From 1920 to 1991, The New York Daily News called itself “New York’s Picture Paper” because it used photographs with captions rather than articles to report a disproportionate amount of the news.

In that spirit, this blog will now try out a Point Reyes Station Picture Posting.


While carpenter Charlie Morgan was walking out my cabin’s basement door this morning, he spotted a small gopher snake slithering in. We grabbed it although it pretended it was a rattlesnake, flattening its head into a triangle and shaking its rattle-less tail. (Photo by Charlie Morgan)

The snake didn’t like being picked up and tried to wriggle free, but it didn’t strike. Its mouth was so small it probably couldn’t have even if it had wanted to. In any case, I soon released it.


Seeva Cherms, daughter of Linda Sturdivant of Inverness Park, gave me this sign as a Christmas present two years ago.

As too many roadkills make evident, the possums of West Marin are in particular need of a safe preserve, so I’ve started one.


A continuing problem, however, is the ancient feud between my hill’s possums and raccoons. Tense encounters occur night after night, and I’ve photographed several, such as this confrontation on Sept. 12.


In an effort to end the inter-species unrest, I finally resorted to a two-millennia-old stratagem for keeping unruly masses complaisant. When anti-social disorder broke out again last night, I distracted the raccoon with bread and circuses, “panem et circenses” in the words of the Roman satirist Juvenal, who coined the phrase around 200 AD. The circus in those days was somewhat different, of course, although it did have lions.


Tonight I tried the same ploy with the possum, and it worked until the raccoon came over and stole the bread. Raccoons are like that, even among themselves. I’m tempted to send one in particular to Father Flanagan’s Home for Wayward Raccoons in Kits Town, Nebraska.

Linda-and-BurtonMeanwhile over in Inverness tonight, Linda Petersen, the injured ad manager of The West Marin Citizen, showed up after a Volunteer Fire Department meeting to thank firefighter Burton Eubank (right).

Burton was the first rescue worker on the scene when Linda fell asleep at the wheel June 13 near Motel Inverness and hit a utility pole.

Linda suffered 18 broken bones and a punctured lung in the crash.

Burton tonight noted the dispatcher originally said the crash had occurred just west of downtown Inverness not far from Vladimir’s Czechoslovakian Restaurant. As he rushed to the scene from Inverness Park, however, Burton discovered the wreck was actually east of town and radioed other members of the volunteer fire department to let them know.

Linda remembers almost nothing from the wreck, so Burton recounted how he evaluated her condition and what he and other firefighters did to remove her from the car without causing further injuries. As it turned out, Linda had two broken vertebrae, so the precautions were crucial.

Burton obviously hadn’t learned how to do all this in one training session, I quipped. “I’ve been a firefighter 24 years,” he replied, “ever since I was 18.” Burton said that some of the VFD’s traffic-accident calls are grim but responses such as Linda’s help balance that.

And put it on your calendar that a benefit to help pay Linda’s medical bills will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, at Toby’s Feed Barn. There will be entertainment by Johnny and June from El Radio Fantastique, Peter Asmus and Space Debris, and Matt Love’s band (sometimes called the Love Field Allstars). The initial, so to speak, entertainer will be Charlie, the carpenter. Charlie, who’s also a DJ at KWMR, will be MC.

Providing food will be Marin Sun Farms, the Station House Café, Olema Farmhouse, Café Reyes, the Tomales Deli, the Palace Market, the Marshall Store, and Mike and Sally Gale’s Chileno Valley Ranch. In addition, Anastacio Gonzalez will barbecue oysters with his “Famous BBQ Oyster Sauce.” The sauce is now being bottled, with retail sales having begun last July.