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Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Coyote pup, as photographed by Jim Garlock

Coyotes are a fairly rare sighting on the Mendonoma Coast but we definitely seen one or two ambling through. Though Jim took this photo in Marin County recently, I thought you'd enjoy seeing this Coyote pup in the fog.

To see a Coyote that was seen earlier this year, here is the link:

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

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Risso's Dolphins, the dolphin with the rounded head as photographed by Ron LeValley.

I love these dolphins. Risso's Dolphins look like no others, with their rounded heads and scarred bodies. Ron LeValley got these fantastic photos of them.

They usually are about ten feet long, though they can get as big as fourteen feet long.
Risso's Dolphins feed on Squid and the scars on their bodies are believed to be from their encounters with their prey.
Risso's often travel in large pods and have been seen surfing waves and even the wakes of Gray Whales.
The male is a little bigger than the female. Here Ron shows you what their dorsal fins look like. 
Many thanks to Ron for allowing me to share his photos with you here. To see much more of Ron's photography, here is his website:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Ceanothus Silk Moth caterpillars finally spinning their cocoons and Jerry Rudy photographed the event!

One of the strangest creatures on the Mendonoma Coast is the caterpillar stage of a Ceanothus Silk Moth. I shared a fantastic photo of Jerry Rudy where he witnessed a female Silk Moth lay her eggs. He watched the eggs hatch and has tended them since. Except when he had to be away from the Coast for a while and he asked his friend, John Sperry, to tend them. John took the first photo of this exotic-looking caterpillar.

 When the caterpillars have stored up enough energy, they begin to spin their cocoon, as photographed by Jerry.
 Below are several cocoons. The Silk Moths spin a silk thread a mile long into an intricate double-chambered cocoon.
 And below is the finished cocoon. The pupae will reside inside during the rest of the year and into spring.
In spring, the lovely Ceanothus Silk Moth emerges to live only a few days. The one below was photographed by Clay Yale. This moth is about four inches across.

What a metamorphosis!

Thanks to John, Jerry and Clay for allowing me to share their photos with you here.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Another look at the white fawn born on The Sea Ranch

The white fawn continues to thrive and is slowly coloring up. Katie Solley recently photographed the beautiful fawn with its normal-colored sibling near the 9th hole of The Sea Ranch golf course.

You can just make out some of the spots appearing on its flank as it slowly colors up. It is considered the equivalent of a towhead child - like me! I was born with platinum blond hair but I "colored up" to brown in a few years. This fawn will color up in a few months.

Katie also got a photo of this fawn running on the golf course and it will be in today's Independent Coast Observer. They sell on-line subscriptions if you'd like to read my weekly Sightings column and see Katie's other photo. There is LOTS going on here on the Mendonoma Coast! Here's the link to the ICO:

Thanks to Katie for allowing me to share her photo with you here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

So exquisite - an Anna's Hummingbird nest, as photographed by Siegfried Matull

So tiny, so exquisite and so well camouflaged, it's a miracle to even spot one. And to find it occupied is even better. Siegfried Matull found an Anna's Hummingbird nest with two eggs in it.

Below the mother Anna's is sitting on her nest. She builds it with lichen, bark and spider webs.
And below are the two babies. Siegfried tells me that the spiders webs used in construction of the nest, allows the nest to expand with the growth of the babies.
Richard Kuehn, The Birdman of The Sea Ranch, tells me, "The male mates with the female but afterwards she does it ALL - builds the nest, lays the eggs, incubates and then feed the young till they've fledged."

What wondrous photos that Siegfried has allowed me to share with you here. Thanks to Siegfried!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bobcat, as photographed by Nancy Jewhurst

Nancy Jewhurst was visiting the Mendonoma Coast recently and she captured a beautiful photo of a Bobcat, which she saw on The Sea Ranch.

Grassy meadows are where Bobcats hunt for their favorite food - gophers!

Thanks to Nancy for allowing me to share her photo with you here.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Leopard Lilies are blooming on the Mendonoma Coast.

Leopard Lilies, Lilium pardalinum, are wonderful to find. They grow on tall stalks and can have multiple blossoms. They grow where water is nearby. You might find some growing alongside the Gualala River.

Craig Tooley took this closeup of one. They are sometimes called Tiger Lilies. Legend says if you smell a Tiger Lily you will get freckles.

Frank Drouillard took the photo below, which shows a Leopard Lily about to bloom. It also shows the leaves. This plant was well over two feet tall.
Thanks to Frank and Craig for allowing me to share their photos with you here. To much more of Craig's Coast photography, here's the link to his website:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Mom and baby Osprey aren't impressed with what Dad brought back to the nest.

Paul Brewer has been photographing an Osprey nest up-river from Jenner. One day the father returned with nest materials instead of a fish.

 In the photo below, doesn't it look like the baby and the mother on the right are glaring at the dad? "Where's our food?!?"

Thanks to  Paul for allowing me to share his photos with you here. I've got several more of Paul's wonderful photos to share with you in the days to come. To see much more of Paul's photography, here's his website:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's amazing what you can see in a cloud formation!

Barry Semegran noticed an unusual cloud formation in the sky north of Point Arena. It appeared just after the devastating tornadoes hit Oklahoma. Barry titled his photo, "Sympathy tornado."

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Black Bear startled several Mendonoma Coast residents recently.

A light-colored Black Bear was seen near Hearn Gulch, then up on the Gualala Ridge and finally off of Fish Rock Road. The bear was foraging for food. When it visited Nancy and Rich Trissel off of Fish Rock Road, they got several photos. It was a foggy day so the photos aren't as clear as we'd like but they beat the one other photo sent to me. That photo was blurry because the photographer was so scared and excited.

Here are several photos Nancy took.

Nancy wrote, “The bear noshed for a good twenty minutes outside our back door. There was a splash of white, a crescent moon, on the bear’s chest. The face was dark, the shoulders and back were blond and the hind end darker. It was wonderful to see!”

Thanks to Nancy for allowing me to share her photos with you here and also thanks to Rozann Grunig who worked on the lighting of these photos to better show the bear.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A new addition to the Point Arena Pintos - meet Majestic!

The Point Arena Pintos have a new member. Jacqueline McAbery wrote, “We have a new baby, a colt this time. He was born May 17, has very long legs, and is curious and serious. He has a special presence so we named him Majestic.”

Jacqueline is planning a fundraiser event where people can come and see the pintos. Save the date of Sept. 14. To learn more about this event and the rest of the Point Arena Pintos, here's their website:

 Thanks to Jacqueline for allowing me to share her photo with you here.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

How high can a Bobcat climb? Pretty darn high!

The fences of the Rothschild Giraffes at the B. Bryan Preserve in Point Arena are tall, very tall. That didn't stop this Bobcat, as you will see from Judy Mello's photo.

That's one very determined Bobcat. The next day the Bobcat got inside the giraffe pasture and the youngest giraffe was seen chasing it. That Bobcat better watch out for the giraffe's hoofs.

Bobcats are suppose to be nocturnal but here on the Mendonoma Coast they are mostly seen in the daylight.

Thanks to Judy for allowing me to share her photo with you here. To learn more about the wildlife preserve in Point Arena, here's their link:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

With a minus low tide, many treasures are revealed.

When there is a minus low tide, you'll be amazed at what you can see. There was a 2.0 minus tide over the Memorial Day weekend and Jane Evans headed for Bowling Ball Beach.

These rocks are covered with water most of the time. It's a treat to see them exposed.
Below is a photo of this beach that Joni Goshorn took from the bluffs. This is a great place to beachcomb as treasures from the sea catch in the rocks.

Thanks to Jane and Joni for allowing me to share their photos with you here.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A kayak trip on the Gualala River can be idyllic.

Emily Nelson and a friend recently took a kayak trip on the Gualala River. She brought her camera along so we can share in her experience.

Reflections in the river from Emily's kayak.

 Below is a common Merganser family, with Mom bringing up the rear. Emily counted 13 babies.
 And below is a Seep-spring Monkey Flower. It was seen growing along the bank of the Gualala River.

Don't have your own kayak, canoe or paddleboard? Adventure Rents of Gualala does all the work so you just have fun. They even can accommodate pets. Here's their website where you can also find many wonderful photos of the river:

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

Thursday, June 13, 2013

We had quite a lightning storm early Monday morning

The Mendonoma Coast was treated to a lightning and thunder storm that lasted more than three hours. It was impossible to sleep while the bright flashes filled our bedroom. Several booms made the entire house shake.

Nancy Padgett had more than a little noise. A tree near her home on The Sea Ranch was hit by lightning.

The Sea Ranch fire department put the fire out before it spread. Below is what the tree looked like in the light of day. As Nancy said, poor tree.
Thanks to Nancy for allowing me to share her photos with you here.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fawns, the essence of cute, as photographed by Robert Scarola

There is only one white fawn but we have quite a few other Deer families. The fawns are so sweet. Robert Scarola photographed a young family near his home. He entitled the photo below, "Love."

Robert wrote, "In our little fawn breeding nest in the bushes outside our house we had a second mother have another set of twins. She finally brought them out, and one of them hid but the other was this buff little guy who had to investigate everything, including our wire-protected Ceanothus. He and his mom took a few minutes to share a sweet moment together. We are so blessed to see them and have them so peaceful and protected feeling around our home."

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

You might not believe your eyes if you see the white fawn that has been born on The Sea Ranch.

The last time we had a white fawn on the Mendonoma Coast was 2009. A white fawn, with its normal colored twin, was born somewhere near the Salal Trail. They can often be seen near the 9th hole of the golf course. Roland Coombs got some wonderful shots of this special fawn.

 Here it is with its sibling.
 And below you will see the fawns racing across the golf course.
 And here you can see the white fawn is starting to color up. It is considered a towhead, not an albino.
Thanks to Rolly for allowing me to share his photos with you here.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The bluffs near Bowling Ball Beach and Schooner Gulch State Beach are a springtime delight

Carolyn André recently drove north and photographed the bluffs and wildflowers near Schooner Gulch Beach and Bowling Ball Beach, which are in Mendocino County.

Even though the lack of rain shortened the wildflower bloom, there still were a lot of spectacular wildflowers to be seen.

Thanks to Carolyn for allowing me to share her photos with you here. To learn more about these beaches, here is the link to state parks:  These beaches are fantastic for beach combing at low tide.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A chick has been born in an Osprey nest and Paul Brewer recently photographed it!

Up river from the town of Jenner in Sonoma County is an Osprey nest. This year only one chick was born. Paul Brewer watched the nest for some hours several times of the past couple of weeks. Here's a photo of the newborn chick with its mother.

Paul had to wait quite a while last week to get some photos of the Dad bringing home the "bacon." Below the mother and chick are waiting...and waiting.
 Below you will see the Dad arriving with dinner.
And here the young Osprey is about to be fed.
And Paul titled the photo below, "Open wide!" 

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

Friday, June 7, 2013

A white Fawn was born on The Sea Ranch and photographed by Kay Martin

The last time we had a white fawn born on the Mendonoma Coast was spring of 2009. This spring it happened again and Kay Martin was there to photograph the white fawn and its normal-colored sibling and their mom.

Below you can see this special fawn leaping.
This family has been seen near the ninth hole of The Sea Ranch golf course. The white fawn is already starting to show a little color on its flanks. It is not an albino; it is considered a towhead. It will eventually color up if it survives its lack of natural camouflage.

You never know what you are going to see next on the Coast! Thanks to Kay for allowing me to share her photos with you here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Baby Opossum seen at the Gualala Arts Center by Walt and Susan Rush.

On most holiday weekends there is a fair at the Gualala Arts Center. Memorial Day weekend was no exception. This baby Opossum was seen and photographed by Walt Rush.

Here's what Walt wrote, "At the Gualala Arts Fine Arts Fair we encountered an art enthusiast of a different kind. This little baby possum was munching away on some shrubbery next to where Susan was sitting next to my jewelry display. Thought your readers would get a kick out of this. He was a friendly kind of guy; he didn’t seem to be afraid of people as I was able to get a couple of feet away when I snapped this picture.”

A female Opossum gives birth to as many as twenty babies in a litter and they are no bigger than a honeybee. Fewer than half survive. Those who do survive crawl into their mother’s pouch while they continue to grow. As they grow, some will fall off the mother. That may be what Walt and Susan Rush saw.

I thank Walt for allowing me to share his photo with you here. To see some of Walt's beautiful jewelry, here's his website:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dogbane, also called Indian-hemp, was found along the Gualala River.

Peter Baye hikes the reaches of the Gualala River. He found Dogbane, Apocynum cannabinum, in bud.

Peter wrote, “It’s a rare occurrence for Sonoma County. It’s also called Indian-hemp, a Pomo textile plant. It has fibers like hemp, not the ‘medical’ properties. It’s the only colony I’ve even seen in the Gualala River watershed.”

Apocynum means Away dog! The plant is toxic for our canine friends.

Would you like to learn more about the Gualala River? Visit the Friends of the Gualala River website at

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