Archive for March 2014

A few comments and photos from the Golden State …   Leave a comment

Seems I’ve been a bit of a slacker in adding a new post! Although I don’t have too much to say at this point, I have added a few photos that I’ve taken since I’ve been here. (Some of these photos were taken during my trip to Port Townsend, WA during the summer of 2013.)

I will say that so far, Santa Rosa seems to be a pretty good fit for me. For the most part, S.R. is pretty laid back and has a much nicer feel than many of the other California towns I have visited, such as the affluent and pretentious Walnut Creek, and the gritty and politically conservative logging town of Willits (aka, “the pits”). Santa Rosa, located about an hour north of San Francisco, has a population of about 170, 000; its racial composition is approximately 60% Caucasian, 30% (seems a lot more) Hispanic, 5% Asian, 2% native American, 2% African-American and one “token” Samoan.

Although we have been in a serious drought since I arrived in March, 2013, and even though recent summers have been unseasonably hot, I really enjoy northern California’s Mediterranean climate. Typically, evenings here are cool, even during the summer, and winters are chilly and intermittently wet, just the type of climate that coastal redwoods (and I) prefer. Although the summers are usually pretty dry, coastal redwoods are able to get much-needed moisture from the morning fog that typically blankets northern coastal California (as well as the southwestern coast of Oregon). While coastal fogs provide most of their moisture needs during the summer, coastal redwoods receive most of their water needs during the winter from heavy rainfall. Unfortunately, only 5% of the original coastal redwood population that existed before the appearance of Europeans remains! And there’s no doubt that California’s mega-drought has caused severe stress to the surviving coastal redwoods. Since many authorities feel that plants can feel distress, lets just imagine that this distress could be vocalized by the redwoods as it was by the botanical beast, Audrey II, in the “Little Shop of Horrors”. Instead of repeatedly yelling out “Feed me. Feed me”, as Audrey II did, the coastal redwoods would be imploring, “Water me. Water me”.

By the way, the world’s tallest tree, recently recorded at a height of 382′, is a coastal redwood known as Hyperion, and is located within the Redwood National Forest. The tree’s location has (allegedly) been kept “secret” since, according to park botanists,  “even slight root damage from visitors would likely result in its top dying off”.

Today is voting day (although I started this post in March, 2014, I just got around to finishing/posting it!). One of the reasons that I’m here in California is that I’m not assaulted by political ads (on posters and TV stations) from extremist right-wing groups!  (Seems the political left, at least in California, feels that there’s no need to skewer the opposing party!)

Redwoods at Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve

Coastal redwoods at Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve

Colonel Armstrong Redwood Tree

Coastal redwood known as “Colonel Armstrong”

Petrified Redwood Displayed at "Petrified Redwood Forest". I initially thought that this site was actually a state or federal park but it's actually privately owned and operated (read: admission fees)

Petrified redwoods displayed at “Petrified Redwood Forest”. I initially thought that this site was a state or federal park but it’s actually a privately owned and operated “attraction” (read: admission fees).

Panorama Photo of Bodega Bay (remember Hitchcock's "The Birds"?)

Panorama photo of Bodega Bay (one of the sites where Hitchcock’s “The Birds” was filmed)

Clam Beach near Arcata, CA

Clam Beach, near Arcata, CA

Elk observed in Elk Meadows, redwood National Park, CA

Elk observed in Elk Meadows, Redwood National Park, CA

Mount Shasta, as observed from I5 rest stop

Mount Shasta, as observed from I-5 rest stop

Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta

Lupines at Hurricane Ridge, Olympia National Park

Lupines at Hurricane Ridge, Olympia National Park

Port Townsend Yacht Club

Port Townsend Yacht Club. Not the kind of place that I would normally frequent but the assemblage of “boats” made for interesting viewing/photography.

Western Flyer, fishing boat used by John Steinbeck in Cannery Row. This boat was submerged in Anacortes and after raising, was transported to boat repair yard in Port Townsend, WA. Unfortunately, boat has yet to be repaired and owner is currently in arrears for boatyard storage.

“Western Flyer”, the fishing boat used by John Steinbeck in his novel, “Cannery Row”. This boat was submerged in Anacortes, CA and after raising, it was transported to boat repair yard in Port Townsend, WA. Unfortunately, this derelict boat has yet to be repaired and owner is currently in arrears for boatyard storage fees.

Sundial Bridge, Redding, CA

Sundial Bridge, Redding, CA

Sundial Bridge

Sundial Bridge

Sundial Bridge

Sundial Bridge

Sundial Bridge

Sundial Bridge

Sundial Bridge. Shadow that is cast is used to tell time of day.

Sundial Bridge. Shadow that is cast is used to tell time of day.

Sundial Bridge. Time of day is displayed by location of shadow on this ground structure.

Sundial Bridge. Time of day is displayed by location of shadow on this ground structure.

Panorama of rolling hills, inland from Santa Rosa

Panorama of rolling hills – east of Sonoma County, CA

Victoria Bay, BC. As seen by ferry that I took from Port Angeles, WA

Victoria Bay, BC,  as seen from ferry that I took from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria, BC

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery. Although I'm not that much of a "tombstone tourist", the S.R. Rural Cemetery is very cool. Besides its historical value, the cemetery is interspersed with lots of trees. It provides a great walking experience as there are lots of oak tree - shaded trails, bordered by graves, to walk along. My sister, Toni, being a great fan of interesting cemeteries, would undoubtably love the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery!

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery. Although I’m not that much of a “tombstone tourist”, the S.R. Rural Cemetery is very cool. Besides its historical interest, the cemetery is interspersed with lots of trees. It provides a great walking experience as there are lots of oak tree – shaded trails, bordered by historic tombstones, to walk on. My sister, Toni, being a great fan of interesting cemeteries, would undoubtedly love the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery!

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery Plaque

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery Plaque

Santa Rosa rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery. Civil War Veteran.

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery. Civil War Veteran Tombstone

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery. Civil War Veteran

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery. Civil War Veteran Tombstone

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery. Couple of Musicians at Practice.

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery. Couple of musicians at practice.

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

Bodega Bay, CA

Bodega Bay, CA. Good location to observe gray whales during seasonal migration. Breathtakingly beautiful views; just make sure to bring along some warm clothes!

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Posted March 11, 2014 by whitecrow44 in Uncategorized