Nature and wildlife

Tree falls, blocks Via Del Cerrito

Fallen tree

Rancho Murieta Association staffers Mark Kitchener and Rod Hart work by truck headlights at dusk Tuesday to cut up a 30-foot oak that had fallen across Via Del Cerrito and blocked it a short time before. The tree was one of a cluster of three oaks in front of a house. Did something happen to bring it down? "It just fell over," said Hart, the RMA's maintenance manager. Click photo for larger image

SOLOS members contribute $1,131 to trails

SOLOS contribution

Saving Our Lakes & Open Spaces (SOLOS), the group trying to influence development in the community, announced a donation to the Murieta Trails Stewardship Monday. The $1,131 check, funded by contributions from SOLOS members and others, will cover the stewardship’s insurance costs for a year as it maintains trails around the community. Read more »

Spring flowers to greet March showers

Flowering trees

At midday Friday, with the flowering trees on De La Cruz Drive offering their yearly explosion of white, the skies started clouding over, making way for a wet Saturday and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Click photo for larger image

They don't call him 'Birdman' for nothing

Young eagleBill "Birdman" Gengler shares this photo and message: "Picture I took this afternoon of a 2-year-old bald eagle sitting in a tree by the boat ramp at Lake Calero. He flew away before I could ask him to smile."

Two views of 'supermoon' over Murieta


So you knew Rancho Murieta's photographers would be out for this month's "supermoon" — the biggest and brightest moon to rise in our skies since 1948. Oscar Vasquez was out at Lake Calero Sunday night for the beautiful shot above, and Bill Gengler used his vehicle's headlights Monday night to add an impressionistic deer to his moon shot. A full moon this close to Earth won't happen again until Nov. 25, 2034, if you want to put it on your calendar. Click the photos to see larger images.

Bill Gengler moon

Fishing gear swap meet set for Oct. 16

The Rancho Murieta Fishing Club will host a fishing equipment swap (rods, reels, lures, boats) on Oct. 16 at Stonehouse Park  It's free, open to Rancho Murieta residents only. Seller setup will be from 8 to 9 a.m. It will be open to buyers from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Read more »

50 people come out for meteor light show

Star party

More than 50 people gathered under the stars and moon in Rancho Murieta Friday night to see the Perseid meteor shower, an annual event that promised a special show this year. Murietan David Scharlach, an amateur astronomer who arranged the gathering, on the parking area above Lakes Calero and Chesbro, provided a 10-inch telescope and had a friend bring an 11-inch telescope. Kids, parents and grandparents lined up to see Saturn, the Moon and other heavenly objects. Shortly after 9:30, as Scharlach was explaining about distances in space, the crowd broke the classroom silence with cries of  “Wow!” and “Oooooh!” They had seen the first meteor of the night.

Meteor-viewing party planned for Friday

The Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak Thursday and Friday nights. A Murieta neighbor is planning a meteor-viewing party for Friday night, and you’re invited. Read more »

Young eagle: They're so cute at that age


Bill (Birdman) Gengler shares one of his nature photos and this note: "Took this picture today of what seems to be a juvenile bald eagle sitting on a power pole on the backside of Lake Calero.  It had a dinner in its claws and flew away into the trees to eat it.  Yes, the hawks and eagles are still around our lakes even though it is hot out there after Summer Solstice. Have a good day."

Adding catfish and bluegill to Laguna Joaquin

Bucket of fish

Rancho Murieta’s fish population got a boost Tuesday as 400 catfish and 200 bluegills found a new home in Laguna Joaquin. Luke Leonard of Fresh Water Fish Company released buckets of both at two coves on the lake known to be breeding areas for midge flies.  Rancho Murieta Association Maintenance Manager Rod Hart and RMA Director Larry Shelton, who oversaw the release, explained that the fish are part of an effort to control the insect infestations, improve water quality and add to recreational fishing at the lake. Shelton is the co-chair of the Midge Fly Ad Hoc Committee. Last month the RMA board voted to spend $1,800 to stock the lake, sharing the cost with Murieta Townhouses Inc., which is contributing $1,000. Below are a couple of bluegills.


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