A great neighbor and Long-time LF1 Resident Passes Away

Long-time Lakewood Forest 1 community member, Mary Van Liew, passed away on July 28th. Mary lived in retirement at 200 Doe Valley until she needed to move to assisted living in Windchime five years ago. Lakewood Forest 1 residents can remember seeing Mary faithfully walking her black poodle, Dandy, every morning through the neighborhood. She will always be remembered by the LF1 community as a great neighbor and the most kind and gracious person you could ever hope to meet. A memorial service is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 7 at 1pm in the dining room of Windchime. A copy of her life legacy follows:


Mary M. (Birdsall) Van Liew, 97, of Kingsland, Texas passed away, July 28, 2017. She was born to J. Frank and Brittie (Alton) Birdsall on September 20, 1919 in Croswell. Michigan. She spent her school years with her family living in Holcomb, New York.

Mrs. Van Liew married D Van Liew on May 19, 1943. Mary served as Personnel Director of the Neiman Marcus Store in Houston and in Dallas, Texas. She was a graduate of the University of Houston. Mary with husband, D operated a seashell business after retirement. They both were very active in the Kingsland House of Arts and Crafts.

Survivors include several nieces and nephews and many dear friends and neighbors.

She was predeceased by her husband D, mother and father, sister, Donna, brothers, Paul W., J. Frank, Jr. and Lamont.

Appreciation and thanks to the staffs at Windchime, Altus Hospice and Visiting Angels for the exceptional care given to Mary.

A memorial service will be held in Kingsland, Texas in September. Memorial contributions may be made to Susan G. Kormen, Dept. 41831l, P. O. 650309, Dallas, Texas 75265 or St. Jude Childrens’ Hospital, Research Hospital, Box 50, Memphis, Tennessee 38101.

Arrangements are entrusted to Putnam Funeral Home and Crematorium, 145 Texas Avenue, Kingsland, Texas 78639


Lakewood Forest 1 “Adopt-a-Road”

If you haven’t noticed the signs on CR309 yet, the Lakewood Forest 1 HOA has “adopted” CR309 for keeping it clean from trash!

Sue Nielsen got this set up for us with the County, including getting the official signs placed.  The first “Lakewood Forest 1 HOA CR309 Trash Pickup” will be Saturday, April 18th.  Anyone wanting to participate and help with this great community project will meet at Sue and John’s house, 241 Antler Run, at 8 am for donuts and coffee, before heading out to clean up the area from 2900 to the first cattle guard towards Hwy 71.

– Trash bags will be provided.

– Wear your brightest clothing for visibility.

– Bring your own water/beverage and trash-pick-up-sticks if desired (Ace, Home Depot and Lowes sell those 3′ long “Picstix” with a claw on the end).

Please let Sue know at suenielsen24@gmail.com or 512-965-3144 if you are going to help.  Would like to get a donut headcount.

This will be a quarterly event.  So don’t feel to bad if you can’t make it.  It is a service that will always be needed.

The Great Lakewood Forest 1 Google Earth Challange……and the winner is……

The official results are in for the Great Google Earth Challenge and the answers!  And the winner is…….three people!

Based on my calculations, it was 12:02p CDT.  I calculated this based on a website suncalc.net and overlaid there time-based protractor tool on multiple tall objects that I could be sure were perfectly vertical (http://suncalc.net/ ).  There is also a technique using the shadow length to the height of the object and using FindMyShadow.com which I used to corroborate the answer.

I had three answers that were so close to my answer that, given the probable margin of error for each answer including my own, I decided to award to all three people.

  • John Nielsen: 11:46 and 17 seconds
  • Jim Hale: 11:43a and 20 seconds
  • Vicki Moore: 11:00 am CST (which translates to 12:00 Noon CDT)

Two of these answers were based on very detailed logic and analysis, the other I think was a wild guess (but a good one :-).  Vicki’s answer was listed with a time zone of CST (we were on Daylight time beginning March 10) so I gave here credit for a 12 noon CDT answer.  While I wanted some logic for her answer I can only guess that Vicki, having spent her entire life living around her rancher father, just “knows these things” by looking at them 😉

The other two amazing winners were John Nielsen (11:46a and 17 seconds) and Jim Hale (11:43 and 20 seconds).  Jim used one of the other websites that I used to corroborate my official answer, to come up with his.  John Nielsen used AutoCAD and a web tool that computes shadow angles (basically a sundial approach to the problem).

Originally, I was going to award to the one person that was closest to my answer, assuming the “my contest, my rules” theory, but then the thought of getting into an argument with two very analytical people and a rancher’s daughter over my answer being the right one, led me to a much better decision.

That being said, we’ve obviously got some very analytical and observant folks that hang out in Lakewood Forest 1 J

Jim has already indicated his choice of red wine.  John and Vicki can let me know their preference when convenient.

Appeals of these results will be considered, if they are accompanied with beer.


Answers and logic are listed below:

Jim Hale: 11:43a and 20 seconds
“I found ‘Wheresmyshadow’ [sic FindMyShadow] website and pulled long./lat. Off of google earth (exact location of telephone pole).  Then overlayed the google earth plot and the ‘wheresmyshadow’ plot of sun/time.  Interpolated the time and viola.”

John Nielsen: 11:46 and 17 seconds
“Attached is the goggle picture with azimuth lines drawn based on shadow to object casting shadow.  Azimuth calculated (this all being done in autocad). I only used two areas and averaged them I’m sure there are better objects but I’m in a hurry. Then go to


and plug in date and location. Go to the azimuth/time box lower right. Time in 15 minute increments and azimuths in 2-3 degree increments. 3 degrees/15 minutes x 22min 22 seconds of my average azimuth = 1 minute 17 seconds plus 11:45 am at the 126 degree azimuth mark = 11:46 and 17 seconds am. I may not be right but baffle with b*** s*** is my motto, at least today.”

Vicki Moore: 11 am CST

Aaron Richardson: 11:18:49

Linda McMahon (my sister-in-law): 9:45a
“My reasoning for picking the time that i did, was it has to do with the way the way the shadows were facing. You could tell the sun wasn’t overhead and had come up just above the trees so that most of your house was in the sun. The shadow over the roof of your house was facing towards your dock in your back yard.  The shadow off the dock on the left side of your dock (west side) was in the water, and the shadow angle of the trees in the front yard and towards the boat dock in your back yard were all facing left when you looked at the Google Earth picture of your challenge.

This was derived from viewing Chris and Debbie’s house in the picture on Google Earth.”

Heather Smith: 3:56pm


By the way, here is a very manual method to calculate the time of day on which the aerial photo was taken, but it is not easy:

You need to know the height of a nearby object (such as a streetlight pole or a high-tension tower, or a water tower) that is surrounded by flat land.  It must be in the same photo as the one you are considering.


a) Measure the length of its shadow using the Google Earth measurement tool in feet.

b) Calculate the height divided by the length to determine the tangent

c) Use a calculator to take the Inverse Tangent of the number calculated in (b).  This angle is also known as the “solar elevation angle” i.e. the angle of the sun above the horizon at the time the photo was taken.

d) Note the latitude and longitude of the location, or the Zip Code if you already know this from other sources.

e) Note also the date on which the photo was taken, from the lower left of the photo.

f)  Note whether the shadow is pointing to the NE or to the NW.

g)  Go to http://solardat.uoregon.edu/SunChartProgram.html  to create a “Sun Path Chart”.  Enter the Lat/Long or Zip Code location, the date, the time zone and whether you want the time as standard clock time, or “solar time” (where noon is when the sun is exactly south, regardless of what the clock says).  (You may need to print this out, or twist your head to see it correctly, or get a version of Adobe that lets you rotate it 90 degrees on the screen.)

h) At the left side of the sun chart, enter the Solar Elevation angle which was calculated in (c) above.

i) Follow along this line until you cross the sun path.  There will be two possible times at that angle–one for the morning and one for the afternoon.

j) If the shadow was pointing NW (as noted in (f) above), then read the morning time, since the sun was in the southeastern sky.  If the shadow was pointing NE, read the afternoon portion of the chart.

Obviously, in several of the above steps you are taking approximations, so the accuracy of the time reading is similarly approximate.

The Great Lakewood Forest 1 Google Earth Challange!

Something happened this winter/spring when I wasn’t paying attention.  Google Earth updated the satellite photo of our area!  The prior photo was a horrible picture taken on off-chance month the LCRA had dropped Lake LBJ by 5-6 feet.  When friends and family would look at our area, I would get comments like, “It looks like a lot of beach and not much water.  Where do you go boating?”

I noticed that the new shot was taken sometime late winter or early spring and it’s a really great view of the area and the lake.

So in order to celebrate our upgraded status on Google Earth, I was going to run a contest to see who can pick the closest date and time that this satellite picture was taken.  Unfortunately (or maybe it was fortunate given that I’m supposed to know about this kind of stuff), I discovered that the date is always in the bottom left corner of the image.  So…….drum roll please………it was March 23, 2013!!  Still don’t know the time, but from the shadows it may be morning.  Whoever can give me the closest time of day based on proof via clues in the imagery, will get either:

a)      A 6-pack of Corona or comparable (no jokes please) beer of their choice

b)      A bottle of Red or White Texas wine

c)       A 6-pack of their favorite soda

You can contact me via the information on the website if you don’t have my phone or email information.

For those few folks that have never loaded/installed Google Earth, go to http://earth.google.com   From there just search for your Lakewood Forest 1 property address, zoom in and start dragging around the screen to look for things that might have been unique to that day and time.

Let loose the bloodhounds and get on the trail of clues!!

Good Hunting!

Chris Smith


…And The Heat Goes On (with apologies to Sonny & Cher)

After the great rains we had in July, we are now getting a steady stream of 100 degree plus days.  The weekends have been VERY busy, most likely because Lake LBJ is getting a large number of Lake Travis boaters that are heading northwest looking for water.  Most of the rental properties in Lakewood Forest 1 and the surrounding area seem to be fully booked as well each weekend.  The weekdays are getting a little less busy as many families are getting ready for schools to start up.

Finally, Some Rain! Sweet, Sweet Rain :-)

We finally got some badly needed rain in Lakewood Forest 1!   The amounts I measured are based on my most accurate glass tube rain gauge mounted on my dock that is unobstructed by structures or trees.  On the 14th and 15th we got 4.5 inches of rain.  Most of the rain soaked up by the ground on the 14th and did not effect the levels of the lakes by much.

However, this last Sat. 7/20 in the evening we got .5 inches and then we had two more storms move through on Sun. 7/21.  One dropped .5 inches and the 2nd one, in the early evening, dropped 2 inches of rain.  Most of which had a pretty dramatic effect on Lake LBJ levels.  We watched the lake rise about 6 inches before receding!