SENSE OF PLACE: Speaker explores ‘David Douglas in the Gorge’

Join the Columbia Gorge Earth Center on Thursday at Springhouse Cellar when author Jack Nisbet discusses David Douglas’s impact on the Columbia Gorge.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the lecture is at 6:30 p.m. Cost is a $5 suggested donation.

Springhouse is at 13 Railroad St. in Hood River, next to Mt. Hood Railroad.

The next Sense of Place lecture will be Dec. 18, with Jon Tullis on “Timberline and Why it’s Cool.”

Nisbet will share slides and stories on Scottish naturalist David Douglas, who was the first trained naturalist to explore many parts of the Pacific Northwest. Douglas’ journals and letters offer an invaluable description of the Columbia River Gorge region between 1825-33, when he traveled with fur trade brigades and tribal guides into the high country on both sides of the river. What Douglas saw on those trips, and what parts of the that landscape remain relevant today, provide the main inspiration for Nisbet’s slide presentation.

Based in Spokane, Nisbet studied the human and natural history of the Northwest in his books, which include “Sources of the River”, “Visible Bones,” and “The Collector.” He and his wife, Claire, are the curators for David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work, an exhibit currently on view at the MAC in Spokane. The companion book for this exhibit is a collection of essays that relate aspects of Douglas’s work to the modern landscape.

The Columbia Gorge Earth Center is a nonprofit organization based in Hood River with a mission to strengthen connections between the people, ecology and economy of the Columbia River Gorge by facilitating dialogue and providing resources that empower our community to make sustainable choices.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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