from the Outer Coast community: Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata)
Listen to Anastacia-Reneé read her poem, "Birdwatching"
Art by Raya Friday
Tufted Puffin is part of the Outer Coast community, along with Spotted Ratfish, Dungeness Crab, Heermann's Gull, Tomcod/Bocaccio, Giant Pacific Octopus, Sea Otter, and Bigg's Killer Whale.
From Tufted Puffin's story: "When a Puffin chick fledges, they do so decisively: they flap off to sea and won’t come back to land for three to four years, when they themselves are ready to breed. Imagine launching yourself from a cozy burrow into the unfamiliar air and sea with no training, no guiding hand. Then you fly and dive, foraging in wild waters until, years later, you are ready to return to a spot you only knew for a couple of months in your chick-hood and find a mate to pair with for the rest of your life."
from the Loowit/Mt. st. Helens community: Elk (Cervus canadensis)
Listen to Keetje Kuipers read her poem, "The elk my father shot"
Art by Travis London.
Elk is part of the Loowit / Mt. St. Helens community, along with Prairie Lupine, Northern Pocket Gopher, Sitka Willow, Pearly Everlasting, Oregon Junco, Western Thatching Ant, and Green Alder.
From Elk's story: "Amazingly, within days of Loowit’s 1980 eruption, Elk was stepping through the ash in search of food. As they did, they sped up the revegetation process. In some places where they stepped, such as hillsides, their hoofprints loosened the ash and led to erosion, which allowed buried plants to sprout."
From the Montane community: Beargrass (Xerophyllum tynax)
Listen to Jennifer Perrine read her poem, "Forgive Me"
Art by Claire Emery
Beargrass is part of the Montane community, along with Glacier Lily, Westslope Cutthroat Trout, Rocky Mountain Snail, Hoary Marmot, Ice Worm, Mountain Goat, Canada Jay, Alpine Larch, Clark's Nutcracker, and Subalpine Fir.
From Beargrass's story: "This being, with a once-in-a-lifetime bloom stalk that holds up to four hundred small milky flowers, feeds hundreds of forest insects—even though they only bloom for a mere five or so days. Perhaps Beargrass should also be called Mothergrass, as mothering is an obvious trait of this being. People have long used Beargrass fiber for clothing and the roasted rhizomes for food, and Eastern Plains Tribes use the roots to treat sprains."
From the Tidewater glacier community: Map Lichen (Rhizocarpon geographicum)
Listen to Rebecca Hoogs read her poem, "What Eats Around Itself"
Art by Chloey Cavanaugh
Map Lichen is part of the Tidewater Glacier community, along with Common Raven, Fireweed, Chum Salmon, Red Alder, Alexander Archipelago Wolf, Salmonberry, Eulachon, and Bull Kelp.
From Map Lichen's story: "Map Lichen grows slowly and steadily, annually increasing by about one millimeter. How slow is that? For comparison, the earth’s tectonic plates move about fifty times that rate. In fact, Map Lichen’s growth is so predictable that patches of them can be used to estimate how long a given rock may have been exposed to air by glacial retreat, rockslides, or other processes. The arrival and establishment of lichen is one of the ways newly exposed rubble moves toward soil, as the lichen traps dust and provides usable nitrogen."
Get Cascadia Field Guide
Edited by Elizabeth Bradfield, CMarie Fuhrman, Derek Sheffield