Autumn Stroll

by Guest Author

Autumn Stroll
By James Gutschmidt
September 28, 2016

I’m out for a stroll in the Great Okanogan Highlands;


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Pacific Northwest Trails Days

by Dennis Peterson

The Pacific Northwest Trails Days are coming and they need your participation! On Saturday there will be music all day, participation events and presentations, and food. The venue is City Park which has a beautiful broad lawn, shade trees, and plenty of room for kids to play. Hopefully the city won’t run the sprinklers all night (hint hint!).

Sunday will bring opportunities to hike and bike on the beautiful trails that locals and visitors rave about. This is going to be a fun weekend but it will be a huge fun weekend if everyone turns out to enjoy it all.

By: James Gutschmidt

 Peering into the looking glass, there is no future, there is no past. The present tense is mere non-sense. This bit of wisdom shall cost you only fifty cents.

Fifty cents.image1

Alas, and such an instant in time is as that mirror’s reflected face. Mysterious, yet it is, untouchable in its haste to be in the place where time’s fate gives flight.

Time’s Fate gives flight.

Or, maybe, is it God’s split second view from such an awesome height that is such an intoxicating sight? Come with. Let’s go walking on the clouds.

Walking on the clouds.


To snatch that place where time’s fate has its moment, its own life’s pace with unexpected grace.

Unexpected grace.



Time breathlessly awaits its fate in a hideaway, there, to possess the splendor, modestly, expectantly, grasped at, and then hastily spent.

Splendor hastily spent.

It laughingly knows that anticipation is all that is, and is greater, by far, in its beauty, than the expected event.

Just ask Gracie. (Our dog.)


We may not be rich, but my God, what a view! Whew!


A place where time stands still, With Gracie, in the winter. In the Winter.

 Curiously, the future is unknown until it’s gone. The only way to predict the future is by examining the past, and that is truly an uncertainty.   It’s somewhat like looking into the rear view mirror, while driving the car. By divine intervention we don’t drive off of the cliff. Sounds a lot like life? I guess so.

If you think about it, there really is no present tense. Time moves from the future to the past without pause. There is a transition, but never an identifiable “moment in time.” I guess the only possible way to attempt to capture the moment is by photography.

Or, come to a place where time stands still.

Time’s Fate? Walking on the Clouds.

Text and photographs are provided by James Gutschmidt from location in the Extreme Okanogan Highlands, 4,000 foot elevation, walking on the clouds, with Gracie, in the winter.

All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. Except, for this special release to North Okanogan – An Online Magazine. April 25, 2016.

James Gutschmidt, 2 Kipling Pl., Oroville, WA 98844


Early Spring

by Dennis Peterson

20. February 2016 · Comments Off on Early Spring · Categories: Businesses, Nature, Okanagon, Oroville, Photography

Our lawn is doing funny things. It has not been that many days since it lay buried under snow and ice, yellow and limp. It is greening and the limp is gone.

Our little avian visitors, so cheerful and friendly all summer and fall look upon us with malice for our lapse in keeping the feeders brimming. Our quail, instead of shouting “where are you” now seem to jeer “we’re here – where are YOU??”

Shooting Stars in Bloom

Shooting Stars in Bloom ~ A Linda Colvin photo

Spiders that winter over indoors and pop out of nowhere to scare the bejeezus out of you have abandoned our hospitality and warmth for the challenges of “the hunt”. We wish the creepy little buggers well and good riddance!

The deer that have tramped through our snow-planked yard in search of greener anything have returned to the hills, to old friends, and to rearing the next generation of tramps. We’re looking forward to their return – what is better for the heart than seeing nature share and enjoy our comfort.

The grapes are showing signs of needing a good prune, the vegetable garden needs a good infusion of last year’s compost, and we need to stock up on our Tylenol once more. Tomatoes for the deer and potatoes for us. Sunflowers for the community and hours of ripping up Shasta Daisies, peppers for the pot, basil for the stew, Thai basil for the soup. And peanuts, this year, to sweeten the soil. Don’t forget the Tylenol!

Serviceberry Shrubs Abloom

Serviceberry Shrubs Abloom ~ A Linda Colvin photo

Chores, fence mending, scraping and painting, reset the gutters – they took quite an ice burden this winter, a new roof for the garage, and maybe a nice gazebo for the upper lawn. Enough life is behind us that BIG plans are supplanted with “doables” – projects that won’t go unfinished. Funny how age defines how sturdy a shot of chain must be to last a lifetime.

We hope the prospect for an early spring is filling your thoughts with pleasant visions of the season of renewal.



Esther Bricques Winery has begun the 2016 Wine and Music series with live performances each Thursday evening from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm and featuring your favorite Okanogan Valley performers.

Esther Bricques Music Garden

Esther Bricques Music Garden

Oh – and in case you’ve lost count, it is 73 Days,13 Hours, 6 Minutes, 23 Seconds until Taber’s fruit barn opens for wine night Wednesdays! But who’s counting? Well, we are!

Taber's Taste of Summer

Taber’s Taste of Summer on the Deck

Photos provided by Esther Bricques Winery, and Copper Mountain Vineyards.

Story and images provided by
James Gutschmidt

Today, Saturday the 28th, I now understand why Mary Lou and I live where we do. From up here at 4000 feet, we see the distant clouds that lay like a lake 2000 feet above the Oroville valley below. The white capped Cascades, in a neat row, float above westward to northward, to where the arctic winds blow. The foreground valley is blanketed in a quilt of various shades of brown and white snow. The sun languishes, then sets in the west, sooo slow. The sky hangs, a clear sky blue, with a yellowish golden horizontal hew. All is still … the air is sooo cool. We may not be rich, but my God, what a view! Whew!

The vista described above can be viewed, minus the snow and cloud cover, in the archives of water color artist Jim Weaver at the following website: Jim Weaver – Paintings Sold and in Collections under the title “A Thousand Hills.”

“A Thousand Hills” – Watercolor by Jim Weaver

James and Mary Lou

James and Mary Lou