Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, April 3, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain View News Saturday, April 3, 2021 
Mountain View News Saturday, April 3, 2021 

I really enjoy observing the wildlife that resides in 
and around Sierra Madre, and I absolutely adore 
hearing the musical calls of birds echoing through the 
air. I especially love hearing the audacious calls that 
come from the enormous birds of prey living among 
us. In fact, when I hear the unique, low-tone hooting 
of an owl, I feel a sense of warmth and comfort that 

is hard for me to describe. Just knowing that owls nest in 
the trees close to where I live is like an honor to me. We 
are truly blessed with nature’s goodness in our hillside 

I once read an article entitled Homeless Owls Need Homes, 
Too, about a project that provides alternative habitation 
for owls rendered homeless due to development in the 
San Gabriel Valley. I contacted the author, Steve Scauzillo 
to ask him a few questions, and he was kind enough to 
take the time to chat with me. Steve admitted that he 
is not an owl expert and may not be the best person to 
consult about local owls. His column covers a variety of 
current issues and concerns regarding the environment, 
and this particular article just happened to be about owls. 
Steve suggested that I contact Kimball Garrett at the LA 
Museum of Natural History, who truly is an expert on 
owls, so I gave Kimball a call. 

Kimball Garret was more than willing to share what he 
knows about the owls that inhabit our foothills. Apparently 
there are a few types that might be seen nesting in the 
forest right behind us and visiting our village, but the 
ones we typically hear exuding resonant hooting sounds 
are Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus pacificus). 
He explained that this particular owl is more prominent 
in our parts because they are adaptable to changes in 
their environment, so they are willing and able to find 
alternative nesting spots when preferred locations are not 
available. Great Horned Owls prefer nesting in very tall 
trees, but when trees go missing, which seems to be more 
of a trend now than ever in our town, the Great Horned 
Owl is wise enough to take up residence in lower lying 
canopies. Some will even nest in man-made boxes built 
on stilts where they are protected from predators, high 
winds and hard rains. 

Like all living things, owls play a very important part in 
keeping nature in balance. With this in mind, the next 
time you are tempted to complain about having too many 
rats running around in your yard or under your house, 
let it be a reminder of how important the big trees are. 
Indeed, big trees provide a place where owls and other 
birds of prey will stay and help keep that rat population 
in check. This is also a good reason not to use poisons to 
kill rodents, as what you are actually doing is poisoning 
birds of prey. 

I had a remarkable experience with a couple of local owls 
on the morning my dad passed away. I slept in a little later 
than usual that Saturday morning, so I was still lying in 
bed around 8am when I suddenly heard two owls calling 
out in unison, one slightly higher pitched than the other. 
They were so close and so loud that the huge picture 
window on the north wall of my room seemed to vibrate 
from the resonance. My husband was there to witness the 
experience, so I can always rely on his confirmation when 

[Nyerges is the author of numerous 
books such as “Extreme Simplicity,” 
“How to Survive Anywhere,” and others. 
He can be reached at www.Schoolof or Box 41834, 
Eagle Rock, CA 90041]

It is a time that millions of people 

the world over look forward to – the 

first Sunday after the first full moon 

after the spring equinox. What day 

is that, you ask? Easter, the day (and season) that Chris

tians worldwide commemorate the trial, death, and resur

rection from the dead of Jesus. 

 I grew up in a Catholic family, going to a Catholic school, 
and know well the Easter motif, beginning with the “giving 
something up” for Lent, and then Palm Sunday when 
Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey (in fulfillment of 
scriptures). When Jesus turned over the tables of the 
vendors, he sealed his fate because he attacked the god 
of most eras, money. Though Jesus had been welcome to 
speak in the Temple, he was still regarded by those priests 
as an upstart, someone who seemed to know “the Truth” 
in a way that they had forgotten, a man who didn’t have 
the Temple training and no formal training to become a 
Rabbi. Though the elite didn’t particularly care for Jesus, 
no one turned against him until he attacked their money 

Every Easter I have enjoyed the inspiring messages that 
movie-makers have given us in their efforts to interpret 
the practical meaning of the Jesus message. I have particularly 
liked the six hour-plus presentation of “Jesus of Nazareth” 
produced by Franco Zeffirelli, starring Robert Powell 
as Jesus. It is a rare presentation that brings the story 
alive, and takes it out of the pages of dry church reading. 
You cannot help but cry, and laugh, when viewing this 
unique presentation. I have kept a Bible (Lamsa translation) 
handy when viewing this to see how well Zeffirelli 
brought alive these ancient writings. You will likely agree 
that he did a great job. Actor Robert Powell said once in 
an interview that this role “changed my life.” Indeed. 

Though too many of us have gotten lost in the pre-Christian 
“Easter” symbolisms of eggs, bunnies, chocolate, pastel 
spring clothing, etc., it is still worth fighting to realize 
that there is still a real story here, about someone who 
worked hard, was ridiculed, laughed at, even killed, in order 
to help us to save ourselves. 

Though the churches are today all talking about the “glori-

Happy Tails 

by Chris Leclerc 

I share this story that may otherwise sound unbelievable! 

We both laid there listening, amazed at how loud those 
owls were. We assumed they had to be very close, maybe 
even perched in the avocado tree in our side yard. To 
me, having owls visit my property is a blessing, like 
nature’s reward for being a good steward on behalf of the 
environment. This is not to say I think I am a saint when 
it comes to giving earth the respect it deserves, but I do 
try my best to treat it with kindness by cleaning up trash I 
find on the trails and sidewalks, and abstaining from the 
use of toxic chemicals. I also allow fallen leaves to remain 
where they lie, so they can return to the soil and nourish 
the trees and fauna they fell from. I even talk to trees, 
telling them how important they are and how thankful 
I am for their beauty, their shade, their photosynthesis 
and their fruit. I truly believe that humane and respectful 
treatment toward any living thing is our duty as human 

When I heard those owls hooting away so loudly near 
my bedroom window that morning, I thought is sounded 
like some sort of heavenly choir singing a sacred hymn 
just for me. A while later, I was up and making coffee 
when I received the call from my family back east, telling 
me the sad news that my father had just passed away. 
When I hung up the phone, I sat for a while crying and 
trying to take it in, that I would never again get to see 
or talk to my dad. With such shocking news to process, 
the owls left my thoughts completely until that afternoon 
when it dawned on me; at the very moment my dad died, 
I was lying in bed listening to the amazing sound of two 
owls hooting louder than I had ever heard before. 

There are many mysterious, mystical myths associated 
with the owl, passed down through oral traditions of 
various peoples. One myth says that the owl is an omen 
of death soon-to-come. Another regards the owl as the 
bearer of the deceased soul as it passes from this world 
into the next. I have never subscribed to mythical theories 
about animals before, but I must say that the experience I 
had on the morning my dad passed away made me think 
twice about whether those ancient theories might hold 
some truth. 

One thing that is definitely true for me is that I love 
these amazing birds of prey. I love them because of their 
beauty and elegance, their tenacity and their symbiotic 
relationship with nature, not to mention the fact that they 
provide excellent examples to us humans through their 
loyal, familial life-style. They work very hard to overcome 
life’s hurdles, just to survive in today‘s world where fast-
paced development is so quickly stealing away their 
habitat. I thank God every day for this beautiful earth 
and all its creatures, particularly the mythical, mystical, 
magical owl. 



and what it means 

ous resurrection,” it’s worth taking a moment to see that 
the world does not treat its Saviors and Avatars well. Jesus 
was treated in his day as if he was less than a common 
criminal. Other Significant Ones in history have been 
treated just as poorly. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake! 
Imagine that! Socrates was forced to drink poison, after 
a mock trial. Gandhi was gunned down in public by one 
of his own. Pope John Paul the First was poisoned in the 
Vatican after one month in office because he was going to 
sever the questionable ties that the Vatican had with the 
bankers. (Note, John Paul the First is being referred to 
here, not the Polish pope, John Paul the Second. Read all 
about it in the book “In God’s Name.”) 

If we consider the themes of the Easter story – humble 
birth, hard work, trying to rise above mundanity, showing 
The Way to others, some sort of “death,” and rising up 
again – then there are some excellent movies that give us 
this tale though in a secular perspective. 

For example, you can’t go wrong with the classic “Whale 
Rider”. If you’ve not seen it, get it immediately. The grandfather 
of the traditional village is hoping for a grandson 
to carry on the ways. A girl is born, and grandpa figures 
he’ll have to wait some more. But the girl is “the one.” 
She persists in her path of learning the traditional ways. 
And when a test is given to the boys to see which one will 
become the new spiritual leader, the girl nearly dies, but 
passes the test. She is the one. You have to see it, and feel 
it, and experience that Saviorness can occur at any time, 
anywhere. Of course, there are certain requirements, but 
chief among them is the willingness and desire to do the 
work required, and then doing that work. 

“Powder” is another excellent movie that somewhat depicts 
the elements of the Easter theme, though not precisely. 
It has been described as a secular story of a Savior, 
and his departure. It’s also worth watching to see how 
most of us treat our fellow man. 

Yes, some of you will read your Encyclopedia and learn 
about the pre-Christian roots of Easter. There is no denying 
that the Holy Day, as practiced generally today, has so-
called “pagan” roots, because the Catholic Church chose 
to overlay their new traditions over older prevailing pagan 
traditions. This may bother you, or it may not. Either 
way, you can still observe this day and find the way to use 
the major themes for your personal upliftment, and for 
the upliftment of those around you. 


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This young beauty 
is definitely a "girly 
girl." Marmalade, 
age 2, is named 
for the beauti-ful 
orange color of the 
popular jam, and, like the jam, is sweet and a little 
bit tarty! She is a good listener and will do what she 

is told, but if she doesn't like something, she will tell you. Once she warms up to you, she will 

cuddle and groom you if you sit calmly next to her, but she doesn't like to be groomed herself! 

She can be fussy and particular, just like a girl, according to her foster mom. Marmalade does 

not like to get her fur dirty, and will pick up her food with her paw to eat. This little lady would 

like to be the only pet in the home, where she can get ALL the attention and reign supreme! See 

more pictures, adoption information and application on our website at the More Cats page at 

Pet of the Week

 Bree is a happy dog who loves meeting newpeople and playing with toys. This one-year-oldpup is pretty smart, and already knows her “sit”!
She’s a strong dog who’s excited about walks, 
so she needs a strong person who can hold her 
leash. Bree would do best as the only dog in thehome so she doesn’t have to share her bandana 
collection. Bree has a lot of fun puppy energy,
and can’t wait to find her special someone to playand snuggle with!

 The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dogadoptions include spay or neuter, microchip, andage-appropriate vaccines.

New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCAAnimal Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to carefor your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule a virtual adoption appointment Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoptionappointments are available every day at 5:00 p.m. for the following day.

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


HeyO' Sierra Madre! How ya'll doing? 

Your lovely local 501c3 non-profit, Free Animal Doctor, could use some stuff if you have it 
and don't need it! Plus a volunteer! Here are the deets (as the kids say, the kids from 20 years 

1) Towels. When we do Spay/Neuter clinics we put towels in every metal cage to make it more 
comfy. We also clean up with them. So if you have used towels you don't need, we need 'em!
They can be stained, frayed, even a small hole here or there, just as long as they are clean. Put 
them in a plastic trash bag, and drop them under the mailboxes at 70 E. Montecito Ave... we 
cannot get enough towels! Love 'em!! 
2) Portable canopies. Our big canopy got destroyed in the windstorm. We have a small one, 
but we could use one or two more. It's to shade our staff and clients when they come to the 
Spay/Neuter clinic and have to stand outside. Got one you don't use? We'll use it every weekend! 
Comment here and we'll connect. 
3) Wanna volunteer? We need help checking pets in on Sundays and Mondays. We have about 
20-25 people show up at about the same time, and we need to quickly process paperwork and 
get their pets safely into the clinic for surgery. 
It's 730am until about 930am on Sundays and Mondays at Gate 7 of Santa Anita, right off 
Baldwin before you get down to the mall. You don't have to volunteer every day, but a couple 
times a month minimum would be good. There is a minor bit of training involved, and you 
get much better at it with experience, so we are looking for a bit of a commitment if you wanna 
help. Let me know, again, comment and I will arrange for us to get in touch. THANKS!! 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285Email: Website: