odd time signatures

Home Sweet Home – Community Challenge Week 2

Home Sweet Home - Community Challenge #2
I swore I’d be creative and do photos of other places – this place has been photographed so often, after all. But tonight was so clear, the sky so pure, the reflections so perfect, the moon just right, the stars easily visible because of the clear sky just before the onslaught of Santa Ana winds we’re expecting to start tonight, that I couldn’t resist.

This is where I live in Camarillo — Lakeside Village. Originally started in the early 70’s, the west side homes (what I’m facing), were finished in 1977 after two separate foreclosures and three developers. It had been planned to be a retirement community similar to Leisure Village, but between its conception and its completion, fair housing laws rendered that plan impossible. The east side, where I live, was completed last, and by then the decision was made to build the townhomes slightly up and back from the lake, so our side doesn’t have the lovely patios abutting the lake, but we do have an amazing view. Plus, the east side townhomes are twice the size of those on the other side, as is typical of just-off-the-shore developments as opposed to the ‘prime shoreline’ developments.

Some facts about Lakeside: The lake water comes from a well that has been on the property since the very early days when Camarillo was still mostly fields and orchards. We have an oak tree that is 150+ years old (it’s just to your right in this picture), and the lake is a self-sustaining ecosystem that serves as a waystation for migrating shore birds. Balance in the lake is maintained through the use of algae and aeration. When there is the possibility of flooding, the lake serves to collect runoff. When the weather is dry, the well replenishes the water and maintains adequate levels for the wildlife to thrive.

Our bird population is always rotating, forever interesting. Right now we have buffleheads, lesser scaups, great white egrets, a shy green heron, double-breasted cormorants, and a pair of great blue herons. Some return year after year to nest, like the great blue herons. Others come for a week or two on their way to other places, like the buffleheads and scaups. We always have a healthy population of ducks and one gaggle of eight Canadian geese who came to visit one year and decided to stay. The geese are mean and aggressive, but the shore birds have seen worse and keep them in line. In the spring, little clusters of fluffy baby ducks appear, but only the most hardy of the bunch survive the local cats and other predators. Red-tail hawks visit occasionally, stopping for a drink and a look around before the local cadre of crows chases them off like the predators that they are.

The lake is a source of never-ending peace and interest for me. I have lived here 14 years, but there’s always something new to see or some new view I haven’t quite seen before. Tonight I was seduced by the green light reflection juxtaposed against the red chinese lanterns reflecting from the window in the home on the center right. That, and the moon and stars so neatly positioned to give just enough light to illuminate the mirror beneath them.

Join the 2008 Photo Challenge — Photograph your community. The details are at Photochallenge.org.

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