November 27 (1980, 2001)
Plumbing Trials and Tribulations ~ Waterfall with Raptor

11/27/80 Before dawn… Ah, poor, poor me! Since I returned to Moody Ridge from Pescadero I've been working like a dog on this bathroom. And the walls are up. The door is hung. Window is in. Sheetrock on walls. Tank installed on its platform, with severest difficulty. Pipe connects all together. Finally the moment arrived yesterday when the gate valve could be opened to fill the system. And the goddamn hot lead out of the tank leaks. Out of a street elbow. So I hacksaw the pipe in two, & make my third trip to Colfax of the day to get the long piece threaded & buy a union & some nipples. Get back, put all back together in the last light of day ~ still leaks. Oh! What frustration. Over a week ago I had my last shower. As a sort of a little game I vowed not to take another shower until I had my own working. Now today is Thanksgiving and I don't have a street elbow to replace the bad one. So when will I ever get clean? I'm filthy as can be from crawling all over underneath the cabin hooking up oily pipes. And I can't turn my water back on or run my woodstove until I've got it fixed. Cost so far: $921.00. And I need a shower curtain.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

Waterfall with raptor
(white in the upper left, enlarged below)
Canyon Creek, 11/27/01
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 17:12:04 -0800
To: North_Fork_Trails
From: Russell Towle
Subject: Canyon Creek

Hi all,

Today a friend from Austria, Ed Stadum, joined me for a hike down to the North Fork American on the Canyon Creek Trail. It was a lovely day, brisk and cool and clear, but once we crossed the creek and got amongst the sunny cliffs, it was positively warm. The river was sparkling crystal and has more flow than a few weeks ago.

We saw a large raptor cruising the Canyon Creek gorge below the Terraces, and on our way back up from the river, surprised it in a thicket of live oak beside the trail. It may have been a red-tail, certainly some species of buteo-like hawk. It flew across the canyon to a perch above a waterfall. I wished for a longer lens.


Russell Towle

Buteos and Buteo-like Hawks

“Large, thickset hawks, with broad wings and wide, round tail. Many buteos habitually soar high in wide circles. Much variation; sexes similar, females slightly larger. Young birds usually streaked below. Dark morphs often occur. Food: Small mammals, sometimes small birds, reptiles, grasshoppers.”

—Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America, by Roger Tory Peterson

More about Buteos and a list of North American varieties may be found here:

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