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Ginger Budrick
5 days ago
Brandi Oneto is the owner of Brown Eyed Girl in Sutter Creek. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Ginger Budrick
One day, as I was walking into work, I saw a girl with long, blonde hair waving at me from down Eureka St. As she got closer, I saw that it was Brandi Oneto. Brandi and I graduated from high school the same year, she from Argonaut and I from Amador, but we have always just been acquaintances — the kind of people who are friends on Facebook but don’t actually know much about each other. We stopped to chat that day in the street and, after we parted ways, I realized that she would be a great person to interview for my 30-something... [Read more]
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Cathie Gernhardt
5 days ago
Happy Bird Day, peeps, and a big shout-out to my favorite flock of all, you, the people reading my ramblings about birds and nature. Mother Nature sure has been busy lately, and I have a new respect for April showers. Not only did we get a few crazy rain, hail, thunder and lightning storms this month, I was also witness to several showers of web-spinning worms falling from the trees, which created amazing rainbows in the sunlight. I heard this happens every year, although I don’t remember it from last spring, so I was either not... [Read more]
Copyright © 2016 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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Cathie Gernhardt
2 weeks ago
White-breasted Nuthatch (top) and Red-breasted Nuthatch (bottom). Images courtesy of allaboutbirds.org and kootenaynaturephotos.com
Happy Bird Day, Peeps. I am happy to report that all is well in my birding world and the Grosbeaks are serenading me daily from dawn to dusk along with several other local residents. I haven’t located any nests yet, although I am always searching. So many of my friends are blessed to have nests in their yards. They send me posts and photos of their owls, White-tail Kites, Western Bluebirds, robins, House Sparrows, House Finches, and the list goes on. I, on the other hand, am not so blessed, and have not found one nest of any kind... [Read more]
Copyright © 2016 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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Ginger Budrick
2 weeks ago
Up until now, I’ve tried to make all of these 30-something articles about people I barely know, because I’ve felt like it might be disingenuous to interview someone who would tell me things I mostly already know. But, why? If I know a 30-something who is thriving in Amador, shouldn’t they be part of this series? Why should the fact that they are my friends keep me from sharing them with you, the readers of the Ledger Dispatch? This is why, this week, I’ve decided to feature my very good friends, Candice and Cameron Duggan. Given that... [Read more]
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Joan Tarr
3 weeks ago
Joan is an adventurous traveler. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
I must confess that it’s really hard for me to be ‘cool’ about these journeys of mine. When I return from one of my adventures, those friends who even remember that I’ve been away usually ask politely if I had a good trip, hardly getting the words out of their mouth before I can see the panic in their eyes reflecting the fear that I might actually want to tell them about it. Not wishing to sound like an idiot, I usually reply with something along the lines of, “Yes, it was a very nice trip” when what I want to do is jump up and down... [Read more]
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Ginger Budrick
3 weeks ago
Gabe Porto. ALD photo by Ginger Budrick
Before I begin, I’d like to touch on some things that I’ve learned while conducting these interviews. When my first article was published in the paper a few weeks ago, I asked the readers of the Ledger Dispatch to suggest 30-somethings for me to interview, and the emails started pouring in. People suggested their family members, their co-workers, their lovers and their friends. That was so wonderful to see, a community of people stepping up to say, “I know someone who is interesting and inspiring who I’d like you to meet.” I wish I... [Read more]
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Cathie Gernhardt
3 weeks ago
Black-headed Grosbeaks are stocky-looking songbirds with large, conical bills and black, white and bright orange feathers. Photo courtesy of utahbirds.com
Happy Bird Day, Peeps and happy IRS day. It’s been another amazing week in my birding world because; The Grosbeaks are here! The grosbeaks are here!! Yes my beautiful, bright-orange, black-and-white “Ugly Beaks” are finally here to nest and raise their young. Can you tell I have a tendency to get over-excited sometimes? I think one of the reasons I am such a big fan of the Black-headed Grosbeaks is because I am a lover of orange and black. In proclaiming my allegiance to the first SF Bay Area baseball team, I believe this could be... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
4 weeks ago
Eliana and Isy Borjon. ALD photo by Ginger Budrick
On a chilly Friday morning, I drove out to Shenandoah Valley to meet Eliana and Isy Borjon for an interview. The early morning light illuminated all that the valley has to offer; the budding grapevines in perfect lines, the rolling hills as far as the eye can see, the multiple wineries, each with a different look and story. For the past seven years, I worked at a wine bar in Pasadena, so I clearly love wine and love the idea of making a living in the wine industry. But driving through the Shenandoah Valley that morning made me think... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
4 weeks ago
The “web explosion” may provide some tasty worms and caterpillars for local birdies. ALD photo by Cathie Gernhardt
Happy Bird Day, peeps. It’s been an amazing week in the Mother Lode. As a fairly new resident of the area, migrating out of the Bay Area, I have been truly blessed to find birds of a feather to flock together with. I have my local family flock, my Sierra Madre Garden Club flock, my Tri County Wildlife Care flock and my work flock at JB’s where I am able to meet so many other wonderful folks in other flocks, all doing good works around the community. With the help of these flocks I am learning that this area is definitely the Mother... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
03/31/2016 12:16 PM
Peter Hertzog making one of his great dirty martinis. ALD photo by Jerry Budrick
Hello, my name is Ginger Budrick and I recently moved back to Amador County. I’m 32 and I grew up in Amador, but I’ve lived away from the area for years — in San Francisco, San Diego, Pasadena and Los Angeles. After more than a dozen years of living various versions of it, I decided that I was tired of the Los Angeles way of life. In 2015, I worked more hours than I’ve ever worked before and made more money than I’ve ever made, but I still didn’t feel happy. I basically learned the hard way that the saying, “Money can’t buy you... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
03/31/2016 12:00 PM
The White-Tailed Kite. Photo by Brian E. Small
Happy Bird Day, Peeps. It’s been another newsworthy week in the birding world. Last week I shared about the Eaglet hatchings in our nation’s capital, and now it seems there have been several sightings of rare boisterous turkeys also trying to relocate to Washington D.C. although I am happy to report this chickadee does not wander along the campaign trail. There is another arena I tend to avoid although a little bird told me that there was some madness going on in March and it is continuing on into April, culminating this weekend... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
03/31/2016 11:58 AM
Joan and a local server in Crete. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
When I think about age and how it relates to my travels, I realize that to this point I have made very few concessions to the remoteness of my birth. Yes, there is a definite sag to the balcony, and the exterior is a bit crumbly, but that’s no reason to stop doing what I love. I still enjoy experiencing most of the same things I did when I first started to traipse around the world. While it’s true that I go to bed pretty early at night, if I am being honest I have to admit that I’ve always done that, and being one of the first... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
03/24/2016 12:51 PM
Mr. President and the First Lady in their Washington, DC nest. Photo courtesy of Sue Greeley
Happy Bird Day Peeps. I trust everyone has adjusted to the time change and are full into your spring thing, whether it be cleaning, planting, nesting or resting. I haven’t had much rest this past week migrating between my flocks. I attended the TCWC Wildlife presentation over at the Feed Barn. A big thank you goes out to Susan Manning for giving the residents of our community the opportunity to get up close and personal with Great Horned Owls, Barn Owls, Screech Owls, Saw-whet Owls, Pygmy Owls, Red Shoulder Hawks, Red Tail Hawks,... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
03/17/2016 12:07 PM
When Jerry Budrick contacted me and asked if I would be interested in writing a travel column for seniors, to be published in the Amador Ledger Dispatch, I was in turns intrigued, terrified and flattered by his confidence. My brain said, “You can’t do that!” while my heart said, “Go for it!” You can see which part of my anatomy won out. I love to write, am passionate about travel, and the black numbers on my driver’s license indicate that I’ve hit the midway point between seventy-five and eighty, so it does seem like I might be the... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
03/17/2016 12:15 PM
Cedar Waxwings are sleek, gray and cinnamon-colored, medium-sized birds. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
Happy Bird Day Peeps. I pray everyone has survived the celebration of Saint Patrick and his legendary tale of driving the snakes out of Ireland. It’s admittedly an unlikely tale, as Ireland is one of the few places worldwide, including New Zealand, Iceland, Greenland and Antarctica, that Indiana Jones and other snake-averse humans can visit without fear. I spent a St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland a few years ago, and it is celebrated as a Holy Day, not a holiday. Most of the local folk went to church and celebrated the Patron Saint of... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
03/10/2016 12:13 PM
Cathie’s bird feeder welcomes an unexpected visitor. ALD photo by Cathie Gernhardt
Happy Bird Day Peeps, I pray you have enjoyed the return of winter and all of this wonderful wet stuff falling from the sky. It has been a fabulous week; our feathered friends are enjoying splashing and bathing in puddles everywhere. I was able to get up to Daffodil Hill before the rains came, and had a chance to observe the muster, pride or party of peacocks they have roaming around. There is also an all-white peacock, which I learned, due to selective breeding, it is quite common for captive peafowl to buck the iridescent trend for... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
02/25/2016 12:34 PM
The Common Grackle. Photo by Bill Horn
Happy Bird Day, peeps. It’s been another superb week in our special spot of the universe. Spring is in the air, although I wouldn’t mind a few more rainstorms to keep the hills this beautiful brilliant green, my favorite color, for a few more months at least. March weather is always unpredictable, and since childhood, with a late March birthday, I was fascinated with the weather prediction saying, “In like a lion, out like a lamb”, or vice versa, “In like a lamb, out like a lion.” Current weather reports are calling for rain this... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
02/18/2016 12:27 PM
The Lesser Scaup. Photo courtesy to the Amaodr Ledger Dispatch
Happy Bird Day, Peeps, it’s been another fabulous flight-fanciers week in the Mother Lode, and this area is the Mother Lode for birds, with so many different species. I participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count and was able to submit counts for 20 different species without leaving my house. One of our local birders was number one in the country last year, with 68 different species. I’m anxious to hear how he did this year. I got to take a drive up to Lake Tabeaud and saw a nice variety of our feathered friends. I did see a... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
02/11/2016 12:11 PM
Only the male House Finch has reddish coloring on the head and breast, but both males and females have the same streaked patterning and gray-brown body color. Photo courtesy of Wild Love Photography

Happy Bird Day Peeps, it has been a beautiful week. I hope you were able to spend some time outside and maybe happened to catch a glimpse of those winged wonders chirping, tweeting, honking, squawking, whistling or singing in your neighborhood enjoying this unusual spring-like weather.

Super Bowl 50 is history, and I didn’t see any reports that the “Drone Snatching Eagles” had to be deployed at any time before, during or after the game. Too bad, it might have made the game more interesting. If you haven’t seen the YouTube video...

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Guest Commentator
02/04/2016 11:17 AM
The Spotted Towhee. Photos courtesy of Audubon.org
Happy Bird Day Peeps! I’m excited to be back again, pecking at your consciousness with the local bird scoop. I promise to do my best to keep it interesting. I do have to note that the photos provided for the article last week were copied from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website, allaboutbirds.org which is, in my opinion, the best bird identification site on the web. My bad for not making that clear to the editors. A quick thanks to those who sent e-mails; I hope to get more acquainted with you and others of the human species in... [Read more]
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