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Wolf OR-7’s Journey in Photos From the Forest Floor

National Geographic Young Explorer Jay Simpson is part of the Wolf OR-7 Expedition, a 1,200-mile adventure in the tracks of a wolf. Using an estimated GPS track of the lone Wolf OR-7, the team will mountain-bike and hike across Oregon and Northern California. Their aim is to raise awareness of local strategies that make on-the-ground...

National Geographic Young Explorer Jay Simpson is part of the Wolf OR-7 Expedition, a 1,200-mile adventure in the tracks of a wolf. Using an estimated GPS track of the lone Wolf OR-7, the team will mountain-bike and hike across Oregon and Northern California. Their aim is to raise awareness of local strategies that make on-the-ground strides toward human and wolf coexistence in the region. Follow the full story at or7expedition.org or Facebook.com/or7expedition.

Items seen along the 1,200-mile dispersal route across Oregon and into Northern California. (Photos by Jay Simpson)

During the days we spent walking Wolf OR-7’s dispersal route, I found myself endlessly fascinated watching the landscape transform. Some transitions were stark, like exiting a tree line as we rode out of Malheur National Forest into the open expanses of the Harney Basin, a flat and sparse landscape. Other transitions were gradual, only noticeable over the course of a week. I tried paying attention to the changes in our scenery by focusing on all the small things surrounding us.

Here is a chronological selection of photos from those items I picked up along the way:

FeathersYellow Bells (Fritillaria pudica) an edible plant of the Zumwalt Prairie.Dried flowersPine coneWolf Lichen, Letharia vulpinaPine StrobiliYoung Pine Needlesjay-simpson-journal-8Wild Strawberry, Fragaria virginianajay-simpson-journal-11Coyote scat, turned white by bacteriajay-simpson-journal-13LeafWolf Lichen, Letharia vulpinaPine needlesjay-simpson-journal-18Pine needlesWood tickYellowjacketObsidian fragment.22 shellTribulus terrestris, goathead thornjay-simpson-journal-25Dandelion, Taraxacum officinaleSmall Camas, Quamash, Camassia quamashBulbous Buttercup, Ranunculus bulbosusCollection of flowers within 5ftjay-simpson-journal-30jay-simpson-journal-31White Mule's Ears, Wyethia helianthoidesLeaves of Wild Strawberry, Fragaria virginianajay-simpson-journal-34jay-simpson-journal-35jay-simpson-journal-36jay-simpson-journal-37jay-simpson-journal-38jay-simpson-journal-39jay-simpson-journal-40Pine cone debrisjay-simpson-journal-42jay-simpson-journal-43Sugar Pine Cone, Pinus lambertianaOak leafjay-simpson-journal-46JuniperShogun casingMaple leafYellow Goatsbeard, Tragopogon dubiusYellow Goatsbeard, Tragopogon dubiusYellow Goatsbeard, Tragopogon dubiusLewis' Mock OrangeYellow Goatsbeard, Tragopogon dubiusIndian Paintbrush, Castilleja sp.Deer antlerFlowers all within 5 feet of each otherWestern columbine, Aquilegia formosajay-simpson-journal-59Holly leaves

(Photos by Jay Simpson)

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Meet the Author

Jay Simpson
National Geographic Young Explorer Jay Simpson is part of the Wolf OR-7 Expedition, a 1,200-mile adventure in the tracks of a lone wolf beginning May 2014. Using an estimated GPS track of the lone Wolf OR-7, they’ll have 42 days to mountain bike and hike across Oregon and Northern California. Their aim is to educate and share the story of a real wolf, dispelling myths and misinformation through educational products and presentations. Visit or7expedition.org or Facebook.com/or7expedition for more. Jay's previously walked over 400 miles in the mountains of South Africa, completing the first trek of the entire Rim of Africa Mountain Trail, to help educate South African youth on the Cape Floristic Region and conservation through the story of creating Africa’s first Mega-Trail. More at Rim of Africa Multimedia Trail Journal.