“Old, but young” Sailor from Japan stranded in Crescent City


75 year old Japanese sailor in Crescent City harbor!

If there could be a better place for a boat to break down, I don’t know of it.  This handsome Japanese man decided to sail around the world, alone, in ‘Only You.’

The following article in the The Daily Triplicate, a good read.  And 75 year old Katsumi isn’t too bad, either!  😀


I’ve mentioned in previous posts how we, in Crescent City and this area of the Pacific Coastline, are waiting for the fallout from Japan‘s Tsunami.  It’s on the way and expected.

No one expected Katsumi!


Thoughtful Thursday – The Visitor


On April 30, 2011, I left dry and almost hot again Southern California for good. The nearly 900 mile drive to our home in Crescent City in my red Ford Ranger packed with four large crates of rabbit pairs, a guinea pig, two cats, supplies and a change of clothes, one of my daughters – a hellish event.  The guinea pig didn’t seem affected, though Meika, behaved oddly.

Meika, big game hunter. (in her dreams)

As it turns out, Meika had cancer of the worst kind.  It saddens me to think of how she endured 19 hours in the little truck. She was euthanized a few weeks later.  She would have loved life here and I planted a paw-paw tree in her memory in the back of our property.

The day before I left, I had a surprise visitor at the sliding door.  Though he and his mate would come into the back when the dog wasn’t paying attention, he never came this close.

I don’t know what prompted him to come to the door, linger and go.  Did he have a sense of the changes going on or was it coincidence? Is there something more?

I don’t find quarters anymore, as I have since childhood.  I find feathers.  Every day.

Parkway Drive, Crescent City 95531


It’s my pleasure to share more of the natural beauty that surrounds me.

Earlier this month we headed for a local stand of Epilobium_angustifolium  also known as Fireweed or Rosebay Willow herb along Parkway Drive in Crescent City.  A short bicycle ride, a beautiful day and a camera, and we were rolling.

Fireweed, along the side of Parkway Drive

I’ve been waiting for the Fireweed to bloom and set seeds, so I can collect some and toss them into my yard.  It’s an amazing plant with a tremendous potential.

Seed heads developing

I feel sorry for the name, as folks tend to cut it down because they assume that it’s a fire hazard.  Au contraire! Fireweed is one of the first plants to move in, after land clearing or burning.  Let me vouch for this!  We’ve been pulling invasive ivy here since last spring, and this spring, a few volunteers came up.  We didn’t know what it was at the time.  I took a wait and see attitude.  Sure enough, six or seven Fireweed plants  blooming here –  in front of my redwoods!

The stems can be made into a light duty cord and the leaves rich in Vitamin C, good for potherb or tea.  The fluff from the seed heads mixes well with other fibers for spinning, weaving and making blankets and bedding.  I plan to make cord and spin the the seed fibers with some wool or alpaca.

Some of the Indian tribes who recognized and took advantage of these and other benefits of Fireweed are Haidu, Saanich, Squamish, Quinault, Skokomish, Nisga’a, and Gitsan.  This list in not exhaustive.  I have a great respect for the efforts and knowledge of those before me.

Blooms from the bottom, up, setting seeds, blooming and budding, all at once.

Plants like this one scream out with their color, of benefit to us in so many ways, yet we drive by, not giving much thought to them. Perhaps this is why our world is falling apart. We’re not looking, seeing, listening.

Budding tip of the Fireweed plant. Edible buds.  I ate some.

Here’s a large conifer covered in Witch’s Hair, Alectoria sarmentosa, a large, hanging hair lichen.  This was used by Nuxalk as false whiskers and hair for decorating dance masks.  A few interior tribes wove footwear from this lichen.

Lot’s of witch’s hair!!

Here’s a closer look.

closer look

And closer still…

lovely witch’s hair

I’m weak when it comes to picking and eating thimble berries.  They aren’t available commercially, as they’re fragile and don’t keep.  The plants grow wild here, and they’re my favorite native berry. I don’t care if my fingers turn red.  The thimble berry leaves resemble maple leaves and are part of the Rose family, as are many berries.

Mixed plants, roadside.

I noticed the beautiful green color of this shrub before I saw the thorns.  Lucky for me, I only latched on to the leaves to inspect it!   In a moving vehicle traveling the normal rate of speed, I would have missed this one.

Black Hawthorn perhaps?

California or Canada thistle, much lighter in color than any reference I could find.

Thistle, unknown variety.

Closer look at the thistle. Tiny flower heads about the size of a quarter.  This was the only patch, though it can become a pest and I don’t think it’s native to this area.

Pretty, with hazards.

Several stands of Hardhack or Steeplebush – striking pinks everywhere! The Nuu-cha-nulth used the wiry, branching twigs to make broom-like implements and for collecting Dentalia shells, used for trading.

Spirea douglasii

Finally, a meadow on the south side,  going home, so busy with swallows.  A few rested long enough for a photo shoot.

Swallows – great for keeping insect in check

I hope you enjoyed the neighborhood and please remember to take a  few minutes to see what’s in yours.

Weather Report – Crescent City, California 8/3/2012



  • It’s 10:16 a.m. PST on Friday morning in Crescent City, California.
  • The temperature is 53° with 100% humidity.
  • The fog is dissipating and temps should reach a high of 63° today
  • It’s overcast and will be partly sunny this afternoon.  Since the humidity level will be only 48%, it’ll be nice.
  • Sunset at 8:31 p.m.

beautiful moth on red alder in the front yard


And the prize for the best stone ‘whatsit’ goes to –



Qu’est-ce que c’est?

Standing alone

On our last hike in Gasquet, we stopped by the Smith River National Recreation Area comfort station.  Our hikes were two that day – Darlingtonia Trail and Myrtle Creek Trail, which is an interpretive trail, and we decided to keep going north on the 199, through Gasquet.

I had forgotten that I took this photograph until I saw this one – breathing-space-july-3112

This structure was well thought out.  It’s right next to the 199, amidst brush and trees.  Behind, are homes, and to the north, the Comfort Station.  I am so inspired by this stone structure, that I’m compelled to make one of my own, in miniature, with pebbles of agate and semi-precious stones I find on the beaches here, by the hundreds, when I’m so inclined.  It’s on my short list of artworks that’s poking me in the brain.

Can you picture many men, after a day of hydro mining or logging, as in cutting down the ancient redwoods, physically exhausted, hungry and tormented by mosquitos and other biting insects, sitting here, keeping warm?

Gasquet, though only 13 or so miles from the center of MY world, has a different climate.  Gasquet, CA can reach into the 100’s in summer, and over 100 inches of rain a year.  Snow falls, too.

I’m happy in maritime climate, Crescent City, CA.  Though we had 89% humidity yesterday, it never reached over 70° thankfully.  I’m still waiting for the one day that reaches 72 or 73° so I can give my horses their yearly bath!

Photo of Horace Gasquet, originally from France, courtesy of DBerry2006, Flickr photos.





Yesterday, I taught my daughter to play cribbage.  We had one round of cribbage, and later in the evening, she asked for another game.  😀 😀 😀   Happy!!!

After the game, she  was studying on her computer.  Then, she said, “That’s who it is!!”

World Guy was rolling his earth ball down the 101 in Crescent City.   I sent an email, thinking he’d be resting for the evening, but when I read his post this morning, for yesterday, he stated that he’d be walking all night. He sounds tired and his writing seemed tired, too.

If I had known, I would have picked him up in MY pick-up truck.  And fed him and his dog, too.  We always carry dog food for the homeless and traveler’s dogs.

It’s a funny place, Crescent City.  Hitch hikers backpacking, grungy, hungry and weighed down don’t get bothered too much, as long as they stand still.  Most just want to see the world and are almost always heading north to Oregon and Washington.  The bicyclists are welcome. We have lanes just for bicyclists and lights specifically for them, to cross the bridges safely. Bicycle friendly place.

World Guy walks for Diabetes Awareness.  My girl saw a “crazy guy walking down the 101 rolling a big ball and walking with a dog.”  I think it’s a good thing, and I wished she’d told me earlier in the day.

Maybe it was the ball, or the dog that the CHP (California Highway Patrol) objected to. I’ve dealt with CHP officers in the past, as getting a school bus drivers license in this state is tough business.  A driver has to do a song and dance in front of an officer, demonstrating her knowledge in extreme detail, of the school bus.  And then, you drive with him, show your skill in handling the 40′ rectangular box.  It’s not fun, really.  I’ve seen women cry when they fail.  CHP are pretty stiff when it comes to what’s okay and what isn’t.

When I drove the bus for the High School, one of the parents was a CHP officer.  We’d go on sports trips together.  I found him friendly and not the same as on duty. In fact, he insisted that I call him by his first name, because he didn’t want anyone to know who he was because, “You never know.”  It was a good plan, really.  Daniel helped me navigate a few times, in or out of  ridiculously tight spots.  It’s good to have another pair of eyes.

I digress.

World Guy may think that he was singled out for harassment –  I don’t think so.  If he were going to be harassed, it’d be by the ‘locals,’ the people born here,  with dogs and guns, big pick up trucks that haven’t been cleaned out since last year’s hunting season and wearing flannel shirts with the top two buttons opened.  The same guys who drink beer for breakfast – hair of the dog –  and give ugly stares to anyone who doesn’t look like a pot smoker, a relative, or someone visiting Pelican Bay State Prison here.

English: Pelican Bay State Prison, looking wes...

English: Pelican Bay State Prison, looking west, taken July 27, 2009, from 6,500 feet MSL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Never let the locals, the rednecks, the CHP or anyone else ever stop you from coming to see this fantastically unique place on earth, Del Norte county, California.   Most of us stay home during the summer.  We just give way to the hoards of tourists who just pass through, and tend to our gardens and houses, before the rains come again.

This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor...

Crescent City, CA 95531


St. George Reef Lighthouse

St. George Reef Lighthouse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s so much to enjoy here in Del Norte county, Ca., and the ocean’s got a wealth of pickings for a scavenger like me.   I’ll pick up most anything of interest, including stones, rocks, shells, bones, driftwood, fossils, feathers and anything unusual.  While I’m picking, I can watch sea birds, see prey birds, listen to seals and sea lions and take in the salty, clean air. Occasionally, I’ll get a  glimpse of a few turkey vultures. Favorite beaches are Point St. George, Battery Point, and Pebble Beach.

Point St. George beach at low tide-I love it here.

In March of 2011, the Japanese Tsunami caused a surge in Crescent City, destroying the docks and many boats.  A few sustained no damage.  My husband and I took large bags to Point St. George to pick up an amazing amount of trash that had washed up during low tide.  After a few Saturday mornings, most of the refuse was gone.  What washes in now is likely from fisherman letting things go…  We also see deer, elk, sea mammals and birds shot by human beings. It’s a terrible thing to see amidst such beauty. We do our part, and are grateful for the opportunity to do so. The refuse from Japan hasn’t reached our harbors and beaches yet, but we’re waiting for it.

The best time to scavenge is after a storm, when the tide’s going out, especially if I’m looking for agates or semi-precious stones or anything cool that I can learn from.  Here are a few stones and agates I picked up. I pick ’em and Mark polishes and burnishes them.  I don’t always know what they are yet, but they sure  are beautiful.

two black stones

I’m very curious about the black stones.  There’s a tremendous amount of distinction in color and weight of the black rocks and stones.  In this example, the small stone on the right has magnetic qualities and the one on the left does not.  So, at least I know that the little one is probably magnetite.

sugar agate

Before we put this agate into the  polisher, it had sparkle, like sugar crystals.  Most agates are translucent, and if we place a flashlight behind stones, we can often tell if they’re agates or not.  Dry, the stones don’t reveal what they are, until polished.

quartz and ??

There’s some elusive black stone and beautiful crystalline quartz, I believe.  I get a good vibe from this stone.


An exquisite piece of jasper and perfect for a pendant.

jasper in blue?

This is one of my favorite stones, out of hundreds I’ve found.  It’s a blue/gray with orange running through it.  Another fantastic candidate for jewelry, but I’m content to simply enjoy it as is. Blue agate or jasper is fairly hard to find.

agatized wood

I believe this is a beautiful agatized wood, and a work of art from nature. I’ve not seen another one like it in years.

agatized bone?

Perfectly shaped, fossilized or agatized bone.

rare limb cast agates

For certain, the agate on the right is a limb cast, and holds an embedded pebble or another agate.  I haven’t tried to remove it.

exquisite jasper #1

This piece of jasper appears as two stones in one!  It was extremely difficult to photograph so that you could get a good look at the color.  It’s part of my “special” collection.

Jasper view #2

This is the same stone as above, just photographed on the “bottom.”

pretty little thing

Could be jasper with other minerals.  I really like the striations on stones, and am drawn to them.

I hope you enjoyed the little geology selection.  Thanks for stopping by!

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