Twisp is back! Over the past couple years, many new faces have made the valley home but the turnout at the annual parade, and live music events following it, brought out the old and new into what has emerged as the post-pandemic milieu.
Thanks to organizers of the Fourth of July parade, TwispWorks, and the Twisp River Tap House, the town was abuzz after a year of dormant streets. Live music at the reopening of the Twisp River Tap House packed the place following the Independence Day celebrations as locals and visitors came to check out the familiar but fresh venue.
In other news around town, the heat and wind combined to fall a fine and stately Ponderosa pine tree Twisp Park, upheaving the sidewalk and taking out a communication line. Thankfully, no one was hurt. Crews have begun cleaning and clearing the park from the debris. The tree showed evidence of woodpecker holes suggesting infestation of insects and decline in health. I didn’t get a chance to count the rings, but it was definitely over 100 years old, pre-dating the park. It’s sad to see large trees go in our urban forest, as it takes a long time to recreate.
Something to ponder: Did you know the average tree lives longer than the average building lasts? Think about that. We think of old towns and cities persisting through history, the architecture lasting. But in reality, most buildings last less than 100 years. Sure, there are the old historic districts and structures worthy of preservation, but the vast majority of buildings get rebuilt or remodeled from the inside out or destroyed in fire, or entire neighborhoods and districts get bulldozed and redeveloped.
The heat certainly has stressed our leafy friends and if your garden is doing strange things, rest assured, you are not alone. I have a hunch the pollen dried out on my tomatoes, and fruit won’t set. This happened in 2016 as well during a hot dry spell right when my tomatoes were in flower. Apparently, dry heat can zap the pollen and they just don’t pollinate.
Fruit trees have had it rough during this heat wave and so have the orchardists. Dennis Carlton of Smallwood Farms reported that his crews are picking fruit starting at 1 a.m. with headlamps. He lost a great deal of fruit from the heat. The apricots, in particular, were literally cooked from the inside out.
With stone fruit, the pits absorb thermal energy during the day and typically release the heat at night. But when temperature don’t drop below 80 degrees at night, the heat can’t get released and the fruit literally cooked on the tree last week. Carlton said through his multi-generational legacy of farming from his grandparents through is his lifetime, over 70 combined years of farming in Okanogan, he’s never seen anything like it.