Friday, October 30, 2009

The Valley of the Moon

Yesterday my wife and I went for a drive out through Sonoma into the Valley of the Moon ... This time of year it is  particularly beautiful...All the Fall colors are painted across the  Vineyards and the weather yesterday was perfect for it...So here are some shots I took for you of  The Beautiful Sonoma valley During the Autumn season...Click on the pictures and they blow up...Enjoy...

Black Crow's and Lawn Damage

Local residents of  The Ygnacio Wood Housing tract are being invaded by Black Crows. Over on San Simeon the problem is getting out of hand...These big birds can rip up an area of beautiful turf in no time...They are apparently looking for Grubs...The way to solve this problem is obviously to kill the grubs .This is something new here in the Concord/W.C./Clayton areas...I have seen Raccoon damage ,Skunk ,Mole ,Vole,Even Turkeys but this Black Crow problem is a noticeably a new threat to the lawns in this particular neighborhood ...Above are the photos I took today on San Simeon...Why this over population of Crows recently ? Is it Climate change ? Because I am sure that Black Crows have always liked eating grubs...So why are we seeing the Crows damaging lawns only recently ? Hmmm..? Does anyone else  have a Crow Problem this fall...?

A Poem By Smokey....

Headed for Destruction ,now black what once was green...Politicians crimes of passion messing up your dreams...Rivers that one day were blue ,toxic wasteland chemical slue...Creatures lie dead upon the shore ,,,Eagles rule the skies no more .....Smokey...                Heres A Link

Mile Long Oil Spill in SF Bay this morning

This is a BREAKING STORY;;;This morning a mile long sheen was reported by a helecopter flying over the Dubai Star...The Dubai Star is in the bay right now and reportedly spilling oil into our Bay... Man The Bay area is getting nailed this week...First the Bay Bridge is falling down and now the Ships floating under it are spilling OIL into our fisheries...Two years ago the Cosco spilled oil into our bay and killed much of our wild life...heres the link to the  Fall 2007 story  The Fall 2007 oil Spill ..Currently  high tide is comming in../.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Getting High,"Blood" Pressure !

The Concord Homeless

I am re-posting this story as it is easy to become hardened to the homeless of Concord by the sights we all see around the Claycord area..I am referring to the 13 Drunkards of Claycord of course ...Those guys have been harassing and loitering for years and years but they do not represent the homeless population in Concord...Though they do not have homes most of them,,,they are something else entirely...No, here is the face of Concord's homeless ...Just a guy trying to stay out of sight as he pushes and drags everything he has in the world up and down a local street here in Concord.   I don't know his story,but I do know that it is important not to forget the less fortunate as we head into the Holiday Season this year..So let's all not  let the 13 Drunkards cloud the Issue ... Homeless people exist here in our city and I do not have a solution to this problem...However Kindness and Generosity to those who actually are genuinely in need goes a long way... Remember , its getting colder at night.....Smokey...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Over Priced and Not That Tasty

Smokey obviously knows a little something about munchies  right?     Ok check this out....I know they sell a lot of donuts but,,, The Donut Shop pictured here in "Smokeys opinion" is over priced and kinda gross...Kings Donut shop on Chestnut  charged me eleven dollars for one dozen regular donuts which I thought was high but was in a hurry so I just took the box and paid it but then when I returned home and shared them with my family I started to realize I  kinda paid a lot for these mediocre donuts  ...These were definitely not anything special , infact they were kinda doey...Soooooo   I am gonna have to give my first two thumbs down ever to  Kings Donuts on Chestnut.....Yuck !

The Smokestack Memorial

I think it was really cool that they made a memorial at the site where the Smokestack was...However today was my first time visiting the site since before the demolition of the Smokestack or the dedication of the memorial... When it all started I could see the crane from Canterbury Village...It bit away from the top of the tower until finally it was gone .I never really gave it a whole lot of thought at the time ...Oh sure there was a little sadness from a far to see it go, but not like I felt today looking out from my car window at what was definitely always there before...Finding only its foundation serving as a reminder of the years past...This memorial of the Cowell Smokestack will at least preserve local history some... But  I gotta say its just not the same  walking through there now....You see as Little Smokey I watched the crossings get built around it...Many of you played in those old fields and meadows as well back then ,building forts and catching lizards or frogs ,,,having all kinds of adventures out in the walnut groves there...In the early 70s the hills between Treat and Ygnacio were one big construction site .What with Turtle creek and The Crossings going in... But that old smoke stack was always there...

The Markham Homesite

 Here is a picture of the very spot where the Markham Home once stood...Ira and Bee Markham lived in a little house nestled inside of  Nature Park ...The home was redwood in color and I believe it had a forest green trim...Much like a house or a cabin you would see in the mountains...The first photo is the home site and the second photo is of the site of the old log foot bridge that is now only the foundation and log posts that stand as a reminder to us who grew up here of the cool bridge that used to be there ...I still would like to see a Memorial where their home was...A monument with maybe a picture of either them or their house on the site where they lived...16 acres of land in this part of town today is no small change...They openly gave all that land to all of us for our kids and our kids kids and so on....What a selfless act of kindness Mr. and Mrs. Markham  showed us all leaving this legacy of theirs for us all to enjoy..Would you have given us 16 acres..I say they need a memorial at their home site....

The Hunting Grounds

You may recall earlier in the month here I wrote about a pair of Red Tailed Hawk siblings that hunt here on the ridge... Well ,much to my surprise this morning I was able to get a few shots of them hunting in the same spot that they have always hunted I guess...The two appeared to me to be the same two brother and sister Hawks that I had seen here at least three years ago...Like I have said in prior postings, The Lime Ridge is home to many creatures as well as man...The Red Tailed Hawk has a good food supply here on the ridge and is always hunting its valleys for rodents...Today was no exception as I watched the pair methodically work their Hunting Grounds...I will continue to monitor these two Local Celebrities and  keep you posted on their adventures in The Lime Ridge....All three pictures were taken this morning and if you click on the middle one you will see what seems to be the female perched atop of the Oak tree...Really cool with the Mountain in the background...

Lime Ridge Resident Killed on Ygnacio

This long time resident of The Lime Ridge Open Space was killed last night by an apparent hit and run... The body was found by "Smokey" this morning. ,,,on the southbound bike lane at the top of Ygnacio Valley rd. .. What a shame to see such a majestic animal like this "Buck" die on a Claycordian roadway...Especialy a Lime Ridge Buck because I haven't seen a whole lot of them in the past few years...If you click on the picture of the Buck you can see where his antlers were broken and snapped off... He obviously took a good hit last night... I bet the car or truck that hit him knows it ...We see lots of Deer around these parts but less and less Bucks like this guy here ,,,he will be missed...Animal control has been alerted......

Topless in Concord ?

On June/29/1973 The Supreme court of California did away with Topless Dancing...This is an interesting piece of Concord history that was sent to me by a reader... If you click on the picture it blows up and you can actually read the article...Under the picture is a credit for the photo to a Kathy Lee of the Times...Indicating that it is an actual picture... Does anyone know where the old PlayGirl Club was located ? I know there was a dirty movie show that was run out of town behind the Presbiterian church but I dont remember the PlayGirl Club...Thanx to Apollo Prudence for this great old picture....Italic

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sugar Plum

Here is another example of great food in down town Concord.The Sugar Plum needs no introduction here in Concord...But in case you've been under a rock like for ever,,, let me tell you they are the stuff down town for breakfast...1815 Colfax St
Concord, CA
(925) 689-1738

Is Live Oak Cemetery Haunted?

I personally dont know of any other Ghost Stories about The Live Oak Cemetery and had not heard this one until today so here it is , as told by a local acount......"QUOTE."...  " WOW, this is some crazy stuff. About 8 years ago I was jogging around the track at Clayton Valley High School. I noticed a lady in a long black dress with white ruffles in front standing on the flat top of a hill across the road. Her dress caught my interest because it looked like something someone would wear along time ago. As I stared at her, she waved at me and I waved back. She then walked over to what I thought was a horse behind a tree. As I left the school, I stopped the janitor and asked if the "house" on the hill was very old. He said there was no house on the hill, only a graveyard. I pointed to where I saw the lady and told him I saw her at that very location. Again he told me that there was no house on the flat of the hill, only an old Cemetary and it's locked up because it's very old and kid's had been messing it up. I told him I also thought I saw a horse with her. He told me that in all the years working at CVHS, he had never seen anybody there let alone someone with a horse. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was dusk and I even remember her hair was up in a bun on the top of her head ".....End Quote...Now to elaborate further ,Local legend has it that Sara Norton was on her way to deliver a baby in Clayton when she died...That baby is buried in The Live Oak Cemetery located at the top of the hill above CVHS...
This quote is from a comment left on in the Mayors Ghost Stories posting

Smokey's One Hundredth Posting

I have been writing Smokeys Mountain for more than a few weeks now... That's right this is my one hundredth posting and I have decided to keep on Bloggin...So once again I am inviting you to send me your pictures of local stuff or any links to stories about local stuff and I will post them here on Smokeys Mountain...So let me just say Thanks to all my readers!!! Keep your cameras ready and send your pictures and or stories to;;;         Thanx again Smokey...

Turtle Creek

Turtle Creek is a Park for Residents.. If you are a resident of Turtle Creek and you don't enjoy this beautiful piece of Concord that is exclusively yours then you are missing out... Turtle Creek is a very nice place...I can remember as a kid watching them build it in the early 1970's...It was a massive construction site with what seemed like endless homes being built everywhere and in the middle of all this construction there was a waterway taking shape into ponds and streams...The waterway eventually became a large green belted park and is a beautiful refuge for local wild life, nestled inside of ,and winding through Turtle Creek...There actually are Turtles and also many other types of life throughout the ponds and creek...There is a main pond out on Turtle Creek Road and as you walk the green belt there are two others...The second is pictured above and is just about the middle of the trail...The third pond pours into the storm drainpipe where it is re-routed under ground pouring out into The Galindo Creek  flowing under Treat blvd. feeding the Cape Cod creek that flows into Concord Nature Park...Turtle Creek Park is a residents only park,,, however its waters are enjoyed by us all as they spill into Galindo and flow through The Concord Nature Park...

A Real White Shark Bigger Than Jaws ;Beach is still OPEN ?

Two large bites were taken out of the 10ft white pointer by another great white, which is believed to be 1.5m longer than the creature that featured in Steven Spielberg's Jaws!!!......Not a local story,,, thank goodness but I was shocked at this one...There is a Shark off the coastline of Queensland Australia that is making waves in the media today after a huge Great White Shark was found with massive bites taken out of it ...Clearly by another larger predator ...Here's the story.....The injured great white was still alive when it was dragged on to a boat near Deadman's Beach off north Stradbroke Island.
"It certainly opened up my eyes. I mean the shark that was caught is a substantial shark in itself," Jeff Krause of Queensland Fisheries told the Sydney Daily Telegraph.
Surfers have reacted to the news of the shark attack with shock.
"Whatever attacked and took chunks out of this big shark must be massive," said Ashton Smith, 19. "I've heard about the big one that's lurking out there somewhere.
"We're all being very, very cautious."
Australia is entering summer, a period of the year when shark attacks on humans increase because of the higher number of swimmers in the ocean.
The country's most popular beaches are protected by nets and what are known as drum lines - a series of baited hooks that hang from buoys placed in a line about 500 yards from the shore. However, neither guarantee that sharks cannot get through.
Since the net and drum line program was introduced in Queensland there has been only one fatal attack on a protected beach.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Local Speaks Out On Crime !

Heres a quote from a local guy that I recieved this weekend...His words.... "It's like that cop on Claycord said. They are coming here from Oakland, Richmond, Vallejo etc. and their friends are coming here and killing them and robbing every one and everything that is not tied down. They and their friends are robbing their neighbors the banks and businesses. Shooting and killing each other!
I sat in Burger King parking lot and watched the dopers going back and fourth. What a mess!!! UC is much like Concord. Only they seem to have everything more under control... The drugs the Everything!!! It is a bigger city and has been down this path Concord is going down. I love our CPD and I think they do a superb JOB I just think we could learn some things from the bigger similar cities.They already have the bullet proof glass in the banks. Nothing sitting out to be robbed. The homeless are dressed better than me sometimes. And they don't bother you at all! I spent many many 3 Hr breaks over the past 24 years sitting at the Burger King at Alvardo Niles Rd. and Decoto Rd. Union City and there bouts. And I am really impressed. They have a big patty wagon and the whole bit... Take care"......A Local...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Best Taco Truck In Town

If you ride Bart @ the Concord station on Oakland ave. then you may or may not already know this but the Taco Truck @ the Bart station has really great Tacos and Burrito's...If you have time before or maybe after your train give em a try they are surprisingly good...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

California Has Daily Earthquakes

   Here in California there are Earthquakes that happen every day all around us up and down the state...Many of them are small ,but some are 3.0 or larger...An Interesting site to keep up with all this is the United States Geological  Survey. Here's a link that you can click on to see all the different locations and magnitudes with in the last   Week,,,or Day,, or Hour each is color coded on the map...Any red dots on the map Indicate a Quake within the last hour.The bigger the dot the larger the Quake..To see for yourself Click Here>The USGS . 

Fall Lawn Care

Aeration coresRemoving small soil cores from a lawn reduces compaction, improves rooting and helps control thatch build-up. Core aeration also speeds applications of lime and fertilizer into the root zone.
Lawns in the Claycord area benefit from one or two core aerations per year -- Spring and Fall -- with Fall being the preferred time. Having adequate soil moisture present while aerating will aid in the removal of longer soil cores.Each hole acts as an individual reservoir allowing the roots to receive the water and nutrients into the root zone of the turf ...

Doggie wants to know?

Why does he get upset when I sniff the crotches of his guests. Sorry,
but I haven't quite mastered that firm handshake thing yet.  

Concord Nature Park

The Markham Regional Arboretum (16 acres) is a natural arboretum located at 1202 La Vista Avenue, Concord, California, USA      Ira and "Bee" Markham, the original owners of the property, sold the parcel of land to the city of Concord in 1966. They requested that the area be kept as natural as possible, growing primarily local plants and trees for the area's residents to enjoy.  Concord Nature Park is a completely different place in the Winter than it is in the Summer .The first picture seen here in this posting was taken at the end of the Summer when the Creek is all dried up and the leaves are just beginning to fall... the second picture is  a recent photo of the Galindo creek taken this earlier week when the creek  was full and the recent rain wattered the park well...Ira was an interesting old fellow ,as he used to tend the land and reside in his house on it even after he gave it to the  City of Concord to be used as a public local nature reserve.Today the site where his home was is a bare field .However i can still remember him from my years playing there as a kid and how he gave such a wonderful gift to our city.,,Thanx Mr.Markham ...I feel the City Should put a Monument Where their Home site was...Truly A Great Concord Pioneer...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Still at Large !

Osama Cat Ladin is still at large and is believed to be somewhere in Reno-istan running a Cat house ...

Ever been this tired ?

Working hard this time of year ??? Not as hard as him ...My yard is crawling with these industrious four legged bushy tailed little workers...Man are they busy... Fall is of course the season when they are storing up for winter ..Thanks to one of our readers for the photo...If you have a funny Fall Picture, Send me Your Fall pictures at

Orinda Man Shot guarding Pot

This is yet another example of prohibition crime that would cease to exist with the total legalization of Marijuana...People were being shot over alcohol during prohibition as well but no one is being shot over at the Budweiser plant these days now are they? Nope because it is legal and providing a fat tax revenue for our state ...Anyway here's the story clip from the C.C.Times and the Link to the rest of the story
— A 43-year-old Orinda man who was asked to guard his friend's outdoor medicinal marijuana crop was shot four times Sunday morning by thieves who made off with one the plants, police said.
The man was listed in serious but stable condition at a hospital this afternoon. He had gunshot wounds to his stomach, thigh, shin and arm, police said. His name was not released...  Contra Costa Times

Monday, October 19, 2009

A River Runs Through It

In Canterbury Village there is a small passage of water between Coblestone drive and Cape Cod way known to many as Cape Cod Creek... This was the Concord creek of my youth ...We had a rope tied way up in the Oak tree and the swing ride out over the creek was awesome...My dog and I spent alot of time there... Many kids would be there after school or on a saturday...This same stretch of creek runs under the street at Cape Cod way and flows into Nature park which is also accessible by the trail there at Cape Cod...These two stretches of the creek were completely different places...Growing up there in Canterbury Village your Mom knew the difference between Nature park and The Creek... This little stretch of Canterbury Village where A River Runs Through It   was   The Creek...  Did you grow up here in Concord?    If so which stretch of our many creeks was Your Creek ?

Federal Pot Laws change

(ChattahBox) — The Obama administration is calling off the dogs in the clash of state versus federal marijuana laws. According to the AP, Federal drug agents and prosecutors will be instructed not to pursue pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers in states that allow medical marijuana, under new legal guidelines to be issued today, Monday acco. The forthcoming Justice Department memo represents a change in policy from the Bush administration (who always preferred booze and coke), which said it would enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless of state rules.

Medical marijuana is now legal in 14 states.The guidelines to be issued by the department do, however, make it clear that agents will go after people whose marijuana distribution goes beyond what is permitted under state law or use medical marijuana as a cover for other crimes, the officials said. In addition the new guidelines “urges prosecutors to pursue marijuana cases which involve…selling pot to minors” and other federal crimes, which are not considered illegal under certain state medical marijuana laws.

Michael Vick Plays in Oakland

The Football game between the Oakland Raiders against the Philadelphia Eagles was met with some protesting regarding Michael Vick being allowed to play Football again...Many people turned out holding signs of protest against Vick...There was at one point an air plane that flew over the Oakland Coluseum pulling a sign that read,DOG FIGHTER GO HOME!!!  ...Oakland has been the happy ending for many of the animals rescued from Vick's dogfighting and gambling operation in Virginia. Ten of the dogs in Vick's pit bull collection -- the ones that could be saved and rehabilitated -- found new lives in San Francisco's East Bay, fostered and treated by the group BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls).WoW! Baseball=NO WAY     Boxing=NO WAY   Basketball=NO WAY   I guess the NFL is just different?  your thoughts?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Behind the Barbed Wire

 Hello everyone, Recently I saw a story about a guy who went behind the fences at the Weapons station and took some pictures, The picture I took posted above here actually reminded me of both that story and the title of a book about  The Concord Naval Weapons Station that was recently published as well ...Behind The Barbed Wire...Click on the links for more Concord Naval Weapons Station Pictures 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Which is the Least Popular Park in Concord ?

The Mayor of Claycord once asked us all which of our parks we thought was the best and why? ...It would seem that Baldwin Park over the years has gotten worse and worse ...Many of the  locals in the area there have expressed their thoughts about this... At first I thought to myself  Baldwin is the worst park in Concord...Then it dawned on me that many of you probably have different opinions on which park is The Worst Park In Concord ? So Which one do You think it is ?  and why ? Give me your opinion on which park you think is The Worst Park In Concord ...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fines mount for Pot Dispensary in W.C.

This is an interesting story brought to my attention that is in the Contra Costa Times on the New Medical Marijuana Dispensary in W.C. That recently opened on the 8th of October and is apparently not a welcome addition to the area.Most of you already know Smokeys position on the total legalization of pot to help the state and reduce local crime. But thats another Posting...     Heres a link The Contra Costa Times... Thanks Ian for the story link..

Live Oak Cemetary

The  Live Oak Cemetery is a very very old graveyard...One Hundred and Forty five years old !  It was Donated by Don Salvio Pacheco in 1865 to be used for the families of this Valley...Most of you probably dont know its location as it is now strangely hidden inside a tract of homes much like a famous old movie  ... The old graveyard is up on the hill behind Clayton Valley High School we used to go up there as kids but it is now under lock and key and considered a local Treasure..My sister has a friend named Tina who was actualy  burried in this Cemetery back in the seventies, but they stopped using this Graveyard shortly after that....If you click on the picture of the monument you will see the many names of the Founding families of our Great  City so many years ago...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lime Ridge Walnut Creek

Across the street from the Boundary Oak Golf Course in Walnut Creek is the parking lot for the Lime Ridge Open Space ...This Lime Ridge Open Space is all part of the same Ridge ... I am sure there are a lot of people around here that were not aware of this part of the trail... the trails on this side of the ridge are realy cool on a Mountain Bike or just for a nice walk with the Dog...Lime Ridge is a Very important part of the ecosystem for Concord ,Walnut Creek and Clayton...It is home to many creatures as well as man...The Coyote for instance makes his home all through out the ridge and is seen often by us locals...Often while walking the trail I have seen a Coyote or two... There used to be a pair of  young Hawk siblings that hunted the ridge above the housing tract at Lime Ridge..The pair were said by locals to be brother and sister and that they had seen the mother raise them on the ridge .These are just a couple of examples of the Wildlife here on Lime Ridge...