Cormorant…Still Hanging By A Thread

Last February, in  Cormorant…Hanging by a MonofilamentI pondered as to whether the poor bird would decompose before the monofilament line broke: “Eventually, the body will decompose…the remains falling to the ground below.  The monofilament line, however, will still be there…waiting for the next bird.”

I can report that as of April 21, the Cormorant is still hanging in there (pardon the pun) in the tree next to Dempsey’s.

Twisting slowly in the wind…

Signs Of Our Times…April 2011


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  • The photos in this series were not originally shot as part of a group or series.  For the most part, they were taken while marking time on other photo shoots around and about town.
  • The “Smog” sign originally inspired me to consider writing a tongue in cheek commentary on how California was so advanced that it had places where we could park our smog.  
  • Then, as other photos came into this unplanned series, they took over and almost arranged themselves in this slideshow.  
  • Reading a newspaper or reading the signs…it’s the same story. 

Petaluma July 4th Show…BREAKING NEWS!

News Flash!

(I’ve always wanted to say that! Or is it write that?) 

Jan Mandrell of Parks & Rec informed me that, “Basin Street Properties has come forward with a $6,000 donation for July 4th. This will enable us to have a $25,000 fireworks show instead of a $20,000 fireworks show. “

Readers may recall that the necessary funding for a full show was short until this contribution by Basin Street.  The Basin Street contribution added to the major contributions by…

  • Petaluma Refuse and Recycling $15,000
  • Petaluma Kiwanis $5,000
  • Jerico $5,000
  • Security Code 3 $1,000
  • Exchange Bank $1,000
  • Adobe Drug Task Force $1,000
  • First Community Bank $500
  • KOA $500

Individual contributions also assisted in reaching the goal. 

To add to the financial cushion for this event, Allison Mattioli of Parks and Rec advises of a fundraiser sponsored by Petaluma Kiwanis and The Lagunitas Brewing Company…

“May Merriment” will be held on Monday, May 16th from 5-7pm at the Brewery. Tickets are $20 and include all of your beer, live music by Revenant, and free appetizers provided by Green Earth Catering. Tickets can be purchased at the Petaluma Community Center, 320 N. McDowell Blvd. Monday through Thursday from 8am-5:30pm.

ALL proceeds go directly to supporting the fireworks show!

Please visit Recreation Services Facebook to view the flyer: or call (707) 778-4380 for more information. 

Falcons…Hawks in Petaluma?


While walking along McDowell by the hospital, I noticed a bird swiftly fly out of the field across from McDowell and Professional Drive and land on a street lamp by the field. It did not look like one of the numerous crows and clearly it was not a sea gull. I turned on the camera, zoomed to the max, and caught the following series of a falcon (hawk?) having breakfast. Look carefully under the right foot.


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  Enhanced Photo To Highlight The Markings

Feel free to jump in with your opinion as to its identity!

The Voice…The Spirit…of Petaluma

This photo essay is a coda of sorts to Rebuilding Together…Behind The Scenes In Petaluma and RTP In Action…Rebuilding Together Petaluma.

During the process of archiving my photos from the event on April 9, I decided that a few more were worthy of publication.

  • First, I offer a profile photo of Ron Walters, (The Voice of Petaluma on KTOB) at his home on Rebuilding Day.
  • Below Ron’s photo there is a brief slideshow representing, perhaps, the Spirit of Petaluma?


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RTP In Action…Rebuilding Together Petaluma

In Rebuilding Together…Behind The Scenes In Petaluma, I attempted to portray the work leading up to the annual rebuilding day in April.

On April 9, 2011, 440 RTP volunteers spread out across the community to help repair 13 homes and to build two pocket parks on the Petaluma River.  Included in the 440 volunteers were six photographers. For some reason, they included me in the six and assigned me to two homes. What follows is my attempt to capture the activity and spirit of the day at these two locations.


  • The control to stop the show or to search for photos can be found by running your cursor over the bottom part of the slideshow box. 
  • Some of the frames are also available for separate viewing below the slideshow.
  • The show contains 42 photos. 

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An Arbitrary Selection of Slideshow Photos

(What the heck! It’s my blog after all!)

(Click on individual photos for enlargement)


(Click on individual photos for enlargement)

Rebuilding Together Petaluma (RTP)

From the RTP Website…

“Rebuilding Together Petaluma is a local non-profit volunteer organization that provides home modification and repair services free of charge to individuals and organizations in our community who are in need of some helping hands.”

“Homeowners who are low-income, particularly elderly, disabled and/or families with children are eligible for our services. Non-profit organizations may also apply for repairs for their facilities.”

Rebuilding Together…Behind The Scenes In Petaluma

Last Saturday was the big day for Rebuilding Together Petaluma (RTP).

After months of planning, organizing, gathering resources, and dealing with the unexpected, RTP’s Jane Hamilton and Victoria O’Riley could almost exhale as 440 volunteers stepped up to the plate to work on 13 homes and to build two pocket parks.

This “photo essay” will attempt to show some of the unheralded background work that took place in the weeks leading up to April 9.  The slideshow includes scenes from planning meetings, Jane Hamilton & Victoria O’Riley in action (a case study in logistics managment) and RTP House Captains picking up their materials and supplies on Friday.


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In a few days I will publish photos from two of the RTP work sites

Petaluma Mushroom Power!

The growth of mushrooms of varying types is not an unusual phenomenon in Northern California this time of year.  They present themselves in many sizes, shapes and colors. 

Late this afternoon, I noticed that they also have a certain amount of…shall we say…force…a power to be reckoned with?

In the backyard there is a large heavy metal ornamental that has been standing there for years…through wind, rain, hail, and even snow one year… 

But now it was on its side!  The place where it had been standing was raised up and…

Well, see for yourself…

Don’t Mess With These Mushrooms!

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New Bird Species in Lucchesi Park?

On March 29, 2011, I was passing through Lucchesi Park for a meeting at the Community Center.  There were the usual “assemblies” of geese and ducks not requiring much attention on my part…UNTIL… something not quite right… in this one group…

So I pulled out a pocket camera and quickly “grabbed” what I could, given the speed of the bird and the fleeting nature of its visit. Fortunately, I was able to capture enough, including the tuft on its head, to refer the photos to an avian photgrapher and “birder” of some considerable experience in Atlanta, Ga.  Being a “belt & suspenders” kind of guy I also referred the photos to an expert in Cordova, Alaska. 


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After a fair amount of head scratching and local consultation in their respective parts of the world, they came back with similar responses:

  • Georgia: “It’s a hybrid of some domestic duck, like a mallard or moscovy or interbred of the two.”
  • Alaska: “I originally thought it was a variant of a speckled goose. After additional review it is most like a hybrid of a barn yard duck and a mallard.”

I will defer to the experts.  I thought it was a duck that had been used as a paintball target.  Of course, that explanation did not cover the tuft on the head…

Events such as a new “visitor” to Lucchesi are to be expected: “Like humans, plants and animals travel, often in ways beyond our knowledge and control.  They arrive unannounced, encounter unfamiliar conditions and proceed to remake each other and their surroundings.”–Hugh Raffles, Mother Nature’s Melting Pot.

Finial Hotspot…A Wireless Connection To The Googleship?

On this, the first day of April, I thought it appropriate to update an earlier post about the decorative metal post finials in the downtown area.

After considerable research, I established that the metal finials were not antennae to facilitate communication by resident space aliens with the Mothership in the skies above. It was clearly proven that they were terrestrial in origin and that they were made here in Petaluma by Edgar Haris, noted “…local sculptor, designer, metalsmith in descending order….”

Then one cloudy day, while walking the downtown streets looking for photo ops, I spotted their true purpose…

  The finials are antennae to connect us to the Googleship…not the Mothership!


Can the Mothership be far behind?

NOTE: For related April 1 posts see Don’t Mess With The Bees! and What the…?