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Sonoma County Gazette

Camp Meeker Beat by Tom Austin

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2019-04-26Apr 26, 2019

It’s warming up and the forest is shaking off the early spring damp.  When that gradual drying process reaches fruition, right around the time the grape vines do the same, it will be fire season. While we all hope for a respite from the horrors of the last couple such, this is the time to follow Nana’s advice and expect the worst while hoping for the best. The good news is that you can do quite a bit more than wring your hands and worry.  You can put those hands to work constructively, by hardening your home.  That’s a very warlike term, hardening, and I don’t know that I like it all that much.  How about “preparing” instead?  

2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019

It turns out that I am rather late to the party when it comes to mountain lion knowledge.  It turns out there is a bona fide world-class large cat expert studying mountain lions here in Sonoma and Napa counties.   I’m talking about Dr. Quinton Martins, founder of Living With Lions, has been tracking mountain lion activity in the wine country since July of 2016.  Previously, he co-founded the Cape Leopard Trust in South Africa as part of a twenty year career in researching leopards and other big cats. There as here, Dr. Martins’ work involves humanely trapping, tagging (with GPS collar) and releasing these large apex predators back into the wild. Since 2016, fifteen mountain lions have been tracked in Napa and Sonoma Counties. You can catch Dr. Martin on April 11, 7-8:30 pm at the Laguna Environmental Center’s Heron Hall.

2019-02-26Feb 26, 2019
2019-02-01Feb 1, 2019

It’s been a soggy January in Camp Meeker.  Not that I’m complaining — rain is never something to complain about in the west county – but there has been some odd behavior.  All sorts of little critters seem to be trying to take shelter in my front hallway.  Those stupid tiny moths and that thing that is either a big slow mosquito or a miniature crane fly – a Shetland pony fly or something.  This is just in the last couple of days — I have lived here almost twenty years and this is the first I’ve seen it. Peaceful Coexistence. Not that this is the first time I have had small life forms in my house.  The spiders and I have reached a general agreement:  I will do my best to conduct them safely outside when they get stuck in my bathtub, and they will eat any termites they find. I don’t think either of us has kept our side of the bargain perfectly, but as long as both sides find benefit in the deal we will keep our uneasy coexistence.

2018-12-27Dec 27, 2018

So how shall you rewrite your software for 2019?  How will you program your brain to execute the change that you seek in the world?  Others put their talents to constructive use, like the hard-working team at Fire Safe Camp Meeker (FSCM).  Richard Seaman, one of that group’s prime movers, reports that FSCM has completed its first grant application to Cal Fire, with the proceeds to be applied to hiring professional help in creating a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWFP).  

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