Friday, October 14, 2016


It's raining today! The drought continues, so it's nice to get an occasional atmospheric spritzing. It replenishes the groundwater and makes everything smell a bit nicer,especially the forest. This weekend is the northern AEOE conference, which this year is being held at my work, and I'm going to head back up there a bit later, but for now I'm going to type and enjoy the rain. Sunday looks to be rainy too.

It has been a couple of weeks since I last posted here, and if I'm not careful, the weeks tend to run together in my memory. Work has been going smoothly, with everybody seeming to have new energy now that we have a new director. With the exception of a handful of hot days, the weather has been lovely.

Last weekend, Jeanine, Willow, and I went to the Renaissance Faire at Casa de Fruta, and it was okay, but nothing special. I bought more musical instruments that I probably don't need, but I figure every home should have a rainstick and something that may or may not be a sintir (wrong number of strings). I got more hot sauce too.

Jeanine and I saw the new Japanese Godzilla movie this week. It's one of the better ones, although I still prefer the original Godzilla from way back before I was born. It seems like I haven't been seeing enough foreign films lately.

Here's some photos from the last couple of weeks.

I saw the frog pictured below two Mondays in a row. It lives inside a hole (bored by a Pine Sawyer beetle)in the huge Douglas Fir stump down by our climbing wall. It tends to emerge and leap away if enough people stare at it.

The praying mantis was inadvertently discovered when I leaned down to extract the large Kingsnake skin from amongst the star thistle bordering the path alongside Lake Ranch Reservoir.

This rattlesnake was near our front gate a couple of Fridays ago. There was a line of stopped staff cars as we all got out to say hi to it. It didn't say hi back.

I've started setting up my trailcam in the garden again. There is a very persistent gray fox who visits regularly. It likes the compost. The first time I set up the camera, it became evident that our barricade attempts weren't thorough enough. The second time, the fox was thwarted.

The three photos above were from last week. The photos below are from this week.

For a couple of weeks in a row, I've been focusing on having the kids help clean up trash around Lake Ranch Reservoir, including along the road leading there. This is what we gathered last week. It includes a couple of self-heating meal boxes, fishing line, and a dirty diaper. This week, a girl got a fish hook stuck in her shoe. Luckily it didn't stick in her foot. This is the same girl who managed to startle a rattlesnake earlier in the week. Luckily the local rattlesnakes aren't overly aggressive.

Last week, one of the campers spotted a deer carcass partially hidden under the trees near the driveway at Sanborn park.

It wasn't all trash and death though. Here are some more pleasant pictures.