From ponds to people: Exploring Valley’s intricacy from the standpoint of a hometown intern

Kira Clark - Courtesy photo
Kira Clark
— image credit: Courtesy photo

By Kira Clark

SVR Staff Intern

Ever since I was a little kid in my parent’s backyard, I have been incredibly curious.

Each summer, the pond behind our house literally came alive. Wading out in the murky water, mud and frog egg sacks oozing through my toes, I watched tadpoles dart between my legs. How was it that a bunch of stuff that looked like tapioca could turn into fish, which then turn into frogs?

My brother and I turned our basement bedroom into an amphibian observatory. Carefully monitoring temperature and air flow, I watched the transformation take place. Under my prized microscope, I learned what made pond water murky. Magnified 200 times, I saw hundreds of tiny “hairs” on Ciliophora beating in unison like little oars and Mastigophoras’ whip-like extension propelling it to the edge of my film. Who would have guessed so much complexity existed in my little pond?

As I grew, my interest in the transformation of amphibia evolved to a passion for studying people. There are seven billion humans on the planet and each one a vortex of complexity.

Think about it, of the people you see at Safeway every day, how many do you actually know?

When I was 12, we moved from ski slopes to our alpaca farm by the Nursery at Mount Si. Equipped with my bright red bike, I cruised around North Bend and fell in love with the Snoqualmie Valley. Even as a middle schooler, I knew there was something distinctly special about this valley in the shadow of Mount Si.

Summer days were the best. My best friend Janna and I spent our afternoons floating down the river, riding horses, eating donuts at George’s Bakery, sipping marshmallow malts from Scott’s, picking blue berries and making blackberry jam.

At night Janna and I would lie out on our trampoline, watch the stars and talk about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I was pretty dead set on being a movie star or a princess. I mean after all, seven American women have become princesses but only four have become Supreme Court Justices. My chances couldn’t be that bad.

Eventually Janna Banana and I graduated from high school and headed off to separate colleges. For a time, we said goodbye to the Snoqualmie Valley and each other. But not for long. After three years, I’m back.

I have been the summer intern at the Record for three weeks now and I have never felt more at home. I’m reporting on my people in my Valley. In the past three weeks, I have met artists, public servants, foresters, volunteers, athletes, farmers, educators, authors, musicians and hyperactive elementary school kids.

Everyone I meet has a unique story to tell. Whether it’s Phil, who rode his boyhood tractor in the Fall City Days parade, or Bruce Robinson, who drives high school students to Mount Si, this Valley is full of intricacy. It really does put pond water in perspective.



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