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Caspar 21 August 2019

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Favorite Walks

Second-growth Redwoods

One week before our trip, and I'm still enthralled by this place where we live.

This has been a curiously warm and fog-free August ...not that I'm complaining! Global Weirding is definitely changing the climatic regime: big rains in May, followed by super-abundant understory and meadow growth, especially where a history of grazed cattle has broadcast European weed seeds, as on our Headlands, where the grass tops human height. 

We walk almost everyday. There are many wonderful walks nearby – hardly two electric-powered miles to a different trailhead if we don't want to repeat one of our nearby standards. On my birthday, we walked down through the second growth Redwoods to the waterfall on Russian Gulch's creek.

Here, as in Silver Falls State Park near Silverton, Oregon, an upthrust layer of igneous rock makes a sweet waterfall. Judge its height by the person on the trail at the top of the fall.

<p>Russian Gulch waterfall</p>

Russian Gulch waterfall

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<p>Dear Mendocino</p>

Dear Mendocino

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On Fridays, we walk in Mendocino after Farmers Market, my favorite Farmers Market: small, but with abundance and variety, and our dear friend Sakina managing. Often, a pizza from Cafe Beaujolais for lunch after the walk.

Every month when low tide coincides with walk time in the afternoon, we stroll Caspar Beach, a very popular (because accessible by car; goddess nose you don't want to schlep all your beach hazarai very far, and you can't go to the beach without a ton of hazarai, can you?) point of ocean access. 

Nearest people (from right) Rochelle, Dana, Sienna

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<p>String Beans and Gateau di patate</p>

String Beans and Gateau di patate

Family Dinner

Sunday dinner is for family – recently, Rochelle, Michael, Sienna, and Dana. This day, I cooked a new favorite, a layer cake made from riced potatoes separated by layers of likely timely vegetables. This one had Babing's baby Asian Eggplants, carmelized onions and crimin mushrooms, and a topping of Rochelle's beautiful greenhouse baby tomatoes. 

Followed by a small example of Rochelle's wonderful summertime salads ...and we were too full for dessert, but glasses of port all around.

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This week, for a change, it being a beautiful day, we drove over the Caspar Creek Bridge to the state park next door, Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, where we walked through a field of head-high grasses surrounded on three sides by glorious, limitless Pacific Ocean.

We live just north of the Lighthouse, and can see its flash every ten seconds through the night – a sort of heartbeat, and a reminder that all's well with the world. 

Walking out onto the point feels like you're walking right to the edge of the world (and, in a way, you are.) Whales cruise by just off the point. I have always enjoyed the play on words of lighthouse – walking toward it, how can one feel "heavy"?

<p>Coast and Geodetic Survey Benchmark at Point Cabrillo</p>

Coast and Geodetic Survey Benchmark at Point Cabrillo

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"Enjoy the wildlife" says a sign at the top of the road down to the lighthouse ...and we did. Just over the edge, hauled out above the crystalline clear waters, a basking young Harbor Seal – you can tell, because he (she?) has an ear hole without a flap. Sea Lions have a flap over the ear. I just learned an interesting factoid: we have both Harbor Seals and California Sea Lions here, but our Lions are only the males; their females live to the south, in harems protected by big bruisers, and see we only see the inferior males here-about.


close-up: wasps around the nest entrance

Bane of many, but admirable for their industry and seldom bothering anyone who doesn't bother them: a Wasp nest in a Cypress near the Cabrillo parking lot ...where's there's also a free plug-in for EVs, making this ride even cheaper for us!

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Amusing (Disturbing?) sightem re: the signage at this park, that's very consciously meant to be a "Teaching Park":

Sienna and I notice a young child, aged maybe 9, diligently working to decode a sign about the things to beware of in the park – Wasps, Poison Oak, not much, really – when the mother, apparently a member of the post-literate generation interrupts the child so Mom can take a picture with her camera. First things first, after all! One'll get you fifty that the image, along with all the other record shots on the camera, will disappear into cyberspace when Mom next upgrades to the next more pretentious iPhone.

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Four vignettes of the summertime Pacific on Vimeo
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