Saturday, December 27, 2014

Snow Line

A glimpse is all I have of the mountains from the center of the street where my house sits, but that is enough to alert me to the snow line, an incentive to go for a little drive.  On Christmas day with a new neighbor and a salmon dinner a memory, we headed south of town.  Ten minutes gets us to this view looking east to the Blues.

We are known for wine now, but wheat has been on our calling cards for almost 150 years.  The rich Palouse loam many feet deep grows winter wheat for foreign markets.  Winter snow and rain are the irrigation systems of this dry land farming area.  The new winter crop was just greening up.

"Do you have a gun?" said the ranger.  "There is a wolf pack on your right in that canyon and a cougar in that one on your left.  The wolves won't attack you, but they will attack your dog."

Arriving at the intersection where the ranger had given me this warning a couple of years ago, guns  are always on my mind.  The white shot-out sign posted alongside of the road a reminder that guns aren't foreign in this area.  

Two trucks sat at the intersection in this lonely-looking stretch of road to the clouds.  Two guys were testing a new gun that earlier in the day had been wrapped in cheery-looking Christmas wrap, an effective camouflage for an often cheerless thing.  One guy was a vet and he appeared to be coaching the other one.  My friend began a conversation with the vet and when his story unfolded of multiple wounds from his years in the service, she asked to give him a hug and a thank you.  Well deserved.  Yes, thank you.

Jan, my friend, the thoughtful one in regards to vets.
 Hunting season for elk by either master firearm hunters or master bow hunters is still on for this area.  Just past Jan's head on a slope we spotted a herd of elk.  Good thing Jan was wearing her Pendleton bright jacket.  No one could mistake her for an elk.  Well the glasses also might be a dead give away.  I, on the other hand, in my nice elk brown hat might have been a good target.  Except that my glasses would have been a dead give away.  Hmm, dead.

Happy Holidays from the snow line.


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