I would like to share with you some of the secrets and the delights of living on the beautiful Mendocino/Sonoma Coast. From the majesty of the Gray Whale migration to the smallest wildflower blooming in a Redwood forest,
let's explore all these wonders together.
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.
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.
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.
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: www.unbeatenpath.weebly.com Thanks to Margaret for allowing me to share her fun photos with you here.
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.
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
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: http://www.rc-lc.org/pages/proj-hearn.html To find this beach, park at mile marker 10.0 and hike north.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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."