A Conversation In the Vineyards

A new event is coming to town. First time ever. It’s brought to you by The Mule Deer Foundation in support of the MDF National Endowment Fund (MDF NEF). The fund provides a perpetual funding source for MDF mule deer conservation.

The event, A Conversation in the Vineyards, will take place over a three-day period. May 2, 2019 is arrival day. Out of town guests will be hosted at the Best Western Hotel, Vineyard Inn on South Front Road starting at 6:00 PM with a welcome cocktail offering.

Friday will be a tour and wine tasting day. Tours will be half day and will include a trip to Morgan Territory and a very special trophy room, an Altamont wind turbine farm tour, a barbecue and ranch tour out Mines Road and a wildflower/butterfly tour in the southern Alameda County hills.

Of course there will be wine tasting at Livermore Valley wineries.

At 5:00 PM Friday evening, the guests will share their experiences while eating and drinking wine at the McGrail’s Vineyard and Winery on Greenville Road.

On Saturday there will be a major all-day tour of San Francisco PUC watershed lands, East Bay Regional Park District land and also the Fletcher Ranch conservation lands. This tour will run from 8:30 AM until 3:00 PM.

Of course there will also be wine tasting at Livermore Valley wineries.

The Saturday evening event will be a full-scale dinner and hosted bar at Poppy Ridge Golf Course where once again the guests can share their experiences from the tours and also learn about how to support the MDF NEF.

For room reservations call Best Western Vineyard in at (925)456-4522 and mention The Mule Deer Foundation room block.

Here is a link to a flyer that lists the prices:

Side by side flyer

Kids are Amazing

 

On Christmas morning my grandson Fergus came to me with an acorn.

Referring to the hole in the acorn, he said, “A bird ate it.”

I looked at the acorn and said, “Yes, or a worm ate the acorn and the bird ate the worm.”

He smiled at me.

As I sat in my chair this morning, looking at the acorn, I realized where it had come from. About a year ago, I brought a limb home from the ranch. It was a limb off of an oak tree, but it was a special limb because it was covered with holes stuffed with acorn husks. The acorns had been placed in the holes by acorn woodpeckers.

The reason I brought it home was so kids, like Fergus, could explore my yard.

Mission accomplished.

The Kite Nest

Over a month ago, a pair of white-tailed kites moved into our neighborhood. They were very visible and very out of place.

The neighbors behind me have a large back yard with redwood trees and live oaks. They were selling their house and had moved out, leaving it vacant. The house sold quickly and nobody appeared for several weeks.

The kites took over one of the live oak trees and seemed to be building a nest and mating activities began.

Then, after a couple weeks, although the nest was not visible to us, it seemed that eggs must present. Several times, we observed the kites chasing off invading ravens.

Three or four times I nearly retrieved my camera during moments when the kites perched on the very top of the large redwoods.

I feared that the new neighbors would move in and disturb the nest before the chicks were hatched and gone. It seemed unlikely that the duo would succeed in their efforts.

Escrow closed last Friday and yesterday the new neighbors hired a tree service to trim the trees in their new back yard. At 8:00 AM, the chain saws began to buzz.

An army of tree trimmers invaded the live oaks.

The kites are gone now, which is not surprising. Wish I’d taken that picture.