April  2 0 2 0


Masked Marauder
Odocoileus incognitus covideuse
Rob Kemp & Rick McEwan

Adapting in the Wallowas

These times demand new ways and here at Wallowology we are rising to the occasion with a little help from our friends. Thanks to Rick McEwan and Rob Kemp for creating our new mascot, the masked deer, an  iconic image representing how we often feel these days: Masked but not muzzled. Wide-eyed. A little bit worried and a lot hopeful. We may be a little goofy looking, but we're still as curious as ever about the world and eager to engage with you ... from a distance. 

In our isolation, we are busy preparing new ways to communicate during social distancing and looking ahead to opening the Discovery Center in Joseph with some exciting new exhibits this summer, if perhaps in June or July rather than our usually May opening. So  please think of us, take a look at the new pages and links on our website, read our Facebook page, where we post daily, and join in on our Earth Day At Home activities this week (see below), and yes, do plan to come visit us . . . later. 
Coming up this Wednesday, April 22nd!

One of the silver linings of slowing down and isolating ourselves from other people is we have the opportunity to see the natural world more clearly. This week we have a  special reason to focus on our planet: it's the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!

Since 1970, Earth Day has been a day to celebrate the earth and the importance of protecting our beautiful planet for future generations. Every April 22nd, people come together to learn, celebrate, advocate, teach, and take action.
Bre Austin
Celebrate Earth DayWith Us!

We may not be able to gather together to celebrate this April 22nd, but we can still help our children learn about their home planet. Here at Wallowology, our Code Green coordinator, the amazing Bre Austin, teamed up with staff from Wallowa Resources and Building Healthy Families to create a unique home-based Earth Day celebration focused on children.  They have assembled Earth Day at Home kits. These kits are full of ideas, supplies, and activities, so that celebrating this important day is easy and fun - and possible in your own backyard.

Kits are free and available for pick up at Wallowology in Joseph, Building Healthy Families in Enterprise, MCrow in Lostine, and Homeland Project in Wallowa beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, April 21. Please feel free to come by and grab a kit for your family and remember to leave a six foot distance between yourself and any others collecting kits.

Out of town but still want to join in? There are some CODE Green Earth Day activity sheets available on Wallowology’s website:
 Click here to find out more about Wallowa County's Earth Day at Home and download activities. 

Having fun celebrating? Post photographs of the activities you are doing for Earth Day on your family’s Instagram profile and add #Wallowaearthdayproject to your caption so that others can see what you were up to (your account has to be public for the community to view your post). Use #Wallowaearthdayproject if you’d like to post your photos on Facebook.

To learn more about Earth Day and what people are doing worldwide to celebrate this year, check out this fantastic website, Earth Day at Home with NASA and another put out by the official international Earth Day organization. They both offer a bit of Earth Day history and a variety of resources and activities. 

A Poem for the Pandemic

Many thanks to The Oregonian for publishing a special project, Poems for the Pandemic, featuring seven poems written by Oregon Poet Laureate, Kim Stafford, and accompanying photographs by Brooke Herbert and Beth Nakamura. We were particularly moved by this one, Oregon Dawn In Spite of the News.  You can read more and also click on links to hear this and other poems read aloud, at Poems for the Pandemic.
Rick McEwan 

Oregon Dawn In Spite of the News

Before I can get to our statistics — so many

stricken, so many dead — I’m summoned

by the bird raising a ruckus outside, crows

and jays in festive outrage, trill, chirrr, and aria


from the little brown birds, the mournful

dove, the querulous towhee, rusty starlings

in their see-saw mutter, and a woodpecker

flicker hammering the gutter staccato.


On the porch, I’m assaulted by the merciless

scent of trees opening their million flowers, 

as I inhale the deep elixir of hazel, hawthorn,

maple, and oh those shameless cherry trees.


And just when I’ve almost recovered

my serious moment, I gasp, helpless to see

the full queen moon sidling down

through a haze of blossoms.

 - Kim Stafford
Brett Sayles 
Ralph's Links
While it is "April showers that produce the May flowers," I'm seeing a larger than normal bloom of Lomatium cous with avelanche lilies, waterleaf and brodia already. An early season for some of the flowers (with more capacity to respond). Still, trees are barely beginning to show enlarged buds.  Meanwhile we still have some winter birds this far south and migrants are passing.  I had a band of sandhill cranes pass high overhead April 10 at Tick hill  Mike Denny reports a band of grey-headed rosy finches on the Touchet... and we have had bands of snow-buntings on Tick Hill, Leap and Zumwalt.

Shed hunting is in full swing with new regulations most places to avoid covid-19 spread (

Thermal loading is in progress to bring on the morel and other 'shroom bloom (  Dispersed foragers in the woods are finding early nesters in progress; great horned owls, northern goshawks and Clark's nutcrackers.

Ralph Anderson, having retired from a career with the Forest Service and as a consulting Wildlife Biologist, continues to offer his perspectives, insights and perusal of the current flow of science discoveries and its implications here in our monthly Tracks newsletter as well as more frequent postings on the Wallowology Facebook page.

Wallowology! Natural History Discovery Center, in downtown Joseph, opened to the public in June 2014.  We invite participants to explore and discover Eastern Oregon's lands and waters through exhibits, outings, and evening presentations by scientists, artists and others.

Our mission is to inform, inspire, and involve residents and visitors in the conservation of ecosystems and landscapes that support and sustain rural communities throughout Eastern Oregon.

Wallowology! is the public education division of Eastern Oregon Legacy Lands, a non-profit corporation whose purposes are scientific, educational, and charitable. EOLL's natural and cultural history programs include research, conservation planning, land acquisition, and policy development.

Copyright © 2019, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 666
Joseph, Oregon 97846

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Wallowology · PO Box 666 · Joseph, Oregon 97846 · USA

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