Some things never cease to amaze me.


The other day I was driving to the valley for two new tires and an alignment and experienced a flat tire on HWY 132. Fortunately it was the right front that was to be replaced anyway but having never changed a tire on this truck I was initially a bit concerned. Where were tools? How do I get the tire out from under the bed? Thanks to the owner’s manual in the glove box the process actually went quite well with the exception of some sore muscles from lifting the tire into the bed of the truck. Heck, I was even able to recover a wheel chock on the return trip that I had inadvertently left on the roadside where I changed the tire. Though a bit inconvenient the “emergency” off road stop was much easier than say, HWY 49 between Coulterville and Mariposa, Hornitos Road, Bear Valley, etc.. The terrain was flat with sufficient easement to safely get off the road and become quite dirty. lol


I’ve had satellite internet service for years and only a few times has it been interrupted, but the timing and actual reason for the down time is perplexing. Even during the worst storms with high winds and heavy precipitation it worked yet every time it has gone down the weather has been fairly nice. [Even during a four day power outage a few years ago I was able to run on generator which revealed the surprising fact most viewers were out of area.]

A couple of days ago (after a brief period of high winds and precipitation) sure enough I lost service. [Don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone huh?] After a telephone call with the company representative and an online diagnosis, it was determined the signal strength was below minimum requirements (I had 54-55 with 60 as the minimum). An appointment for a service call was made for today with the understanding the company would provide a 50% discount due to it having been adjusted at full price two years ago. OK. This morning I was surprised to discover all modem lights were functioning and I had service despite 54-56 signal strength. Humm.

Guess I’ll keep the appointment and pay the half priced fee because something is clearly not working properly and it might avoid another inconvenient interruption. [I missed two free online training classes sponsored by RCAC (Rural Community Assistance Corporation) which are funded by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) but I can pick those up on the fall schedule.


Very likely the two “immature Hawks” have left the nest. I was hoping to record some of their first flights but was only able to capture fluttering from branch to branch and tree to neighboring tree. Last week I observed what I thought was a “flight lesson”. Two adults were slowly circling above while following a smaller immature that was flapping wings like there was no tomorrow – in a straight line. No gliding or circling that I saw, just sustained power flight in a straight line headed towards La Grange, however, both of “my chicks” were accounted for that night. I guess it either made it back to the nest after the excursion or it was from another family all together. Who knows?

I spent a couple of hours last night watching the nest – nothing. Only saw one adult briefly but heard Hawk calls to the north. This morning I observed three Hawks (also to the north) flying together with one pretty much leading the other two. (The leader also exhibited some atypical flight patterns such as the sustained wing flapping without appreciably increasing altitude.) Were they two adults following their offspring? After the tech appointment I’ll try to check on the nest. I knew the time for leaving the nest was growing near because of the increasing distance from the nest on their “adventures” and diminishing parental presence at the nest and involvement with feeding. Towards the end it was just a quick lizard, snake, or gopher delivery and the parent was off leaving the “chicks” to fight over the meal.

Yes, it is kind of sad to see that empty nest which formerly contained two fuzzy white Eyases stumbling around with gigantic feet, little wing flaps, and curious looks as one or both parents monitored their antics. Observing how a parent would return to the nest and hold a leafy branch over the chicks to shade them from the hot afternoon sun. How the parents would gradually shape the chick’s behavior into approaching the meal by decreasing the distance they would furnish tidbits of the kill. (Thus making them approach the food brought to the nest by the parents – leading up to the simple parental “fly by – food drop”.) Sibling expressions and reactions to new experiences such as car alarms, rain, dive bombing by other birds, people setting up telescopes and cameras to watch them, etc.……lol

Sad, but rewarding. I will in the future always wonder if one of the common Hawk visitors might be from that actual nest. (I have an Owl that occasionally flies over to a branch within 15-20 feet of the back deck and quietly watches whatever is going on.)


Due to the failed internet connection I missed the opportunity of logging on to the Mariposa County Elections Department and monitoring the votes after the June 5th election – with particular interest (and serious concern) as to the outcome for Mariposa County District II Supervisor. I received a telephone call yesterday morning with the good news and just confirmed it on the election office website:

Votes and percentage

Merlin Jones: 471, 53.22%

Gene Dalton: 128, 14.46%

Dwight Mueller:  107, 12.09%

Kathleen Love: 77, 8.70%

Emery Ross: 64, 7.23%

Kenneth Willey: 38, 4.29%



newly elected


Although this is certainly excellent news for the residents of District II (and the county board of supervisors – therefore the entire county population), make no mistake, there will always be unethical and surreptitious influences attempting to redirect public policy toward private business benefit and away from the intended public good. Lake Don Pedro has experienced more than its share of such corruption in the past and should not again be allowed to fall prey to such despicable and counterproductive activity. These election results are extremely encouraging and a reassuring indication that voters are indeed paying attention. Lake Don Pedro has rounded another important corner on its way to achieving honest representation that will benefit the public as a whole along with this particular geographical area.

[NOTE: The preceding is a personal opinion based on my own experience regarding the two local offerings for that position and in no way is intended to reference the other three candidates.]

My best to you and yours, Lew

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