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Geyserville Grapevine - August 2015


Geyserville Grapevine - August 2015

Eve NavarroAs we move into August in our little town of Geyserville, all bets are off on what the weather may bring. This past month even brought a welcome taste of rain, followed by some memorably hot, sultry days. In the garden here at Isis Oasis Sanctuary, our lemon cucumbers are just starting to come in and our tall golden sunflowers are enjoying both the heat and the light. Our Vivarium volunteer, Eve Navarro, who is in charge of our collection of snakes, lizards and insects, wants me to mention that this is the prime season for finding the local Pacific Gopher Snakes in our yards and gardens. Unfortunately, when this happens, too often startled homeowners or gardeners kill these beautiful, innocent creatures, thinking that they are poisonous or dangerous, or even mistaking them for rattlesnakes. Pacific Gopher Snakes have beautifully patterned bodies, but do not have a rattle. They are also leaner than the bulkier rattlesnakes. Generally they are also eager to get away and will be glad to take the chance to escape. The gopher snakes also do a service – they help with rat and mice control by consuming them.

Differences Between Pacific Gopher Snakes and Rattlesnakes

Shape of Head – Rattlesnakes have triangular “viper” heads. Gopher snakes have a blunter head.

Body Shape – Rattlesnakes are heavier, gopher snakes are more thin and lithe.

Hissing – Rattlesnakes do not hiss, relying on their iconic rattles to do the job for them. Gopher snakes DO hiss, so if the startled snake in front of you is hissing, it is not a rattlesnake.

Tail – Rattlesnakes have rattles – gopher snakes have pointy tails.

Music Season Amonst the Vines 

August is a busy month for events here in the Alexander Valley and environs. On August 7th, the DeLorimier Winery in Geyserville presents their Friday night “Summer Music Series” offered by the Wilson Artisan Wineries, of which Delorimier is one. The August 7th event features the music of the Teleblasters, a rhythm and blues group. There is a nominal fee per person (six bucks and change) for table reservations for wine club members only, plus some open lawn seating for the rest. Table seating tickets are available on Eventbrite. For more details and the full summer schedule, which rotates between various regional wineries, you can visit or call (800) 546-7718. Food for these events is available for purchase at local gourmet food carts; for the August 7th concert, Vero’s Kitchen will be on-site.

It’s a big musical month throughout the area. Local Geyservillian Peter van Gelder will be playing three consecutive Saturday nights at the Old Faithful Geyser of California as part of their “Music Under the Stars” series. The concerts of Indian Classical Music take place July 25th, August 1st, and August 8th. Peter is a master sitar player and will be joined by Samraat Kakkeri on the tabla. For more information on this event, see or call (707) 942-6463. The event takes place at 1299 Tubbs Lane on the way to Calistoga. They suggest bringing your own wine and snacks, or you can purchase some nibblies at the Old Faithful Geyser gift shop.

As always, I’m eager to hear about news and tidbits affecting Geyserville and its close environs. Please feel free to contact me at Till next time!