Monday, July 15, 2013

Poppycock and Peacocks

Mr. Peacock's mating dance. He left a fuzzy hind feather by the rhubarb.
The 55 and older mobile court I currently live in, until I sell and move further south, has a surprise mascot that I mentioned earlier. A young male peacock has been roosting in some tall Douglas Fir trees and waking up residents with his call at 4 am or earlier or later, in the morning. He has been a bright spot for me, and many of the neighbors, but some don't appreciate his raucous call. I mentioned him in an earlier post.

Lately I watch his mating dance, feathers all displayed, leaving a fluffy small tail feather behind by the rhubarb. I had to run get my camera, put new batteries in it, to get some pictures. I worried that the dance would be over before I could get situated. Out in the yard, I put a full length mirror by a back garden area, by the metal yard art bird that the peacock checks out on a daily basis. I wonder just what he thinks, and if the mating rituals are for Duke the yard bird.

A couple of nights ago, a neighbor told me there were some dead squirrels in the park. This means someone is poisoning them, most likely, which makes me worry about my friend, the Peacock. The management is supposedly trying to scare him away because of some complaints, with lights, and noise, and posting a sign not to feed the Peacock. This is impossible with all the nurturing lonely seniors here, but they are feeding him the same nasty bread they are eating themselves, which can't be good for Mr. Peacock. So, because I feed wild birds, I was at a garden center in Portland looking for a Hops plant and found some organic chicken scratch.

If I shake some of the scratch in a small plastic bag, the Peacock cocks his head, and gets very serious about dinner. He makes his one-note call for food throughout the neighborhood, in the Am and Pm. He comes within a foot of me, as I put the scratch on top of a mole hill that I leveled out, on my lawn. There is water out also, but I don't know if he drinks there or not. I hope he doesn't drink from the pool here.

Along with his varied diet, he has helped himself to blueberries from my bushes, loves to eat tender salad from the green beans and bokchoy plants, squash flowers, pumpkin nibbles and even plucks green peas and tendrils causing the long climbing plant to fall on the ground. I tuck it back up, but it's not that important. Mr. Peacock gets a sacrificial blueberry or two or three on top of his scratch offering, or some fresh garden peas from the pod. He seems to really love the peas. At times I see him in my neighbor's garden foraging under the bird feeder, and I offer him peas, but movement and living in the city apparently has ravaged his nerves (think 4th of July-horrendous for even us, with rubber membrane roofs-not just the noise of illegal fireworks everywhere around us). He'll walk away, and come back and eat them where I've left them.

Poppycock: A friend moved his mother near him, 5 hours away, and asked me to clean the trailer and show it so it will sell soon. A neighbor was parking his car in the driveway, and I asked that he let the fellow know he'll have to find another place. The fellow blocked the driveway the first day, parked in the driveway the next, left his car in the street after ten violating the fire code here (ambulances and fire engines frequent the park), and parked there again on Friday the 12th, despite me asking him nicely to please find somewhere else. If he cleaned up his driveway, he could easily park both cars in it. He lives with his mother in the court. I wondered if he could just move it at 7 in the morning, but it is leaking oil or tranny fluid and I just don't want to clean it up. Since it's inevitable when a new neighbor moves in, he just needs to find another spot or clean his driveway.
Side yard

The last time he did this, after an unasked for park warning of a complaint, I just walked down w/ a friend of mine, took a picture to take care of it later, and went back to fixing the lawn mower on the side of my house, with my friend. This fellow comes down the street with a pencil and paper and asks me for my full name. I ask why. He asks again. Why do you want my full name? "Because you are harassing me, and I'm going to write up a complaint." He proceeds to tell me I think I'm better than anyone else, because I am not going to comply with his request. I try to be patient.

The evening before, I had a visit from another resident who lets his cats roam, against rules, and they are pooping in the garden where I work, across the street, so I asked him to keep them home. I also told him there are people at the park that are so tired of the cat toileting/trespassing problem, they may not take the trapped animals to the Multnomah Co. Humane Society. In fact, Mult. Co was currently refusing to take any more cats. This sets up a sad scenario. I was just the messenger. He later told the fellow I help w/ yardwork something about I was after killing his cats. In the evening, this resident walked across the street w/ one of his cats while I worked in the yard of yet another fellow who can't do it any more, and started talking about Multnomah Co. and other things, ramping up, getting more and more angry. He was hostile, threatening, leaning close to me, and I patiently reached out to try to reason with him, and touched  him lightly on the arm, as I talk with my hands, also.

"You touched me!" he says. I try to tell him I am not his enemy, but his cats are his responsibility. He walks away saying I'm the 'instigator' of reigning in the cats, and I was supposed to move a year ago, and that I'm a 'cat killer'. As I put my tools away and walk back with the resident who carried my weed eater for me, a police car  is visible, and an officer approaches me saying the resident claims I slapped him. Thank God the man I was helping was standing right there, and shows the officer separately in the distance, what happened. "That's not assault, the officer says. That's harassment." ??? This is so stupid and silly, as I was trying to de-escalate the situation, and had no mal intent. "He wants me to arrest you", the officer says. I tell him what went down, and he goes to talk to the upset resident. I go home to drop in bed after I shower off the dirt of the day.

Meanwhile, the man whose yard I mowed, etc. observes the husband and wife that run the Neighborhood Watch monthly meeting, going to the police-calling resident's place with paper and pen, supposedly to write up a complaint. They both are angry with me when I spoke up at the last meeting in July, to defend a woman they had verbally abused, reminding them of respectful, professional treatment in public meetings. So, the man next door to this resident, who was parking in the driveway after the owner asked him not to, coming with a paper and pencil, was not a surprise.

A Personal Injury Attorney would take this case, and make some money, I'm afraid. But, I'd rather spend my energy elsewhere-- somewhere positive. I'm leaving... I can only hope my advocacy work here has helped the neighborhood in some way.

In this Park, there are some houses where obvious drug dealing is going on. The management only evicts certain people who have a drug-using guest, but leaves others. Some of these dealers, for instance soliciting for Oxycontins at $3.50 because they can sell them for $7 while enjoying social time at the pool, go to the Neighborhood Watch meetings. The woman who reported this July 7th incident to the 'management', was upset that I had confronted her son during a drug delivery that day, after I coincidentally heard about another reported illegal sale, telling him he really should find another way to earn money, that everyone is watching him, and prison was inevitable, and his mother needed him. Of course, the large new white Mercedes that slowly ...drove behind my place on Friday, was the rankled supplier, most likely.

The Manager's mode of eviction is having 5 written complaints to get rid of someone, and then if they leave their mobile behind, or can't sell it while paying the $500 monthly space rent, he can take it and strip it. I've watched it happen, and listened to the reports of residents, one buying a shed from the previous manager and his now-manager Stepson, and watching them pocket $100 each.

I've been trying to help leave this place better than I found it, but it takes my precious time, and it's hard to do when many don't appreciate it. I just collated 10 gallons or more in various containers like 5 gallon jugs of oil and water (some didn't have lids and got rain, allowing the floating oil to ooze out on the asphalt), gas and transmission fluid sitting for months by the pool area garbage, gave the maintenance gal a 3x5 card with dates of Hazmat collection 'events', the Metro number and address and hours of operation, $5 for the first 35 gallons and a suggestion to have a collection area that management takes in once a month, without even a thank you. There are sewage lines without caps in empty spaces, ($75-100 fine for each one I've heard) cat poop drying in dirt and dust to waft into the breeze to give people Toxoplasmosis parasites, animals itching and scratching for over a year, empty trailers with price tags of $8500 with mold and sagging ceilings, but the overseeing management in California are just as dysfunctional and passive in response to my certified letter to transfer the liability of safety and public health issues. They have not returned two calls now after my initial call to follow up on my certified letter, unanswered.

Mr. Peacock....moving on.
But I figure, I'm moving on. I am in search of polite neighbors, non-smokers so I can open a window or front door without further respiratory problems, and a new vista.

Questions? Contact us at

No comments: