RAIN AND A LIGHT SHOW

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Although it probably won’t make much difference with the projected water shortfall for this Summer, last night’s rain sure sounded and smelled great.

I shot hundreds of single photos trying to catch the lightning with disappointing results.  Here are a few photos looking to the east of my place.  I will likely be able to pull a few decent shots from the video when I have a chance to review those clips.  [UPDATE

NOTE:  There is now a short video clip of some of the lightning lastnight (050613) at normal, .5x, .25x and .125x speeds posted under the top bar menu item: BETTER CLARITY.

Looking through the trees

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

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Little Camaro Modification

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Still can’t seem to get rid of my 1978 Chevy Camaro. Every time I clean her up; throw “for sale” signs in the windows; and go for a hundred mile or so spin, I do the same thing when I get home. Take the signs out, park it, cover it, and talk about selling the darn thing some other day.

Since I am the original owner I decided to do what would likely make me the happiest. Getting older I realized I was going to need some specialized transportation around the hilly terrain and usually I joke about creating my own four wheel drive type Hoverround or Lark personal access vehicle.   Why not make use of what I already own?  A few homemade modifications and the old Dead Sled might be transformed into the Tarantu-Rattle Erosion Hauler.  LOL

ORIGINAL 1978 CHEVY CAMARO WITH ONLY ONE MINOR MODIFICATION
Dual tires in the back help with traction because of the sand and rock load weight.

 

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

PS- Yes this is a joke.

 

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MEET “SLINK”

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“SLINK” (actually a brown Gilbert’s Skink) was kind enough to allow a close up photo/video shoot while he was sunning.  The male’s head will continue to become red during the mating season, after which the color will fade back to normal.

GILBERT'S SKINK

 

SHORT VIDEO OF “SLINK” KICKING BACK ON A SUNNY DAY (yes, he’s missing his right index finger):  http://youtu.be/uOCR1wOwPjA

 

Doesn’t really matter

What I think, say or write

There’s always one to argue

They only want to fight

 

Perhaps I should protect myself and

Clarify the last blog?-

This website does not guarantee

The absence of mutant grubs……LOL

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

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Really don’t know the difference?

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I need to take care of two little issues before proceeding with any further posts on this website. Evidently there are some extremely confused viewers in the Lake Don Pedro area. So,….

1) A disclaimer for the previous attempted humorous photograph of the large grub found under the Oak stump — there are NO GIANT LARVAE IN LAKE DON PEDRO, and

2) my sincere apologies to those Don Pedro residents who may have panicked and packed the family vehicle, snatched kids from school and evacuated the area in fear of enormous mutant grubs infesting and roaming the Don Pedro area. I am so sorry.

So for the record: there are NO GIANT GRUBS in Lake Don Pedro. The photograph was an amateurish digitized manipulation of two different photos in an attempt to humorously exaggerate the size of the rather large grubs found under a rotting Oak stump. Please remain calm. Stay in your homes. Do not flee in fear.

 

And no. I will not pay for your temporary housing in motels, hotels, or your cousins’s place. Lol

 

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

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WHAT THE……..???

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WELL, MAYBE NOT QUITE THAT BIG.......lol

But it was rather large – approximately six inches!  Not sure what it would have eventually matured into but it would have been pretty big.

[larva (s), larvae (pl): Usually a motile feeding and developing stage in the life cycle of certain insects which follows the egg stage and precedes the pupa.  Larvae of some kinds of insects are known as caterpillars, maggots, grubs, and worms.]

I remember a few years back observing a very large black and brown beetle walking across the driveway that had big antennas resembling fern leaves – kind of hairy looking.  (Reasonably sure I have some old VHS or 8mm video tape of the insect but don’t have the time to rummage through boxes of tapes right now.)  Wonder if this larva would have matured into that night-time walking monster?

“How big of a beetle was it?”,  you might ask….

“Big enough to leave clear tracks in the dirt driveway”, I would respond.

Anyway, discovered a few of these bad boy larvae under a rotten Oak tree stump while digging up the roots last weekend.  Unfortunately, most of them were discovered a piece at a time with a shovel.  (Gross)  Tried to save two of them that appeared uninjured (one slightly more mature) but they also later died – probably because of removing them from their buried, dark, moist nursery underground.

When first removed from the ground and still moving you could see the darker interior portions of the creature slinking through its cream colored – fairly translucent skin.  Creepy in a way.

Oh well.  I have been digging holes and trenches on this property for 21 years and have never run across something like this — pretty strange.  Just wanted to share the  find.

 

My best to you and  yours, Lew

PS:   Here’s a short video of the insect:   http://youtu.be/hcgfZBpX9Cs

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COMET

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OLD SCANNED PHOTOGRAPH

COMET THE COMPOUND CAT

The last few weeks have been kind of tough

Regarding geriatric pets

First the loss of Zack the Conure

And now Comet the white compound cat.

 

Just like the astronomical entity

A dirty snowball she could be

Her bright white fur and waving long tail

Picking up environmental debris

 

She wasn’t purchased at a pet store

Or picked out from a litter with care

Just showed up one morning at my parent’s house

Meowing for food with “that stare”

 

The poor little thing was covered with mites

Fleas and other parasites

She fell sound asleep as we cleaned her up

Total surrender without any fight

 

That tiny fur ball didn’t stand a chance

In a family of established canines

So up to Don Pedro to a fenced hillside lot

The best home as if by design

 

Every few days I would check on Comet

Her activities clearly defined

Gopher heads and lizard tails

Her trophies in a neat little line

 

When camping out Comet would sleep

Purring through the night by my side

But in the morning she was always found

Inside the warm sleeping bag

 

When I finally moved up to Don Pedro

I was greeted by my resident cat

Who, with no doubt, was doing quite well

Judging by the layers of fat

 

Once for a month she was missing

We called and searched in vain

The worst part was not knowing her fate

If deceased or suffering in pain.

 

But then on a warm sunny afternoon

Just as quickly as she’d gone away

There was my malnourished Comet

And she had much to convey

 

Judging by the grease all over her fur

And the time to took to come home

Perhaps an accidental ride she had hitched

After which she never did roam

 

Comet had several homes built outside

Even a catwalk from the deck to the roof

She preferred her outdoors to being inside

Sometimes appearing aloof

 

Comet’s exact age was hard to determine

At minimum over fourteen for sure

And to my surprise after a lifetime of dogs

My love for that cat does endure

 

So here’s to Comet the compound cat

Who survived Rattlesnakes, Coyotes and Owls

Although she is gone, in my heart she still lives

With that comforting sound of me-ow.

——————————————————

Comet was being treated for a sinus infection when it was discovered she had terminal cancer which had already caused severe internal damage. She was euthanized on April 16th, 2013 and buried next to Zack, who like a beacon, probably “squawked” directions home during her 28 day disappearance.

INSPECTING FOUNDATION FORM CONSTRUCTION

FELINE OPERA REHERSAL

PERFECT FIT ACTUALLY

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

NI-NIGHT

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A routine for over three decades
Last night was dramatically changed
A life for which I was responsible
Passed quietly without a complaint.
Thirty-three years that I know of
How old before that? Anyone’s guess.
Zack the green and red Conure,
Soared on his over-due rest.
Obviously his end was approaching
But still had a strong appetite
Slept far more than remaining awake
And for years incapable of flight.
Blind in one eye, balance not right
Stumbling and grumbling when he’d walk
But still a comedian and at just the right time
He’d blast out some comical squawk.
In his prime he really put on a show
Swinging upside down from a bar
Chattering and squawking the words that he knew
He even liked riding in cars.
Bathing was one of his favorites
Flapping and splashing his wings
Dunking his body and head under water
Shooting water from nostrils in streams.
Outlived his mate and another two pair
Became loud, bad-tempered, and could bite
But in his youth what adventures he had
When still able to fly.
Once in Sacramento near the executive airport
And through the Bing Maloney Golf Course
From tree top to tree top, over fairways and ponds
Eight hours to snag that noise source.
Zack flew in Don Pedro years ago
Four hours of flight in the breeze
Circling so high in the blue Summer sky
With landings in big old Oak trees.
Zack was an accomplished imitator
Woodpeckers, Blue Jays even Turkeys
But an off-color word sometimes he would voice
And to my shame he learned it from me.
So many years, concerned about noise
With his whistles, chattering and squawks
Now only wild birds do I hear all around
Already I miss his styled talk.
“Hello” “Good Boy”
“OK” “Alright”
“Good morning” “Good morning”
And one last “Ni-Night”.
Early Wednesday morning March 27th, 2013 discovered Zack had died.
Zack was a Mitred Conure (Bright green body, red head and freckles.
Pet since (1979-1980?) 33-34 years (Reference materials suggest 20+ lifespan up to 35 years.)
Unknown age at time of purchase
Family: Psittacidae
Scientific name: Aratinga mitrata
Native: South America
Note: Quite loud. Sunrise and Sunset typically. Good Earthquake alarm also. lol
Originally had two Mitred Conures: Zack & Zeb, the later passed years ago in an outdoor aviary for unknown reasons.
Food: Seeds, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and select snacks.

PHOTOS

STRAWBERRY ON THE BILL

Getting a nice warm bath (sitting at the bottom of the cage gets messy)

SOUND ASLEEP AFTER HIS BATH

PREENING AND DRYING AFTER ANOTHER BATH.

zzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZ

YEP, Zack was an interesting animal and although his squawking was at times quite anonying, I miss his daily chattering along with the wild birds already.
My best to you and yours,   Lew
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“NEVER ARGUE WITH STUPID PEOPLE…..

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…. THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL AND THEN BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE”   –  Mark Twain

***

SO TRUE, SO TRUE …. and the wisdom of that expression actually encouraged extension of my recent blogging vacation!  LOL Seriously, it is very frustrating dealing
with self appointed wannabe community leaders who consistently interject
themselves into matters they obviously do not understand while simultaneously
misrepresenting the truth.  More on that later – let’s do happy stuff first.

BEEN A WHILE, HUH? No, ahh, actually I did not complete all the water irrigation projects during the last few months — but am very, very close. Three controllers and 12 automatic valves are operational so far. Heck, I’m almost looking forward to this Summer and putting them to work. No more forgetting to turn off ALL THE VALVES and wasting precious water. Yes, I know I’m getting too old for all this stuff but the future owners/residents sure will appreciate the upgrades.

THINGS ARE GOING GREAT AT YOUR LAKE DON PEDRO COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT with General Manager Ralph Felix hitting the ground running and wasting no time in making improvements. Sure, there are still a few who attempt sabotage of the progress but they are merely bumps in the road to success and should be ignored as much as possible.

DO YOU REMEMBER my “thank you advertisement” in the Foothill Express newspaper after being elected? Well, that was over two years ago but the suggestion is still valid:

Thank you district voters,

I look forward to the work.

Be more involved with your CSD,

It surely could not hurt!

YOU KNOW, I do appreciate and truly admire ANYONE who sincerely attempts to assist their community however such an individual should take some time to educate themselves as to the facts before making public statements regarding an organization they advocate and profess to serve. Even if the activity is well-meant more harm than good is accomplished when incorrect information is distributed, especially by someone who claims to be a professional in regards to the subject matter.

CASE IN POINT

I am sorry, but someone touting years of experience in the real estate business who repeatedly describes and advertises our Lake Don Pedro Owners Association (LDPOA) as an HOA (Home Owners Association) rather than a POA (Property Owners Association) – especially after being corrected as to its actual status, only demonstrates a lack of credibility. Unfortunately, that lack of credibility also reflects on any community which permits such misinformation to stand in the public realm without challenge and/or correction.

SO, FOR THE RECORD

LDPOA members are not required to own a home to be members in good standing or utilize Association Common Interest property or facilities . An absentee owner’s property assessment is the same as a local homeowner’s assessment and both owners have the right to participate and vote in Association matters. The Davis-Stirling Act (California Civil Code) regulating Common Interest Developments applies to both an HOA and POA.

No matter how many times this particular person vocalizes at meetings, writes in letters and advertisements, or posts on multiple websites that the LDPOA is a Home Owners Association, it simply is not true. And once again this individual is absolutely wrong (about yet another subject), seemingly set on publically displaying their ignorance, and should really know better after living here for almost a decade and being in “the business”.

[But of course it could also be argued that I am displaying rather poor judgment myself by failing to heed the sage advice of Mr. Mark Twain. LOL]

Have a great Spring –

My best to you and yours, Lew

.

Categories: Uncategorized.

LDPCSD DIRECTORS

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Just wanted to take a quick break from my irrigation upgrade projects (line extensions and automatic timers) to congratulate newly elected Lake Don Pedro Community Services District Directors Danny Johnson, Chuck Day and Emery Ross.

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

Categories: Uncategorized.