From April 16

Highlights from the April 16 meetings of the YLOA and YSPUC boards of directors:

General Manager Jonathan Penrose told the YSPUC board that today, Wednesday, April 17, aerobics inspectors/meter readers accompanied by YLP Security officers will be delivering 48-hour disconnect notices to 150 homes in YLP where bills are seriously in arrears.

The YLOA board voted to:

• Starting with the 2019-2020 fiscal year (in July), change the YLOA and YSPUC monthly board meetings to the last Tuesday of each month, so that the month’s financial information can be prepared in time for directors to review it.

• Adopt General Manager Jonathan Penrose’s five-year Fix Our Stuff plan to use reserve funds to catch up on much-needed maintenance and repair of facilities and amenities.

• Approve 2019 swimming pool fees of $25 per household, with a second pass for $10. Those with smartphones will be able to download and use a special app for digital entry to the pool. Those who don’t have smartphones will need to make an additional one-time purchase of a digital fob for $50. GM Penrose said the pool is now set to open Memorial Day weekend and close on Labor Day, and be operating from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. More details will be given out in coming weeks.

• Approve spending no more than $10,000 for new swimming pool covers to replace the current covers which are in poor condition and dangerous to use. Funds will come from the reserve account.

The Environmental Control Committee noted that a number of YLP home septic systems have been repeatedly warned by YLOA and Madera County for not complying with upkeep requirements. ECC Chairman Tom Swire explained that after a sixth letter is sent to a noncompliant homeowner, a disciplinary hearing is set. He noted that the committee is reviewing its long-neglected schedule of fines with an eye toward bringing them up to date.

Volunteers are being sought in YLP for two projects:

• To help with construction of a large pavilion/gazebo at the clubhouse to enclose the new pizza oven and prep area. Especially needed are people skilled at woodworking and carpentry, although most of the structure is in kit form. Contact Director Ken Sartain at 650-465-5534 or ylpkensartain@gmail.com.

• To help with construction of a new temporary roof on the existing frame for the Equestrian Center horse stalls. The current roof is in bad shape and won’t last another season. The center is doing well, all stalls are currently full and events are regularly planned. If you’d like to help, call the YLOA office at 658-7466.

New phone numbers for YLOA and YSPUC will go into effect June 1. A list of those numbers will be made available in Friday’s YLP Life email newsletter. Calls made to the existing numbers will direct callers to the new numbers. An exhaustive effort was made to keep the existing numbers held by Sierra Tel but without success. Meanwhile, YLOA is moving to fix a long-troubled phone system.

A more detailed report from the meetings, along with links to the complete General Manager’s reports for YLOA and YSPUC, will appear in this Friday’s YLP Voice email newsletter. Sign up at yosemitelakespark.org to receive it every Friday.

Snake bite & horses

Unfortunately it’s the time of year when we start to see snakes out and about.  I found an informative article from Equus Magazine that talks about what to do if your horse does get bit by a snake.  Though it is rare, it can happen and we horse owners should be prepared just in case. Here’s an important resource for horse owners from Equus Magazine:

The risk of your horse being bitten by a snake is low, but if it does happen, quick thinking on your part and prompt veterinary care are keys to a successful and uncomplicated recovery.

A Bird Walk success

YLP’s many feathered friends did not disappoint, as a group led by an Audubon Society official took a Bird Walk on Tuesday, April 9 around Blue Heron Lake. YLP resident Debbie Shaw arranged for Robert Snow, president of the Fresno Audubon Society, to lead the excursion. Following is her email exchange with Snow after the walk. We appreciate and thank her for sharing!

Here is Robert Snow’s email he sent after our bird walk this morning . There were around 30 people who showed up. It was a beautiful morning with interesting facts about our feathered friends. He admired our big slash piles along the lake, stating they are useful wildlife habitat.Thank you for posting his email. I think our residence will enjoy the names of the birds we saw today.

Debbie Shaw

Hi Debbie,

I’m glad your group enjoyed it. I especially liked having the children there. And thank you for raising $109 for our education program. We’ll use this towards our fountain purchase for the River Center bird garden.

Here’s today’s checklist. There were more species (24) than it seemed as we were walking.

30250 Yosemite Springs Pkwy, Coarsegold US-CA (37.1866,-119.7701), Madera, California, US
Apr 9, 2019 7:57 AM – 9:55 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.367 mile(s)
Comments:     Clear, moderate wind, 55° to 61°.   Fresno Audubon Society led Yosemite Lakes walk.
24 species

Canada Goose  20
Mallard  4
Eurasian Collared-Dove  1
Mourning Dove  2
Anna’s Hummingbird  3
American Coot  25
Killdeer  2
Turkey Vulture  12
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  4
Acorn Woodpecker  5
Black Phoebe  3
Common Raven  15
Tree Swallow  20
Violet-green Swallow  4
Barn Swallow  1
Oak Titmouse  2
Bushtit  4
American Robin  1
European Starling  8
White-crowned Sparrow (Gambel’s)  3
Great-tailed Grackle  10
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)  2
House Sparrow  1

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S54754726

Return of the swallows

Spring is in the air. How do we know? Cliff swallows have returned to Yosemite Lakes, just like they do each spring at the Mission San Juan Capistrano in Southern California.

Cliff swallows nest in colonies, building cone-shaped mud nests under bridges and building eaves. To see them, walk along Blue Heron Trail to Corral Drive. As the weather warms up, hundreds stream out of the culvert like Star Wars fighter pilots and fan out into the air over the lake. Changing directions erratically, they twist and turn in unison as they follow the invisible path of flying insects they eagerly devour. Stop awhile, enjoy the display.

Violet-green swallows also make Yosemite Lakes their seasonal home. These gorgeous birds nest in tree cavities, perhaps even in one formerly occupied by an acorn woodpecker. They boast a luminescent cape of green and purple feathers. Their sleek little bodies measure only about 5” in length from tiny beak to tail tip; notably, long, pointed wings extend beyond the length of their short tail.

The male, with its bright white face and cheeks, has a head that resembles a golf ball resting on chunky shoulders. With its back turned towards you, that head can turn 180 degrees and stare you down with bulging, over-sized eyes. Unlike the aways-in-motion cliff swallows, violet-greens will rest a spell on a branch or wire, grooming themselves or just enjoying the warm sun. I’ve found a small group along Revis Way.

Keep birding….
Robert Groos

Previous posts:

Acorn Woodpecker Feb 22, 2019

Oak Titmouse March 15, 2019

Foul fiddleneck

Our committee chair, Sarah Jackson, brought to my attention some toxic weeds that we had growing at the Equestrian Center.  She also shared this post with me that she found on Facebook that explains why it is toxic and what signs to look for if you horse does ingest it.
The post was generated by a highly acclaimed large animal veterinary practice located in the Santa Barbara area, Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center.
I have included the link below — but in case you don’t have Facebook I included the contents of the post as well.

Spring has sprung and so has fiddleneck (also know as tarweed or yellow bur weed.)

Fiddleneck is a flowering plant that is extremely poisonous to your horses.

Dr. Lisa Teske has recently seen the plant at three separate appointments here in our area. Small amounts of fiddleneck, if eaten, may cause serious damage to a horse’s liver and in some cases complete liver failure, which is very difficult to treat.

Symptoms of ingestion of fiddleneck include depression, diarrhea, weight loss, skin changes and discoloration, swelling of the legs, etc.

Contact your veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms in your horse and please be on guard this season. While the blooms we see all around us certainly are enjoyable, in some cases they may be deadly for horses.

Check out https://csuvth.colostate.edu/poisonous_plants/Plants/Search for more information about the plants that may be dangerous for your four legged friends.