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Ginger Budrick
1 week ago
Sometimes I get recommendations to interview people and I think to myself, “Oh, but they are so cool … they aren’t going to want to talk to me.” I think such thoughts are residual high school feelings, because this usually happens when someone is slightly older than me or was more popular than me in high school. The real doozy is when the person is slightly older than me and they were more popular than I was. Inevitably, when this happens, I’ll get another recommendation for the same person, and then another, until I can no longer... [Read more]
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Cathie Gernhardt
1 week ago
Happy Bird Day, peeps! It’s been another beautiful week in the neighborhood. I have been enjoying a few goldfinches still hanging around, along with the woodpeckers, nuthatches, pigeons and titmice, and I thought I heard a chickadee, which I have not seen in my neighborhood as of yet. There was some kind of flying insect hatch a couple of mornings this past week. They looked to be flying ants, as they came out of the dirt and headed towards the sun. I didn’t notice any birds going after them, although there were several dragonflies... [Read more]
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Cathie Gernhardt
1 week ago
The Acorn Woodpecker.
Happy Bird Day, Peeps! It sure feels like fall is in the air, cooler days with even cooler nights, and the leaves are starting to flutter to the ground leaving bare branches open for easier spotting of our feathered friends. The woodpeckers have been busy in my neighborhood peck, peck, pecking away at snags and tree trunks. I hope they are also attacking the bark beetles, who are wreaking havoc in our forests, as woodpeckers are one of the only natural predators of this pesky insect. It saddens me to see so many dead trees in our... [Read more]
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Ginger Budrick
1 week ago
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m going to say it again: The 30-somethings of Amador have very supportive mothers! A lot of the recommendations I receive are from moms, and they are usually emails filled with love and admiration. It’s heartwarming, to say the least. Recently, I received an email that was very detailed and beautifully written, so much so that I was moved to tears while reading it. If you don’t know me, I should tell you right now that I’m a very sensitive gal. So, don’t be alarmed that I started crying whilst... [Read more]
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Cathie Gernhardt
4 weeks ago
The California Thrasher. Photos courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
Happy Bird Day, Peeps! While I was on vacation there were a few changes at the offices of the Ledger Dispatch as they welcomed in a new publisher, who I have not met yet, so I hope he likes birds. I did get to spend some time with my editor Caitlyn and another flock she has been flying with lately who put together a beautiful event, “A Taste of Amador,” last Saturday. Kudos to all the wonderful restaurants, wineries, breweries, bakeries and businesses and organizations who came together to make this event a huge success in raising... [Read more]
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Ginger Budrick
4 weeks ago

In case you missed it, last week I featured part one of an interview with Justin Allen. We met up and talked for so long that we ended up running out of time and had to meet up a second time to finish the interview. And, since we had talked so much, it was just too much to fit into one article. This is part two …

Last week, I told you about how Justin left his job at Sony to pursue a life as a photographer. In 2014, after spending a year-and-a-half living on the beach taking photos, he trashed everything he owned and moved home to...

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Joan Tarr
08/25/2016 1:13 PM
Luca Brasi may sleep with the fishes, but I slept with the monks. Well, not really with the monks, but in their old monastery, founded in 1487. We were smack-dab in the very middle of the historical center of the lovely old walled city of Evora, in Portugal. Talk about location! Just a few feet from our front door stood the remains of the Roman Temple of Diana, with its fourteen intact Corinthian columns still rising straight and tall. Down the block was the Museum of Evora, and a couple of streets away the massive Gothic Cathedral... [Read more]
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Ginger Budrick
08/25/2016 12:59 PM
There are certain things you just can’t avoid in this life: death, taxes, sadness, awkward moments and the occasional sunburn. And then, there are certain people you can’t avoid. I’m talking about the people whom you just keep crossing paths with, over and over. Sometimes, this might seem like an accident, but have you ever thought that maybe it’s not an accident at all? Maybe there are certain people who we are meant to sit down and have a conversation with, and we just don’t get it. So, they just keep getting placed in front of us,... [Read more]
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Cathie Gernhardt
08/25/2016 1:11 PM
Happy Bird Day, Peeps! Well, this California girl spent a few more hours in the car traveling on the back roads of our golden state this past week, and it’s during these long drives that I envy our feathered friends. Maybe I should have been a pilot, but it’s a little late in the game for that. I know I promised more on the birds named for our treasured state, and I will get to that shortly because first I need to tell you about another flying, first-sighting, I had this past week. It wasn’t a bat, a bird or a plane, but a real live... [Read more]
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Ginger Budrick
08/23/2016 11:25 AM
Amanda Henry and her daughter, Petra, pose in front of Andrae's Bakery, in Amador City. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Ginger Budrick
There are two types of people in this world: the type who go out of their way to say hi and the type who go out of their way to not say hi. I, unfortunately, am the latter of the two. But, I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who goes out of their way to say hi. I just can’t be — it doesn’t come naturally for me. I suppose it’s because I lack confidence. I’m always worried that the person I’m saying hi to won’t recognize me, or will think I look bad, or we won’t have anything to talk about after I say hi. But, I love it when... [Read more]
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Cathie Gernhardt
08/12/2016 2:10 PM
Happy Bird Day, Peeps. This California girl, yes, I was born in San Francisco a few decades ago, has been traveling around the state a lot lately, and I thought it might be interesting to write about California Birds. According to Wikipedia, which shows a comprehensive listing of all the bird species seen naturally in the state of California, as determined by the California Birds Records Committee (CBRC), as of 2009, there are 641 species native to the state list. Fifteen of these species are introduced, species that are non-native... [Read more]
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Joan Tarr
08/12/2016 1:17 PM
I thoroughly enjoyed the Portuguese countryside east of Lisbon. Our trip took us through an area known as the Rainbow Region, so called because of the colorful characteristics of each season. We were there in springtime, when everything was bright green and bursting with new life. It reminded me of the Hill Country in Texas, with its great swaths of blue, yellow and pink wildflowers. Most dramatic, as always, were the fields of scarlet poppies, once seen never to be forgotten. The landscape was mainly rolling hills, lavishly studded... [Read more]
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Cathie Gernhardt
08/04/2016 1:13 PM
The Oak Titmouse. Photo courtesy of Audubon.org.
Happy Bird Day, Peeps, and whew, what a week it has been. Hot, hot and hotter. I’m pretty sure there were more than corn dogs and turkey legs getting cooked out at the Fair, myself included, along with the vendors, volunteers, parking attendants, competitors, judges and attendees. Congratulations to all who made this year’s fair one for the record books. The theme saluting our hometown heroes was impressively evident throughout the fairgrounds. Unfortunately, there was a group of heroes who didn’t get much recognition at the fair,... [Read more]
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Cathie Gernhardt
07/28/2016 1:01 PM
Happy Bird Day, peeps, and if you are like me and my feathered friends, you have been looking for ways to beat the heat this past week, whew. Please keep yourselves hydrated and try to keep those bird baths and water offerings filled, and better yet add some ice cubes. I know it helps me to cool off by taking a nice dip in cool water, and I believe it’s the same for the birds and other critters. I was out in Plymouth earlier this week and I tip my visor to all the folks braving the heat and flocking out to Plymouth getting ready to... [Read more]
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Ginger Budrick
07/27/2016 11:53 AM

If you missed my last few articles, I’ll fill you in: this column has gone what I like to refer to as “full-derby.” For the last five weeks, leading up to the Amador County Fair, I’ve been interviewing 30-something Destruction Derby drivers. This article is the sixth and final Destruction Derby article and is about Ryan Duke, who is the defending champion of the Amador Destruction Derby. These interviews have all been so informative for me and I hope you’ve been enjoying them as well.

I actually got the idea to do these derby...

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Ginger Budrick
07/21/2016 1:42 PM

If you missed my last few articles, I’ll fill you in: this column is going what I like to refer to as “full-derby.” This means that every week until the Amador County Fair, I’ll be interviewing a 30-Something Destruction Derby driver. The interviews have been a wild ride so far (see what I did there?) and I’m excited to share the last two interviews with you, one this week and one next week.

Because I believe in full disclosure, I think it’s only fair for me to tell you that my good family friends’ company, Mather Aviation, sponsors...

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Cathie Gernhardt
07/21/2016 2:46 PM

Happy Bird Day, Peeps. Vacations are great, and I thoroughly enjoyed traveling through the Colorado Rockies and the Southwest states, seeing some of our country’s natural beauty and different landscapes. It was wonderful, except for maybe the 118-degree weather as we crossed through parts of Arizona into Southern California. Like Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”

I was welcomed home to the return of the Dark-eyed Junco’s. I’m not sure where they migrated to for their breeding season because we live in what the birding...

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Ginger Budrick
07/14/2016 12:12 PM

If you missed my last few articles, I’ll fill you in: this column is going what I like to refer to as “full-derby.” This means that every week until the Amador County Fair, I’ll be interviewing a 30-something Destruction Derby driver. I’m really excited to learn all the juicy gossip about my favorite event at the fair and I hope you are, too.

When I was looking for local derby drivers to interview, I found out that there was a pair of brothers who were both driving in the derby this year. I thought it would be cool to interview...

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Cathie Gernhardt
07/14/2016 12:26 PM
Happy Bird Day, peeps. I pray you have been enjoying the lazy days of summer as much as I have. My cousin and I took off on a road trip to Colorado, stopping for a few days at a special little piece of paradise along the Provo River in Utah. Appropriately, over the 4th of July weekend, I spent many hours enjoying some birds with the American moniker, including American Robins, American Goldfinches, American Crows and my favorite little, amazing American Dippers. There were also swallows, sparrows, Yellow Warblers, hummingbirds, a... [Read more]
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Ginger Budrick
07/07/2016 12:24 PM

If you missed my last couple of articles, I’ll fill you in: this column is going “full-derby.” This means that every week until the Amador County Fair I’ll be interviewing a 30-something Destruction Derby driver. I’m really excited to learn all the ins and outs of the most exciting event at the fair and I hope you are, too.

When I was looking for local derby drivers to interview, I found out that there was a pair of brothers who were both driving in the derby this year. I thought it would be cool to interview both of them. My...

[Read more]
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