Nature Inspires Art
We’re way past chainsaw carvings here. The 2nd annual Nature Inspires Art gathering at Tryon Creek State Park features renderings from a dozen local artists working in a variety of mediums—sculpture, linocut, drawing, and paint—all set beneath a wide canopy of indigenous Doug firs, Bigleaf maples, and western red cedars, the likes of which helped to stoke their creative passion. Drop by the artist reception this evening benefiting Friends of Tryon Creek for a sneak preview of the works, which will remain on display through Sunday. Of course, Tryon’s 14-miles worth of quiet trails will remain a work of art no matter when you visit.

Sandy River Delta Walk
Saturday morning, Audubon Society naturalists will be leading an excursion near the banks of the Columbia River in search of the first influx of fall migratory birds. The area is rich with waterfowl, so there will be plenty to point your camera at. But while you’re there, be sure to take a few moments to step inside the Maya Lin-designed bird blind. Constructed as part of the Confluence Project in 2008, the unique elliptical structure is filled with handsome locust-wood slats that have been carved with the names of the bird and animal species first cataloged by the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Bug Fest
Basically, if it has more than more four legs, or lots of slime, and can fit in the palm of your hand, you can find it crawling (or buzzing) around at the 10th annual Bug Fest. Among the stars of the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation Department sponsored event are beetles, ants, butterflies, spiders, and slugs. All of which are on hand to teach kiddos (and maybe even you) about the critical role they play within the ecosystem. Still not buggy enough? Feel free to furnish one or two of them from own pad for identification at the onsite Bug I.D. Station. (Provided you didn’t try to swat it with the morning paper, we’ll assume it’ll be happy to tag along.) But remember, there’s a strict No Bug Behind Left Behind policy in place. So, in other words: Yes. You need to give that aphid a ride back home.

Kruger’s Kermesse Farm Crit
The Kruger’s Kermesse*, taking place this Sunday on Sauvie Island, might just be your gateway drug into the dirt-caked world of Cyclocross racing. The event is open to all ages and abilities. And the course, a 1.5-mile loop of hard-packed, unpaved farm roads (minus the usual pits of mud and barriers to clamber over) is just as welcoming. But don’t worry—a mix of potholes, ruts, and patches of gravel will keep things interesting. Feel free to blame me when you get hooked.

Hood To Coast
Finally, for all you Hood To Coast fans out there, in addition to keeping tabs on the racers (the first which started departing Timberline Lodge somewhere north of 6:00 a.m. today) this weekend, there’s Hood To Coast the movie to keep a lookout for. The release dates for the film, which was put together by a cinematic A-Team (not to mention several former Hood To Coast racers) including director Christoph Badden, whose resume includes stints with the Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, and The History Channel, and director of photography Jayme Roy whose work includes shooting for Michael Moore’s 2008 Oscar-nominated film Sicko, are expected to be announced this weekend. Until then, check out the trailer here:

Hood To Coast Movie Trailer from HoodToCoastMovie on Vimeo.

*A kermesse, by the way, (at least according to folks a Bike N’ Hike who are organizing the whole dusty affair) is an annual, local celebration, common in the area of Belgium and northern France, which is accompanied by feasting, dancing, and sports of all kinds. Note: loading up on berries at U-pick’em farms doesn’t count as sport.