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There’s been quite a bit to report these last few days, ranging from a camera crew spending a day at Mitchell cabin to having a clutch of baby swallows fledge shortly before their mud nest fell off a cabin wall and shattered on our deck.

Preparing for a podcast interview, gaffer Arthur Aravena (left) and cameraman Jake Futernick set up lights in Mitchell cabin’s loft. (Photo by Lynn Axelrod Mitchell)

On Saturday, a crew from Pegalopictures in Los Angeles showed up to interview me about The Point Reyes Light’s investigation of Synanon. That probe occurred back in the 1970s when I edited and published the newspaper.

Synanon, which was founded as a drug-rehab program, evolved into a violent cult. Among its various crimes, Synanon tried to murder Los Angeles attorney Paul Morantz by hiding a rattlesnake in his mailbox. The snake’s bite almost killed him and prompted law enforcement to belatedly pay attention to the group, which was then headquartered in Marshall.

Pegalopictures’ podcast will air in coming months. Podcasts (digital files for the Internet) can be called up on YouTube at any time. Less than a day after my interview, Pegalopictures began promoting it (above) as on their horizon.


Fuzzy Slippers in Sausalito — Before the pandemic, I used to go the No Name Bar every Friday night with architect Jon Fernandez to listen to live jazz featuring the Michael Aragon Quartet. This past week, the bar resumed its musical performances. Aragon, the drummer has now retired but showed up Saturday with the band Fuzzy Slippers. From left: KC Filson, keyboard; Rob Fordyce, guitar, singer, and band leader; Michael Aragon, drums; Luis Carbone, congo drums.


Cliff swallows, as I’ve been reporting, built a nest in the eaves over our kitchen last month. They do it almost every year. Because the nests are made of mud stuck to the wood, they sometimes fall off and shatter.

A cliff swallow flies away from its nest Saturday.


A chick in the nest waits with a gaping mouth to be fed.

The disaster of cliff swallows is evident on our deck.

We found the smashed remains of the nest on Tuesday, a day after the three chicks in the nest fledged. Along with their droppings soiling the deck below them, their mud nest lined with grass left us with quite a mess to clean up. Even so, it had been fun having the swallows around.