WATCH LIKE A HAWK

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Certainly has been strange weather for the last few weeks – alternating between high summer-like temperatures; thunder & lightening, cold wind blown rain and hail topped with those convenient periodic power outages like on the day of the Health Fair!

One day I am slathering on sunscreen, the next, hauling in firewood to stay warm. Yesterday (Sunday) was especially interesting with the high temperature and moist saturated ground. The evaporation radiating up was almost jungle-like as I tore through healthy weeds with a new two cycle Echo trimmer graciously gifted by my closest of friends in acknowledgment for surviving another year. [Naturally there was fog early this morning as well.]

Yes, the weather has complicated the “War on Weeds” and has been somewhat frustrating, but heck, it is every single spring but I am confident of ultimate victory. Then, after everything is finally cut, raked, sprayed, burned and landscaped, the fall rain is back and the cycle begins again. Not complaining at all mind you, in fact I am a bit embarrassed to admit I enjoy the work and will miss the ritual when the chore becomes too physically challenging.

While cutting fire breaks a couple of weeks ago on my Mother’s lot and watching some wild turkeys we noticed a rather large stick-twig assembled nest in an Oak across the street which turned out to be maintained by a pair of Red Tail Hawks frequently observed in the area. (A neighbor told me he has been watching this pair for years.)

Rather than binoculars, this time I came prepared with the telescope. There are definitely two white fluffy chicks – possibly a third, however, that all too common day to day cruelty of nature stuff is difficult to watch, if there was a third I’m afraid it is now dead. By late afternoon only two chicks could clearly be observed and the larger one continually pecked and attacked the smaller one. When the male brought in a meal (lizard and a vole) and the female tore it up for feeding, only one of the chicks appeared to be fed. Even when attempting to eat the scraps that fell from its sibling’s mouth the smaller chick was attacked. The poor thing was weaving back and forth hardly able to hold up its head then “POW” he got smacked again by the larger chick’s beak. Hopefully it looked worse than it was.

Witnessed something amazing from the other side of the equation and actually got it on video but the image quality isn’t that hot. The female Hawk (larger in size) when not actually on top of the chicks, rotates around the top edge of the nest in little side steps so as to continually cast the best shadow on her young. It was terribly hot yesterday and the female could be seen panting while protecting her young. With wings partially opened she constantly adjusted her position for optimum shade. Now here’s the really cool part, Dad suddenly flies in carrying a leafy branch instead of food. He lands on the edge of the nest and begins walking around with the branch providing shade for the female and the eyasses (defined in below linked article). I kid you not! It was unreal. I don’t have time now, but maybe I can upload that video later.

Here are some poor quality shots. Used the same old trick as with the shots of the Moon at night — just hold the camera lens near the eye piece of the telescope. Only problem is low light conditions mean even a miniscule movement makes for a blurry image. Oh well we do the best we can with what we have right? The detail was fantastic through the telescope though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-tailed_Hawk

There’s much I want to share with you folks but need to get caught up. Here’s a quick report on the April 5th, 2012 Special Meeting which was agendized as the continuing Personnel matter between Interim General Manager Dan Tynan and Financial Administrator/Treasurer/Board Secretary Charise Reeves.

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Establish quorum: President Bill Kinsella, Directors Emery Ross, Mark Skoien, Victor Afanasiev and VP Lew Richardson present. Interim Manager Dan Tynan and Financial Administrator/Treasurer/Board Secretary Charise Reeves also present Pledge of Allegiance.

Charise Reeves requested the Board vote to add an agenda item regarding changing a dollar amount on a fire related issue that was approved during the last meeting. Victor Afanasiev made the motion and President Kinsella the second, the board approved the change. Reeves briefed the board on the added costs for the office demolition and President Kinsella asked for a motion which Director Mark Skoien made, seconded by Victor Afanasiev. During discussion Director Emery Ross questioned Charise Reeves on the Brown Act Section she was relying on to revisit the matter. Reeves was unaware of the exact section but advised the issue had already been discussed in a previous agendized meeting which allowed for public comment. Ross cautioned if it were indeed a Brown Act Violation any action would be null and void. Both Ross and Richardson believed a Special Meeting was limited to the posted agenda items.

Audience member Ruth Smith stated she believed recent legislation prohibited even discussing matters that were not listed on a Special Meeting agenda. Reeves suggested voiding the additional part of the meeting and returning to the subject at a later time. Mark Skoien withdrew his motion.

President Kinsella stated the purpose of the meeting was to discuss complaints by IGM Tynan and Charise Reeves against each other. Tynan had requested an open meeting discussion whereas Reeves wanted a Closed Session. Director Ross suggested the board go into closed session to deliberate which was done at 0910hrs.

The meeting was reconvened at 1015hrs with the following “report out” by President Kinsella: The board is pursuing a satisfactory resolution with legal counsel’s input.

Meeting adjourned @ 1017hrs

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Well that was easy. The next posting will be on the April 16th, 2012 Regular Monthly meeting.

My best to you and yours, Lew

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