Flying through a summer morning

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They're a regular sight, but the beauty never gets old. Balloons passed over the community Sunday morning, slipping through the air that will reach 100 degrees today. They landed near Lake Calero around 8 a.m. Read more » about Flying through a summer morning

Bull rider with feathers and skinny legs

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;Bull and bird

Bill "Birdman" Gengler found an egret that likes hanging out with the bulls and cows.  They're relaxing here along a fence on Jackson Road. Read more » about Bull rider with feathers and skinny legs

Sitting for a family portrait

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Deer Creek Hills hike Saturday

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Come join the Rancho Murieta Rotary on a guided hike of the Deer Creek Hills preserve with Roger and Joanne Brandt this Saturday.  The group will meet at 9 a.m. at the North Gazebo, and then caravan to Deer Creek Hills, which is right next door to Rancho Murieta.

Wear comfortable walking/hiking shoes, sunscreen, hat and bring water and a snack. The hike is expected to finish about noon or 12:30 p.m.  It should be unusually beautiful, with all the wildflowers in bloom.

For information, contact Vicki O'Shaughnessy at 799-2796 or or Roger Brandt at or 354-2346. Read more » about Deer Creek Hills hike Saturday

Of barn owls, beavers and otters

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Barn owls

MysteryBill Gengler, the Birdman of Rancho Murieta, sends a note, some photos and a little mystery.  First, the note: "Marcy Clifton of Rio Blanco sent me this stunning picture of two barn owls that have been living in a tree behind her house.  I asked her if I could send it to, and she said yes.  Maybe we have the Birdwoman of Rancho Murieta."  Marcy, thanks so much.  With photos like that, Bill's right -- he may have competition for the Birdperson of Rancho Murieta. The mystery part has to do with the photo at right, one of Bill's. Bill thinks it's a beaver; we're not sure. Surely, one of you knows. Click to the next page, take a closer look and tell us the answer. Read more » about Of barn owls, beavers and otters

Buzzing over spring in Rancho Murieta

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PhotiniaNeighbor Mel Standart says he's taking up a new hobby, photography (not bee-keeping), and he shares his latest efforts.  In addition to the bee, he got a shot of the photinia that's certainly enjoying this spring in Rancho Murieta.  Thanks to Mel for sharing these. Murietans are a talented bunch, and we're glad to showcase your work. Read more » about Buzzing over spring in Rancho Murieta

Cheep-er by the dozen

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Ducks 1

If you happen to be a duck, there’s nothing like a rainy Monday for some family fun. When Bob and Susan Kurtz saw this duck family bobbing in their pool Monday morning, she called Bill Gengler, the birdman of Rancho Murieta, because “he takes the best pictures, and I thought he’d really like to see them.” Gengler, a regular contributor to, calls this unique local family “just another example of the beauty of your community.” (Photos by Bill Gengler)

First they’d seen the pair of mating mallard ducks in their pool. Next, they’d watch as the female made repeated trips into their yard. She’d fly into the pool, hop up on the waterfall and then disappear under the tree in the secluded area next to the pool. Did she have a nest there? Was she sitting on eggs?  Bob and Susan Kurtz watched from the picture window overlooking the pool and wondered. Read more » about Cheep-er by the dozen

Look whoooooooo's growing up

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Neighbor Bill Gengler, the birdman of Rancho Murieta, has been tracking this nest for years, watching as it was occupied by owl and hawk tenants. Here's his note: "it looks like the owl chicks in the tree by the front gate are growing up and that there are two of them with their mother, who keeps a watchful eye over them. It shouldn't be too much longer when they leave the nest, making room for the hawks to take over. Have an RM day."  Yes, do have an RM day. Read more » about Look whoooooooo's growing up

A popular place to raise a family

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Bird in nestA note and photos from neighbor Bill (Birdman) Gengler: "Attached are two photos taken today.  One is a picture of a mother Horned Owl with her baby chick in a hawk's nest near the front gate.  The other (right) is a picture of the mother Horned Owl and what could easily be a hawk in the same nest.  Most likely it is an owl but you will note that it doesn't have the same fluffy feathers and large head as the baby or the mother as displayed in the other photo. I posted pictures last year of a hawk and her chicks in the same nest and also photos of an owl and her chick in the nest back in 2004.  Just another example of the nature sharing the beauty and wonders of this community. Have a RM day!" Read more » about A popular place to raise a family

A day for rainbows

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Tuesday's late-day mix of sun and rain sprouted multiple rainbows over Rancho Murieta, none prettier than the one captured by neighbor Bill Gengler. Read more » about A day for rainbows


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