Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Meet Bitchin’ Betty

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Soon after the Shultz's (previous owners of our house in Bear Valley Springs) moved in, they discovered that a hawk had claimed a spot on the roof—a perch on the western edge of the house offering a perfect bird’s eye view of the open field with all its tiny rodents. The hawk’s proprietary nature along with its frequent dive-bombing maneuvers and aggressive warning shrieks made quite an impression, and the Schultz's decided that the hawk needed a name. Bill knew that a group of FA-18 Hornet pilots stationed at El Toro in southern California gave a name to the computerized female voice that alerts pilots to mechanical trouble. They dubbed her Bitchin’ Betty. The name seemed to fit the predator that had claimed the spot on the roof that would have been used for the satellite dish.

Both The Husband and I have experienced the moment when this hunter comes swooping down from out of the clouds—wings spread wide—those piercing eyes glaring at you. It does leaves an impression. We have decided that the name will stick. When we first began making trips to our new home, we didn’t see a great deal of Betty on our roof and wondered if she had found a new home. But, she’s back and she frequently checks her perch to see what the vegetation in our field might offer. I suppose the hunting is somewhat decent or she wouldn’t return, but so far we haven’t seen her dining on anything.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Plenty of Hot Air

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Early on the morning of the Fourth, we sat on our back patio, ate breakfast, and watched the hot air balloons over Cub lake and our property. We were treated to a splendid show of color against wispy clouds streaking the blue sky. Perhaps I am an oddball, but I found the sounds that the balloons emit a bit unnerving. To me, the sound is a little spooky and, while I loved watching the brightly colored baubles float above us, I wasn't a big fan of the sound. I wonder if anyone else has that reaction. The Husband wasn't the least bit affected by it.

Monday, July 7, 2008


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On Tuesday of last week, we left LA planning to return early Thursday. We were having the carpets cleaned in the house in Bear Valley and delivering some things we are moving by hand. But then, we started noticing all the preparations for the Fourth of July celebration and reading about the parade, and one thing led to another. We ended up staying much longer than we planned but had a great time. This was the first time we had given ourselves more than a few hours of being totally irresponsible to simply enjoy what is to be our new community.

The parade was a treat. We watched the hot air balloons from our backyard. We walked around the grounds at Cub Lake where the parade ended and the booths were set up, witnessed the demonstration of the cannon firing, met some people, and enjoyed all the families herding children with painted faces past the sights. It was a grand celebration of the birthday of our independence.

Do you think the adorable little girl in the shot above likes fire engines? Is that pure delight? Her little brother was a bit reluctant to be hoisted into the driver's seat until he saw how much fun big sister had, then he was ready for his turn. Normally, I don't grab shots of people's children—not in today's climate. But, no one seemed to mind, and in a couple of cases I couldn't resist. I stayed back out of the way while shooting and no one came after me to take my camera.