Pasture Paddle, March 1, 2019, Laguna de Santa Rosa

We call the usually dry pasturelands and agricultural fields that extend eastward of town "The Laguna de Santa Rosa." 
An "atmospheric river" visited Northern California this past week and dropped enough rainfall to overwhelm local creeks and streams and fill up the Laguna. It swelled enough to inundate the eastern edge of town.

Today my wife and I got out our canoe to explore the highest flood waters in recent memory. We paddled from Occidental Road south to the edge of Highway 12 and then east along the highway to the Laguna Preserve. We stopped at a little rise which is now an island and got out.

A California King Snake took refuge in a tree.

Most of the trails were under the flood waters.

Estero Americano January 28, 2019

The Estero Americano was full to the brim yesterday, more like a lake than a river.

Earlier this month strong January swells and high king tides have pushed plenty of sand well up the beaches all along the Sonoma Coast.

The beach where the Estero Americano drains into the Pacific Ocean at Bodega Bay has plugged the Estero several feet above sea level. The sand dam is narrow and low.

Passing under the bridge has never required ducking, and that's still true, but only by an inch.

Paddling from Valley Ford to the end at the ocean took less time (an hour and a quarter) and shortened the trip by a mile because it was wide and deep enough to paddle from point to point on what amounted to a large lake instead of winding through a narrow channel.

The sand dam was low enough to create an illusion similar to an infinity pool.

Rains forecast to fall soon ought to produce enough new runoff to burst through the beach and drain the pond.

Steve, the abalone farm rancher whose operation pumps wat…

Along Rodata Trail

Passed by this:

Spring Lake December 10, 2018

The day called for a short afternoon paddle on Spring Lake as late fall fades to winter.

No other boats were out, so the lake seemed wilder and more natural than it does on a warm summer weekend when recreational users abound.

A Great Blue Heron posed on the eastern shore.

About a dozen Bufflehead Ducks—all males—scattered themselves about the lake.

Perhaps Spring Lake is a home to unpaired males.

A pair of Mute Swans are often on hand at the lake. They hang out in the northern end of the lake where the shore is lined with a nearly impenetrable thicket of cattails. These reeds offer some insulation from human interference.

Mute Swans, introduced from Europe, are unafraid of proximity to humans.

Green Herons, on the other hand, are easily spooked. They're solitary by nature and often hide themselves in the shoreline vegetation. By freezing in place, they hope to escape the notice of passersby. But once they feel seen, they'll take flight.

This fellow perched himself on a log o…

On Doran Beach

On an afternoon walk along Doran Beach Friday, this stood in the sand.

No idea what it might be.

Showery Walk, Marin County

Yesterday, November 29, after morning showers, the sky cleared.

A late afternoon walk on Marsh Road along the upper reaches of the Estero Americano.

Strong wind and light showers added zest and pleasure to the walk.

Santa Rosa Creek

A quiet path along the creek A walk to shed my thoughts so bleak A storm is coming late today
But listen now to trees: they speak!