We’ve been so busy here at Mimanagish that we’ve been meeting ourselves coming and going… but at last there’s a day to get caught up and – most importantly – communicate with you!
Remember the second verse of the Camp Wake-Up Song…which ends “it’s the wettest place I know”? I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. On May 20 and 30 (Memorial Day) we had 3-4 inches of wet snow. Two weeks later we had 3 inches of cold rain in 3 days – and the river crested. July 4 we awoke to the pounding of hail the size of peas! While I like the variety, it has been rather dramatic. Twice in June a small lake formed between the Lodge and Full Moon. We dubbed it Lake Aspen, and had to create new paths to get from one building to the other. It’s still a bit muddy through there!
The blessing of all this, of course, is that we have above-average moisture heading into the fire season. Like last year, we expect to be lush and green all season! We have had some hot afternoons, but the nights are cool and the mornings are crisp and beautiful. The Boulder River remains higher than normal for this time of year. It’s still all white water – most of the boulders can’t be seen. At its crest we could hear a sound like thunder, over and over. It was the boulders, crashing into each other, wearing smooth, and rearranging! Fortunately we were safe here in Camp. The river chose to take the River Walk for a while, but didn’t do any damage. The Main Boulder Road has now been graded, so you can’t really see the spots where the river took the road. The bridges all held, though they collected a lot of trees and branches. This beloved, wild river earned even more respect this year. You can hear it singing from every spot in Camp!
Speaking of singing, the birds have been plentiful and vociferous! When asked what birds live around Mimanagish, I naively said, “Oh, we have robins…not much else.” I am better informed now, as the last retreat participants went birding every morning and provided me with a list! Robins, yes, and crows, and all these: Western Tanager, Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Pina Siskin, Evening Grosbeak, Swainson’s Thrush, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, American Dipper (near the bridge), and Warbling Vireo! This last one is most interesting because their nest in the aspens is easy to see and watch. We all enjoyed seeing the pair switch roles, and the one on the nest warbled beautifully while twitching its tail! Where are those binoculars when I need them?!
There’s not as much human singing around Camp because of Covid precautions, but the River and the Birds have it covered for us!