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Saturday, October 5, 2013

In the Land of Family Farms

In Big Valley, a land of agriculture, tractors share the roads.

Two dozen American white pelicans wheeled high in the sky over the ranch.
At this time of year their numbers start building on Clear Lake as harsh weather begins to close in on their nesting lakes in the interior West.

At the annual Kelseyville Pear Festival, the county chapter of the Audubon Society tried to raise awareness of the needs of our lake-nesting grebes. The numbers of Clarks and Western grebes on Clear Lake is lower than it was a few years ago. Their floating nests of matted tules are easily swamped in the wake of motorboats. 

 I walked through a meadow on the ranch. Honey bees sought nectar on the last sunflowers of the year.
 It is a bumper year for both figs and acorns.

 Mare's tails (cirrus uncinus) fanned out above Mount Konocti and the Pear Festival on Main Street.
 Among the sights at the Pear Festival were music venues and antique tractors.
Sunset from Finca Castelero. The high whine of swarms of bouncing midges sounded from six feet above our heads. Were they swarming because of the rain showers of a couple of days past?