Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

Many thanks to Sally McGee for the news that Cape Meares resident Lana Hechtman Ayers has had three poems published in the latest issue of the prestigious “Buddhist Poetry Review.” Lana is a gifted poet, a publisher and the leader of Writers’ Meet-Up where local writers gather (virtually) and share their writing. Lana is also the author of several books. One of Sally’s favorites, “Red Riding Hood’s Real Life,” is a novel in verse. Congratulations to Lana!

I noticed some colorful plastic streamers surrounding Ciel Downing’s new yard and asked her what’s going on. She said that after months of removing sticks and rocks, then renting a backhoe to smooth the ground, then removing more sticks and rocks, she finally put in topsoil. The whole thing was raked smooth and sod was laid. For two days, it looked beautiful; then the elk discovered it. They pulled up entire squares of sod and shook it like a dog shakes a toy! They returned and started digging it out, removing many more oblong strips. Soon, a fence will go up. The elk may, in fact, jump that, but by then the land will be firm and the sod rooted. In the meantime, Ciel has put up weedeater string and tied logging tape in bright colors as four-footlong streamers every two feet or so. It has kept our elk friends off! Now that’s imaginative problem-solving.

I promised you another fish tale; here it is. We generally put in at Memaloose in the early morning, fish a couple of hours, and then go home to have hot beverages and play canasta. The other day, the sky was still overcast in the afternoon (better than straight sunshine for fishing, we think) and there was no rain, so we decided to go out again—we call that twice-in-one-day fishing “double dipping.” We launched and were on our way downriver when Pete’s rod went down; it was a fish! After a couple of nice runs, he brought in a 13.5-lb. Chinook. We were so pleased; up until then, we had boated only two jacks and one small hatchery coho this fall. But there’s more. After another hour of fishing, Pete’s rod went down again and he had another fish on—in just about the same place! Everything was going well until I spotted a boat coming up at a very fast clip from down below, on a path that would take it right over Pete’s fish. I’m short, 5’1”, but I stood as tall as I could and waved our salmon net until the other boat finally saw me and switched course to go behind us. That taken care of, Pete brought in his second salmon of the day, a 10-lb. Chinook. He was delighted to have his daily limit of Chinook and I, as first mate, was delighted not to have to figure out what to cook for dinner that night. Pete cooks all the seafood in our house, and he does a good job. Yum, yum!

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