Blogging at the Belle

Would you rather be at the Diamond Belle right now. Watching the sun or stars. Enjoying the sun or snow. Watching the critters. Relaxing in the great room. Whipping up some grub in the kitchen.

Peace during chaos

By Trisha & Steve Pomeroy
Published: 06/30/20 Topics: Comments:

As the period of stay home stay safe starts to ease a bit, it’s a good time to reflect on what it’s been like here at Diamond Belle Ranch.

For the most part, since we live fairly remotely, we generally only go to town once a week during normal times. So this really didn’t change much.

I guess the biggest difference was that we appreciated that we live in a place where we are extremely happy to stay home for longer periods of time without leaving the property.

Taking a walk around the lake or just sitting and watching the wildlife breathing deeply of the tranquility, these are the things that bring peace in a world of chaos.

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Author: Trisha & Steve Pomeroy – Caretakers, Diamond Belle Guest Ranch
Blog #: 0765 – 06/30/20

Precious Gift of Nature

By Trisha & Steve Pomeroy
Published: 06/19/20 Topics: Guest Ranch, Wildlife Comments:

Our early morning visitors.

This lovely doe has twins almost yearly and generally brings them by for us to see. This year she brought them by as BRAND NEW babies! They were still wet even.

What a precious gift!

The Diamond Belle Guest Ranch sits in what might be called a shallow bowl. The hills of the Okanogan Highland isolate us from the South and North. To the West Mount Bonaparte towers above..

Pastures on the east, roll up gently so we are completely alone. No neighbors. No prying eyes. No one close.

National Forest public lands surround the ranch on all sides which means we are a haven for wildlife. Deer of course, but also an occasional Moose. Canadian Geeze and birds galore..

Guests come here for many reasons, peace and solitude, the crisp clean air, stunning sunlight and our warm majestic Wauconda Lodge.

But it is the critters they see that surprise them, the many and the types. You are likely to see some you have never seen before. But you must visit.

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Author: Trisha & Steve Pomeroy – Caretakers, Diamond Belle Guest Ranch
Blog #: 0762 – 06/19/20

Diamond Belle Bird Watchers Paradise

By Trisha & Steve Pomeroy
Published: 04/08/20 Topics: Comments:

This is the time of year when the birds really start coming in for a visit. The snow is working hard at melting off, and the lake ice is getting thinner by the day.

So far we've seen, Canada Geese, Blackbirds (both red winged and yellow headed), Black Capped Chickadees, Blue Birds, Robins, I believe Greater scaup ducks, and our ever present, eagles and ravens.

In the next week or two we should start seeing sparrows on their journey from Capistrano. We'll have many more ducks of several varieties, and the blackbirds will arrive in full force filling the air with the beautiful sounds of their mating calls!

This is always my favorite time of year when life and activity return to the ranch after a long winter's nap.

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Author: Trisha & Steve Pomeroy – Caretakers, Diamond Belle Ranch
Blog #: 0739 – 04/08/20

Breezy Spring Day in the Okanogan Highlands

By Trisha & Steve Pomeroy
Published: 03/25/20 Topics: Fishing, Guest Ranch, Weather, Wildlife Comments:

It's another beautiful sunny day in the Okanogan Highlands today. A bit breezy, which gives a little chop on the open area of the lake. Fishermen like to call that a chironomid chop.

The aerator has worked beautifully all winter keeping this area of the lake open. If you could get out to the open water, I bet the fishing would be amazing!

The early geese appreciate it and seem to know where to find the open water this time of year. I bet there isn't any other open water for miles!

We are ALL looking forward to spring ice off!

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Author: Trisha & Steve Pomeroy – Caretakers, Diamond Belle Ranch
Blog #: 0734 – 03/25/20

Good Morning World! Get Some Fresh Air.

By Trisha & Steve Pomeroy
Published: 03/22/20 Topics: Goldener Inns, Guest Ranch, Inns, Ranching Comments: 1

The sunrises here never disappointed me. Certainly some are more spectacular than others.

This morning as I contemplate all that is happening in the world, I am greeted with a lovely sunrise. It's a brisk 17 degrees this morning, but stepping out on the porch I hear the black birds have arrived.

The eagle is calling his or her mate. Lots of different little song birds that I cannot identify are singing their "good morning" songs as well. It reminds me that the world keeps going no matter what our current state of affairs looks like.

Friends, this too shall pass. I am personally looking forward to some self distancing today by brushing my horse and cows...one of my favorite things to do in the spring.

Go out and get some fresh air and enjoy the day.

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Author: Trisha & Steve Pomeroy – Caretakers, Diamond Belle Ranch
Blog #: 0733 – 03/22/20

Goat Patrol Gotta Love 'Em

By Trisha & Steve Pomeroy
Published: 02/22/20 Topics: Agriculture, Weather Comments:

Goat Patrol

Although it is still frigid at our 4,200 elevation, today February 19th was bright and sunny. Seems like the green things will be greening up soon. Maybe its time to call the Goat Patrol to visit our Diamond Belle Guest Ranch.

Wayne and Jenny Knoz have a unique workforce. They bring out friendly employee goats to your farm, field, pasture, lawn, hillside or mountain to mow down whatever you want removed in an environmentally friendly manner..

Natural weed control, brush trimming, grass mowing, fuel suppression, pasture maintenance and yes they fertilize while they work.

Plus I must admit they are charming and friendly. Maybe more so than most human co-workers.

So if you has a weed that has gone to seed, this is something you need. Goat PatrolGoat Patrol 509-954-7682.

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Author: Trisha & Steve Pomeroy – Caretakers, Diamond Belle Ranch
Blog #: 0719 – 02/22/20
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Mysterious Diamond Belle Ranch Larch Trees

By Wm. May
Published: 01/15/20 Topics: Comments:

Growing up on the coast of Washington State meant everyone lived near the forest were the lumber industry was king. Almost everyone in the town worked in the "woods" or were dependent on it. But apparently my education about trees was lacking.

Before America had middle schools, in most school districts there were Junior High Schools. Grade school was grades kindergarten through sixth grade. Junior high was seventh through ninth and high school was just three years Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.

My father ran a truck shop where loggers bought vehicles and had them maintained. All through high school I drove a delivery truck up and into the gargantuan Olympic Peninsula often leaving at 2:30pm and returning home at midnight. I have seen my shares of trees.

In Junior High everyone had to take a class all about trees, including memorizing their Latin names, what they looked like and how to differentiate between them. During the Holidays we collected tree boughs, made wreaths and sold them for pocket money. I knew my trees.

Fir trees were the preferred species for lumber. Spruce and Hemlock also contributed. Due to its weather resistant properties, Cedar was preferred for roofing shingles and shakes. Alder was considered junk wood, and ground into pulp to make paper. We had very few pines.

As a treat, graduating Junior High ninth graders were taken on field trip deep into the mountains to help plant seedlings. Naturally the organizers gave us the steepest hillsides to climb hand over foot, digging a hole with a quick whack of a "Rindt Hoe" (a shovel like an ax.)

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My classmates were so exhausted, everyone slept in the bus on the way home and we all conspired to never to become loggers.

Late last Autumn, I was invited to the Diamond Belle Guest Ranch in the Okanogan High Lands of Central Washington. Driving up from the valley below, on a meandering dirt road we seemed to be stepping back in time. But I was disappointed to see that a few of the evergreen trees had yellow needles and were dying off.

"What a shame to see those trees dying." I said. Having read about a certain Beetle that was killing off pine trees across upper North America I presumed that to be the case on the ranch.

As we settled into comfortable couches in front of the Wauconda Lodge towering fireplace, I asked the Caretakers Trisha and Steve how long the trees had been dying off. They looked at each other and then at me and said, "Dying? What do you mean?"

As I explained my observation of the trees, and boasted of my evergreen credentials, they began to smirk ever so politely.

"Well you see those are Larch trees and they do that every year. But will return to green in the spring."

"So they are not dying?"

"No, that is their cycle. They are Larch Trees. "

I was stymied, paused a bit, and then decided to fess up. I told them of my "extensive" knowledge of trees and how, apparently, I knew nothing about Larches, probably because they do not grow at the Coast..

Of course, I was greatly relieved to find that the trees were healthy, as was everything else about the Diamond Belle. Nothing in that landscape has changed there in thousands of years.

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Author: Wm. May, Diamond Belle Guest Ranch
Blog #: 0725 – 01/15/20
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Christmas Eve Peace at Diamond Belle Ranch

By Trisha & Steve Pomeroy
Published: 12/24/19 Topics: Family, Holidays Comments:

There could be no more Christmassy place in the entire world than at the Diamond Belle Ranch. The sky is black as night, no pollution, no jetliners overhead, not a breath of wind.

Each and every star stabs through the black blanket of night. The waning moon is but a very slight sliver of light. But along with the stars the aspens and pines are illuminated as if from a back light.

We sit on the porch. It is frigid but we are warm in the glow of the universe. Very little discussion. A great deal of wry smiling and even a few giggles.

To extend our stay out of doors hot chocolate was brewed before, spiked with a bit of coffee to stave off the drowsy as we linger in the Adirondack chairs, head tilted back wondering at the unfathomable majesty of the world above.

But the ranch itself is majestic. All year round of course, but during winter its enveloping reach can not be ignored. No neighbor lights. We have doused ours too.

Under the frozen lake, surely the fish are straining to see through the ice and up to the stars. They do sleep, but not tonight for tonight is Christmas an we can only hope the world is wrapped in the peace we enjoy here.

It is like this every year. Our custom. The privilege.

The night will not last forever. Soon we must go inside. To sleep. To dream of sugar plum fairies dancing..

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Author: Trisha & Steve Pomeroy – Caretakers, Diamond Belle Ranch
Blog #: 0723 – 12/24/19
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Dark Skies at Diamond Belle Guest Ranch

By Steve & Trisha Pomeroy
Published: 11/15/19 Topics: Gratitude, Guest Ranch, Ranching, Wildlife Comments:

Dark Skies at Diamond Belle Guest Ranch

Because Diamond Belle Guest Ranch is so high in the Okanogan Highlands, because our 700 acres are surrounded by National Forest and mountains, and because neighbors are so far away you might be presuming that nights are pitch black dark here.

But you would be wrong.

Here, with the absence of man made ambient light, not even with the most unintentional, when dusk falls the skies explode awake, the stars jab the sky and put on a show that humans have been marveling at since they first looked up.

The International Dark Sky Places (IDSP) Program was founded in 2001 to encourage communities, parks and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through responsible lighting policies and public education.

The idea is to turn off lights, redirect downward those which must stay on, and send no light skyward because it destroys the view of the cosmos and is, after all, a great waste of energy.

When the lights go out, the Diamond Bell returns to a time where thing slowed down, where our senses woke up, and where our minds can soar to the sky, to the solar system and to the universe beyond.

It can open the mind, excite creativity, and produce emotions of health, happiness and safety.

There are over 130 destinations in the world that have pledged to eliminate light pollution and return the heavens to their dark but stunning origin.

Although Diamond Belle Ranch is not yet an official member of Dark Sky initiative, we support the goals of the group and have taken definitive steps to douse our lights, lessen our reliance on electrical usage and yet provide the comforts that guests prefer.

Best of all, Dark Skies ensure that our guests arrive at a place perhaps like no other they have ever been. A place of peace and quiet blanketed with the stars, the moon and a joy they may never have experienced and may find no where else.

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Author: Steve & Trisha Pomeroy – Caretakers, Diamond Belle Ranch
Blog #: 0724 – 11/15/19