes encountering bears while picking berries in the backcountry, "More often than not, the experience of seeing a bear grazing in an alpine meadow is one of the greatest thrills of hiking; just give the bear space to enjoy his lunch too. We all know how delicious those mountain huckleberries can be!"  At the Basecamp, we collect berries and use them fresh on top of waffles or in our homemade jams; dried to make healthy teas and additives for breads and pancakes; and frozen for winter treats in breakfast scones, muffins, and evening dessert cobblers and pies.So put away your trash cans and be careful with composts this time of the year~  remember those bears are searching for the goodness hanging low on the branches that we love as well.
bear food display at the Mazama Farmers Market~ Sept 2012