Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…

Wherefore art thou, Clyde?


Here I am:

This female kestrel has been in Terry’s aviary for a few weeks for a little R and R after being rescued from being wedged inside a chimney. She had not broken any bones, but needed some weight and rest. She was cleared for release and preparations were made. She had been found in Clyde, California, and needed to be returned to the same area. Now, I have lived in this area more than twenty-two years, but have never heard of Clyde. Turns out it is out near the Navel Weapons Base in Concord and had less that 700 people at the last census. But the interesting thing is (perk-up, Lois), it was built as a company town and designed in 1917 by Bernard Maybeck. If you are at all interested in architecture and live near San Francisco and Berkeley, you know Bernard Maybeck’s work. From the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco to churches and residences in Berkeley, plus buildings on the CAL campus, Maybeck influenced the Arts and Crafts architectural history of California. It seemed like an excellent idea for me to go on the “release of the bird” trip and see if there was anything remaining of the Maybeck town.

The short answer is not much, no hotel, but still a central core of houses that look liked they had been around awhile.

This is the house showing the chimney where the kestrel was found:

Unfortunately, it looks like the chimney might come down if there was a good earthquake jolt. Quite a bend there. Some of the other houses looked like they came from the time:

Nice roof line with more modern additions like metal windows. That first floor front area might have been filled in at some point after it was built. But this one looks almost original:

And a community center:

The bus stops were quite nice-but on to the matter at hand.

A nice cut in the road offered access to nearby trees so the kestrel carrier was removed from the car and the bird readied for the big moment. (Please bear in mind that I do not have a large enough camera with long enough lense to capture flying birds, so what ever pictures I take are when they are confined in the aviary or being held and even then they are moving so fast that my focus mostly can’t keep up with them). Some shots:

After one last shriek, she was gone. She was known as fiesty by the staff of the Lindsay Wildlife Hospital) and we came home with a little tug in our hearts because a release and a chance for survival always rededicates us to the effort. Now we know where Clyde is.

Author: loisreynoldsmead


2 thoughts on “Wherefore art thou, Clyde?

  1. you have some really cool photos here

  2. Thanks, it was a nice little town.

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