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Ginger Budrick
Yesterday
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
2 weeks ago
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
2 weeks ago
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
3 weeks ago
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
4 weeks ago
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
4 weeks ago

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...

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Cathie Gernhardt
06/30/2016 1:12 PM
The rangers will take the orphaned goslings to an area where adult Canada Geese have been spotted, and when the adult mother goose hears goslings they immediately rush over to adopt them into their flock. Photo courtesy of lakelapeer.net
Happy Bird Day, peeps, and welcome to the month of July. I hope you are looking forward to some lazy days of summer as we kick off the month to celebrate our nation’s 240th birthday. Many of you will be migrating out of the area for vacations to enjoy the great outdoors. This is just a reminder that wild animals are WILD and many of them are raising youngsters, which they will protect from you as best they can. Even bird parents have been known to dive-bomb uninvited visitors who may come too close to their nesting little ones. So... [Read more]
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Joan Tarr
06/30/2016 1:07 PM
Have you ever heard of a Fiat 500? Well, until recently I hadn’t either, but then the last car I could correctly identify was a ’57 Chevrolet, so that pretty much establishes what I know about automobiles. When I read that we were going to devote part of one of our precious evenings in Sicily to riding in these cars, I was, to put it mildly, underwhelmed. This non-event (in my opinion) was to take place in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Modica, a beautifully preserved Sicilian hill town with a population of around 55,000 people.... [Read more]
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Ginger Budrick
06/30/2016 12:49 PM

You may have noticed that I have two 30-something articles in this week’s paper. If you’d like to know why, please head on over to my other article to find out. It’s the one about the Michael Neville Memorial Foundation in Sports.

In case you missed my article last week, I’ll fill you in on what’s going on here: this column is going “full-derby.” This means, 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 derby secrets and hear all the...

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Ginger Budrick
06/23/2016 12:13 PM
The Amador County Fair is quickly approaching and I’m so excited. I’ve been going to the fair since I moved to Amador County in 1987, when I was four years old. I’ve been through lots of fair phases. When I was a young kid, I couldn’t get enough of the carnival rides and would be ecstatic when my grandparents bought me oodles of tickets. Then, when I got a little older, I was obsessed with the carnival games, especially the water balloon game and the one where you can win a goldfish. When I was around seven or eight years old, I won... [Read more]
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Cathie Gernhardt
06/23/2016 12:45 PM
Happy Bird Day, Peeps, and what a difference a week makes. Last weekend, I experienced some pretty chilly weather while camping at Silver Lake, and now it seems that summer has arrived full force, kicking into full swing with a full moon, some hot days and nice warm nights. The forecasters are saying we are in for a few days of triple digits, so get out your sunscreen and drink lots of water. Also, don’t forget to put out water for our feathered friends. I picked up a couple of saucer-type bowls at the Hospice Thrift Store the other... [Read more]
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Ginger Budrick
06/16/2016 11:59 AM
Is there anything in the world better than a good girlfriend? Well, I can think of a few things, actually, though I’d certainly put good girlfriends on my list of the top five best things in life. I’ve never had a sister, but I’ve always wanted one. So, a long time ago, I set out into the world and made my own sisters by finding and nurturing really wonderful, lifelong friendships with other ladies. Some of my favorite memories are of me and my girlfriends in really unassuming locations, like a beat-up couch or a run-down car, just... [Read more]
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Cathie Gernhardt
06/16/2016 12:12 PM
The Hooded Oriole. Photo courtesy of backyardbirdphotos.com
Happy Bird Day, peeps, and a big Happy Father’s Day chirp to all the papa birds out there, and blessings to the momma birds who made it possible. It has been another amazing week in the bird world around the Mother Lode. I was joined at my Preston Castle bird walk by Greg H. who is a top notch birder, and easily spotted and identified several birds including a pair of Hooded Orioles, a Western Bluebird and a Violet-green Swallow to name a few. Greg holds the eBird record for the most birds seen in a single day during last year’s bird... [Read more]
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Cathie Gernhardt
06/09/2016 11:49 AM
The Great Blue Heron. Photo courtesy of Audubon.org.
Happy Bird Day, peeps. It’s been another hot and humid week here in the Mother Lode, and it isn’t even summer yet. I’m feeling the urge to find some water to cool off in. Water is such an important element to us humans and to our wildlife friends as well. Putting up feeders is all well and good for those people who care to attract birds and other critters to their yards, but more important than feeders, is supplying water. Putting out a fountain, a bird bath, a bucket, or an extra saucer filled with water among your plants will... [Read more]
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Ginger Budrick
06/09/2016 11:21 AM
The 30-somethings of Amador all seem to have something in common: Parents who really believe in them. I’ve gotten loads of emails from parents who want me to interview their children, and every single one of them warms my heart. Some of the emails I’ve received from mothers and fathers have been so poignant that I tear up a little. So, if you want me to interview your child, I’ll let you in on a little secret — if you send me an email and throw in some personal details about why your child is awesome, or how you thought you’d never... [Read more]
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