Today (yesterday by the time I actually post this), I volunteered for The Nature Conservancy (or TNC as they like to say). It started off with me biking down to TNC on 14th between Belmont and Morrison, getting up much earlier than I would have on this particular Saturday. Met up with the group, then we carpooled out to the Diack Preserve. There we hiked around for a bit, before we got to the part of the trail that we were to clear the paths of overgrowth. It felt a odd at first, I wanted to be planting trees, not uprooting them.
After redefining the trail, we headed further down the trail to the Sandy River and pulled out some Scott's Brush. Scott's Brush is an invasive species from Scotland that spews out hundreds of seeds if allowed to mature, and it would soon overtake the riverbank. All we had to do was pull it out by the roots, then leave it out to dry and die out. I stacked some orange cream marbled rocks while on the riverbank. None of the fellow hikers saw me do it, and when they came upon them one them thought they were mushrooms at first.
After that, we bushwacked back through the forest and a deer trail. We actually came across some deer bones, skull, vertebrae and some ribs. It was the first time I'd ever seen anything like it in the wild. They were pearly white too, nature was doing a good job of returning that deer to the earth.
Finally we had some lunch, and then removed some blackberry and thistle bushes from a field. Did I mention it was raining the entire time, because it was. Wasn't too bad though. Especially walking through the Oregon forests, the while under the trees we were able to keep pretty dry. It was a good experience overall, and I'd do it again. And now I know some people outside of work, a real estate agent, a conservationist, a Guatamalen and a roller durby competitor to name a few.