News From The Playa 2014

Brandenburg’s Concerto Number 3 being played by a live orchestra is not the kind of music you would expect to be performed at Burning Man, but then again nothing surprises me there. Instead it delights me. The Playa Pops String Orchestra was a colorfully dressed collection of 50 folks playing together for fun. Composed of […]

What’s Under The Lake?

As drought lowers the levels of man made reservoirs all over California amazing things have been popping up in the dry lakebeds. At Folsom Lake the remains of the settlements at Salmon Falls and Mormon Island are visible and at Shasta Lake bridges, train trestles and tunnels will emerge from the depths as waters recede. […]

Biggest Bear History Mystery

As a bookseller at Gallery Bookshop I recently had the pleasure of selling a 60 year old but ever-wonderful picture book called “The Biggest Bear” by Lynd Ward. As the grandparent buying this classic and I chatted about bears this question arose. What was the biggest bear ever found in Mendocino County? This was another […]

200+ Schools in Mendocino County?

So an older man asks “My great-aunt told me years ago that when she was a kid she went to the Hiawatha and Minihaha schools in the north county. This was 100 years ago. Was she being truthful? Did these schools really exist and how did schools get named for poet Longfellow’s narratives?”

Bear Valley History Mystery 2014

So it started out to be a field trip to Bear Valley on the Lake/Colusa County line north off Highway 20 to look at wildflowers. Load mom, daughter and grandson in the Subaru, pack a picnic lunch and some field guides, and take off to see what Mother Nature has on display. Then it turned […]

Mountain Outin’ To Yellowstone

There’s no sensation like being rocked to sleep in a berth on AMTRAK as the miles fly by to put a relaxing end to a vacation. The fact that the trip featured snow, rain, icicles, and puddles made it all the more rewarding for moisture starved Californians. We may be stuck in a drought but […]

North To Alaska

After two weeks spent exploring the northlands I think the funniest thing I saw was a bumper sticker that said “I drove the Alaska Marine Highway!” Why funny? The Alaska Marine Highway is a ferry system and no novices were behind the operation of the vessel we were on.  A trip to Alaska for my […]

Lost & Found At Burning Man

While many writers take to print and electronic media to pooh-pooh Burning Man with pronouncements about false values and carbon footprints and financing I personally question whether they have ever actually attended the event.

Berry Picking

There’s nothing like indulging in the late summer pastime of roadside berry picking to renew your appreciation for the free bounty of edibles Mother Nature provides us with, coming from the invasive species Himalaya Blackberries. Stories vary about how this indestructible bearer of tasty fruit came to California. Originally from Armenia it was growing in […]

Fire In The Backyard

In Comptche there’s nothing like a wave of fire exploding across your neighbor’s fields headed for your home to instill a love for friends, CalFire, and your local volunteer fire department. At home alone, with my husband on jury duty in Ukiah and my daughter off visiting local friends, the Comptche Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD) […]

An Elder On The Playa

Why, a reader might ask, would a perfectly sensible woman old enough for Social Security allow herself to leave the peace and quiet of Comptche for a trip into the inhospitable middle of no place in Nevada for the Burning Man Festival? Simple answer? Curiosity. As a retired librarian I’ve always enjoyed watching the human […]