Friday, October 12, 2012

Mt. Veeder Raven Visit

This week I had the opportunity to go up to Mt. Veeder for two visits.  On Monday afternoon I went up to the The Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind.  It is across and down a little from our former residence on Mt. Veeder.  I was there as part of the Hill and Dale Club to give the camp a $1000 toward operation of the camp.  I had not been to the camp since 1958-60 when I was a Girl Scout.  The camp is on the down hill side of the road and it is quite steep.  As a Girl Scout we would walk with the blind children all around the camp.  There were ropes along the sides of the paths that the blind children would hold on to as they walked with us.  The ropes are still there along the paths.  The director told us that the children don't use them anymore as they are trained to use a walking cane at an early age.  In the late 1950's children were not trained to use the walking canes.  This changed however due to the fact that many men coming back from WW II and Korea were blind.  The men were trained to use the walking canes and were very successful.  After that they began to train children at an early age to use the walking canes.  We also used to roller skate with the children.  Unfortunately the roller rink is in bad repair as is alot of the facility.  The neighborhood is trying to help the camp out with painting parties etc. HOWEVER- Bold and Shy were out and about overhead.  I could hear them calling and see them flying overhead.  They were too far overhead for me to get their attention.  It was great to see them however and to know they are there in their territory.
On Wednesday the Hill and Dale Club went up to the site of the former Lokoya Lodge at the end of Lokoya Road. Lokoya Road comes off Mt. Veeder Rd about .9 miles from our former home.  The Lodge property contains the 2,000 year old sequoia tree that I could see from my kitchen window on Mt. Veeder.  We had a great tour of the property with the current owners and saw many historic photographs.  My family used to go up to the Lodge on Sundays in the 1950's.  It had swimming pools for kids and beer for the adults.  It burned down in 1959.  It was a visit to the long gone past of the Napa that was before the wine culture took over.
The whole time we were visiting the Lodge area there were 6 ravens flying around and making so much racket.  I think they must be juveniles who have banded together.  The property owners don't like them because they said they chase away the other birds.  I had alot of other birds at my Mt. Veeder home as well as the ravens.  The birds will come if there is food available.  It must be a lack of food AND the ravens that cause the dearth of other birds. Well- I enjoyed the presence of the ravens- those cheeky birds!!  I just really like those big purple/black birds!!!
This evening at about 8:30 PM I went outside to admire the evening and I heard a sweet little bird song.  It was coming from the redwood tree by my driveway.  I went over there and listened.  It was a 4 note descending song.  I don't know what bird was singing.  I see white breasted nut hatches in the redwood trees.  Maybe it is one of those.  We had the red breasted nut hatches up on Mt. Veeder.  Both white and red breasted nut hatches like redwood trees.  I sent a note to the Audubon expert asking if they knew what the bird could be.  A little bird mystery right here in suburbia.
Well all in all it was a great RAVEN week with a little bird mystery thrown in- not a bad thing at all.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


This morning I was out gardening early because it is going to be hot today.  I was working in what will be my Alice In Wonderland garden corner.  Then there started up such a crow racket!  There were 4 crows in the top of the redwood trees cawing at maximum pitch.  I thought it was because of the lack of peanuts in the feeding tray but no, the tray had peanuts.  HUM- then I saw the problem.  A very large hawk with a white breast had settled into the top of a redwood tree.  The crows started diving at the hawk.  I mean they were flying straight at the hawk and only veered off at the last minute.  One after another they did this manuever.  Finally the hawk did a dive right to my bird feeder for the finches and he grabbed one.  I could not believe it.  Wow- he was fast in flight.  He got his prey and took off.  The crow noise then subsided and all was quiet in the garden.  Nature is wonderful and terrible to watch.  It is amazing what one can see in a suburban garden.
Next week I will be going up to Mt. Veeder to visit the ravens, Bold and Shy.  Our Hill and Dale Club is donating $1,000 to the Enchanted Hills camp for the blind.  The camp is located across the way from my former home on Mt. Veeder.  This is Bold and Shy's territory, so a visit with goodies to eat is in store.  I look forward to seeing them in their habitat.