On Friday, September 9th, in the late morning a brush fire ignited at the Heintz Open Space Preserve in east Los Gatos (close to Belgatos Park, the Heritage Grove neighborhood and Surmont area). Jim and I were at home, working at our computers that morning, and our first hint of the problem was the repeated flyovers by low flying airplanes and seemingly omnipresent helicopter nearby. It seemed like another “fire drill” of sorts – except that this time there were several planes plus the helicopter.
Turns out it was a very small fire not so far out of reach from the fire hydrant at the Heritage Grove neighborhood where the trailhead is…just a couple of sitchbacks up the trail.
Jim hiked up there yesterday and took some photos of the burned trail area, which we hope you’ll enjoy.
Here’s a photo of the fire at the switchback. No lightening when this broke out. What caused it – a cigarette?
Finally, here’s what the fire retardant looks like after the fact – orange goo all over the plants and trees which didn’t burn.
So the next time we all gripe about the planes flying over Belwood, let’s be grateful that they practice and that the little fires don’t turn into big ones!
I took these images in the Spring of 2007. You can view more slideshows of Los Gatos and the greater Silicon Valley community by visiting the following link, which goes to the category of my community shows:
Los Gatos and Silicon Valley Community Photo Slideshows by Mary Pope-Handy
Don’t like the weather? Wait a minute or two!
Today change has been the name of the game As I write this post, the sun is shining and the wind is but a small breeze. But a couple of hours ago the hail was pounding down and it lasted for several long minutes.
The first photo is upclose – you can see that the hail is not large, but it did come down with a ferocious, pounding drive. The next image gives a better sense of the quantity – the ground was white with fallen hail!
We live on the far eastern end of Los Gatos in the Belwood area. Not sure if downtown Los Gatos got the same hailstorm. Anyone care to fill me in?
A few days ago, this series of storms caused the Los Gatos Creek to overflow. To read about that, please visit Alastair Dallas’ blog, “All Things Los Gatos“.
Do you like maps? My better half, Jim Handy, is crazy about them. And when he learned that the road just on the other side of the house next door is actually a meridian, he got pretty excited. I think it’s the engineer in him – that beautiful, inner geek – that loves the analysis of it all.
Today’s blog entry, then, is a Guest Post by my map enthusiast (and former volunteer parks commissioner), Jim Handy. This post originally published on LiveInLosGatos.com.
Many think of Harwood Road as the far eastern boundary of Los Gatos, which it nearly is, but there’s much more to this humble road than that. Travel uphill to the top of the road and you can see views of the entire valley and get into beautiful Belgatos Park and Santa Rosa Open Space, but the majority of the street, the straight part of Harwood Road, has the distinction of following the Mount Diablo Meridian.
Back in California’s early days, great tracts of land known as Ranchos or Spanish Land Grants were defined by features that sometimes changed: they might run north to the edge of a creek, east to a tree, south to a boulder, etc. Some of these landmarks could move a bit over time, but when you’re dealing with a tract of thousands of acres, these alterations are very small overall. Continue reading
Paving Belwood – video and post with still photographs
The following video was shot by my husband, Jim Handy:
For the last week or two, road construction crews have been busy in the Belwood of Los Gatos, Surmont and Belgatos neighborhoods (and other parts of east Los Gatos too). We have received notices on our front porch about road closures, paving dates for various roads and when we can and cannot park on the streets.
As the roadwork began, first the manhole covers were reworked. That involved removing the paving immediately adjacent to each one, which was a loud job. Next crosswalks were rubbed out of existence by a noisy grinding machine, bots dots got scraped away, several stretches of sidewalks and driveways were pulverized into large chunks of concrete (seemed onto to happen where the driveway went over the sidewalk for some reason).
See more photos in rest of article Continue reading
Jim and I attended the ceremonies for the Los Gatos Library’s ground breaking, I took some photographs and put them together in a slide show video which I hope you will enjoy!
Today the typically pleasant, normal September weather returned to Los Gatos after several gloomy and unseasonably cold days took hold of us. It was too nice to stay indoors so in the late afternoon, I grabbed the leash and asked our aging black lab, Bella, if she wanted to go for a walk.
She limps now, but moves fast at the sound of food or the promise of a walk. We were out the door quickly.
After a stroll down Bacigalupi Drive, greeting neighbors and other dog walkers and pedestrians, we returned home to a really beautiful site. The moon was just about full and it was almost exactly between two palm trees straight ahead of me.
Getting Bella inside, I grabbed my Canon Power Shot out of my car and brought it outside, only to find the rechargeable batteries had died.
Got new ones off the charger and snapped a few shots. They didn’t look good in the tiny little window of the camera and I was afraid that the impact would be lost. I took about a half dozen shots and then the batteries died again. Grrr. But I got what I needed.
It wasn’t until I uploaded the pics to my computer that I could see if this would work or not. I think it does come across – though still not as breathtaking as when I saw it “live” today.
Here I think the moon looks so much like a ping pong ball suspended between two palmy paddles.
Another beautiful evening here in Los Gatos.
(This post was also inputted into my Live in Los Gatos blog, which can be found online at www.LiveInLosGatos.com)