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Glen Ellen Telegram

A roundup of wild times in the park, on the homefront, and in the saloon
Glen Ellen Telegram
Oz Robledo holding a gopher snake (not a rattlesnake) that Emily Robledo encountered in their backyard in Glen Ellen. Gopher snakes are not harmful to humans, but if you’re a mouse or gopher, watch out.Photo by Emily Robledo


By Em and Oz Robledo

Do you ever get a little song stuck in your head from childhood that seems relevant to your current life? I find myself hearing “People in Your Neighborhood,” from Sesame Street, often since moving to Glen Ellen. Whether it’s your best friend who works at the winery at the end of the street or the lovely couple with the same name at the French patisserie, these are the people in our neighborhood.

One of the beautiful things about living in Glen Ellen is knowing that, in a sense, Jack London is our neighbor. It’s one of the first places my husband took me when I moved to Sonoma Valley almost 17 years ago. Whether you are a new resident or a long-time local, now is the time to get reacquainted with our neighbor.

Jack London State Historic Park will host its first-ever Call of the Wild Weekend on May 14 and 15. This is a free, two-day, community open house that features free park admission, a daily drawing to win an annual pass to the park, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony (Saturday) marking the reopening of Vineyard Trail, followed by a guided hike. The weekend is very full of special events. Up-to-date details with a daily timeline can be found on the park’s website:

Speaking of “the Wild,” an important part of living in Glen Ellen is knowing about the wildlife. Whether it shows up in your backyard or you encounter a creature on the path at the Sonoma Valley Regional Park, staying calm and knowing what to do in a situation is important. Even though I spent almost seven years working in the animal welfare industry, I struggle with being comfortable around snakes. No matter how domesticated or unharmful they are to people, I have long said, “I will advocate for them, but I will not hold them.” It was during the April Glen Ellen Forum meeting that I heard a presentation by Roy Blodgett of Rattlesnake Relations.

During the presentation he mentioned that he not only does rattlesnake removal, but a property consultation. Considering my lifelong fear of snakes and our recent move, we had Roy come over for a property consultation. He calmly walked through the property with us, pointed out potential locations for rattlesnake sightings or condos (hey, cool rock wall, I am talking about you!). When he left, I actually felt better and empowered with the knowledge I now have. Bonus points for fielding numerous questions from our curious six-year-old.

Less than 24 hours later, feeling empowered with my new knowledge of what to do if I encountered a rattlesnake … I rounded the corner of our house with my toddler a few steps behind only to encounter a long, slithering thing making its way across the warm gravel that surrounds our house. I promptly screamed and ran full-speed past my husband, leaving my children to fend for themselves. After a few deep breaths, I returned a few minutes later, at a great distance, to see that my husband has befriended this gopher snake (after he confirmed the identification with a quick text to our new friend, Roy).

I suppose I am going to have to get more comfortable with encountering these beings. In the meantime, I’m just happy to have Roy in the contacts on my phone. You can learn more on his website:

Finally, here are a few more opportunities to connect with the people in our neighborhood.

Jack London Saloon hosts Thursday Night Music from 5:30 to 7:30. This month’s lineup looks A-MAY-zing! Take in the sweet sounds of Transcendence Theatre Company Presents: Colin McAdoo & Meggie Cansler Ness, on Thursday, May 5. Get into trouble with Ain’t Misbehavin’ on Thursday, May 12. Jaydub & Dino will perform on Thursday, May 19. Take a deep breath with Solid Air on Thursday, May 26.

Glen Ellen resident Linda Dodwell is releasing her new book, The Road Taken: Men, Motorcycles and Me. Readers’ Books in downtown Sonoma has arranged an author’s event on Sunday, May 29, at 2 p.m. Linda’s book is a coming-of-age memoir in which a woman discovers her independence on the wheels of a motorcycle traveling the world, and competing in the Peking to Paris car rally. She also draws upon her training as an artist to create an Australian homestead for herself in Sonoma. Sounds like a great read!