Wild in the City: Exploring The Intertwine, the long-awaited (and sweeping) revision of Wild in the City: Exploring Portland’s Natural Areas, is hot off the press. This watershed-by-watershed look at the best wildlife and natural sites in the Portland metropolitan region is edited by Mike Houck and MJ Cody, and contains the work of over 100 collaborators. The Johnson Creek Watershed makes up a large component of the book, and the Crystal Springs sub-watershed rates a couple of spotlights.
First join Zac Perry and Bob Sallinger for a guided tour of Reed Lake and Reed Canyon, “an island of untamed nature in the center of an urban area,” located on the Reed College Campus at the headwaters of Crystal Springs Creek. The springs empty into brooding, swampy Reed Lake, after which the waters narrow through a fish ladder (salmon and steelhead are regularly observed), and on to rushing Crystal Springs Creek. Over 80 species of birds have been seen here, one of many things that make Reed Canyon one of Portland’s hidden treasures.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
Pick up the tour across SE 28th Avenue at the Rhododendron Garden (first taking a side trip to the marvelous new, salmon-friendly, bridge where Crystal Springs Creek crosses under the street). There, Mike Houck takes over to interpret this waterfowl wonderland, Portland’s best and most accessible place to view ducks. The rhododendron show is over at this time of year, but “winter is absolutely the best time to bird the “rhody gardens,” when flocks of waterfowl and gulls congregate on and around the artificial lake that is fed by Crystal Springs Creek.”
Interspersed among the guides to wildlife sites are essays on plants, animals, geology, and other aspects of the natural history of the region.
Wild Arts Festival
Mike Houck, MJ Cody, Bob Sallinger, and several other contributors to Wild in the City will be present to sign books at Portland Audubon Society’s Wild Arts Festival, Saturday and Sunday, November 19th and 20th at Montgomery Park.