Bucolic Sibley connects people with cows

MONTCLARION: April 8, 2011

Spring is busting out all over. Wildflowers are peaking out behind bushes and tall blades of grass, and calves are romping on the hillsides — albeit never more than a few steps from Mama.

Speaking of cattle, a good place to commune with cows is Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve just off Skyline Boulevard. Beef steaks on parade (as my dad calls them) are all over the hills once you go through the gate and walk several hundred yards to your left.

The calves are so cute right now that hikers are snapping photos with the fuzzy brown babies even as their parents look on. But a word of warning: don’t get between Mama and her little ones. You could find yourself running from a one-ton freight train on hoofs.

ANIMAL WELFARE: Speaking of animals, did you know that half of all pets are overweight? That’s a lot of fat cats and husky hounds, according to Lee Richter with Montclair Vet Hospital’s new Holistic Veterinary Care clinic on Piedmont Avenue (in the old Piedmont Piano showroom). The center uses herbs and other Chinese medicines to treat animals with a variety of afflictions, and they even have pool therapy and exercise. I’ll write more about this next month, after I find out if they’ve had any cats on the underwater treadmill.

EMAIL BAG: On the subject of cats, reader Tao Matthews says she has a little cat grooming service in which she takes care of Tabby’s ears, nails and unruly fur. After 16 years of experience, she must know a lot about the feline disposition, so if Kitty needs a comb-out, her number is 510-228-6693.

NOISE ALERT: Brace yourself for a big boom today. The last structure standing at Oak Knoll Naval Medical Center is being imploded between 10 a.m. and noon. The 11-story hospital was built back in 1968 and its most famous patient, I’m told, was Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. You can see photos of Oak Knoll past and present and sign a petition to erect a memorial on the site at the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital Facebook page.

AROUND TOWN: After 33 years, there’s a new owner at Le Bon Bon. Chris Triantopoulos and his wife, Ugyen, have sold the popular Montclair candy shop to Asif Hamid, the owner of Montclair Photo. Chris says he’ll miss the shop, for sure, but it’s time to retire.

“I’m getting up in age,” he says, “and we love going to Europe but it’s always a rush.”

Now the German-born man with the Greek name can spend several months in Europe, instead of just two or three weeks.

GOTCHA!: It may be the best April Fools’ joke I’ve ever played. Dozens of readers called or wrote in to say they were completely fooled by my “retirement” announcement last week. Stop writing light news? I don’t think so. Without the Town Crier, there’s just not enough fluffy stuff.


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