The past weekend we went from rain to snow to rain to snow, the latter coming Sunday and leaving about an inch of snow that came down in goose-feather flakes. The rain was heavy — there were weather service flood warnings for campgrounds up and down the valley. The wet onslaught added snow depth at Harts Pass to 88 inches and the water content was 38.7 inches, half an inch above the median.
The mallards that arrived two weeks ago were joined by a pair of wood ducks, then another pair of mallards during the week past. The dog is intrigued by them but fortunately is not a water dog, and the quackers seem to be coping with her presence so far, but they still flush if the dog gets too close.
Other signs of spring are the fuzzy golden willows, even those that were torn off the trees during the ice age of early December. Daffodils have begun to pop up and the certain harbingers of warmer weather were the first yellow jackets. While I was sitting in the sun, one came by and buzzed me, disappeared and returned with another, and soon there were four.
And the news of the road-clearing work beginning on Washington Pass this coming week was good for the merchants in the valley and those who have residences here. It won’t be long until a leisurely drive along the highway, cruising and looking for photo opportunities, will be gone for seven months.
First it was Casey Smith involved in a terrible ski accident in Canada while training for a biathlon race a few weeks ago (see story, Page B1). The latest ski victim we have heard of is Jeff Brown, who suffered a broken neck but fortunately (if you can call it that) has no paralysis involved. Our best wishes for a fast recovery, Jeff. Casey is now back at home with Skip and Betsy and hopefully, recovering from multiple serious injuries.
Some may remember the bumper stickers of the last century that asked “Where The Hell Is Winthrop, Washington?” The highway inaugural put that question to sleep with growing businesses and entertainment which were more and more exploited by local media, then regional publications such as Sunset magazine, plus Seattle papers and gradually reaching across the country to articles in such outlets as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
Last week I got a phone call from England. A friendly woman told me she was asked to call by a collaborator with whom a television program was being pitched. I asked the name of the collaborator and did not get one, only that they were seeking comments from people who lived here. The surprise was that the Methow seems to be regarded as a difficult place in which to live during the winter months. I dutifully answered her queries, wondering why they were not at International Falls, Minnesota, the coldest city (and environs) in the nation.
She and I exchanged a few emails and I learned that the pitch was being presented to The Weather Channel. She asked if I had some pictures and I sent her half-a-dozen still photos of winter scenes. She was impressed by these and countered with a list of questions and request for a video with narrative. I told her I had no smart phone, that I used an ancient flip-phone and suggested she try Methow Trails. I told her winter was my favorite season and no, I would not dream nor desire of spending it in Arizona or such a place.
It has been over a week since I have heard from her and I guess I will not give up my day job.