Bob Spiwak Monkey MazamaBy Bob Spiwak

The incessant wind has continued virtually unabated right up to this morning. Evidence of this was our new high tech garbage can lying on its side along Highway 20, entrails scattered on the blacktop. Luckily, most of the gooey stuff was in plastic bags. I would have thought it might have been a bear forage at first glance, but a gust of wind determined the blow to be the culprit. These new garbage receptacles are definitely not aerodynamic like our ancient tapered cans.

But that’s a minor point. In the past week, daffodils we had forgotten have sprung into bloom, and the iris and lilies are popping up. I cannot use our word for what lies on the ground thanks to the cottonwoods shedding their seed pods. They stick to shoe bottoms; dogs and cats flick their paws vainly trying to rid those appendages of the stuff; and we vainly try to scrape it off of heels, soles and pants cuffs.

Even the weather forecast for a couple of days ahead predicts high temperatures near 80 before retreating back into the 50s and 60s. As of yesterday (April 27), the snow/water measurement at Harts Pass was 125 percent of average, with 104 inches of snow, a drop of 4 inches in a week.

Our media resource, Midge Cross at the Mazama Community Club, sent us the scoop (no pun) on the annual spring cleanup there last Saturday. While she acknowledges there were too many names to remember among those who participated, “A great amount of wonderful raking was done — pine needles and cones, sticks, a tree and there are two gigantic piles waiting for a non-windy day to burn.”

“The old crammed iris bed on the west side of the building … was dug up and the iris have been replaced with kale and chard,” Midge said. She goes on to encourage all to stop by and admire the flower beds, the lovingly cared for piano and the “amazingly mouse-proof storage bin in the kitchen. One thing I love greatly about Mazama is the community spirit, which was abundant yesterday.” Thanks, Midge, as always the eyes and ears of the Upper Methow.

The proposed copper mining between Goat Peak and Flagg Mountain seems to be another pot of controversy brewing. With the kerfuffle of the “hanging hut” on Flagg Mountain apparently cooling for the time, one person suggested, in view of the possibility of copper mines, that it was time for bumper stickers that read “SAVE THE HUT.”

On the subject of the mines, several stock market watchers have told us that this is probably some kind of scam. In short, the backers declare the possibility of a rich mineral find and the stock prices (3 cents a share three days ago according to the info we got) would climb and then sell for a huge profit. It could be so — this morning the price was down 18 cents, again as reported to me. So it had to go up considerably to fall that amount. I’ll have more along this line in the next “Off the Wall” column in May, where we’ll tell you how we got rich in the Athabaska Tar Sands.