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No images have been harmed in the making of this post

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Carrying our binoculars  on Saturday, we hoped to catch a glimpse of migrating whales.  Stand at street level on the bluff,  or walk down the steep cement stairs to sea level.

view from the top of the bluff, street level

View from the top of the bluff, street level, Pebble Beach Drive

beautiful sea

beautiful sea, Castle Rock Island

Castle Rock is a 14 acre National Wildlife Refuge and is a half mile off shore.

For more information on Castle Rock NWR, click here

http://www.fws.gov/humboldtbay/castlerock.html

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Run, Run!!  Here comes another wave!!

Black Turnstone.

The birds are rarely far from sea spray.

In flight, they carry a bold and striking wing pattern!

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black_Turnstone/id

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It's morning.

It’s morning.

Aleutian Geese pair, roosting.

Aleutian Geese pair, roosting.

Rocky Coastline

Rocky Coastline

How about us?  Can you see us roosting?

How about us? Can you see us roosting?

We didn’t see any migratory whales this time, but we’ll keep looking.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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

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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!  😀

 The-accidental-tourist

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!

It’s all about the horses day!

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With temperatures in Crescent City Proper heading for 61° these days, with 100% humidity, it’ll be warmer here.  I live in a rural area of Crescent City,  just outside of the fog belt.  I got fog this morning, but generally, it lingers high in the firs, spruce and redwoods.

This morning, the farrier‘s coming to tune up my horses hooves.  I keep up their hooves myself half the time and clean them almost every day.  They’re reasonably cooperative and I’m respectful, patiently asking them to shift their balance so I can move along.

I’m giving the horses their yearly baths this weekend. I’ll check their dirt covered skin, checking for anything odd or sore, bites, cuts.  Dirt protects them from insects and helps keep them warm.  Mostly, I let them be horses.   Bath-time isn’t fun for any of us; it’s a big chore, physically demanding,  and without cooperation, it’s less fun than cleaning up manure. The latter doesn’t complain, kick, twist, or bite.

They’re beginning to shed out their short summer coats, in preparation for the thick, downy undercoat.  Last year, their first winter here, I didn’t have to put man-made coats on them.  All this means is that their own coats did the job.

The soil here gets slippery, deep,  muddy during the rainy season.  They’re becoming mud savvy, especially Starlight, since she slipped and twisted a leg, she’s more careful.  I’ve seen them slide right down to the ground,  then – in an instant –  they’re right back up again. I wait like an expectant mother to see if they’re moving correctly.  Seeing a horse go down in a split second –  horrifying.

Mark made a small area for them – covered, raised floor, with comfortable mats for them to lie or stand on. They have a place to go when it rains like hell and they do take advantage of it; perhaps it’s their choice and that’s the key.

My older mare, Brandy, has developed diarrhea, and I’m working to figure out what I can do to help her.  She’s been more shy toward me than usual, and I think she’s feeling a bit vulnerable.  I’ve picked pineapple weed for her, and she eats it readily.  I wonder about the weeds and herbs that might benefit their health, or contain a necessary part of their diet, and as domesticated animals, they’ve been denied.  On the other hand, there are hazards, such as the pretty, yellow buttercup flower.  One fresh flower is deadly.

Some folks say that horses don’t see color.  I believe that some do and some better than others!  Horses have two cones in their eyes, we have three.  Scientists have studied this for years.  I know from my own observations that my horses see  yellow hues and some greens.  I could say with certainty that they don’t see red.  Blue?  Not sure.

It’s time to get going – things are hopping and jumping around here today!

Amadeaus, chocolate Palomino with dapples

My Brandy, before she started having health issues.

typical of Starlight, unless she thinks she’s “getting something,” she’s turned away

Gotcha! But where are those beautiful eyes, Starlight?

I just HAD to show off Amadeaus’ beautiful dapples!

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

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  • 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

 

Come hell or high water –

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About seven or eight years ago, Mark and I took a 3000 mile motorcycle trip from Southern California, where we lived, through Oregon and into Washington, for considering where we would move, once all the kids had left home and he could retire.

After 36 years of service with the Federal Government – the job was going to kill him, literally.  One supervisor at his level, took his own life.  Another drank every day when he was there, and hospitalized for health reasons when he wasn’t on the job, which was most of the time.  An absent supervisor meant added stress for him, and every day dreadful.  So, we planned…

I had never seen the giant and ancient redwoods before, and riding on the 101 going north through Humboldt county in California, I saw incredible natural beauty.  “You haven’t seen anything, yet,” he said.  He was right.

Riding through the windy, narrow road through the redwoods, I was awestruck –  sunlight glistening in long, narrow rays through spaces between the giant trees in grove after grove. Immense trunks reaching hundreds of feet into the air and the air – cooled by the deep shade of the towering trees.  The sweetness filled my lungs and I felt as though I was breathing life itself.  As we rode, my heart raced, and I knew I was home.

The following link provides a series of three-part of the National Geographic 2009 Documentary – Climbing Redwood Giants.  I highly recommend a complete viewing of this fine and incredible film.

natgeo.html

Once back in Riverside County, we started searching online for a second home, which would someday be our primary residence.  After several trips north, we bought a small house with an acre of land in Crescent City, CA.  Though we would have preferred more land, prices in 2005, 2006, were at a peak.  It should all work out, we thought, as we had planned to build on to this little house when we sold our first house, and use the equity (about $250,000 at the time) to build and pay down the mortgage in Crescent City.

The real estate market  took a nose dive, and our equity disappeared.  We lost a tremendous amount of money in our retirement savings.  We couldn’t sell our house in Riverside county, as we owed about 40 thousand dollars more than it could be sold for,  and had to decide whether to allow the bank to take it, or rent it out.

I worked for a school district when an employee I knew had recently lost her home to foreclosure – everyone knew plenty of people who lost their homes or walked away from them, as it was one of the hardest hit by the housing collapse in the country.  Our employer was about a mile from the house.  It’s been a year and three months and I’ve not heard one peep from her, except to say how happy she and her family are.

Mark made several 1600 mile round trips in moving trucks, alone, to transition to our retirement home.  I stayed back with the animals, the remaining kids, and my job. In late April of 2011, he left Riverside county for the last time, with a final moving truck and our old dog and never looked back.  On May 1, 2011, I left with 8 rabbits, two cats, one guinea pig, my 20-year-old, a few belongings and supplies, for the 840 mile trip north, come hell or high water.  Nineteen hours later…

The horses had already been picked up for transport, and delivered to me in Crescent City about four days after I arrived.  They were thin, confused, and stuck together like glue. I was shocked to see their condition, but happy to have them with me again.  Mark had worked hard to prepare corrals and shelter for them.

The rabbits were crammed in – I had purchased large travel crates for each pair, secondhand, and outfitted each with hay boxes.  Water was a problem, so I offered damp parsley and cilantro when we stopped to rest or sleep.   Soon after, I lost my “flyer,” Charlie.  He’d gone into GI stasis twice in the past, and this time, he shut down…

The guinea pig seemed to do fine.  I didn’t notice any change in her, but what do I know?  I don’t speak guinea pig…

The cats got sick.  I still have Dipsy, my Persian mix, but Meika, my black cat, was oddly quiet for the trip.  I didn’t know it, but she had a late stage cancer, and about three weeks after being here, I let her go.  I feel very sad that she didn’t get a chance to experience life here.  I feel very badly having put her through that ride.  Poor Mimi.

My old dog  lived more than a whole year here.  He never did well in the heat of the desert down south, and he enjoyed rolling over and lying in the grass and cool air here.  Over the last six weeks of his life, his health went south, and I let him go, too.  He had a wonderful last day – a peanut butter jar to lick, lots of strokes, a little ride in the truck, a special toy.

I’m very happy to be home. These are some of my thoughts of today. Home is a place of wonders.

Meika, before the move, big game hunter…  R.I.P.

My Sparky, just before the move north.  R.I.P.

And finally, a video of Charlie (my flyer R.I.P.) and Blossom (who now has Boyo Pollo as a companion)  At the end of this video I nearly have a meltdown, as Blossom (the little angora) was about to squeeze through the tiny squares…  OH NO!!

I know the video is long, but watch if you can, and you’ll see why I called him My Flyer, and, why rabbits don’t belong in a little hutch or cage, where they can’t hop around or stretch out.  I do shout at the end – panic!!

Orick

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My daughter and I left Crescent City this morning to celebrate her birthday with a bit of shopping for art supplies and some fantastic sushi in Eureka in Humboldt county, just south of Del Norte County.  It’s 160 miles round trip, about 4 hours,  the roads can be narrow and curvy. The wild Tiger Lily in full bloom for miles along the way south.

One of thousands of tiger lilies.

And then, there is Orick.  Orick is a tiny town with a population of about 350 people, a number of redwood burl shops, fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean and beaches, and massive old redwoods.  Roosevelt Elk are common here, on both sides of the busy Highway 101.

We went in to one of the shops and talked, or, mostly listened to the owner, who secretly told me that he’d wished that his largest furniture pieces didn’t sell so early in the tourist season, because he’d now lost his “WOW” factor!  On my next trip through Orick, I’ll explore the redwood burl shops more thoroughly.

One thing though –  there used to be 12 shops in little Orick, there are now 5, thanks to the California State Board of Equalization.  The Board of Equalization’s function is to oversee tax and fee collection.

Since we decided to stop, we were able to see Orick in a way we’d never seen by just passing through.

Residence in Orick and low lying fog.

The fish purchased from local fisherman tastes so much better than anything farmed!

We buy fresh fish from the docks, or at the local markets, brought in by local fishermen. 

Small herd of Elk

This relatively small herd – very relaxed on a warm summer day.

Gateway Garden. Each cross had a rhododendron planted in back of it.

Redwood cross

We got back to driving and a minute later, we saw this beauty.  She was on the west side of the busy highway, alone, and was thinking about crossing.  We stopped on the same side, put the hazard lights on, and hoped drivers would slow down.  You can hear them speeding by. 

I was in a panic, watching the vehicles, full speed ahead, as she moved toward the road, I was crying. She made her way to the edge of the roadway, and the vehicle coming toward us and her, slowed.  I cried more as I watched her trot gracefully and safely across the Highway.

There are signs everywhere “ELK CROSSING” and I wonder who holds awareness of life beyond the busy roadway.  This wasn’t the first time either of us has seen elk ready to cross or crossing.

With tourist season in full force, I shudder…

I wonder if anyone scans the road edge for beautiful, majestic Elk, ready to cross, while speeding to their destination.

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