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Friday, October 3, 2014


At the Kelseyville Pear Festival, the Idol of the Golden Pear was, if not venerated, at least prominently displayed. There is a nostalgic feeling to the festival as it looks back fondly on the time, a few decades ago, when Kelseyville claimed, with justification, to be the Pear Capital Of the World. That was before diesel costs rose and global competition kicked in. The time of the hand-reared and paper-wrapped Lake County Mountain Bartlett has dimmed in an era of mass commodification. There are still many hundreds of local acres of pear orchards, but a pear is now just a pear.

A Norwegian pony.

A super sleek and clean, magnificent percheron draft horse decked out in black leather and silver.

The engraving on the masthead of the now defunct Kelseyville Sun, circa 1927.

The art of commercial lithography, which adorned the pear crates of the early and mid Twentieth Century, is the nearest we've come to distinguished visual expression since the Golden Era of Pomo Basketry. 

Coyotes feasted on figs, plums and ground squirrels by the looks of the fecal evidence.

Bumper mast from the Valley Oaks this year.

Scorched Earth Style Agriculture sadly typifies the vineyard industry, in which habitat is thoroughly slashed and burned, even when there is no reason for it.
This brand new vineyard development desecrated a rich swale of Valley oaks, cattails slough, cottonwoods and blackberry thicket which ran along its northern boundary on Loasa Road.
The habitat there had been a breeding refugia for California quail, bluebirds, red winged blackbirds, and, most significantly, for a threatened species, the California endemic tri-colored blackbird.
Like the prairie pothole ponds of the Great Plains, which are known as the duck factories of North America, and the venerable hedgerows of the British Isles, this habitat was completely wiped out in the interest of maximized short-term and short-sighted profit. It is a benighted and discredited economic model which puts short-term growth above long-term sustainable wealth. 

Valley oak corpses litter the former swale. The formerly rich habitat here would have in no way interfered with the development of the new vineyard. 

The northern anchor of a rainbow, which bracketed Mount Konocti.

The Summer Palace of the Valley Quail.

The southern anchor of the rainbow.

A walk back from town.

Heavy heads.