By Alkali Springs Correspondent
Finally a little cold weather and even a little snow hit the beautiful Bear Paw Mountains. The only problem is that it snows what seems like days on end and we only end up with a tiny skiff covering the ground. At this rate it is going to take us a couple of years to get six inches. If there is no summer for two years, we could eventually end up with a great covering of the white stuff. If not, we are looking at more drought.
And in the beautiful Bear Paws, it is getting to be a situation that is fraught with danger. More and more ranchers are facing losing water altogether even in their homes as springs and wells shrink and water table levels shrivel to lows not seen for years and years. In fact, we don't know if the Bear Paws have ever been this dry, since the days that folks started recording the history of happenings out there.
The question is when will it end? And end it will, that much we do know. Why, right now it looks like there is fairly good moisture all around us and it is just our little pocket that is dry as a bone. When we see moisture everywhere but here, sooner or later it gets here as well. More often than not, when it does finally get here it will be extreme, like several feet of snow. That will be fine. One day last week a friend was telling us that he had been in Portland for a month and he said it rained every day. We could not imagine what that would feel like, it has been so long since we have seen rain of even the three-day variety. So please, if anyone is listening to these words upstairs, bring it on!
Beaver Creek Reservoir has had a complete ice fishing village spring up almost overnight. This year most of the village is on the upper end of the reservoir. That must be where the fish are biting best. With water levels so low in that reservoir, you would think that the fish would be biting just to make more room for the rest. It must be so crowded down in the murk. Folks are ice fishing at Bear Paw Lake as well but not with ice houses. Those brave souls just stand outside and jiggle their jigs. Looks like a cold hobby to us. Much better to watch them jiggle from inside a warm automobile.
In the bird department, we have put out suet, thistle seed, black sunflower seeds along with a block of wild bird seed. All that gets us scores of pine siskins, plenty of chickadees, lots of hairy and downey woodpeckers and an occasional pheasant skulking around all that food. Not only that, but the rabbits that stay underneath the cabin have decided that they like bird seed too. So far this season no raccoons have discovered the bird treasure and finally all the chipmunks seem to have gone into hibernation, for a couple of months anyway.
So each day there is plenty of activity to see looking out of the front window.
And it is a great way to while away a winter weekend in the beautiful Bear Paws just watching the birds, rabbits and the occasional deer that wander through the yard to see what all the excitement is at the feeders.