MEHER MOUNT

9902 Sulphur Mountain Road
Ojai, CA 93023-9375

Phone: 805-640-0000
Email: info@mehermount.org

HOURS

Wednesday-Sunday: Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Monday & Tuesday: Closed

MANAGER/CARETAKERS

Buzz & Ginger Glasky

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sam Ervin, Preident
Ron Holsey, Vice President
Ursula Reinhart, Treasurer
Jim Whitson, Director
Richard Mannis, Director

OFFICERS

Margaret Magnus, Secretary

9902 Sulphur Mountain Rd
Ojai, CA, 93023
United States

(805) 640-0000

Story Blog

Anecdotes, activities and stories about Meher Mount - past, present and future.

Filtering by Category: Nature

"I've never seen this happen..." - Ojai Raptor Center

Cassandra Bramucci

When representatives from the Ojai Raptor Center (ORC) arrived at Meher Mount on August 15, 2019, to release an American Kestrel and a Red-Tailed Hawk, Jaclyn DeSantis, wildlife rehabilitator and ORC supervisor, warned all of us to have our cameras ready.

Her 11 years of experience in doing bird releases taught her that these gorgeous creatures take their chance at freedom very seriously. “This will be over in ten seconds once I open the box,” she said, “so don’t anybody blink.”

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The Two-Year Saga of Finding Caretakers

Margaret Magnus

The two-year, world-wide search for on-site, residential Manager/Caretakers at Meher Mount is – in hindsight – a clear example of who, when and what happening in Meher Baba’s time.

Recruitment for volunteer caretakers started in August 2017, and it wasn’t until the last days of June 2019 that new caretakers Ellen Kwiatkowski and Eric Carlson were settled in at Meher Mount.

In hindsight, it seems obvious why no new caretakers were at Meher Mount at the time Buzz and Ginger Glasky were leaving. They would have been homeless. There was some smoke damage, no heating/cooling, no power and no water in the Caretaker Quarters, thus, making it temporarily uninhabitable.

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The Birds Are Ready - Their Songs Fill the Air

Cassandra Bramucci

Just after dawn this morning – as with most mornings – three or four California quail coveys drink at the pond, followed by hordes of Dark-Eyed Juncos, three different species of Goldfinch, and several Spotted Towhees. All are gathered for their morning ablutions and chatter fest.

This morning there is a special guest among the avian visitors. As a cool mist envelops the top of Sulphur Mountain, there is a rarely seen Hooded Oriole, the latest addition to the Meher Mount bird family. He repeatedly makes his appearance at the Hummingbird feeders to the delight of onlookers. The Oriole balances precariously on the feeder rim while sipping the sweet nectar with his long slender beak.

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The Spring 'Super Bloom' Graces Meher Mount

Margaret Magnus

The Spring 2019 “super bloom” that is sweeping California following the generous winter rains is also gracing Meher Mount. Its appearance isn’t the massive and concentrated flowering of the desert blooms. Rather, it is the variety of wildflowers at Meher Mount that often appear only after abundant rains and sometimes specifically after a fire, such as the December 2017 Thomas Fire.

You might also say Meher Mount and the surrounding area are experiencing a “super green.” The emerald-hued rolling hills, steep mountainsides and valleys are a deep green, particularly in stark contrast to the ash-covered hillsides of 15 months earlier.

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For the Birds: The Pacific Flyway

Margaret Magnus

During their annual migration, more than 300 species of birds are estimated to use the Pacific Flyway as their connection between the Arctic and South America, according to NASA Science. The flyway stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean and includes all of California.

Every year, millions of migratory birds head south, then north, using the 4,000-mile-long and, in places, the 1,000-mile-wide route known in search of places to breed, feed, and spend the winter.

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"Let's Hope the Birds Move in Soon!"

Margaret Magnus

When the Ojai Raptor Center sent out an email after the December 2017 Thomas Fire encouraging landowners to install perches and box homes to support the raptor population in the area, Meher Mount responded.

The center said the fire had destroyed raptor (eagle, hawk, falcon, owl) habitat in the area, and putting up boxes and perches was one way to help the recovery of these birds.

Meher Mount was also motivated to install the boxes to create a natural form of rodent control. A simple walk to Baba’s Tree and Avatar’s Point demonstrates the abundance of small rodents (such as gophers, voles, and mice) at Meher Mount. The ground is pock-marked with their holes.

By helping raptors thrive, Meher Mount is helping to keep the predator-prey balance in the ecosystem. The Ojai Raptor Center calls raptors and owls “free, natural and abundant rodent control!”

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What To Do with the Eucalyptus Trees?

Margaret Magnus

On December 4, 2017, the Thomas Fire struck Meher Mount burning the stand of 16 eucalyptus trees by Baba’s Fireplace and the Visitor Center along with the large eucalyptus by the pathway to Baba's Tree. 

In assessing the fire damage and the future fire threats to Meher Mount, the question was put before the board, “What to do with the eucalyptus trees?” 

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Baba's Tree Survival Plan

Margaret Magnus

When setting up the first meeting with ISA® Certified Arborist Michael Inaba to make a preliminary assessment of a "special large oak" at Meher Mount, he asked, “Does that special tree have a name?” Margaret Magnus smiled to herself and said, “Yes, Baba’s Tree.” Then she asked why he had asked.

Inaba said he had had dinner soon after the fire with some people who live on Sulphur Mountain. They were recounting the fire damage in the area and mentioned the tree. He later referred to Baba’s Tree as a landmark tree.

On January 5, 2018, Meher Mount met with Inaba to evaluate Baba's Tree and to start drawing up a survival and regeneration plan. 

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Baba's Tree in Seclusion

Eric Turk

During His Advent, Meher Baba very often would go into a self-imposed, confined seclusion for extended periods of time to do His inner work. 

Meher Baba disclosed that he did His “Universal Work” at these times — work not for His own sake as He, suffering for all as God in human form, had nothing to gain — but for the spiritual advancement of all of creation.

Now, the Coast Live Oak at Meher Mount that Meher Baba sat under alone in 1956 and known as Baba’s Tree is in seclusion.

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Fire Burns Baba's Tree - Twice

Sam L. Ervin

Fire has been a visitor to Baba’s Tree and to Meher Mount more than once. The Thomas Fire shattered the tree’s crown and much of the trunk on December 4, 2017.

On October 14, 1985, fire ravaged and destroyed nearly all Meher Mount. A month after the New Life Fire, Baba’s Tree looked dead. It was black, leafless, and terribly scarred. The main trunk was hollowed out and black inside. Limbs over 30 feet in the air had burned. The great limb above Meher Baba’s seat had burned nearly through by the trunk with its furthermost branches fallen to the earth.

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Now for the First Time, I Visit Meher Mount

Renate Moritz

My own travels have taken me to places Avatar Meher Baba visited in Europe, Australia, South Carolina, and India. Now for the first time, I visit Meher Mount in Ojai, CA. I adore it.

Always loaded with spiritual expectations, we get stripped there. All what one might envisage of a spiritual center was not there: no discourses, no meditation sessions, no designated prayer spots, no singing.

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Amartithi Brings Rain, Wind and Dramatic Skies

Margaret Magnus

El Niño never brought the much needed rain to southern California this past year – except on Amartithi.

Amartithi – or eternal date – is the anniversary of the day on which Avatar Meher Baba dropped His physical form in 1969.

El Niño is the warming of the ocean’s surface in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean which changes the rainfall pattern. In southern California, it usually means more rainfall than normal.

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For the Birds: Backyard Bird Feeding Month

Margaret Magnus

February is National Bird-Feeding Month and includes the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. These events are highlighted because when Avatar Meher Baba visited Meher Mount in 1956, He said, "Now, go out and see the view and try to love Baba through nature. This is all due to my love. This whole creation, this nature, all the beauty you see, all came out of me."

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Fire Prevention Improves Walking Trails

Margaret Magnus

Every year since Meher Mount’s founding in 1946, volunteers are tasked with making sure that brush is cleared away from all buildings to help protect Meher Mount and the environment from the threat of wildfires.

In May 2015, there was an extra effort to make the meadow – the Prasad Orchard – below Avatar’s Point more accessible to mowing equipment.

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What Meher Mount Means to Me

Robert Turnage

Meher Mount is important to me because of its long association with Avatar Meher Baba. That Meher Baba blessed Meher Mount with His visit in 1956 has profound significance for me.

What makes Meher Mount extra special are its natural qualities and beautiful setting – something increasingly rare and precious in Southern California.

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The Topa Topa Patio Takes Advantage of the Views

Margaret Magnus

The idea for the patio first came about when the Board was planning for the Workshop. An early concept called for a workshop/garage built into the side of the hill with a rooftop patio in view of the Bluffs.

That concept proved to be too expensive, but the idea of a patio with a view of the mountains stuck.

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