Saturday morning at 8 a.m. had the temperature in Mazama at 3 below zero. It was cold enough that there were no inhabitants on the heater-equipped deck but the dog and me, and that for only a brief interlude before fleeing back to the heated car. Nonetheless, in less-frigid weather, even at single digits the parasol propane heater provided years ago by Mike Converse has provided a curtain of warmth, and for that we thank him. Last I heard, he was setting up a brewery in Wyoming but there’s been no news for some time of which we’re aware. He used to own the Winthrop Brewery.
Here in West Boesel at 11 a.m., the temperature has rocketed up to 20 degrees and warmer weather is in the forecast. Also, according to NOAA, come Tuesday we are in for snowfall right up to the weekend, day and night. The predictions are for not much accumulation but we remember being fooled a couple of weeks ago.
The winter has shut down operations at the Fender Mill salmon recovery program. The heavy equipment departed a couple of weeks ago, leaving what appears to be a clutter of huge logs and root balls designed by at least a dozen of our 160 resident Methow fish biologists to provide cozy conditions for salmon and steelhead. I assume interlopers such as trout will be granted admittance.
As the big machinery departed, the habitat recovery outfit arrived with more machinery from Wildlands Inc., of Richland. I spoke last week with foreman Ryan Watts about what was going on. The company has been planting small trees, shrubs, native and wetland grasses. The crew of 12 was here for close to a month re-vegetating the entire acreage of the project, from near the Weeman Bridge to the Methow River, along over 2,000 feet of culvert to an even longer reach of open water.
As they planted, the greeneries were mulched with shredded wood, straw and seeds. Before they left there were areas fenced against deer and beavers with 8-foot fencing and cage wiring. Eventually, there will be no vehicular access and all will be in greenery.
Emma Wezeman, age 15, never dreamed that her love of photography would someday vault her into celebrity. The granddaughter of Tim and Nancy Wezeman of West Boesel is a sophomore at Harbor High School on Whidbey Island, and has been a frequent visitor to the Methow since she was a toddler. These days she makes the trip from the island with a mantle of media attention in the newspapers of Everett and Oak Harbor with front-page stories, an upcoming interview with KING television in Seattle, and an Instagram fame that has boosted her followers from 115 to over 400.
The young addict of Cheerios cereal caught the attention of maker General Mills in Minnesota with an Instagram pic of a spider web whose resident had curled around one of the little Os. The company contacted her for an interview after first determining that she was truly the inventive photographer.
Already a photographer for her school yearbook, she offered her bona fides to General Mills’ satisfaction and they have since requested her permission to use her work in conjunction with the cereal. In what manner is not known at this time, but she gave the permission, provided her picture and other personal things were not used. From this the spider and later works were published on the company’s Instagram blog. And this exposure has led to her growing celebrity, including the world of photography.
Her first pictures were taken with her cell phone, then with a camera borrowed from the school which produced her favorite, depicting a small sculpture of two gnomes, one holding a lap full of Cheerios. She also has one of a slug courting a Cheerio.
She does more than posed images. A dynamic shot was taken when she was at a water fountain. The moving, aerated water intrigued her and she flipped a Cheerio into the stream. After careful examination, she got the lighting right and has the image of the little O flying through the stream.
Even with a borrowed digital camera, Emma is familiar with technical aspects of photography — lighting, apertures and shutter speeds have become second nature to her. She is now checking out new cameras, wanting one of her own.
General Mills has made no commitment of how her breakfast food depictions will be used. For now, they have promised to send various Cheerio-related things. What they are, she has no idea, and has too much couth to ask. But don’t be surprised if some day in the market your box of Cheerios has the image of a webbed spider consuming a lone little O.