Friday, September 3, 2010

Taking a Little Walk Along the Elk River Refuge with **CR Plus

Hikers set out on the mostly flat sandy trail. 
It was one of those clear Humboldt mornings that lets you know summer was waning.  For one thing, it was not shrouded in its usual fog.  The late summer/early fall weather pattern was arriving.  There were about 30 folks who showed up for this Wednesday's hike with **CR PLUS Town and Trail Fitness Walk a delightful program that encourages fitness in folks over 50, but is really an excuse to get out and enjoy some of the truly lovely trails of the area.  
For this event we met at the end of Hilfiker Lane in the parking lot and were walking by 10:30.  It was not a race, but some were energetic.  Everyone went at his own pace. 
The inlet of Elk River in to Humboldt Bay

Silvery beach grasses whisper in the morning wind.
Young Pampas Grass waves its frilly fronds.
Curious wooden barricade seems to control the flow.
The main river channel emptying into the bay.
Some other people had been walking here also.
An old railroad bridge crosses the river inlet.
Books have been written about the historic rails of Humboldt
Wild fennel?  Whatever, it's plentiful and pretty
The spit: river on one side, bay on the other
Where sand dunes meet beach grass meet water weed
The ubiquitous LYFs (little yellow flowers)
Queen Anne's Lace or wild carrot?
Long live the Magnificent Wetlands of Humboldt Bay!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Covering the Bald Hills with OLLI

On Saturday, June 19, 2010, we joined some 30 OLLI members who signed up for a field trip in to the Bald Hills area of the Redwood National Park. This Humboldt County area is reputed to have sweeping vistas of grassland accented by oak and fir forests forming the ridgeline above the famed Redwood Creek. Leaders of this trek were Jerry and Gisela Rohde and Jim Wheeler (no relation) of the National Parks. Their research, knowledge and expertise greatly added to the learning experience of the day.
Clicking on the title above will take you to a Picasa Album of 22 more photos of our day.

We were welcomed by Judith Wilson, the current resident and owner of this once noted stage stop and sheep ranch: the Tomlinson Ranch. This relatively recent refugee of city life, is enjoying living her dream of peace, hard work and satisfying lifestyle at the remote hillside.

At the Lyon Home Place there was a lovely sheep barn whose stout construction, geometric angles, and shadows with certain slants of light have lots of tales to tell. Throughout the tour we were treated to stories of the lives of these pioneer families and their relationship with the first people as well as the hardships and benefits of the land.
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

A City Weekend May 1st and 2nd 2010

Take one part Essence of San Francisco and one part Essence of Norway and you get:

Norway Days Festival in San Francisco! This photo of the Bridge was taken from the dock at Fort Mason outside the festival. A lovely day. Not sure which was more blue, the sky or the water. A great weekend in the city!

This year due to its popularity, the festival is housed in the larger of the halls at Fort Mason.

Keith, wearing his Slooper t-shirt is ready to enter through this portal fashioned after a famous bridge in Trondheim and find some old friends. We didn't come last year, so it's been two years since he's seen them.

Well, here they are in the genealogy booth. Are we surprised?
Blaine Hedberg, a good friend and a man of substantial expertise, from Madison Wisconsin represents Norwegian-American Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library. He often comes to the festival and helps interested people research their family trees.

This year
a contest in Norway sponsored by readers of Norsk Ukeblad (a magazine) resulted in people all across Norway voting via text message, and choosing Aidi Kongo and Torstein Mikal Bratland to win an all-expense paid trip to San Francisco to be wed at the Norway Day Festival on Sunday, May 2. And icing on the cake -- 5 day's honeymoon in Hawaii.

The traditional procession in Norway is through the town, so here it is through the exhibit hall.

They wore their traditional bunad (regional costume). The bride and groom are from the same region as Keith's ancestors i.e., Rogaland. The ceremony was conducted by the pastor of the San Francisco Seaman's Church and was all in Norwegian, so it did indeed sound official.

Julane Lund provided some exquisite Hardanger fiddling. A classically trained violinist with several degrees in Traditional Music, she was influenced by her grandfather's fiddling, and she moved to Telemark, Norway in 2001. Through the Institute for Folk Culture at Telemark University College, Julane was immersed in the traditional fiddling styles of both Hardanger fiddle and regular fiddle.

Marina Inn Hotel, on the corner of Lombard and Octavia provided very adequate lodging and featured a perfect location for walking just a few blocks to Fort Mason and the festival. We were extremely fortunate to find street parking slots really close both last time and this time, but one certainly can't count on it. We also enjoyed the restaurants on Clay Street just one block north. But our favorite Thai restaurant is on Lombard. The fare if not the prices seemed authentic to us.

Just a little photo of the waterfront near the Fort Mason hall (formerly a shipping warehouse.) An old encrusted chain recalls ship mooring of the past. I thought the textures and colors were interesting.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Quintessential Eureka -- Rhododendron Day

Our son Patrick has Paris in April; we have Rhododendrons in April. I'm not sure that's a valid comparison, but we do enjoy the resplendent blooms in our newly re-adopted home town. And the town, over the 27 years, has devised a pleasant way of acknowledging April.

It was the first sunny morning in days, so we got Anya and walked the block and a half from our new little house to the parade route. After 40 years in the hills, we bask in the pleasure of being close to things like this.

We arrived just in time to see some of Eureka's finest classic cars.

Anya is 4 now - nearly 5 - and enjoys a happy parade.

Music from the HSU's Marching Lumber Jack's band was very lively.

A VERY short clip of their talent.

How's this for a great example of family fun?

A salute to fine horses. (disclaimer:don't know anything about the candidate except that he has good taste in horses.) Just outside the photo is the "pooper scooper" detail provided by Sequoia Zoo for all horse entries. It consisted of a wheelbarrow pusher and friend with a large scoop shovel -- really cute!

Sure glad they're wearing helmets. They appeared incredibly balanced, however.

What's a Humboldt County parade without a tractor?

Parade over - we walk half a block to the American Rhododendron Society Show, Sale, and Garden tour. How can you not have happy eyes with these gorgeous beauties?

Mom's favorite: an apricot color something of a departure from the more pink ladies.

There was a nice bonsai exhibit at the Rhododendron show too. Lucky us!

Later after a bit of kite flying at our neighborhood park, we took in the open house at the Eureka Model Railroad Club. Those guys have a whole world (several of them) in miniature. It's clearly for their own enjoyment and we appreciate that they shared it with us.

Later that evening there was a concert at the Episcopal Church, known for its fine organ. Here is a photo op with the Humboldt Bay Brass Quintet (and friends) during the intermission after their performance of "Suite for Organ, Brass Quintet & Percussion" by Craig Phillips, and just before the Rhododendron Festival Choir presented Mendelssohn's "Hymn of Praise" from his Symphony No. 2 to a very appreciative audience.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Walking Tour of Some Eureka Houses

Monthly tours of various Eureka neighborhoods are led by Ruth Moon. This month's was of the Clark District and included the Jefferson School which has lately been in the news.

Ruth has been leading these free walks since 2003. This was the 4th time for this particular itinerary. They are quite popular as evidenced by the participation. It was a lovely cool but sunny morning.

Ruth's printed flyer details many of the homes. This Italianate home has a hipped roof. Decorative fish and flowers have been added just above the windows on the frieze. Patterned shingles on the 2nd story add texture.

This little beauty is for sale.

It is late March and the Calla Lilies (Alcatraces) are in bloom. Look closely for dew drops.

Can only imagine the work ahead for this owner. Already there has been a great deal. Looks like it will be in keeping with the historic theme. Thank you Mr. Owner.

Many of the homes have been converted into apartments. See multiple mail boxes. The window sports a guard kitty.

A small sweetie with renovations totally in theme.

This is a rental and recently painted we are told. Great detailing in the vintage window glass. With all the colors available, one has to wonder about this particular choice.

A favorite! But Ruth says it is deteriorating since it was turned into rentals.

The controversial Jefferson school site, also rapidly deteriorating. Only one of several local schools now facing financial stress and decreased enrollment issues.

A fully restored Craftsman nicely done.

A little divergence from the designated Clark District tour on to Hillsdale street and Eureka's most noted "Painted Lady" The decorative elements (i.e., circular porch entrance) place it in the Queen Anne category. I wonder if they get a bit tired of being photographed.

And her neighbor -- "Painted Lady 220" The Mowry house is another Queen Anne/Eastlake, sunburst details on the brackets, scrollsaw ornaments on the upper frieze, beautiful corner porch, stained glass.

Still a painted lady, but more modestly so. Lovely!! 1904 late Queen Anne with complex gabled roof and classical portico

Another color combination that works well.

The context.

Nice! Across the street with the view in the previous shot.

A little detail -- green growth in the eaves.

Nice character.

At least 3 mailboxes here. AND it takes up the whole lot. You can't say it's inefficient use of space.

Fresh paint. Always an eye pleaser.

Queen Anne with a Colonial Revival porch, built in 1903. Two kinds of patterned shingles and an oval window

I liked the period lights in front as well as the circular balestraded porches -- different!
A very nice way to start a Saturday