April 26, 2011

Fisherman's Festival and Artwalk Weekend . . .


38th Annual Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival   

The Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival is Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st, 10:00 am until 5:00 pm, at Westside Park on Westshore Road, Bodega BayThe Bodega Bay

The Festival boasts:

Live Music
Wine Tasting
Local Cuisine
Food Booths
Crafts Fair
Children's Events
Raffle Prizes

Special events include:

Golf Tournament

Wooden Boat Challenge
Boat Parade
Blessing of the Fleet
Big Art Tent
w/ Original Art

* Schedule:

Saturday, April 30

10:00 Wooden Boat Challenge BEGINS
10:00-11:00 Tomales High School Pan Band
11:30 US Coast Guard Search & Rescue Demo
11:30-1:45 Moonalice
1:30-2:00 Wooden Boat Challenge RACE
TBD Parade of Pets and Llamas
(2:15 gather @ Info Booth)
2:00 - 5:00 Unauthorized Rolling Stones

Sunday, May 1

10:00-11:00 The Emily Tessmer Band
11:30 Boat Parade & Blessing of the Fleet
11:30-2:00 The Thugz
2:00-5:00 Wonder Bread 5
Ongoing Performances, Demonstrations, etc.
Check with the Information Booth for details on:
Kids Corner • Capt. Jack Spareribs • Kite Flying demos
CHP and Sonoma County Sheriff helicopter landings
US Coast Guard in the harbor

Leashed Pets Welcome!
Free Parking
Handicap Accessible

Admission: $10
seniors $8

kids under 12 free

A fun time for the whole family and a great way to spend the day in Bodega Bay.

Salmon Creek ArtWalk

1 mile North of Bodega Bay, the Salmon Creek Artwalk  is also a 'must see' event. Follow the signs as you head out of town, Salmon Creek is on your left. If you end up at Salmon Creek Beach you've gone too far.

From the website:

Studios open to the public 10am - 5pm
Salmon Creek Village admission is free
1 mile north of Bodega Bay on Hwy 1

Come celebrate our ELEVENTH YEAR!
We are proud to have been a
Part of the Sonoma Coast Art Scene For 11 years!

There is something for everyone at the Salmon Creek Artwalk; sculpture, textile art, pottery, and paintings in various mediums. Talk to the artists and purchase their work directly. An event not to be missed.

April 21, 2011

Castles and Kites Celebration . . .

My photographer friend Tom, AKA 'Birdman', sent an email letting me know that he will be photographing the Castles and Kites Celebration at Doran Beach Regional ParkThis event is from 11:00 until 5:00 this Saturday, April 23rd. The event is free but unless you have a Regional Parks Pass, it will cost you $6.00 to enter the park.

It's breezy Spring weather here on the coast so remember to dress in layers. Bring a picnic or grab a sandwich and snacks at Diekmann's Bay Store or Pelican Plaza Grocery and Deli.

Doran is located south of Bodega Bay at 201 Doran Beach Road. This is an opportunity to watch expert sand castle builders or to participate. Park staff will be at the beach and will have tools and molds for children to use. 

Try your kite flying skills. Bodega Bay kite vendors, Candy & Kites and Second Wind will both be at the event with kites for you to try.  Stunt kite demonstrations will take place all day, along with kite making workshops for the kids and a free kite repair clinic. 

This fun filled day is sponsored by the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation, Candy & Kites, and Second Wind. For more information, contact the Regional Parks office (707) 565-2041 or visit www.sonoma-county.org/parks.

April 15, 2011

Let's Talk About Unmentionables . . .

'Sunny', office help . . .
Cat litter.  

If you have a cat and it's indoors for any period of time it's likely you're purchasing cat litter. Cat litter has always been a bugaboo for me because of the negative impact it creates in our environment.

'Gray Guy'. . . RIP my little buddy . . .

I hear you ask, "what does this have to do with the beach?" And I reply, "a lot".  Cat litter is flushed down toilets, and tossed into garbage cans. The end result is that a large portion of litter eventually makes it's way into our sewer systems and storm drains which lead to the ocean. 

Online magazine, Green Living says that we send about two million tons of cat litter every year to the landfill. Not only is silica-based and clay cat litter bad for our environment, according Green Living these cat litters are dangerous to you and your cat.  CLICK HERE to read more.


Yahoo! Green writes, scientists from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine found that 62% of dead sea otters found between 1997 and 2001 were infected with Toxoplasma. The suspected source was land-based runoff of the parasite. Landscape irrigation washes infected cat droppings from lawns into gutters, which drain into streams that feed into the ocean. Municipal sewage systems can't always kill the Toxoplasma eggs because they have a very hard, durable coating. So when the treated sewage is released into the sea it can hurt sea life as well. Let's not add to marine pollution with our kitty litter. A cleaner solution for those of us in coastal states is to keep the poop in the garbage.

I love solutions. My veterinarian told me about a product I really appreciate because of the low environmental impact, Yesterday's News made by Purina. The following is a post from Purina's website:

Environmentally-Friendly Cat Litters

Purina Recycles Newspapers into Yesterday’s News

One very “green” thing we can do for the environment is to take trash and turn it into a useful product. Used newspapers and phone directories are big and bulky and take up a lot of space in landfills. Yesterday’s News diverts tons of this “trash” from landfills and turns it into a healthy cat litter product.

“Every ton of paper we use to make our cat litter saves 3.3 cubic yards of space in the landfill,” says Elizabeth Aull, Recycling Coordinator for Yesterday’s News. “In 2008, over 14,000 tons of paper was recycled into Yesterday’s News, thus freeing up about 46,000 cubic yards of landfill space.”

Yesterday’s News® brand Pet Litter has benefits beyond the environment. It’s also 300% more absorbent than clay litter, is dust-free and doesn’t track. So cats and cat owners like it. Veterinarians like it too. Eight out of 10 veterinarians recommend Yesterday’s News for cats who’ve had surgery because the dust-free pellets don’t contaminate the surgical site.

Yesterday’s News also works with the local community in southwest Missouri where the recycling takes place. The Project PetLitter is a program for the Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland, Inc, the council nearest the Springfield, Missouri plant. Girl Scout troops compete to collect the most used phone books each year from area businesses. In each of the past two years, the local Girl Scouts have collected 66,000 phone books. They earn service badges from Purina and AT&T, as well as other rewards.

Of course, the Girl Scouts don’t do all the collecting! Purina provides recycling bins throughout the region to collect a variety of paper, from junk mail to pasteboard, from people in the community. This paper is also recycled into Yesterday’s News and secondnature® brand dog litter.

“We also provide free shredding,” Aull says proudly. “Shredding services can be costly, but we provide it free to our community.”
Click here to read the entire post.

The office 'help' is assisting with the computer . . .

I'm not a big fan of Purina or any commercial pet food corporation for that matter, but when a corporation is producing a responsible product, they deserve recognition. 

We recently switched from a corn based litter to 'Yesterday's News' because of mention on My Plastic Free Life blog, and a recommendation from our vet at Animal Hospital of Sebastopol. We eased the cats into the new litter by adding a quarter each time over several days. The transition was fairly uneventful.

I LOVE this truly 'green' product! Let me count the ways:

1.  It comes in a paper bag! All litters I've previously purchased     except the plain clay litters, come in either a plastic jug or heavy plastic bag which end up in our landfill and our OCEANS!
2. Yesterday's News is100% recycled! Need I say more about this?
3. It's 100% biodegradable! I suppose if you consider the inks used on the original paper the percentage would drop. But hey, the paper was going into the landfill anyway!
4.  Yesterday's News really works, I don't notice any offensive odor which is remarkable to me.
5.  It's neat, do dust, little to no tracking.
6.  I LOVE the clever name.


Sad news . . .  

Phil, the seal guy, sent an email informing us that 'Sweet Rock' died suddenly on Monday morning, April 11th. The necropsy revealed nothing unusual, leading the staff to conclude that her system just wasn't able to recover from her malnourished state. 

We are grateful for everything the Marine Mammal Center did to try and rehabilitate 'Sweet Rock'.

April 13, 2011

Beach Loving Companions . . .

We met 'Rio' on our Sunday beach walk. 'Rio', a 14 month-old Newfoundland loves the water ~ a perfect beach companion. His guardians adopted 'Rio' as a weeks-old puppy after the loss of their beloved Retriever they'd had for many years. 'Rio's' guardian tells me that 'Rio' dives to the bottom of their swimming pool to retrieve objects. Newfoundland's, 'Newfies' are known to be expert swimmers using their front paws not unlike humans do when 'pulling' water. 

It will be fun to see 'Rio' on the beach again. I've made so many canine friends here . . . 


Heading into the parking lot we were greeted by this alert face. This handsome guy was quite the 'ham'. As I was photographing him he seemed to pose this way and that, clearly enjoying the attention. 

heyyyy . . .  don't . . . .

don't EVEN try and stick your head out here . . .

a bit of admonishment has his trailer companion snicker . . .

April 12, 2011

A Love Letter to You . . .

I love this little eleven minute film about 30-something professionals and climbers, Fitz and Becca Cahall's 300 mile journey through the Sierra's. In my mind, they've got their priorities straight. Stunning photography, beautiful message . . . I love what Fitz does at the end of the film . . .

I am a 50-something hiker. All I want to do is hike and photograph and blog about hiking. I dream of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail . . . all of it. Not at once, pieces at a time. This is a goal worthy of living. Anytime spent in nature, in the out-of-doors, makes life worth living. Spending that time with the people I love makes my time hiking beyond amazing . . .

May 2010 Infineon Race

My kid feels this way about dirt biking.  I understand his passion for being outdoors on his bike, on the trail, challenging himself, feeling victorious, feeling alive, being with people he enjoys and with whom he can share his passion. I'm happy he has something he feels so exuberant about.  

As a teenager I felt that way when I was on the back of a horse, bicycling out to Stafford Lake, on the back of a motorcycle, or with my friends at the beach. I felt alive. I have no recollection of feeling this way indoors, it was always out-of-doors that I had aliveness flowing through me.

So I send you this post as my love letter to you . . . go outside, take a walk, a hike, a ride . . . enjoy being alive . . .


CLICK HERE for VERTICULTURE ~ "What's Your Love Letter?" contest

April 6, 2011

'Sweet Rock' Update & Windy Spring . . .

Spring means wind at the coast. I was lulled into blissful sunshine and summer-like weather throughout much of the winter and nearly forgot about the windy Spring. 

My husband reminds me of the fresh ocean air that moves through with the wind. Nice thought honey . . . On my beach walks my hair whips in my face and sand pelts my camera. Even my cats dislike the wind and sulk around as if there were something I could do to make their life better. They howl and complain much like the coastal winds.

I'm much more tolerant of the wind since I've lived on the coast. Actually, I'm more resilient in many ways since moving here. We were very protected from wind at our wooded Freestone property. Cloistered in the surrounding trees and hills, we had no idea what went on out here in the Spring. Spring in Freestone was gentle and quiet, Spring on the coast is gusty and outspoken . . . not unlike me I suppose.


I received an email (below) from the seal guy, Phil and his wife, Jean updating me on 'Sweet Rock'.


Thanks for your continuing support of The Marine Mammal Center. I've attached a copy of our most recent Annual Report to give you an overview of our most recent activities.

Jean & I have made two trips to the Center already this week (Elephant seal weaner from Dillon Beach and a harbor seal pup from Lawson's Landing). While we were there we looked in on 'Sweet Rock'. She seems to be fattening up nicely (boy, that's a statement that would never seem flattering about a human), and is spending her days sprawled out in her pen enjoying the sun.

Phil & Jean Warren

Many thanks to Phil and Jean Warren for their tireless efforts on behalf of the seals on our Sonoma and Marin Coasts. I wish they rescued pigs as well . . .

Pigs Run Wild on Bodega Highway . . . .

yep . . . pigs . . .

What else could I do?  I watched in horror as two small pigs ran frantically back and forth across Bodega Highway just outside the town of Bodega. Drivers rushing to get to the beach or home are flying at freeway speeds and two little pigs running nowhere safe. I had to stop.

Dan and Rachel, angels from Boston

What in the heck did I think I was going to do? I had no idea how to catch a pig. Thank goodness for Rachel and Dan, visiting from Boston. They drove by as I was herding the swine duo away from traffic and certain death. Actually, several people stopped to assist and then seeing it looked hopeless, headed out. But Dan and Rachel stuck it out. I love these people!

they'll never believe this back home . . .

Rachel offering her only granola bar

The pigs loved Rachel's granola bar but turned their snouts up at my Trader Joe's Honey Wheat Pretzels. Who knew pigs were so particular?!
Turns out Dan and Rachel had as much experience catching pigs as I did . . . so I called the Sheriff's Department who put me in touch with CHP. Within fifteen minutes Officer Lane E. Leland arrived to the chaos created by gawkers and people trying to lend a hand. 
Officer LeLand to the rescue

There was too much going on for me to continue taking photographs . . . Officer LeLand checked with two ranches to see if the pigs belonged to their household but no luck. Several children from one of the ranches came out with two Chihuahua's. When the dogs caught site of the pigs a frenzied chase ensued. What a zoo . . . kids running everywhere, dogs all over the highway and the poor, frightened piglet. 

A gentleman from one of the ranches gave chase to the larger pig but she ran too far to keep up. The ranch hand was finally  able to grab the piglet when the dogs had run it to exhaustion and it collapsed underneath a car. When the ranch hand grabbed the pigs leg to drag him out and then held it by it's squirming round body, I was concerned that he wouldn't be able to hang on. But none of this phased this man. He slipped a dog leash over the squealing piglet's neck and carted him off.

I believe the pigs were a mama and her baby. Mama is still missing somewhere near the old Wilson School house. I hope they will be reunited at some point.

Thanks to all who stopped and tried to help. Big hugs to Rachel and Dan for stopping and taking time from their two days here to help these creatures. You two are awesome! If you're around again send me an email, I'd like to buy you a cup of tea or glass of wine.

A big thank you to Officer LeLand who took all the craziness in stride. Thanks for being out there willing to lend a hand.  

A huge thanks to the pig wrestler whose name I neglected to ask . . . you're a savior . . . .

Mama with little white baby

April 1, 2011

Bodega Bay International Film Festival . . .

Thank you to Kathlene at Bodega Bay Life for posting a press release about the upcoming Bodega Bay Film Festival

The Festival will be held at the Bodega Marine Lab over Memorial Day weekend, May 28th and 29th. Tickets start at $20 and there are only 100 seats per screening so don't hesitate to order as I'm sure they'll sell out fast. The films will be presented in High Definition, fully digital format. I'll be posting a review of our experience.

I've hiked Bodega Head more times than I can remember and have always wished I could walk Horseshoe Cove. Horseshoe Cove is a marine sanctuary and research area for the Bodega Marine Laboratory. UC Davis Bodega Marine Reserve's 362 acres surrounds the research and educational facility know as the Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Click here for Bodega Marine Laboratory Web Cam

If you want a beautiful hike with panoramic ocean views and superior whale watching opportunities, head to Bodega Head. You can hike from the Head to the Bodega Marine Lab and take a tour on Friday's from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information call (707) 875-2211.