The Sprint/Baker Gallery at the White Salmon Valley Community Library was in overflow Friday night for the kick off of the “Wild About Nature” series, presented by Joy Markgraf.

This is the eighth iteration of this natural history series at the library that is supported by the library, as well as by the Friends of the White Salmon River and the Suksdorfia Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society.

The evening kicked off at 5:00 p.m. with an artist’s reception and the opening of the exhibition in the gallery.

All the works were created by Markgraf herself, and many will be available for auction at the end of the month-long event.

The works are themed multimedia pieces focused on native plants and animals to the Columbia River Gorge. Some of them focus on the rich colors of the Gorge, while others hold scientific and historical elements to them, such as a piece that breaks down the natural dispersion of plant seeds.  Another piece highlights the efforts taken by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to catalog native plants and animals while on their expedition.

At around 6:30 p.m. the gallery was beginning to fill up for the introduction and first presentations to the series.

Barbara Robinson, who works with the Klickitat Trail Conservancy, introduced the series and the evening’s speakers, Patricia Otto and Marcy Cottrell Houle.

Otto spoke about the work she has done transforming her 100-acre property into a native plant and animal sanctuary.

Author and biologist Marcy Cottrell Houle spoke about her experiences studying animals in the Zumwalt Prairie located in eastern Oregon.

The series will continue every Friday through the month of April from 6-8 p.m. at the library.

This Friday, April 12, the speakers will be Andrea Ruchty Montgomery, talking about “Lichen Lessons and Lore” and Todd Jacobsen talking about “Living with Washington’s Large Carnivores.

April 19: The Biogeography of Fish in the Columbia River Gorge and the White Salmon River. Presented by Pat Connolly and Ian Jezorek. Also “SDS Forestry and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Forest Herbicides,” presented by Dave Wasgatt and Nate Putnam.

April 26: The Burke Museum Herbarium and the New Flora of the Pacific Northwest, presented by David E. Giblin. Also “Snakes of the Columbia River Gorge” presented by Chris Rombough.

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