Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


Dear Readers: We live in a busy place this summer with a solstice that changed our weather almost at midnight when we suddenly went from a wet, cool day to a blazing hot sun that lasted several days, or so it seems. The intense heat had lots of folks outside playing in the Gray's River under the Covered Bridge. Ben dog and I went to Ahlberg Park to see if any folks were there. Silly me! Young families with kids of all ages. Even a baby was on the shore in a baby crib with a blanket over the top to keep hot sun filtered while sleeping. Folks were on both sides of the bridge, some riding the swing under the bridge. How many years has a rope swing hung under that bridge?

Thanks to the Sorensons who own the north end property, it has free access to their historic property. Kayakers and floaters were putting their gear into the river on the Sorenson side, floating to Rosburg Hall, loading up in a pickup and riding back with a friend and doing it again.

The Gray's River Grange owns the south end property. They keep it maintained, cleaned up (trash is not welcome at all), and grass cut. If you ever think of donating to the Grange to help support costs for maintenance, contact Darlene Ammer at (360) 465-2613. You can ask her about joining the Grange, too. For many years, a couple benches were available to sit on but I couldn’t find them. When it floods that property, the silt stays and “lifts” the soil under those trees. After many floods, the ground has risen. If anyone wants to replace those benches, it would be great so visitors have a seat. The Grange may already have a plan so to ask about this idea or another you might like to suggest for seating, contact Darlene Ammer (above).

Wildfire in Grays Harbor County Update: The "Johns River Fire" burning in Grays Harbor County is currently listed at 76 acres. It’s currently the largest fire in the state. It is impressive activity given the fairly recent, abundant rains and a glimpse at what even a short spell of warm, dry weather can produce. Smoke from the fire can be seen from the Long Beach Peninsula. (off the internet)

Dry fields fresh cut: Folks have been haying like crazy over the hot dry days we had, and it was a good thing because here we are with a bit of soft rain this morning. I notice our new neighbor Tony Zhao, who bought Phil Zerr’s property, has already got a good handle on haying his fields. He keeps going day and night, with big headlights on his tractor. Seemed like it took forever waiting for dry days, but tractors are running hard now.

Thinking about hay, while you and your “big green tractor” are going back and forth, check to see where any noxious weeds might be that concern you. Give Andy Lea a call to get his help if you want any spraying done. (360)749-4196. Andy is provided as your noxious weed manager for Wahkiakum County. Call him to make an appointment to help you identify any plants you are not familiar with, and he’ll help you determine if anything can be done, even if you don’t want your property sprayed. He will come to your property and look it all over carefully. He can spot and identify weeds better than my Grandmother Nellie. He carries shovels in his truck and he can help dig them out, especially if they are poisonous. Since moving here myself, and spending years removing blackberries, I know what a help Andy can be for landowners. If blackberries aren’t sprayed, they rejoice and spread like crazy. The berries are large and sweet though, so if you aren’t spraying, do pick them and if the seeds bother you, push them through a cone sieve with cloth, and you’ll have fine jelly.

Speaking of weeds: Poison Hemlock has been seen in Grays River. Very deadly, it is the plant Socrates used to kill himself. The purple stalk can grow high with small white flowers. Kudos to Allan Berry who had Andy Lea from the Noxious Weed Control Board come out for two hours and work with him on problem weeds on Allan’s property in Rosburg. Andy Lea reports that an application came into the Weed Board for a Gray's River representative position vacated by Philip Zerr. Tyson Vogeler has applied to fill that position, and it will be voted on at the Weed Board’s next meeting. This will give Gray's River landowners a voice at the table. Thanks so much, Tyson, for stepping up to help your neighbors. Tyson is well qualified to fill this position, and we are grateful to him for volunteering. Columbia Land Trust’s Natural Area Manager, Lindsay Cornelius, says, "We believe naming things is the first step toward caring about them and considering them in management decisions.” Learn to identify dangerous or invasive noxious weeds! Andy Lea: (360)749-4196.

From Darlene Bjornsgard and FAFF: "Looking for volunteers! I need people to sit in the Vintage Finnish American Room and the Raffle Booth, both Friday and Saturday at Finn Am Fest, July 29 and 30. Even one hour one day helps! Two hours both days would give you a gold star! (360) 484-3337."

Photo of the Week: Larry Kelly, Lyle Haataja and Rodney Dunham having coffee at the Appelo Archives Center last week. They are some of the men who regularly meet at the center in the mornings. Last week, a surprise birthday cake and ice cream celebration was held for Rodney.

Calendar: Senior Lunches at Rosburg Hall: First and third Wednesdays at noon. All seniors (over 55) are welcome and their guests, too. On the Wednesday after July 4, it will likely be good holiday food and plenty of “fresh from the farm” salads. CAP box lunches are available for pick up at Rosburg Hall on Thursdays at noon. Contact Denise at (360) 762-3111.

Finnish American Folk Festival: Last weekend in July. It’s been four years since the last one because of covid, so plan on going and enjoying the traditions of our Finnish heritage here.

July 14: Grays River Habitat Enhancement District meeting at 5:15 at Johnson Park.

July 19: Naselle/GRV School Board meeting at 6:30 at the school.

July 20: Senior Lunch at Rosburg Hall at noon.

July 29, 30 and 31 FAFF.

Word for the Week: gentle.


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