Coastal Weeds

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Last Saturday, we went for a walk along the coast to cool down from the 100 degree weather in the valley. Several months earlier we had heard that we could walk to Alamere Falls on The Palomarin Trail (Point Reyes National Seashore) and that the walk was about eight miles long. We thought it would still be a good time to see the falls since we had lots of rainfall in the winter months and the falls would not be dry.

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Native Pacific Coast Plants

Fact is, we thought a lot of things that turned out to be untrue. This trail is not a gentle trail. It has a rut running through the middle of it that I could only presume was an active way for the water to run to the ocean during the wet months. It makes the walk…hike much more difficult.

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Cooling Pacific Ocean Fog Bank

 The hike to the waterfall is eight miles if you take a short-cut through the thickets of berry bushes and poison oak. You have to crouch down into a ball and walk your way through the thicket, only to find a cliff at the top of the falls that is made of shale. Many people took this route, thinking that there was no poison oak, and slowly made their way up and down the cliff. We went around, as I know that I am extremely allergic to poison oak.

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Morning Glory

We hiked for over 40,000 steps and totaled seventeen miles of hiking up and down and up and down and….you understand. Will I ever do it again? Nope! Imagine walking the entire seventeen mile drive unpaved, dry, dusty, without water refills or food trucks. If I’d come prepared with cash in hand, I would have offered it to the people riding horses to take me out of this place.

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Alamere Falls

The saddest part for me was that once we arrived at the waterfall, that falls to the beach, we only wanted to start our trek back to our car. Sitting on the beach watching the falls was not an option. Each step we took was one step closer to the end of our walking. I’ve got to tell you that the quaint little town of Bolinas had a restaurant that we were dying to get a table at. The menu was very limited but who wouldn’t want pizza and beer after walking seventeen miles? Ahh, pizza, beer, and a chair, divine!

 

 

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Road Closed/Flooded

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With this year’s wet weather, I need to tell you that should you come upon the following signs, “Road Closed/Flooded,” believe it and do not enter.

Last Saturday we were returning from Chico and found ourselves on this road. We should have turned the car around, and if I had been driving, that surely would have happened. I wasn’t driving and we proceeded into the waters. We proceeded into the waters four times before we saw a large truck pulling a trailer coming towards us. It was at this time that I said, “stop the car, I’m serious, STOP THE CAR!” We had the truck driver roll down his window and asked him where he had come from. He had turned around, in fear that his trailer would be undermined by the rushing waters. I told him that, “we would be right behind him.”

It looked like an ocean around us and when we turned around, we looked up and could see the problem with the Oroville Dam. We were quite a long ways away but it was clear that there was a problem. We continued towards home and passed through many of the towns that were evacuated the very next day. I really have no good reason, that I can think of, for getting into that situation. I won’t be there again. It was stupid and I am partly to blame for my lack of stopping the car earlier. The water problems in California are very real and something that should not be taken lightly.

I’m glad we didn’t end up on the news, with helicopters saving us from the roof of our car. I’m always wondering how people get themselves into those situations. It’s easy to avoid, just stay home, evacuate if requested, and heed the signs. 

Simply Still Serenity

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It’s not often that I arrive at a lake to find it still and perfectly reflected upon itself. I was amazed to find this. I almost felt bad putting the kayak into the still waters. Once I was on the water, I didn’t feel bad anymore. It was quite serene. There wasn’t even any wind to push across the water and force the surface to move.

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Still Morning at Salmon Lake

I don’t think about missing silence until I find myself submerged in it. It is completely calming. Fish and Game stopped stocking this lake with fish and word must have gotten out because there was hardly a fisherman to be found. Even the bald eagles were circling the lake and leaving. I loved being there because every little sound became apparent to me. The bees were buzzing, grasshoppers rubbing their wings, and when a person spoke, their voice was perfectly clear to everyone in the lake basin we were all residing in. There wasn’t much talking going on, though; I think everyone was simply enjoying the silence of the morning. 

 

 

Cooling Down

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It seems that when the valley gets to temperatures in the hundreds, my mind drifts off into thoughts of favorite water shots that I’ve taken in the past.  There’s something almost cooling about them.  With pictures being worth a thousand words, I tend to conjure up old memories of my favorite places too. 

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Westlake Park

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Montage Walkway

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Reflection at Whitehawk Ranch

Even though the temperatures are high, these photos make me think about how cool it would be to dip my toes into any of these waters.  Westlake Park sits on the west side of Santa Cruz and I spent countless hours playing there as a child.  The Montage at Laguna Beach hosts magnificent views of the Pacific.  Whitehawk Ranch holds a serenity that is very hard to find in many places these days.  What are some of your coolest memories and do you have a favorite place you like to go to when things get a bit hot?

Just A Little Kindness

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One last blog with photos taken on my vacation.  Perkins Cove in Maine to be exact.  

When I put together my photo book from our vacation, I kept coming back to this grouping of photos.  There’s something about the place that I want to keep in my mind.  Photos have a great way of doing just that.  When we are out and about, I always offer to take strangers photos when I see them struggling to get a selfie to commemorate where they’ve been.  Most people are very excited when I offer.  I go a step further.  I think about lighting, shadows, and the general surroundings.  I take a shot far away and move in a couple of times.  Then I wait to make sure that they are happy with the shots.  It takes a few seconds and it makes them so happy.  I tell them to have a great day and go on my way.  Maybe the world could be a less troubled place if we all just showed a little kindness here and there.  Go out and do something nice for a stranger today.  It will make both of you feel good.

Storm Set colors

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I recently drove from Southern California to Northern California through some road conditions that were less then wonderful.  As I was driving there was an amazing sunset but I didn’t want to stop to take a photo because of the road conditions.  I wrote the following poem to help my mind remember the colors that I saw.  I hope you can visualize them too.

Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds

Storm Set Colors

This sunset that surrounds me
I haven’t a photo for
I’m driving North through cold slushy rain
But it’s colors, I adore

Bright bubble gum pink and glaucous gray clouds
Form a nimbus line to the East of me
Atomic tangerine with black cumulus legs
Hang eerily as far as I can see

Ochre grays and rusty coppers
Linger throughout the clouds
They push their way around me
Then they drop, rain pounds, out loud

A tiny patch of light blue sky
Glows off in the distant West
Illumnated rolling green pistachio hills
Front snow sprinkled mountain caps

I push on through the misting,
Through the downpours, and endless showers
Remembering the colors
The soft, bright, and wickedly gloomy,
Colors

2/2016  Bonnie L DiMichele

End of Day

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We stopped for the tail-end of a gorgeous sunset at a Wildlife Refuge off of Z Road just outside of Chico, CA a couple of evenings ago.

Wildlife Refuge off of Z Rd

Wildlife Refuge off of Z Rd

It made me think about the end of each day and that the year was soon coming to an end as well.  I hope you all have had a lovely 2015 and that your 2016 will be even more delightful.  Happy New Year to you all.