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Gazers Watch Stars Saturday Night

Trout Lake News for July 15

By the

Trout Lake Newswriters

Pat Arnold, 395-2233

greenpastures@gorge.net

Maxine Bulick, 395-2101

Maxine@gorge.net

Sarah Burr Arnold, 395-2669

sba_352@gorge.net

Jim and Kathy White brought their telescope and hosted a bunch of stargazers Saturday night at the school, and it was a perfect night, warm and clear. Jim has a green laser device that allows him to point to sky features that are millions of miles away. I couldn't stay long, just long enough to climb a few times up and down the ladder that one uses to get to the telescope sight, and see stars orbiting each other, stars in the Big Dipper, and a big cluster of stars that looks like a cloud without the telescope. Doug Anderson helped us watch the space station as it crossed low on the western sky, moving 17,000 miles per hour with its six crew members. Hopefully circumstances will permit a repeat on fair weekend. It's mind-boggling how much Jim knows about the stars and sky, especially since there are frequent sightings of him our and around in the daylight, which means he's not really spending all night every night studying the sky.

The Arts Festival next weekend has a wonderful variety of art and music. You can see the roster and the music schedule on the festival's page on TroutLake.org. Two artists on the list caught my eye, representing as they do two geographically different cultural heritages, but coming together here in Trout Lake. Lillian Pitt, a Native American artist, will be at the festival, and her web site has information about how her art is informed by her sense of the long presence of her ancestors in this place and the art, artifacts, and stories they have left behind. Then Marilee Cowan will be playing the nyckelharpa on Sunday morning. The nyckelharpa is an instrument that first appears in Scandinavian, particularly Swedish, records in the 1500s A Swedish group with a nyckelharpa has twice come to the bluegrass festival in Tacoma, and it's an amazing instrument. How interesting for us to be able to experience these two and so many other talented artists. And you can buy your fair raffle tickets there as well.

A friend of John Opp has donated a painting of one of John's Best of Show Flowers to be the prize for Best of Show Flowers at the Fair. As many of you know, there has been hot competition for Best of Show Flowers for years now, and John pretty much owned the prize for quite a long spell. His arrangements were usually high in People's Choice as well. A wildflower arrangement by Rowena Sandford came out of left field (Rowena and family having been away from Trout Lake for several years) and took the prize one year, and John really enjoyed that arrangement, as he did all the flower entries. It seems fitting to have a John Opp memorial prize, and we hope to see many wonderful entries.

Honored fair guests? I hear talk, but I haven't confirmed, that Joanna Smith and at least one other armed services member will be the honored guests for the fair.

Mt. Adams Baptist Church announces the Saddle Ridge Ranch Vacation Bible School from July 19 to July 23 in the mornings at Jonah Ministries, for children ages four to 12. Early registration is greatly appreciated. Forms are on a table at the entrance to the church or on www.mountadamsbaptistchurch.com. Call Caroline Shields at 395-2748 or Adam Peck at 395-2929 for more information.

Now that the World Cup is over, it's time to turn back to raising up a new generation of players for the US team. Join the Soccer Camp on July 27, 28, and 29 from 9 a.m. to noon at the school. Camp is for players from kindergarten through 8th grade, cost is $15. Call George Grygar at 395-3463 for more information.

Last column it was ducklings, now it's stray cats, and I want to give a word of thanks for all the amazing volunteers and organizations that help with stray animals. In addition to local vets who donate time and services, there are several organizations in our area, including Cat Link, Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue, Dogs of the Gorge, Home at Last, Hukari Animal Shelter, PROD, Rowena Wildlife Center, and Dead Dog Walking Pit Bull Rescue. These groups, partly motivated by concern for the dogs and cats, and partly motivated, in the case of cats, for concern for the wild bird population, will provide advice and assistance to those who want to tackle the stray dog and feral cat problem. The main strategy with cats is to spay or neuter every animal. There are quite a few people in Trout Lake and Glenwood who put time and money into this effort. You know who you are, and you're great.

Here's the story. A small black cat showed up at my feral cat food dish a few months ago, too wild to get close to, but smart enough to get into the barn cat food routine. All was well until an egg customer who is a local rescue person with about 75 rescues and placements in the last five years or so, remarked that the cat must have kittens, at which point I sprang into action, having been too distracted for a couple of months to pay attention. I caught the cat that same night and delivered her to the vet on a Saturday morning. Monday I had a call from the vet that the cat had delivered four kittens over the weekend, so I had a near miss. I've had reproducing feral female cats before, and it's a nightmare, to the tune of six or eight spays every year. So this cat and kittens took up residence at the vet's until the momma cat could be spayed and return to nursing, and then I was fortunate enough to receive help from Cat Link in The Dalles with spay, neuter, and adoption of the kittens. The momma will come back here. So once again, we are lucky to have so many good organizations and volunteers here locally on this issue.

Pat Arnold, Newswriter

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