Friday, January 23, 2009
It’s winter here in Wallowa County, but not much snow on the ground, at least in my yard, though there’s still plenty in the mountains.
It melted a little over a week ago when temperatures went into the 40s! just as all the mushers were coming to town for the Eagle Cap sled dog race. Luckily it stayed cold at night and the 200-mile trail to Halfway and back was icy rather than mushy --and fast!
The last week has been frosty fog and cold and beautiful.
Most every place in Joseph has a view of the mountains, and though mine isn’t as great as, say, Barton Heights where the Wallowas loom up in its backyard, it’s good enough that I’m always taking photos from my porch (usually of my car when it’s buried in snow).
My favorite tree is a mountain ash that produces lovely red berries each fall that the birds love to eat. This year, for some reason, the feathered diners failed to arrive in the autumn and instead showed up just last Saturday morning, when I woke up to their chatter. I took some great photos of them through the front room door window (when I opened the door they took off.) They were cedar waxwings, who tend to hang out in big flocks, though at first I thought they were robins, because of the bright orange breasts.
The red berries are all gone now, except for on another mountain ash, which has grown more like a bush than a tree, on my lot, which still has plenty of berries. I guess the waxwings are saving them for the next time they get hungry.
My kids used to love to climb that tree, and one limb is missing from over use. Last year granddaughter Lily was introduced to the ash, though she's so far too scared to climb it. She was only 3 at the time, so give her time.
Every winter, this time of year, I feel like hibernating, but luckily have to work, so that keeps me able to fight my inclination to become total couch potato or computer artichoke (I just made that up).
This year my newspaper is doing a “Biggest Loser” weight loss challenge to the community, and so I’m -- one more time -- on the downward path as far as my weight. I know I can do it, but whenever I give up the fight, the pounds just rush back. It’s a constant battle, but at least I’m back in the fray. Down 4 lbs. as of Tuesday.
I guess I’m not the only one fighting (or sometimes not fighting) the good fight. About 195 people have signed up on teams for the Chieftain’s challenge.
Wallowa County will be featured on two TV things coming up: “Man vs. World,” Jan. 26 (10 p.m.) and Jan. 27 (2 a.m.), Discovery channel, filmed this fall in Wallowa County; and “The Logger’s Daughter,” about Gwen Trice, the daughter of a black logger who came from the South to a segregated logging camp town, Maxville, in the 1920s, and her research and documentation of her roots and Maxville’s history. It is supposed to air on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Oregon Experience” on Feb. 9. I plan to go to an early screening in Wallowa Feb. 5