The Tree Swallows finally returned 45 days later than in all the previous 30 years, but at least they are here.  It makes me feel much better, although I still have this niggling feeling an earthquake or similar natural disaster is going to occur.  Other locals have also expressed the same uneasiness, so it’s not just me.

The Hummingbirds are also back in normal numbers, but they are the migrators and not the Annas that were purported to be year-around residents.  It now appears the local bird experts were wrong, and had the migration not taken place 45 days late, I’d never have figure out what happened.

It now appears that the wintering Annas don’t really stay around all year.  When they up and left abruptly around March 10th, there were no migrating Hummers arriving to take their place as they normally do.  I have to conclude that the Annas actually winter in Southern Oregon, and migrate north in the early Spring to breed.  Since Hummingbirds pretty much all look alike, I never realized until this year that the Hummer migrators from the south arrive about the same time as the Annas leave for the north.  I think if the Hummers were tagged and tracked, my theory would be proved accurate.

One important mention:  If you live in Oregon and own your own home, make damn sure you purchase an earthquake rider for your homeowner’s policy.  The basic homeowner’s policy excludes ground movement and earthquake damage, so if you’ve lived in your home 10 years and you’ve made the down payment, paid your mortgage and made improvements to your home, you will lose it all if a major earthquake destroys your home.  On top of that, you’ll still be liable for the balance of your mortgage!

Earthquake riders are relatively inexpensive in Oregon, so don’t be stupid and roll the dice, because you’ve got way too much to lose if you come up with snake eyes.  The other important thing to remember about an earthquake rider is that the deductible is based upon the total value insured, and not on the claim.  Example:  You have an earthquake rider that has a 15% deductible and the value of your home is $300,000.00.  An earthquake levels your home and it is a total loss.  You must pay the first 15%, or $45,000.00 before the earthquake rider pays a dime.  For that reason, find an insurer that offers a 10% deductible earthquake rider, because in the same scenario, you would have to come up with $30,000.00 instead of the $45,000.00 in the first scenario.

If you have any questions, let me know.


Carl F. Worden

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