Yes, that’s mistletoe in the trees. Truly.
Consider this something like a special edition of Beauty & The Burn, and County Views combined. People who’ve heard of our region’s wine country are most likely to know the name Napa, and possibly the name Sonoma. Before 2017, folks mostly thought of this region for its wines, if they thought of it at all. Since then, well, you know we’ve had more and bigger fires than anyone had seen in recorded history thanks to, you guessed it, climate change and our greedy society’s stubborn inability to reimagine life without the burning of fossil fuels. Locally, when we meet someone new and they say they’re from xx or yy location, it’s reasonably common to ask – when relevant given where they live – “did you and your family do ok in the Glass / Nunns / Tubbs / Walbridge fire?”
The most recent of those four was the Glass Fire, which started on the Napa County side of the (twice-burned) ridge you see above, then burned its destructive way over onto the Sonoma County side. The fire crews worked hard to keep it from burning all of Mt St Helena. You can see this dramatic mountain in every picture in this post. It’s the core of Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, has five different peaks, and straddles both Napa and Sonoma Counties as well as Lake County, at the point where all three counties meet. Its highest peak is also the highest point in Sonoma County at 4,342 feet above sea level; another of its peaks is the highest point in Napa County. Once I get far enough away from our local ridge (in which the highest point is Mt Hood at 2730 feet above sea level) to see past it, Mt St Helena’s profile is quite visible. In case you didn’t guess, it’s volcanic in origin although it’s not an actual volcano, just uplifted rocks from a 2.4-million-year-old volcanic field.
Yes, a bit of a rivers theme to encourage more rain: the egrets (can someone tell me if I’ve mis-identified them, please?) only reappeared after our first inch or so of rain, about ten days ago. We must hope for more, in part so they’ll hang out a bit longer here :-).
This is the last post I’ll be making on this particular, lovely holiday with my friends and community at home: this morning I’ll be flying out, and by Tuesday morning I’ll be back at the office in Dhaka. Herewith signs from the middle, west and east portions of one of my favorite long, sunny-day easy rides through my own neighborhood. From the Ewok Sign to the Pole with “No Dogs” and the circular blue signs is maybe 8 miles or so as biked by me — a bit more or less, but roughly that much. The west (Ewok) end is on a creek-side bike trail, while the east end is the beginning of several possible mountain-bike trail loops in the state park nearest to me, Annadel. Goodbye, dear trails — may many others appreciate and explore you in the months until you see me next 🙂
In May, I spent a few weeks of holiday back in Sonoma County. As ever, I spent as much time as I could on the bike trails and in the parks. As you’ll see in these photos, the California poppies were in bloom, the days were usually sunny but sometimes – as when Amy & I climbed to the top of Hood Mountain — pretty cloudy and even occasionally rainy. (That’s rare for May in California, in case you didn’t know.) In Haiti, where I’m spending most of my time these days, I rarely have the chance to linger by streams with wading birds and gliding ducks, or to enjoy little irises or turkeys fanning out during a hike in the woods. I’ve also included a couple of shots taken at Dolores Park, one of my favorite spots in San Francisco, which has been under reconstruction much of the past year and now looks fresh, new and as popular as ever.