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Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Along highway 20 in Lake County, elk territory is well marked with signs. Nevertheless, this elk was killed on the road June 13, 2014.

The message common to these signs is: Animals In The Road. They are, incidentally, a good indicator of the range and migratory routes of various species. In various parts of California, one can see signs featuring the silhouettes of cattle, deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, bear, elk, ducks, newts, burros, horses and wild pigs. 

The sign indicating free range cattle is, in North America, almost universally a silhouette of a stolid, stoic, grounded, matronly cow standing in dumb and expressionless profile.

The signs in the anything-goes state of Nevada, however, feature a jaunty, light-on-his-feet, swaggering bull with cocked tail and ready-for-all-challengers attitude.


 Twenty two months after the vast wildfire east of the Lake, I returned to the scene.  Grasses, forbs, and chaparral were resurgent among the charred remains of the blue oak forest.


 In a year of extreme drought, the Month of May managed to resemble its usual self in an outpouring of blossoms.

Kelsey Creek dried up six weeks early, dooming thousands of tadpoles and fish fry.

Deck furniture received a coat of teak oil.

I turned over a wine barrel and saw a glowing empire of mold.

 Very soon, the grasses went from green to parched.

The farmers, with dispatch, accomplished the hay harvest. The grass-based rural economy moved forward for another year.

 On the rim of the font, dozens of honey bees drank another season.

 An antique gas station in Upper Lake is for sale.

 Mouse surmounted great heights to get to our sunflower seeds.

 In an Upper Lake shop, I saw 19th Century photographs of the lake shore and a Pomo dwelling.

A nest of twenty quail eggs was plundered by predators. Two punctured eggs sit on oak galls. 

I looked up from the hammock.
 A waterstrider appeared in the stock tank.