By Bob Spiwak
It’s Monday (Oct. 13), and so far this morning a generally cloudy day. The trees are coloring up and down the valley. As usual, the farther west and higher up one goes, the more spectacular the view becomes. This year, with our mostly windy days and nights, a lot of the leaves have blown off prematurely and the fall color show, while still lovely, is diminished.
Last Friday a huge smoke plume appeared in our neighborhood, and while I was driving home from Twisp, the cloud could be seen as a thick blanket of gray on its way to Lost River. Getting closer, from Highway 20 it appeared to be across the road from where we live, where a fire had erupted shortly before the blow-up at Little Bridge Creek stole the show over the top of Virginian Ridge earlier this year.
We are told this was a controlled burn (now known as a “prescribed burn”) located down hill from Wolf Creek Road. There were no visible flames and the fire, beyond its beginning point, extended westward for a considerable distance. It was actually reassuring to see a line of plumes across the forest indicating a man-made fire. My first thought was that a hunter’s campfire had gone rogue.
Speaking of hunters, it has been an inordinately quiet week. So far I have heard only two shots: one at dawn on opening day and the other Sunday evening. Some of us had expected to be inundated with hunters as the word was out that the deer would be more visible in the burned areas as well as coming down to lower grazing areas, and that there would be more permits issued for antlerless deer.
Rick LeDuc had an interesting, perhaps sad example of nature’s way over the weekend. He heard some strange noises coming from the river near his home and when he checked it out he saw a deer lying dead in the water. Scavenger birds were already working on the carcass, soon to be joined by a group of coyotes feeding on it. Then a bald eagle joined the feast. One coyote tried to tug the deer out of the water but was unable to do so. No doubt there were crows, ravens and magpies ingesting it, and possibly a bear, because when Rick checked the site out later, the carcass had been dragged out of the water to the river bank.
If you had to take the brief 50-foot detour at the Mazama intersection last week, Bill Pope says it was due to removal of all overhead power and phone lines at the four corners. Their burial was funded by Pope, Art Gresch, the Mazama Community Club, CenturyLink and some smaller donors. In addtion to visual relief above, this work will speed up the moving of the telephone hub building on the corner away to the southeast corner of the community club property.