It’s Monday morning and first thing I need to do is to offer a correction to last week’s report that the average length of the logs piled up for the salmon recovery project was 10 feet. Bad mistake. I had a temporary affliction of flatus cerebelus, something that comes with age. The correct number is an average of 40 feet long, not counting the root balls. Apologies to all the loggers and backhoe operator(s) who have worked so hard to gather and stack this big wood.
This morning also produced a serious weather forecast that could in places drop an inch of rain per hour in a lingering storm. We’ll know by the time you read this what has developed, but flash flood warnings are again in effect, particularly in the fire-decimated areas of last summer.
Up on Harts Pass, the snow/water equivalent this morning is 5.9 inches, 24 percent of average and a drop in two weeks of 50 percent. The snow has also diminished to 6 inches, down 34 inches in the past two weeks. In spite of spotty heavy rains throughout the Methow area all the past week, Mother Earth still has very dry skin after the rain and puddles have evaporated.
Not long ago Ms. Gloria sent a small cloth shopping bag as a gift to a friend in California who has diabetes and has to go for dialysis regularly. The bag has the Mazama Store goat logo on it with the inscription, “Mazama.”
The friend reports that while carrying the bag she is periodically stopped by strangers who tell her either that they have been to Mazama or heard of it. My first encounter of this nature was at the Spokane airport. I was wearing a Mazama baseball cap, and was approached by a man with a Germanic accent who told me he had been there. All this publicity always puts me in mind of the Winthrop bumper sticker, “Where The Hell Is Winthrop, Washington,” that came out in the 1960s or ’70s when the imminent opening of the North Cascades Highway was getting closer.
Moving the discussion half the globe away, there was an incident at SLIME just this morning. Within the group is a cadre of die-hard fishermen, and most of the time they are talking of equipment or reliving past tales of catching and releasing.
Well, this morning, inside the store, the topic was incited by a copy of Gray’s Sporting Journal, an upscale mag, and fishing tours on the Yucatan Peninsula. One town had been singled out, and when three of the guys came outside for the SLIME gathering, they were already trying to remember the name of the town. Standing on the stairs was a stranger who I noticed was interested in the conversation. He then excused himself for interrupting and said he was familiar with the area and proceeded to name some towns. “Yeah, that’s it,” sang the SLIME chorus, and asked him if he had been there. His reply was astonishing: “Oh yes, in fact I work there.”
We learned that his name was Larry, and one of our group virtually grabbed his arm and, holding the journal, took him inside to meet the rest of the piscine afflicted group. Larry, whatever his job, is also a fisherman.
He ultimately took his leave. Before I left the ensemble, there were already excited plans being tossed around among the fishermen, like a mayfly hatch on a still pond. Small world indeed.
Right now the sky is darkening and if the forecast is right, our small world is soon to be a wet one.