Category Archives: Plant lore

Information about native plants

What the Indians really smoked in their peace pipes.

In the pioneer days tobacco was sold in pretzel-like twists weighing about an ounce, and referred to as a “carrot”. They were ubiquitous throughout the west, part of every story and included in every important meeting. At the time, everyone … Continue reading

Posted in Indian lore, Pioneer Lore, Plant lore | 1 Comment

Close encounters with an Alder

Sometimes it pays to know your trees: The view from the 6,000 foot summit of Mt. Pearkes was stupendous. Across the peak we watched a family of mountain goats pick their way down a stoney ridge. We also watched warily … Continue reading

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Portland landscape 200 years ago.

When I’m climbing in the hills above the Columbia River I often stop to gaze down into the valley and try to imagine what it looked like before contact with the European cultures. Most people’s preconception of what the lower … Continue reading

Posted in Indian lore, Lower Columbia Trails, Misc Trails & Trips, Plant lore, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

“Sauvie” Island? Why not “Logie’s Island” or even “Wapato Island”?

Nowadays the island at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, is referred to as “Sauvie Island”, or sometimes “Sauvie’s Island” by the older residents. It’s a favorite spot for Portlanders to cycle, to hunt water fowl, or even … Continue reading

Posted in Indian lore, Lower Columbia Trails, Pioneer Lore, Plant lore, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Spring is here; the Trilliums have arrived!

This iconic flower is frequently all that heralds our Pacific Northwest spring, since the common characteristics of this vernal season, like warming weather and diminishing rain are so often missing in our chilly jungle. March 8th dawned clear and sunny … Continue reading

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