Illahee Update 4/8/12 Work Party Report, Otter Story, Goose Nest, Preserve Water Holes, Large Deer Report, Timbers Edge, Another Work Party?

Work Party Report. We were helping out with Saturday’s Illahee Preserve work party and didn’t get any pictures until the next day to show the depleted wood chip pile at the Petersville entrance, and the partially depleted pile at the Almira parking lot.  Our estimate of the number of workers helping out with the Compass Circle Wildlife Meadow project was at least 25 and the number helping at Almira was 15 to 20.  Thanks to the East Bremerton Rotary for organizing the work party, and the Washington Youth Academy for providing the majority of the workers, and the Illahee Forest Preserve for their helpers.  We went for a walk today in the Preserve and we were asked what kind of equipment was used to bring all the chips in and they were surprised to learn it was all done with manual labor and wheel barrows.

Trail Work. We took a picture of a couple of walkers on the newly placed wood chips in the Amphitheater area.

Otter Story. Living in Illahee and discovering river otters has been an interesting experience, both for those along the shoreline and those living along Illahee Creek.  The attached story is a great reminder that while we may see them during the day, they are basically nocturnal animals.

I liked both the pictures in the last update! When I first moved to Illahee I rented a house on Rue Villa.  My black lab, Willie was in heaven.  The very first Saturday we saw an otter out in the water.  Willie went swimming after it.  When it dove under and stayed down Willie finally gave up and went back to the beach.  The otter would re-surface and the game would begin again.  When Willie got tired of it, the otter would swim in closer and closer, inticing Willie back out.  Another night, under a full moon like tonight, Willie and I went walking after midnight.  We sat down and watched three otters playing together under the full moon.

Goose Nest. Another story of adapting to living with wildlife was received.

A pair of geese have decided to move in for the spring. Their nest is on top of my shed. The one where I keep my tractor. I have been trying vigorously to shoo them away until yesterday when I found out they already had a nest. Now I have have to figure out how to get my tractor out of the shed without disturbing them.

Preserve Water Holes. There have been more concerns expressed about trying to keep some water holes open for wildlife in the Preserve.  Some have been filled with wood chips, but some are being preserved for birds and animals, such as the Douglas squirrel we encountered today on the trails.

Large Deer Report. We were told about a very large buck with antlers of 6 points on one side and 7 points on the other side and how they have been trying to get pictures of it, so we thought we should put out a request to the community to see if someone can get a photo of it.

Timbers Edge Question. We had questions today and Saturday about the possible purchase of Timbers Edge properties.  We don’t have many answers.  When the land trust and Port stopped being involved there was little hope for a purchase.  Should grant monies be available someday, the earliest that could happen would be in 2014.  The other hope would be for a non-developer to purchase the properties for their private use or for holding until grant money became available.

Next Work Party on Saturday (4/14/12)? We think another Illahee Preserve work party is being planned for this Saturday and will pass on more information as it becomes available.

Jim Aho