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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Humpback Whales spouting a rainbow, as photographed by Richard Kuehn.

Though Rich Kuehn took these photos off the coast of Monterey, Humpbacks occasionally are seen off the Mendonoma Coast in summer and autumn. I thought his photo was so beautiful and asked if I could share it here. With the spout showing a rainbow, the Gulls and the blue Pacific Ocean, it is an amazing photo.

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

Monday, October 28, 2013

Friday's sunset - a vision of golds and oranges.

Friday's sunset was so beautiful. It evolved over a period of a half hour. Here is a photo I took just after the sun disappeared from view.

This photo was taken from our deck in Anchor Bay.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Quail Dad "talking" to one of his offspring, as photographed by Siegfried Matull.

Siegfried and Gretel Matull were enjoying watching birds in their garden at The Sea Ranch, including several families of Quail. Siegfried wrote, “Unexpectedly a father Quail and one of his young kids came flying onto one of our driftwood planters, right in front of us. They were only three yards away and totally ignored us, staying for about five minutes. From time to time the father was ‘talking’ to his kid, like giving him advice."

Siegfried said further, "This nature encounter created a beautiful feeling for us. We are really so blessed to live in this Mendonoma nature paradise!”

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

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dyer's Polypores are popping up on the Mendonoma Coast.

Sometimes it seems like they pop up full grown overnight, and other times you can see them evolve over a period of several weeks; Dyer's Polypores are here. Their scientific name is Phaeolus schweinitzii. Several just made an appearance on our land this week, yet one fruited several months ago in our forest. Craig Tooley was there to photograph it. It has a rather unusual top to it.

Below is one Rick and I just noticed yesterday afternoon. It's quite beautiful, don't you think?

And here is one that is just emerging. It will be fun to watch it as the days go by.
This fungus has its role to play in nature as it helps to decompose dead wood. Dyers of yarn prize this fungus for the pigment it holds. Depending on the age of the fungus, they can dye yarn yellow, orange or brown.

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

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Buttermilk sunrise, as photographed by Drew Fagan

A low pressure system has swept away the fog and brought beautiful clouds. This morning the sunrise was amazing and Drew Fagan captured it with his camera.

And last night's sunset was beautiful too. I took this photo from our deck in Anchor Bay.

Thanks to Drew for allowing me to share his photo with you here. To see Drew's art, here is his website:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A few Boletus edulis have popped up - porcini, anyone?

Several King Boletes, Boletus edulis, have appeared, though we haven't had any recent rains. Irma Brandt went out recently, looking for moist soil under pine needles. This is what she found - a nice, fat King Bolete under a Bishop Pine tree.

This mushrooms usually fruits in November, when our first rains trigger their appearance. Rick and I have checked our spots and no mushrooms have appeared. It will be interesting to see what kind of wild mushroom season we have this year.

Thanks to Irma for allowing me to share her photo with you here. To see Irma with the biggest bolete I've ever seen, here is the link:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's always thrilling to see a Humpback Whale, or in Ron LeValley's case, two Humpback Whales.

Humpback Whales can be seen off the Mendonoma Coast in the summer and fall, though not in great numbers. Ron LeValley went out on a boat from Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg and came across two Humpbacks. And they came very close to the boat, obviously curious about the boat filled with people. Ron says they were spouted on several times and he had to clean his camera lens three times!

 Below is the tail of a diving Humpback.
 And below the Humpback is about to spout. I have a feeling this is one of the times Ron had to clean his camera lens.
And here is a Humpback's barnacle-encrusted tail fins.  Ron says there are two species of barnacles on this whale - the acorn barnacle, Coronula diadema, which is unique to the humpback and the rabbit-eared barnacle, Conchoderma, a kind of stalked or goose-necked barnacle that settles on Coronula.

Below you will see this Humpback Whale is taking a good look at Ron!

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

Monday, October 21, 2013

Another crummy day on the Mendonoma Coast, as photographed by Carolyn André

Today the fog has rolled in and it is cold on the Coast. But just a few days ago it was magnificent. Carolyn André took this photo on her way back up Highway 1. It's not photoshopped, Carolyn says. And I believe her!

I took this photo of the sunrise yesterday. The nearly full moon, the Hunter's moon, has yet to set. You can see the fog draped over the trees and covering the ocean.

Thanks to Carolyn for allowing me to share her photograph with you here.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Harbor Seals seem to enjoy life to its fullest.

Harbor Seals are year round residents of the Mendonoma Coast. They have endearing expressions on their faces, making you smile just to see them. Yesterday Craig Tooley was out with his camera and caught these two Harbor Seals basking in the rays of the autumn sun and catching some waves at the same time.

 Here's another photo Craig took a while ago. He titled this photo "Bad breath?"

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

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Bobcat, as photographed by Patricia Rangel.

This Bobcat is quite camouflaged but Patricia Rangel managed to see it. This cat with the bobbed tail and tufted ears was spotted on the east side of Highway One on The Sea Ranch.

Here the Bobcat obviously heard something - maybe a tasty gopher?

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

To see a fun photo of a Bobcat in a standoff with a Buck, here's the link to Craig Tooley's photo:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Crashing waves at Anchor Bay Beach.

I love this time of year when the Pacific Ocean comes to life. Add in the beautiful sunsets and warm, soft air and you'll see why October is one of my favorite months of the year. Tom Eckles recently photographed the wave action at Anchor Bay Beach.

Just for fun I have included several other photos Tom has taken at Anchor Beach at different times of the year.

We have a full moon tonight, the Hunter's moon. Wherever you may be, we will be looking at the same beautiful moon.

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

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Abalone pearls are called opals of the sea.

Alan Reinke's sons went out abalone diving recently. The ocean has been calm with good visibility and they got their limits. In one of the largest abalones they found two pearls.

These pearls can be polished up and used in jewelry. I think one would make a great good luck charm. These pearls can't be legally sold.

I have other abalone success stories to share with you soon. Abalone diving has been epic on the Mendonoma Coast!

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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Just another beautiful autumn morning on the Mendonoma Coast.

We get spoiled in the autumn here on the Mendonoma Coast. The weather can be magnificent. That is what is happening now. Craig Tooley recently photographed this beautiful scene.

As I write this, the sky is clear. Waves are crashing and the Sea Lions on Fish Rocks are barking. Autumn on the Coast is like a dream come true.

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

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bettye Winters photographed the setting sun and it looks like a hot air balloon!

Bettye Winters photographs sunset near Manchester State Park. One she took recently looks like a hot air balloon.

 Below is a recent October sunset. The sky sometimes glows orange for over a half hour.

Sunset watching - and photographing - is a Coast tradition. Thanks to Bettye for allowing me to share her photos with you here.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

White-tailed Kite as photographed by Siegfried Matull

White-tailed Kites are year round residents of the Mendonoma Coast. They are interesting to watch while they hunt as they hover over a meadow while they search for prey. Siegfried Matull recently photographed one hunting near his home on The Sea Ranch.

White-tailed Kites eat mostly small mammals, but they do eat lizards, insects and some birds. I often see one hunting over the grasslands along the Gualala River while hiking at Gualala Point Regional Park.

To hear the call of this beautiful raptor, here's a link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

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

Friday, October 11, 2013

A beautiful sunset photo taken by Nanette Brichetto

Our clear, warm weather has left us for a day or two as the fog rolled in this morning. Sometimes fog can give you a chance for a beautiful sunset photo, like Nan Brichetto took from a deck in Anchor Bay.

October sunsets are exquisite - one of the privileges of living on or visiting the Mendonoma Coast.

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

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Several Blue Whales were seen last Saturday and a surprise sighting of Northern Right Whale Dolphins!

With the ocean looking like glass last Saturday, there were a lot of great sightings. The greatest of them all was the sighting of Blue Whales. A mother and her calf were seen off of The Sea Ranch.

Jodi Smith, of Naked Whale Research, went out of Fort Bragg and found another Blue Whale.

Blue Whales are the largest animal on earth. And they are on the endangered species list, as their recovery from the days of whaling has been slow. To see a mother with a calf is such a good sign.

To Jodi's joy she also saw several Northern Right Whale Dophins.

 They rose next to the boat and rode the bow for a while. You can read about Jodi's excellent day on the water on her blog at:

And to learn more about Jodi's Naked Whale Research, which studies Killer Whales, here is that website:

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

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hearn Gulch, as seen from the lovely pocket beach.

Last week I showed you Hearn Gulch as seen from the bluffs. Recently Cathleen Crosby and her granddaughter explored the pocket beach.

 In the photo below a Sea Lion's head can be seen.
 And this photo below shows you the curve of the beach. It is very protected from wind, a perfect place to relax and appreciate the beauty of the Pacific Ocean.
Thanks to Cathleen for allowing me to share her photos with you here.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Monarch Butterflies are migrating through the Mendomoma Coast.

They are the essence of beauty - Monarch Butterflies have been seen recently. Tom Eckles photographed this one feeding on a dahlia.

I have seen perhaps a half dozen in the past two weeks. Their numbers are declining dramatically due to pesticide use and loss of habitat. Planting native milkweed would be a great idea - it's Monarch Butterflies host plant.

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

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A beautiful photo of a "meditating" Bobcat by Mark Simkins

Mark and Kitty Simkins are lucky people. They are regularly visited by a Bobcat at their place in Manchester. Mark thought this Bobcat looked like it was meditating.

What a beautiful animal! They hunt for gophers and other rodents in grassy meadows. Looks like the Simkins have plenty of gophers to keep this cat with the tufted ears and bobbed tail well fed.

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

To see one the most popular photos on this blog, a photo of a Bobcat, here is the link:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Robert Scarola saw hobbits and a face of a lion in the forest.

Sometimes Mother Nature reminds you of something else. Robert Scarola felt as if he had stumbled into a hobbit's forest. Below he found mossy hobbits.

And here a hobbit throne.
Then the face of a lion.
You never know quite what you might see when you wander into a forest on the Mendonoma Coast.

Heatwave on the coast today! There could be a chance for the green flash at sunset.

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

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Pacific Ocean is beginning to talk...and we're listening.

After doing its summertime impersonation of a lake, the Pacific Ocean has come to life. Waves have begun crashing onto bluffs, sand and rocks. Richard Kuehn's home overlooks Gualala Point Island. He recently took these photos.

You can see we are having beautiful clear weather, albeit windy. This is a great time to be on the Mendonoma Coast.

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

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What a beautiful day at Hearn Gulch!

Hearn Gulch is found just north of Iversen Road at mile marker 10.0 in Mendocino County. It is a fairly new public access point. Rick and I recently hiked there, along with our golden retriever, Huckleberry. The sky was amazing with beautiful clouds.

 This is the view to the west. Bishop Pine trees are clinging to the bluff face.
And this is the view to the south.
If you walk to the north you will find this pocket beach. You can see some kelp has already washed ashore. There is a trail to the beach. While it is steep there is a rope to help you on your way down and back up.
There wasn't much wave action the day we were there. There is a sea tunnel on the left. In the days to come, with the ocean beginning to be more active, this would be a great place to visit.

The Redwood Coast Land Conservancy works to provide public access to scenic spots like Hearn Gulch. And, wow, are they doing a great job! To learn more about RCLC and other access spots on the Mendonoma Coast, here is the link to their website: