By Bob Spiwak
Monday, 10 a.m. Temperature 28 at ground level and 33 high on the house. It has been quite a 24 hours, and now it is raining. Two hours ago it was freezing rain and prior to that about 4 inches of snow. In short, it is a mess, and a crunchy one at that.
Up at Harts Pass the snow water content is 25.8 inches, 125 percent of average in 82 inches of snow. The highest recorded was 41.6 inches of water content back in 1991. (I need to do some research to see what the flood situation was then.)
Things have quieted down now that the very long holiday week has ended. There is parking once more at the Mazama Store in the morning, and one can navigate the interior without dodging customers like an NFL running back.
When Bill Biddle, this newspaper’s weather guru, died a while back he left a huge selection of books, many of which coincided with my studies of the nation in the mid-1880s. I opened one the other day, a study of the Rocky Mountain passes, and on page 30 discovered an honest-to-God bookworm. No idea how long it had been ensconced therein, but it was alive and almost frisky. It was about the diameter of a toothpick, slightly over an inch long which probably disqualifies it as an inchworm. It is dark brown, but what fascinated me was the coloration of the forward end — yellow and black stripes, very much the same as the business end of a rattlesnake. I put it in a prescription bottle that was in my unheated workshop and think it may have died of hypothermia — it was not moving this morning. The information has been referred to Kent Woodruff of the U.S. Forest service in hopes there is another bug-ologist in the valley, since Red McComb’s passing last year.
Brief note from Don Klein, currently living near Phoenix: Gasoline there is $1.93 a gallon.
On Saturday (Jan. 10), the Horse Crazy Cowgirl Band will perform at The Merc Playhouse in Twisp. This concert will be a benefit for The Merc, with $15 tickets available at the door or online.
This Thursday (Jan. 8), the North Cascades Basecamp will offer another soup dinner program, this one a screening of the film Return of the River. This has to do with more than water and salmon, and encompasses the ecology of the riparian system. There will be speakers and discussion. Soup ($5) is served at 5:30 p.m.; the presentation begins at 6 p.m.