It’s commonly thought that the expression “Dog Days of Summer” refers to the hottest time of the year. If true, that would have been during June’s heat wave. But the expression actually derives from ancient observations of Sirius, the Dog Star and its annual rising in the morning during summer.  It is also the brightest star, after the sun. The Old Farmers Almanac places Dog Days at 40 days from July 3 to August 11. Both observations just happen to coincide with (typically) the hottest time of the year.

But, what if you actually have dogs and you want to enjoy the hotter days of summer?  Here are a few suggestions – just remember to bring water for yourself and your canine companions. And observe common courtesy – leash up where required and always clean up after your dog.

Off-leash Dog Parks. A great way to start the day, and work off some energy before it gets too hot.  Check out DogPaw Off Leash Parks  to see if there is one near you.

Cape Horn Hikes

Early morning hikes in the Columbia Gorge.  The western part of the Gorge and can provide a nice respite from the heat. Both sides of the Columbia River have excellent hiking trails and outdoor vistas.  One hike close by is Cape Horn Trail just off Highway 14. It starts out a bit steep, but levels off to a nice hike up to Nancy Russell Overlook with panoramic views of the Gorge.

Two helpful references are Best Hikes with Dogs Western Washington by Dan Nelson and Best Hikes with Dogs by Ellen Morris Bishop.  Although the second is focused on Oregon, there are several areas that are easily accessible within a one-day drive from Vancouver.

Go Jump in a Lake! (Or River or Beach.) You don’t have to be a water dog to enjoy water sports in our area.  The Lewis, Washougal, and Columbia rivers all offer places to swim with your dogs. And many lakes in the county allow swimming. But be on the look out for algae bloom –  it can be toxic to humans and dogs. Check with local authorities and look for posted warnings before entering the water. Finally, check out the beaches on the Long Beach Peninsula.  A little over 2 hours to miles of off-leash fun right on the ocean.  It will not only cool off your pups, but also wear them out for the trip home!

Or Just Stay Home.  And if you can’t make it to one of those destinations, you can always resort to the backyard kiddie pool. Trust us, even before you can get the water in, it will be a hit with the Dog Days of Summer!

Dogs in Kiddie Pool

Looking for a place to beat the heat and enjoy summer?  Call us, we have homes with Nature as Neighbors.

Earth Day 2021 – Restore Our Earth

If there was such thing as a winner in the last year’s shutdowns, it had to be Mother Earth. Air and waterways became cleaner while many wild animals reemerged from deep cover. Lowered levels of manufacturing and fewer cars on the road allowed the earth to literally take a breather.  NASA satellite and ground-based observations reported significant reductions in global air pollution over this time period.

This glimpse into just one year of human activity shows how much our actions contribute to air and water pollution. So on April 22nd Earth Day it’s fitting the theme is “Restore Our Earth.”  As we move back into our daily routines, it makes sense to reflect on this past year and continue to promote environmental protection. In fact, EarthDay.Org – the official Earth Day site – is scheduling three days of activities from April 20-22 to underscore its importance.

Restoration is One Answer

This Earth Day theme also builds upon the emerging concept of restoration. For example, instead of accepting climate change as inevitable, restoration offers pragmatism coupled with hope.

Governments are turning to natural processes such as reforestation and soil conservation.  Innovative thinking and green technologies are restoring the world’s ecosystem and forests – and creating renewable jobs.  Large corporations are vowing to be carbon neutral within the next decade. These are all significant developments that will help Restore Our Earth.

What We Can Do Ourselves

But waiting for institutions to act can take time. As individuals, we each play a critical role in the effort to Restore Our Earth. There are plenty of actions we can take today that, collectively, add up to major impacts:

  • Reducing our consumption of plastic containers is a start.  Now that reusable shopping bags are allowed again, it will be a good habit to renew. Likewise, using our own containers instead of buying single-use water bottles is a big one.
  • Thoughtful recycling still has a major impact on the Earth’s recovery. Making sure items are clean and properly sorted helps the whole process.  Composting kitchen scraps is fairly easy and can improve your garden (or container) soil. Overall, we can do a lot to reduce waste in landfills and the oceans.
  • Reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides and inorganic fertilizer on lawns can help eliminate the toxic runoff that affects water quality.  Using safe, organic sprays helps protect pollinators so critical to healthy plant and food growth.
  • Go to the interactive Earth Day Interactive Map to find a local event or activity you can support.

Want to know more about Earth Day and living in nature?  Contact Us.

Filed under: Events | Lifestyles | Nature

Pacific Tree FrogThanks to a class of fifth-graders in Olympia, the Pacific tree frog is the official amphibian of Washington State.  Also known as the chorus frog, its scientific name – Pseudacris (rhymes with Ludacris) regilla – sounds like a rapper. And, like Ludacris, these tiny frogs have a big song in their hearts, especially the males. Every Spring, you hear their loud two-part “ribbit” designed to attract females.  The chirping stimulates other males to join in, and often, the resulting chorus of their joint efforts can be heard quite far away. It’s always sweet music to our nature-loving ears. In fact, Hollywood sound studios use the Pacific tree frog’s ribbit as a common background for many outdoor scenes.

  (Click to hear)

Celebrating World Frog Day

March 20th was World Frog Day, so it’s timely that we recognize the importance of the Pacific tree frog to our environment. Found in every region of the state, they are beneficial to the environment and crops by eating bugs, including dangerous disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes and ticks.  Plus, frogs serve as a food source to other species, including snakes, which help control rodents that can greatly damage crops. Frogs are also an environmental indicator.  Like the canary in a coal mine, they thrive when their environment is healthy, but get sick and die off if polluted.  So it’s vital that scientists, environmentalists, and ordinary citizens help protect these small amphibians.

The biggest threats to frog larvae include predators and parasites. But pollution  and chemical contaminants are the bigger human-generated threats. While the species is not declared threatened in the state, declines in extensively urbanized areas is cause for concern.  We can protect frogs by preserving their habitats and not using harmful chemicals and pesticides on our lawns and gardens.  Chemical runoffs are known to be especially detrimental to wetlands and natural habitats.

Look, But Don’t Touch

Handling frogs can be hazardous to their health, as lotions and/or bug repellents can be absorbed into their permeable skin. Cute as they are, please resist the temptation to keep them as pets, they belong in outdoor habitats where Mother Nature intended.

Speaking of natural habitats, it’s one of our specialties. If you’d like to find the perfect spot in a rural setting close to nature, call us.  That way, as Spring begins anew, you too will wake up to the wonderful songs of the Pacific tree frog.


Want to learn how? Contact us.

Or start your search for a home in nature here.

Filed under: Lifestyles | Nature

We love snow. This year, because of our new English Cream Golden Retriever, we were especially hoping for a snowfall event with a decent accumulation. Snow finally started falling yesterday, and kept building in momentum. The deeper it got, the more entertaining it became to 10-month-old Finnegan. He never seems to tire of chasing tennis balls and birds.




Beautiful Words of Nature

A recent post on a friend’s blog reminds us of the joy we find in discovering a new word. In 2019 our favorite find was the word, psithurism. It’s used to describe the soft sound of wind whispering in the leaves of trees. We think it’s so poetic! And, if you say it soft and low, it tends to mimic the sound. 

Here’s a similar one. Susurrous is a lovely word used to describe the general sounds of whispered rustling. Also, quite poetic in our book. 

We decided to see if we could find more seldom-used words suitable for describing the natural world.  We did!  For example, apricity comes from the Latin word apricus which means, “having lots of sunshine, or warmed by the sun.” Apricity means the warmth of the winter sun. Most of us have likely experienced this glorious feeling on brilliantly clear winter days.  

A fun word to try to use in a sentence this Spring is frondescence. Basically, it refers to the condition or period when a tree or plant unfolds its leaves or petals. Here’s an example of how it might be used, “As expected, frondescence of the petals is frequently accompanied by other changes in other parts of the flower.” 

Rainy Climate Words

The next two words are perfect for those of us who live in rainy climates. Ombrophilous means “rain-loving,” while ombrophobous means rain-shunning. Both words come from the Greek ombros – “rain shower.” Philous comes from philos, “loving,” while the phobous in rain-shunning comes from phobos, meaning “fear and panic.”

We love words! If you do too, here’s an article we stumbled upon about nature writer, Robert Macfarlane. It highlights his fantastic collection of  words for the wild world called, Landmarks. The book is considered by many as a field guide to the literature of nature. It’s filled with beautiful and meditative words used in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales to describe land, nature, and weather. 

In conclusion, here’s one of Robert Macfarlane’s words that we often experience at our home in rural Camas, Washington. On the east side of our property, as the sunrise gains momentum, we enjoy the promising sight of shivelight illuminating the forest floor. It’s always a peaceful reminder of another new and wondrous day to celebrate the gifts of nature. 

Imagine, you too could live in a home where you are greeted in the morning with Shivelight – the lancing sun rays that pierce through the canopy of woods.

Words for Nature

Want to learn how? Contact us.


Or start your search for a home in nature here.

Filed under: Nature | View Homes | Views

Feeding Hummingbirds in Cold Weather

We have native, year-round Anna’s hummingbirds living in the woods at our rural home in Camas, Washington. For several winters, we have used a heated feeder to make sure the tiny birds have a reliable source of nectar when the temperatures drop. Otherwise, the nectar freezes and the birds can’t drink. But this year, the feeder is leaking.  So, we decided to explore other options.


Feeding Hummingbirds in Cold Weather


Hummingbird Warmer to the Rescue!

The one that caught our eye is called the Hummingbird Heinie Warmer.  Admittedly, it’s a bit of a curiosity during the day, but as the daylight fades, it comes to life and gets prettier and prettier. The string of C7 lights give off enough heat to prevent the nectar from freezing, and give cold birds a perch to warm their heinie. You might think the the extra chains holding the bowl of lights might scare them.

The little guys are not deterred at all.  If anything, the new lights seem to attract them just as much.  And just as in the summer, they are already territorial over “their” new-found feeding station.


Feeding Hummingbirds in Cold Weather


Feeding hummingbirds in cold weather – it’s easy!

Since, it’s November, we chose fall colored bulbs for the 25 light string. For December, we’ll switch it up for Christmas. After December, we’ll likely use clear lights until we take it down in Spring.  We think it’s festive and fun, and so far, seems to do the trick. When the snow flies, we’ll do an update and let you know how the birds are using it. We’re hoping to see them perched on the bowl riding out the worst of our winter storms in toasty comfort.

Want to know more about feeding hummingbirds in winter?  Just contact us.

Filed under: Camas | Lifestyle | Nature

Here’s to More Fritluftsliv! Friluftsliv (Free-loofts-leev) is a Scandinavian concept which best translates to “fresh air life.” Basically, it’s enjoying life outdoors. In fact, in Norway kindergartens are, for the most part, held outdoors. As the children are told…

“Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!” (There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.) 

Outdoors in Winter

Outdoor activity is so ingrained into their culture that many Scandinavian countries have laws allowing people to access all land for outdoor pleasure and recreation – both private and public.

The Pacific Northwest Offers More Fritluftsliv!

An article in the Seattle Times explores this Scandinavian philosophy as we approach the oft wet and dark, Pacific Northwest winter. This year especially, with health concerns about indoor gatherings, it makes sense to turn our attention to the outside.

For example, today,  we met with our daughter and two grandchildren at a public park. We wore masks, as did she. The children, both under four years of age, played and road their bikes around the trails as we walked. Large tree branches danced in the wind, and Finnegan chased dry leaves as they skittered across the pathways.

It’s not an ideal weather day, so we dressed warmly to cope with the gusty, and cold, east wind.  Fortunately, we have plenty of outdoor gear. Warm down jackets, vests, boots, hats, and of course, rain gear. We’ll have many more of these days in the coming months.

We think it’s important to get outdoors frequently, even if it’s a solitary walk with the dog. Exercise and being outside in nature comes with bonuses such as warding off depression and anxiety.  And this year, it represents a safer way to connect with folks we love.

Here’s to more fritluftsliv!  Let us know if you want more tips on how to enjoy nature at home.

Filed under: Nature | News | View Homes

Fruit trees in bloom

Rural life has great benefits – clean air, beautiful views, and elbow room for the soul. But it also has its share of hazards: Lions (Mountain), and Tigers (Lillies – toxic to pets) and Pears! (Well, pears are not exactly hazardous, but they can lead to frustration and disappointment.) Here’s the full story:

Earlier this year, we posted a video explaining how to prune fruit trees for better production. After that demo, spring brought excellent results – full, bright blossoms that promised a bounty of apples and pears.

I continued to prune unwanted suckers, spray with organic oil, and generally ensure there were no bugs.  I also took the additional precaution of placing mesh bags over the fruit as it started to form – this was mostly to ward off the large wasps that showed up last year at the end of the season.

As the season continued with exceptional weather the trees produced large clusters of fruit that grew and started to ripen.  (Unfortunately, I did not take a photo, so you’ll just have to trust me on this.)  I was extremely excited that we would have an exceptional variety of fresh, organic fruit this year. I even started researching different recipes for preserving them.

Then that fateful morning, I walked out to the trees and poof!!

Fruit trees in bloom

Every single fruit was gone!!

To add insult to injury, the nasty marauders left chewed-up bags – the very bags designed to protect the fruit!!

Protective Fruit Bags

AAARRGGHH!  So there I was, like Yosemite Sam, stomping around, shaking my fists, mumbling pseudo-curses “racken fracken, ya dirty varmint, why I’m gonna getcha.” And so forth…

Lesson: When Living With Nature, Don’t Make An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet for Wildlife

After continuing in that vein, mumbling to myself for quite a while, I eventually settled down. It dawned on me the raiders were the family of deer we often see on the property. And who could blame them? I had carefully prepared an all-you-can-eat buffet, then graciously presented it in an easy-to-reach, help-yourself arrangement.  I should know better. When living with wildlife, you have to anticipate such things, and I had (naively) assumed that the small fences I had were sufficient. The lesson is: never leave anything to chance.  So, what can I do to prevent this from happening next year?

I immediately set out searching the internet for the best solution. And I was a little shocked at the vast range of options – from dangling soap and hanging noise makers to wolf urine and commercial repellent to (Gasp!) hunting! Yes, one web site actually suggested shooting them for game. But we’re more gatherers than hunters. So after rejecting the options, including repellents (they small like rotten meat) I settled on Occam’s Razor – “the simplest solution is usually the best” – a taller fence. Doh! I already had fences – just add to them!

I guess we’ll see how that works next year.  In the meantime, Debb reminds me that the deer are a gift from our “nature as neighbors” surroundings. And if I’m really craving a pear, there are plenty of them at our local Farmers Markets.

Want to learn more about how NOT to grow organic fruit to feed wildlife? Just Ask!

Filed under: Camas | Nature | News | Organic Gardening

Livingston Mountain Homes

Livingston Mountain Homes. The Livingston Mountain area rests on an impressive hillside just north of Camas city limits. It features beautiful homes with stunning views.  Plus, many homes sit on large parcels 5 acres or more, and nearly all have city, mountain, and valley views that stretch for miles. The area offers a mix of newer and older homes with high end finishes, and access to hiking, equestrian trails, and sightings of wildlife. Local residents enjoy easy access to nature in the forests that surround the area. Plus, multigen families will find lots of room for individual privacy and separate living quarters.

Livingston Mountain – Camas School District

Livingston Mountain homes for sale are within the very desirable Camas School District. Lacamas Heights is the elementary school, Liberty and Camas are the middle school and high school. Students regularly score well above the state-wide standard assessment. If you like the ruggedness of an alpine locale, with panoramic views, and all the amenities of luxury homes, take a look at the Livingston Mountain area. Here is a summary of home sales for June.
7 Active from 515,000 to $929,000 Average SQFT – 3,614 Average $/SQFT – $192 6 Pending from $490,000 to $699,000 Average SQFT – 3,331 Average $/SQFT – $186 12 Sold in last 3 Months from $439,900 to $1,199,500 Average SQFT – 3,369 Average $/SQFT – $178 Median Days on Market was 70 days.
Buyers, if you would like more information about home sales on Livingston Mountain, start your search here. Sellers, if you want to know what your home is worth, ask us for a free Market Analysis.
Filed under: Camas | Lifestyles | Nature

Biophilic Design – The Relationship between Humans and Nature

biophilic design - living in nature

Biophilic design is based on the premise that spending time in natural settings is restorative. It’s one of the big reasons we specialize in homes located in soothing environments. A growing body of evidence confirms being in nature has a profoundly positive impact on our mental, emotional, and physical well-being


This nature-wellness link is resulting in a rising interest in biophilic design. “Biophilia” literally translates to “the passionate love of life and all that is alive.”  Therefore, from corporate offices to personal homes, architects and designers are working to help people feel happier, healthier, and more focused at work, and at home.

Over a decade ago, the so-called Godfather of Biophilia, Stephen Kellert, identified more than 70 elements to help create a strong connection to nature in an indoor setting. Rather than discuss the various architectural nuances of biophilic design, we are focused on how to easily create it in your current home.

A Spirit of Place 

Amanda Sturgeon, author of Creating Biophilic Buildings, believes a structure should reflect a geographic area. An understanding of the region’s ecosystem make us better stewards of the land, and help satisfy our need for a harmonious connection at home.  A “Spirit of Place.”

“Spirit of Place” is defined as the tangible and intangible elements that give meaning, value, emotion, and mystery to a place.


Tangible:  Buildings, sites, landscapes (rivers, mountains, meadows), routes.


Intangible: Memories, narratives, written documents, rituals, festivals, tradition,                             values, and textures.


In short, the soul of a place.


How to Increase Biophilia at Home


biophilic design - bring nature indoors


Obviously, a soothing and pleasing view is a great way to increase biophila at home. However, if your current view is lacking, there are other simple things you can do to to foster.


Fresh Air – Make sure you allow plenty of fresh air to move freely about your home. Open windows also allow us to hear the rain, the wind blowing through trees, and the sounds of birds chirping.


Play with Light and Shadow – having access to daylight helps balance our circadian rhytmns. Take note of shadows and sunlight moving through your home and landscape. If you have particularly sunny corner on a deck, create little spot to breathe in the outdoors. Try to minimize the boundaries between inside and outside spaces.


Natural Elements – Bring nature inside.  Plants, soothing greens, other natural elements ( think wood and stone) and a simple fountain can help connect us to nature.


Promote a Sense of Refuge – enclosed spaces help us feel secure, but with the addition of the ability to survey the landscape the space becomes restorative.  Plant trees or shrubs, create a beautiful garden – there are many ways to add a soothing view to a home.


Natural Shapes and Forms – Obviously not all buildings have natural form in their design, but we can use patterns from nature as decorative motifs. Think of art pieces reflecting an evergreen tree, fern, or salmon – or another symbols to reflect your particular region.


Order and Complexity – Nature is orderly, but quite complex in the detail. Consider while every leaf has a similar shape, the size varies. Bring nature’s designs and principles indoors.


The number one rule of biophilic design – go outside and understand your surroundings first. Observe, listen, and learn about your ecosystem – then bring nature’s lessons and gifts inside.


If you enjoyed reading about Biophilic Design, you’ll likely enjoy this article, written by Bernie, What can we learn from Nature? Everything! 

Filed under: Lifestyles | Nature | News
What Can We Learn From Nature? What can we learn from nature? Just about everything! It turns out, we are surrounded by brilliantly-designed inventions that can teach us a lot. Biomimicry is the science that studies nature’s inventions to inspire innovations for our daily lives. In short, old ideas are new ideas – and they are just waiting to be discovered. Plus, mimicking nature helps identify sustainable solutions that are compatible with our planet.
Natural resource scientist Janine Benyus is a huge proponent who says biomimicry is a new way of inventing. “[W]e live in a competent universe, we are part of a brilliant planet, and we are surrounded by genius. The core idea is that life’s been on Earth 3.8 billion years and that’s a lot of R&D.”

Stories of Inventions Discovered Through Biomimicry

  • Swiss Electrical Engineer George de Mestral goes on a walk with his dog, who often returns with burs stuck to his coat. Curious, the scientist takes a closer look under a microscope, and sees hundreds of “hooks” that latch onto things. But they also release without breaking. He uses this discovery to invent Velcro.

biomimicry learning from natureNature Inspires Great Inventions

  • Japan is developing a high-speed train, but it has a major problem. The super velocity creates a vacuum in tunnels. This not only slows the train, but also emits a loud “sonic boom” when it exits. So a design engineer (who happens to be a bird watcher) studies the kingfisher. This speedy hunter sneaks up on his prey by entering water with very little splash. The scientist analyzes the bird’s face and applies its beak design to the front of the train. This not only eliminates the noise, but also improves speed and fuel efficiency.
  • Scientists studying humpback whales notice how the bumps on its flippers prevent drag while the whale is diving at a steep angle. They adapt this design to wind turbine blades, which greatly improves efficiency. It also helps develop high-speed aircraft wings that are not as susceptible to stalling.
  • Every year, millions of birds fly into windows. This is not just upsetting to homeowners – it creates costly clean-up for owners of high rise buildings. Scientists studying the problem happen upon the common spider web. They inlay “invisible” lines into the glass. Unseen to human eyes, the embedded lines reflect ultraviolet light visible to birds, preventing accidents.

And The List Goes On…

So, what can we learn from nature?  Just about everything!  Biomimicry is not just a “feel good” activity – it is a real discipline based on eons of awe-inspiring nature. The Biomimicry Institute, for example, is introducing its scientific curriculum to K-12, universities, and other educational institutions. Their goal is to create a new generation of innovators who use nature as a guide to invention. And commerce is paying attention. From agriculture to transportation, the movement is helping corporations design innovations that are both earth-friendly and profitable. Our connection to nature is profound. Many studies indicate that when we are nature deprived, our health suffers. It’s one of the big reasons we love marketing properties in soothing environments – ViewHomes™! We think home should be a place where you relax, rejuvenate, and feed your soul. Interested in learning more? Contact us today.

Every year the Easter Bunny brings big hops and big hopes – and lots of Easter eggs.  We’re not sure which came first, the Chicken or the Egg.  But we do know Easter is the time of year when many thoughts turn to eggs, the universal symbols of rebirth.

Decorating them,
putting them in baskets,
looking for good spots to hide them,
and finding creative ways to eat them.
And a time to reflect.
We know a certain bunny has eggs on his mind. But on Easter, we also reflect on all the Good Eggs we know in life. Like you. (If you’re reading this post, or watching this video, we are talking about YOU!)

In a time when we seem to have so much division, Easter can return us to thoughts of a simpler time in our lives.  When we reflect on what makes us more alike than different. And a time when we celebrate the return of a vibrant season. When the earth comes back to life – hence, the egg as a universal symbol of rebirth.

Easter bunny brings big hops and big hopes

And you may wonder – how did a “Silly Wabbit” become the symbol for Easter? It’s really not clear, but some believe it originated with the pagan festival of Eostre (Easter). She was the goddess of fertility whose animal symbol was a bunny.  Known for energetic breeding, it is thought that, from the pagan celebration, the Easter Bunny emerged as a natural symbolize for fertility.

So, Easter – and Spring in general – represent resurrection and renewal in many different cultures. But to children it is one of those magical holidays filled with excitement and wonder. It’s a day when the Easter bunny brings big hops – and big hopes.  And our hope is to always remember to view life through the eyes of a child. With wonder and joy at the season!

We wish you a happy and joyful Easter celebration.

Filed under: Events | Gardening | Nature | News | People

Pruning Fruit Trees in Clark County, Washington


Spring is almost here and, if you live in the country, you might be thinking about pruning those fruit trees in your yard. Growing fruit trees is not a passive activity – especially on rural property where you often find lots of them. They actually require year-round attention for optimum health and better fruit production. 

Obvious chores include watering and fertilizing during spring and summer. But trees also require attention during the winter, even though they are mostly dormant for that season.  In fact, late winter is the ideal time for pruning and spraying – hence the term “dormant” oil for the type of spray used.

Pruning May Seem Counterintuitive

Cutting off branches from a healthy tree might seem counterintuitive. But careful pruning removes unproductive branches and shapes the tree to produce healthier fruit. After pruning, we spray a light mineral oil that is compatible with organic gardening – no fungicide or herbicide.  The oil coats the branches and seals it from mites and other bugs that might show up during the spring bloom. 

For ideal conditions, trees should be dry with no foreseeable precipitation for at least 24 hours. Likewise, ideal temps should be close to freezing.  Although in some areas, you may be able to prune as late as April as long as the trees have not sprouted leaf buds.

This past winter was a real challenge because it was so wet. Our continuous days of snow and freezing rain made it nearly impossible to get out and take care of the trees.  Finally, with dry weather and temperatures still below 40, we found a perfect day in March. 

Shaping The Tree For Better Fruit

While pruning is not that hard with the right tools, it helps to know what you want to accomplish with the trimming. A fruit tree continues to grow throughout the year, producing new shoots from its limbs.  Unless these shoots have fruit buds, they need to be pruned off. Otherwise, they divert nourishment from the branches that have fruit. Pruning helps direct the nutrients from the tree trunk to branches with fruit.

Likewise, the shape of the tree can determine how productive and healthy the harvest will be.  There are several schools of thought about this, but we prefer to prune the center lead (trunk) out. This helps the outer branches spread out and grow into an umbrella shape. The open center allows more air circulation and sunlight into the remaining branches, which helps blooming. This approach also makes it easier to harvest – as the outer branches bear fruit, they tend to bend down, making it easier to reach.  Proper pruning can help shape a tree into ideal production.

Sometimes Major Pruning is Necessary

You will often see a mature fruit trees laden with fruit at the very top branches. This makes the fruit nearly inaccessible when the tree hasn’t been pruned regularly.  We had a few mature trees on our property when we moved in four years ago.  They were overgrown with misshapen branches that criss-crossed inside the canopy. This not only creates a tangled mess, it also invites bugs and disease.  And, of course, the harvest was lacking.

So, two winters ago, we did a dramatic pruning that cut back many of the thick, older branches, and opened up the centers.  It is a scary proposition and, again, counterintuitive because it looks like the tree will die from all that major surgery.  Plus, trees often appear to “suffer” because they will skip a year in production as they recover.  However, after a major pruning, trees usually bounce back, and are healthier for it.

Proper Pruning Fruit Trees

And that was the case with our trees – there were no apples last summer. But spring weather has brought tons of flowering fruit buds, and the trees are thriving.  Plus, this summer, as the lower branches fill out, the fruit will be a lot easier to reach. Next winter, we will able to return to light pruning.

So don’t be afraid to trim your trees after you’ve determined how you want them to look. Regular pruning and dormant spray will keep them healthy and producing for years.

If you’d like to hear more about life in the country, with Nature as Neighbors, write or give us a call.

Hiking in Columbia Gorge

Columbia River Gorge – Photo Courtesy of The Columbian

Spring Hiking in Clark County, WA

Go Take a Hike – It’s good for body, mind, and soul! The spring hiking season is about to get underway here in the Pacific Northwest. While April’s rainy weather sometimes makes our local trails muddy and slippery, we still try to get out as much as possible.  May will bring an influx of adventurous people in boots and backpacks, ready to exercise their bodies and quiet their minds.

We all know that getting out to nature makes us feel good. But now there is data to experiencing the outdoors has physiological effects on our brains.  A 2015 study published by the National Academy of Sciences finds that spending time in nature significantly affects our prefrontal cortex where most of our negative thoughts process. Hiking especially helps stop the type of obsessive rumination that can be difficult to break.

Tune In, Turn On, Unplug!

In addition, the participants in the study had no electronics as they backpacked through nature. In short, they tuned into Nature, turned on to the environment, and unplugged from electronics.  We’re not surprised to learn a nice long hike, without a cell phone, can reduce mental fatigue, soothe our mind, and increase creative thinking. And, once you invest in suitable shoes and a day pack for emergency provisions, it’s free, except for perhaps a parking pass at a trailhead.

Hiking also burns calories (400-700 an hour)  and builds muscles and bone density. Your body and mind get in shape as nature works its quiet magic. While we agree with the tech-free advice, we think it’s important to carry a cellphone in your pack for emergencies. Peace of mind while you enjoy the peace-and-quiet is also an important consideration.

Popular Local Trails

There are many trails in our area for hikers to choose from, and because of our close proximately to the Columbia River Gorge, there are some pretty rigorous hikes for those in good shape. However, you can easily find trails for nearly every ability in Southwest Washington. Here’s a list of hikes in the Clark County Washington Parks system.

Want to know our favorites? Send us a note – we’ll let you know, and send directions!

Here’s a video recap of a hike we took several years ago. The Cape Horn Loop gives you fantastic views of the Columbia River Gorge. A bonus for us, in the spring and early summer months, a profusion of colorful wildflowers dot the meadows.

Keep in mind, the loop is closed between February 1 – to July 15 for nesting falcons. Portions of the trail are quite precarious and exposed, dogs should be on leashes and young hikers should be closely supervised.


Do your body and mind a favor this spring – Take a hike! 

Filed under: Lifestyles | Nature | News

At Nature As Neighbors, we love the environment with all of its wonderful creatures. We are especially fascinated with frogs and will go to great lengths to ensure their survival.  They are an intricate part of a healthy ecosystem, keeping down the populations of disease-borne flies, mosquitos, and ticks.  Also, (somewhat ironically) they serve are a food source for snakes that keep down the population of crop-eating rodents. But, much like the canary in the coal mine, frogs are the bellwether of our environmental conditions – their decline indicates a problem with the ecosystem.

So, today, on World Frog Day, we are thrilled to read about the recently-discovered Orange-Bellied Starry Dwarf Frog. Named for its brilliant star-like coat, it is a survivor from ancient lineage that was thought to be gone. No bigger than a human thumbnail, it was extremely hard to discover, scurrying about under dead leaves in the isolated mountains of Western Ghats, India. Given its reclusiveness, we marvel at its discovery and celebrate this little creature’s tenacity for survival.

With Spring just here, we hope this is a positive reminder of the amazing resilience of nature.

Filed under: Nature | News

Multigen Homes with Nature as Neighbors

Our firm specializes in view homes on acreage with “elbow room for the soul”. It is no coincidence that many of those homes are also well-suited for multigenerational living.

Sometimes they come with separate living quarters, sometimes they need to be modified. We live in a multigen home, so we get it!  We know how to find homes suited for this lifestyle.

Here is the ViewHomes™ Market Report for homes suitable for MultiGen living:

Market Report for ViewHomes™ With MultiGen Features

87 Active Listings – $400,000 to $4,200,000
Average SQFT – 4,314
Average $/SQFT – $222

36 Pending – $409,900 to $2,200,000
Average SQFT- 3,488
Average $/SQFT – $194

67 Sold in last 3 Mos – $407,290 to $2,430,750
Average SQFT – 3,390
Average $/SQFT – $189

(Note: Report is for homes priced at $400,000 and above, and does not include a spectacular $12,000,000 165-acre multigen property in Woodland, WA!)

Median Days on Market was 62 days – multigen homes don’t stay on the market very long! 

If you are looking for a home for multigen living, you can start your search here.

If you have a home that has multigen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

The triplets are growing.  ( Only two cooperated for the photo.) Our resident nest of Dark-eyed Juncos has kept us (well, more me) busy in the past week and a half – nervously watching. The nest hangs in a flower basket right outside one of our bedroom windows. Therefore, I’ve taken it upon myself to keep a check on them while their mom is out finding food. Bernie calls me the surrogate mom – neurotic, but well-meaning. I think he’s right. One day, I failed to see either of the parent birds come to the nest and was certain a cat, or something, must have gotten them. I worried throughout the night that they’d be cold without mom sitting on the nest. In fact, I had planned to call the local bird folks to ask for advice.  However, the next morning, mom and dad were both there, taking turns feeding the babies.

Today, I’m worried about tonight’s fireworks activity. Since we live in a rural area of Camas, many of the independent folks who live nearby enjoy the privilege of being able to shoot off fireworks.  Some we hear and see, are likely not legal in our state. It’s one of those things that’s tough to monitor. It will start up early this evening and continue until about 2AM.  At any rate, I know loud noises are often used to scare off unwanted birds who feast on crops. So, I can’t help but wonder if it will frighten our little family. I’m concerned the parent birds might flee in fear, or that the noise might startle the triplets and cause them to leap out of the nest too soon.

What’s a human bird mother supposed to do? To top it off, today is also our anniversary. We are normally both big fans of this patriotic day, but I can’t help but wish it wasn’t happening until a few weeks from now, when my baby birds have left the nest.

Filed under: Camas | Nature

Camas View Homes With Nature As Neighbors

Living in Camas can provide you with the luxury of nature as neighbors, with “elbow room for the soul”.  We all know about the rejuvenating powers of living close to nature and having privacy and space – add to that the daily pleasures of a fantastic view, and your home really becomes a retreat. An award-winning small-town lifestyle with easy access to city amenities, including close proximity to an international airport, makes Camas a very desirable area.

Market Report for ViewHomes™ in Camas, WA

47 Active Listings –  $424,900 to $1,650,000
Average SQFT 3,781
Average $/SQFT $225

28 Pending Listings – $425,000 to $2,100,000
Average SQFT: 3,538
Average $/SQFT $251

27 Sold in the last 3 months from  $405,000 to $2,011,000
Average SQFT 3,734
Average $/SQFT $202

Median Days on Market – 28 days.  View Homes in Camas move quickly!

If you are thinking about selling your home in Camas, call us for a free market analysis. We know this area well and know how to attract buyers for the best result!

If you’re looking for a home in Camas, WA, begin your Camas ViewHomes search here.

Filed under: Camas | Market Reports | Nature | News

We hear a lot of jokes about how much it rains here, and in the Pacific Northwest in general.  However, you might be surprised to see weather statistics for the United States. Florida, Louisiana,  Mississippi, and Alabama are actually the wettest states in the country.  Washington state ranks at number thirty, with about 38.5 inches of rainfall a year. In Clark County, Washington, depending upon where one lives, we get about 40-50 inches of rain each year. The national average is 39 inches a year.



However, the rain we do get tends to fall over a longer period of time – and we do get some gloomy gray periods from time-to-time. Over all though, we actually appreciate the climate. After all, our annual rain gives us our lush green landscapes – and in the spring and summer months, an abundance of flowers and blossoms.


And, all the rain gives us an abundance of pristine water ways which support our region’s wildlife – and gives us plenty of opportunities for recreation and outdoor fun.

And, with the right gear, and the right attitude – what’s a little rain?

In Clark County, Washington we tend to find rainbows in the rain. 

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News


According to the Earth Day Network, currently about 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year to make bags, bottles, packages, and other commodities for people all over the world. Unfortunately, only about ten percent of this plastic is properly recycled and reused. The rest ends up as waste in landfills or as litter in our natural environment, where it leaches dangerous chemicals into the nearby soil and water, endangering humans and wildlife alike.


Of the 33 million tons of plastic waste generated in the U.S. each year,  only about 7 percent is recycled. This plastic waste ends up in landfills, beaches, rivers and oceans and contributes to such devastating problems as the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch, a floating mass of garbage the size of a continent where plastic outnumbers plankton. Plus, most plastic is made from oil.

It’s no surprise to learn the theme for this years, May 22, 2018 Earth Day celebration is End Plastic Pollution. 

Filed under: Events | Nature | News


I first fell in love with Forget-me-nots while growing up in Alaska. The wild native alpine forget-me-not grows well throughout the rugged state in open, rocky places along mountain trails.   Other varieties also grow freely along the banks of marshy areas, creeks, and lakes. In 1917, it was named the Alaska state flower.


There are both native and non-native forget-me-nots in the Pacific Northwest, although, they all likely escaped domestic gardens and took root in optimal habitat. The scientific name for forget-me-nots, Myosotis, means mouse ears. We think the name aptly describes the shape and size of the soft petals.

Wherever we live, I always make sure we have a few clumps of forget-me-nots in our gardens. At our rural home in Camas, the dainty little blooms have just opened. They remind me of clear blue sky with a yellow dot of sun in the center.  I generally plant them with red azaleas as the colors contrast beautifully. In another week or so, it’s going to be beautiful.


Filed under: Nature

 The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size. – Gertrude S. Wister


Spring has been a big tease in Clark County, Washington this year. Yesterday, we were pleasantly surprised by afternoon sunshine and temps in the upper 60’s. It was glorious. Today, we have heavy rain and a wind warning in effect through tomorrow. Yippee.


However, we are celebrating spring with every new bloom that opens at our rural home in Camas. Last week, we were thrilled to see our favorite woodland flowers, the Trilliums beginning to bloom. This week, it’s the lovely heart-shaped dainty blooms of Bleeding Hearts.


They look wonderful in naturalized gardens and require moist soil with sun-dappled shade.  If in the right spot, they can easily take over a garden, so feel free to share new plants with fellow gardeners.  Or, consider donating healthy plants to local plant sales where proceeds go for a good cause.


Deer will bypass this woodland plant too – a big plus when you live in rural settings. Butterflies and hummingbirds like them though – another big plus! Gardening with natives, or plants that thrive in a particular climate, is one of the best ways to work in harmony with nature.



Native plants are not only adapted to environmental conditions, they are naturally resistant to pests and diseases. Therefore, they require less maintenance and have additional storm-water and wildlife advantages. While this particular Bleeding Heart is not a true native ( Western Bleeding Heart), it is well-suited to our local conditions and thrives.

Happy Saturday. May flowers bloom along your paths today.

Filed under: Nature | View Homes

One of our favorite woodland flowers is the Trillium. This Northwest native belongs to the Liliaceae (lily) family. And while they are relatively easy to grow from their rhizomatous root, they are very slow to develop and spread. The upside – the plants can live for up to 25 years!

We spotted them yesterday afternoon while getting some exercise on the Lacamas Heritage Trail in Camas. Nothing screams Spring like spotting these beautiful white flowers popping up between the rocks and moss.  The name trillium comes from the Latin word for three – they have three leaves, three sepals, and three petals.

We have them growing in the forested area of our acreage in the hills above Camas. Due to the higher elevation our trilliums are still in the bud stage.

As they age, the flowers fade from white to pink to purple.

Wherever your travels take you today, we wish you the unexpected surprise of early Spring wildflowers. What a joy it is to celebrate Nature.

Filed under: Camas | Nature

Ridgefield, WA offers Nature as Neighbors

If you are looking for a home with a view, privacy, and surrounded by nature, then you should consider homes in Ridgefield, WA. Nature and recreation go well together in Ridgefield where the National Wildlife Refuge serves as the city’s backyard and is a haven for wildlife and nature lovers. You can tour via kayak or canoe along a 21-mile water trail between downtown and the Columbia River. One of our favorite events is BirdFest and Bluegrass – a celebration welcoming the birds back to their winter home. It includes hiking, crafts, food, birding tours, and, of course, music!

Point of Interest: The Cathlapotle Plankhouse, built by more than 100 volunteers over a period of two years, is based on findings from the archaeological site and other historical references. Visitors will feel a tangible link to those who lived here in the past and it provides a unique site for the interpretation of the natural and cultural heritage preserved on the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

Here is a Market Report for ViewHomes™ over $400,000 in Ridgefield:

16 Active Listings – $465,000 to $2,900,000
Average SQFT – 3,997
Average $/SQFT – $249

9 Pending – $429,000 to $1,150,000
Average SQFT- 3,099
Average $/SQFT – $231

11 Sold in last 3 Mos – $403,000 to $975,000
Average SQFT – 2,752
Average $/SQFT – $217

Median Days on Market – 63.  Homes sell quickly in Ridgefield!

If you are thinking of selling your home in Ridgefield, call us for a free pricing analysis.
If you are looking for a home in Ridgefield, start your search for ViewHomes™ of Clark County. 

We sell ViewHomes™ and multigenerational homes in Clark County, WA. They are properties located on larger parcels which provide more privacy. A majority of our clients are baby boomers. They are looking for a home that gives them plenty of room for visiting ( or live-in) family members and a place to relax. They recognize the important and rejuvenating qualities of living with soothing views amidst natural settings.

We too are baby-boomers, it’s likely no coincidence that we also live in a Viewhome™ and a Multi-generational home at that. We mirror many of our clients in that we have a great respect for the environment, and recognize the importance of good health habits, such as eating organic foods and getting regular exercise. We really don’t consider ourselves old. In fact, there is no way we’d ever call ourselves Senior Citizens. Would you?

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | People | Views

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | View Homes

Nature As Neighbors – We Love Live Christmas Trees

As promised, as a follow up to our 2016 post about live trees in the Pacific Northwest, and specifically, Clark County, here is our 2017 Christmas Tree.

The twist this year is the light dusting of snow (flocking) on the branches. I really had to twist Bernie’s arm to get his approval since he is a traditionalist when it comes to trees.  The natural and uncultivated shape of this 9 foot Nordmann fir won him over.
2017 Nordmann

Other good news, the flocking material used by Joe’s Place Farms is non-toxic and fully biodegradable. Both were important considerations for us. We also wanted our live tree to look natural, so we asked for a light dusting, with most of the material concentrated on the ends of the branches.  We think it looks similar to one of our outdoor trees after a light snowfall.

Last night, we built a cozy fire and finished decorating. We are delighted with the results, and at night, this year’s Christmas tree positively glows. 

Here Are Some Great Articles About Live Christmas Trees

National Christmas Tree Association – How to Care For Your Farm-Grown Christmas Tree
Back Yard Boss – Caring For a Live Christmas Tree

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

View Homes in Brush Prairie / Hockinson

Lately we’ve notice a reversal of the “downsizing trend” by empty nesters several years ago.  So what happened? The biggest reason we hear now is “Room for grandkids to come and visit!”  That 1800 SqFt single-level works fine for just the two of them, but add overnight visitors, and there is too much chaos and lack of privacy – especially with kids.

Many are also looking for homes in the country to enjoy the benefits of privacy and nature, but still be close to city amenities – easy access to shopping, services, and good schools. They miss the yard space with play area for the grand kids, gardening, and private outdoor relaxation. Brush Prairie/Hockinson is a great area where we regularly find homes that meet this criteria.

Hockinson especially has all the amenities of a rural area – rolling hillsides, tracts of timber land, and large horse pastures. Yet, it is within easy driving distance of metropolitan amenities, including Portland International Airport right across the Columbia River. Combine privacy with the diversity of views, and you have a very popular area for homesites with nature as neighbors. This area is in the highly desirable Hockinson School District.

Market summary of ViewHomes™ in Hockinson:

22 Active Listings – $439,950 to $1,550,000
Average SQFT – 3,548
Average $/SQFT – $191

11 Pending – $469,900 to $1,149,000
Average SQFT- 3,133
Average $/SQFT – $207

22 Sold in last 3 Mos – $425,000 to $1,195,000
Average SQFT – 3,460
Average $/SQFT – $180

Median Days on Market – 20.  Homes are selling quickly in Hockinson!

If you are thinking of selling your home in Hockinson, call us for a free pricing analysis.
If you are looking for a home to buy, start your search for ViewHomes™ of Clark County here. 

Felida is an area in Clark County, WA that lies northwest of downtown Vancouver along the Columbia River. Once a quiet farming community, with older homes on large lots and acreage, it is evolving as a bustling community with many new subdivisions.  Most new houses these days are on smaller lots due to environmental, zoning, and economic considerations, but a few exceptions can be found.  Many of the homes in Felida feature views of Vancouver Lake,The Columbia River, Salmon Creek, or peaceful territorial vistas.

Felida Features the Salmon Creek Greenway Trail

Even with all the development in the area, Felida still enjoys a natural, verdant environment. For example, Salmon Creek Greenway Trail stretches almost 4 miles from the Felida bridge at NW 36th Avenue east to Salmon Creek Park. The trail lines a scenic natural preserve along meandering streams and wetlands. It offers runners, walkers, and bicyclists sightings of deer, rabbits, raccoons and all types of migratory birds.

After your walk or run, enjoy a nice meal at Farrar’s Bistro, a neighborhood grill  just a few miles away.

Market summary of ViewHomes™ above $400,000 in Felida:

26 Active Listings – $440,000 to $2,199,000
Average SQFT – 4,149

Average $/SQFT – $196

12 Pending – $435,000 to $1,625,000
Average SQFT – 3,419
Average $/SQFT – $202

24 Sold in last 3 Mos – $405,000 to $1,700,000
Average SQFT – 3,672
Average $/SQFT – $188

Median Days on Market was 51 days – homes in Felida do not last long!

If you are thinking about selling your home in Felida, contact us for a free market analysis of your home’s value.
If you are interested in buying a home in Felida, you can start your search here.

Filed under: Felida | Market Reports | Nature | News | Views

If you are looking for a home with some acreage, and a view, you should consider homes in Ridgefield, Clark County, WA. Ridgefield has an inviting small town atmosphere. An easy stroll downtown gives you access to historic landmarks, charming shops, restaurants, a community library and beautiful parks.  The city is finishing a recreational loop system of pathways to connect downtown with neighborhoods, parks, schools, and the waterfront.

Recreation is plentiful in Ridgefield where the National Wildlife Refuge serves as the city’s backyard and is a haven for wildlife and nature lovers. You can tour via kayak or canoe along a 21-mile water trail between downtown and the Columbia River. One of our favorite events is BirdFest and Bluegrass – a celebration welcoming the birds back to their winter home. It includes hiking, crafts, food, birding tours, and, of course, music!

We specialize in ViewHomes of Clark County™ and our clients share our appreciation for Nature As Neighbors. A private retreat on acreage provides a serene and calm environment, and there’s room to garden, play with kids or grand kids, and enjoy frequent visits from wildlife. Its “elbow room for the soul.” Our clients are thrilled to find the perfect retreat with ever-changing views of the Wildlife Refuge.

Point of Interest: The Cathlapotle Plankhouse, built by more than 100 volunteers during a period of two years, is based on findings from the archaeological site and other historical references. Visitors will feel a tangible link to those who lived here in the past and it provides a unique site for the interpretation of the natural and cultural heritage preserved on the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

Here is a market summary of view homes with acreage in Ridgefield:

27 Active Listings – $485,000 to $1,625,000
Average SQFT – 3,400
Average $/SQFT – $228

15 Pending – $495,000 to $1,350,000
Average SQFT- 3,714
Average $/SQFT – $218

22 Sold in last 3 Mos – $460,000 to $1,315,000
Average SQFT – 3,714
Average $/SQFT – $194

Median Days on Market – 26.  Homes sell quickly in Ridgefield!

If you are thinking of selling your home in Ridgefield, call us for a free pricing analysis.  If you are looking for a home to buy, start your search for ViewHomes™ of Clark County here. 

Filed under: Market Reports | Nature | News

Fresh cucumbers, walla walla sweets, beans, snow peas, and beets. These are a few of the veggies we’ve been enjoying of late from our Camas garden. However, one interesting squash variety has become a real favorite of our multi-generational family – pattypan squash.

Pattypan squash is generally small, round and shallow, with scalloped edges that make it resemble a flying saucer. We try to pick them when they are on the small side as they are the most tender with a delicate buttery, or olive oil-like flavor. 

The small squash can be braised, steamed, roasted, or grilled whole. One of our favorite ways to enjoy them is to cut them in half, hollow out the center, and fill with turkey sausage, shallots, and mushrooms. A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan adds the finishing touch. 

You won’t find pattypan squash in most markets. However, the growing popularity of Farmer’s Markets around the county has introduced more and more people to this wonderful variety of summer squash. We first grew it in our garden last year and now can’t imagine summers without it.

Filed under: Camas | Lifestyle | Nature

At Nature As Neighbors, our love of nature and wildlife is a big part of our lives – and real estate business. Therefore, we’re very excited ( and proud) for the upcoming BBC/PBS show, Wild Alaska Live. The show is hosted by the well known Kratt Brothers and Steve Backshall. It airs live on PBS and BBC o to over 3 billion viewers worldwide on July 23, 26, and 30.  Juneau’s iconic Mendenhall Glacier was chosen as the centerpiece for the production. The best part, our son, Sean Janes, and several of his staff members at Above and Beyond Alaska, are running safety and support for the project. We’re hoping they might even get some camera time.

Imagine the logistics of hosting a live show from a wilderness location. They can’t use the standard, loud generators out of concerns for the local wildlife. Plus they are using special chew-proof cables on the many cameras placed throughout the area in hopes of capturing wildlife photos. If you love nature, wildlife, Alaska, and adventure in general, be sure to look for it on your local PBS schedule.

These are some of the pre-production shots Sean shared with us yesterday. We thought it was amazing that he was texting photos from the bottom of a hole in the Mendenhall Glacier. Isn’t technology grand?

Filed under: Nature | News | People

We are experiencing an influx of new buyers from outside of the area – mostly for the affordable prices, but also for the quality of life.  Buyers are looking for areas where they can live in the country, but still be close to city amenities like shopping, services, and good schools, Clark County has all of these features.  Brush Prairie/Hockinson is a good example, and we regularly find homes there that meet this criteria.

Hockinson has all the amenities of a rural area – rolling hillsides, tracts of timber land, and large horse pastures. Yet, it is within easy driving distance of metropolitan amenities, including Portland International Airport right across the Columbia River. Combine privacy with the diversity of views, and you have a very popular area for homesites with nature as neighbors. This area is in the highly desirable Hockinson School District.

One unique business neighbors and visitors enjoy is the Hockinson Market. It is located on NE 182nd Ave – basically “Main Street” Hockinson. It has the feel of an old time general store – you can fuel the car, pick up groceries, or sit at the counter for a deli sandwich, pizza, or cold beverage. It even has a tap room featuring local microbrews and cider. It’s a handy resource for locals and within about a 10 minute drive from most of the area neighborhoods.

Here is a quick market summary of view homes with acreage in Hockinson:

30 Active Listings – $445,000 to $1,250,000
Average SQFT – 3,587

Average $/SQFT – $183

9 Pending – $432,900 to $1,000,000
Average SQFT– 3,012
Average $/SQFT – $203

18 Sold in last 3 Mos – $415,000 to $744,000
Average SQFT – 3,017
Average $/SQFT – $185

Median Days on Market – 36.  Homes are selling quickly in Hockinson!

If you are thinking of selling your home in Hockinson, call us for a free pricing analysis.  If you are looking for a home to buy, start your search for ViewHomes™ of Clark County here. 

Filed under: Market Reports | Nature | News

Help support nature as neighbors with special plates from Washington State. A portion of the licensing fees is donated to the Department of Fish and Wildlife for species management.

Filed under: Nature | News

Looking for a fantastic waterfront property on the pristine Washougal River? Here is a wonderful cedar home retreat with potential mother-in-law quarters right on the river.

Waterfront properties have a built-in natural asset many buyers want – the sight and sound of moving water create a relaxed, meditative environment. Some want easy access to boating and active water sports while others want a peaceful place for quiet reflection.  With Spring’s arrival, more buyers are starting to think about living on the water.

The Pacific Northwest has many amazing bodies of water – rivers, bays, lakes and creeks all enhance our connection to nature. But regulations designed to protection our watersheds restrict the development of designated shoreline properties with tight footprints, setbacks, and mitigation requirements. Even creeks are regulated in certain protected watersheds, so this can cause frustration for anyone trying to build or expand a house along a natural waterway.

Regulation, market demand, and a limited inventory all add up to create a specialized market. Whether you are looking for, or want to sell, waterfront property, you should work with a broker who has experience in this specialized market and knows how to achieve that perfect outcome for you.

Here is a snapshot of Clark County waterfront homes starting at $400,000: 

57 Active from $409,900 to $2,795,000
Average SQFT 3,689
Average $/SQFT $233

26 Pending from $425,000 to $3,290,000
Average SQFT 3,340
Average $/SQFT $235

32 Sold in past 3 months from $410,000 to $2,500,000
Average SQFT 3,543
Average $/SQFT $194

Median Days on Market 59 – Homes on the water don’t last long!

View properties on water tend to move quickly, so now is a great time to sell waterfront property. Give us a call, we specialize in ViewHomes™ of Clark County.

We were both thrilled to see Trilliums again poking through the green moss and ferns along the Lacamas Heritage Trail in Camas. It’s our favorite local trail and we often take our Golden Retriever, McKinley, there for exercise. Truthfully, it’s for our exercise needs too. The trail winds through woods, and open spaces offer glimpses of Lacamas Lake, Lacamas Creek, and in certain spots, Mt. Hood. Favorable scenery adds to the enjoyment of our workout.

Seasons bring different forms of beauty to the trail, but lately, an onslaught of rainy weather and unseasonably cold temperatures has kept it somewhat bleak, and muddy. This week, a few days of sunny weather has helped, not only is the trail drying out, but the Spring wildflowers are starting to pop. Nature’s gifts often stop us in our tracks and this week was no exception. Bernie and Mac waited patiently while I dug my iPhone out of my pocket to snap a few photos of the delicate rhizome, Trillium ovatum ( western trilllum).

Trillums are easily disturbed, and sadly, picking them will retard the plants ability to bloom. Children too, are enchanted by them and often can’t resist picking numerous blooms to surprise mom. Therefore, many public parks and trails in our area have warnings posted to leave the trilliums alone. It’s the only way to ensure their ability to bring beauty back to the forest floor year after year. In the wild, they grow in open to dense forests in moist low to mid-level elevations, and many times they are found in areas that are boggy in early spring.

By the way, there are a number of ViewHomes™ for sale in the Lacamas Lake area of Camas. If you’re interested in taking a tour and learning about the many nearby amenties, we’d love to be your guides. Contact us today at

Filed under: Camas | Lifestyle | Nature | News

If you’re looking for a family estate with enough room for live-in relatives, or visiting friends, and room to garden or enjoy privacy, you’ll like homes in Camas,WA. They offer you many opportunities to spend more time with those we love, connect with nature, and live a lifestyle that helps rejuvenate our souls.

Living in Camas, provides you with the luxury of nature as neighbors, with “elbow room for the soul”.  We all know about the rejuvenating powers of living close to nature and having privacy and space. Add to that the daily pleasures of a fantastic view, and your home really becomes a retreat.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all, either – our ViewHomes™ of Clark County come in unique shapes and sizes. An award-winning small-town lifestyle with easy access to city amenities, including close proximity to an international airport, makes Camas a very desirable area.

Market Report Snapshot for ViewHomes™ Camas, WA

18 Active Listings –  $400,000 to $1,750,000
Average SQFT 4,216
Average $/SQFT $207

2 Bumpables – $515,000 to $2,250,000
Average SQFT 5,449
Average $/SQFT $254

8 Pending Listings – $520,000 to $3,290,000
Average SQFT: 4,665
Average $/SQFT $262

3 Sold in the last 3 months from  $460,000 to $905,000
Average SQFT 4,457
Average $/SQFT $145

Only 3 Sold in the last three months doesn’t mean a slow market – it illustrates what happens when there is low inventory. The Median Days on Market this month was 83 – last month was 100, so homes in Camas sell fast!  As the Spring season kicks in, homes will continue to move quickly.

If you are thinking of selling your home in Camas, call us for a free market analysis. We know this area well and know how to market your property for the best result!

If you’re looking for a home in Camas, WA, begin your Camas ViewHomes search here.

Filed under: Camas | Nature | News | View Homes | Views

“Legend has it that the willow is bestowed with magical powers capable of fulfilling wishes. For a wish to be granted, ask permission of the willow explaining your desire. Select a pliable shoot and tie a loose knot in it expressing your wish. When your wish is fulfilled, return and untie the knot. Be sure to thank the willow for your gift.”

Filed under: Nature | News

Walking along Lacamas Lake the other day we saw a lively display of birds flying about, roosting on logs, and playing in the water.  Given the recent ice and freezing rain, we were impressed with all the lively activity.  It was energizing, hinting at spring’s return. We were familiar with most of them, but one brightly-colored bird stood out – we couldn’t quite place it, so we went home to do some research. (More on that later).

What started as a serious research project quickly took an amusing turn. I know there is an amazing variety of resident and transient waterfowl in the lake, since it is located along the migratory Pacific Flyway.  But, reading the many descriptive bird names, I started noticing connections I hadn’t seen before and couldn’t resist a little wordplay. In other words, you could say the lexicology of ornithology is a hoot.

Some observations:
The international representatives are a worldly bunch: Canadian geese, American Coots, European Starlings, and Eurasian Wigeons to name a few.  Kind of like a gaggle of U.N. delegates.

Not to be judgmental, but the Lesser Scaup, Common Mergancer, Great Blue Heron and Greater White-Fronted Geese, are no superlative match for the Stellar Jays.

Hairstyles and sartorial splendor abound: Bald Eagles, Hairy Woodpeckers, Tufted Ducks strut alongside Black-Capped Chickadees, Golden-Crowned Kinglets, Belted Kingfisher, and Double-crested Cormorants. There hasn’t been this much preening since Paris Fashion Week.

On a more contemplative note, we kept our distance from the Townsend’s Solitaire and the Hermit Thrush, while commiserating with the Mourning Dove and Dark-eyed Junco.  But then we partied all night with Harlequins, Evening Grosbeaks, and Warbling Vireos, thanks to Grey Goose and Wild Turkey.  We gave it a rest before we all got too Pie-Billed (Grebe).

Oh, and that bird we were trying to identify?  It’s a Bufflehead! Kind of how I felt after writing this post.

(Posted by Bernie, aka “The Lacamas Lake Loon.”)

Filed under: Camas | Lifestyle | Nature

We all know about the rejuvenating powers of living close to nature and having privacy and space. Add to that the daily pleasures of a fantastic view, and your home really becomes a retreat. Living in Camas, WA, you have many options to experience a lifestyle with “elbow room for the soul”, the ultimate luxury.

Also, if you’re looking for a family estate with enough room for live-in family, or visiting friends, and land to garden or enjoy privacy, you’re like the majority of our clients. Since we specialize in Multi-generational living, we have helped many families find a home suitable for that lifestyle.

Homes in Camas offer you many opportunities to spend more time with those we love, connect with nature, and live a lifestyle that helps rejuvenate our souls. It’s not a one-size-fits-all, either – our ViewHomes™ of Clark County come in unique shapes and sizes.

Since we live in the country north of Camas, we have a real fondness for the area. The charm of a small-town lifestyle meets high-tech industry and offers residents quick access to the big city amenities of Portland, including easy access to Portland International Airport.

Market Report Snapshot for ViewHomes™ Camas, WA

17 Active Listings –  $549,500 to $3,290,000
Average SQFT 4,855
Average $/SQFT $232

1 Bumpable  $2,250,000 with 7,261 SQFT for a $/SQFT of $310

4 Pending Listings – $450,000 to $2,100,000
Average SQFT: 4,527
Average $/SQFT $209

7 Sold in the last 3 months from  $400,000 to $905,000
Average SQFT 3,077
Average $/SQFT $174

The Average DOM (days on market) was 91, so properties are selling quickly!

If you’re looking for a home in Camas, WA, begin your Camas ViewHomes search here.

If you are thinking of selling your home in Camas, call us for a free market analysis. We know the area and know how to market your property for the best result!

Filed under: Camas | Lifestyle | Nature | News | View Homes | Views

Living in the country has many perks – open space, green vistas, and chickens! Yes, chickens.  Even if you don’t raise chickens yourself, they are usually just an acre or two away from you. From the early morning crow of the rooster, to the regular clucking of the hens – chickens add a decidedly rural feeling to the area.

When you see chickens roaming around someone’s property, you might assume they are low-maintenance.  But they actually require a lot of work and care to keep clean and healthy. So we have opted, for now, not to have them on our property.  But we see and hear them all the time at our neighbors’, and that’s fine with us.  Recently, one neighbor asked if we wanted to be in the loop of a regular fresh egg supply. Yes!  So now we have all the benefits of chickens – daily fresh eggs – without the work! We appreciate the bright yolks, firm whites, and they are great for baking too.

So in addition to the normal benefits of living in the country – clean air, privacy, and “elbow room for the soul”, you can add fresh eggs to the list.  They are often just a good neighbor away. If you’re interested in discovering the many benefits of living with Nature As Neighbors, call us today, we love to share our experiences.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

The Pleasure of Living with Nature As Neighbors

If you are looking for a home with acreage and a view, you should consider homes in Brush Prairie – Hockinson, in Clark County, WA. While they are technically two separate places, most people refer to the area as one. The topography of this region is defined by the foothills of the Cascade Mountains to the east and the Columbia River Gorge to the south. Rolling hillsides – offering territorial views – rise up to dramatic vantage points of Mt. Hood and the Columbia River. Combine privacy with the diversity of views, and you have a very popular area for homesites – adding value to your home when it’s time to sell, and pleasure while you live there. Brush Prairie is in the highly desirable Hockinson School District.

Point of Interest! Neighbors and visitors enjoy stopping in at the Hockinson Market. It’s
located at 15814 NE 182nd Avenue. You can fuel the car, buy ice-cream, pizza, cold
beverages – even a new microbrew tap room. It’s a handy resource for locals and within about a 10-15 minute (or less) drive from most of the area neighborhoods.

Here is a quick market summary of view homes in Hockinson with acreage:

12 Active Listings – $460,000 to $1,350,000
Average SQFT – 4,166

Average $/SQFT – $174

10 Pending – $424,900 to $900,000
Average SQFT– 3,492
Average $/SQFT – $180

14 Sold in last 3 Mos – $415,000 to $730,000
Average SQFT – 3,236
Average $/SQFT – $176

We specialize in ViewHomes of Clark County™. If you want to learn more about ViewHomes of Brush Prairie-Hockinson contact us today.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Market Reports | Nature | News

Nature Tweets Sweeter – Black Capped Chickadees

One of our favorite backyard birds is the little cheerful-looking, and cheerful sounding, Black-capped Chickadee. Chickadee is the North American name for birds that are called tits (no snickering please) in rest of the world where these birds are found. Tits is actually an old German word meaning something small. It makes sense to us.
We’ve been filling the feeder with their favorite black-oiled sunflower seeds, as well as suet to help them survive our crazy, cold winter this year. They are quite friendly and don’t seem to mind our presence in the yard with them. It’s interesting to watch them at the feeder too because they exhibit a complex flock hierarchy, allowing dominate birds to feed first.

The North American name for them is based on the sound the birds make, chick-a-dee-dee. However, our favorite tune to hear is their distinctive fee-bee-ee whistle. It always brings us a smile to hear the melodic song outside our windows. We also feel lucky that the fee-bee song is actually distinctly longer for chickadees in Oregon and Washington. We get it, the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest is something to sing about.

I found this fun video, an Ode to Songbirds produced by students and teachers involved in an awesome program sponsored by the Tremont Institute, located within the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

We have been celebrating the holiday season with Nature As Neighbors. December snow and cool temperatures have given us many delightful moments. We even caught ourselves dreaming of a White Christmas, and it’s likely going to come true. Not here in Clark County though, we’re heading to Bend, Oregon tomorrow to spend Christmas with our son’s family. There’s so much more magic in the air when you celebrate the holidays with children. We did want to take a moment to thank you for your support, business, and in some cases, friendship. Here’s a short video celebrating the many seasonal gifts of nature in December.

Filed under: Nature | News | Views

We have been promoting fresh Christmas trees for some time as a green choice for the holidays. Every year, we enjoy the hunt, harvest, and, even the hassle of putting up a fresh tree and have never considered an artificial tree.  Especially now that we live within 2 miles of a great tree farm. Typically, with proper care, they keep their aroma and greenery for many days, and last well past Christmas day.

This year, though, we were in for a surprise, in spite of faithfully following the National Christmas Tree Association guidelines. We took the tree straight home and prepped it properly for the stand. Every morning we checked the water level, and topped it up when necessary.  We even keep a bottle of water right next to the base for easy refill. But for some reason, it dried out faster than usual.  More needles than usual started dropping, and the bright green color started to fade.  When it started to feel brittle to the touch, we decided as a safety measure, to take it down.

Sure enough, as we disassembled the lights and ornaments, it was clear the tree was a goner. We took it outside and put it on our fire pit. With just the flick of a lighter, it blazed into a small inferno.  We were sad to see it go but relieved that it ignited outside, and not while we were gone for the weekend.

A quick search suggests that some trees don’t absorb as much water as others, so that might be a factor.  The other is the extreme cold we experienced for several days caused us to use the wood stove a lot more, and the air might have dried it out faster. Whatever the reason, we are grateful we noticed it and took action.

We still plan to  a fresh tree next year, and maybe pick a cooler spot for it.  According to the NCTA, “less than .0004% of Real Christmas Trees used each year are ignited in home fires.”  This is still a reminder that, while fresh trees are a great way to celebrate the holidays, it is important to pay attention and take steps to keep it from drying out.

Filed under: Camas | Lifestyle | Nature

We are keeping close watch on our feeders this week and leaving our Christmas lights on for longer periods to help provide a source of warmth. The photo of this Anna’s was taken during yesterday’s snow storm when temperatures hovered around 29 degrees. The little bird would sit for extended periods on the strand of lights, and then eagerly sip nectar from the nearby feeder. We suspect he was loading up for a long night hunkered down in the evergreens next to our house. This morning, a feeder with room temperature nectar awaits his return, as do we.

Filed under: Nature | News

If you’re dreaming of a White Christmas, we can help. Contact us today and let’s find your ViewHome of Clark County, Washington.

We’ve become big fans of a new development in Felida – The Reserve at Ashley Ridge. The reason? It offers large lots – many with views – and elbow room for the soul. The developer, Pacific Lifestyle Homes, led by Kevin Wann, creates communities that embrace the unique qualities of the location and environment. Ashely Ridge is the embodiment of that: quality green homes that reflect different lifestyles with an appreciation for the environment.

Situated on a plateau overlooking the Columbia River to the East and Salmon Creek refuge to the North, large home sites (up to 20,000 SQFT) are positioned to take advantage of the views, while preserving side lot privacy. Floor plans range in size from 2,000 to 3,756 SQFT, many with master on the main.  Amenities include an additional detached garage where possible, which can be used for an artist studio, hobby shop, or separate home office. Plans are in place for a foot trail to take kayaks down to Lake River right from the neighborhood.

Conveniently located with easy access to shopping, services, and freeways – PDX airport is only 30 min away – The Reserve Ashley Ridge offers an opportunity to live close to everything, but with nature as neighbors. Check out the location in this video, and call us if you’d like to see homes in this neighborhood.

Filed under: Felida | Lifestyle | Nature | News

Many of our clients are also sensitive to the environment, that’s why they choose ViewHomes of Clark County – with Nature As Neighbors, as their lifestyle choice. They too will likely visit one of Clark County’s 350 acres of planted tree farms in the upcoming days. It’s important to support our local growers to help ensure their future longevity.

ViewHomes™ of Livingston Mountain in Camas WA 

Some of our favorite ViewHomes™ of Clark County™ are located on Livingston Mountain in Camas.This area features a variety of homes on larger parcels of land and many of the homes have great views of Mt. Hood, the Columbia River, and Portland city lights.

The topography of this region is defined by the foothills of the Cascade Mountains to the East and the Columbia River Gorge to the South. Rolling hillsides – offering territorial views – rise up to dramatic vantage points of Mt. Hood, St. Helens, and the Columbia River. Combine the luxury of privacy with the diversity of views, and you have a very popular area for homesites.  Livingston Mountain is in the highly desirable Camas School District.

Residents of the neighborhoods located on Livingston Estates literally have “Nature As Neighbors™”.  The Regional Multiple Listing Service often pulls in other listings, not located on Livingston Mountain, and it benefits buyers to utilize the expertise of a local Real Estate who knows the area, as we do.

Market Snapshot for Livingston Mountain

10 Active Listings  from $509,000 to $2,250,000
Average Square Feet 5,200
Average $/SqFt $209

4 Sold Listing in Past 3 Months from $500,000 to $803,000
Average Square Feet 4,670
Average $/SqFt $181

Average Days on Market 83

These numbers show that there are a limited number of homes available for that area, and they are selling fast.

Point of Interest! Neighbors and visitors enjoy the convenience of the Fern Prairie Market, at 1817 NE 267th Ave.  It is not just a gas station/convenience store, but a miniature supermarket with fresh produce, meats, staples, and frozen foods (with an extensive pizza selection!) Their deli counter also offers fresh custom-made sandwiches, including breakfast sandwiches.

Begin your search here for properties on large parcels of land in, or around, Livingston Mountain. 

Filed under: Camas | Nature | News | View Homes

We were on our way to an inspection yesterday when we both felt the joy of a new season. The drive to the Washougal River property was gorgeous, and we both commented on the fall leaves this year – they are exceptionally splendid. It reminded us to showcase the beauty of our region with seasonal videos.  Our video of Spring in Clark County is a popular one, but we didn’t have one for this time of year. Naturally, it didn’t take us long to remedy the situation. Welcome to the beauty of Fall in Clark County, WA.




Filed under: Events | Lifestyle | Nature | News

Nature often surprises us with spontaneous gifts.

Filed under: Camas | Nature | News

We celebrate the arrival of this season, embracing cooler weather, restocking the wood shed, and appreciating the softer light juxtaposed with the rich shades of fall leaves. This morning, we spent time in quiet reflection.

Filed under: Nature | News

We always enjoy the Clark County Parade of Homes to view new ideas and designs that complement your lifestyle. This year is especially enjoyable because the theme is a lifestyle that resonates with us – country estates and living with nature as neighbors.  Homes with acreage have the advantage of featuring nature and privacy – the ultimate luxuries.

As more consumers value outdoors as a part of their lifestyles, more builders are featuring nature an extension of the home.  Decks with views, patios with fireplaces, even fully-furnished outdoor kitchens are extremely popular. It’s a recognition that our home is a refuge form the hustle and bustle of today’s busy world. Yesterday’s demand for a media room has become today’s need for an outdoor room.

The Parade of Homes opened Sept. 16th and runs through Oct 2 on Carty Rd in Ridgefield, WA.  All homes sit on acreage, and are larger than 3,000 SqFt – a unique opportunity for builders to showcase their creativity and craftsmanship. This coming Sunday, Sept. 25 is Family Day at the Parade, and features special events for kids and parents from 11:00 am to 2 pm.

Whether it’s a simple patio under the trees, surrounded by Adirondack chairs, or a full-blown entertainment area, outdoor rooms are a great way to sit and enjoy natural surroundings. Especially if you have the luxury of Nature as Neighbors!

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

Rural often means a home with acreage, views, and frequent visits from wildlife. We call it living with Nature As Neighbors and plenty of “elbow room for the soul.”™ It’s a lifestyle that we feel very passionate about, as we live it ourselves. Research suggests it’s good for us to live within close proximity to a lot of green. Call it vitamin “N” for Nature, as one Washington Post writer suggests.

It looks exotic, but is hardy in our climate, as its name implies, “Frostproof.” Our home is located in the hills above Camas and nighttime temperatures are often on the cool side during Spring

Imagine having the best of both worlds! You can own a private slice of heaven located less than a mile from the heart of downtown Camas. This ViewHome™ has plenty of room for the entire family, or visiting family members and friends if you’re empty nesters. It has classic and timeless appeal with a great layout that lends itself to privacy for everyone.

Looking for in-law quarters, or space for your college student to live until graduation? This home has a ton of potential with a large lower level with a private entry from the garage. It is the perfect multi-generational home because it gives everyone the breathing room they need for harmony. Large windows and decks create a connection to stunning views and nature, it’s both entertaining and soothing.

Talk about location – nestled in a hillside overlooking charming Camas, within walking distance of shops and restaurants. Minutes from recreation on Lacamas Lake, Columbia River, or in the scenic Columbia Gorge. Want to get away to bigger cities for some night life, or travel? Portland, Oregon is a short 30 minute drive, and Portland International Airport is only 20 minutes away.

Newly adjusted price of $669,000.00. Call us today for your private tour.

Filed under: Camas | Nature | News | View Homes | Views

Save the bees! That’s just one of our mantras at Nature As Neighbors.

We know where to find Multi-gen homes, family estates, and homes with plenty of space for frequent visitors. In fact, we too live the lifestyle in our own ViewHome located in the hills above Camas/Washougal. Privacy and nature abound, yet recently, it was only a 20 minute trip to take our daughter and granddaughter to Portland International Airport for their return flight to Denver.

We love the work of this artist. His designs delight us on all levels. The company is called Fantasywire and it’s located in England. We may have to add one of his wire sculptures to our yard.

Filed under: Nature | News

With the heat spell upon us, it is comforting to know we are surrounded by so many places where water is easily accessible in nature. Whether you just want to wade in a shallow stream, or plunge into a deep pool, you have many choices for cooling off outdoors.  The big challenge is – with all the choices – deciding where to go.

The biggest natural water feature in the area is, of course, the Columbia River, and the options are unlimited if you have a boat. Some areas are off-limits due to access or strong currents. But if you want to lie on a beach and wade in relatively calm water, Captain William Clark Park is a good start.  Two reservable picnic areas are available for up to 50 people each.  Otherwise, free picnic tables are available throughout the area on a first-come basis.

Lacamas Lake and Round Lake are extremely popular during hot weather.  Each offers hiking trails around swimming areas accessible from the shore. Sweetwater SUP is a local company that currently offers kayak and paddle board rentals on Lacamas Lake.  The best part of paddle boarding on a hot day is you don’t really mind falling in!  If you’re willing to take a short hike on the Lacamas Creek Trail, “The Potholes” are deep pools formed by waterfalls on Lacamas Creek.

The Washougal River is another swimmable body, depending on where you jump in. Starting up at Dougan Falls, you can find kayaking and swimming spots if you get there early – it is a popular site on a hot day. Heading south, there are a number of public areas along the river where swimming is allowed. Be careful of rapids and swift currents – even if the air is hot, the water can still be cold and induce hypothermia.  But as the summer progresses, the water starts to heat up, and the risk subsides.

Of course, the ideal place to go swimming on a hot day is your own private waterfront retreat.   So even when the temperatures reach the upper 90s, we are grateful that we live in an area with “water, water everywhere”!


Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | Views

With Memorial Day launching the unofficial start of summer, it’s a good day to kick-start your family activities for the season. In addition to summer camp and trips to the beach, there are many local areas and activities to keep in mind.

This Saturday, June 4, is National Trails Day, an annual celebration of trail activities across the country: hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, trail running, and bird watching and more. Several locations in the area are hosting events – the City of Ridgefield celebrates with the Big Paddle – an interpretive tour by canoe, kayak, or even paddleboard along Lake River to the confluence of the Columbia River. Registration for the tour is required, but there are other free activities along the waterfront.

But you don’t have to wait until Saturday to get outdoors.  This area offers many close-by opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, or just strolling along the beach to throw a stick for your dog. Some of our favorites include:

Cape Horn, a rigorous hike along the Gorge that offers amazing panoramic views of the Columbia River and Gorge.  Head East on WA State Route 14 to signs at milepost 26.4.

Sunset Falls Park, along the East Fork of the Lewis River.  Kayak along the East Fork, take an easy hike to the falls, or spend the night camping.

Lacamas Heritage Trail is a relatively easy, but extremely scenic hiking/biking path along Lacamas Lake. Parking at either end – off Goodwin Road, or Lake Rd near the Lacamas Lake Lodge.

Captain William Clark Park is a very popular picnicking and swimming area along the Columbia River in Washougal.  Cottonwood Beach can get a little crowded on holidays, but a short hike East around Cottonwood Point offers more privacy.

However you decide to launch your summer activities, Clark County offers many opportunities for views of Nature as Neighbors.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News
Filed under: Nature | News

This is the time of the year when buyers seem to long for a home along a river. An idyllic lifestyle comes to mind for us too. Lemonade on the deck after a dip in the swimming hole on a hot summer day. Blanket wrapped fall mornings with a mug of hot coffee. There’s so much to celebrate about life along a river. It can feel like a resort vacation – everyday.

We think the Washougal River is one of the most beautiful in our region, and the above photo showcases all the reasons. Pristine water tumbles over rocks and logs, waterfalls cascade from the cliffs above, and towering evergreens line the banks. In fact, the photo was taken near the Fish Hatchery – just a few minutes from a very special property.

Deck 2 Washougal River Rd-large-065-64-16241 Washougal River Road64-1500x1000-72dpi

If you’re longing for a retreat, one that has the potential for serenity, creativity, and fun, we’ve got the perfect spot for you. This one-level custom home sits on the Washougal River with a gorgeous private waterfall to delight, mesmerize, and entertain. You can’t help but feel as if you’re at a destination resort on these grounds.

To say it’s special is an understatement. It’s a one-of-a-kind location and property. If you’re sick of cookie-cutter homes and long for a unique floor plan, and something different from all the same colors and finishes we see, ad nauseam, this home might be the one. Two master suites, located on each end of the home, open up interesting possibilities.

The magical location alone is worth the price of admission, add the house, the gardens, and your own vision for a personal masterpiece.  A scenic 25 minute drive from the Safeway store in Washougal takes you the gated driveway of this private retreat. If you’d like to see if for yourself, contact us today, before it’s too late.

We’re concerned about our dwindling bee populations and will be doing our part this summer. More on that to come. What are you doing to help save the bees? Let us know, we’d love to share your tips and send you a special “Bee the Change,” magnet to say thank you. Help us spread the work and create a good buzz.

Filed under: Nature | News

Hanging Baskets Add Color to Spring Mornings

Filed under: Nature | News

Waterfront lifestyles are special. The views are ever-changing, and the abundance of wildlife is an extra bonus.

We have been watching our fields for the amazing monarch butterflies as they return on their journey North to the United States and Canada. The monarch has been a marvel of nature for centuries – noted as much for its spectacular beauty as its impressive migration patterns between North and South America. Scientists estimate that some monarchs travel as much as 2,000 miles, returning each year to their warmer resting spots in the South.  East Coast monarchs winter in Mexico, while West Coast flocks – appropriately called “kaleidoscopes” – head to Southern California.

In recent years, though, there has been a recognizable decline in population due to pesticides, loss of habitat, and reduction in milkweed fields – especially in the West. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting a survey to determine if the monarch should be listed under the Endangered Species Act.  Meanwhile, the Monarch Joint Venture is coordinating the efforts of public and private organizations to generate awareness of these problems and protect the monarch migration. As a result, several different programs combine the forces of citizen observers and social media to monitor and track the migration like never before.

The Monarch Joint Venture features a Citizen Science Opportunities page where individuals can participate in these studies. You can choose from Journey North where folks simply email sightings they have – to the more intense Monarch Watch that involves tagging, recapturing and documenting individual butterflies. Each site features migration maps where you can see the reports of sightings in your area. If you want to learn more about preserving monarch habitats, you can download the Xerces Society Milkweed Guide, which explains the importance of planting and maintaining milkweed fields which provide food sites for their migration.  We have planted a mixture of native flowers and shrubs just to attract butterflies.

So, whether you actively take part in the migration monitoring, plant a butterfly garden, or simply sit back and enjoy the sights, Spring is the time to be watching for those beautiful monarchs.

Filed under: Nature | News

One of our favorite events in Camas every year is the Annual Plant & Garden Fair held Saturday just before Mother’s Day (how convenient)! And to get everyone in the mood, the First Friday event May 6th will be the “Garden Gnome Gala.” Featuring a scavenger hunt throughout downtown Camas, the event gives prizes to participants who find the gnomes hidden in various business throughout downtown.  Just visiting the locations will enter you in a drawing to win a miniature fairy garden gift basket from Lizzabeth A. Nuestra Mesa restaurant will host the second night of their Cinco De Mayo party (which, of course, starts May 5th) featuring live music and outside dining and dancing both nights.

Those fun activities are just a warm-up for Saturday’s Plant and Garden Fair, which runs from 9 am to 4 pm downtown. It’s an opportunity to experience a wide selection of plants, trees, garden art and supplies – provided by local growers and artists. The fair is known for its selection of unique hand-made garden art, bird houses, garden furniture, fountains, wind chimes, iron works, and a wealth of other products. It will be hard to choose which gift you want for your mom – or even yourself!

This year’s fair will include a free potting station, with assistance, at 3rd and Cedar to put your plants in containers you buy before heading home.  Plus, free educational sessions are offered throughout the day at these vendor booths:

9:30 & 12:30        The Soap Chest: Herbal Infusions: Benefits and How-to’s
10:00 & 1:00        Half Moon Farm: Pollinators in the Garden; Education Bee Hive
10:30 & 1:30        Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection: Growing Clematis
11:00 & 2:00        The Water Shed: Water Gardens & Ponds
11:30 & 2:30        Clark County Master Composters: Worm Bin Composting
12:00 & 3:00        Rain Barrel Man: Using Rain Barrels

Also, be sure to check out the booth by Arai Nursery, one of our neighbors, and a family business we will be featuring in an up-coming post.

So, make it a Camas Garden Weekend – troll the gnomes on Friday, and stroll the streets on Saturday to get your fill of plants, flowers, and gardens!

Filed under: Camas | Events | Nature

One of the many advantages of living in the Pacific Northwest is the opportunity to see wildlife throughout the region. We are especially fortunate to have two of the largest wildlife refuges right here in Clark County – Ridgefield and Steigerwald Lake in Washougal.  Both are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and provide residents with unique opportunities to view and photograph birds and other native species in their natural habitat. This is especially true during Spring when the refuges serve as natural “landing spots” for migrating birds.

Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Columbia River in Washougal, Washington and is a birder’s paradise. More than 200 species of waterfowl and songbirds have been recorded here, making it the perfect spot to slow down and enjoy nature. The refuge includes wetlands and pastures with riparian strips lined with cottonwoods and Oregon white oak trees.

The easy 2.8 mile loop trail is family friendly as there is little elevation gain.  The refuges serves as a migratory crossroads for a number of bird species.  The land also provides valuable habitat for resident wildlife. We think this short video does a great job of showcasing the importance of this local resource. Plus,  a walk along the Gibbons Creek Art Trail can prove to be scream inducing. ( See what we mean at 1.35 in the video)


Filed under: Nature | News | Washougal

It’s family day at our Multi-gen household and my sis and her husband are still on their road trip, back by May 1st. My husband and I will be hosting Sunday dinner for my folks again today, and I think we’re having a Roast chicken on the Traeger.

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that the founder of Earth Day, Denis Hayes, grew up in Camas and part of his motivation was to clean up his own town’s environment. So what better way to celebrate Earth Day this year, than to help clean up Downtown Camas?

The condition of downtown and our environment have greatly improved since the first Earth Day in 1970, so it shows how effective group effort can be to bring about change. But there is always work to be done, and that is why the Downtown Camas Association organizes an Annual Spring Cleanup and Plant Day.

This year, the event is schedule for Sunday, April 24 from 1 to 4, meeting at the Journey Community Church, 4th and Birch. Be sure to bring gloves and garden tools, and dress to get dirty! There will be lots of weeding, digging, planting, raking, and barkdusting (if that is a word)!  Lots of good clean fun, and a meaningful way to contribute to the community and participate in Earth Day. It’s also great preparation for the upcoming First Friday in May -The Camas Plant & Garden Fair – so check back for more information about that event.  As a bonus, Journey will be hosting a free lunch for participants.

For more information about Camas Spring Cleanup and Planting Day, give us a call.


Filed under: Camas | Events | Nature | News

This week on Friday, April 22nd, we celebrate the 46th annual Earth Day.  Started by local Camas resident Denis Hayes back in 1972, it has become an international movement that has raised our collective environmental consciousness. Coincidentally, while sitting here starting this post, I kept hearing a sweet chirping coming from a nearby meadow. We are surrounded by song birds this time of year, and often can identify different birds based on their sound, but I couldn’t quite place this one:

Turns out, it is a Wilson’s Warbler, a bright yellow migratory bird that flies over 2,500 miles annually to winter in Central America. As they start to return every spring, it would be easy to mistake this little guy for another bright yellow bird, the American Goldfinch, state bird of Washington. But a closer look (if you can get that) shows the difference. Wilson’s Warbler has light green wings, while the goldfinch has black and white striped wings. I couldn’t actually spot the warbler, but it was nice to hear his song.

Which brought me back to my original theme, Earth Day, but led me to another topic – Gratitude.  Starting way back with Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” – about pesticides killing off songbirds – there have been people sounding the alarm about what we need to do to protect our environment. When Denis Hayes started Earth Day awareness, we were focusing on air and water pollution, and how it affected our health. Through their efforts, we have become more aware of actions we can take to help preserve the environment – from simple recycling to lobbying for legislation.

Sometimes small gestures can lead to big changes, and for this I am grateful.  Because through our environmental-friendly habits, the effects add up to help all creatures on this planet.  Even the small Wilson’s Warbler that happened to greet my morning with its cheerful song.  I am grateful you’re still coming back every year.

Filed under: Nature | News

Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree with Anyone Else but Me. Happy Spring – we’re loving the blossoming scene at our Camas ViewHome™ right now.

Filed under: Camas | Nature | News

Today’s view features a pastoral, or bucolic setting. Both words are defined as “pertaining to the country or life in the country, rural and rustic.” We think the red barn and horse reflect the timeless simplicity and charm of life in the countryside.

Spring is here – time to get outdoors!

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

Some days, when we want to get even closer to nature in the wilderness, we head up to Sunset Falls Park in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Located on the East Fork of the Lewis River, we can choose a day visit for a picnic and hike to the spectacular falls, or reserve a campsite and spend a few days exploring the area.

Kayakers put in a mile and a half upriver, and are known to shoot the falls when water levels allow. During the warmer months, swimming in the pools formed by the falls is an option. Only 7 miles from Lucia Falls Rd in Battle Ground, WA, this easily-accessible site is popular during the spring and summer, so book ahead if you plan to stay.

The East Fork of the Lewis River has earned the national Wild and Scenic designation, which recognizes and protects its unique environmental qualities. In 2014, the river was identified as a wild steelhead gene bank for its pristine waters and breeding areas – terminating the release of hatchery fish into its waters. As a result, fishing is only allowed south of the campgrounds, below Horseshoe Falls.

The drive up to Sunset Falls Park takes you past some other interesting parks and outdoor activities. The Pomeroy Farm is a living history lesson in how the early pioneers managed to live off the land in the area. Moulton Falls is a day-use only site along the river that offers short, easy hikes, picnicking, and swimming during the warm months. Watch for future posts about our our visits there.

As you can imagine, properties right along the banks of the river are prime real estate, due to popular demand for outdoor experiences and living with nature as neighbors. They do come up occasionally, so If you’d like more information about properties for sale in the area, let us know.



Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

Goats eat up to 20 percent of their body weight each day. Around here, wild blackberry brambles can become a real issue as an invasive species. Not with goats around! Clark County, like many areas in the US, have herds of goat “weed warriors” they use to control noxious weeds at public sites. In addition, there are Rent-a-Goat options for those who don’t want to own goats full-time.

The monarch butterfly starts its migration this month from Mexico up into Canada. We expect to see them in this area soon and we will report it.

Filed under: Camas | Nature

The solution? Light – and more exposure to the outdoors! Light is our principal environmental cue for how our bodies react – it triggers the suppression of sleep-inducing melatonin. Even artificial light can help, but finding a way to get out into natural light is best. Take some time and notice the changes going on outdoors around you. Nature has remarkable systems for adjusting to seasonal environmental changes – with or without daylight saving.

Imagine a Washougal Riverfront retreat with an additional view of your own private waterfall. Talk about Nature As Neighbors and “elbow room for the soul.”™ This is the spot! Coming soon…

Just over the weekend, we noticed this bunch of daffodils suddenly popping out of the soil.  From bulbs that were planted last Fall – they must be loving this early warm Spring. So is the busy bee working away so early this morning.  Maybe he’s the same little guy we noticed last week.  When you’re living with nature as neighbors, you can always expect to be surprised!

Filed under: Nature | News

“Nature is fuel for the soul. Often, when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.” – Dr. Richard Ryan, Professor of Psychology at the University of Rochester.

Living in a home with Nature As Neighbors gives you “elbow room for the soul,” and raises your joy level. There are studies backing up what we believe too. A connection to nature is life affirming and renewing. Recently. while on a flight to Denver for our granddaughter’s first birthday, we noticed an article in the onboard magazine. Rather than restate each point it made about managing stress, here’s a link. We weren’t surprised to read that getting outdoors – and avoiding pavement – is good for what ails you.

In fact, a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that being outdoors, specifically in nature, can give us more energy and even increase our body’s ability to ward off disease. More than 10 years ago, the term “nature deficit disorder” was coined. Since then, some research indicates that many of our mental health disorders lies in our increased urbanization. However, until recently, there was little conclusive evidence.

Matthew P White, a social psychologist, and his colleges decided to find a credible link. They studied 10,000 individuals to explore the relation between green space and well-being. The report by the American Chemical Society, and funded, in part, from the Economic and Social Research Council, did conclude that people who moved to greener areas were happier during all three years that their health was tracked after relocating.

Our real estate niche, ViewHomes of Clark County with ” Nature As Neighbors “™ grew out of our love of nature and beautiful surroundings. We’ve always loved the outdoors and appreciated the environment, but after listening to the many stories from our clients who love having ‘elbow room for the soul,” we knew there was something big about the lifestyle. Therefore, we recently made the move and now live in our own ViewHome with Nature As Neighbors. Oh joy, oh joy.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

ry Dayery 5 Easy Things You Can Do for Earth Day 2019 - Protect The Bees

Earth Day – Protect Our Species

There are 5 easy things you can do for Earth Day. While it may seem that climate change and saving the planet are overwhelming, you can contribute in a small but meaningful way.

The theme this year is “Protecting our Species.” This means protecting humans, too, but it starts with examining our own behavior.  Nature as Neighbors has long been a supporter of protecting the environment and creatures that are affected by us.

A crucial component of natural plant and tree cultivation is pollination – fertilization spread by bees, butterflies, even hummingbirds.  Today, we are finding this is more important than ever, so we are sending out seed packets to help in this cause.  Let us know if you’d like a free sample.

A few years back, we set up a “Bee and Bee” and immediately started seeing the mason bee pollinators emerge. Even after harsh winters, they return every spring. And they are here again! Bees are true survivors when they have our support.

There are many variations of honey and bumblebees out there to see. Our biggest concern is they may be threatened due to overuse of pesticides and destruction of their natural habitat.

Here are 5 Easy Things You Can Do for Earth Day to help preserve bees in your environment:

  1. Reduce or eliminate pesticides used on foraging plants
  2. Plant a bee-friendly pollinator garden in your yard
  3. Register your area with S.H.A.R.E.
    (Simply Have Areas Reserved for the Environment)
  4. Check out the many bee-friendly devices you can hang in your yard
  5. Support your local beekeeper – buy local organic honey

Also, check out this Illustrated Guide To a Pollinator-Friendly Garden by another bee-friendly author Chris McLaughlin.

Also, check out this article about How the Internet is Helping to Save the Bees.

If you’d like to learn more about our Save The Bees campaign, give us a call.  We’d love to hear what you’re doing to help preserve our little earth-friendly friends.


While Mount Hood is physically located across the Columbia River in Oregon, its majestic peaks are the backdrop for many ViewHomes of Clark County.  The eroding glaciers that formed the Columbia Gorge left craggy peaks and promontories overlooking the entire region. We are fortunate that, with so many hills, plateaus and highlands, Mount Hood will suddenly grace us with its appearance in the background. Sometimes it’s bright and shiny, showing its jagged ridges and glistening snow-covered peaks. Sometimes it’s more subtle with soft watercolors and hazy shadows that reflect the early morning sky – just as it was this early morning from a hillside in Camas, WA.

Filed under: Nature | News | Views


(By Mfield, Matthew Field, – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

We recently wrote about Rufous Hummingbirds our region. We’ve always known the Anna Hummingbirds winter over in the Pacific Northwest, but we were a bit surprised to learn some Rufous do too. My husband thinks a female Rufous may have visited our feeder this week, I suspect it’s a female Anna’s hummingbird.  Both are more drab in color than the males, but Anna’s have a sheen of green feathers along their sides, while the Rufous have a subtle red shading. Anna’s are a bit larger than the Rufous too. They also have a long, straight and slender bill.

Perhaps, we’ll spot a Rufous soon. We know for certain they’ll be visiting later this Spring. In the meantime, what do you think – Anna’s or Rufous?

Filed under: Camas | Nature | News

Yesterday, we put up the first hummingbird feeder for our new home in the country. We know they are all over this area during spring and summer, but we were hopeful we could attract some to our feeder during this last part of winter. After all, spring is less than a month away, so our expectations are pretty high!

We did some research on our favorite bird web site, Journey North and confirmed the rufous hummingbird is very common in the Pacific Northwest from California to Southeastern Alaska – nesting farther north than any other hummingbird. There are sightings of the rufous (named for its reddish brown color) during winter months, but not its cousin, the ruby-throated hummingbird, which migrates to Central America during the winter. A quick glance at the winter sightings maps shows a distinct difference in their habits.

Hummingbird Sightings

Apparently, although most rufous migrate south to Mexico and Central America, some are able to winter-over in this area. They accomplish this by going into a state of torpor or dormancy, where their metabolic rate drops substantially to preserve energy. Hard to imagine a hummingbird sitting still, but that’s what keeps them alive. It also explains why you can spot them at feeders during the winter – it helps build up their food reserve when natural sources are not available.

So, with nature as our neighbor, our odds are pretty good we will see the rufous at our feeder soon.  When we do, we’ll report our sighting on the Journey North web site and post pictures here.  Check back in a few weeks to see how we did…

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

Living with Nature as Neighbors, you regularly see and hear wildlife right outside your window.  We recently heard frogs and worried that it might be too early for them. (Turns out, they’re just fine.) The next day, we saw robins in the yard and wondered the same thing.

So we did some research to find out how early robins are sighted in the U.S. We were amazed and delighted to find a host of public and private web sites dedicated to monitoring everything from Aphids to Zebra mussels. Here, social media and public participation come together to help nature. With data from sightings, scientists and governmental agencies can monitor changes in wildlife population and habitat, which typically indicate environmental changes. These findings help promote further research to design protective measures or changes in human behavior where necessary.

Our favorite web sites include All About Birds and Journey North, which promotes “citizen science” by encouraging the public to report nature’s indicators: whooping cranes, monarch butterflies, even tulip blossoms from their test garden. This is where we learned that over 157,000 robins have already been sighted since January 1st – apparently our nature neighbors weren’t early at all.

We also found a flock of Twitter handles dedicated to tracking any number of migratory and local birds. A quick search will lead you to #birds, #birding, #birdwatching, plus a herd of other #wildlife designations.  You are limited by time and imagination only!

So, next time you spot a robin, hear a great horned owl, or notice the first sprout of Crocus – report it on your favorite web site, or tweet it. Citizen participation in Nature as Neighbors is educational, informative, and can actually help our environment.

Filed under: Nature | News

Our thoughts are turning to gardening again. It’s nearly time to start prepping the beds for early Spring planting. However, our ViewHome™ in Camas is also surrounded by deer. We’re not complaining, when you choose ” Nature As Neighbors ” it requires thought and creativity to coexist in harmony with area wildlife.

“I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”  – Vincent Van Gogh

Planets Align

Living in a rural area with clear skies offers us amazing sunrises, sunsets, and star-gazing.  For the next month, an added bonus will be an alignment of five planets not seen for over a decade. Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye for a window of time from 6:30 to 7:15 am in the Southern sky. Although binoculars can help, they’re not necessary.  As Washington State University astronomer Guy Worthey was recently quoted: “These were the five planets known to the ancients.”

Although this alignment occurs again this summer, Mercury and Venus will be lower in the horizon, making them harder to spot. So take a moment in the morning over the next few weeks and observe a spectacle that has been around since the beginning of time. Experience the same wonder as the ancients and take a moment to dream.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News | Views

The Pacific tree frogs are back with their chirpy serenades. A cacophony of love sonnets, warning shouts, and weather reports. Nature’s harmonic chorus is a welcome sound in the early morning dawn.

Filed under: Nature | News

Some days we all find ourselves scurrying here and there. We don’t always take time to notice what nature is trying to offer.  Recently, we were a bit early for a listing appointment near Dougan Falls.  We decided to take the time to look and listen to the winter sounds.


Great Horned Owl Cropped

Hoos Your Neighbor?

When you live with nature as neighbors, you will often hear sounds of the wild – sometimes in the middle of the night. The other night, I was awakened by a great horned owl, with its distinctive haunting “Hoo-Hoo-Hoo Hoo-Hoo”.  It might be a bit unsettling, but they are just calling out for a mate, or staking their territory.  Here’s an audio sample, with one owl calling, and another responding:

In spite of the scary stereotype in horror movie backgrounds, they are neither dangerous nor threatening – unless you are a small animal wandering around in the dark!

There are several owls species throughout the Pacific Northwest, the most prominent being the great horned – “horns” being the two tufts sticking out of its head. To anyone who loves nature, it should be reassuring to hear them roosting in the area. Owls are part of the natural cycle – they are predators of mice and rodents, which helps keep that population down. They also are not known to carry or transmit any diseases threatening to humans or domestic animals. But they are known to prey on smaller domestic animals and birds that are not housed or enclosed. Owls are protected under federal and state wildlife laws, which require a license to handle them.

If you want to learn more about ViewHomes of Clark County and Nature As Neighbors, contact us at Harcourts USA -The Carl Group.  You can begin your search here.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

We love to hike – the three of us, my husband, Bernie, our dog, Mac, and me.. Right now, the wet weather is keeping us from many of our favorite trails. Muddy, slick, and washed out sections can create treacherous trail conditions this time of year. Spring can’t come soon enough for us

There are many studies linking our wellbeing, both physically and mentally to our connection to nature. Gardening, hiking, even a visit to the park, can help restore your peace of mind. We support our many parks and trails in Clark County and consider it money well-spent to support their continued presence in our communities.

The Pleasure of Living With Nature As Neighbors On The Washougal River

If you are looking for a home with some acreage, and a view, you should consider homes on the Washougal River, Clark County, WA.

Washougal River Rescaled

The topography of this region is defined by the foothills of the Cascade Mountains to the East and the Columbia River Gorge to the South. Rolling hillsides – offering territorial views – rise up to dramatic vantage points of Mt. Hood and the Columbia River. The Washougal River is an especially prized waterway for recreation, boating, fishing, and peaceful living. Combine the luxury of privacy with the diversity of views, and you have a very popular area for homesites. Washougal River includes the highly desirable Camas and Washougal School Districts.

ViewHomes of Washougal River               

We specialize in ViewHomes of Clark County and our clients share our appreciation for Nature As Neighbors. A private retreat on acreage provides a serene and calm environment, and there’s room to garden, play with kids or  grand kids, and enjoy frequent visits from wildlife. Its “elbow room for the soul.™”

Here is a quick market summary of view homes on the Washougal River with acreage:

8 Active listings from $335,000 to $1,399,000
Average Square Footage: $2,954
Average $/SqFt: 228
2 Sold in last 6 months: $495,000 and $667,000
Average Square Footage: 3,825
Average $/SqFt: 152

Point of Interest!

Dougan Falls is a major waterfall along the Washougal River. It rushes down 19 feet into a narrow trough, then widens out into a massive deep pool. This location is ideal for swimming on a hot summer day, if you get there early – parking is tight. Picnic tables and toilets are provided in the day use area. Great place to bring kids for a picnic or day outing. Often, when the water is high enough, you will see kayakers enjoying the thrill of running the falls. Note: Washington State Discover Pass is required, unless it’s a free day.

If you want to learn more about ViewHomes on the Washougal River and Nature As Neighbors, contact us a Harcourts USA -The Carl Group.  You can begin your search here.

The Tulips will be blooming soon…

In mid-January, our thoughts often turn to Spring. Soon, we’ll see crocus and other early spring bulbs start poking through the earth. Once that happens, it doesn’t take long for the barren landscape to come alive with color.

Spring will be official when the Woodland, WA and the annual Tulip Festival gets underway on April 9th.This year’s 5K run/walk among the flowers is on April 2. The Tulip Trot starts at 9AM and is described as a family-friendly event. Although, awards will be given to the top 3 overall male and female runners. Plus all runners will go home with a bouquet of fresh tulips.

More about the Tulip Festival in Woodland, Washington

The Dobbe family emigrated from The Netherlands in 1979 with a big dream and a history of successful spring bulb farming. 35 years later, Benno Dobbe is the CEO of Holland America Bulb Farm and its sister corporations.

The annual Tulip Festival is the Dobbe family’s way of sharing their love of the craft of bulb and flower husbandry and a way to support and promote of the city of Woodland.It’s no wonder he was selected as Citizen of the Year by the Woodland Chamber of Commerce.

There’s also a gift shop open on the weekends with cut flowers, potted spring flowers, gifts and of course, bulbs.Woodland is just a 30 minute drive north of the Interstate – 5 Bridge between Portland and Vancouver.  When these fields are in bloom, you’ll get a taste of Holland, without the international travel.

If you’re interesting in finding a ViewHome in Woodland WA, with Nature As Neighbors – call us today. We know the joy of having “Elbow Room for the Soul.”

Filed under: Events | Nature

“in the end, we conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand what we are taught.”   – Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist and poet. 

We both greatly appreciate Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center for its efforts in connecting people to nature. The facility gives visitors 100 acres of urban natural area to explore. It’s located on the north side of the Old Evergreen Highway, just east of the i-205 bridge.

Since its conception in 1997, Columbia Springs has provided over 100,000 childrena nd adults with the opportunity to get outdoors and learn  morea bout the natural world through field studies, workshops, service learning projects, summer day camps, community events and more.

One of our favorite spots to visit at the facility is the Historic Vancouver Trout Hatchery. Each year the hatchery raises approximately 70,000 half pound Rainbow trout and 20,000 half pound Brown trout. An abundance of icy cold water from the natural springs is perfect for the hatchery’s operation.

Watch a kingfisher dive for dinner. Listen to blackbirds in the cattails. Throw some fish chow to the trout. Explore a green gem in the city. Columbia Springs is a true gift for our community. Getting outside and connecting with each other, our community, and nature is good for the soul. We’ll see you at Columbia Springs.

Filed under: Nature

As an EcoBroker, I can show you how to live in a more beautiful, comfortable and healthier environment, and save you money! Living in harmony with nature makes good sense. We specialize in Eco-friendly family and multigenerational estates – with “elbow room for the soul.” ™

Mt. St. Helens is a familiar and iconic landmark to those us of who live in Clark County, Washington. Our family spent many summer hours fishing and camping at Spirit Lake. We even got to meet the local folk-hero, Harry Truman, who refused to leave his home despite repeated warnings. He died, along with 56 others, when the volcano erupted on May 18, 1980.

Filed under: Nature | Views

The Little Washougal River is one of our favorite neighborhood treats. It’s located a few steps from our ViewHome™ in Camas. On clear, winter days we can see a part of the river sparkle through the tall pine trees on our front property line. It makes us nearly giddy, as both of us treasure the energy of moving water.

You can help plant habitat to help the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer on Saturday, January 23. Organizers at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge are asking all volunteers to register for the event by calling 360-887-3883. They also remind you to wear waterproof footwear, bring gloves, and dress for the weather.

Filed under: Events | Nature

The wind, the rain, the mountains and rivers, the woodlands and meadows and all their inhabitants; we need these perhaps even more for our psyche than for our physical survival.

–Thomas Berry

We’ve both felt a strong connection to nature for years. When my husband lived and worked in downtown Portland, he used to spend his free time on property he owned. Hiking the gentle hills, cutting firewood, and camping in his rustic cabin restored his soul. For me, the same applies. Growing up in Alaska helped foster an appreciation and kinship with the environment. It’s simply restorative. Or as some say, ” it’s ecotherapy.”

Ecotherapy is a different kind of mental health treatment. Basically, it’s about teaching mindfulness, recognizing our “connection to the rest of life.” Therapists often use nature as a metaphor for challenging events or things that come up in life. Roger S. Ulrich is a Texas A&M researcher who studied the healing aspects of nature views outside hospital rooms. Richard Louv is a San Diego journalist who came up with the term “nature deficit.” Both men believe our lack of a relationship to the environment can cause mental health problems in children and adults.

Elbow Room for the Soul™ is Good for What Ails You.

Proponents of ecotherapy say the practice in general is addressing our culture’s need to get back to nature. The more outside time, the more engagement with nature, and the more access to healthy food, the better off we are as indivudals, and a society. A British Study published in September 2015 showed a high exposure to natural environments ( green space and gardens) was associated with fewer mental disorders among older people.

We wholeheartedly believe that living in homes with Nature As Neighbors and Elbow Room for the Soul™ is life affirming and healing. Our clients do too. If you’d like to learn more, call us today at ViewHomes™ of Clark County – Harcourts USA, The Carl Group.

Filed under: Nature | News

Live in the Moment!

Our white Golden Retriever, McKinley, aka Mac, is a delightful part of our family.  He is the essence of pure love and joy. You’ll find him tagging along on some of our video adventures in Clark County, and beyond.

For example, on this particular Fall morning, the sun rose at the perfect time to showcase Mac swimming for a stick, filling the water with sparkling stars. Leave it to nature, right?  It reminded us both to live in the moment and allow the magic to find us.


Filed under: Mac Moments | Nature

The Lacamas Heritage trail is well-loved by my family. My husband and I are frequent visitors along with our white Golden Retriever, McKinley. When my out-of-town children come to visit they too use the trail for walks with their children, or for running. 

This weekend, we all noticed the signs of fall, including the sweet smell of damp leaves and the sounds of small creeks, streams, and waterfalls are once again filled with water. Mushrooms have popped up, seemingly overnight, in the moist earth beneath the heavy canopy of trees. Snowberry and Red Elderberry bushes dot the landscape with bright cheer.

Mud-puddles create obstacles, to run around, or run through. “Mac, aka McKinley,”  always chooses the latter course.  The path is spotted with fallen leaves and drops of water from overhead branches occasionally drip down in a surprising splash. Geese often honk in the sky above, circling to land on the glassy surface of the lake. 

Going the Distance at Lacamas Heritage Trail

You can do a 7-mile roundtrip on the Lacamas Heritage Trail, or turn around at any spot along the way for a shorter outing. Distance markers help to keep tabs on your stamina. The path is mostly dirt and gravel, making it knee-friendly for those of us who prefer not to pound the pavement.  It’s also wide enough for strollers, and you’ll frequently see young moms and dads out for a run while pushing junior. 

You can park at either trailhead and there are restrooms for your convience. When the weather is good, you can expect to hunt for a place to park, especially at the NE Goodwin Road entrance. You will probably have better luck at the trailhead lot off of Lake Road. However, as the weather turns cool and rainy, you’ll normally have plenty of spots to park. 

One of our Fall traditions is to run the trail on Thanksgiving morning. It’s a festive outing and makes it easier to say yes to that pumpkin pie or eggnog. Regardless of when or why, you should definitely plan to walk or run along the Lacamas Heritage Trail during the months of Autumn. 

Filed under: Camas | Nature

Camas is alive with the sound of frog’s courting. Yep, it’s frog breeding season in the Northwest again. Male frogs are puffing up their air sacs and singing as loud as they can to attract females. Any spot near a pond, runoff, lake or other water source will likely have some frog populations.

Filed under: Camas | Nature

Bee’ing Part of the Solution.

Honey bee populations are disappearing at alarming rates around the world. While we can’t point the finger at just one reason for their mass die-off, there is strong evidence linking pesticides to the conditions causing Colony Collapse Disorder.

In recent years, chemicals called neonicotinoids have been linked to bee deaths, and Europe recently banned the use of the pesticides for two years. The EPA has yet to take action in the United States, and it’s overdue according to many environmentalists and bee-keepers.

One of our favorite grocery stores in the Camas-Fishers Landing area has installed bee hives on the roof-top of the store. New Seasons did the same thing at its Happy Valley, Oregon, store and may put hives in 9 other stores in the Portland area.

A Portland beekeeper recently moved 50,000 bees to the Fisher’s Landing market with hopes of the rooftop population growing to more than 120,000 by next spring. A New Season’s spokesman says it’s the grocery chain’s “Bee Part of the Solution,” campaign.

The Columbian newspaper has reported that New Seasons might start selling its own brand of honey. Another goal of the project is to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators and the risk to their survival from pesticides, parasites, and disease.

If honey bees disappear, so does a third of our food supply. Foods we’d likely miss too, including many fruits, veggies, and certain seeds and nuts. It may take scientists time to determine the exact cause of CCD, however neonics are a prime suspect that could be taken out of our backyards, fields, and orchards.

Be mindful of what you use at home in your gardens, even so-called organic pesticides can cause problems for critters. Roundup, thought to be safe to use for killing weeds, is also coming under more scrutiny. Try to find other methods for weed control. It might not be as effective, but in the long run, if it protects the environment, it’s worth it.

If you too are concerned about the link between pesticides and honey bees, let the EPA know. Tell them not to wait until 2018 to ban bee-killing pesticides. And the next time you visit New Seasons, tell them thank you for BEEing Part of the Solution.

Earth Day 2014 – A day to celebrate all of the gifts from nature. So much to celebrate – so much to lose. Will you commit to taking the steps to help ensure the future of our planet and its creatures? If not now, when?

Filed under: Nature | News

Rains in the spring bring benefits to those of us who live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Lush green forests filled with evergreen trees and ferns, vibrant wildflowers, and pristine water-ways. Naturally, all of this outdoor beauty gives brings us all kinds of recreation to enjoy.

Filed under: Nature | News

As I crossed one of several bridges, I spotted this couple enjoying a morning bath. You’d think I’d be sensitive enough to give them a private moment. Instead, I grabbed my iPhone and shot a quick little video. I can’t resist when nature calls.

Filed under: Camas | Nature

The Power of Trees – Benefits to Homeowners

Most REALTORS®, including this one, know that mature landscaping adds value to a home. One of the best investments you can make is in professional landscaping. Well chosen plants, shrubs, and trees can increase the value of your home, and get it sold faster. Landscaping takes about 5 -7 years to mature, so it’s one of the first steps to consider when you move into a new home.

A Clemson University study found that homeowners can expect 100% return on the money they put into landscaping. However, be mindful of what grows well in your zone. It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional landscaper. He (or she) can provide a great blueprint for design, even if you decide to do a majority of the work on your own.

Trees Good for You – Good for the Planet

Surveys done in 2007 by the University of Washington and the National Gardening Society suggest the well-landscaped yards with mature trees and shrubs fetch higher prices and sell more quickly than houses with little or no landscaping. Beautiful, mature trees often provide the ultimate in curb appeal.

Trees are also beneficial to you, and your community. They produce oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, help prevent erosion and run-off, and can save you money in utility costs. In addition, they give us privacy and are known stress reducers. Trees also provide a haven for a variety of birds and other wildlife.

Earth Day is April 22nd and National Arbor Day is always celebrated on the last Friday in April. Perhaps, this year, to celebrate one, or both events, you’ll consider adding a tree to your landscape. As you’ll see in the following infographic – there are many benefits to the power of trees.


Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

Sure social media is an important part of our contemporary culture, but let’s not lose sight of what’s important. Tweets aren’t just from Twitter.

Filed under: Nature