Saturday, June 2, 2007

Bike Day success!

WREN has just finished our first “Bike Day”… a long awaited dream. And what a great day it was! The weather cooperated (after several Wetlands Month weekend events in the cold or rain, the sunshine was welcome) so that the wetlands could really shine for all the folks visiting.

If you were out there, thanks for stopping by and learning about this wonderful resource in Eugene. If not, we hope you come and check out the wetlands soon. Here’s what was happening…

From 8-10am the education center design team met with folks from the focus groups to fill them in on what designs they have been considering. Our Mayor, Kitty Piercy, was there! During the rest of the event the team was available to meet the public and discuss the future education center.

At the WREN booth we were kept busy explaining the passports to folks and stamping them. Then, as people returned from their wetlands exploration, we were busy giving out a raffle ticket for every stamp collected – it was a lot of fun for us and the participants.

A shout out to all prize donators…

  • Elmira Automotive (who have a “comfort station” along the trail near their shop: “Thanks Elmira!”) donated two gift certificates for auto care.
  • My Coffee donated coffee and a thermos. They were also giving out smoothie samples along the trail near their shop. We can’t wait till they build a trail to their shop from the bike path!
  • Doak Creek Nursery donated some native plants
  • The City of Eugene Recreation donated some pool passes
  • J. Michaels Books donated a gift certificate
  • WREN donated a copy of Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Willamette Valley and a Mammal Scat bandana
  • CafĂ© Mam donated coffee, a mug and some chocolate covered coffee beans

Thank you all!! If you participated, we will be calling the winners on Monday =)

Stream Team was there to spread the “we all live downstream” message and share how they are working to protect our waterways. A key function of wetlands is to act as a sponge to filter and slowly release water into the stream systems. Learn how you can get involved with the Team!

Invitrogen was there to inform the public about how their research and tools with molecular probes and cell staining can aid in wetlands restoration.

Paul Gordon represented the Field Operations Group (FOG) which is an interagency team focusing on wetlands restoration. There was equipment used in restoration work on display as well as native seeds. FOG does important work; this site can give you a sense of what they are up to. Thanks Paul!

The UO Environmental Leadership Wetlands Team was there to share information about the wetlands wildlife. These students have been instrumental in a very successful spring season of field trips and outreach program with WREN – thanks guys! (ps - if you follow the link, that is Holly McRae, WREN and Pat Johnston, BLM in the picture - not the Wetlands Team.)

Cary Kerst and the local chapter of North American Butterfly Association (NABA) were there to inform folks about the local Odonates and Lepidopterans which are zipping and floating all around the wetlands right now!

Here is a quote from Cary

It was a great day with plenty of people who were having a good time and learning about the wetlands too. The hit at our stop were the larvae and the best stamp of all of them (at least that’s what some said). The kids loved the larvae, and I had a jam up a couple of times. I'd sum it up as a little girl said as she pedaled away with her dad, “That was cool!”

Lane County Audubon Society was represented near the scope that was installed at Checkermallow Access with their generous support last year. Ron was amazed at how many species were seen just from that one spot during the morning. Yup, wetlands make wonderful habitat for our avian friends!

And finally, the Cascades Raptor Center came out to share with us some birds frequently seen in the wetlands: an American Kestrel, a White-tailed Kite and a “TV” ;) Turkey Vulture. Thanks so much!


It starts with an "S",
It ends with a "T".
It comes out of you,
It comes out of me.
I know what your thinkin',
We could call it that,
But let's be scientific and
call it SCAT!

That was the Scat Rap. Now what we've got pictured here may not be scat, perhaps a pellet from a bird... birds such as owls, herons and raptors cough up pellets of undigested material (bones, fur and feathers). Any guesses out there on what animal created this - or what it was eating?? (click on an image to enlarge it) Leave a comment if you do.

Friday, June 1, 2007


Some UFOs (unidentified flying odonates) were spotted up in Portland...These pics are from Ken Shiroishi who has a copy of Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Willamette Valley, but still could not put a name to this one.

And Cary Kerst wrote in...
"I see why this was difficult using our book as we don't cover most females. This is not an easy specimen as its a female and appears to be a bit teneral without mature colors. It appears to me to be a female Darner. I would guess that it is a female Blue-eyed Darner, Rhionaeschna multicolor, but thats mostly a guess! Lets get some other opinions."