On the way home

A couple of days ago, I described the dramatic weather changes we experienced on our recent trip to Clear Lake. As always, the time seemed to fly by, and much too soon we were packing up to head home. I had arrived at the lake separately from the Big Guy; he rode along with a buddy who was towing our […]

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California Missions, Part 7

Mission Soledad was built in 1791 in what is now the Salinas Valley. After destructive flooding and an epidemic, there wasn’t much left of the buildings until restoration efforts began in the 1950s. The window over the door at San Carlos is unique among the 21 missions. This is also the site of Father Junipero Serra’s grave, which can be […]

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Big lake

Even though our recent trip to Clear Lake was only three days long, we experienced so many different kinds of weather it made for a very memorable time. The day we arrived was windy, with dark clouds threatening — not exactly ideal for a fishing trip. It rained off and on all night, and we woke to yet more black […]

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Return to the marsh

It’s been nearly two years since I was able to visit Anderson Marsh at Clear Lake and walk the trails, and my visit last week offered a stark example of how even a slight change in weather patterns affects the plant and animal life in vital habitats like creeks and marshes. It looks like we may be heading back into another drought year — although I’m still remaining hopeful that our latest round of storms will help. On my previous visit, in May 2019, everything was fresh and green. The inlets of Cache Creek were full; I photographed turtles sunning themselves on logs and crawdads scurrying around underwater. This time, I found evidence of a recent prescribed burn and the inlets were parched and bare. I did see a good number of birds as I hiked along — including a pair of Valley Quail foraging along the sides of the dry creek bed.

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Farmhouse revisited

I’ve visited Anderson Marsh State Historic Park a few times now, usually during our springtime visits to Clear Lake. The park is located just off Highway 53 near the city of Clearlake. The old farmhouse was once part of a working ranch, and during normal times is often the scene of historic re-enactments and other events. Even though it was […]

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Persistence pays off

Long before I bought my current outfit and began trying to photograph birds and other wildlife, I learned from watching nature documentaries that the best photos are usually the product of hours and hours of patient waiting and often hundreds of lousy shots. It’s all too easy to forget that important lesson when you see all the great images shared […]

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