Spring beach

As we drive along Highway 1 in the southern half of Mendocino County, if we notice a sign saying “Coastal Access” we stop to check it out for its fishing potential. This was what happened back in March when we happened upon the Spring Ranch Nature Preserve, just south of the town of Mendocino. It’s very easy to miss, with […]

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Point Cabrillo

The name of 16th century conquistador Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo has been attached to quite a number of geographical landmarks and structures, mostly in Southern California. So I was a little confused when I first heard about the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse in Mendocino County, and of course I had to visit the site and see it for myself. On my first […]

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In the quiet places

We spent the past week exploring up and down the Mendocino coast while the Big Guy looked for some new favorite fishing spots. The downside of these adventures is that I only occasionally get a chance to visit popular beaches and hiking trails, take a wander through the Mendocino Botanical Gardens and the local museums, or sit and contemplate in […]

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Stornetta, north and south

There is so much room to roam over the Stornetta Public Lands near Point Arena that during our three separate visits I’ve only managed to scratch the surface of this beautiful coastal hiking area. In September 2021 I thought I was doing pretty well when I managed to walk from the northern gate to the private road running from Highway […]

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Lake Berryessa memories

The last time I was in this part of Lake Berryessa, around Steele Canyon, was back in October 2004,when the Big Guy was fishing in a two-day bass tournament that launched here. Although I only have vague memories of how different everything looked back then, I do recall the date because his second-place trophy is hanging on our livingroom wall! […]

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Vernal pool prairie

The vernal pools appear dry, but the wildflowers are popping up everywhere. On my visit the other day, I saw mostly purple Vetch, yellow Hawkbit, and White Hyacinth. But as I continued to look, I also spotted Vernal Pool Goldfields, Little Quaking Grass, Checkerbloom, Valley Tassels, and even Downingia. The signs of life are definitely there to see, if you […]

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Loco for lupine

Most of the photographers hoping to capture the lupine at Folsom Lake right now seem to make a beeline for Beeks Bight, accessible through the Granite Bay entrance on the north fork. Very much like last spring, when we had a genuine superbloom, the social media posts have popped up and the news helicopters have been hovering. Visitors have been […]

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