Sunday, March 27, 2011

Co-op Teaching Kitchen a Warm, Bright Place Exemplifying Excellent “Adaptive Reuse” (22)

Over the recent period, the Davis Food Co-op has significantly upgraded its property at the southwest corner of G and 6th. This change is, to me, a welcome improvement.
     Not least, the “Teaching Kitchen” focus generates traffic and life at that location, especially in the evening.
     Also in the evening, the combination of multiple lighted windows and exterior lighting creates a warm and glowing streetscape.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wind Storm Damage in OND on March 20th (21), by Dennis Dingemans

March is going out like a lion with equinox day winds that reached to 50 mph gusts this morning.  An inventory of downed trees in Old North (around 9am this morning) found the following six photographed worst cases.  One garage was dramatically crushed to the ground and one car got the trunk area crushed.  Lucky near-miss situations abounded.          
Dennis Dingemans
[On April 7, the original photos in this post were replaced with a higher resolution set that enlarge more and show greater detail.]

Three Big Home Upgrade Projects (20)

Amidst news of economic gloom, it is heartening to observe that there are at least three recent and sizable home upgrade projects in the Old North.  Construction dumpsters, porta-potties, and/or heavy construction equipment on B, D, and E streets have made the projects visible and even conspicuous.
   A now-completed project on B St. involved reconstruction of a portion of a wing of a home. The one on D is in the process of excavating for a large basement level.
   The D St. project has featured a “tiny” Bobcat excavator that zips through a small opening under the rear of the house, scoops up dirt, and dashes back through the opening to dump its load in the back yard. The Bobcat driver kindly paused for the snapshot reproduced here. (The excavation hole is to the left in the snapshot.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Camellias, our Region's Flower, in Old North (19), by Dennis Dingemans

7th & C
This year I attended the 87th annual Camellia Show (since 1924) at Sacramento's Memorial Auditorium.  It inspired me to see where Old North grows this beautiful flower.  The photo of the show captures a bit of the seriousness with which our region regards itself as "The Camellia Capital of the USA".
       Old North gardening expert Kay O.--on E Street since the 1950s--has some wonderful red Camellias in her side yard.  She knows that Camellias are a challenge to grow in the Davis soil and water. Careful attention to managing soil acidity is required.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mourning Doves at My Back Yard Feeders (18), by Dennis Dingemans

For the last 8 months I have been serious (from a bird's view: predictably regular) about keeping bird seed in my back yard feeder and also in a small pile in the alley itself. The rewards have been satisfying.
    Blue Jays come every day in modest numbers and smaller birds of various striping are the most common. The real triumph is the regular and numerous appearance of Mourning Doves. I've since my rural Minnesota boyhood loved the distinctive mournful long-song sound and their briefer cooing as well as their impossibly loud flapping of wings when the are frightened and suddenly flush.
     Some doves have been in the yard and the neighborhood for many of the 34 years that I've lived at 645 C Street but seldom is there more than one mating pair and some years there seemed to be just one lonely adult. The adult pairs some years were for a few weeks joined by two or three fledglings. This fall it became clear that there was going to be a big group of Mourning Doves that over-wintered instead of migrating south for the cold season. 

More on 7th St. Cat Puzzles (17)

After posting early last Tuesday on the mystery of open cans of cat food found along 7th Street, later that day I happened onto the ad in the Davis Enterprise that is reproduced here. I called the number and the owner of  the cat “Mina” told me  that she and others had put out the food in a failed effort to lure the cat. So that cat puzzle was now solved.

But Mina was still lost & was thought to be among the cat intruders of 648 C. Alas, further investigation did not find Mina among those cats. So, she is still lost. If you know anything about a cat of Mina’s description, you can call the number at the bottom of the ad.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

7th St. Cat/People Puzzles (16)

In late January a sign reading “NO CAT FOOD!” appeared in the hedge at the northwest corner of 7th and D. It is shown in the accompanying snapshot.
About this same time, a resident of that area of the Old North told me that he had observed open tins of cat food in the 7th & D vicinity.
The sign soon disappeared & I forgot about the matter. But then this week a resident near 7th and D told me she was having a problem of two cats entering her house at night through her cat door--one a skittish creature who ran and the other well-fed and friendly.
She does not like these intrusions and seeks suggestions on stopping them. One commentator has opined: “Use duct tape to seal the cat door. Let the household cat in and out by hand. Sleep in peace.” She would welcome additional suggestions here on the blog.
All of this prompts me to ask: So what’s up with cats--& their relations with people--along 7th Street? 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Old North History Exhibit at the Hattie Weber (15)

Davis Enterprise E-Edition, 3-4-11
Saturday, March 12, the Hattie Weber Museum at 5th & C will open a history exhibit on the Old North’s E-500s face-block.

The exhibit is based on my just-published booklet on people who have lived in the block’s 16 homes over the ten decades since the first house was built in 1919.
Of some 75 mini-biographies in the booklet, nine are featured in the exhibit.
The nine include the inventor of fruit cocktail, the major developer of the factory-farmed chicken,  and the creator of the mass produced strawberry. Another famed resident got Bob Hope to perform in Davis to raise money to build the Davis Senior Center.
The Hattie Weber Museum of Davis is open Wednesday & Saturday 10 to 4. Admission is free.