Friday, September 30, 2011

October Fun

This is my list of free and low cost events around the greater Portland area for the month of October. I compile this list for the homeschool group that we belong to, which includes kids 9 and under. I look for events that have some educational or cultural value which do not specifically exclude this age group, and many have wider appeal.   This month's guest proofreader is my son Jasper's invisible younger brother, Flargy.  (You know, the one who is responsible for most every kind of mischief around here, when Jasper is being innocent...)  As always, if you plan to attend something, be sure to doublecheck the details, because mistakes, typos, and cancellations can happen.

October seems much livelier than September, with lots going on, and fall is in the air. Apple and pear picking continue at many pick-your-own farms. Check these websites for local farms with special fall events: and Our mild, rainy fall weather is perfect for tree planting. The SOLV website is a great place to look for volunteer opportunities, most of which are kid friendly:

60th Annual Greek Festival”, Friday, September 30, and Saturday, October 1, 10AM-10PM, And Sunday, October 2, 12PM-8PM, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 3131 NE Glisan St., Pdx. “Immigrants for Greece began arriving to the Northwest in the late 1800s to work in fishing, lumber, railroad and other jobs. Settling in Portland they established their church, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in southeast Portland. Moving to a new and larger church on 32nd and NE Glisan in 1952, the mortgage had to be paid off. The ladies decided to help by holding a bazaar with their handwork, food, pastries, music and dances from their homeland. This was the beginning of what is no known as the Annual Greek Festival which is one of the largest of its kind. The Greek Festival remains a wonderful opportunity for us to share annually with over 15,000 guests from the Portland Metropolitan area our beautiful Greek Orthodox faith, our cherished cultural traditions, food, music, and dance.”

Old Apple Tree Festival”, Saturday, October 1, Old Apple Tree Park, 112 Columbia Way, Vancouver, WA (a short walk from Ft. Vancouver). Free. “Live music, food, fun for children, cuttings from the venerable old tree itself and more await the community at the free annual Old Apple Tree Festival.” This event is a celebration of the oldest apple tree in Washington.

Silver Falls Guided Walk Through History”, Saturday, October 1, Tuesday, October 4, Tuesday, October 11, Saturday, October 15, Tuesday, October 18, and Saturday, October 22, 2PM, South Falls Lodge, Silver Falls State Park. “Native peoples, loggers, townspeople, a daredevil, a photographer, and hundreds of young, willing CCC hands all had a part in the rich history of Silver Falls.”

The Incredible Cattail- From Survival to Pancakes”, Saturday, October 1, 9AM-3PM, meeting at Wild Food Adventures, 4125 N. Colonial Ave., Pdx. $25 for adults, kids 7-17 pay their age, kids 5 and under free, $3 discounts for adult family members attending together, Native Americans, Scout Leaders, and full time college students. “Get hands-on experience on how cattail rhizomes can be used for emergency survival food to processed flour for breads, ash cakes, muffins, and pancakes. We'll see how to identify, gather, peel, process and cook cattail cores so that they transform into a flour-like food source. By the end of the workshop we'll have gone from swamp roots to delicate pancakes that any normal human would enjoy.”

Guided Walks at Leach Botanical Garden”, Every Saturday, 11AM-12PM, meeting in front of the manor house at 6704 SE 122nd Ave, Pdx. Check out what's blooming and explore different sections of the Garden with your volunteer guide. These seasonal walks are free and appropriate for all ages. October 1 is a fall gardener tour.

Birding on Sauvie Island”, Saturday, October 1, meeting at 8AM at the NE Portland Backyard Bird Shop, 1419 NE Fremont St., 8AM. Preregistration required, call 503-445-2699. “Expect to see grassland, upland, and riparian species, and some early fall migrants on a free expert-guided bird walk on Sauvie Island. Wildlife expert, Elaine Murphy leads this tour of the birding hotspots on this rural island just a quick hop from Portland. Open grasslands, cottonwood galleries, and its towering oaks offer stellar birding opportunities.”

Apple Harvest Day”, Saturday, October 1, 1PM-4PM, Champoeg State Park. Free with $5 day use fee per vehicle. “The day of apple treats, crafts, and cider! Join costumed volunteers to help press cider using our antique cider presses, bob for apples, play snap apple, see and sample apple desserts and apple butter cooked over the open fire. Music by Worn Out Shoes keeps it all hopping!

Birding Along the Gresham-Fairview Trail”, Saturday, October 1. 9AM-11AM. “Join Audubon Society of Portland's Bob Sallinger and Bich Trinh and City of Gresham's Laura Guderyahn 9 to 11 AM on Saturday, October 1st, for a morning bird walk along segments of the Gresham-Fairview Trail in West Gresham. We'll take a leisurely stroll along new trail sections taking in views of Grant Butte and the waterfowl in the surrounding wetlands. We'll talk about recent efforts to support parks, trails, and improved access to nature in East County while enjoying some of our local avian fauna. If there is time we'll also visit Gresham Woods via the Springwater Corridor and do some birding along Johnson Creek.”

Mt. Hood Salmon and Mushroom Festival”, Saturday, October 1, and Sunday, October 2, 10AM-5PM. Mt. Hood Village, 65000 East U.S. Highway 26, 

near the historic Village of Brightwood, Oregon. Free admission and parking. “Two of the Northwest’s greatest bounties are the Salmon and Wild Mushrooms, which are the honored celebrities at this festival, is featured at this 20th annual event. This two-day, family-oriented event is held during the month of October to welcome home the return of the Salmon to the streams of Oregon’s Mount Hood and the Wild Mushrooms to its forested landscapes. Featured: Native American storytelling, original Folk music, arts and crafts, exhibits on Salmon and Wild Mushrooms (including Mushroom identification), and great food. There is a Native American Salmon bake and Salmon Habitat Walks, and Wild Mushrooms on sale. A scarecrow-making contest will take place on both days. There will even be a Sasquatch Talk with speakers discussing the rich oral traditions of Northwest Native American tribes about these Wild People of the mountains and forests.” For more info go to, click on “Tour schedule and reservations”, and click on “Salmon and Mushroom Festival” on the right.

Family Adventure Day”, Saturday, October 1 ,10AM-1PM, Tualatin Hills National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood, OR. Free. “Discover the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge where you can look for birds, sneak up on grasshoppers, and bound like an otter. Volunteer Naturalists will be leading short drop-in activities along the year-round trail. Nature enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to join the fun and explore the signs of seasons on the Refuge!”

Snail People”, Saturday, October 1, 2:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library.  "As a duo, Snail People play a wide variety of instruments and combine musical sophistication, harmony vocals, and an exuberant sense of fun. They will inspire with their mixture of electric energy, welcoming presence and originality.”

Guided Nature Walks”, Saturdays, 10AM-11:30AM, Tryon Creek State Park. “Join a park ranger for a free, guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Topics will vary from week to week but will be appropriate for all ages. Parents must accompany kids on all hikes.” October 1: Ethnobotany; October 8: Stories About Stumps; October 15: Forest Fungi; October 22: Forest Fungi; October 29: Creepy Crawly Creatures.

komedy 4 da kids”, Saturday, October 1, 11AM, Hillsdale Library (free tickets will be given out at 10:30); Saturday, October 1, 4:30PM, Kenton Library; and Saturday, October 15, 3PM, Northwest Library. “Angel Ocasio presents a bilingual and interactive performance combining physical comedy, juggling, balancing and magic.”

Clay Flute Making”, Saturday, October 1, 11AM, North Portland Library. “Artist Hugo Nava will teach you how to make a clay flute. These are made from special, self-hardening clay that does not require firing. Students can make the flutes and take them home to play the same day!”

Robotic Exploration of the Solar System”, Saturday, October 1, 1PM, Tigard Library Community Room. “Humans are explorers at heart, but where we cannot go, a number of amazing machines serve as our eyes and ears. Scientist and educator Robert Peckyno will discuss how robots have extended our reach beyond the Earth's orbit to the planets of our solar system (and further!).”

Autumn Lantern Mobiles”, Saturday, October 1, 2PM, Northwest Library, Wednesday, October 5, 4PM, Kenton Library; Thursday, October 6, 4PM, Troutdale Library; Saturday, October 8, 2PM, Gresham Library; Saturday, October 22, 10:30AM, Sellwood-Moreland Library; and Saturday, October 29, 1PM, St. Johns Library (registration required; call 503-988-5397). “Make your own decorative lantern mobile! Under the instruction of artist Cindy Lommasson, participants will paint a tissue paper ball in autumn colors then cut paper leaves to ‘fall’ from the bottom of the globe. Add a ribbon at the top for hanging and take home a beautiful, seasonal decoration for your room.”

Nana Banana’s Fruit Shake Band”, Saturday, October 1, 1:30PM, Rockwood Library. “Nana Banana, aka Cinda Tilgner, is at it again with her wonderful fruit shakers and other rhythm instruments. She gets everyone into the groove while playing on the guitar, ukulele and harmonica. This program is a fun sing-along for all ages, with simple Spanish words included in the songs.”

Nuestros Cuentos”, Sunday, October 2, 2PM, Midland Library; Sunday, October 9, 3PM, Gregory Heights Library; and Sunday, October 16, 2PM, Troutdale Library. “This dynamic performance by Viva la Cultura! presents folktales, folkloric dances and songs of Spain, Mexico, Brazil and Cuba. Come experience the cultural and historical backgrounds of the dances, music and stories, and learn about the authentic costumes from the different regions. The audience is invited to participate in the performance, becoming storytellers themselves through sound, Spanish vocabulary words and song, costumes, percussive rhythms and movement.”

Wild Foods of Native Americans”, Sunday, October 2, 1PM -4PM, Marshall Union Manor, 2020 NW Northrup St., Pdx. $20 for adults, kids 7-17 pay their age, kids 5 and under free, $3 discounts for adult family members attending together, Native Americans, Scout Leaders, and full time college students. “Explore traditional foodways of Pacific Northwest Native Americans. Discover foods that were used and how they were prepared and stored. Food Caches, berry collecting techniques, pemmican, fruit leathers. The workshop is about how Native Americans made a living off of the abundance of food they found in nature. How was it possible, what they did and how they managed their foods to support a complete diet for many people all year long. This core workshop provides a deeper understanding for all other workshops. Anyone genuinely serious about wild foods will benefit from this presentation. Lecture/slides/resources and short walk outdoors.”

Lisa Schroeder”, Sunday, October 2, 2PM, Powell’s Books, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. “In Lisa Schroeder’s children’s book ‘Sprinkles and Secrets’, 12-year-old Sophie's dream of becoming an actress comes true when she's offered a spot on a TV commercial. But then she finds out that she'll be advertising the ever-popular brownies from Beatrice's Brownies, which just so happens to be the number one competitor to the bakery owned by her best friend's family. Sophie has a tough choice to make. What's a girl to do?”

Urban Goat Keeping 101”, Sunday, October 2, 2PM, St. Johns Library; Sunday, October 9, 2PM, Woodstock Library; Saturday, October 15, 3PM, Belmont Library; and Sunday, October 16, 2PM, Central Library. “Are you curious about raising goats in Portland? Come meet Kenya Spiegel of Sowing Circle Farm and her little goat, Bird, as she shares with you everything you ever wanted to know about raising goats in the city. This program will cover all the basics of food, shelter, health and city regulations. Come see first hand just how fun having goats can be!”

Symphony Storytime”, Tuesdays in October, 3PM, St. Johns Library. “Each storytime features one of the four families of musical instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Children and their parents experience a live musical collaboration between the library reader and an Oregon Symphony musician 4 times in a month at each location. Musicians play short selections, talk a little about their instrument and, after the stories are read aloud, audience members can try out each instrument!"

Planetarium Show”, Monday, October 3, 7PM and 8:15PM, Mount Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St., Gresham, OR. $2. “All shows are presented under a realistic representation of the night sky,
 featuring the latest galactic, stellar and planetary images.”

Mr. Ben,” performing Sundays in October at 10AM (except Oct. 2) in Kenton Park (donations requested). He also has regular gigs around town. They are Mondays at 5PM at Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave, Pdx., Tuesdays at 9:30 at Woodlawn Swap N Play, 704 NE Dekum St., Pdx ($5 for nonmembers); Tuesdays at 10:30AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Avenue, Pdx, $3 per walking human, and Wednesdays at 10AM at Eco Baby Gear, 2122 SE Division Street, Pdx, $5 suggested donation. He introduces playing the ukulele to kids as young as 3. “Though most people know me as a performer, I think of myself first and foremost as an educator. Music education is the real motivation for why I do what I do. I believe that music should be and can be more accessible to all people. My primary goal is to eradicate the myth that some people are simply “non-musical.” We are all musical, and anybody can learn to play music. Yes, even you.”

Bart King”, Monday, October 3- Friday, October 7, A Children’s Place Bookstore, 4807 NE Fremont St., Pdx. “Best-selling children’s author Bart King will be writing his next book in the front window of A Children’s Place Bookstore from October 3-7. Passersby will see King writing his new YA novel, ‘No Vampires. No Zombies. One Demon.’ Additionally, they may be treated to rare glimpses of the writer chatting, snacking, and goofing off. ‘There are too many distractions when I write at home,’ the author said. ‘The bird chirps; good grief, the chirps! It’s maddening. But by sequestering myself away from all human contact in this bookstore window, I’ll finally get some work done.’ King’s laptop will be projected onto a large screen, so his progress will be visible to all. ‘I’ll be open to suggestions as I write,’ the author said. ‘I’m especially willing to listen to any film offers.’ This event will be quite a thrill for visitors interested in seeing a writer in his natural habitat. Particularly grateful onlookers may choose to take advantage of the author’s Tip Jar.”
B. King’s Writing Schedule:
Mon., Oct. 3: 3-6 PM
Tues., Oct, 4: 2-5 PM
Wed., Oct. 5: 3-6 PM
Thur., Oct. 6: 2-5 PM
Fri., Oct. 7: 1:30-4:30 PM

Paulann Peterson”, Tuesday, October 4, reception 6PM, reading and book signing 7PM, Forest Grove Community Auditorium, 1915 Main St., Forest Grove, OR. Also appearing with poet Paul Merchant on Thursday, October 20, 7PM, at Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, Pdx. “Paulann Petersen is Oregon's Poet Laureate.  She has five full-length books of poetry: The Wild Awake, Blood-Silk, A Bride of Narrow Escape, Kindle, and The Voluptuary. Petersen is a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and the recipient of the Holbrook Award from Oregon Literary Arts. Her work has been selected for the web site Poetry Daily and for Poetry in Motion, which puts poems on buses and light rail cars in the Portland metro area.”

The Alphabeticians”, Tuesday, October 4, 7PM, Tigard Library Community Room, 7PM. “Rock out, sing, dance and learn the alphabet backwards with The Alphabeticians (Mr. Hoo and Mr. E) at this fun, funky family concert.” The Alphabeticians will also play Sunday October 2 and 16 at 10AM at Flying Cat Cofffee, 3041 SE Division, Pdx ($5 donation per family). Mr. Hoo will also be playing every Tuesday at 10AM at Soundroots, 3954 N. Williams Ave., Pdx (an interactive show with instruments for the kids, $5 admission per child), every Thursday at 10AM at Flying Cat Coffee ($5 donation per family), and every Friday at 11AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Ave., Pdx. “The Alphabeticians, Mister Hoo and Mister E, have been best friends since their salad days in the mid 80s. They formed The Alphabeticians after they both became fathers, heard some of the music that was promoted as “Kid's” music and thought, “We can do better than that.” They combine humor, clever (mostly original) songs, interactive elements and an all around great stage show to entertain people of all ages. Adults have as much fun as kids at a typical show, where you're likely to hear songs about numbers, size, dads, metaphors, bags, monsters, extinct fish and multiple alphabet songs.”

Identifying and Attracting Backyard Birds”, Tuesday, October 4, 6PM-8:30PM, Tualatin Heritage Center, 8700 SW Sweek Dr., Tualatin, OR. $10 Tualatin Residents and TRK Members $15 nonresident - nonmembers Preregistration required; contact Margot at 503.218.2580 or “Tualatin Riverkeepers teams up with local instructor Doug Robberson for a fun informative class that features audio and visual multi-media presentations. Learn how to identify all those feathered visitors, and how to attract more. Great refresher course for experienced birders.”

Wordstock at the Library”, Wednesday, October 5, 6PM, Central Library US Bank Room. “Bring your young readers to meet three of Portland’s most popular children’s literature authors who will also be appearing at Wordstock 2011 on the Knowledge Universe Children’s Stage: Carmen Bernier-Grand, ‘Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina’; Carolyn Conahan, ‘The Big Wish’; and Ann Cameron, ‘Spunky Tells All’

Homeschooler’s Globe-trotting Adventures”, Thursday, October 6, and Thursday, October 20, 1:30PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. “Homeschoolers ages 5 and up are invited to join us twice a month for arts, crafts and games from around the world.”

Stretch, Dance, Play!”, Thursday, October 6, 10:30AM, Capitol Hill Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM); and Thursday, October 13, 11AM, Troutdale Library. “Jumping, spinning, leaping, soaring – so many ways to move. Join Growing Arts movement educator Iris Nason for an engaging creative dance experience. Children learn body awareness and creative self expression while connecting with their friends and families as they sing, sign, stretch, dance and play!”

Silver Falls Guided Walk Through History”, Thursday, October 6, Thursday, October 13, and Thursday, October 20, 2PM, South Falls Lodge, Silver Falls State Park. “Guided Plant ID Hike. Walk behind two waterfalls in a two-mile trek, while admiring fall colors and listening to the stories of native plants.”

Chocolate Tasting: History, Samples, and More, with Savina Darzes”, Thursday, October 6, 6:30PM, Wilsonville Library. “Through a multi-media presentation, explore the natural and human history of cacao and examine the steps needed to transform it into the chocolate we all know and love. A selection of bar chocolates will then be tasted and rated to discover your favorites. Savina Darzes has been involved with environmental and science education for almost 30 years. She is keenly passionate about chocolate and its history. Since 1983 she has presented chocolate classes and tastings in California, Oregon and Washington.”

Corn Husk Dancers”, Thursday, October 6, 3PM, Hollywood Library. “Local artist Maria Alvarado will show you how to create beautiful dancing dolls made from dried husks of corn. These faceless dolls are a traditional Latin American craft. For ages 8 and up; all materials provided.”

Mary M. Clare”, Thursday, October 6, 7PM, Annie Bloom’s Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. “Lewis and Clark professor and cultural psychologist Mary M. Clare hit the highways to survey Americans of all ages and backgrounds for their thoughts on the state of the country. Beginning with the prompt, “What does change mean to you?” 100 Voices is a journey to listen to the opinions and beliefs that stretch across a nation. Clare scribes with the hope of opening a door for dialogue across our differences, allowing each of her subjects the space to tell their stories. Each one proves compelling in itself, while showing that the concept of change is a shared hallmark of American identity. In a time of manic politics and the acute distortion of democracy, this book points back at us - the people of the United States. These one hundred voices call for the radical act of listening to one another. Here is a book that arises directly from the cultural zeitgeist to guide the reclaiming of democracy.”

Gobsmacked!”, Thursday, October 6, 4PM, Belmont Library, (free tickets will be given out at 3:30PM) and Saturday, October 8, 3PM, Woodstock Library (free tickets will be given out at 2:30). “Join professional storyteller Anne-Louise Sterry in this hilarious performance of songs and stories that will keep you squealing! You’ll hear tall tales from old to new and some ridiculous songs to keep you laughing all the way home. Plus, find out the definition and history of words like gobsmacked.”

Highland Fling on the Mezzanine”, Friday, October 7, 7PM, Cedar Mill Community Library. “To mark Oregon Days of Culture, Cedar Mill Community Library is proud to present a special Music on the Mezzanine featuring highland pipes played by Matt Rucker, Cedar Mill's own resident bagpiper.”

Patrick Carman”, Friday, October 7, 7PM, Powell’s, 3415 Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, and Monday, October 10, 6:30PM, Barnes and Noble, Clackamas Town Center Mall, 12000 SE 82nd Ave., Pdx. “Patrick Carman, author of such series as Atherton and The land of Elyon, returns with ‘Floors’, a new adventure for middle-grade readers. The Whippet Hotel is a strange place. Each floor has its own quirks and secrets. Leo should know most of them as he is the maintenance man's son. But a whole lot more mystery gets thrown his way when a series of cryptic boxes are left for him, boxes that lead him to hidden floors and strange puzzles. Also just released: Carman's collection of spooky short stories, ‘3:15 Season One: Things That Go Bump in the Night’, which re-imagines urban legends, creature features, and ghost stories for the 21st century.”

Did the Iceland Volcano Impact our 2010 Weather?”, Friday, October 7, 7:30PM, Room 171, Cramer Hall (corner of SW Park and SW Main), Portland State University. The Iceland volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, was very disruptive to air-travelers in 2010. What about the impacts to the weather in Europe and North America? Using air-temperature data and statistics, it is possible to follow the clues, like a detective, to unravel an interesting mystery. Presentations are sponsored by the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation and the PSU Department of World Languages and Literatures. Lectures are free, the public is welcome, refreshments are served.”

Homeschool Day at Philip Foster Farm”, Friday, October 7, 10AM- 2PM, Philip Foster Farm, 29912 SE Hwy. 211 Eagle Creek, OR. $5 per person or $20 per family. “Homeschool day offers all the activities of a school tour with none of the rush. The Philip Foster Farm opens from 10:00-2:00 for corn-grinding, sawing, tours of the house, store and barn, blacksmith demonstrations, laundry, log cabin building and more! Come join homeschoolers from all over Oregon and Southwest Washington. Bring your picnic and step back in time with us. No reservations required.”

Family Clay Nights”, Fridays beginning October 7-December 9, from 6PM-8:30PM, Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. No preregistration required. “Come as a family and play with clay! $10/hr per adult and child pair. $4/hr for each additional child. Includes glazes, firings, and 5 lbs of clay. Not for solo participants. This is an adult and child activity. Use of the potter’s wheel by instructor approval only. Pay at Multnomah Arts Center office.”

Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson”, Friday, October 7, 7PM, Barnes and Noble, 12000 SE 82nd Ave., Pdx. “Please join us to meet Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, authors of 'The Familiars' series. They will present their second book in the series, The Familiars: Secrets of the Crown at this event. We hope you'll come to meet the authors!”

Molalla Apple Festival”, Saturday, October 8, 10AM-4PM, 620 S. Molalla Avenue, Molalla, OR. “Experience Molalla’s proud pioneering heritage as you tour the historic Dibble and Von der Ahe Houses during the Apple Festival. There will be demonstrations of historic crafts including apple pressing and butter churning. Homemade Apple pie, caramel apples and other apple treat will be for sale.”

Fall Kite Festival”, Saturday, October 8, and Sunday, October 9, 10AM-4PM, D-River State Wayside, Lincoln City, OR. “Kitefliers from across the Northwest will be gathered at the D-River State Wayside for the Fall Kite Festival in Lincoln City, Oregon. A celebration of both professional and leisure kite fliers with some of the most colorful big "show kites" in the world. This year’s theme is “Rockin’ the Rokkaku!” The festival will include kite flying demonstrations by experts, including Connor Doran, a finalist in 2010 on the top-rated NBC series, America’s Got Talent! Connor auditioned along with 90,000 people and brought indoor kite flying to the world. The weekend includes featured flyers, family-friendly activities like kite-making, a kid’s kite parade, a Rokkaku (six-sided kite) aerial battle with past national champion Ronda Brewer, and a mass ascension.”

Doreen Cronin”, Saturday, October 8, 11AM, Barnes and Noble, Clackamas Town Center Mall, 12000 SE 82nd Ave., Pdx. “Join us to meet bestselling children's author Doreen Cronin! This special Sorytime and signing event will feature her new book, M.O.M., the Mom Operating Manual, for all who own a mom. Doreen Cronin is the author of Click, Clack, Moo and many others.”

Wildwood and Arboretum Trails Ramble”, Saturday, October 8, 9AM-12PM, $10. Preregistration required. “Start at mile zero on the Wildwood and enjoy early fall colors along the trails in the Hoyt Arboretum.” Hike lead by local author Laura Foster.

Lone Fir Cemetery Guided Walking Tour”, Saturday, October 8, 10AM-12PM, entrance at SE 26th Street between Stark and Morrison Sts, Pdx. $10 suggested donation. “Come for an informal history lesson while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery in SE Portland. Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery conducts monthly tours, highlighting Portland’s founders, pioneers, its famous and infamous alike, as well as interesting headstones and monuments. Come visit this hidden jewel! Explore 30 acres of mature trees, a very special rose garden and fascinating architecture in this unique place, the only cemetery in Portland listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Suitable for all ages. No advance registration required. Meet in the center of the cemetery, at the soldiers’ monument.” Lone Fir was the first public cemetery in Portland, and a tour is a must for anyone learning about local history.

Kid’s Walk- Tualatin Hills Nature Park”, Sunday, October 9, 10AM-12PM, preregistration required; call 503-626-0949. “The oak and fir woodland and prairie wetland boardwalks of Tualatin Hills Nature Park are a great setting for nature discovery. Join child educator and naturalist Elaine Murphy on this free nature walk for children and see what you find. Kids are introduced to the plants and animals that live in the Pacific Northwest. They’ll take a closer look at the woodland life discovered using bug boxes, magnifiers, a field microscope, and a bird spotting scope. See natural artifacts like skulls, and animal evidence like pellets and chews. Appropriate for ages 4-12 but, all children must be registered with, and accompanied by an adult. Dress for the weather! And no pets, please!”

Portland Open Studios”, Saturday and Sunday, October 8,9,15, and 16. With the exception of two closed for Yom Kippur, all studios are open from 10 to 5 all four days. This is a large-scale open studio event with 100 artists throughout the Portland area. Tour guides can be purchased for $15 online and at Art Media and New Seasons stores. This represents a remarkable opportunity for your child to see artists at work in many different mediums and ask questions. Highly recommended.

Van Oodles!”, Saturday, October 8, 2PM, Central Library (free tickets will be given out at 1:30PM); Friday, October 14, 4PM, Midland Library; and Wednesday, October 19, 10:30AM, Hollywood Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM). “From beat-boxing and a cappella to funny accents and pitch-shifting, Van Oodles uses a range of vocal techniques and effects to bring his quirky cast of characters to life. More than just having fun, kids learn from Van Oodles songs because they can understand and visualize the lyrics: a bee stuck in the house, washing clothes on a Sunday, a ladybug taking flight.”

Birdfest and Bluegrass”, Saturday, October 8, and Sunday, October 9, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Ridgefield, WA. $3 day use fee per vehicle, some evens have extra charges. “Come to the Ridgefield National Wildlife refuge, just 25 minutes north of Portland. Park once and ride a shuttle to see it all. Walk on Audubon led bird and plant tours. Learn about Bald Eagles from experts. Reserve a spot on a tour to view Sandhill Cranes flying. Kayak on a guided paddle tour. Shop at a birders marketplace. Visit an authentic replica of a plankhouse and see demonstrations on how Native Americans lived. Sample salmon at a traditional salmon bake. Listen to Bluegrass music all day Saturday, or come to jam in a workshop. Shop at the birders marketplace. Watch your children have fun for free while learning about nature at the craft stations, storytelling tent, raptor shows and Audubon children's bird walks.”

Pink Puppet Theatre”, Saturday, October 8, 2:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. “The Pink Pig Puppet Theatre presents "Trickster Tales from Around the World," a puppet show featuring funny tales of trickery and silliness. The animal characters include a rascally rat, a cat who plays the drum, a dancing bunny, and other funny creatures.”

Sing Along With Me/ Canta Conmigo”, Saturday, October 8, 10:30, Albina Library, and Saturday, October 8, 2PM, Rockwood Library. “This interactive, bilingual program features traditional songs from all over Latin America. Participants will explore their musical creativity as they sing and compose music under the instruction of musician Gerardo Calderón, as he enthusiastically shares his knowledge of Mexican and South American folk music. Presented in English and Spanish.”

African Storytelling with Habiba!”, Saturday, October 8, 2PM, Capitol Hill Library (free tickets will be given out at 1:30PM); and Thursday, October 27, 3:30PM, Belmont Library (free tickets will be given out at 3PM). “Stories are meant to inspire, entertain and provoke. Join Habiba, a native of Ghana, in learning stories about African history. Habiba offers an interactive, multi-cultural performance with authentic West African costume, spiced with singing and movement. These stories help us explore our own world as well as those far, far away.”

The Wonderful World of Bugs”, Saturday, October 8, 2PM-3:30PM, Leach Botanical Garden, $5 per person, $20 per family. Preregistration required, register online “Kristie Reddick and Jessica Honaker are the "The Bug Chicks" - two entomologists who teach about the world of insects and spiders with fun videos and workshops. In this hour and a half workshop you’ll meet their live animals, go on a bug hunt in Leach Garden’s meadows and pond and stream, and get an up-close look at insects through the microscope! To learn more about The Bug Chicks, go to . Parents, if your children are afraid of bugs, Kristie and Jessica can turn fear into fascination! Location: Upper Garden Outdoor Classroom.”

Corn Husk Flowers”, Saturday, October 8, 2PM, St. Johns Library. Preregistration required; register online.  “Local artist Maria Alvarado will show you how to create beautiful corn husk flowers often used in Latin American festivals and street fairs. For ages 8 and up; all materials provided.”

Twirly Whirly Toys”, Saturday, October 8, 11AM, North Portland Library. “Using beads and copper wire, create simple and fun toys with artist Kathy Karbo.”

Brick Builders”, Saturday, October 8, 10:30AM, Beaverton Library Storytime Room. Suggested for grades 1-5. “Come and make a monthly connection as we create, build and challenge with all things LEGO. Registration is required. Please phone (503)350-3600 to register or sign-up in person at the Children’s Desk on the first floor of the library. Registration begins one month before the session.”

Portland Origami Paper Shapers (POPS)”, Sunday, October 9, 1:30, Belmont Library. “Enjoy origami-paper folding for fun, relaxation and stretching your brain. Learn a new origami project each month with various local origami instructors. Adults and teens welcome, children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.”

PCPA Noontime Showcase: Catherine Garvin”, Monday, October 10, 12PM, Antionette Hatfield Hall Rotunda Lobby, 1111 SW Broadway, PDX. Free. I have to say this is kind of an odd choice for a time slot during a school day, given that it doesn’t sound suitable at all for preschoolers, and they are recommending parental supervision. But it definitely looks interesting. “Catherine Garvin, musical playwright, presents a staged reading of “Emma Lily.” It’s the story of a girl who is told on her 18th birthday that she was adopted as an infant in an alley on Burnside and Third Avenue. Confused about her identity and her future, she does in search of her birth parents only to be lured by a handsome elderly gentleman to suspend her college plans to sing at Parnell's nightclub. There she discovers the mystery of her mother's death and the identity of her real father. Armed with the knowledge of her true identity, she finds the courage to face the man who sold her as an infant and who accidentally killed her mother, the once famous local celebrity, Lily Bond. This performance promises to be a unique event in the PCPA Noontime Showcase schedule.”

Tales from a Northwest Naturalist”, Tuesday, October 11, 7PM-9PM, Heron Hall at the Audubon Society of Portland, 5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx. Free. “Born in 1928 and raised on a small farm in Connecticut, Jim Anderson's seemingly humble beginnings led to a life rich with adventure and wildlife. After learning to fly airplanes and a four year stint in the US Navy, he arrived in Bend, OR on his 1949 Harley-Davidson, and immediately found work fighting forest fires. Jim's journey brought him to Portland in the 60's, where he worked at The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) as a naturalist, implementing outdoor education activities for families, students and teachers, and operating OMSI science camps. Jim was also the director of the Children’s Zoo and Conservation and Education in what is now the Oregon Zoo in Portland. Jim has been studying and banding raptors in Central Oregon for over 50 years, specializing in Golden Eagles, Osprey, Ferruginous Hawks and American Kestrels. While working as the Resident Naturalist for the Sunriver Resort, Jim used his experience to conduct educational programs for children and adults state-wide, including continuing education programs for Central Oregon Community College campuses. Jim has traveled to Australia, lived with Aborigines in the Northern Territory, and studied spiders in Melbourne. He was the manager of The Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve in SE Arizona for three years, and has traveled throughout Arizona and the Northwest conducting a variety of natural history studies, including, spiders, condors, hawks, eagles and owls. Many of Jim's adventures with wildlife are recounted in his book, Tales From a Northwest Naturalist. A collection of short stories, the book has been a favorite for family reading. Families and friends will enjoy an evening with Jim Anderson, who many will remember as the Pied Piper of OMSI. Join us for a delightful presentation as Jim shares his life as a Northwest Naturalist. Special Guest, Dr. Matt Maberry, whose book, Packy and Me, recounts his life with Oregon’s most famous elephant, may join Jim, “weather” permitting.”

Phillip Margolin and Ami Margolin Rome”, Tuesday, October 11, 7PM, Powell’s Books, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton; and Wednesday, October 19, 7PM, Annie Bloom’s Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. “From tracking down her best friend, who's nowhere to be found, to secretly helping her attorney father solve a missing-person case, Madison Kincaid is a busy seventh-grade sleuth. Teaming up with new classmate Jake, she hits the sidewalks of Portland determined to find out what's behind two mysterious disappearances. In ‘Vanishing Acts’, his first book for young readers, Phillip Margolin and his daughter Ami Margolin Rome, deliver a fast-paced, compelling mystery that's perfect for reluctant readers.”

Musical Storytelling with Brother Askari”, Tuesday, October 11, 6:30PM, Albina Library; Saturday, October 22, 3PM, Woodstock Library (free tickets will be given out at 2:30PM) and Saturday, October 29, 10:30AM, Sellwood-Moreland Library. “A native of New Awlins, Brother Askari’s performances are a spicy mix of hand drumming, songs, harmonica and storytelling, with a delicious helping of audience participation! Each performance is packed with cultural folktales and songs that are designed to educate, inspire and entertain families and adults ages 8 to 80! Brother Askari is a griot, a historian of West African culture, music, tradition and customs.”

Into the Scene: Play Readings”, Wednesday, October 12, 6:30PM, Tigard Library Community Room. “Join the fun when Mask and Mirror Community Theatre, a new local troupe, reads scenes from plays they may perform next season. Actors from Mask and Mirror and selected audience volunteers will read in character. Get a sneak preview while becoming part of the action, or sit back and enjoy the show.”

Wildwords: Stories inspired by Forest Park Featuring Ursula K. Le Guin, Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis and Kim Stafford”, Wednesday, October 12, McMenamins Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., Pdx. Not low cost, but I’m including this because it’s really cool. “Doors open for the Preshow Reception at 5:15, general seating for the readings only begins at 6:15. Tickets to the pre-show reception and reading are $35 each, $60 per couple, youth 17 and under are $15 each (includes admission to the entire evening, autographed copy of Wildwood, and one drink ticket). Tickets for the readings only are $20 adult and $10 for youth. The Forest Park Conservancy presents a unique event: Wildwords: Words and Images Inspired by Forest Park. Featuring author Colin Meloy (The Decemberists) and illustrator Carson Ellis (Wildwood); renowned, prolific and uber-talented northwest author Ursula K. LeGuin; and eloquent and insightful northwest poet, author and essayist Kim Stafford, director of the NW Writing Institute and Literary Executor of the Stafford Collection at Lewis and Clark College. An intimate, family-friendly evening of readings, audience Q and A and book signings to benefit the Forest Park Conservancy’s trails, wildlife habitat and restoration programs. Julie Wallace of Wallace Books (our featured local independent bookseller) will be onsite for your book purchases. A special pre-show reception with the authors is offered to Forest Park Conservancy members.”

Bear’s Loose Tooth”, Tuesday, October 13, 10AM, Barnes and Noble, Clackamas Town Center Mall, 12000 Se 82nd Ave., Pdx; and Saturday, October 15, 2PM, Powell’s Books, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR. “Bear and his friends are munching on their lunch, when all of sudden. Bear feels something wiggling and wobbling in his mouth. In ‘Bear’s Loose Tooth”, Karma Wilson’s first Bear book in three years, Bear's friends ease his concerns about his wiggly, wobbly tooth and help him understand that losing a baby tooth is perfectly natural. This funny and reassuring story will delight any child who's had a loose tooth.”

A Walk in the Old Growth”, Friday, October 14, 9AM- 12PM, Forest Park. $10. “Hike through a nearby grove of low elevation old growth forest. Along the way, we will discuss the natural history of the area and learn more about the old growth ecosystem. We will spend a bit of time in the grove, discussing the natural and human history of the forest. With luck, we may spot one of the bald eagles nesting on the property. This a moderate hike, covering roughly 3 miles of hiking over rolling terrain, with minimal elevation gain. Lead by Forest Park Conservancy’s Stewardship Director, Stephen Hatfield.

Family Resource Fair”, Saturday, October 15, 10AM-2PM, Beaverton Library Meeting Rooms A and B. “Visit the library to learn about no-cost/low-cost programs and services offered in the Beaverton area. This year we have new organizations and more kid-friendly activities. Free vision screening for children ages 3-5. For families with children of all ages.”

Joel Henriques”, Saturday, October 15, 2PM, Powell’s Books, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx. Delight and encourage young children through unique handmade toys. Using basic materials like paper, fabric, and wood, the projects in Joel Henriques’s ‘Made to Play!: Handmade Toys and Crafts for Growing Imaginations’ will encourage hours of creative play. With a design aesthetic that is clean, simple, and modern, each project is presented with full-color photos and hand-drawn illustrations.” And check out his lovely website:

Salmon Homecoming at Oxbow”, Saturday, October 15, Sunday, October 16, Saturday, October 22, and Sunday, October 23, 11AM-3:30PM. Oxbow Regional Park, free with $5 day use fee per vehicle. “Spicy scents of autumn trees, giant golden leaves on maples and the silvery chatter of water ouzels in the river. These are the smells, sights and sounds of fall at Oxbow Regional Park. Witness the return of wild salmon to one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier rivers – the glacier-fed Sandy – just 45 minutes from downtown Portland. On the third and fourth weekends in October, enjoy viewing salmon on both Saturdays and Sundays. On Saturdays, learn about fungus in a mushroom class in the ancient forest. Select Sundays feature a guided salmon restoration walk and a rafting trip down the Sandy River to see the fish up close.”

SURPRISE! Pictures”, Saturday, October 15, 3PM, Holgate Library. “How do you turn a snake into an elephant? Or a person into a monster? Look at books like "What is This?" by Antje Damm and Josse Goffin’s "Oh!" to create pictures that fold and turn into new pictures. Led by artist Addie Boswell, draw and color your own SURPRISE! pictures using heads and tails, and tops and bottoms. Great for children ages 5-10 and their families.”

Children’s Author Nick Bruel”, Saturday, October 15, 3PM, Hollywood Library (free tickets will be given out at 2:30PM). “Join us in welcoming Nick Bruel, author and illustrator of the popular children’s book series “Bad Kitty” and creator of “The New York Times” bestseller “Boing!” Nick is the winner of Oregon’s own 2011 Beverly Cleary award and will be sharing his books as well as teaching you how to create your own story ideas!”

Heartstrings”, Saturday, October 15, 2PM, Beaverton Library Auditorium. “Please join us for a musical performance by Heartstrings. The duo will offer a costumed performance of period music of the Oregon Trail and the Civil War. The performance will run for one hour and then the performers will be available to share information with the audience about the instruments used and the music played.”

Creatures of the Night”, Saturday, October 15, 6:30-8:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park. $6 per person. Preregistration required. “Join the Friends of Tryon Creek for an exciting evening of night hikes (hike times will be assigned when you check in) and nocturnal activities as we explore the park for creatures of the night. Along the way we’ll stop for fun, hands on activities as we learn all about these amazing creatures and the adaptations they have developed for seeing in the dark.”

Nighttime Hoots and Howls”, Saturday, October 15, 6:30PM- 8:30PM, Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, Hoyt Arboretum, and Mt. Tabor Park. $2 for individuals and $5 per family. Preregistration required; Call 503-823-2525 to register. “Meet a naturalist for an "after hours" walk during a fall evening! Hear the chirps of birds settling in for the night, the hoots of owls as they search for prey, and other night time activity. This twilight stroll is suitable for families. Rain or shine - PLEASE be dressed for the weather. No umbrellas or strollers. Nature walk is appropriate for the whole family, however an adult must accompany all children.”

18th Annual Heirloom Apple Festival”, Saturday, October 15, and Sunday, October 16, 12PM- 4PM. Smith Berry Barn, 24500 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Hillsboro, OR. “We'll be offering an array of heirloom and modern varieties of apples and pears, picked fresh from our orchard and ripe for the tasting! Varieties include classics such as Macintosh, Jonagold and Gala as well as some lesser known varieties including Spitzenberg, Newtown Pippin, Cox Orange Pippin and many, many more! Kids and adults alike love to taste the amazing difference in flavors of all of our fresh-picked apples. Enjoy freshly dipped caramel apples, hot apple cider and home-made apple pie, made from an assortment of different varieties! Local Boy Scout Troop #3. will be grilling delicious bratwurst sausages and hamburgers with caramelized sweet onions. Yummm! The kids will love jumping in our straw pile for a treasure hunt or wandering through our tiny-tots straw maze! Friendly alpacas from Easy Go Farms will be visiting with us this weekend. Live music and free face painting, too!”

Kid’s Walk- Sandy River Delta”, Sunday, October 16, 10AM-12PM. Preregistration required; call 503-445-2699. “The riparian, wetland, and meadow habitats of Sandy River Delta are a great setting for nature discovery. Join child educator and naturalist Elaine Murphy on this free nature walk for children and see what you find. Kids are introduced to the plants and animals that live in the Pacific Northwest. They’ll take a closer look at the wildlife life discovered using bug boxes, magnifiers, a field microscope, and a bird spotting scope. See natural artifacts like skulls, and animal evidence like pellets and chews. Appropriate for ages 4-12 but, all children must be registered with, and accompanied by an adult. Dress for the weather! And no pets, please!”

Salmon Homecoming: Happy Creek Salmon Restoration Walk”, Sunday, October 16, 2PM-4PM, Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Pkwy, Gresham, OR. Free with $5 day use fee per vehicle. No preregistration required. “Join a salmon restoration specialist from the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council to see how a future restoration project on Happy Creek improves survival rates for juvenile Chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead. Learn about the characteristics of good habitat and get some tips on native plants and salmon-friendly practices that can be implemented where you live. Suitable for ages 8 and up. Meet at Alder Shelter (group picnic area A) at 1:45 p.m.”

Kids in Nature: Spider Extravaganza”, Sunday, October 16, 10AM- 11:30AM, Tryon Creek State Park, $10. Preregistration required. Suggested for ages 3-7. “Join the friends of Tryon Creek to learn about spiders, explore the park to find unusual spider homes, make a giant web and hold a real tarantula. Have a great time learning to appreciate these amazing creatures.”

Fall Nature Detectives”, Monday, October 17, 3:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. Suggested for grades 1-3. “Fall is here and we need to go outside and explore! Where have the insects gone? What's happening to the trees? What are animals doing to prepare for winter? Join the nature detectives as we solve these fall mysteries. Dress for a walk outside. Registration required online or at the library.” 

Professor Banjo”, Tuesday, October 18, 6PM, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. $5 suggested donation, none turned away. “Paul is an old-time banjo player who covers a variety of intriguing Americana: mountain ballads, country blues, jug band tunes, and originals, all with a ready wit and engaging delivery. Most notably he plays for kids and their banjo-loving parents as Professor Banjo in a show that features sing-a-longs, dancing games, and more!” Always worthwhile.

Laura Numeroff”, Tuesday, October 18, 5PM, Barnes and Noble, Clackamas Town Center Mall, 12000 SE 82nd Avenue, Pdx. “Any kid who's dealt with an exasperated adult is sure to appreciate Laura Joffe Numeroff's If You Give a... series, where children take on semi-parental roles with unexpected, demanding animal guests. Numeroff is an expert at silly situations, catchy verses and stories that absorb and engage. The author reads her new book, ‘If You Give a Dog a Donut’.”

Spawning Salmon”, Wednesday, October 19, 9AM. Van transportation pickup/drop-off located at the Hollywood Fred Meyer eastern parking lot near NE Broadway and 32nd. Fee includes transportation and guide. $23.50, preregistration required. “Witness an ancient lifecycle in action! Perhaps we will see wildlife feeding on dying salmon too. Convince a friend to join you on this trip and you could receive 20% your course fee - you must register via phone to receive the discount. Pack lunch, water, and snacks. Dress for the weather! Binoculars will be available to borrow if needed. This trip is part of the James Davis series of excursions based on his book. James Davis' book "The Northwest Nature Guide" will be for sale at a 20% discount to trip participants (only $19.96!). Call the Portland Environmental Education office with any questions - 503.823.3601

Art Right Off the Page”, Thursday, October 20, 4PM, Beaverton Library Storytime Room. Suggested for ages 7- 11 with an adult. “Learn about the wonderful people who illustrate children’s books and the art-making process. Registration is required. Please phone (503)350-3600 to register or sign-up in person at the Children’s Desk on the first floor of the library.”

Art-Works!”, Thursday, October 20, 3:30PM, Tualatin Public Library. Suggested for ages 5-11. Preregistration required; register online “Have you ever wondered how picture book artists make their artwork? This program offers an introduction to art techniques using some of literature’s most beloved picture book authors. Each session will introduce kids to an art concept, a story that demonstrate it, and art supplies that will allow kids to explore their creativity.” I called the library to ask about this month’s program, and was told it will be exploring the art and techniques of legendary illustrator Eric Carle.

Stephen Mitchell”, Thursday, October 20, 7:30PM, Powell’s Books, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx. “The power and the beauty of ‘The Illiad’ resound across 2,700 years in Stephen Mitchell’s new translation, as if the lifeblood of Achilles, Patroclus, Hector, and Priam flowed through every word. We are there with them amid the horror and ecstasy of war, carried along by a poetry that elevates even the most devastating human events into the realm of beauty. Mitchell's scholarship and poetic power breathe new life into this ancient story.”

Hobey Ford’s Animalia”, Friday, October 21, 11AM, Tigard Library. “Puppeteer Hobey Ford’s Animalia explores the magical world of animals with realistic, intricate puppets carved out of foam. Hobey will turn the whole room into his performance stage and bring to life the metamorphosis of a caterpillar and a tadpole, a great white heron in flight, and a mosquito looking for its next bite.”

Paper Pals”, Friday, October 21, 3:30PM, Beaverton Library Meeting Room B. Suggested for grades 1-5. “Join us for an hour of creative projects with paper. Drawing, tracing, paper airplanes, origami, and more! Registration is required. Please phone (503)350-3600 to register or sign-up in person at the Children’s Desk on the first floor of the library.”

OMSI’s Going Batty!”, Saturday, October 22, 1:30PM, Tigard Library. Suggested for grades K-5. “Registration is required and begins Saturday, October 1. Please stop by the Children’s Desk or call 503-718-2656 to sign up. How do bats communicate? How can you identify a bat? Explore the intriguing world of bats and learn the truth about one of the most misunderstood beneficial creatures on earth. Make something batty to take home.”

Fall Decorations in Origami”, Saturday, October 22, 2PM, Gresham Library. “Create unique origami decorations for fall with artist Yuki Martin. Learn how to make a pumpkin and other fall-themed items as you transform an ordinary piece of paper into a three-dimensional form!”

Night Flight 2011”, Saturday, October 22, 4PM -7:30PM, Audubon Society of Portland, 5252 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx. $12.50 per person covers registration and participation for the first member of your group, $10.00 for each additional member. Suggested for kids 5-12. “Come celebrate Halloween and learn all about the creatures of the night. Come face-to-face with Portland Audubon’s Great Horned Owl, Northern Spotted Owl, Turkey Vulture and Raven. Trick or treat with naturalists and enjoy a night walk to investigate what creatures haunt the sanctuary at night. Event will be held rain or shine. Pre-registration is required. You can register on-line or call 503-292-6855 ext 108 for more information. Space is limited for event and night walks so register early! When you register please indicate your preferred night walk time.”

“’The Super Duper Dog Park’ Release Party”, Saturday, October 22, 2PM, Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta St., Pdx. “Local cartoonist, Aron Nels Steinke, releases his new “Balloon Toons” book, The Super Duper Dog Park, about an awesome amusement park where dogs ride bikes, fly kites, and have an unforgettable day! Event will include an accompanying canine craft project!”

Householder’s Guide to the Universe”, Saturday, October 22, 11AM, Tualatin Library. This is a program for adults, but would be of interest to so many homeschooling parents I know that I’m including it anyway. (After all, we are very much self-reliant do-it-yourself types!) “For those who have never heard the word, or for others who have but don’t quite understand its meaning, local author Harriet Fasenfest will discuss and read from her book The Householder’s Guide to the Universe. As the author suggests, householding is homemaking-gone-progressive, but what does this really mean? How does one turn homemaking into a progressive act? How can tending to one’s home and garden become a solution to the social, economic, and environmental challenges of our time? Is it time to reclaim our role as homemakers and householders? Is it a gender specific act? As she has been described, Fasenfest is a cross between Che Guevara and Martha Stewart - part radical and part country comfort, part advocate for change and part doyenne for all things domestic. So bring your thoughts, ideas and questions for what will surely be a lively conversation. Harriet Fasenfest is an avid gardener, food preserver, homemaker, and lover of the soil. Born in the Bronx, Fasenfest currently lives in Portland, Oregon.”

Birding on Rentenaar Road, Sauvie Island”, Saturday, October 22, 8AM-11AM. “Join Ron Escano for a fall sparrow adventure on Sauvie Island. Meet at 8 am at the East Side Check Station Parking Lot on the corner of Reeder and Rentenaar Roads. We will walk Rentenaar Road and back (1.6 miles round trip). All vehicles will need a Sauvie Island parking permit (can purchase at the Cracker Barrel Store just north of bridge). From the Sauvie Island bridge continue north on Sauvie Island Road ~ 1 mile and turn right onto Reeder Road. In ~ 4 miles at jct. with Gillihan Loop Rd keep straight ahead on Reeder Rd. In 4.5 miles the Eastside Check Station and Rentenaar Rd are on your left (Allow 25 minutes to drive from the bridge to the check station. Obey speed limit signs and watch for bicyclists). Dress for the weather.” Sauvie Island parking permits can also be purchased online:

Grateful Dead Musical Tribute by Northbound Rain”, Saturday, October 22, 2PM, Beaverton City Library Auditorium. “Please join us for a musical tribute to the Grateful Dead by local group Northbound Rain. The performance will run for an hour and a half and will include a multimedia presentation with strobe lights and psychedelic projections. Free and open to the public.”

The 8th Annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta”, Saturday, October 22, 10AM- 4PM, Tualatin Lake of the Commons, 8325 SW Nyberg St., Tualatin, OR. “If you’ve never been to the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta odds are you’ve never seen anyone sit inside a giant pumpkin let alone race one across a lake dressed as a superhero or the tooth fairy. The marquee event of this festival is the Regatta, a series of wacky races around the Lake at Tualatin Commons by costumed participants in 1000 lb. pumpkin "boats". The Regatta is unlike any other event in the western United States and attending has truly become a fall tradition for area families.”

47th Annual Gem and Rock Show”, Saturday, October 22, 9AM- 6PM, and Sunday, October 23, 10AM-5PM, Clackamas County Fairgrounds, 694 NE 4th Ave., Canby, OR. Free Admission. If you only check out one rock show, this one would be a great choice, because they have a really cool fluorescent mineral show, as well as lots of interesting demos and a huge kid’s area.

Water! 2011”, Saturday, October 22, 10AM-3PM, Humbolt School, 4915 N. Gantenbein, Pdx. “This FREE community event engages citizens of all ages through informative workshops, hands-on activities and educational exhibits that address a variety of water quality and quantity issues including:
• indoor and outdoor water conservation
• natural gardening / sustainable landscaping
• watershed awareness
• safe alternatives to toxic chemicals and pesticides
• creating wildlife habitat in urban spaces
• pollution prevention
• rainwater harvesting
water conservation = money savings! You'll walk away with new ideas and helpful tips to practice at home and in the yard so that you can have a long-lasting, positive impact on local water resources!

Piccadilly Circus”, Saturday, October 22, and Sunday, October 23, three shows daily, Portland Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Dr., Pdx; and Wednesday, October 26 and Thursday, October 27, 4:30PM and 7:30PM, Oregon Expo Center, Salem.

Teacher Workshop- Open Your Eyes To Wildlife”, Saturday, October 22, 8:30AM-1:30PM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood, OR. Free. Preregistration required. Aimed at educators of students K-8. “The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge offers an Environmental Education program which enables students to learn the value of our ecosystems. It extends the learning process beyond the conventional classroom limits and encourages students to make connections with their natural environment. The workshop provides teachers with the tools they need to bring students out for teacher-led field trips. Parent volunteers are encouraged to join the workshop too."

Salamanders to Stars”, Saturday, October 22, 6:30PM- 10PM, Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve, 2600 SW Hillsboro Hwy., Hillsboro, OR. Free. “Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve is pleased to invite you and your family to join us for an evening of nature, science and fun. Take a look at animal tracks, study skulls, investigate insects, go on a twilight hike with one of our trained naturalists, visit the art table and make a way cool journal using paper bags, visit the Exhibit Hall, learn about owls and what they cough up, eat some FREE popcorn and have a great time! Activities around the Education Center will take place from 6:30pm – 8:30pm, then we’ll close the building and head into the Preserve for a night of stargazing with Rose City Astronomers. Volunteers will provide telescopes and share views of celestial objects with the public.”

Nature Days in the Parks at Bethany Lake Park”, Sunday, October 23, 11AM-3PM, NW Neakahnie Ave and NW 185th Ave, Beaverton. “Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation invites you to join us for an afternoon of exploration in and around your neighborhood park. Learn how we are all connected to the nature around us and how THPRD is partnering with the community to preserve and enhance local natural areas. Education staff and volunteers will be leading interactive, nature-based activities and Park Rangers will be available to answer your questions. Be green! Walk or bike to the event nearest you!”

Sugar Skulls”, Sunday, October 23, 1PM, Fairview-Columbia Library. “In this hands-on workshop, students will learn about the Day of the Dead celebration and its traditions. Participants will paint their own edible sugar skull and dedicate it to an ancestor or loved one. Why sugar? Throughout Mexico, Day of the Dead is a celebration of joyful remembrance, and the sweetness of sugar reminds us of joy. Nuestro Canto will also explain the special place that sugar skulls have in honoring our ancestors.”

Home-Made Vinegar”, Sunday, October 23, 2PM, Hollywood Library. “Like so many things that our great-grandparents knew how to do, vinegar making is almost a lost art. But with a little help from mother (not the woman who gave birth to you, but the thick, jellylike substance used in fermentation), and cookbook author Jean Johnson, you can learn how to make your own vinegars. Leave with some ‘mother’ to get you started, along with the knowledge to make this age old craft at home!”

LEGO Construction Zone”, Sunday, October 23, 1:30PM, Tigard Library Puett Room. Suggested for ages 5 and up. “Drop in to work on your creations with other LEGO® fans. We'll supply the building blocks; you bring your creativity.”

Ceiridwen Terrill”, Monday, October 24, 7:30PM, Powell’s Books, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx. “”Part Wild: One Woman’s Journey with a Creature Caught Between the Worlds of Wolves and Dogs’ is the unforgettable story of Ceiridwen Terrill’s journey with a creature whose heart is divided between her bond to one woman and her need to roam free. When Terrill adopts a wolfdog—part husky, part gray wolf—named Inyo to be her protector and fellow traveler, she is compelled by the great responsibility that accompanies the allure of the wild, and transformed by the extraordinary love she shares with Inyo, who teaches Terrill how to carve out a place for herself in the world. But this is no sentimentalized account of spiritual healing; Part Wild is a memoir of the beauty—and tragedy—of living with a measure of wildness.”

Esther Stutzman”, Tuesday, October 25, 7PM, Lake Oswego Public Library. “Esther Stutzman is Coos and Komemma Kalapuya and is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz. Join her for an evening of Coos and Kalapuya stories. Her grandmother told her that it was bad luck to tell other people or other tribes' stories. Stories are regarded as private property, as are songs. She has thirteen stories she shares with the public. Some of her creation stories tell of the time when animals and people could talk together.”

"’Spartacus and the Circus of Shadows’ Release Party!”, Wednesday, October 26, 5PM, Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta St., Pdx. “Local author, Molly E. Johnson, will share her exciting new middle reader adventure, Spartacus and the Circus of Shadows, at a book release party at Green Bean Books on Wednesday, October 26th at 5pm. We’ll be telling circus stories, handing out circus goodies such as clown noses, and each attendee will receive a top secret invitation to a flash-circus that will take place on Saturday, October 29th. Spartacus is the debut middle grade reader book published by RainTown Press, Portland's first independent middle grade and YA publishing house.”

The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Thrillers”, Thursday, October 27, 7PM, Oswego Pioneer Cemetery, 17401 Stafford Rd., Lake Oswego. Scary stories that may be best for older kids. “Master storyteller, Christopher Leebrick, presents a riveting performance of Edgar Allan Poe's masterpiece. Winner of a 2009 Storytelling World Award. The show also features other spooky tales from around the globe.”

Tall Trees and Toadstools: A Walk in the Old Growth”, Friday, October 28, 9AM-12PM, Forest Park. $10. “Hike through a nearby grove of low elevation old growth forest. Along the way, we will discuss the role of fungi in the old growth ecosystem. We will spend a bit of time in the grove, discussing the natural and human history of the forest. With luck, we may spot one of the bald eagles nesting on the property. This a moderate hike, covering roughly 3 miles of hiking over rolling terrain, with minimal elevation gain.”

Storytelling Matinee”, Saturday, October 29, 1-3PM, Lake Oswego Public Library. “Featuring Storyteller Rick Huddle and an Open Mike Showcase. When 5-year old Ricky's kindergarten teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he replied, “A clown- so I can make people laugh.” He doesn't wear a red nose or floppy shoes, but 
he has made lots of people laugh- tens of thousands of kids and adults- all over the United States and Mexico. He's a captivating storyteller, a gifted dancer, and can play the guitar, dulcimer, 6-string ukulele, and nose harp (but usually not at the same time). He provides fun, lively, and thoughtful performances that leave audiences of all ages laughing. The matinee will also showcase the stories of workshop participants and audience members who wish to share a 3-5 minute story. Sign up will begin a half an hour before the program.”

The Story of Five Families of Old Town: A Walking Tour”, Saturday, October 29, 3PM, Lake Oswego, meeting at southeast corner of Leonard and Durham Streets. Registration required; call 503-675-2540 or email: “Created and Presented by Marylou Colver and Erin O’Rourke-Meadors. A new approach to Old Town! The five families that will be featured on this walking tour all came to the Oswego area for different reasons -- an Oregon Trail pioneer lured by free land, ironworkers that left other iron regions in the east to work in Oswego, the wife of a metallurgist, an executive, and an immigrant. They came from as far away as the Maderia Islands of Portugal and as close as Iowa. Their education level and cultural background varied widely. The common denominator is that all of them, or their descendants, chose to stay, make Oswego their home, and they contributed significantly to the community, the region, and even the state.”

Build Your Own Terrarium”, Saturday, October 29, 2PM, Central Library. Free tickets will be given out at 1:30PM, and is limited to 15. “What is a terrarium? It is a miniature garden that you can grow inside of a glass container. Join professional gardener Ruth Hampton in building your own terrarium with the beautiful sedum flower. You will learn all about taking care of your plants and watching them grown inside. Each family will have their own terrarium to take home after class.”

Mz. Pearl’s Variety Show”, Saturday, October 29, 2PM, Gregory Heights Library. “Heather Pearl's solo clown show is a feat to be marveled at. Her inventiveness and abilities astound and surprise all ages. The show has a variety of physical comedy, juggling, magic, dance and word play.”

Storytelling Festival Finale Concert”, Saturday, October 29, 7PM, Lake Oswego Public Library. Featuring storytellers Will Hornyak, Alton Chung and Leslie Slape.

Philip Foster’s Haunted Farm", Saturday, October 29, 5PM-9:30PM, Philip Foster Farm, 29912 SE Hwy. 211 Eagle Creek, OR. $5 per person or $20 per family. “Here's a historic look at the darker side of Eagle Creek's glory days and the Oregon Trail, with live music, hot cider, and true stories come to life.”

Festival of the Fungus”, Saturday, October 29, 10AM- 2PM, Estacada Library, Flora Room. “Mushroom lovers mark your calendars! This year’s mushroom identification day will have even more fun than last year’s series of ID sessions. This year add mushroom art, mushroom tasting and other activities, in addition to your chance to have your mushrooms identified by mycologist Jake Hurlbert, MS. Keep watching for more news, as plans are still being made!”

Apple Pressing”, Saturday, October 29, 9AM until 5PM or when the apples run out! Cedar Creek Grist Mill, 43907 NE Grist Mill Rd, Woodland, WA. Free, $2.50 donation per jug of cider. “The event will press 8,000 pounds of apples into cider and is open to the public. Everyone is encouraged to get involved. The rumbling of the water powered belt and pulley system, the dimly lighted mill, the floor covered with sawdust and the sweet smell of the fresh pressed apple juice makes an atmosphere that will put a smile on the faces of all visitors. Come down, join the fun and take home a jug of fresh pressed apple cider.”

Portland Opera Preview: The Marriage of Figaro”, Sunday, October 30, 2PM, Central Library, Collins Gallery. “Lecture/concert covers historical background, composer information and musical selections.”

Lake Oswego Harvest Festival”, Monday, October 31, 3:30-5:30PM, Millennium Park Plaza, Dragon Theater Puppets will perform “Dracula Re-Vamped” at 4PM. “Dracula needs help from all the classic monsters. Nothing is scaring the kids anymore and all the monsters look for new jobs.”  “Bring your youngsters to an old-fashioned Harvest Festival full of magnificent games and marvelous crafts. Dress up in your favorite costume and participate in a day filed with fun! Stroll down Trick or Treat Street and enjoy sweet treats, toys, and trinkets.”

Seventh Annual Tour of Untimely Departures”, Monday, October 31, 6PM-9PM, Lone Fir Cemetery, entrance at SE 26th Street between Stark and Morrison Sts, Pdx. Admission is $10.00 for adults and $15.00 for families of four with two children under the age of 17. Advance tickets needed. “Meet some of Lone Fir’s “residents” at their graves and hear the unusual circumstances surrounding their untimely departures. Ghostly guides will also share some of the history on Lone Fir as they take you through the cemetery on a path lit with candles. Two separate tours of approximately 45 minutes in length will be running constantly throughout the evening to accommodate our maximum capacity of 2,000 visitors. Dress appropriately for the Portland October weather. Tickets are nonrefundable and tours will occur rain or moon-shine. No pets or alcohol are allowed in the cemetery and children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.” At age 5, my son was disappointed that this wasn’t particularly scary, but not every kid would feel this way.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Crater Lake

Crater Lake National Park is one of those places every Oregonian wants to see. We see images of Crater Lake just about every day on license plates and on the Oregon quarter. There are many places in Oregon that have stunning beauty, but the scale and majesty of Crater Lake leave it in a category by itself.  

I did not expect our visit would be mostly spent in the car.  Visitors have two options for exploring the lake.  You can drive around it, stopping at scenic overlooks (either in your own car or on a tour trolly) and you can take a boat ride onto the lake.   Crater Lake is six miles wide and very round, with steep cliffs encircling the lake, and the only trail down to the lake is at the boat launch. The boat rides were pricey and had long since been reserved.  The park itself was rather crowded, so although the roads were not congested, the scenic overlooks were packed. Almost half a million people visit each year, most naturally choosing to come when the rim drive is clear of snow and the lake is not likely to be shrouded in fog, which gives them just a couple of months in the summer.  Next time, I hope to get a boat tour, which are offered July 25- Sept. 18, weather permitting.  They are already predicting an especially wet winter here, so extra snowfall may delay tours a bit longer in 2012.

Aside from seeing stunning views of the lake, I wanted Jasper to get a sense of the history of the place and the forces that created it.  About 7,700 years ago, Mt. Mazama blew up in a spectacular eruption, and collapsed into a caldera, which has slowly filled with water to form the deepest lake in the United States.  The force of the explosion dusted the northwest with ash as far as central Canada, and ash from the explosion has been found in Greenland.  One of the more interesting things about this explosion is that the Klamath Native Americans were able to tell explorers about it, having preserved the story as an oral tradition for all those years.  A short film in the Steel Information Center touches on this history, but it might have been far more meaningful for Jasper if I'd realized it would be a good idea to seek out a good book or film on Crater Lake before our visit.  I assumed they would have great educational exhibits there, and they did not.  The film emphasizes the battle that took place to make this into a national park, and certainly gets across the idea that individual citizens can make a huge difference.