This post marks 185 days in a row on which I’ve posted at least one new post. That’s more than half a year of steady posts, even if this were a leap year…which it’s not :-).
My heart is full of gratitude for all of you wonderful readers: you who get alerts and read every post, like most, comment on many; you who have landed here today for the very first time; you who know the three-dimensional me; you who don’t. Deep gratitude, in as many colors and and styles as my friend Bev’s magnificent cookies. (Not to rub it in, but…they actually taste as least as good as they look. Just sayin’.)
so much world, so little time will be taking a break after this. Be healthy, be hopeful, be kind.
If you’ve visited our pages in the past, you’ll have seen many photos taken in and from Annadel State Park. All of these photos fall into that category, most taken on a lovely, long, meandering solo hike with which I greeted this new year. Some of these were taken on later visits. Many are taken in the southerastern quadrant of the park, an area I’ve not visited since it was badly burned during the Nuns Fire in late 2017. This is partly because trails were closed for many months and then I was out of the country; partly because I was worried about what I’d see; partly because I usually bike into the park, and try to avoid the smaller trails during mud season, to help reduce erosion. Be that as it may: herewith a sense of what we see when we explore our closest park here, three years after this part of the park burned. To be clear – the shot above here shows you Mt St Helena and the Mayacmas range, north of Annadel, all of which were affected by two different fires: the Tubbs, also in 2017; and the Glass, just last year. I’ve put plenty of photos up which show you the ridges of the Mayacamas which have now been twice burned in three years. The charred trees you’ll see further down were burned in the Nuns, not those other two fires. If any of my readers are still acting as though one can doubt or question the science of climate change…hello?
Although trees around where I stood when I took this shot *did* burn in the Nuns fire in 2017, the “burn” part of this photo is on the Mayacamas ridge in the distance – which, when I took this photo late last year, had just been burned again in the Glass Fire, after experiencing the Tubbs fire in 2017 at the same time as the south side of the valley, from which I took this photo, was burning in the Nuns fire. I remind us again that Santa Rosa hadn’t seen major immediately close forest fires for a few decades prior to 2017. Now we realize that with climate change, this is our life, and we rather desperately hope that both public and private policy and behaviors will speed their pace of change while we can still reduce the longer-term impacts on future generations and livability on the planet…
Curious how they got there? Look it up: Acorn Woodpecker :-). Who knew?
Olompali State Historic Park fits into northerneasternmost Marin County where it meets Sonoma County, along Rte 101. North of the town of Novato, it’s a place I’ve driven past often whether in public buses or in private cars, but hadn’t ever explored until last month, when I and a friend in SF chose it as our park-in-the-middle to explore, so as to both see each other and remain relatively covid-safe through outdoor socializing. We went again earlier this week, along with a beloved member of the next generation, and I’m putting a lot of the larger-vista photos in this post. (You’ve already been seeing some close up shots from both trips in various other series.) Olompali is a place where California’s layers of history are present: farthest back, as an important local hub for the Coast Miwok, who were the indigenous first humans to settle in this region. Later on, it became the only place we know of in California where a Miwok received from the Spanish colonial government a land grand to stay on and work the land. Later still, it was the only place recorded where a Mexican solider died during the Bear-Republic conflict that was a local manifestation of the war that took control of modern-day California (plus a whole lot more of the current American west) away from Mexico. Later still – hey, the Grateful Dead hung out there for a while in the late 60s or early 70s.
Fascinating place, and good to be reminded of the complex layers of human-habitation history that surround us here. For the moment though, enjoy the photos from one trip in late December, another in mid-January. Mid-January photos, though taken on a scary-warm day, are generally greener because at least some inches of rain fell between the two visits. From the heights, one can see several regionally-important peaks: Mt Diablo in the east bay; Mt Tamalpais in Marin (which you saw from the south, in the Hill 88 post recently); Mt St Helena peaking over a ridge in at least one of the shots. You can also catch a few of the highest towers in SF peeking over the Marin headlands behind the town of Novato in one or two shots, if you know where to look. Enjoy – and may all our vistas be clear, but with enough clouds to bring the rain we need to grow…