Seeing a Chum Salmon Run

All photos taken by Carolyn Treadway.

Moving to Panorama from the Midwest, I had little idea of what a “salmon run” was, nor of the importance of salmon as a keystone species of the whole Pacific Northwest coast; nor that salmon is essential to the entire way of life of coastal Native Americans. But I kept hearing about salmon.  Intrigued, I wanted to learn much more. Thus I eagerly signed up for an outing to see a chum salmon run, sponsored by the Panorama Green Team.  Twenty residents conveniently rode a Panorama bus to Kennedy Creek, a nature area north of Olympia.  Our trip was expertly facilitated by fellow residents Warren Dawes and Cleve Pinnix, who serve as guides for the countless visitors to this particular salmon run each November.  They led us to observe and understand many amazing sights. How fortunate we were to have such an opportunity!

        Surprisingly, our mid-November outing was blessed with sunshine. The forest was lush and beautiful with giant evergreen trees, mosses, ferns, and tributary streams. Chum salmon abounded! They were returning to the very stream in which they had hatched, probably four years ago, to spawn and die. These amazing fish were born in this freshwater stream, then, after a time in the stream and estuary, had swum into the ocean, where they spent their entire adult lives, swimming as far as 18,000 miles to the Asian oceans and back to return home.  How do they find their way? (There is so much more to learn…)

The creek and streams were alive with salmon: females using their tails to dig holes in the stream’s gravel, males fighting each other for proximity to a female ready to lay a thousand eggs, so that their milt could fertilize those eggs. The streams were also littered with the bodies of salmon that had spawned and were dying or dead, thus completing their life cycle. The salmon provide food for all species that eat them, and their bodies provide nutrients to the forests into which they are carried by those species. Many tons of salmon carcasses are deposited to feed the plants, soils, and creatures of the forest each year.

It’s an amazing, incredible ecosystem, which has been kept in delicate balance by Nature for millennia. But now humans and wastes that we create are greatly impacting that entire ecosystem.  Our wise guides emphasized the importance of clean, fresh water for the salmon and their eggs and young fry, because polluted water makes reproduction even more fragile or kills the fish.  Pollution, habitat loss, and climate change have caused great decline in the numbers of surviving salmon in the Puget Sound and the Salish Sea.  As a result, the resident orca whales (whose food is salmon) are starving and their survival is at risk.  And so on and on.

Ah, yes. As Chief Seattle profoundly said over 150 years ago: “This we know, all things are connected.”  Recent Green Team programs have focused on connections between ourselves and our local environment. For example, local storm water runoff carries toxins directly into the Puget Sound, greatly affecting the health of fish and all species therein. Being present to the majesty of Kennedy Creek with chum salmon churning in its streams, we visitors could connect the dots. Our pollution affects the fresh, clean water these very fish need for their spawning. Let us help their return to their natal home by decreasing our pollution, so that these amazing salmon can birth the next generations.

A Resident’s Perspective – Amazing Grace in Christian Hymn Song

Panorama Corporation has no religious affiliations.The community of residents at Panorama is active in pursuing a variety of hobby & interest groups; the Corporation and Panorama staff enjoy helping to support these groups as needed.  Membership to any group on campus is voluntary.

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. November 2017

“Christian Hymn Sing” is a resident-driven happening that meets at Panorama on the first Wednesday of each month in The Gallery at Seventeen51 Restaurant & Bistro to give praise to God in an informal way, not to perfect our singing skills, but just use what’s left in us to enjoy praising in song, visiting with new or old friends and enjoying a no-host breakfast together. No RSVP needed. All are invited from on or off campus.

In 2010, words of their pastor’s sermon preyed on two Panorama couples’ heartstrings, “…even if you’re old, you can still do something.” They “prayed,” worked, studied, used individual talents to begin what God nudged and named, “Christian Hymn Sing.”

Mary N. and Mary P. selected copyright-free hymns. Bill used his computer to copy them, and Les worked at his piano. Excited, loving hearts beat nervously long hours and days. The four aimed at making the event a monthly hour of inspiration for Panorama residents. Did they have too many ideas, or not enough? That first event had to be a success so the participants would return. The four weren’t afraid, just had hopeful concern that people would come whether they could sing or not. Maybe five or six would attend and help spread the word for the next months.

Chris and I had just moved to Panorama in July 2011. Our closed-circuit TV caught my attention, as well as notices on bulletin boards: No RSVP needed and ALL invited. Can’t sing? HUM ALONG…

I was one of 19 who showed up to the smaller dining room. A little basket held tiny papers with a short Bible verse for each to take home. We enjoyed visiting with old and new friends over a no-host breakfast, followed by hymn singing…with Les leading us at the upright piano.

Each month we greeted 20, 24, 25..then up to 30! Nov. 1, 2017, we welcomed 39!!! Maybe we’ll overflow into the main dining room. We are invited to share anything for a few minutes. Several have played an instrument, given a testimony, read a snippet, or ?? It’s over in 60 minutes!

Doug has led us now for a couple of years with his strong, beautiful voice and tidbits about the hymn itself, and wife, Patricia, collates and staples the song sheets. I enjoy “advertising” with posters, PCTV reminders, and with this blog. Together we make a “joyful noise to the Lord.”

The poem below that Betty C. brought in November tells the story:

By JoAnn Miller

How I long to hear the old hymns
That I sang when just a youth
In the church that I grew up in –
Where I learned the Gospel’s truth.

Those hymns contained great messages
Of Jesus’ love for me
Told how He purchased my salvation
When he died “At Calvary.”

Today’s repetitive choruses speak
To our youth, some people say.
But I wonder how many have ever heard
Those old hymns of yesterday?

“I Can Hear My Savior Calling”
He calls me ‘Just As I Am”
And now “I Belong to Jesus.”
“I’ve Been Redeemed By the Blood of the Lamb.”

Since “I Serve A Risen Savior”
And He washed me white as snow
“Where He Leads Me I Will Follow”
He will “Abide With Me”, I know.

“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”
“Blessed Assurance”; “Love Lifted Me”
“Halleluia, What A Savior”
Draw me “Nearer My God To Thee.”

“I Have A Song I Love To Sing”
With my voice raised high in praise,
I’ll “Take The Name Of Jesus With Me”
Throughout my earthly days.

He is the “Rock of Ages”
He’s been “My Help in Ages Past.”
So “Count Your Many Blessings”
Knowing His love for you will last.

“I Have A Song That Jesus Gave Me”
“Oh Happy Day”; “Amazing Grace”
”I Will Sing of My Redeemer”
Someday I’ll see Him “Face To Face.”

This is just a tiny sample
Of some hymns that touched my heart
And led me to the Saviour
“Precious Lord,” “How Great Thou Art.”

I pray the songs I’ve mentioned here
By title, line or phrase
Stirs your heart with “Precious Memories”
Prompting you my God to praise.

So “Sing Them Over Again To Me”
Those old hymns I love to hear.
“Sing The Wondrous Love of Jesus”
Ah, sweet music to my ear!

The Deciduous Season

Panorama campus October 2017

We all know people who travel east to enjoy the fall colors. The previous blog included Neil Harris’ photos of our outstanding range of color displayed all around campus. We are wending our way through November with Thanksgiving around the corner and even the windy rainstorm a few days ago didn’t totally divest the trees of their astonishing array of vibrant colors. Big Leaf Maples are wonderful yellow and there is one on Cardinal Lane. Having walked through forests in Olympia with the organized walking group, I am always amazed at the size of those maple leaves!!!

There is something bracing about a cool wind with the smell of leaves down and plants tucking themselves in for approaching winter. Some of us will bake turkeys, some will enjoy Seventeen51 Restaurant and Bistro’s Thanksgiving dinner, and others will band together and sample food aplenty in our surrounding area.

Our campus is now presenting a challenge to our grounds crew. They have just taken down the whimsical outdoor drive-in theater display featuring “Pumpkin-zilla” playing there. That crew is wonderfully imaginative in doing these displays. They always bring smiles and much comment as we discover hidden additions to the theme.

2017 Pumpkin Display created by Panorama’s Grounds Crew

There is another thing that must drive the Grounds crew crazy in this season. All of the deciduous trees do not drop leaves within a given time frame, of a week, two weeks, whatever. They simply shed leaves in their own rhythm. The firs are always dropping needles, we know. But this season of wind and rain produce such a raining down of needles that it is hard for the Grounds crew to keep up.

At the recent Resident Council-sponsored meetings of all residential units on campus, we heard from our Chief of Operations about the strain put on the Grounds crew in all the neighborhoods. The goal is to keep roadways and walkways free of perhaps slippery, dying leaves and to keep our homes looking pleasing.  Maintaining our grassy areas relies on downed leaves not killing the sod. There is another reason to manage the dying bits of biomass. The needles will clog downspouts and result in backed up water, leaks, and higher maintenance. Those of us living under Douglas firs know how many needles are flying about us at all times of the year, but especially now in the fall season. We love those trees and wouldn’t trade them for anything.

However, they do all add to ambient noise in our neighborhoods. In my mind, this comes with the territory. Not in the minds of our two furry tabby cats. They have become inured to the blowers on our front walk way, driveway, and patio. What they have trouble with is the sound walking on the roofs make and blowing off those accumulated needles. Each has found a dark place to hide until the workers have moved on to the next roof.

We all know of or heard the grousing about leaf blowers, day in and day out…but the cost of time and work with rakes instead of blowers would increase the budget for maintenance tremendously. We have come to just turn up the radio or TV volume as we go about our in-house tasks…and are thankful that it isn’t us having to do this awful and repetitive job!!! We walk everywhere on campus and appreciate that walk-ways are kept safe and clear. We, along with everyone else I am sure, enjoy the weekends when the Grounds crew have time off unless there is a weather event that undermines that. Let’s all enjoy the quiet on the weekends and revel in the wonderful color that we enjoy here!

We want to present ourselves the very best we can, looking to our future population choosing us as a retirement community. Panorama is doing a fine job of keeping us trimmed up under trying conditions. So, let’s all give the guys and gals a nod of thanks and just know that soon the blowers will abate.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and these wonderful colors so very close to home.

Sandra Bush
November, 2017