ATASCADERO — As the Friends of the Atascadero Lake group headed for a Dec. 19 Board meeting, an update from their secretary, Nancy Hair, found a theme. That was, just how photogenic the Lake has turned out to be heading toward the end of this year.
“From the magnificent bald eagles and ospreys to more than 15 species of ducks, all the egrets and herons, cormorants and now the very beautiful and graceful American white pelicans,” she wrote to members of the group.
While she attached a few of the best photos from social media posts made in the area for folks on the email list to enjoy, they can’t all be shown in these pages. However local photographer Rick Evans does have a dedicated Facebook page titled “Atascadero Lake CA or @AtascaderoLake” with images of a visiting bald eagle for the public to enjoy.
While anyone with the right equipment or time on their hands can take a try at capturing their own lakeside images, another local business has a way to bring the “realtime” majesty of the vista to the desktop.
805Webcams.com, run by Central Coast native and Cal Poly graduate Ryan Erbstoesser, has partnered with Friends of the Lake to run a 24-hour live camera feed.
While he initially approached the City with the concept, there were more qualms about the idea of a government operated or sanctioned surveillance system and the recordkeeping requirements,
Instead, Erbstoesser explained, a board member from Friends of the Lake offered a porch vantage and a spot for the camera to hook up for a nice private view, albeit one shared with anyone on the internet.
“All we really need is a place to mount it and a steady internet connection,” he said, adding that some of the 10 or so scenic view cameras spread across the Central Coast refresh images more often than others depending on internet service. “The interval is about two minutes. The camera out at Santa Margarita Lake is slower because it’s on satellite.”
With his site online for the last five years, he said the company has slowly expanded offerings overlooking places of interest to the public, for their idyllic scenery, wine country activity, or the just to see the weather.
“Some of the cams are more of their own niche,” he explains noting that, while always free to the public, cameras are paid for by someone for a reason. For example cameras on the site’s list overlooking tennis courts are primarily for club members to see what’s open. “We get the bills paid, but I like it to be a public service. You can just take in the views.”
Back in Atascadero, Friends of the Lake are getting set to plan Lake Fest 2019, their primary annual fundraiser. A musical guest is already booked and the event also has a Facebook page “Friends of Atascadero Lake LakeFest 2019.”