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Highland Wonders ~ Upcoming

Highland Wonders is a monthly education series featuring the natural history of the Okanogan Highlands and surrounding areas. Come and meet some new people and enjoy refreshments; leave with a better understanding of your watershed.

The indoor series runs on the First Friday of the month, from November through May (skipping December). The outdoor series is offered during summer, and the schedule varies.

A Walk Through Time in the Highlands: Ecology & Evolution at Our Feet
with Dana Visalli

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Dana Visalli, botanist and editor of "The Methow Naturalist," will lead a guided hike along a hidden canyon connecting the Burge Mountain road and the Highlands Nordic Sno-Park near Havillah.

Life has been on an immense journey through time, and it turns out that much of the evidence for that journey is all around us in the natural world. On this short hike we will look for the evidence that the plants, animals and even the rocks have changed over time, creating ever more complex ecological relationships and ever richer ecosystems. This walk will offer a condensed version of a 5-day program on this subject that Dana taught last summer in the Methow Valley.

"I was asked for a quote that would characterize our August Ecology and Evolution hike," Dana says. "One of the most appropriate that I can think of is by an obscure poet named Bill Shakesphere, who noted, after years of observing the natural world, 'In nature's infinite book of secrecy, a little I can read.'  On this walk we will be
reading some of nature's secrets."

What you need to know about this event:

This hike is rated moderately strenuous, traveling mainly but not always on trails, with sections of uneven, rugged terrain and forest debris on the ground. The hike will be roughly 4 miles long. Please consider your physical condition and whether a hike of this nature would be suitable for your needs, strengths, and stamina.

Please note that cell phone reception is unlikely on this hike. Restrooms will be available at the start and end of the hike. This event is not able to accommodate dogs, unless they are service dogs. Proper hiking footwear is essential. 


Dana looks at butterflies with community members

Naturalist Dana Visalli will lead a hike focused on observing changes in the land, flora, and fauna over time.

Dana Visalli

Dana Visalli is professional botanist and naturalist living in Twisp, WA. He is the editor of the quarterly journal of natural history The Methow Naturalist, which is in its 21st year of publication.

Due to the nature of the outdoor event, participation is limited, and priority registration will be offered for OHA members. A waiting list will be generated on a first-come, first-serve basis. To begin or renew OHA membership and be first in line to register for the summertime events, community members can donate online, or contact OHA for more information. Further details will be provided to those who register for the field trip. To sign up for this event, please email or call 509-476-2432.

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The Following Summertime Highland Wonders event:

Saturday, July 23 Dragonflies field trip Dennis Paulson, who came to speak in the Highland Wonders series in April 2015, returns to offer a closer look in the field.

Due to the nature of the outdoor events in June and July, participation is limited, and priority registration is being offered for OHA members. 

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To begin or renew your OHA membership and be first in line to register for the summertime events, please visit, or contact OHA for more information. To sign up for this event, email or call 509-476-2432. The starting time and location will be provided upon registration.

Please visit OHA's past events page to learn about other events that have been held in summers past. Each of these events was jam-packed with information tailored to the sights, sounds, and natural history of the highlands. The events are often full to capacity. Be sure to begin or renew your OHA membership for priority in signing up for this summer's events. 

Questions? Contact OHA's Conservation Coordinator, Julie Ashmore: