POEM: SONG FOR AUTUMN
FIREWISE: A COUPLE OF QUICK FIREWISE THOUGHTS
PHOTOS: AUTUMN ON HIGH PRAIRIE
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POEM: SONG FOR AUTUMN
FIREWISE: A COUPLE OF QUICK FIREWISE THOUGHTS
PHOTOS: AUTUMN ON HIGH PRAIRIE
Download this edition to print/view at your leisure
Scroll down to read online
THANK YOU to everyone who completed the HPCC’s Community Interest Survey last September. The survey was designed to get feedback about what kinds of activities would appeal to community members and to gather more ideas. It was divided into three main sections: Activities, Community Benefit Projects, and Fundraisers.
Under Activities, the survey started out with a list of possible fun and interesting activities developed by a group of community members at a meeting last May. Among survey respondents, the five most popular ideas were Presentation on the History of our Area, Music Nights, Speakers/Presentations on Interesting Topics, Firefighter Appreciation Events, and Breakfast/Lunch Events at the Community Center. Several other activities garnered interest, and there were lots of good ideas entered in the “Add your own ideas” space.
Following that was a series of questions intended to get information on how likely respondents were to attend and/or help with activities; feedback about entrance charges; ideas for speakers/presentations/classes (respondents provided lots of great ideas); and activities people had enjoyed in the past that weren’t included in the survey.
The next section was Community Benefit Projects. The survey started with only two ideas – Annual Community Cleanup with “Dumpster Days” and Update the High Prairie Phone Directory. Both were popular with respondents. Some additional ideas from respondents included a Little Free Library at the community center; community exercise gatherings; food/toy/winter clothing drives; and organized visits or meal donations to vulnerable community members.
The last section was Fundraisers. Having periodic rummage sales at the old fire hall was popular, followed by a simplified version of our 2019 Oktoberfest; and in third place, car shows at the community center. Several other ideas were offered by respondents, including silent auctions; exploring grants and/or online fundraising; creating a Sustainers Circle for ongoing monetary support; and creating and selling High Prairie calendars and other High Prairie merchandise.
The final survey question explored respondents’ motivations for getting involved in fundraising and other activities. Support was high for raising money for the HP Fire District, for operating the community center, and for HPCC programs. Other top motivators were, “I like to be part of things that pull the community together,” “I like the opportunity to act locally in ways that benefit the whole community,” and “I like that volunteering lets me connect with friends and get to know new people.” Interestingly, there were also responses from people who preferred to work in the background or who would like projects to work on individually. It’s clear that there are lots of ways to be involved.
As an added incentive for people to complete the survey, HPCC offered a drawing for “Dinner for Two” (in the form of a $75 gift card) to respondents who wanted to be entered. The winner of the drawing was High Prairie resident, Teffa Wallace.
The HPCC Board of Directors thanks everyone who participated in the survey; but they also want everyone to know that passing on good ideas doesn’t require a survey. They are always interested in hearing from community members with ideas and feedback.
For the complete results of the survey, go to http://www.highprairie.us/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Survey-Report-condensed_20210925_0001.pdf
Just two years ago, in October, I was preparing to leave my retirement home of 20 years. Tom’s funeral had been on September 3rd and a few days later an offer came through on our house. Adding stress onto stress, I decided I had no choice but to sell, and readied myself for the move. I hated to leave, but the place was too much for me alone.
As I was going through some things in a shed behind Tom’s shop, I came across three pails filled with rocks. Our family collects rocks instead of souvenirs. We take them along when we move. Some, like the obsidian, came with us from Montana to Oregon 40 years ago. The petrified wood was from North Dakota. Many, especially the agates, were awaiting their turn in Tom’s rock tumbler. I stood there, looking down at those rocks when Tom’s words came into my head, “Why don’t you leave them with me?” and I liked the idea. A few days later, a group of us, friends and family, gathered at the cemetery with levels, rakes, and shovels. We brought in good top soil, put the rocks in a border all around the gravesite, and planted a drought-resistant wildflower seed mix. His tombstone has an engraved sketch of a man sitting in a boat, fishing pole in hand. Right next to Tom lies a fishing buddy, Earl Kemp, a friend and neighbor who died in 2017.
A few weeks earlier we had chosen the gravesite in the Lone Pine cemetery, about five miles from our home as the eagle flies. It is completely rural, surrounded by dry land farms, with a view of both Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. There is no water on site; no grassy, mowed knolls; no regular caretaker. Rainfall comes seldom to the area, only about 22 inches in an average year. The community has a cleanup day every spring but it is mostly a solitary place. A few of the older graves are unmarked. The earliest marked grave there is for the infant twins of M. M. and L. J. Warner who were born and died on September 30, 1883. One section of the cemetery is devoted to the remains of Indians, moved there in 1957 before the water behind The Dalles Dam flooded their cemetery at Celilo Falls.
Some of my family and I spent a weekend in High Prairie at our friends’ house last October, not even a mile from our former home. It seemed familiar, but strange, like I no longer belonged there. Yet, familiar in that the nearly-full moon shone down on us every night and we heard the coyotes howling. The year had been exceptionally dry so the oak leaves were turning brown instead of orange.
On Saturday of that weekend, we gathered up a shovel, rake and leaf blower and went to the cemetery with our small work party. We pulled a few weeds, tidied up the rocks, and raked around the wildflowers.
We stopped there again on our way home on Sunday. A deer had left tracks on the freshly-raked soil. He would have liked that.
I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its leaves are a little yellow, its tone mellower, its colours richer, and it is tinged a little with sorrow and a premonition of death. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor of the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age.
Henry Gerhard, Treasurer
Three weeks ago, on September 25th, HPCC held a community breakfast to bring members together and to honor Doug Taylor – oldest longtime resident, historian, and generous supporter of HPCC and HPFD. Doug not only lived here, he was instrumental in building the High Prairie community we have today. In the event you are not familiar with Doug’s work see the brief recap below.
The excellent breakfast was well attended and a number of newer residents came out. We collected enough in donations to cover all our expenses, plus $49, and gained at least one new volunteer firefighter.
I was born in Goldendale, Washington, on January 16, 1934. The folks were living on what is now known as Schilling Road. The Hartland School District, Number 29, consolidated with Lyle School District in 1940 and I started my first year there. I actually did graduate from Lyle High School in 1952. We got our first telephone service in the mid-1940’s on Schilling Road; farmer lines (party lines) had been in prior to this. We moved to the junction on the Centerville Highway and Hartland Road in 1948. That is where we had our first electricity for the Prairie. Dad wired the house there.
I got my first cow when I was 11 years old. Dad bought it for $60.00. The agreement was that I would get her heifer calves and he would get the bulls for feed and pasture.
When I was 19 years old, I bought the Baptist Church, which was built in 1898, and is still standing on my property at 876 Centerville Hwy. The purchase price was $400.00 for the church and 1 acre. There was a Methodist Church on Morris Road before my time. High Prairie had three school houses. One was known as Hartland School. Another was Hog Heaven School and the last was Johnson School. The Hog Heaven School was actually out of the Hartland School District boundaries at that time.
I was married to Dona Brown for 62 years. We have four children: Doug Jr, Martin, Nancy and John. Dona passed away December 17, 2016.
Being part of a small community you wear many hats. I served nine years on the Lyle School Board, several as chairman. Tom Amery and I were instrumental in starting Fire District #14 in the early 1980’s and I served several years as chairman. I also served as Superintendent of the Swine Department at the Klickitat County Fair. I also served as chairman of the Hartland Cemetery Association, which now is in the able hands of Ben and Barbara Parrish. I received the livestock award of O.P. Kreps, County award to the Douglas Taylors. I was first editor of the High Prairian with the support of my wife, Dona, and Cindy Henchell.
My closing thoughts are:
As I think of the progress and accomplishments of the High Prairie folks, I think it is the commingling of ideas and contributions. We have the strengths of together we can build, improve and coexist. I dare say we are quite a mix politically – Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, ACLU, Independents and probably a couple others. We have accomplished many projects such as the Community Center and two fire halls by working together. The modern national politicians think first of what can I do to get reelected, second what is in my best interest, not what be best for the citizens or the country. I must add however that the local politicians were very helpful for us to accomplish our goals as a community. We have created mail service from three days a week to six, a first-class fire district, a Community Center which can accommodate over a hundred people, goodwill and admiration from other areas.
September 25, 2021 – Pancake Breakfast at the Community Center.
In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
Tom McMackin/Fred Henchell
Imagine the following scenario – you call 911 with a serious emergency, and the first responders and/or ambulance can’t get there to help because they can’t find your driveway:
03:28:07 (emergency phone call)
Fire Comm: “911 – What’s the nature of your emergency?“
Caller: “Hurry!!! I need help… 679 Gopher Flats Road!!!”
Fire Comm: “High Prairie First Responders Dallesport Medic respond 679 Gopher Flats Road unresponsive person! High Prairie First Responders Dallesport Medic respond 679 Gopher Flats Road unresponsive person!“
HPFD #14: “Fire Comm – High Prairie & Dallesport Medic… copy page – 679 Gopher Flats Road“
HPFD #14: “Fire Comm – Aid 14 responding with 2 to 679 Gopher Flats Road“
HPFD #14: “Fire Comm – Aid 14 Dallesport Medic UNABLE TO LOCATE ADDRESS – 679 Gopher Flats Road“
Don’t let this happen to you! If you haven’t already, get a blue reflective address number sign and install it at the head of your driveway so that it’s visible, especially at night. Don’t wait! To order your blue sign and for assistance with installation, contact Fred Henchell at email@example.com or call 541-980-0539.
Notice the ‘bright’ spot on the right shoulder of the road 100 yards distant? It is a reflective sign. It works day or night to warn drivers of the curve ahead in the roadway. In the After picture a blue reflective address number sign has been added. Reflective signs work! Help us find you and your family in an emergency!
In case you missed the latest notice about Mandatory 10-Digit Dialing, here’s what it means for us on High Prairie. It’s a lot simpler than those notices make it seem.
Starting October 24, 2021, everyone within the 509 area code will have to dial Area Code + Telephone Number when making all calls. Here on High Prairie, we’ve been able to use our land lines to call others in the 365 local exchange without using the area code, but we won’t be able to do that anymore. It’s no big deal, since we already use area codes for all our other calls. However, you’ll want to add the 509 area code to people in your contact list and speed dial entries. Also, make sure everything with your phone number on it includes the area code, e.g. your website, membership list info, pet ID tags, business cards, advertising, voice mail outgoing message, and so on.
What’s driving this change is that the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has adopted 988 as a new National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline number. It will go active on July 16, 2022. The problem is that in many area codes, the prefix 988 (the first three numbers of a local phone number) is already in use. Without an area code, 988 will be read as the number for the mental health hotline. Mandatory 10-digit dialing eliminates that problem.
Photo: Deb Hansen
Tim Darland, Fire Chief
The Klickitat County Zone 2 burn ban (including High Prairie) has been lifted as of October 16, 2021. Please follow the outdoor burning requirements listed below. In the event the Fire Department gets called to an out of control burn pile, firefighters will be assessing the scene to ensure all outdoor burning requirements have been met. You may be responsible to pay costs if your burn pile is extinguished by the Fire Department.
If an outdoor fire started by you escapes, you may be responsible for paying costs associated with the extinguishment of that fire.
The Fire Department members and I thank you for adhering to the rules listed above.
Please remember to get those chimneys cleaned and test your smoke detectors! Accomplishing these two tasks can help prevent loss of life and property. Stay safe, and thank you for doing your part in keeping our area a FireWise Community.
Time to dust off last year’s FireWise list! Review and check off those things you were able to complete. What you’ll probably discover, like me, is that there are a variety of Sorta Done(s) and a few Never Got To(s).
The first item on your current FireWise list should be evergreen and pine tree pruning or removal.
Doing the work now until the first week of December will put you well ahead of the Ips beetles during their dormant period. Your trees will have the chance to heal and recover from any injuries before the beetles become active and reproduce, loading the bark of the pines with eggs. Ips eggs hatch into larvae that feed on the tree’s tender cambium layers. This can lead to girdling the circumference of the tree, cutting off the flow of water and nutrients throughout the tree. The trees will die over the course of the next year.
Piling the trimmed debris away from the trees for chipping or burning may even attract egg laying beetles into the pile if temperatures warm early in the Spring, helping to reduce the number of beetles impacting the trees in your area!
Cleaning the roof and the ground areas surrounding your structures 5’ to 30’ out from the foundations will put you ahead of the game come Spring.
Also take a few moments to survey the utility services [power poles] coming into your property and any fencing that uses wood for corners, gates, supports or anchors. Make a note in your Spring FireWise plan to take preemptive actions like trimming grasses or clearing down to mineral soil – aka dirt – to prevent fire from coming up to the poles, posts or other fencing materials. A bare earth circumference 3 feet in diameter around a power pole’s base should be good. Too much work? …Imagine how long it would take Klickitat PUD to replace all of the poles in the grid and then into your home to restore your electrical services!
If you have any questions or desire FireWise or High Prairie Fire information or have other comments or requests, please feel free to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or a phone call and voice message at 509-365-2786 home or 206-234-4141 cell.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, a revered leader of the Baha’i Faith and son of its founder, Baha’u’llah. His death and inspiring life are being commemorated by Baha’is around the world, including here in the Columbia Gorge.
The Baha’i Faith has a long and surprising history in the Gorge, as the Maryhill Museum was dedicated by its creator, Sam Hill, to Queen Marie of Romania, who is historically the first royalty to declare her belief in this then-relatively new Faith.
But in addition to Queen Marie, chances are you have several Baha’i neighbors and friends, as the worldwide faith has adherents in most every town and village across the planet. Here in Lyle, Baha’is have been busy offering spiritual education classes for children and youth to help them learn, grow and develop in ways that benefit them and the world around them, to see themselves as noble beings with an important part to play in contributing to the well-being of their communities. Many of you have bought their brownies and apple pies which they baked and sold to raise funds to provide propane heaters to those in Lyle without heat. The youth also engage in car washes (thanks to Steve and Cheri DeHart for the use of their gas station), food drives, neighborly visits to the elderly, cat nurturing at the local cat clinic, organizing game nights at the Activity Center, etc. etc. This age group can serve up a storm! One thing that is unique is that these classes are not for Baha’i children only, they are designed for all kids! In fact, pretty much everything the Baha’is do is outward-facing instead of congregational, and everyone can be a part of their activities.
There are about 75 Baha’is in the Gorge and we meet in each other’s homes…. or at least we USED to before the pandemic. Now we meet over Zoom, or around a campfire, or on someone’s front porch. And this November we will be having some very special gatherings, as Baha’is all around the world are preparing for the 100th anniversary of the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, who was the son of Baha’u’llah, and the center of the Faith after the passing of his Father. He served as an example for Baha’is and others in how to live a life aligned with the teachings of Baha’u’llah, teachings of service, loving-kindness and unity.
Local Baha’is are making plans for this occasion, to include presentations during Sunday services at local churches by invitations from clergy; feeding the hungry with an outdoor homemade soup and bread buffet open to all; Zoom presentations for the public with local musicians; a just-released video prepared at the Baha’i world center in Haifa, Israel, honoring ‘Abdu’l-Baha and his inspiring life; door-to-door food drive with the children and youth; and interfaith devotional gatherings with multi-cultural prayers for unity in our community and world.
Although the scope of Baha’u’llah’s teachings is as wide as the world, its essence is found in the word “unity.” He taught that beyond all our differences of culture, class, ethnicities, opinions and temperaments, each one of us is a member of one beautifully diverse human family, and each of us has a role to play in carrying forward an ever-advancing civilization…civilization not of material things, but of the true prosperity of humanity.
A quote from the Baha’i Writings which illustrates this is: “Ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship.”
And that is what I personally see so strongly in High Prairie, where neighbors look out for neighbors and care for each other and serve each other. I, and all of your local Baha’i friends, are so lucky and grateful to be a part of this loving community.
If you would like to learn more about the Baha’i Faith, a great way to do so is at www.bahai.us.
Unflavored gelatin, 2 packets
Boiling water, 1/2 cup
Birdseed, 2 cups
It is recommended to only offer gelatin feeders in the winter when cold temperatures prevent the gelatin from molding or melting. Store extras in the freezer until ready to use.
These pictures of our local lichen were taken at Swale Canyon and Stacker Butte. Our rocky soils, with white oak and evergreens are a host for so many different types of lichens.
Ten interesting facts about lichen:
1. A lichen is a miniature plant-like organism that is really a partnership between a fungus and an alga.
2. Lichens grow very slowly and live for thousands of years. Some in the arctic are 8,600 years old, by far the oldest living organisms on the planet.
3. Lichens can grow at all elevations and many environmental conditions and almost any surface – rocks, walls, roofs, exposed soils, rubber, bones…. Different kinds of lichens have adapted to survive in the most extreme environments on Earth- hot dry deserts, rocky coasts, arctic tundra, tropical forests…
4. There are about 20,000 known species of lichen.
5. It is estimated that 6-8% of Earth’s surface is covered by lichens.
6. Lichens come in a variety of colors, which help protect them from too much sunlight or low temperatures. The variety of colors is a result of their complex chemistry of tissues. Over 700 organic chemical compounds have been found in lichen – 90% not found elsewhere in nature.
7. Lichens get their nutrition from chemicals in the atmosphere. They live on air! They do not have roots or vascular tissue.
8. Lichens are a source of food for deer, squirrels, voles, invertebrates, and humans! Black lichen in conifer forests such as ours has been an important yearlong food source for Native Americans. Lungwort has been used to treat dry, wheezing coughs. The colorful chemicals are used as dye.
9. The biggest threats to lichens are air pollution, urban sprawl, invasive weeds, trampling from off-roading and livestock.
10. Over time, lichens can break down rock into soil (biological weathering) by simply attaching themselves to rocks. When lichens decompose, they provide material for soil development.