Climb trees with a certified guide at Deception Pass State Park

I spent a serious amount of time as a child in a subjectively old apple tree. The lowest limb was just the right height to get started upward, and the leaves provided some cover against parental eyes. The highest perch gave me a “see for miles” view that led to in-my-own-mind adventures.

I don’t climb trees anymore, much to my grandchild’s dismay as she calls, “Come on, Grandma, it’s fun!”

Sigh.

Times have changed in tree-climbing. Ziplines have taken us from tree to tree, and now guide-led tree-climbing is offered by Washington State Parks and AdventureTerra at the Hoypus Point area of Deception Pass State Park.

Paid activities such as this are due to the mandate from the Legislature to generate more revenue for the parks. The cost is $149.

A certified tree-climbing guide oversees technical roped climbs and provides all the gear from helmets to harnesses, foot holds to ascenders. After orientation and instruction, you can climb a tree (that sound was my inner child giggling) and enjoy a view from your highest perch in the tree’s canopy.

Have a snack, then rappel off the tree.

I can hear grandchild now: “Come on, Grandma, it’s fun!”

A state parks arborist determined that, with careful anchor placement and care not to compact the soil at the base, the operation did not pose a threat to the trees. Climbers will not disturb moss and lichen communities by sitting on the tree branches because they will remain in their harnesses.

The activity is open to ages 7 and up. Some people with disabilities can participate with the help of a guide and an assistant line.

For information, go to www.adventureterra.com.

Fun news, bad news. The SeaDoc Society (www.seadocsociety.org) offers both. Recently SeaDoc board member Kirsten Gilardi received a text from her brother-in-law, who had discovered a Washington crab buoy on a tiny island, between Hawaii and Guam, about 4,000 miles away.

On the down side: Historically, tufted puffins have had more than 40 nesting colonies in Washington. A recent survey, however, found only 17 nesting sites, with an estimated puffin population of fewer than 1,000 birds.

Help wanted. Reader Cindy Kew sends in a question: “I always read your column in the Everett Herald and enjoy it very much. I live in Marysville and lately we have been hearing dove calls. Until this morning I’ve only had a few glimpses of them in a tree.

“This morning a small flock, maybe 10-12, landed briefly on my fence. They didn’t stick around long enough to get a picture. They are a small dove, close to the size of a starling. Maybe a little larger but not as large as a robin, for sure. They are brown, some darker than others. They had markings but I didn’t get a long enough look.

“I think they are too small to be a mourning dove or a white-wing dove. My guess was a ground dove, based on size and color. My bird identification book and online searches say that Marysville is way out of their range. Any guesses what they are?”

Thanks, Cindy. Washington’s mourning, white-winged and ground doves are in the 11-12-inch range; a robin 9-11 inches; a house sparrow about 6 inches. A common ground dove is 6-7 inches and would be a rarity in this state, and as of 2005, when “Birds of Washington: Status and Distribution” was published, there were no verified sightings.

Without markings to go by, let’s ask our readers: Has anyone spotted similar birds and has identified them? Let me know and I’ll pass it on.

Columnist Sharon Wootton can be reached at 360-468-3964 or songandword@rockisland.com.

Talk to us

More in Life

Steve Smith gift ideas for gardeners
Ten gift ideas for gardeners

From puzzles to pruners, how to pick the perfect present for the green thumbs on your list.

Jeff Barnett, owner of Salish Sea-Boathouse during the soft opening in Edmonds on November 24, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Salish Sea sets sail at second location in Edmonds

In honor of the nearby waterfront, The Boathouse has a decidedly nautical feel — and it’s more of a taproom and brewhouse than its sibling brewpub up the street.

Seven gift ideas for weathering the holiday season

Smart thermostats and portable power will be thoughtful presents — especially when energy bills and power outages hit.

Photo Caption: Francois-Xavier Lalanne often used animal motifs in his modern, minimalist sculptures. His porcelain eggcup with a chicken's head, wings and tail sold for $2,080 at Palm Beach Modern Auctions.

(c) 2021 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.
‘Pocillovy’ is the obscure hobby of collecting eggcups

It stems from Victorian times, when nearly every type of food had its own specialized dish and utensils.

Orangebark Stewartia, Stewartia monadelpha,
Great Plant Pick: Orangebark Stewartia

This tree’s stunning bark is shown to perfection when it’s planted with a backdrop of evergreens.

Clockwise from top left: Trinity Yun, Ryan Chung, Carson Chadd and John Meneses.
Orchestra returns with four outstanding young musicians

Pacifica Chamber Orchestra’s first in-person concert since before the pandemic will feature winners of the 2020 Snohomish County Music Teachers Association Competition.

Edmonds’ Gothard Sisters will perform their annual Celtic Christmas Concert at 7:30 tonight at Edmonds Center for the Arts.
Events calendar for Snohomish County

Edmonds’ Gothard Sisters will perform their annual Christmas concert on Dec. 2.

Daphne Patakia, left, and Virginie Efira in "Benedetta." (Courtesy of IFC Films/TNS)
‘Benedetta’ an unruly, sexually frank tale of Renaissance nun

Paul Verhoeven’s film has drawn protests from Catholics, which means he’s definitely doing something right.

George MacKay in "Wolf." MUST CREDIT: Focus Features
‘Wolf,’ a film about identity issues, is an unintentional howler

This misguided movie goes off the rails immediately and stays there throughout its running time.

Most Read