A Wintry Mix You Say?

Welcome to winter in the gorge! There is nothing more majestic and a little bit startling to receive a blizzard warning for the Pacific Northwest, especially in Hood River County. Even though I was super excited to see snowflakes coming down from the sky a few weeks ago, it was a bit concerning when I [...]

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Baby Birds in My Backyard!

I have baby birds in a birdhouse in my yard! Each time I get near the birdhouse I can hear the babies inside chirping and peeping. Not having seen the parents, and curious to know what species of bird they are, I got a ladder and took a peek inside. While unable to see the [...]


It’s spring!

Although it officially became spring over a month ago the wildflowers have just recently begun displaying their beauty on the hillsides of the Gorge. The bright yellow of the Balsam Root and the deep purple of the Lupine have been capturing the eye of our camera lens lately. They have also captured the mind and [...]

“Ribbit – Ribbit!”

Spring is lurking just around the corner. Not only does that mean warmer temperatures, wildflowers blooming, and more hours of light in each day but at CGEI it also indicates increased time spent in the field! Spring is also a special time in our ecosystems as they burst back to life with sounds and smells [...]


Why do leaves change color?

While the seasons are shifting, the Columbia Gorge has turned into a spectrum of colors that is sure to impress anyone with an eye for beauty. Spending much of my time outside I have been able to watch the sources of this display slowly transform into their winter state. The question that has remained on [...]

Fire in the Forest

With the recent haze of smoke from wildfires lingering throughout the gorge it may be beneficial to understand how fire affects our local ecosystems. The image that comes to mind most often while thinking about wildland fire is one of destruction.  While it is true that fire has the potential for destroying homes, wildlife, and [...]

Salmon Spawning is Happening!

There are many spots within the Gorge to view this iconic display. One popular and easily accessible area to witness this incredible Pacific Northwest event is on the Eagle Creek trail between the trailhead and the hatchery, especially if you cross the wooden footbridge labeled “Gorge Trail.” If you don’t find any reddish-pink flashes or [...]

Wildlife Week

Wildlife week has come and gone so fast! We started off the week talking about the web of life, and if one organism in an environment dies such as a lady bug many other organisms follow suit and also die or disappear from that area. It’s amazing how many organisms depend on something so small [...]

Pika Watch!

Did you know that there are Pikas in the Gorge?  The furry little cousin of the rabbit that you typically see at high elevation is a neighbor of ours on talus slopes in the heart of the Gorge.  Extinction rates of American pikas in other localized areas have increased nearly five-fold in the last 10 [...]

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We’re Composting!

My parents were taught Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. I was taught to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. The generation on the rise now has had one more component brought into the equation and although it doesn’t have such a catchy ring, or even an “r” in the mix, it is equally important – composting! Composting is the [...]