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KITTITAS VALLEY

From the Cascades to the Columbia |Q2 2015

The Songs of Spring 12 pg.

• Artisan cheese • Instrument builder • Living with the outdoors $1.99

Happenings around the county

Fashion in the Valley

Publication of the Daily Record KV LIVING 1


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We hope you’ve enjoyed reading thiss edition of KV Living found inside e your Daily Record.

Look forward to these publications throughout the year!

Plus, many more! NOT A SUBSCRIBER? Call us today to set up delivery right to your door, Monday through Saturday. 509-925-1414

KV LIVING 3


TABLE of

SONGS OF

Spring

12

Discover the sounds of a pg. necessity—the frogs of spring

CRAFTING

Dreams Instrument m maker brings custom creations to lilife.

20

pg.

ART OF THE

Artisan 26 Ellensburg native making cheese with local ties

The Lure of the Bloody Mary

pg.

40

pg.

Whether you’re looking for a midafternoon meal replacement or a cure for your hangover, the Bloody Mary is much more than just a cocktail — it’s an art form. 4 KV LIVING


KITTITAS VALLEY LIVING Q2 2015

Fashion 30 pg. pg g.

IN THE WIND

Spring fashion n hits the Kittitas Va Valley alley

WALK THE

WILD SIDE

36

pg. pg

Living with wildlife dlif in i Kittitas County.

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BESTOFKITTITAS NEW VIEW BLINDS & DRAPERIES

PAPA MURPHY’S VOTED BEST PIZZA Locally owned Papa Murphy’s Pizza is still the leader in this category. They have been voted best place for pizza 10 years in a row! They continue to offer pizza that is made with fresh ingredients, right before your eyes that you bring home and serve hot out of your oven. 205 W. Tacoma Avenue | 509-962-9282

NW AUDIOLOGY

VOTED BEST WINDOW COVERINGS New View Blinds and Draperies provides FREE in-home consultations, FREE perfect fit measuring , great design ideas, lifetime warranty, great service, and repairs for Kittitas County including: Ellensburg, Thorp, Cle Elum, Roslyn, Easton, Kittitas, Vantage, Ronald, Suncadia and Tumble Creek. All with low competitive prices! 2211 W. Dolarway, Ste. 5 | 509-925-4637

VOTED BEST AUDIOLOGIST

WOODS ACE HARDWARE

Linda Lee Nelson, owner of Northwest Audiology and Hearing Aid Center, has worked for 30 years as a certified clinical audiologist providing professional hearing evaluation, screening, diagnosis, and fitting of the latest in hearing aids and assistive listening devices. 603 N. Main, Ste. 2 | 509-962-9575

VOTED BEST HARDWARE STORE

GA LLERY ONE VISUAL ARTS CENTER

D&M COFFEE

VOTED BEST ART GALLERY/MUSEUM Gallery One Visual Arts Center is a nonprofit organization that relies on community involvement and donations to keep its doors open. In addition to rotating exhibits of contemporary art, Gallery one offers a variety of quarterly classes, an art after school program, a gift store featuring regional artisans, a full ceramics studio available for rent and classes, inexpensive studio spaces for artists and facility rentals for the community. 408 N. Pearl | 509-925-2670 | www.gallery-one.org

Since 1990, D&M Coffee has been a coffee oasis in Kittitas County. They roast to order, offering customers only the freshest coffee available. Downtown 301 N. Pine | 509-962-9333 HQ-Roastery 215 W. Third Avenue | 509-925-5313 Canyon Rd. Drive-Thru, 1709 Canyon Road | 509-925-7410 Drive-Thru 204 S. Water | 509-962-6333 Drive-Thru behind Cornerstone Pie, 307 E. 5th Avenue | 509-933-3600 www.dmcoffee.com

LAURIE ARMSTRONG – UMPQUA BANK

DAILY BREAD & MERCANTILE

VOTED BEST PLACE FOR COFFEE

VOTED BEST MORTGAGE LENDER

VOTED BEST PLACE TO GET A SANDWICH

My business has been about earning your trust and helping you find the right home loan right here in the Kittitas Valley. lauriearmstrong@umpquabank.com | 509-899-1732

KELSEY SCHMIDT – C.W. BARBERSHOP

Daily Bread & Mercantile is a family owned and operated bakery, deli and bulk foods business created to provide fresh baked goods, specialty foods, deli meats and cheeses, to the Ellensburg community. Come on in and see our delicious lunch specials; sandwiches, soups and salads all fresh and made from scratch! 306 S. Main, Ste. 2 | 509-925-2253

C.W. BARBERSHOP

VOTED BEST BARBER Open 6 days a week, C.W. Barbershop, tops the category again this year. Kelsey Schmidt has owned the shop since 2007 and takes pride in her wide variety of clientele; from baby’s first haircut, to old timers, locals and students. Kelsey enjoys the barbershop atmosphere where she considers her customers her family and has learned that an important part of her job is being a good listener. Drop in, you’re always welcome. 808 E. University Way | 509-962-2599

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Let the knowledgeable staff at Woods Ace Hardware provide you with great hardware products, tips, and advice on lawn care, painting, decorating, plumbing and electrical. Locally owned and operated, the Woods family has been serving Ellensburg since 1944. 310 N. Pearl | 509-925-2961

SHAW’S FURNITURE & APPLIANCE VOTED BEST FURNITURE STORE Shaw’s furniture has been family owned and operated for over 60 years. We are one-stop shopping for everything that makes a house a home. We look forward to meeting you at our store for all of your home furnishing and appliance needs. 512 N. Pearl | 509-925-1475


COUNTY OLD MILL COUNTRY STORE

WEBB CONSTRUCTION

VOTED BEST FARMER-FRIENDLY SSUPPLIER UPPPL UPPL PLIEER PLIE

Let us protect your biggest investment with our quality seamless gutters. Numerous color options to match your fascia or roof. Leaf gutter guards in 5 inch, 6 inch and custom sizes. Maintenance programs. Snow country capable. Also, check us out for high quality roofing, siding and decking. 509-968-3650 or 509-899-1158

Old Mill Country Store’s premier goal is to provide a unique shopping experience and complete customer satisfaction for their patrons. The employees at Old Mill are deeply knowledgeable in all things related to farm, ranch, and country living. 500 W. Third | 509-925-5397

SUPER 1 FOODS VOTED BEST GROCERY STORE At Super 1 Foods we’re happy to help you with your shopping needs. Our knowledgeable staff is always willing to answer your questions and we striveto make your shopping experience a memorable one. We pride ourselves on providing you with the highest quality products in the cleanest, friendliest store in the area. Stop by give us a try. 200 E. Mt. View | 509-962-7770

NANCY BARNES – BLOOMTIME NURSERY & DESIGN VOTED BEST LANDSCAPER, GARDENER & PLANT NURSERY Bloomtime Nursery & Design has offered the best in quality plants and friendly service since 2000. You can shop with Bloomtime at their location or call for custom landscape design and services. 1663 Vantage Hwy. | 509-962-6687

VOTED BEST ROOFING CONTRACTOR OR

BRAD & BURKE VOTED BEST HVAC Whether you need repairs right away or simply want to avoid costly problems down the road, Brad & Burke in Ellensburg is ready to take care of your needs. Our service technicians have the training and tools necessary to get the job done right the first time. 604 W. University Way | 509-962-9871

MIKE FULLER – ELLENSBURG ANIMAL HOSPITAL VOTED BEST VETERINARIAN

Ellensburg Animal Hospital

Dr. Fuller, voted best veterinarian, practices both large and small animal medicine with special interests in avian, exotic and wildlife medicine. Ellensburg Animal Hospital is the longest-serving (since 1951), most experienced (75 years of collective experience) and best equipped veterinary hospital in Kittitas County. Trusted by generations to provide compassionate, quality care for their pets, horses and livestock. 1800 Vantage Hwy. | 509-925-2833

AMERITITLE VOTED BEST TITLE COMPANY Our office in Ellensburg provides title insurance and escrow services for residential and commercial transactions involving the sale, refinance, or exchange of real property. AmeriTitle’s escrow officers and title examiners work closely with Realtors®, buyers and sellers, lenders, attorneys, and various real estate professionals to ensure a successful closing. 101 W. Fifth | 509-925-1477

2014

Kittitas s County As voted by the readers of the Daily Record.

WILLIAMS FLORIST VOTED BEST FLORIST Williams Florist proudly serves the Ellensburg area. We are family owned and operated. We are committed to offering only the finest floral arrangements and gifts, backed by service that is friendly and prompt. Because all of our customers are important, our professional staff is dedicated to making your experience a pleasant one. That is why we always go the extra mile to make your floral gift perfect. 319 N. Pearl Street | 509-925-3176 KV LIVING 7


AROUND THE

County

C

ommunity events and festivities venture back outside as spring settles in and summer creeps closer in Kittitas County. For many people the opening of the Kittitas County Farmers Market in downtown Ellensburg on the first weekend of May is the official start of the socializing season, as well as an opportunity to purchase local produce and crafts. The market, which runs through the end of October, features a variety of entertainment each week.

A bit of wet weather doesn’t dampen spirits as dozens of motorcycle enthusiasts turn out for the second day of the annual Iron Horse Trail Bike Show at the Red Horse Diner in Ellensburg

May, June and July feature multiple opportunities to enjoy arts, activities and your neighbors.

May 2-3 The first weekend in May is action packed. In addition to the start of the Kittitas County Farmers Market, the day also features the Washington State Fly Fishing Fair at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds; the Iron Horse Trail Motorcycle Show put on by ABATE at the Red Horse Diner, 1518 University Way; and the Central Washington University Encanto Gala at the CWU Student Union. This event celebrates and helps support the first established Latino/a scholarship at CWU. 8 KV LIVING

May 8-9 There are two primary events on the second weekend of May that may draw different crowds. The first event is the wildflower and wind power walk at the Wild Horse Wind Facility. Hikes vary from one to two miles and there are more than 200 plant species found at Wild Horse. If a walk through the flowers isn’t your speed, head over to the Kittitas County Fairgrounds for the Monster Truck Insanity Tour. Species of trucks include Captain USA, Double Trouble and Trouble Maker. This is also Parents Weekend at CWU so there will be parents visiting kids this weekend. It is also the first performance of “Fiddler on the Roof” at McConnell Auditorium. There are also performances May 14-16.


Nikolas Caoile conducts the CWU orchestra during a rehearsal

May 16-17 May features one of Ellensburg’s marquee events, the National Art Show and Auction at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds. The show features top Western artists in the business. It features a chance to stroll around and view work and to purchase it at auction. The work of more than 100 artists will be represented. While fine art is on display at the fairgrounds, some

fine beer will be available at the Eastern Washington Brewfest in Central Washington at Iron Horse Brewery’s downtown location on Main Street. Iron Horse is hosting the event and it features the work of craft brewers from throughout the region. May 17 also features a performance of the CWU Orchestra and the Yakima Symphony Orchestra in the Music Building Concert Hall. These performances tend to draw a capacity crowd.

June 6 Kittitas County is a popular location for car shows and one of the first of the season in the Cruisin’ for Hospice Car Show in downtown Ellensburg. This event showcases some pretty cool cars and also supports and raises money for Hospice Friends. This weekend is also the start of the fishing derby season. The popular Easton Ponds Fishing Derby takes place starting at 7 a.m. at Easton Ponds. There are plenty of prizes. KV LIVING 9


AROUND THE County

Dozens gather for the pie eating contest on Pearl Street during the Fourth of July celebration in Downtown Ellensburg

July 4 This is the big weekend in the Upper County with Pioneer Days festivities, which includes a parade, a bocci tournament and an aerial firework display on July 4, along with many other fun activities. Ellensburg is the location of the Community 4th of July celebration at Rotary Park in West Ellensburg. This event features fun and games for kids and an aerial fireworks display. 10 KV LIVING


LETTER FROM

The Editor

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to spend a day walking the Coal Mines Trail in the Upper County. I jumped on the trail in Cle Elum, and walked the 3.5-mile section to Roslyn with my dog, returning after lunching at the newly opened Red Bird Cafe. The sun was shining, the wind was light and the 7-mile roundtrip walk was exactly the type of outdoor activity I needed to jump into spring. Another exciting outdoor spring activity you can do solo or with your family is hunting for frogs. Head out to a local pond at sunset and you will slowly start to hear the song of spring frogs as the light dies down. Central Washington University student R. Troy Peterson walks readers through frog catching tips — like bringing a bright flashlight and going at dark — and recommends some prime locations for

finding them. Peterson’s story is one of several written by Central students. In this edition, The Daily Record partnered with students in Jennifer Green’s magazine writing class at Central Washington University. The class pitched ideas, conducted interviews and wrote stories about spring fashion trends, the best Bloody Marys in the area and the type of wildlife you’ll find living in the Kittitas Valley, among others. Not all of the stories made it into this issue, but you may see more of their stories in future Daily Record publications. Inside you’ll also learn about Josh Humphrey’s hybrid stringed instrument building business and a cheesemaker with Ellensburg roots. These stories might inspire you to try something new or get outside. Hope you enjoy this issue, and as always, send story ideas to newsroom@kvnews. com. Nicole Klauss

KITTITAS VALLEY

Q2, 2015

Editors: Joanna Markell and Nicole Klauss Writers: Nicole Klauss Tera Stenhouse R. Troy Peterson Ashtyn Mann Jess Macinko Photographer: Brian Myrick Designers: Matt Carstens and Tim Johnson of JohnsonDesign Publication of the Daily Record 401 N. Main St. Ellensburg WA 98926 509-925-1414 To submit a story idea or upcoming event, email newsroom@kvnews.com. For information about advertising, email: advertising@kvnews.com. www.dailyrecordnews.com

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OUTDOORS

SPRING FROGS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM It’s spring. The weather is warm, the sun is out, and everywhere in Kittitas Valley, signs of life are returning. As the daylight dies and twilight descends, the silence of winter is broken by the chorus of frog calls from bodies of water, irrigation ditches and fishing ponds. In the water, the first of the American bullfrogs have emerged from their winter hibernation to call and once again take part in the world. In the water, and on reeds and even on the roads, Pacific tree frogs continue their activity which began as early as February. Their calls echo through the night, a lonely and wild choir whose notes call to us from those seemingly distant wild places.

THE SONGS OF FROGS AR

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BY R. TROY PETERSON

Come and explore the Yellow Church Cafe

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Associate Professor of Biology at Central Washington University and herpetologist Dr. Jason Irwin takes a close look at a spotted frog he captured at McElroy Park in Ellensburg

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y at Central Washington ociate Professor of Biolog Ass in, Irw on Jas Dr. by g held s out to grab a spotted fro Chase Wassell, 5, reache McElroy Park in Ellensburg to t visi g hin atc g-c fro g University, during an evenin

These local amphibians herald not only the welcome arrival of spring, but sing a siren song of wonder to children who attempt to catch them. It’s hard to say how many herpetologists (scientists specializing in reptile and amphibian biology) got their start as children, or how many children had their interest in science nurtured through exploration outdoors. That’s why it’s useful to know where to take children in Kittitas County to appreciate our local anuran (the technical terms for frog) populations. Experiencing local frog populations is perhaps the best way to introduce small children to the wonderful world of amphibian ecology. It also gives children an early introduction to the ethics of interacting with and engaging with local animals, particularly invasive species. There’s no better way to introduce kids to invasive bullfrogs, and how we, as caretakers of our local ecosystems, must tackle with the

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notion of ethically disposing of them from our potentially fragile wildlife systems.

CATCHING FROGS Even for experienced herpetologists, catching frogs can be a trial in patience. While there are some tips for grabbing them, the only sure way is experience with the animals combined with passion. Central Washington University associate biology professor and herpetologist Jason Irwin said that the best way to encounter these frogs is at night, when they come out to call. During the day, tree frogs are hard to come by, and bullfrogs can see you coming and will hide underwater. At night, the frogs are easier to catch for adults and children alike. “Take a big flashlight — the brighter the better


Molly and Anna Irwin, along with Chase and Cate Wassell, search for frogs in a pond

— and you shine it out on the pond, and their eyes reflect back,” Irwin said. “You shine the light in their eyes, and you keep it in their eyes. Then you get closer and closer, and you scoop them up with a net.”

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Because the frogs won’t move at all in that light, they can actually be scooped up with nothing more than a hand, he said. “You’d be surprised how easy it is,” he added. Unlike tree frogs, bullfrogs can often be seen during the day along the water’s edge. While they seem to simply float lazily in the water, they are in reality incredibly hard to catch in daylight.

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“What (bullfrogs) will do is they’ll freeze first, but if you try to get closer, they feel scared, then they’ll hide, and they’ll go underwater,” said Erim Gomez, Bullitt Environmental Fellow

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HUNTING IN KITTITAS COUNTY NANEUM POND Also known as Boy Scout Pond, this local body of water is home to American bullfrogs.

HELEN MCCABE POND “It’s an artificial lake that’s there, and it is a park,” said Central Washington University associate biology professor and herpetologist Jason Irwin. This lake is a popular fishing spot, but is also home to amphibians. “I’ve heard tree frogs singing there, but I don’t think they do very well because of the bullfrogs.”

IRRIGATION DITCHES While the allure of finding frogs in natural wetlands and ponds has a certain charm, Irwin said you can also find frogs in irrigation ditches.

WILSON CREEK ROAD “There’s some great ponds along Wilson Creek Road, as you get up in the hills. The Table Mountain area has some nice ponds up there.” Irwin said that the American bullfrog has yet to find its way to those ponds, which in turn makes them prime spots for tree frogs.

PFENNING ROAD “There is a small pond on Pfenning Road,” Irwin said. The problem with this pond is that, due to the construction of a new subdivision, the pond has been enclosed with a fence. “There’s a gap in the gate you can walk in. That’s where the tree frogs like to breed, in smaller ponds.”

McELROY POND If you want to hear loud frogs, this is where to go. It’s on Brook Lane. “This is one of the best places to go,” Irwin said. “You can walk right up to the frogs while they’re singing. And you can see the tree frogs sing, and the chorus is really loud.” Visitors might want to go there soon, for a very unfortunate reason — bullfrogs have recently spotted there as well. “It may dwindle,” Irwin said of the tree frog population there. “But right now it’s fantastic. It’s the place to go.”

BUILD YOUR OWN FROG POND “Build a backyard pond, keep the bullfrogs out of it,” Irwin says. “Backyard ponds are great, and you reduce your pesticide use at home.” If you build a backyard pond, you can have all the nightly songs of the native tree frogs in your own backyard — literally. 16 KV LIVING

and Washington State University PhD student in environmental and natural resource science. “They’ll often do a call.” These calls, heard only from juvenile bullfrogs, are most often heard from a distance, when the bullfrogs can see a person coming in the distance. For adults and children alike, these calls are some of the most entertaining aspects of the conspicuous bullfrog. While the cause of these calls remains unclear, there are two likely reasons behind it. “They’re either alerting you that ‘hey, I know you’re here,” Gomez said. “Or they’re alerting their siblings that (a predator is) there.”

HERPING HELPS LOCAL ECOLOGY Not only is it fun for children to catch frogs, but the act can actually help out native frog populations. Gomez noted that everywhere bullfrogs have been introduced into the Pacific Northwest, the native species have invariably dwindled, with the exception of the northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens. “(American bullfrogs are) actually one of the most invasive species in the world,” Gomez said, especially in the United States. “In addition, they’ll tend to compete with and consume native amphibians. They’ll consume anything that moves that they can fit in their mouth.” To further complicate matters, bullfrogs in the Pacific Northwest have few natural enemies and are far more productive than the native frog


R. Troy Peterson looks over a frog he captured at McElroy Park

species. According to Gomez, one reason for the success of the introduced bullfrogs is the size of their pollywogs, which grow so large that fish simply cannot eat them. “When I hear families that want to go out and look for frogs, I encourage them to catch bullfrogs,” Irwin said. “Or bullfrog tadpoles. If they want to take the tadpoles home and raise them up, very often those don’t survive.” Irwin doesn’t recommend taking the frogs home, raising them and then releasing them into the wild, as this can introduce diseases into native bodies of water. “I always encourage people, ‘go for the bullfrogs,’ because they’re not really helping ecology here anyways,” Irwin said. “They’re actually hurting the local frogs.”

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This is where young children have an opportunity to help. If they take American bullfrogs from the ponds they visit, they can help counter the decline of native tree frog populations. While Irwin agrees with the taking of American bullfrogs from local habitats, he emphasizes the humane disposal of these animals. While these animals can be great teaching tools for children — from temporary pets to subjects of dissections — these animals, like all animals, should be treated with dignity and respect. “I hesitate to tell people to kill any of the animals,” Irwin said. “They have to be humanely killed, and what do the kids learn? It’s OK to kill frogs? How do the kids know which frogs are good to kill and which frogs are not good to kill? It’s a little more complicated issue.” The fact that it is a complicated issue is just one of the many reasons why kids should be exposed to these animals at a young age, specifically in areas where bullfrogs are yet to be introduced. While bullfrogs are large and fun and undeniably exciting, Pacific chorus frogs — our native little frogs with a very big voice — are a species uniquely ours.

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BREWERIES & WINERIES OF CENTRAL WASHINGTON Chelan

CHELAN COUNTY DOUGLAS COUNTY

Peshasn

Wenatchee GRANT COUNTY

Roslyn

Quincy

Cle Elum Moses Lake

KITTITAS COUNTY

B 4 Ellensburg

3 1

2

YAKIMA COUNTY

Selah

C

Yakimaa Y

A

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PA I D A DV E RT I S E M E N T

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BREWERIES & WINERIES Bale Breaker Brewing Company

A

Just minutes from downtown Yakima and in the center of Loftus Ranches’ hop field #41, Bale Breaker Brewing Company sits in one of the more unique locations for a craft brewery – on a commercial hop farm. Founded by fourth-generation hop farmers, Bale Breaker brews handcrafted ales that showcase the world-class hops grown in the Yakima Valley, one of the leading hop growing regions in the world. 1801 Birchfield Road • Yakima WA (509) 424-4000 • balebreaker.com info@balebreaker.com

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Ginkgo Forest Winery Fifty years ago scientists discovered the rare ginkgo tree in a petrified forest near I-90. Today, just 15 minutes south of Vantage, a young grove of this ancient tree is growing at Ginkgo Forest Winery. Like the unexpected find of the ginkgo tree, winery visitors are often surprised by the wide array of reds, whites, blends, rosés, dessert and port-style wines. Using his 16 estate-grown grape varietals, our winemaker has crafted a wine for every taste. Come discover the wines of Ginkgo Forest Winery! Mattawa Winery & Tasting Room 22561 T.7 SW • Mattawa, WA (509) 932-0082 • Ginkgowinery.com

Iron Horse Brewery

B

We make beer for your mouth parts. We think it is delicious, but we can’t speak for you, since we are not friends. Unless we are friends and you are reading this, in which case, why aren’t you at [the pub], friend? PUB - 412 N Main St. • Ellensburg, WA (509) 933-3134 • ironhorsebrewery.com

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm

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Hours: Monday – Wednesday 4pm – 9ish pm TThursday: 2pm – 9ish pm Friday & Saturday: 1pm – 9ish pm Sunday: 1 pm – 7pm

Yakima Craft Brewing Co.

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Yakima Craft Brewing Co. is a craft beer brewery located in the heart of North America’s leading producer of hops, the Yakima Valley in the state of Washington. We produce high-quality craft ales and lagers with an emphasis on full-bodied taste and unique character.

Thrall & Dodge Winery Located on Manastash Ridge, Thrall and Dodge is a family-owned Columbia Valley AVA winery and the oldest commercial operating winery in the Kittitas Valley. Our premium wines are produced, cellared, and served on site. We offer FREE wine tastings to visitors from our small tasting shack Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5pm (April through November) or by appointment. With lots of open space, regional views, an informal atmosphere--Bocce Ball court!--and even a music stage, we will also host your special event. 111 Dodge Road Ellensburg, WA (509) 925-4110 • thrallwinery.com info@thrallwinery.com Hours: April through November, Saturday & Sunday noon to 5pm

Gård Vintners

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THE TAPROOM AT THE BREWERY 2920 River Road (#6) Yakima (509) 654-7357

THE TAPROOM ON THE AVE. Downtown Yakima 120 East Yakima Ave. (509) 571-1468

Hours: Mon. – Thurs., 4PM to 8PM Friday, 3PM to 10PM Saturday, 3PM until 10PM Sunday, CLOSED

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 3PM to 10PM Sunday, CLOSED

Award-winning wine, local craft beers, and savory appetizers, Gård Vintners has been voted Kittitas County’s Best Winery three years running. Founded in 2006, the boutique winery serves a wide variety of estate white & red wines sourced from their family vineyard located on the Royal Slope. Family owned & operated, the Gård name, meaning “farm or estate,” originates from their Scandinavian heritage. Ellensburg tasting room available for group meetings or special occasions, as well as live music throughout the month. 311 N. Pearl St. • Ellensburg, WA (509) 925-1095 • GardVintners.com Open Tues.- Fri. at 2 pm, Sat.-Sun. at noon Open late Friday and Saturday nights

Ellensburg Canyon Winery With his vineyard located across from the Yakima River, Ellensburg Canyon Winery is the passion of Vigneron Gary R. Cox, Professor Emertius from the Vineyard & Winery Technology Program at Yakima Valley Community College. Taste the unique Terroir that Gary has cultivated using advanced, ultra-sustainable methods as you experience the wonders of the Yakima River Canyon Area. 221 Canyon Vista Way • Ellensburg, WA 509-933-3523 • www.ellensburgcanyonnwinery.com Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/EllensburgCanyonWinery

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The Tasting Room/Picnic Area is open daily from 10am to 6pm April Fools Day thru Thanksgiving

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MUSIC

Crafting

Instrument makerr brings custom creations to life By NICOLE KLAUSS | Photos by BRIAN MYRICK

Dreams

Custom instrument builder Josh Humphrey shapes the top of a ukulele in his Ellensburg workshop

Step inside Josh Humphrey’s workshop and you might find him adding an extra neck to a guitar or woodburning a rosette design into a piece of wood.

specializes in high quality guitars and hybrid stringed instruments. His basic offerings include guitars, ouds, bouzoukis or mandolins, and he will work with customers to design any type of stringed hybrid they can dream up.

His workshop, located in an alley behind the old Darigold building in Ellensburg, is filled with hand tools, aged wood and sketches of instrument designs in progress.

Learning a craft

Josh Humphrey is a luthier and owner of JBH Guitars, an instrument building business that

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Humphrey was exposed to crafting at an early age. His dad — a woodworker and metal worker — was always building things in a shop, and Humphrey learned to build too.


&

Health, Fitness

Beauty

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MUSIC

Crafting

Dreams

He built his first guitar in 1997 and started building custom string instruments professionally in 2008. “I built a guitar in high school,” he said. “I kind of had early exposure to it, but I didn’t get serious about it until 2006, and I just decided to do this.” Humphrey graduated from Central Washington University’s music program in 2001, and earned a masters degree in music from the University of Oregon in 2006. He lived in Oregon for 12 years before moving back to Ellensburg with his wife, Jenny, and two children last year. After graduating with his master’s, Humphrey decided he was going to build a guitar and see where it took him. He quickly realized he had found his calling. People took note of his woodworking background and started offering him extra wood. He also had two informal mentors in Eugene who helped him as he started his business. “It seemed like for me pursuing music academically, the doors were always closed,” Humphrey said. “I’d get into a program and wouldn’t have the scholarship and others would. When I got into building guitars, all the doors were open.” Humphrey had plans to be the next great guitar builder, which he tried to do exclusively in the beginning, but the instrument hybrid requests kept making their way to him.

22 KV LIVING

Custom instrument builder Josh Humphrey shapes the edge of a guitar in his Ellensburg workshop

“It’s a flooded market, and it’s hard to make a name for yourself,” he said. “I started doing the hybrid things.”

Making an instrument Humphrey enjoys all parts of the process of building an instrument, but said bending wood for the sides of an instrument — like a guitar — is his favorite.

BIO BOX Nam Josh Humphrey Name: Website: www.jbhguitars. com/ Quotable: “I think for higher end players, they want the custom built instrument.” — Josh Humphrey


Teaching Indian music Outsidee of h Outsid his instrument building business, Josh Humphrey also spends teach hing Indian music to around time teaching studen nts at a Hindu temple in 25 students Sammami ish. Sammamish. Hump mphre has spent over a Humphrey decad de stu decade studying the traditional Hind dust music of North India, Hindustani and d ev even spent time learning th here there. H He said he was interested and impressed with the cu culture, music, food and ssights, which is why he ccontinues playing the style of music. "It's just extremely versatile, very expressive music," Humphrey said. "It can be slow and meditative but also fast and highly technical. … I find that

you can accomplish quite a lot with it." With the help of a friend, Humphrey came up with a raga guitar, a modified guitar that performs Indian raga melodies. The design adds an additional neck to the traditional sixstring guitar, starting at one top corner of the guitar and extending to attach to the main body's fretboard. The design can add up to 16 extra strings that allow people to play the guitar in the Hindustani style. Humphrey said he hopes to continue teaching and building instruments because he has the best of both worlds. "I feel like the luckiest person in the world because if I could do one thing my whole life, I wouldn't be able to choose," he said. "I have two things I want to do — keep building instruments and keep playing Indian music." — Nicole Klauss

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KV LIVING 23


MUSIC

Crafting

Dreams

“It’s like sorcery or something,” he said. Each instrument takes an average of 50 hours to craft. Humphrey has made more than 50 instruments in his lifetime. With basic math, that would equal out to about 2,500 hours, but realistically it’s closer to 5,000 hours of experience, he said. “They say it’s 10,000 hours to master something,” Humphrey said. Humphrey currently has a six to eight month waiting time for orders, but hopes to grow business, which would increase that time. People can order the models listed on his website — guitars, bouzoukis and ouds — as well as ask about custom or hybrid options. Because his instruments are custom built, they cost more than an instrument one might pick up at the local music store. “I think for higher end players, they want the custom built instrument,” Humphrey said.

Special wood Every instrument produced by JBH Guitars also has a story behind its wood. The wood is been thoroughly dried and acclimated to Humphrey’s shop before being crafted into an instrument. Humphrey has been stockpiling wood for years, and collecting stories about the pieces. One piece in his shop — a piece of Cuban mahogany — was part of a coffee table found in a Portland man’s basement. Previously, it had

A label on a guitar built by custom instrument builder Josh Humphrey

belonged to the man’s grandparents, and the wood was more than 100 years old. “I really like knowing where my wood comes from,” Humphrey said. Joe Green of Longview ordered a Northwest model guitar from Humphrey, using a special piece of wood from his family. Green had a piece of redwood that his dad had bought in 1960 and turned into a patio table. The large, single piece was roughly 2 feet wide, 3 feet long and 3/4 of an inch thick. “It was out of a big old California redwood and was well aged,” Green said. “It was an old tree and it had probably been logged in 1959, but it was well cured. I asked Josh if he could make the face out of that.” “It was just stunningly beautiful,” Green said, adding that he’s hardly touched his other two nice guitars since receiving the custom guitar last July. Humphrey took the wood and

24 KV LIVING

paired it with wood from an apple tree that had been in his backyard at one point for the instrument’s back, sides and neck. He added Oregon walnut for the trim. “I think the world of Josh,” Green said. “He’s just a great builder and a very fine person to work with. His whole philosophy is getting the right instrument for the person who ordered it, the person who is going to be playing it.”

Humphrey’s designs Humphrey’s designs can be found across the U.S. — in Oregon, Seattle, Arizona and New York, among other states — and around the world. Most of the time, the clients search out Humphrey and come to him with an idea of what sort of customization they are looking for. Humphrey will then draw the design and send it back to the client for approval.


Portland resident Chris Henke has a custom flatback oud designed by Humphrey, which he uses to play Turkish music along with his main instrument, the ney, a type of flute from Turkey.

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Henke said he heard about Humphrey’s custom instruments from a friend’s son who was studying at University of Oregon in Eugene and made a video of Josh creating an oud. “Previously I had been thinking about getting an oud, but with certain customizations,” Henke said. “These customizations are not very easy to get. So I was surprised to hear that a skilled luthier who made ouds lived in Eugene, only two hours from me (in Portland).”

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His oud’s custom features include an extra wide fingerboard, three sound hole design, hand carved rosettes (the grids in sound holes), extra quality AAAspruce top, mahogany on the back and side and an ebony bridge, fingerboard and pegs. Henke was able to select the exact piece of wood Humphrey used for the back and side of the oud. “Getting this instrument has literally changed my life,” Henke wrote. “I was not able to play oud before, because they were too uncomfortable. Now a new musical dimension is opening up for me.” ■

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KV LIVING 25


FOOD

Art

of the

Artisan

ELLENSBURG NATIVE MAKING CHEESE WITH LOCAL TIES By NICOLE KLAUSS | Photos by BRIAN MYRICK By NICOLE KLAUSS Photos by BRIAN MYRICK

Hot chocolate is a winter classic

For those who can’t get enough of Iron Horse’s Irish Death beer, there may soon be an Irish Death flavored cheese on the market that will make your taste buds happy. Blain Hages is working on getting his business, Zauhar’s Artisan Cheese, off the ground. One of his flagship cheeses is Death Cheddar, a cheese that is salted and then flavored with the wellknown beer. “It’s the only flavor I’d consider because it’s a local, value-added product,” Hages said. Hages was born and raised in Ellensburg, and

26 KV LIVING

has many ties to the county. The name Zauhar is Hages’ mother’s maiden name. “My grandma and grandpa had three daughters and they all got married and lost their last name,” he said. Zauhar is Croatian in origin, Hages said, adding that the Zauhar family is from Ronald. Hages’ grandfather Matt Zauhar is deceased, but was a Roslyn miner and Forest Service employee at Salmon la Sac. His grandmother, Mary Zauhar, is retired and lives in Briarwood, next to Bi-Mart.


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FOOD

Learning the craft After graduating with a degree in rhetorical communication and a business minor from Arizona State University, Hages moved back to Washington and obtained a position with Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Pike Place Market. “I started at the very bottom,” he said. “I just got thrown into the work itself, no training whatsoever.” He enjoyed the work — the movement of the job, turning something liquid into something solid and being able to see his work at the end of the day. Hages said he got into the industry because he felt cheated since he didn’t know anything about how cheese was made. “I’d been eating this my entire life and nobody showed me how it was made,” he said. “It has an interesting history behind it. It’s like Chinese medicine — there’s so much info and different types that you’ll never have enough time in your life to learn about it all.”

A variety of cheeses made by Blain Hages, a cheesemaker who grew up in Ellensburg

Hages spent time consulting for two years and now works as the head cheesemaker for Cherry Valley Dairy in Duvall. He has spent about 14 years in the industry, and doesn’t plan to stop making cheese anytime soon. “I think Central Washington needs a good artisan

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creamery,” he said. Zauhar’s Artisan Cheese is a personal project he is hoping to turn into a full-time business. Currently he uses a facility in Warden when working on Zauhar’s cheeses because he has no expenses there, except for the costs of raw materials, labeling and marketing. His days start early, often around 3 a.m., similar to a baker’s hours.

Cheeses Some of Zauhar’s Artisan Cheese selections include the Death Cheddar, Jalapeno Jack, Robbers Roost Reserve and the Uncle Jack. The Death Cheddar is an Irish Death-beer flavored cheese that is aged for six to 12 months. The Uncle Jack, named for Hages’ late uncle Jack Gladson from Yakima, is a Monterey Jack style cheese. It is aged for 60 days. The Jalapeno Jack is a Monterey Jack style cheese with jalapenos from Yakima, and is also aged for 60 days.

The Robbers Roost Reserve is a sharp cheddar style cheese that is aged 12 to 18 months. All of Zauhar’s Artisan Cheese products are packaged to be sold in 8 ounce portions or 5 pound ingredient loaves. Hages said he hopes to have his Death Cheddar available for sale at Iron Horse Brewery in the upcoming months, and plans to sell ingredient cheese to the local food establishments. The target release for his cheeses is April or May depending on the cheese maturity and overall evaluation. Hages’ favorite cheese to eat is blue cheese, and he produced his first wheel of Ellensburg Blue — named for the stone found in Central Washington — in 2008. “I think it’s probably the most tedious type and the hardest to take care of, but cheese will let you know when you’re wrong because you spit it out,” Hages said. Some of Hages’ first taste testers are his 3-year-old daughter, Ferne, long-time girlfriend and parents. ■

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KV LIVING 29


Fashion in the

Wind

SPRING FASHION IN KITTITAS COUNTY By Tera Stenhouse | Photos by BRIAN MYRICK

Spring in Ellensburg means beautiful sunshine, warm temperatures and, let’s be honest, crazy winds. It also means spring styles, and if New York Fashion Week is to be believed, we can expect to see lots of fringe, lightweight ponchos, lace, shirt dresses, and the color red this season. To start the warm weather off right, we talked to local fashion experts about their take on spring trends and how their boutiques will serve local fashionistas this spring.

Spring colors Claim Clothing owner Megan West said she thinks orange, mint and a peachy coral tone will be in this spring. She’s also betting on pastel colors, floral prints and 30 KV LIVING

lace. She always takes into account what pieces will stay put in the Ellensburg wind, she said. Mia Peterson, owner and manager of Flirt on Main Street, said to expect a light icy grey to be in style this spring for shoes, garments, handbags, and denim. Low cut or “v” cut back tops are a trendy detail that Flirt is expecting to carry this season as well.

Youthful style This spring, an “ath-leisure look” will be big, according to Flirt’s Peterson. “It’s a sophisticated, yet relaxed athletic look,” she explained. Ath-leisure refers to wearing athletic clothes that you're not actually meant to sweat in. If that sounds like an especially youthful style, you’re right.


A variety of spring fashions on display at Claim Clothing in downtown Ellensburg

KV LIVING 31


FASHION

Fashion in the

Wind

Ellensburg is, after all, a college town. Claim’s West said that being in a college town affects the kinds of styles she purchases for her store as her core customers range in ages from 18 to 24 years old. She reaches out to her demographic through social media, with posts about new styles and updated spring lines. Peterson also uses Instagram and Facebook to keep customers up to date with Flirt’s fresh styles. It is no surprise that Central students are among Claim’s biggest customers since its grand opening in 2014. West, a Central alumna, got her start with a small clothing boutique at Central’s Wildcat Shop. Claim’s repurposed brick space in the Geddis building looks like an extension of your personal closet. “Claim is unique for many reasons, but one thing about our store that is very unique is everything is under $50,” West said. “Also, we only purchase six pieces of each style, so you won’t see everyone wearing the same thing you are.” Flirt’s Peterson recognizes that accessories are a big part of making an outfit pop. Peterson said to expect lots of statement jewelry this spring. “For accessories, small dainty layered necklaces as well as stone and crystal gems hanging from longer drop necklaces is big along with layered bracelets,” Peterson said.

Off-Season Styles When you first walk into Pink with Envy on Pine Street you notice the space’s bright pink paint, glamorous chandelier, and organized layout of clothes. You might not guess this is

32 KV LIVING

Wind can be an issue when it comes to fashion in Kittitas County

a consignment sh shop, hop, with its warm and inviting atmosphere. moosphere. The store boasts colorful d displays isplays of shoes, jeans, assorted dressess and basic everyday styles. Pink with Envyy keeps k seasonal styles on racks throughout gh hout the year. As a consignment shop, hoop, the clothes for sale are less tied to th the he latest trends or the current season, allowing a customers to make their own n fashion. f This is what sets the store apart, paart, said owner Kathy Mendales. “I have customers errs that come in that are going on vacation caation looking for shorts,” Mendales lees said. “If I am purchasing clothing th hing pieces I will buy based on the hee season.” The unique thing ngg about Pink With Envy is customers usstomers not only shop for gentle en ntle used clothing, but they heey can also sell their clothes. es. Mendales said that all you u have h to do is bring your clothes hees in, and within a few days they will give ivve you a call back and you can come pic pick ck up your cash. “My daughter an and nd I love thrift shopping. We thought Ellensburg en nsburg could use a store like this,” Mendales M said. ■


Blowing in the wind: Hairstyles for Ellensburg’s spring

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ne thing is for sure, the Ellensburg gusts can greatly affect your hair. Tangles, knots and the constant struggle of removing hair from your eyes are a given come spring. Sedona Sun hairstylist Sami Jo McGuffin of Ellensburg gave some insight to what hair-styles are popular this season, and also how they are easily manageable with the wind.

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“The elongated bob is very popular and very high fashion this season,” McGuffin said. Celebrities currently sporting this style are Julianne Hough and Victoria Beckham. Also, the shorter the hair the easier it is to deal with when the winds get intense. A high ponytail or sock bun are timeless, professional styles that will keep your hair out of your face. For trendy hair color for warmer weather, McGuffin said reds are definitely becoming popular, as are warm copper tones as it gets warmer.

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OUTDOORS

Walk By Jess Macinko | Photos by BRIAN MYRICK and TNS

on the

wild

LIVING WITH WILDLIFE IN KITT

A pair of playful elk lock horns on the ridgeline above the L.T. Murray wildlife area west of Ellensburg before coming down to be fed hay from the back of a flat b

A mild winter and early spring mean outdoor fun for many Kittitas County residents, and not just those on two legs. We share the valley with a rich array of wildlife, from eagles, elk and deer, to large predators like cougars, bears and wolves. Big carnivores can be dangerous, so why tolerate them at all? “It’s a question we ask the public

34 KV LIVING

all the time,” said Ben Maletzke, local carnivore specialist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Over 70 percent want them on the landscape. They’re a natural feature that the majority of people want to have out there.” Safely enjoying this natural diversity means knowing a little about the animals’ specific habits, and taking the necessary precautions. But the overall mindset, Maletzke said, is one of living on a busy street: Keep your

kids and your pets within sight.

Cougars “In this valley, you’re surrounded by a lot of public land, forested areas, vegetative cover, and there’s a lot of deer and elk,” Maletzke said. “Where you have deer and elk, you’re going to have cougars. They’re elusive, you might never see them, but they’re here.” Cougars rarely attack people. In the


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ITAS COUNTY

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Maletzke offers some general tips to avoid attracting these cats. When camping, keep your food away from your tent, preferably hung in a bear bag. Don’t leave children and pets unattended.

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past 100 years, there have been a total 16 attacks in Washington state, only one of them fatal, according to Fish and Wildlife. Still, in Kittitas County, the majority of dangerous wildlife incident reports for the past five years have involved cougars.

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OUTDOORS

Walk Take bear spray; it works just as well on cougars.

on the

wild side

Hike in pairs. Be vigilant at dusk and dawn. If you see a dead deer or an elk, don’t approach it. Should you run into a cougar, make yourself look as big and tall as you can. Keep eye contact with the animal while slowly backing away. Never run. Clear vegetation away from your pasture. Keep livestock penned up at night, and in open areas with people and activity around during the day.

Bears Bears are more common in the Roslyn-Cle-Elum area than the lower county, and even there, incidents are few, according to Fish and Wildlife Conflict Specialist Steven Wetzel. Still, spring is the time when bears leave their dens to begin foraging, and although they are primarily herbivores, they will seek out highercalorie foods. “If a bear is eating grass but then smells doughnuts or someone’s salmon dinner, it’s a no-brainer,” Maletzke noted. So while the department makes use of bear deterrents, conflict prevention is more about training people than anything else. Some basics? Keep pet food off the porch and inside. Lock dumpsters. Bring birdfeeders inside at night. According to Fish and Wildlife’s bear safety pamphlet, a bear’s two-legged stance may just signal curiosity. Snorting and huffing, clacking teeth and a lowered, swaying head with flattened ears are signs of aggression.

Wolves “Politically, wolves are a huge problem. Ecologically, they’re light,”

36 KV LIVING

Fish and Wildlife biologist Rocky D. Spencer examines a three-year-old, 130 pound male cougar at North tranquilized near the park and was later released in a remote area

Wetzel said, explaining that wolves are small-time when it comes to livestock depredation. “Coyotes account for the vast majority (of kills). Eagles and ravens kill far more than wolves. But when a wolf kills something, it’s a big deal.” Still, what scavenges an animal isn’t necessarily what killed it. “Wolves find things that have been killed,” Wetzel said. “They’ll steal things from cougars. And then people say, ‘Oh, a wolf killed my sheep.’ Not necessarily.” Wolves’ reintroduction to Washington is a relatively new development, and Wetzel believes people will adjust to their presence over time. But

this will mean coming to grips with the behavior of an apex predator. Like humans, wolves have evolved to a premier status, and they act differently than other carnivores. “A coyote is kind of diminutive,” Wetzel said. “It’s going to run; it’s sneaky. A wolf doesn’t do that. A wolf walks down the road and looks right at you. It’s not trying to attack you. It’s just taking a closer look. People often mistake that for aggression.” But wolves will attack dogs, often with lethal resolve. It’s just part of their hard-wiring. “You have to think of it from the wolf ’s standpoint,” Wetzel said.


Where the wild things are W “It a good time to be out around the shrub-steppe and “It’s bordering areas,” said Fish and Wildlife assistant wildlife bor biologist William Moore. “Wildflowers are coming out, and biol there are lots of bird species to look at.” ther Early spring is an especially good time to see raptors — golden and bald eagles, peregrine and prairie falcons. Green-up areas — regions with spring foliage — will also attract deer, elk and b bighorn sheep. Moore recommends the Whiskey Dick Wildlife A Area east of the wind farm, as well as Robinson and Watt ca canyons. These areas are subject to winter closures, opening aga again on May 1. Until then, the Umtanum Creek, Yakima River C Canyon, and Columbia River areas are likely places to find wildflowers, birds and ungulates. ““If you spend any time down by the Columbia, you’ll hear a lo lot of squawking,” Moore said. “Peregrine falcons are really no noisy. A lot of times they’ll be running other birds around — it’s a pretty good show.” Map Maps of wildlife viewing areas are available at the Fish and Wil Wildlife office at 201 North Pearl St.

Snake safety R Rattlesnakes are generally elusive, and a person could hike in the county for years without coming across one. But if you do see one, be on the lookout for others.

hwest Trek in Eatonville. The animal was

“What is that wolf going to think of my dog in its territory? Probably isn’t going to tolerate it very well, because they don’t tolerate other wolves.” Big carnivores are territorial by nature. Whereas deer or elk will continue populating an area as long as food sources allow, bears, wolves and cougars self-regulate — claiming territory, fighting off rivals, even killing each other if overcrowded. “That’s basically why we still have deer and elk,” Maletzke said. “There’s only so much of the landscape predators can take up. And it’s healthy for the ecosystem to have tiers of predators. It’s a natural system.”

“Th “The thing I’ve noticed about rattlesnakes, especially in the spring season, is when you find one, it’s probably just come oout of its den,” Moore said. “And snake dens can be heavily p populated.” Chances are there are more snakes in the area. Ra Rattlesnakes want as little to do with people as people do wi with them, Moore said. “Their rattle’s a warning: Don’t mess wit with me. And that’s the best advice. Keep your distance.”

Respect stresses Res When viewing wildlife, it’s important to take the animals’ condition into account. “I think sometimes the public’s view is that deer, elk and oother species are just out there doing their thing,” Moore ssaid, “and their thing is always really easy to do. But animals ge get diseases just like we do.” Ad Additionally, winter food-scarcity combined with spring procreation makes this a taxing season for most wildlife. “It’s nice to give them a break and not harass them too much,” Moore said. “During other times of the year, they’re pretty rrobust. Come late summer, they’re probably at the peak of th ion. their condition.”

KV LIVING 37


OUTDOORS

Walk

on the

wild side

Central Washington University professor Dave Beck handles a rattlesnake in front of a group of Lincoln Elementary School students during a Fifth Grade Camp at th

No two days the same for department of wildlife Working in any one of Fish and Wildlife's three broad domains — fish, habitat and wildlife — means taking on widely varied yet interrelated tasks. Staff in three subdivisions of the wildlife branch — conflict management, general wildlife biology, and carnivore specialization — discussed the diverse nature of their jobs. Conflict management In Kittitas County, the conflict specialist position originated as a specific response to property damage caused by deer and elk. This still comprises much of Steven Wetzel’s 38 KV LIVING

work: helping landowners to prevent damage when possible, and to file claims otherwise. “Private land is important for wildlife to be able to use,” Wetzel said. “We have to make it so landowners can sustain that use without saying, ‘Let’s just get rid of all these elk.’" Wetzel’s other main focus is livestock depredation. Again, prevention is key, but when kills happen, Wetzel investigates. “Coyotes do things a certain way. So do cougars, so do wolves. There are different signatures. It’s not an exact science, but you can usually tell who did it.”

Wildlife biology William Moore is an assistant

wildlife biologist for District 8, which encompasses Kittitas and Yakima counties. While focused primarily on game management — monitoring hunted animals like deer, elk, bighorn, grouse, quail and bobcat — Moore also works with non-game species. He describes his workday as 50/50 office to field, with the field work running the gamut. “We’ve rappelled into golden eaglenests for food-habit studies. We’ve done butterfly surveys. Last week we ran a bighorn sheep capture.” The capture was part of ongoing diseasemonitoring efforts.

Carnivore specialization Ben Maletzke works under the department’s bear and cougar


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specialist, and also helps with wolf monitoring. “I never had my sights set on carnivore work,” Maletzke said. “I did grouse work, gypsy moths, caterpillars, loon studies, small mammal trapping — whatever I could get my hands on. Just got out in the field and learned as much as I could about whatever came my way.”

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Lure of the FOOD

Bloody Mary Ernest Hemingway is said to have once mused about the Bloody Mary, “If you get it too powerful, weaken with more tomato juice. If it lacks authority, add more vodka.” The balancing act Hemingway was referring to takes into account the four key ingredients of this classic brunch drink: tomato juice (the base), seasoning, liquor and the garnish. Whether you’re looking for a midafternoon meal replacement or a cure for your hangover, the Bloody Mary is much more than just a cocktail — it’s an art form.

The base A painting starts with a blank canvas. In the case of the Bloody Mary, the canvas is the tomato juice. They say the purpose of the heavy base is to settle the stomach, which is why it serves so well the morning after a late night out. Most bars use a store-bought or premade mix, but the best Bloody Marys are made from scratch — seasoned and mixed every morning. The Buzz Inn in Ellensburg and The Caboose in Cle Elum are two local bars that follow that ritual. Some say that you don’t even need the vodka; the drink itself is almost a meal. Natasha Martin, a bartender at Ellensburg’s Buzz Inn, believes the drink is delicious with or without alcohol. “It is a hearty drink,” Martin said.

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Story and photo by Ashtyn Mann A

“You don’t even need the vodka … get a virgin and it is still tasty.” Kelsy Villegas, a former bartender at the Tav in downtown Ellensburg, uses V8 juice mixed with Demitri’s Bloody Mary seasoning as a core for the tasty drink. After that, it’s up to the customer to tailor-make it. The tomato juice also helps shield the taste of the alcohol. “People can get all the nutrients they need while still getting buzzed,” Villegas said. Caboose bartender Angie Cole thinks customers order Bloody Marys because they think they are healthy. The drink certainly has more vegetables and fruit than other cocktails.

The seasoning The seasoning of the Bloody Mary is the most crucial part— much like the paint applied to the canvas. You want spicy? Add pepper and Tabasco. Tangy? Add onion powder and seasoning salt. The Buzz Inn lets you be the artist. “I try not to heavily season the mix,” Martin said. “We like to customize it for each customer.” Claire Siegal, who is also a bartender at the Caboose, stirs her Bloody Marys instead of shaking them because she said it makes the mix just right. There’s a little kick but not too much. “It’s spicy, but not overwhelming,” Siegal said. “If people want to add a little more, we can do that for them.”

The signature Bloody Mary at the Caboose in Cle Elum

Villegas said the most important part of the mix is the seasoning. For the spice-lovers out there, the Tav will add fresh horseradish and Tabasco sauce to give it some oomph. Bloody Marys can have anything from spicy pepper to zesty lemon. However, most bars won’t give up their confidential spice concoction. Cole declined to reveal her secret blend for the famous Caboose Bloody Mary.

The liquor Now to Hemingway’s favorite part: the vodka. Or maybe tequila if you’re at the Caboose. Think of the liquor as the paintbrush: it blends everything together. The Buzz Inn offers three types of Bloody Marys, always mixed with double-shots: the original, the bacon and the Caesar (shrimp cocktail flavor). “We use bacon flavored vodka for our bacon Bloody Mary,” Martin said. Martin isn’t the only one who likes


to mix up the alcohol when it comes to the classic drink; Siegal and Cole do the same at the Caboose. “Tequila Bloody Marys are really good,” Siegal said. “You get that bite that tequila gives and Bloody Marys are also spicy so they go well together.” The Caboose also offers jalapeño-flavored vodka for real daredevils.

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Villegas said the Tav uses plain vodka, but if you are looking for something a little less classic, you can request red beer instead.

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The garnish

From Concept to Reality

A piece of art isn’t finished without a signature. When it comes to Bloody Marys, the garnish sets each bar apart. The old fashioned way would be to stick in some celery and maybe a lemon. Martin likes to mix the decorations up, depending on what flavor the customer picks. Her personal favorite, the Buzz Inn’s bacon Bloody Mary, comes with a strip of bacon with a hint of chipotle Tabasco to add a southwest kick.

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Then there’s the Caesar, a seafood flavored mixture that comes with a freshly cooked garlic shrimp poking out the top and soaked in Clamato mix (a clam and tomato juice hybrid).

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The Tav likes to keep it traditional — Villegas adds lemon, asparagus, and juicy olives to munch on with your brunch creation. The Caboose is known for its burgers, and they don’t leave their Bloody Marys out of the fun. If you are willing to wait for two freshly grilled sliders to be prepared, Siegal and Cole will gladly stick a greasy burger-kabob right on top of your Bloody Mary.

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From the Cascades to the Columbia.

2015 KV Living - Q2  

From the Cascades to the Columbia.

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