I hope this letter finds you well and safe with special wishes for those of you who are on the front lines. We were glad to hear that our HOA members, the Zalkans, both in the health field, are recovering and back at work after their bout with the virus.
Next an important suggestion –
Lignin preparation: The Woodlands is arranging to have lignin put on our roads to help manage the dust. Quite a few pine needles are covering each side of the Liberty Lane and Ponderosa. If you want better dust control in front of your cabin, consider raking the needles off the road and hopefully taking care of them when possible (burn, haul, etc.) If you wouldn’t mind raking them from community property on either side of you, that would be a great help. Maybe help a neighbor who doesn’t have a cabin or cannot get over here often as well. We have about 2 -3 weeks to get this done. Cascade Concrete is currently waiting for a supply of lignin.
Hydrant repair: We have a second water break at a hydrant across from 62 Liberty Lane. Our excavator will help us again in the next week or so. If you were left with no toilet water last time, consider either filling your bathtub on the day the excavator comes or fill some 6 gallon jugs to have on hand. It’s always good to have water available for such occasions.
We have a number of new construction sites so it may mean the water will need to be turned off while they hook up to the main line this summer.
Dark Skies: Members will be giving a presentation on Dark Skies at our annual meeting. We hope everyone will plan to attend the ‘virtual’ meeting Saturday, May 16 to learn more about what that means.
Smokeless Hauling: We are unable to arrange a ‘smokeless hauling’ opportunity this spring because WasteWise is not accepting yard waste at this time. Several of us hope to set something up for the fall.
Congratulations to us! We’re doing a great job of managing garbage for bear protection. I’ll be interested to learn the results of WasteWise’s research on providing bear proof garbage containers for residents along Hwy 20 and Wolf Creek. That probably won’t happen for another year but they are ‘on it!’
Hummingbirds are back in the neighborhood so let’s continue to take down their feeders at night for the safety of our bear population.
I hope Members will continue to share news of wildlife visitors to The Woodlands – bears, bobcats, moose, etc. via The Woodlanders FB page. Thank you to Marsha for some great photos this past year!
Birds, for those not spending time over here: Bluebirds are back. I first saw them near Lewis Butte a month ago, and yesterday saw them in Shafer Meadow (Jack’s Trail). Also saw a yellow rumped warbler at Shafer.
Flowers: Spring beauties and glacier lilies are in full bloom in The Woodlands along with some balsam root in sunny areas and soon to be along the ski trail.
Dwarf waterleaf is another early spring flower we’re seeing now. Soon, we’ll see yellow arnica, larkspur and lupine. I’ve been looking out for shooting stars along the forest service boundary. Later we’ll see pine drops, prairie stars and many more wild flowers. My favorite wildflower guide (foldout with 265 images) is “Mountain Wildflowers of Washington” by Jane Lundin. You can order it from Trails End bookstore which provides curbside delivery.
Whittaker bench: Finally, I want to encourage folks to stop by the rustic bench next to The Woodlands pump house. Several members had this bench made and installed by Eric Burr a few years ago to honor the stewardship work that Marilyn Firminhac Whittaker (Lee Whittaker’s wife) initiated in 2013. Her work to obtain our first cost share grant with the Department of Natural Resources led to major thinning work on community property and private lots completed in 2015. Until then there was no great understanding of what makes a healthy forest. Marilyn passed the “religion,” as I say, on to me. When first moving here, I used to think spreading the pine needles over the construction blemish around our house made it look more ‘natural.’ The DNR grant then led us to become a Firewise Community. We’ve come a long way baby! And now many of us, ‘have the religion!’
Thank you to all who continue to manage and enhance The Woodlands with your time and talent!