Rush Creek Open Space

Around here the official rainy season begins on 1 October. Based on annual averages, by now we should have received some significant rainfall. Not the case. Not a drop has fallen, and we’re dry. Dangerously dry. Santa Rosa and northern Sonoma County just survived—barely—the impact of multiple days of “public safety” power shutdowns, mandatory evacuations, … Continue reading "Rush Creek Open Space"

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Tolay Again

Despite increasingly shrill warnings from Pacific Gas & Electric—they who already admitted liability for previous conflagrations and dozens of deaths, and who entered bankruptcy in order to protect their asses, I mean assets—about the likelihood of an impending shutdown of the electric grid across northern California to prevent more wildfires sparked by their power lines, … Continue reading "Tolay Again"

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August Challenge: the Portland Heritage Tree Quest

Last day of August!  I’ve just got time for one last challenge post before closing the book. This one has lots  of trees, but I featured the skeleton of a dying Sycamore maple out of respect.  The post as a whole though might interest both tree and quest fans, because it’s the first stage of … Continue reading "August Challenge: the Portland Heritage Tree Quest"

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August challenge: the trees of Irvington

We’re staying this week in Irvington, one of Portland’s inner east side neighborhoods.  It feels a bit like living in an Arboretum, with a great diversity of mature trees – there must be fifty different species here, often grouped in short rows along parking strips, each block featuring a different tree than the one before. … Continue reading "August challenge: the trees of Irvington"

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August challenge: the Kalaloch Tree of Life

The Sitka Spruce is a pretty amazing tree.  Previously we had a look at the largest known Sitka Spruce in the world, soaring nearly two hundred feet into the sky.  Today’s featured image is a much smaller example, but nearly as remarkable.  The Kalaloch Tree of Life ekes out its precarious existence on the wild … Continue reading "August challenge: the Kalaloch Tree of Life"

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Bikes on White Mountain

At 14,252 feet in elevation, White Mountain Peak in the White Mountains is the third highest summit in California. A long, rough, unpaved road (requiring four-wheel drive and high clearance) leads up from the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest visitor center several thousand feet to the University of California’s Barcroft Research Station at 12,470 feet. Normally … Continue reading "Bikes on White Mountain"

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Tioga Pass, part 1

Tioga Road across the Sierra through Yosemite National Park is one of the most spectacular high mountain routes (up to nearly 10,000 feet) in the US. But all the usual reasons—narrow lanes, lack of shoulders, curves, climbs, heavy traffic, lumbering RVs, inattentive drivers—make it a dicey proposition under normal circumstances. Consequently, bicyclists love the opportunity … Continue reading "Tioga Pass, part 1"

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One Brick at a Time

Janet is right. Northern California suffers from a relative dearth of brick buildings. Why? Earthquakes. Brick buildings tend not to stand up to earthquakes too well. In the big 1906 quake, Santa Rosa suffered proportionally more damage than San Francisco. Practically every brick edifice in town collapsed. Nowadays, most of the brick walls around here … Continue reading "One Brick at a Time"

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