Most days now I think more about the past than of the future. It's amazing to me that a person can store so many memories in their brain for such a long time. I remember well the year that my Dad worked for my Uncle Warne Lark in a small lumber mill north of Cazadero. We lived in a tent that summer by a small creek. I was 10 years old and was given a 22 rifle for Christmas. My Dad was a hunter and taught me well and I became very accurate with practice. I roamed the hills with my dog at my side and stalked my prey. I was very curious about birds and had been given my first Peterson Field guide. I wanted to see them up close so I shot many different birds and remember the excitement when I held them in my hand for close inspection. It was I now believe the catalyst for what later became my passion in life and led to a career as a Biologist. I now cringe at the fact that my first job was a "Bounty hunter" at age 10.
"Mamma June" my uncle Ed LaFranchi's mother lived on a Ranch a couple miles up the road from the lumber Mill at a place called Creighton Ridge. One day I hiked up there with my 22 rifle in hand to visit. She was a wonderfully warm and friendly lady always happy to have visitors. Mamma June hired me that day to kill the Stellar's Jays that were destroying her Figs. I don't recall exactly how many I shot but for a nickel per bird I remember that my pockets were full at the end of the day. It was a day I will always remember.
These days I greatly admire the vociferous and pugnacious Stellar's Jays that visit our home showing off their striking black "shaggy" crest and brilliant blue and black feathers. One of natures many marvels.