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Get Out: May 2, 2014

Guided mushroom hikes

Saturdays, May 3, 10, 17, 31: Northwest Nature Shop and local mushroom expert Michael Potts will offer a series of guided hikes to search for mushrooms. The emphasis will be on finding fungi and learning something about identification and the diversity of mushroom species. Edible and poisonous varieties will be discussed. Meet at Northwest Nature Shop, 154 Oak St., Ashland at 10 a.m. Cost is $25 per person per walk. Space is limited. To register, call 541-482-3241.

Mother's Day wildflower walk

Sunday, May 11: Bring your mother, or other, out for a walk with a naturalist through the hills above Lithia Park at 11 a.m. to see the spring wildflowers that are blooming. Some of the flowers you may expect to see include hound's tongue, fritillaries, shooting stars and fawn lilies. Cost is $5. Call Northwest Nature Shop at 541-482-3241 to sign up.

Table Rocks hikes

Free, guided hikes on the Table Rocks are cosponsored by The Nature Conservancy and the Bureau of Land Management. Reservations are required, and hikes are limited to 20 people unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, May 3: 7 p.m. at Upper Table Rock. Eye on the Night Sky: Kevin Ratkovich, president of the Southern Oregon Skywatchers, will lead a night hike to look for Mars, Jupiter and other celestial bodies. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a flashlight and binoculars, if you have them.

Sunday, May 4: 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock. Spring in Bloom. Botanist Chamise Kramer will lead a hike to explore the native flora of the Table Rocks.

Saturday, May 10: 9 a.m. at Lower Table Rock. Grand Ronde Tribes, Past to Present: Join Michael Karnosh, Ceded Lands Program manager for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, to learn about traditional and culturally important plants of the tribes whose ancestors include the original residents of the Table Rocks area. He will also discuss modern day tribal management of conservation properties and partnerships with government agencies, land trusts and other groups.

Saturday, May 10: 7:30 p.m. at Lower Table Rock. Night Owls: BLM wildlife biologist Steve Godwin will listen for the sounds of the night from dusk 'til dark on a jaunt around the Lower Table Rock Loop Trail (half-mile accessible trail). Godwin will attempt to lure pygmy, great horned and screech owls. A short presentation of the common owls in the area and their unique characteristics and adaptations will precede the hike. Bring flashlights and good hiking shoes.

Sunday, May 11: 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock. Mother's Day Family Hike: A BLM environmental interpretation specialist will lead a family hike to the top of the rock. This is a general information hike suitable for the whole family. Topics will include wildflower identification, ethnobotany, geology, wildlife, ecology and cultural history.

Saturday, May 17: 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock. Incredible Insects and Spectacular Spiders: Peter Schroeder, associate professor of biology and entomologist at Southern Oregon University, will lead a hike to explore the amazing six- and eight-legged animals found on and around the Table Rocks.

Sunday, May 18: 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock. Wacky Weather: Join Alan Journet, co-facilitator of the Southern Oregon Climate Action Network, for a hike and discussion of climate change projections for the Rogue Valley and the potential consequences of these on the Table Rocks and other natural and agricultural systems.

Native Plant Society

Saturday, May 10: 9 a.m. hike to Flounce Rock and a Baker Cypress Area of Environmental Concern. Group will meet at the Medford Interagency (BLM/Forest Service) Office, 3040 Biddle Road, Medford. It is an easy 1/4-mile hike to see the rare Baker Cypress trees and wander around the rocky scablands, vernally wet meadows and conifer stands. Elevation is about 4,000, feet and there will be only about 100 feet variation. The group may take a tally of the surviving Baker Cypress seedlings the BLM has planted. Afterward, the group will drive about 1/3 mile to the top of Flounce Rock for a lunch break with views of Lost Creek Lake and the surrounding mountains and meadows. There's a very short trail to another vista point. Group will return to Medford by early afternoon. Contact Marcia Wineteer at mwineteer@q.com or 541-535-3081 for information.

Rogue Valley Walkers

Saturday, May 3: 10K walk in Gold Hill and along the Rogue River path. Meet at 8:45 a.m. in the Post Office parking lot on Second Avenue. For more information, call 541-245-9356.

Saturday, May 10: Old Medford walk will explore the downtown area and include the Art in Bloom celebration. Meet at 8:45 a.m. for registration in the parking lot of Food-4-Less on Biddle Road near the Quality Inn. For more information, call 541-245-9356.

Saturday, May 24: 10K “Name that Park” walk in Grants Pass. Meet at 8:45 a.m. for registration in the parking lot of Riverside Park, 304 E. Park St. For more information, call 541-245-9356.

Run The Ditch Trail

Saturday, May 24: The annual 5- and 10-mile runs along the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail are sponsored by Southern Oregon Runners and the Siskiyou Upland Trails Association. The runs start at 9 a.m. at the Tunnel Ridge Trailhead in the Little Applegate. For race details and registration, see the race calendar at www.sorunners.org.

Traffic skills class

Saturday, May 17: The Siskiyou Velo club will hold a Traffic Skills 101 course at 9:30 a.m. at The Grove, 1195 E. Main St., Ashland. The fast-paced, 3-hour class covers rules of the road, bike-handling practice and a short ride in traffic. Class size is capped at 12. Cost is $12 for club members and $18 for nonmembers. For more information and to register, see http://bit.ly/SV_ED_5_17_14

Northern California Cycle Challenge

Saturday, May 24: Northern California Cycle Challenge and Cycle Siskiyou will hold a cycling event featuring 100-, 45- and 35-mile loops that will end at the Favell Museum in Klamath Falls. The rides will showcase remote areas of the Tulelake/Klamath Falls region in Northern California and Southern Oregon. For information, see northerncaliforniacyclechallenge.com or contact Laurie Bagley at lauriebagley@gmail.com or 541-399-7226.

Siskiyou Velo rides

Some of the club rides listed below are leisurely; others intense. Choose one that's right for you. All rides include rest stops for coffee and social time. All riders are required to have safe bikes, wear helmets and carry a spare tube/tools and water. Instruction on safe riding and group ride etiquette are available on all rides.

Every Saturday: Velo Slo-Mo rides begin at various morning hours from different locations. Pace: 7 to 10 mph over 12 to 18 miles on mostly flat terrain. Contact Phil Gagnon at 541-488-4289.

Every Saturday: Brisk rides begin at various morning hours from different locations. Pace: 19 to 23 mph over 50 to 65 miles on mostly hilly terrain. Contact Dennis Cramer at 541-773-5804.

Every Monday: Coffee rides begin at 10:30 a.m. at Colver Park in Phoenix and go to Jacksonville. Pace: 17 mph average over 25 miles. Contact David Chapman at 541-488-0152.

Every Wednesday: Coffee rides begin at 11 a.m. at Rogue Valley Roasting Company in Ashland. Pace: 17 mph average over 35 to 60 miles with some hills. Contact John Bullock at 541-488-7962.

Rogue Valley Audubon Society

Wednesday, May 7: On the first Wednesday of every month, RVAS conducts a bird walk at Agate Lake, about two miles east of the Highway 62/140 intersection. Birders should meet at the parking lot on the far side of the lake across from the boat dock. The walk begins at 8:30 a.m. and will end before noon. This is an ongoing citizen-science project to record the numbers of the different species observed by the walk participants. You don't need to be an experienced birder to join in, but taking part will help you become one. Coordinator and leader of the walk is Murray Orr (541-857-9050, mworr2@charter.net). Contact him if you are willing to help.