Bob Spiwak Monkey MazamaBy Bob Spiwak

The bustling city of Mazama will be resonating with quiet from Monday (March 31) through April 3. The Mazama Store will be closed during those four days to commemorate spring break and exhaustion. What is to become of SLIME is yet to be determined.

From Eric Burr comes our first floriferous report of the season. He reports that on March 23 there were yellowbells blooming under the red cliffs of Lost River. We are indebted to Mr. Burr for these reports, this one in particular because it must have been a lot of work to lift those cliffs in order to spot the flowers underneath. As always, Eric, thanks.

There was a small celebration at the store last Saturday to officially open the book-swap kiosk next to the flagpole. This is a project of the Methow Arts organization whereby, outside the store one can deposit a book and grab one from the growing collection. Or two or three. Here is the crucially important thing: The library has nothing to do with this endeavor and library books are definitely not to be left there. Doing so will mess up the libraries’ bookkeeping (no pun!) and possibly result in a large overdue fee in the mailbox of the perpetrator at a later date.

Anyhow, Linda Robertson represented Methow Arts at the small gathering, televised for posterity by Steve Foreman. Also on hand from the organization were radio personality Don Ashford and his artist wife, Sara. The store offered free cocoa and coffee for the occasion.

Last year a goshawk killed three ducks in four days on our pond. A week ago a pair of mallards flew in early in the evening to check out the feed we provide for the ground-feeding birds. They came back twice more that we know of, but have not been seen for several days. There has been a raptor, possibly the same voracious killer, flying overhead, maybe patrolling for a meal down here. This seems to have an effect on all the birds, a dozen or more species, for they are not in the open as much as in the past, and a lot spookier than previously. Does anybody know of a hawk deterrent that does not have the word “gauge” in the sentence? Serious question, I might add.

At Harts Pass the snow depth is maintaining a stable depth of 120 inches, and the snow-water equivalent is at 44 inches, slowly creeping up.  Unfortunately, this week’s report does not give a percentage of average as a gauge. No flood threat yet, but after the tragic Oso earth slide incident of last week we’ll be keeping an eye out.

Our sympathy goes out to all the victims.