Exploring the Okanogan

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Writers acknowledge the work of others

Books inform in laymen’s terms

I have been through my copy of Alt and Hyndman’s “Northwest Exposures” in an attempt to find a certain bit of knowledge but have run out of time.

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Holiday brings memories of critters

It has been a long time since I have heard the cry of the pika, a small member of the hare family. While the North Cascades Highway was being built, the roadbed was in, but not yet surfaced, as far as Lone Fir Campground. If you wanted to go farther up, you walked.

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What’s the next big scientific proposal?

We will have to temper reactions when it arrives

In 1995 David Alt and Donald Hyndman published a book called “Northwest Exposures.” A fat (442 pages) book, it was a physical and historical geologic history of the Northwest states, including scraps of Montana and California and, once, I think, a piece of Utah along with Washington, Idaho and part of British Columbia.

Pets can perceive more than we realize

Family dog once stopped a child from being hit by a moving vehicle

It is difficult to impossible to know how much animals perceive of our wishes and our circumstances. But it happens, and sometimes with startling results.

Pneumonia vaccines can save lives

Lab technicians show heroism in battling disease

The other day, while I was at my clinic (for something else), I was offered flu and pneumonia shots and accepted. In my family, pneumonia is a word that commands attention. My grandmother died of it when in her 30s, leaving, in addition to her husband, three children, the oldest of whom was 9.

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Scientists’ risks benefit us all

Research leads to greater knowledge of diseases, nature

There have been times when geologists and other scientists have undergone certain hazards to obtain the information they sought. Take, for instance, John Wesley Powell and his hazard of boating down the Grand Canyon with his company. They were warned of its perils, but lured by the information to be gained by such a traverse of the great river in its mighty canyon and what could be learned from seeing it close up.

Trees change through the seasons, years

Colors provide a rich backdrop

“This land is afforesting,” my husband told me more than once.

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Remembering holidays and traditions

Give gifts that last in the hearts of your loved ones

When I was a child, my family had a custom of letting each child specify one Christmas gift he or she wanted.

Charles Lyell’s research often questioned ‘known’ facts

Up to the time of Charles Lyell, born in England in 1797, there was general belief that the world was made in 4004 B.C.

Locals fall into winter preparation ritual

Every year there are certain things that householders do as fall develops. Given the tendency of our climate to do things suddenly, sometimes it is hard to see a seasonal change appear.

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Cherish interactions with area’s wildlife

Story reveals a friendship between people and deer

There has been some mention of the greatest gift man can give. It has come up in connection with animals, too.

Erosion changes the landscape

What was highest was cut down; the lowest was raised

Somewhere in one of our old hymnals is the line: “The valleys shall be exalted, the lofty hills made low …”

Slides can vary from fun to terrifying

Word has many different meanings

The English language contains words that have multiple uses, and “slide” is one of them. Just now, one of those meanings is in the headlines, but let’s look at a number of them, beginning with the more innocent ones.

Frequency of recent storms is unusual

In our storms, rain follows lightning

When George Stewart wrote his book “Storm,” published in 1941, he named the storm Maria; the author stipulated that it should be with a long I (Mar-aye-uh).

Cats do more than control rodent levels

Exploring the Okanogan with Elizabeth Widel

Let us consider cats, specifically house cats. In an effort to be official about it, I dug out my “Encyclopedia Americana” and looked them up. There followed columns of information, more than I ever wanted to know.