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Secret gardens on parade

An 8-foot-tall redwood Buddha greets visitors to Lisé Hamilton’s eclectic garden. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Weekend garden tour, quilt show will support Del Norte Habitat for Humanity 

Folks looking for a quiet respite over the weekend are invited to tour some of Del Norte’s hidden gardens.

The Del Norte Habitat for Humanity Garden Tour will take place on Sunday at six homes in the Fort Dick area. This year, in addition to touring a redwood garden, an Asian garden and a greenhouse full of fuchsias, more than 50 quilts will also be on display, said Chris Owen, vice president of the local Habitat board. 

“We had more quilts offered than we could manage,” Owen said, adding that all the quilts were created by local artists. “It’s going to be an amazing feat to get them up and situated.”

River rats of all shapes and sizes swarm mountain town for raft races

Some of the Gasquet Raft Race’s 200-plus participants maneuver around rocks as they lead a small pack of paddlers downstream Saturday afternoon. Boaters and floaters covered a 2.5-mile stretch of the Smith River in about two hours. Del Norte Triplicate / Melea Burke
A family of clowns ferrying their kayak down the rocks were followed by Scotty and Mr. Spock hauling the USS Enterprise to the Smith River, glittering in the Gasquet sun.

There were zombies, guys wearing togas, fairies with gauzy tutus and glittery wings and members of the Justice League staging at the spot where the Smith River’s north and middle forks meet.

“Are you ready with the cannon?” shouted race volunteer Paul Nelson through a bullhorn.

More than 200 paddled or floated down the Smith River for the 45th annual Gasquet Raft Race on Saturday. It’s the largest fundraiser of the year for the Gasquet American Legion Post No. 548, which ended the event with live music and a deep pit barbecue.

Birds pause on migration

Del Norte’s coast is a great venue for migrating shorebirds 

Shorebirds are silhouetted against the sky Sunday morning. Del Norte Triplicate / Jessica Cejnar
Gary Bloomfield, Sue Calla and several other birders were transfixed by a flock of semi-palmated plovers at the mouth of Elk Creek on Sunday — until an osprey stole the show.

The bird of prey snagged a fish in his talons and chowed down in the middle of the estuary. When he finished his meal, the osprey, much to the delight of his audience, dunked his head in the water twice before flying off.

“It’s such a treat to see an osprey on the ground,” one birder said.

Tolowa to dance Saturday

Members of the Tolowa Nation will present a dance demonstration Saturday that’s meant to re-establish positive relationships between humans and the earth.

The Na-dosh is a renewal ceremony traditionally performed inside a redwood plank house. But on Saturday the demonstration will be held in a redwood grove overlooking the Smith River, according to a Redwood National and State Parks press release.

Wedding: Nickell, Miles

Read more...Sarah Nickell and Pete Miles were married on May 24, 2014 at Abernethy Center in Oregon City, Ore. 

Graduation: Peterson

George Peterson
George Peterson graduated with a BS in civil engineering from Oregon State University on June 14. He was also commissioned into the United States Air Force as a second lieutenant.

Birth: Bracht

Read more...Viktor Jameson Bracht was born June 9 at Fort Walton Medical Center in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Birth: Duncan

Ryker James Duncan
Ryker James Duncan was born Feb. 15 at Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City.

Gleaning wisdom: Waste not, want not

Shirley Burr, left, and Kelly Nolan stand in Burr’s expansive garden, which was part of the gleaning project. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
I once walked through an almond orchard after the harvest. Almonds are harvested commercially by a machine that shakes the tree so the ripe nuts fall onto a tarp. It sure beats picking each almond by hand, but it also leaves a lot of not-quite-ripe nuts behind. I picked one handful. There were hundreds more on every tree in the orchard.

When I started farming a few years later, I took over a field that had been planted in onions. A few weeks after the last harvest, a group of visiting friends collected dozens of pounds of onions from a small corner of the field. They were very small onions, left on the ground either because they slipped through the harvesting equipment or because the farmers simply didn’t have a market for them. Hundreds of pounds got plowed into the field the next spring.

Many crops, even in our days of hyper-efficient machines, are harvested in ways that leave plenty of edible produce behind.

Church Notebook: Give folks a chance to welcome visitors to congregation

It turned out to be a pretty nice Fourth after all.

When I saw the overcast  weather, I thought, “Oh, no, our visitors will be disappointed again!”

I was reminded of the Fourth a few years ago when the weather turned out to be really disagreeable. I had stopped at Safeway after church and had pulled my cart close to the rack to leave plenty of room for others to get past me. Reading a label, I barely noticed the woman who said, “Excuse me!” as she sashayed by. Since neither of us encroached on the space of the other, I nodded and kept reading. Then, she snarled at me, “Well! So much for your so-called California hospitality!” and quickly flounced down the aisle. 

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