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Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Town On The Lake

The Carnegie Library in the County Seat of Lakeport was built in 1918 by the shore of the ancient lake.
It no longer functions as a library, now housing offices.
The building stands as a pearl flanked by Lakeside Park, almost the only in-town public access point to the lakeshore. Most of the rest of the town's shoreline is typified by slip shod "development" and slap dash city planning as in countless other American towns. Lakeport, enviably situated on a sublime lake, has managed almost entirely to obscure and negate its sense of place. Accessibility to the lake and even visibility is mostly blocked by uncontrolled private desecration. Approached from the south end of town, the last glimpses of the lake across marshes and pastures, are being steadily walled off by bedraggled and depressingly ugly commercial construction which has no respect for the boundaries of the town. Farmlands and wetlands to the south of town are under continued threat of destruction from city leaders, who want even more sprawl.

Away from town, at many points along the lakeshore, the views are as of old.

The Lake County Courthouse was built in 1871, twenty-two years after the massacre of the Pomos by the US Army at Bloody Island. The building now houses the Lake County Museum with its examples of the highest art ever produced in the region: the basketry of the Pomos.

The tule beds of the Northeast shore. Mount Konocti on the horizon, land of the Pomos for thousands of years. Before that, land of the acorn woodpecker, grizzly bear, tule elk and grebe. 

Tree swallows with a high sense of decor furnished their nest with a peacock feather.

A road to the lake lined with valley oaks.

Tall Valley Oak.

Amorous Tom vibrating his feathers at a fevered pitch.

Two bucks, backlit.

Yellow Willow. Willow Yellow.

Sections of Valley Oaks piled up after the big wind of November. Many old trees fell throughout the county.