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It's About Time - October 2012

Fifty years ago, on Oct. 12, 1962, the great Columbus Day Storm passed through Oregon. With winds surpassing 100 mph in most of the Willamette Valley, it was the most severe windstorm recorded, so powerful that many anemometers simply blew apart!

This kind of event has occurred before and will happen again. We don’t know when that might be. We know the rains come in the winter and it will be dry in the late summer. We adjust our lifestyle to accommodate. Even though we don’t know when the next massive windstorm or the next earthquake will come, we should be mindful to prepare for these, too. It’s about time, irregular and unpredictable, but certainly coming in time.

In the mountains I see piles of cone scales on the ground at the end of big logs in the woods. When the Douglas fir seeds mature the squirrels enjoy “cone on the cob.” Those big logs are special to every woodland critter because they don’t dry out. Salamanders live under them and roots of forest trees grow up into them for moisture and nutrition.

Even as our spring and early summer were particularly cool and wet, this year our late summer and fall are really dry. I see too many fruit trees and rhododendrons in town suffering from lack of water.  We who dream of mushroom soup want the fall rains to start. The Mushroom Festival Oct. 28 at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum will have a scanty exhibit if the rain doesn’t come soon.