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A Mixed Salad of Thoughts of Spring

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WEATHER- In a sure sign of spring, many of the birds have returned and are making a joyful noise right before the sun rises. Add in a couple of warm, sunny days just right for outdoor projects, and it’s easy to believe the cold weather is behind us.

Not so fast. The seasonal forecast from NOAA and the National Weather Service tells us that ENSO-neutral conditions are promising a slightly colder and wetter than normal April, May and June. At that point I quit reading, not much interested in learning about colder-than-normal temperatures in any season, much less right now, and went out into the cold, icy rain to continue preparing my garden beds. Lettuce and peas like cooler weather, you know?

FENCE-BUILDING - Another spring project has involved building a privacy fence cum raspberry support structure as my mother’s Mother’s Day gift this year. Those of you familiar with the many struggles I’ve had through the years in trying to do something nice in recognition of my mother won’t be surprised—as I was—to learn that about 22 inches under the surface of my land lies an old river bed.

Struggling to remove the enormous river rocks from what should have been nice, deep post holes, I fantasized to myself that these rocks had probably not seen the light of day in tens of thousands of years, likely washed into their current position by the last of the great Missoula floods. A quick talk with my friend (and hydrologist) John Monks quickly disabused me of that romantic notion. “Those darn creeks—especially one like Lightning Creek—have a nasty habit of changing their course!”

Did you know that if you look at your property with Google Earth, there’s a tool that allows you to measure distance? This is helpful for a lot of things, like planning your landscape, or mapping out a regular, one-mile walk. But what it also showed me is that Mother’s new fence line is just 500 feet from Lightning Creek, well within the boundaries of where it might have meandered in centuries passed.

EDITORIAL - Every now and then, something written in these pages triggers a big response from readers. Last month, it was Jody’s piece on gun control. So let me reiterate the River Journal’s policy on reader response.

At some point in the month following publication, the issue’s content will go online at our website (RiverJournal.com). There, readers are free to comment on any story (providing they can read the CAPTCHA image that supposedly ensures they are real live people and not computer-bots). You can say whatever you want, as long as it’s not a personal attack, libelous, or an inducement to buy “LOW COST MEDS!” or “BEST ESCORTS HERE!”

What you cannot do is receive so-called “equal time” within the printed pages of the River Journal itself. The main reason for this is cost—we pay good money for each and every printed page you hold in your hand, and quite honestly, are simply not interested in handing over even more money to pay to print extra pages so that others can use our platform to share a different opinion. If you feel strongly about wanting to share your thoughts on various issues, then I suggest you reach into your wallet and pay to have those thoughts printed and delivered throughout the three-county area. Conversely, you could always buy an ad. :0) Just call for rates.

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Landon Otis

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