Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Otters (plus raccoons and gulls) visit streams in Hidden Valley!

A triggered wildlife camera in Hidden Valley captured images of a group of river otters in the streams!
The footage starts with seagulls, but watch the whole clip to see raccoons and finally otters. Stay tuned for more images...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Successful September 2012 work party!

A strong crew of 16 made a huge difference on the Big Tree trail and Hidden Valley.  A big thanks to Lisa, Martha, Hollie, Richard, Alex, Tom, Trisha, Amber, Jim, Andy, Michael, Scott, Gardner, Greg and Cindy for your time and energy!

Hollie and Richard did a great job leveling the Big Tree trail, joined by Andy and Michael.

Meanwhile, Scott and Gardner did some trail repair, repurposing some of the demolition debris from Hidden Valley.

Greg, Cindy, Trisha and Tom continued separating out the salvageable materials from the wood waste from the old barn -- a hot job in the sun.

Hidden Valley ivy no longer strangles some trees or covers part of Wildcat Creek's stream banks.  Amber, Lisa, Jim, and Alex, joined later by Tom, Andy, and Michael cleared out several patches of ivy, first hacking a path to the area through the brush, and creating a monster pile of ivy waste.

We appreciate your help maintaining the Preserve and improving Hidden Valley!

-- Mindy, and the Mountaineers Foundation board

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Work party at the Preserve -- Sunday, September 16

We have a bunch of activities that we could use help on. Please email Mindy Roberts ( if you can help so we know to look for you.

Where: Kitsap Rhododendron Preserve, Seabeck Highway, Bremerton. Park at the blue house (closest address for Mapquest/Google is 3025 Seabeck Highway) or the Forest Theater parking lot.

When: meet at the top of the driveway to Hidden Valley, near the Kitsap Cabin, at 10 am. If you come late, please walk down the driveway and ask for Mindy. We'll work until about 4 pm, or earlier depending on energy levels and progress.

What to bring: Work clothes, leather gloves, boots, snacks, water, sunscreen, and any tools you have.

Tools we could use: hand clippers, shears, handsaw, pick, shovel

Bring yourself and friends and family -- all are welcome! We'll walk out to the Big Tree as well so you will get a chance to enjoy the Kitsap Rhododendron Preserve as well as donate your labor. And we'll say thank you with some Seabeck Pizza around lunch.

Thanks in advance,
The Mountaineers Foundation

Friday, June 1, 2012

Spring Time in Hidden Valley

 Hidden Valley in the spring is all about blooming. There are masses of rhododendrons


A previously unnoticed Tulip Tree,


Bright tulips, 

 Fluffy pink blossoms on a tree

Bluebells and strawberries

Bleeding hearts

And Forget-me-nots

Fisheries biologists are in the Valley studying the recovering Coho salmon run on both Lost and Wildcat Creeks. These smolt traps allow the biologists to count the smolt leaving the creeks. 

Beavers remain active

Even though the last big rain wiped out their dams.  

There was some question about whether we would need to replant along the banks but as the abundance of alder saplings proves Mother Nature is taking care of that for us.

And last but not least, the horse tail fern are beginning to open out.

There will be opportunities to visit Hidden Valley and the Rhododendron Preserve this summer. Visit our new Rhododendron Preserve website to learn more about visiting this amazing ecological jewel. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hidden Valley April Flowers

 These photos are from mid-April when the colors of Hidden Valley were lavender and gold. From the stunning heather on the hillside.

To the delicate azaleas peaking through the trees.

And the splash of gold along the banks of Wildcat Creek where the daffodils were beginning to bloom.

And the beavers have been hard at work

The violets are especially stunning amid the chips the beavers leave behind. 

Despite the beavers' hard work the rains have washed out the dams. 

The upper and  lower both. 

The heavy rains have also further remodeled the confluence. Hidden Valley changes are always fascinating to observe whether the work of the beavers, the weather, or just the magic of spring.

Until next time.