Fill fall with fossils and fungi

Ida Gianopulos

While fall’s arrival means shorter days, there is still plenty of fun to be had outdoors on the Tillamook Coast with the Explore Nature Series.

“We truly love this time of year,” said Chrissy Smith of Friends of Netarts Bay. “There is so much going on between hikes, paddles and guided tours, you can find something to do nearly every week that will take your appreciation for the Tillamook Coast to a whole new level.”

On Saturday, Oct. 6, Friends of Netarts Bay will offer a field to hunt for fossils at Cape Meares, led by Clair Thomas.

“The whole coastline of Netarts has fossils all throughout it,” Thomas said. “On average, they’ll find clams, scallops, crabs, snails and more — helping to piece together the unique story of Cape Meares and the surrounding areas.”

Participants should dress for the weather and plan to get a little dirty. Hammers, chisels and rock hammers will be available to borrow.

On Monday, Oct. 22, the Lower Nehalem Community Trust will host a Wild Mushroom Walk at Alder Creek Farm. Led by Ida Gianopulos, the excursion will focus on the ecology of fungi and how they shape the forest around them.

“My goal is to help people appreciate fungi for the role they play in the forest, and not just in the kitchen,” Gianopulos said. “I think people spend a lot of time learning to forage, without realizing how these mushrooms impact their environment.”

Participants will learn basic mushroom identification and how to use a guidebook.

Both outings are free but registration is required at

Upcoming Explore Nature events include:

Saturday, Oct. 13: Photography on the Bay.

Saturday, Oct. 20: Hike Bay Ocean Spit. 1-4 pm

Wednesday, Oct. 31: Plant Native Seeds. 10 am-3 pm

Saturday, Nov. 3: Marvelous Mushroom Adventure. 9 am-noon

Saturday: Nov. 17: Salmon Watch Science Hike. 10 am-noon

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