We are not the creatures who enjoy our gardens.

Pacific tree frogs have taken up residence in our shrubby borders and soggy pastures, and occasionally make their way up the rose bush outside the kitchen window. Now through June, it's mating time, so the male tree frogs will continue their kreecky song. We like to celebrate the return of the tree frog song, because it also means summer is coming.

Alder Creek Farm in Nehalem also celebrates its share of tree frogs, newts and salamanders this weekend, as Amphibian Day takes place Saturday, May 6. The Lower Nehalem Community Trust hosts the event at the farm, a day when visitors are welcome to explore the ditches and ponds of Alder Creek Farm with amphibian and reptile expert Chris Rombough. From 9 a.m. to noon, adults and teens are welcome to participate in LNCT's annual amphibian survey by counting the number and species of amphibians sighted and estimating their length. A few amphibians may be even be captured for closer viewing. At 2:30 p.m., Rombough offers an activity for younger amphibian fans, who can get up close and personal with the watershed neighbors. All events are free and open to the public. Dress for weather and bring boots for exploring wet areas.

Saturday is also Alder Creek Farm's community work party. Everyone is invited to lend a hand on the land from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch is provided at noon with potluck contributions welcome. Work party volunteers can learn permaculture gardening techniques in Alder Creek Farm's Coastal Food Ecology Center, such as sheet mulching in the orchard and creating an herb spiral in the annual garden. Kids are invited to plant seeds in a newly created children's garden. Those wanting to work further afield can help with invasive species removal in the estuary, native tree planting and more.

For directions and more information on Amphibian Day and/or to volunteer at Alder Creek Farm, contact Events Coordinator Ginny Salkowski at (503) 368-3203 or lnct@nehalemtel.net, or visit www.nehalemtrust.org. You can also learn more about the community trust's Spring Migration Birding Events planned for May 12 and 13.

Meanwhile Saturday, the annual radio station KMUN Plant Sale takes place at the Seafood Consumer Center parking lot on Exchange Street, between 20th and 21st streets. The sale runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. This year promises to be a little different, as organizers have rounded up choice offerings from nurseries and growers near and far. Our own Brim's Farm and Garden is the community partner for the event. Proceeds from the event benefit radio station operations. For more information, call (503) 325-0010.

If the KMUN sale gets you in the gardening mood, the Naselle High School FFA and Horticulture Class holds its annual Plant Sale Saturday, May 13 at the school's greenhouse. The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and continues the next three Saturdays, or until all of the plants are sold. Local Master Gardeners will be on hand May 13 to answer questions. Hanging plants will run about $8, while planter boxes are priced at $10. Cell packs and 4-inch pots are $1.

Agriculture Teacher James Moten says his students have been working hard throughout the year to prepare for the sale.

"They have studied many aspects of greenhouse management, including seed germination, plant growth, plant propagation and plant requirements," he says. "Students will be working at the sale to complete requirements for their final exam."

All this plant perusing is no doubt in preparation for the Astoria Sunday Market, which returns Sunday, May 14 and runs Sundays through Oct. 8. Market hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cathy Peterson belongs to the Clatsop County Master Gardener Association. Please send comments and gardening news to "In the Garden," The Daily Astorian, P.O. Box 210, Astoria, OR 97103 or online to peterson@pacifier.com


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