Camas Journal 2023: Baby Camas, Mowing, Cultural Fire

This year I tried to get out there into the field when the camas is beginning to erupt from the ground. I am not sure I have seen the baby camas when it just erupts before, only when it is already in full leaf. It helps that I transplanted some camas, and seeded camas some years ago at my home so I can see on a daily basis the progress of camas in my area of the Willamette Valley. When I saw it erupt in my well-managed and weeded garden, I then knew I needed to get out into the … Continue reading Camas Journal 2023: Baby Camas, Mowing, Cultural Fire

Camas and Micro-seasonality at Minto-Brown Park

We all are aware of the annual seasons, winter, spring, summer, and fall, but in the growing cycle of the plants of the Willamette Valley there are micro-seasons when specific plants rise and expend their energies. (there is probably a botanical term for micro-seasons but not sure what that is.) This is the case at Minto-Brown park, during the first spring micro-season, with few flowers and plants just beginning to grow. For Camas, in about March-April, they sprout their long leaves and it takes some weeks for the central flower to begin to rise.   There are a few early … Continue reading Camas and Micro-seasonality at Minto-Brown Park

Seasonal Wetlands and Minto-Brown Island Park

It seems important to tribes that if they are truly to become restored, and decolonized, they need to be culturally restored by helping to decolonize their lands and traditional resources at the same time. Tribes did not independently become culture but there are important interactions with their land and its resources that helped develop their cultures. Therefore, tribal restoration and environmental restoration are linked elements in decolonization. But there is also many other reasons for restoring traditional landscapes, for the safety and security of the many peoples who now live here, for the health of the land and the planet, … Continue reading Seasonal Wetlands and Minto-Brown Island Park

The Southern Exploring Expedition and The Kalapuyans

The Charles Wilkes Exploring Expedition came to Oregon in August 1841. The expedition split into two parties with some of the expedition venturing up the Columbia, and a number of the scientists and naval men (The naval men were dispossessed from their duties due to the sinking of the Peacock.) traveling down the Willamette Valley and through the interior valleys into California. Wilkes’ journal is a summary of the journey but does not include all of the details from the journey as many of the officers and scientists kept their own journals. I took note of details that address the … Continue reading The Southern Exploring Expedition and The Kalapuyans

Draining Lake Labish

In 1981, I took a job weeding onion fields out Hazelgreen Road on the outskirts of Salem, Oregon, as one of my first jobs. In the summer after high school got out, I began cycling out Cordon Road, on my Raleigh Reliant, from my house near Sunnyview Drive, at 7 in the morning. From my doorstep, I would arrive at the onion fields in about 45 minutes of hard riding through the cool morning fog. The onions, likely Wallawallas, were large and grew in long rows in near-black soils. The weeds too grew large as the soils were rich in … Continue reading Draining Lake Labish