Bob Spiwak Monkey MazamaBy Bob Spiwak

Living where we do, says Ms. Gloria, is almost like living in the city and looking at the traffic go by. She was referring to the dozen-and-a-half or so mallards and wood ducks that come and go, cruise, eat, and park at the pond out the window. Of course once the highway opens, probably in less than a month, we’ll be bracketed by vehicles to the south and quackers to the north.

Wood ducks are among the most beautiful of North American birds. The name is derived from their habitation in tree holes or nesting boxes up in the branches. When the eggs have hatched, the babies with no flight feathers follow the adults out of the nest and fall—at times a 40-foot plummet—to the ground where they bounce a time or two and then waddle to the waiting adults.

The call is out for adults and other humans to make it to the spring clean-up at the Mazama Community Club. The annual rite will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 26). There will be indoor and outdoor chores like weeding, raking, maybe some shoveling and pruning, clipping outside, and other stuff — so bring rakes, digging implements and pruners, maybe even loppers.

Not only is this project an effort to spruce the place up outside, but there also will be indoor chores as well, for the World Famous Mazama Pancake Breakfast is just around the calendar corner on May 24. This should coincide with the not-so-famous annual Memorial Day car count.

Last week, Nancy Kuta of Lost River reported her husband went into the garage wearing a red coat and was accosted by a hummingbird. Possibly it thought he was a giant mobile nectar feeder. So Nancy put out a more legitimate and rewarding feeder, and soon had two hungry hummers slurping away.

The rivers do not seem to be rising significantly, but this may change to a small degree according to the forecast for the week ahead and beyond that calls for rain and even the possibility of some snow.

That brings to mind a day sometime in May in the late 1980s when the temperature was 52 degrees and the snow was falling and sticking. Ever since, whenever the temperature is at 52, we bring out the warm snuggies. Ya just never know in this valley. At Harts Pass the snow depth is at 104 inches, and the snow/water ratio is up to 120 percent. No floods in sight.  Yet.

We watch a TV program called “The Farm Report” every Sunday at 6 a.m., and this past weekend came the news of the Mexican cartels invading the lime crops down there as well as in the United States. I don’t remember if it was a disease or a freeze, but there will be a shortage of limes this year and the bad guys are even stealing trees from orchards.

This brought to mind the brief flurries of some of our valley people scrambling to collect Princess Pine pieces, and we fell into the trap of raising comfry. Both products were intended for New Age medicine or such. We still have, decades later, about one-eighth of an acre of overgrown comfry and I know some day it will engulf us.