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Bird’s Eye View (Sep 3, 2014)

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably, I shall begin. So that was it. With the Labor Day weekend over, summer has officially been and gone, although the desperately needed rainfall is still some way off, assuming we get some!? The holiday weekend saw the usual influx of tourists, many of whom were polite and respectful, but some found the need to treat our roads like racetracks and I saw several instances of their “footprints” in the form of the above average amount of road kill. Not that we Turkey Vultures mind this of course but even we were stuffed by Monday evening. One particular brightlighter, a part-timer up here who lives near The Nest in his Tiburon-in-the-Country compound behind the ostentatious metal gate with its palm trees and large swimming pool, decided the back roads were his personal motorbike-racing track. He was impervious to those around, although I am sure we will have his attention if he does it again and then finds himself being strung up from the Hanging Tree before being fed to some hungry pigs I am friends with up on Peachland Road.

I suppose this fellow simply does not know any better, being wrapped up in himself and his world, and ignorance would be his excuse. With that in mind, here are some splendid comments for your Quotes of the Week. Will Rogers: “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” I prefer the more confrontational approach of Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), the American novelist who portrayed the changing world of the contemporary south: “He knows so little, and knows it so fluently.” For perhaps a more perceptive observation on our motorbike-riding neighbor, I turn to Aldous Huxley: “Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.” Horace Mann (1796-1859), the American education reformer and member of the US House of RepresentativesL “Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge.” All I can say is that on my Sunday afternoon constitutional the confrontation with the ignorant brightlighter made me appreciate Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Nothing is more frightful than ignorance in action.” String him up, I say!

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #531. A final reminder of the top notch live music coming to the Navarro Store Amphitheatre, or is it Palladium, this Saturday, September 6 at 7pm: the original Subdudes. Tickets available at 895-9445. Then on September 27, also in the Deep End, it’s the return to the Valley of the great electric blues harmonica man, Charlie Musselwhite. #532. This coming weekend also sees the monthly Barn Sale. Saturday/Sunday, September 6/7. from 10am to 3pm each day at the Big Barn on AV Way just north of Boonville. #533. The Mendocino Bookmobile next visits the Valley on Tuesday, September 9. They are in the Valley on alternate Tuesdays for 45 minutes at each of these places and times: Navarro Store 9am (for 30 minutes); the Floodgate 12.30pm; Philo 1.30pm; Boonville (Apple Hall) 2.30pm. Phone 463-4694 for further details. #534. Denisse Mattei writes, “The AV Food Bank has been around for 31 years. We serve about 10% of the Valley population each month on the 3rd Tuesday, from 8-10am, at the Boonville Methodist Church. We are primarily locally funded by private donations from AV residents. Lately we have focused on providing lots of fresh produce in our monthly distribution; last month many local farmers and gardeners brought by a gorgeous array of produce of all kinds, all of which was distributed. Thanks, AV. Please remember us during the next couple of fall harvest 3rd Tuesdays if you have goods to share.” Further details: 895-3763. #535. The Vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital will not be back in the Valley until Thursday, September 18. #536. For you cave-dwellers out there, those of you who rarely venture out to the real world, well, Mendocino’s version of it, please be informed that the Mendocino County Fair is taking place is Friday to Sunday, September 12-14.

Here is the menu for the Community Lunches and Dinners over the next week at the Senior Center in the Veterans Hall in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from seniors for both lunches and dinners and charges $7 for Non-seniors for lunches and $8 for the dinners. Tomorrow, Thursday, September 4, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Three Cheese Stuffed Shells, Green Beans, Garlic bread, Faro Salad, and Angel Lush with Pineapple for dessert. Then, next Tuesday evening, September 9 at 6pm, the dinner will feature Pork Loin, Baked Beans, Brussels sprouts, Garlic Bread, Freekah Salad, Strawberry Gelatin, with Coconut Cake for dessert. As this is the 2nd Tuesday of the month, the dinner will be followed by Bingo at 7pm. Hopefully you will be able to attend, and remember. ALL ages welcome! Hope to see you there.

The Three-Dot Lounge was closed for the holiday weekend although I did check on recent emails and found another comment from the world of Jay ‘Fascinating’ Williamson of Santa Rosa. He states that in my response to his recent ramblings I avoided his question: “Are vultures cannibals? Yes or No?” To be honest I did not think it required a response. All Turkey Vultures that I know are fanatical meat/poultry/carrion-eaters. If one of our brethren were lying dead at the side of the road, any self-respecting Turkey Vulture would be expected to gobble away. It would be rude not to.

And with that in mind, how about a few more Turkey Vulture facts? We have very powerful beaks indeed, ones that can tear through even the toughest cowhide. We then thrust our bald heads, feathers would get carrion stuck to them, into the body cavities of rotting animals and certain AVA readers. We also have an extraordinary sense of smell, having the largest olfactory (smelling) system of all birds, and have been known to be able to smell carrion from over a mile away. And perhaps most importantly, if we are disturbed or harassed, we will throw up on whoever is bothering us.

Time to take my leave. Until we talk again. Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; be wary of strangers with more dogs than teeth; please remember to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle; and may your god go with you. Oh, and of course, one final request, Let us prey. Sometimes poking, often stroking, but always humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. Pleased in the knowledge that the old hare has returned safely to his burrow. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PS. On the sheep, Grace. … Hi, Silver Swan; behaving yourself? Hopefully not! … Bobwhite Quail, keep up the knitting!

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