July 04, 2019


It is the buggy time of year. I'm having a ball documenting as many insects as I can manage. Every day seems to offer a new species or three.

Where to find insects: Look for insect damage on leaves, and trace down the culprit. Bury plastic drink cups up to their rim to catch ground beetles and other. I just got a black light to attract moths overnight. Last night was the first deployment, and I got three new species of moth to document. Anywhere there's water will be rich with insect life, both above the water, on and under. Turn over rocks and logs too.

How to document: Cell phones are amazing. If you have a means of adjusting the zoom, try different settings. I sometimes am able to get shots that rival my DSLR macro setup. For dragonflies and other more skittish subjects, there is nothing I've found to replace what a good long lens will achieve.

Don't forget to indicate scale. I often will use a grid background and mention the scale in the description. If you bring your subjects indoors for a controlled photo, some insects will slow down nicely by a visit to the refrigerator. Spiders are the exception. They tend to curl up and not present well from cooling. I try mostly to shoot spiders in situ.

Any tips that you find work well, please share them with the rest of us.

Kurt Steinbach

Posted on July 04, 2019 18:58 by kurtsteinbach kurtsteinbach | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 12, 2019

Full Moon - Minus Tides

I'm looking ahead to when to continue documentation of the biota of the isthmus between Indian and Marrowstone Islands. There is a neap tide today, so it will be a few days before low water will allow us to explore more of the low intertidal.

There are minus tides around the full moon next week (Monday), I want to take a close look at the existing channel from the causeway culvert north. I'd be happy to have some help with that. Let me know which day, Saturday (6/15) through Wednesday (6/19), works for you.

My favorite web site for tidal predictions is: http://www.dairiki.org/tides/daily.php/tow

If you use Facebook, I think that might be the easiest place to coordinate. Here's the group I would like to use: https://www.facebook.com/groups/640531329748002/

Here on iNat, this is the specific project for the isthmus: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/marrowstone-indian-island-isthmus

Posted on June 12, 2019 17:47 by kurtsteinbach kurtsteinbach | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 04, 2019

Introducing the Marrowstone-Indian Island Isthmus project

Work is about to commence on the restoration construction to remove a culvert and causeway roadbed between Indian Island and Marrowstone Island. A new bridge will be installed, and the dunes and wetlands returned to historical status. The objective is to restore the tidal flow between Kilisut Harbor and Oak Bay.

This iNaturalist project is meant to provide documentation of the species in the area of the restoration. It will be a before and after snapshot at the least. At best, it will document potentially vulnerable species that NOSC might want to know about, and want to apply mitigation remedies.

Please consider joining and contributing to this project.


Posted on June 04, 2019 18:00 by kurtsteinbach kurtsteinbach | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 12, 2019

Rat Island Bioblitz

All are welcome to join a bioblitz of Rat Island. There will be a nice almost minus 2' tide around noon. The plan is to row or paddle from the boat ramp at the lower campground of Fort Flagler. We can beach on whichever is the lee side of Rat Island that day. Prior to the max low, we can document as many species as we can from the dunes down to the low intertidal zone. We can then boat over the eel grass beds south of the island, and document what we might see there during the max low.

An iNaturalist project has been set up for this event: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/rat-island-bioblitz

Here is a useful link for the tides that day: http://www.dairiki.org/tides/daily.php/tow/2019-05-21

When: 10am Tuesday May 21st.
Where: Meet at the Fort Flagler Lower Campground boat ramp
How: Some means of personal transport will be needed to get to the island. A small human powered craft is most advisable, but I guess some good hip waders might work. (joking)

Questions: Direct them to kurtsteinbach@hotmail.com

Posted on May 12, 2019 16:45 by kurtsteinbach kurtsteinbach | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 05, 2019

Marrowstone Point Coastal Meadow

The area around the brackish lagoon and adjacent to the research station is an amazing and rare habitat. The wildflowers that are blooming there now are unique and increasingly rare. Following the path from near the parking area near the station entry, look to the west to see an astounding field of checkered lilies. Near the dunes, the habitat evolves into a sandier environment, where American beach grass and big head sedge can be seen. A round trip past the rifle range on the other side of the lagoon is a third rich habitat. Watch for birds in the willows and, of course, around and in the lagoon. Go now while the lilies are in bloom!

Posted on May 05, 2019 17:59 by kurtsteinbach kurtsteinbach | 2 comments | Leave a comment

February 01, 2019

February Jefferson Land Trust Newsletter

Happy new year! I’m writing to share the latest update on the Marrowstone Island preserve project. Over the past few months, we’ve been getting to know the property and our new neighbors, gathering community input and preferences, and developing the preserve management plan.

We received a tremendous response to the community survey, with more than 170 people weighing in. Thank you to everyone who took the time to so thoughtfully respond. A diversity of opinions were expressed, and we are taking all points of view into consideration. We’ve also reached out with an introductory mailing to preserve neighbors, and held several neighbor meetings to share information and answer questions about the new preserve.

For many who are interested in this special place, this project is perhaps their first contact with Jefferson Land Trust. We’d like to take this opportunity to outline our land management approach, our ongoing role as landowner, and how we engage with the community around public use of our properties.

Management Plan Development Process

Every property owned by Jefferson Land Trust has a management plan that details priority ecological functions or features, a desired future condition, and long-term goals, objectives and short-term actions. Land use history, surrounding land use, priority ecological features, the presence of unique/threatened/sensitive plants or wildlife, threats to desired future conditions, known stewardship needs, and community priorities are considered in the crafting of each plan.

Collecting this information typically involves many parties and may include reviewing public records, gathering stories from previous landowners or neighbors related to land use history, working with relevant expert biologists, hydrologists, geologists, or foresters, working with restoration professionals, trail professionals, and of course Land Trust staff. These plans are reviewed and updated regularly to incorporate new information gathered during regular monitoring visits and management activities, and to adapt management approaches.

The Land Trust’s long term management goals for the Marrowstone property are twofold:

1. Ecological: Manage upland forest and wetlands to maintain or improve ability to collect clean water and provide important plant and wildlife habitat.

2. Social: Provide low-impact public and educational access that allows community members to connect with the natural world.

Community Involvement

Community conservation – facilitating connections to the natural world and our collective sense of place – is one of the Land Trust’s core values. In order to understand community desires for the future of this Preserve, we reached out to Marrowstone Island residents and beyond with an online survey. The survey explored themes that included: desired level of area managed primarily for ecological goals, recreational access, educational opportunities, site amenities, multi-use management, Preserve naming and signage, potential volunteer roles in ongoing management, and a place to note concerns. This survey was not scientific in nature. Its aim was to help inform Land Trust staff as to current community perceptions, opinions, and priorities, with no prior ecological or site education.

The survey results, along with other sources of community feedback, play a valuable role in informing our preserve management plan. Community input is being used to help us evaluate:

1. The prescribed types and level of public access

2. How people want to connect with this place

3. What kinds of threats to the desired future condition are on people’s minds

4. Types of thoughtful site design or signage we may want to employ to designate allowed activities and wildlife areas

It is inevitable that individual preferences on these matters will vary, sometimes quite strongly. It is also very clear to us from the input received that we are all aligned around a shared desire to see this preserve thrive - for the benefit of both wildlife and people. Despite the differences of opinions we have received, the level of community interest in this special place has been truly amazing to see; we trust this shared commitment to place will serve as common ground and the basis of strong community stewardship of this preserve far into the future.

Site Design and Implementation

Next up, we plan to convene a science advisory group to review our initial management plan and site design to provide additional insight into balancing the needs of people, wildlife, and conservation values on this preserve. We will then be presenting the draft site plan, including parking and trail design, at the upcoming Marrowstone Island Community Association (MICA) meeting on March 18 at 7 PM at the Nordland Garden Club clubhouse at 320 Garden Club Road. All interested individuals are welcome to attend!

Upcoming work parties will continue to focus on removing noxious weeds, and are scheduled for February 12 and March 12. Details can be found here: https://saveland.org/news-events/

Out of respect for both the land as well as our neighbors, we are limiting the size of future work parties to not more than 25 people. If you wish to volunteer, we ask that you please RSVP in advance using the link above. We kindly ask that all volunteers follow Land Trust instructions regarding carpools and parking at the preserve site. If the work party is full, we invite you to consider signing up for the next available date.

Preserve Opening

We are currently on track for a late spring public opening of the preserve. Watch our e-newsletter for announcement of Preserve public opening and celebration! In the meantime, we remind supporters that the preserve is not yet open to the public. We ask that visits be limited to scheduled work parties, or by permission of Land Trust staff.

We are thrilled at the ongoing interest in and support for this project, thank you!



Jefferson Land Trust
1033 Lawrence St
Port Townsend WA 98368
360.379.9501 ext 100

Helping the community preserve open space, working lands and habitat forever.

A land trust is a promise ... a promise we as a community make that in 50 years, 75 years, 100 years, the wild spaces, and memory places of Jefferson County will still exist, and that the quality of life and legacy they represent will remain forever.

Posted on February 01, 2019 21:49 by kurtsteinbach kurtsteinbach | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 03, 2019

EVENT CANCELED – Marrowstone Preserve Tour

EVENT CANCELED – Marrowstone Preserve Tour
Date: 01/08/2019 | Starts: 10:00 AM | Ends: 1:00 PM

Jefferson Land Trust cites logistic problems, and have canceled the tour/work party.

I have no more info. Watch for future events here or on their website.

Posted on January 03, 2019 03:52 by kurtsteinbach kurtsteinbach | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 24, 2018

Marrowstone Preserve Tour - Tues January 8th

Join Jefferson Land Trust to explore the new preserve on Marrowstone Island. Help identify potential trail areas, sensitive habitat areas, noxious weeds, and site hazards. You can also help pull some ivy, holly, and spurge laurel. Check out the Marrowstone Preserve page to learn more information about the next steps in the process of turning this beautiful property into a preserve. The terrain is level, the trees above will provide great shelter from the rain, and it’s a great time of year to get outside.

Two carpools will be arranged. To carpool from Port Townsend, meet at 9:15 at the Land Trust (1033 Lawerence Street, Port Townsend WA 98368). To carpool from Nordland, meet at 9:45 at East Beach County Park (330 East Beach Road, Nordland WA 98358). For questions or more information contact Carrie at cclendaniel@saveland.org or 360.379.9501 x 109.


Time: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Location: see above for carpool directions.

Posted on December 24, 2018 20:57 by kurtsteinbach kurtsteinbach | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 28, 2018

First Work Party Report

JLT counted 57 volunteers showing up for this first of many work parties. We had people from all over eastern Jefferson County, including Marrowstone (naturally), Port Ludlow, Port Townsend, the Tri Area, Cape George and beyond. It was very inspiring to see how valued this new asset is to so many.

There are still more invasive plants to pull, cut and otherwise remove. The next scheduled work party, under JLT supervision and support, was said to be January 13. By then the water table will have risen considerably, so some areas will be under water. But there are many upland areas that need help by removing primarily spurge, holly and ivy.

For those of you who couldn't make this work party, stay tuned by getting on the JLT mailing list for future activities. You also might like to know JLT has reached out to the community for input. They have created the following survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/marrowstone Share your hopes and vision for this Marrowstone community park.

Posted on November 28, 2018 21:26 by kurtsteinbach kurtsteinbach | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 10, 2018

Invasive Plant Removal Work Party at the Marrowstone Island Nature Preserve

Put this on your calendar if you would like to join the work party at the new Marrowstone Island Nature Preserve. I believe the primary target is to begin removing invasive plants. We will be cutting and pulling European Holly, Common Ivy, and probably worst, Spurge Laurel. Surprisingly, the 51 acres is happily devoid of the more common and aggressive noxious weeds, Scotch Broom, Tansy Ragwort and Reed Canary Grass - all devils to remove. Please check with Jefferson Land Trust https://saveland.org/stewardship-marrowstone/

Posted on November 10, 2018 19:18 by kurtsteinbach kurtsteinbach | 0 comments | Leave a comment