Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, September 4, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain Views News Saturday, September 4, 2021 


There is nothing quite as captivating as seeing 
a huge hawk or owl, wings spread wide sideto-
side, soaring over the treetops of our local 

Happy Tails

foothills. When I am fortunate enough to catch 
a glimpse of such a beautiful sight, I can’t help 
thinking it is a good sign that nature has things by Chris Leclerc

well in check and in good balance. Knowing the 
raptors are plentiful and engaged in seeking out 
their next meal in our area indicates to me that 
the local prey must be plentiful as well, and on it 
trickles down to each of the species, both plant and 
animal, in nature’s food chain. 

However, there are countless risks in our suburban 
sprawl that can cause valid concern for the local bird 
populations. Freeway traffic is one example. Also, 
the dwindling population of trees due to clearing 
for building and development creates a problem for 
birds when they go looking for a good nesting spot. 
Pollution, both in the air and on the ground is yet 
another potential hazard to the healthy proliferation 
and survival of all wildlife in our area. 

I once read a statistic in an article telling the number 
of raptors killed each year by rapidly passing trucks 
on the freeway, entanglement in fences, electric 
cables and wires or other man-made obstructions. 
I can’t remember the exact figures quoted, but I do 
remember being absolutely floored when I read that 
article. Suffice it to say there are way too many birds 
being killed or injured by vehicles and other obstructions 
versus those that die a natural death after a full 
life in the forest. 

The good news is there are people in the world who 
recognize the challenges birds of prey are met with by 
living so close to an urban setting and they realize the 
importance of doing everything possible to protect 
them. Ojai Raptor Center (ORC) is a state and federally 
licensed 501c3 non-profit organization made up 
of just those kinds of people. Folks who are dedicated 
to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of birds of 
prey, as well as to providing educational programs 
about wildlife and our shared environment. 

ORC director, Kimberly Stroud started her training 
at the Raptor Rehabilitation & Release Program 
in 1992. Shortly after that she co-founded Wildlife 
Care of Ventura in 1994, where they received permits 

from California State and US Federal Fish & Wildlife 
Agencies, and went on to found ORC in 2000. There 
was no real ‘Center’ back then. In those days ORC 
operated out of volunteers’ homes, including Kim’s 
and a small outbuilding on the campus of outdoor 
clothing manufacturer, Patagonia. Thanks to the generous 
donations and help of many who care, today 
ORC has a 3 acre facility where Kim leads a small 
part time staff and a great group of volunteers. 

The Center’s core goals are to rescue, rehabilitate 
and release birds of prey as well as certain few other 
wildlife, but above and beyond these core goals, their 
Wildlife Education Program is also of paramount 
importance to the work they do. They are committed 
to teaching the public about local raptor species, 
and how human interaction affects them. They carry 
out this mission by going to as many public events 
as possible with their ‘education ambassadors’ and 
every month they go to several schools to perform 
education programs for children in hopes that the 
next generation will have a deeper love and respect 
for birds of prey. 

ORC also holds fund raisers and open house events 
throughout the year, inviting the public to come and 
learn more about their facility and programs, and to 
meet a few of their winged wonders, up close and 
in person. Let’s all do our part to help protect these 
beautiful birds. One very obvious way that we as individuals 
can be helpful, is by taking good care of any 
mature trees that may be on our property, since that 
is where the raptors make their nests. Also, refrain 
from using toxic chemicals that kill rodents. Inevitably, 
birds of prey along with lots of other wild critters 
end up dead too, as a result of second-hand ingestion. 
There are numerous ways to play a part in preserving 
our local raptor populations. For more information 
about how you can help, visit the ORC website at Love and let live. 




A lesson in learning how to learn 

[by Christopher Nyerges, author of “Extreme Simplicity,” “Guide to Wild Foods,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” 
and other books. Information about his books and classes is available from www.SchoolofSelfreliance.
com, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041.] 

The wise man of the forest had been hailed by the people of the land, the eager pilgrims, to 
teach another lesson in the ways of nature. “Speak to us on the ways of the willow, oh kind 
sir,” asked one of the pilgrims. “The people are in great need, and it would benefit them 
greatly to learn the secrets of the prolific willow.” 
The wise man listened intently, and told the pilgrim that he would teach the les-son on the morrow, and that 
the pilgrim should bring the families to the spot in the river where the willows grow around mid-day. 

“Oh thank you kind sir,” said the pilgrim. “We shall be there, eager and ready to receive your lessons.” 

On the following mid-day, the wise man was at the willows early, as the pilgrims began to trickle in. 

It was a cool day as the pilgrims gathered around the riverbed area, near the tall and drooping willows. 

“Oh, kind sir,” asked the elder pilgrim. “It is so chilly in this area. Perhaps we can build a small fire to warm 
up before you begin your talk?” 

Without speaking, the wise man of the forest collected a long straight piece of dried willow. It was about as 
thick as a pencil, and about a foot and a half long. He took another dead and dried piece of willow branch, 
about as big around as his fist and maybe a foot long. As the pilgrims watched, the man of the forest first 
took his large knife and split the branch in half, and then further split the half so he had a flat rectangular 
piece of willow. All the pilgrims watched carefully as the wise man made a little triangular cut into the edge 
of the wood, and then he began to press the pencil-shaped piece of willow onto the flat piece. The wise man 
pressed hard, and begun to spin the willow drill onto the flat piece of willow, and soon smoke flowed from 
the friction. The wise man continued to spin thusly, and smoke poured out from the drilling. Soon, there was 
a red-hot ember in the dust that the wise man created. 

The wise man quickly collected a bunch of dried willow bark from a dead branch, and scraped it with his 
knife to create a fluffy bunch of thin bark. He deftly placed the little ember into his nest of fluffy willow bark, 
and carefully blew on it until it puffed into a flame. He then placed it into a circle of stones where the fire 
would be safe, and added dry willow sticks so that the fire could grow and the pilgrims could warm themselves. 
The pilgrims gathered around the warming fire. 

The wise man then began to collect his thoughts for his talk, when the leader of the pilgrims spoke up again. 

“Kind sir, I don’t want to trouble you, but we have an elder here with pain in his legs. He cannot stand or sit 
comfortably on the floor. Is there something we can do for him? 

The wise man nodded, and then proceeded to cut some of the dried and dead wil-low branches, those that 
were the straightest. He also peeled some long strands of the willow bark and put it to the side. First, the man 
of the woods created a square from the willows, and securely lashed the square. He then carefully measured, 
and then cut, willow branches that he then lashed to the square like legs, and the square because the seat of 
a chair. Taking a few more thick willow logs, he split them so they were flat, and secured these to the seat of 
the make-shift chair. 

The wise man then helped the elder into the newly-fashioned chair, cautioning him to sit carefully. 

By now, the pilgrims had warmed some rice and vegetables on the fire, and one lamented to the wise man, 
“Too bad we didn’t bring forks and spoons.” The wise man whirled around back to the willows, and carefully 
trimmed pencil-thin twigs about 10 inches long. He passed several pairs of these to the pilgrim, saying only 
“chop sticks.” The pilgrims eagerly took these and began to eat their vegetables and rice. 

By now, much time had passed and the sky was darkening. 

As the wise man considered how to deliver his talk on the virtues of the willow, another pilgrim spoke up 
saying, “Kind sir, I have a terrible headache. Is there any-thing that I can do to help?” 

The wise man nodded, and then carefully peeled off some fresh willow bark. He put the shredded green bark 
into a metal can, added water, and set it into the coals of the fire. After a few minutes, the wise man poured 
the tea-colored water into the pilgrim’s cup, and asked him to drink it. “The willow bark is nature’s aspirin,” 
he explained. 

By now, the sky was darker, the children restless, and a cold wind began to pick up. The leader of the pilgrims 
looked about and decided they should depart for the day. As everyone was packing and getting ready 
to depart, he spoke up loudly for all to hear, saying, “We are all so thankful that the wise man of the forest 
came here to teach us about the wonderful willow, but we are very sorry that there was no time for him to 
teach us anything.” 

The wise man tried to conceal his smile as he walked out of the canyon with the pilgrims. 


These two sweethearts 
would make your life fun 
and fulfilled! 
Jadah, brown tabby female, 
is sweet, loving, and playful. 
She excels at carrying 
her mouse toys in her 
mouth throughout the 
room. She is very bonded 
to her sister, Julie, as they 

both like the same toys and like to nap with the dog and 
roughhouse together!
Julie, a rare blue (gray) tabby, is one who "goes with the 
flow." Whereas Ja-dah is more curious and independent, Julie loves to be held and cuddled. 
Yet, she can roughhouse with her sister, and nap with her, of course. She can be active, and has 
been raised with dogs and a child.
We are looking for homes that can adopt both together.
They will come vetted, spayed, tested negative, and microchipped. See our Adoption Procedures 
page to apply. Submit your application now at 

Pet of the Week

 Five-year-old Chico is such a sweetie, and is justlooking for someone to love! In his previous home,
Chico was attacked by another dog and lost his rightear due to his injuries. He’s healing well, and despitehis wounds, is still an affectionate and happy pup.
Chico is a handsome dog with a big smile and thesweetest eyes. We know someone will fall in love withthis adorable one-eared guy! 

The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptionsinclude spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriatevaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary healthand-
wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, aswell as a goody bag filled with information about how to care for your pet.

View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoption appointment Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoptionappointments are available every Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. 

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters byphone calls or email. 




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