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Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Bobcat visited Jinx McCombs in Point Arena

We've had quite a year so far for Bobcat sightings. They seem to be thriving on the Mendonoma Coast. Jinx McCombs photographed one recently.

And  here's a rear view look of the Bobcat.

That's a nice meadow, probably filled with tasty Gophers. This Bobcat found a good spot for its dinner.

Thanks to Jinx for allowing me to share her photos with you here.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Western Meadowlarks are very difficult to photograph but Craig Tooley did it!

Western Meadowlarks are very beautiful and also difficult to photograph as it is hard to get close to them. Craig Tooley recently succeeded and here is the result.

Meadowlarks are easier to hear, with their flute-like call. They eats seeds and insects.

Thanks to Craig for allowing me to share his photo with you here. To see much more of Craig's Coast photography, here's the link:

And to hear the call of the Meadowlark, here's the link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ospreys have returned to the Mendonoma Coast

Now it's officially spring because the Ospreys have returned. Ospreys nest on the Mendonoma Coast. Paul Brewer watches them hunting for fish from his home in Gualala. He photographed one fishing the other day.
Paul photographed the moment this Sea Hawk caught a fish, which was a Surf Perch.

Ospreys returned to the Mendonoma Coast last weekend. The males come first and the females follow in the days to come. I'll be watching the nest down in front of me. It blew down during the December storms. An Osprey has been seen on that tree for several days now. Hopefully his mate will join him and begin rebuilding the nest. They raised two young ones at that nest last year.

Thanks to  Paul for allowing me to share his work. To see much more of Paul's photography, here's his website:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Monday's sunset was amazing

Just a few sprinkles came down but the clouds were amazing. Here's a photo I took from our deck in Anchor Bay just before sunset.

Quite unusual cloud formations filled the sky, while the horizon was clearing. I saw a double green flash at sunset.
We have more rain in our forecast, which is welcome news after the nearly dry months of January and February...and March hasn't been much better. Let's do a rain dance!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Anchor Bay Beach is a great place to play in the waves

Tom Eckles took his dogs for a play date at Anchor Bay Beach.

 The clouds make for a dramatic backdrop to Tom's photo.
 Life is good when you can play in the waves and sand with friends!
Thanks to Tom for allowing me to share his photos with you here. To see much more of Tom's photography, here's the link to his website:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rob Diefenbach and Carolyn André photographed the green flash

After the rain clouds lifted late Wednesday the sky was beautiful. Rob Diefenbach trained his camera on the sunset and got this green flash.

The same night Carolyn André photographed the sunset. The back story here is - she's never seen the green flash.

Carolyn still hasn't seen the green flash. She didn't know she photographed it until she uploaded the photo. I told her that it normally is easier to SEE a green flash than to photograph one. Too funny.

To see a green flash that turned into something more, here's the link:

Thanks to Carolyn and Rob for allowing me to share their photos with you here!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pollen - it's nothing to sneeze at!

Bishop Pines trees are loaded with pollen. Rick touched one gently while we were hiking at Gualala Point Regional Park and look what happened! Can you see the puff of yellow pollen? Our golden retriever, Huckleberry, was watching it too. This pollen affects a lot of people, setting off their allergies. We have a storm coming in Tuesday so that will help knock some of the pollen down...I hope.

While on the bluff trail, we stopped to look for Gray Whales. We saw someone had made a driftwood heart.
At the same viewing spot, this twisted tree shows the affects of the wind.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Best of Show and Best One of a Kind photos from Gualala River Sightings

Best of Show at the recent Gualala River Sightings event was given to Rick Denniston's Deer reflected in the Gualala River. You can see raindrops in the river too.

Best One of a Kind was awarded to Allen Vinson for his green flash photo, which he took at Gualala Point Regional Park. The river greets the Pacific Ocean there.

Congratulations to Rick and Allen for their award winning photos!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Best series of the Gualala River award winning photos

At the Gualala River Sightings event, Diane Hichwa won the Best Series award with her photos of a River Otter taking a Gull. Though it's not easy to see, it is nature in action.

The first photo Diane entitled "Help!" A River Otter came up underneath a flock of Gulls and nabbed this one.

Other Otters joined in to bring the Gull to shore, which shows they work cooperatively.

And the next photo Diane entitled "Bringing home dinner."

And below is the spot these River Otters use as their "dining table."

Thanks to Diane for her interesting look into the world of River Otters, who live near the mouth of the Gualala River.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Giant Kites filled the air last weekend at the Point Arena Lighthouse

As part of Point Arena's annual Flower Power Festival and the Wind & Whale Celebration, giant kites filled the air courtesy of Berkeley Kite Wranglers. Margaret Lindgren photographed a few of them.

It was a weekend filled with fun. And there is usually plenty of wind out on the point where the Lighthouse sits so kite flying is a perfect activity. Margaret has more photos of the kites on her blog. You can see them at her website: Thanks to Margaret for allowing me to share her fun photos with you here.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

More winning photographs from the Gualala River Sightings event

Rob Elder had made several tries to find the old-growth Redwood tree known as the McCabe Tree. On his third attempt his wife Jacquelynn Bass accompanied him. With her help he found the big tree. Jackie's photo was awarded Best alongside the river (macro). The McCabe tree is possibly the largest old-growth Redwood in Sonoma County. It measures 47 feet, eight inches in circumference. Amazing.

To be overlooking the mouth of the Gualala River when it opens for the first time in months in the fall is extremely lucky. To get a photograph is even better. Bob Rutemoeller won Best River mouth photo with this shot:

Thanks to Jackie and Bob for sharing their photos with us here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Winning photographs from Gualala River Sightings

Last week Friends of the Gualala River and I hosted Gualala River Sightings at the Gualala Arts Center. People were invited to send in their favorite photos of our favorite wild river and its environs. Over 120 photos were sent in. I'm happy to be able to share the winning photographs with you.

Best above the river was taken by Peggy Berryhill:

Best in the river was taken by Rozann Grunig- kayaking under a full moon.

Best alongside the river (micro) was taken by Bryant Hichwa - icy morning leaves:

I will share more of the award winning photographs with you tomorrow. Many thanks to the talented photographers here

Thursday, March 14, 2013

So tiny yet so exquisite - Calypso Orchids are blooming on the Mendomona Coast

John Sperry photographed the first Calypso Orchid to bloom this year and sent it along for us to enjoy.

Calypso Orchids should never be transplanted. They need a particular fungus in the soil to grow. They can be found in undisturbed forests here on the Mendonoma Coast.

Thanks to John for allowing me to share his photo with you here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Aerial view of Hearn Gulch - one of the jewels on the Mendocino Coast

Craig Tooley photographed more than just Gray Whales when he was up in an airplane last week. He photographed Hearn Gulch.

This is a new public access bluff and beach brought to us by the wonderful folks at Redwood Coast Land Conservancy. You can learn how they accomplished this acquisition and read about their other projects at this link: To find this beach, park at mile marker 10.0 and hike north.

To see photos of a recent hike Rick and I took there, here's that link: The wave action there can be phenomenal.

And to see much more of Craig Tooley's photography, here is the link to his website:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Close up of an Anna's Hummingbird feeding

Hummingbirds are not always easy to photograph as they dart here and there feeding on flowers and on feeders that kind people set out for them.  Mark Simkins recently had one visit his feeder in Manchester.

 Four parts water to one part sugar is the ratio these tiny birds love. People must clean the feeders often to protect these living jewels. We wouldn't want to do harm while trying to help!

Thanks to Mark for allowing me to share his photo with you here. To see another photo of an Anna's Hummingbird, here is the link:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Lambs are being born in The Sea Ranch flock

Lambs, the essence of cuteness, are charming people on The Sea Ranch. Allen Vinson recently photographed part of the flock.

The sheep, along with a few goats, help keep the grasses munched down. They've also become a tourist attraction.

Thanks to Allen for allowing me to share his photo with you here.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

It's amazing what you can see from an airplane!

Craig Tooley was photographing from an airplane last week when he came across a pod of Gray Whales.

 The plane circled around and Craig got this second photo.
 Here's a photo of the distinctive Gray Whale tail.
There were thirteen Gray Whales with three mother/calf pairs - a wonderful sighting off the Mendonoma Coast.

Thanks to Craig for allowing me to share his photos with you here. To see much more of Craig's photography, here's the link to his website:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wild weather on the Mendonoma Coast!

A strong storm hit the Mendonoma Coast late yesterday afternoon. High winds and drenching rain were finally the story of the day. This morning we had a rainbow day. I waited until the rainbow reached Fish Rocks.

 There's a hint of a second rainbow on the left.
 And a photo of some of the dramatic clouds this morning.
All of these were taken from the front deck of Rick's and my home in Anchor Bay. The Pacific Ocean is very turbulent and loud. The sound of crashing waves can be heard even inside our home and we are a half mile away. Amazing!

We received 1.4 inches of rain. That was enough to get Quinliven Creek going again. With the lack of rain over the past two months, there were several places where creek went underground. We're used to that happening in May, not February! We are very thankful for the rain.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Young Bobcat won't cross this fence

Mark and Kitty Simkins have a Bobcat family near their home in Manchester. Mark caught this young Bobcat looking through a fence.

Mark said the Bobcat didn't try to get past this barb-wired fence. Does this cat with the tufted ears look a little peeved to you?

Thanks to Mark for allowing me to share his photo with you here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

And the green flash was followed by a beautiful sunrise

Carolyn André photographed the sunrise on Feb. 25th. It was a stunner!

Watching the sunrise is the reward for early risers. Thanks to Carolyn for allowing me to share her photo with you here.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Robert Scarola photographed a recent green flash!

It's hard to get a photo of the green flash as sunset. I should know - I've been trying for years. Robert Scarola hit the jackpot when he photographed a recent green flash.

They don't happen very often but when they do your heart beats a little faster and it is hard to stop smiling. It is Mother Nature at one of her flashier moments. Thanks to Robert for allowing me to share his photo with you here.

Once again we have a beautiful spring-like day here on the Mendonoma Coast. But there are changes in our forecast, with a pretty good rainstorm headed our way early next week. Bring on the rain!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Moon Rocks and a few other oddities at Salt Point Park as photographed by John Sperry

These unusual rock formations, nicknamed Moon Rocks, can be seen just south of Stump Beach at Salt Point State Park. John Sperry recently photographed them.

They are calleded Moon Rocks because of their many craters. These are sedimentary sandstone formations. They actually continue underwater and provide valuable habitat for marine life. Above the sea, salt crystals are found in the cracks and crevices, which are called tafoni. Kasaya Pomo collected salt there for many years, using abalone shells as chisels. This is how this land came be to named Salt Point.

John photographed several other unusual rock formations there. Rick and I have hiked there many times and it is a place like no other.

Thanks to John for allowing me to share his photos with you here.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Acorn Woodpecker, as photographed by Robert Scarola

I'll let Robert tell about his photo. He wrote, "Just off our deck is a Douglas-fir with lots of tips. This guy appeared the other day, flying in with that classic woodpecker dip and dive flight pattern. We also have a Bishop Pine nearby that woodpeckers like to dig for bugs, and a couple of Tan-bark oaks not too far away where he can find acorns, so I think he was looking around to see where to go next to feed.

"I loved his bright red head and white body markings. Acorn Woodpeckers are very striking to my eye, with a large and really powerful beak."

I love their call. It is very distinctive and sounds like no other bird. To hear it for yourself, here's the link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

I thank Robert for his photo and his story.