Saturday, September 26, 2009

Navarro Beach

A cool getaway from the hot interior valleys of Mendocino, this beach is one of my favorites. The river ends in an enclosed estuary this time of year, without the waterflow power to punch through to the ocean.

Friday, September 25, 2009

CWR Engine Number 53

Among the treasures of local industrial history, this California Western Railroad diesel locomotive joins the Roots collection. As lovely has they look fully restored, I like capturing the rust.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Name That Wool

Wool fiber artists and crafters can become very discriminating in their source of materials, right down to requesting wool from specific sheep. These bags at the county fair in Boonville give the names of the animals, and a warm feeling of true gratitude to the individual beast.

Monday, September 21, 2009

How To Show A Bunny

One of the many things that made Sunday a super day was watching two women show a kid how to "show" a nervous bunny. The trick is to cover their eyes. This assumes they are used to being handled in the first place, don't you think? Anyway, this little gray one didn't budge throughout the apparently complicated instructions.

I've had dust bunnies about that size and color, under my bed.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Racoon Paws

Saturday brought another big Steam Up of Roots of Motive Power. Every year, progress is evident and additional pieces of equipment are demonstrated. This was the Estep Diesel yarder, sometimes visited by furry friends.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Parked Bales

A logging truck loaded with redwood spins past a parked double trailer of baled straw or hay. If you enlarge the close-in picture, you'll see an advertisement for satellite internet service from the business behind. So many households in Mendocino county are so far from high speed cables, that satellite may be their only option. We are rural, you see.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Summer Display

The summer annual flower beds in front of the fire station are going like gang-busters right now. Each year is a little different, and this was my first look at orange colored cosmos-like flowers, exploding by the front door. I'm not even sure that's what they are. I read somewhere that sunflowers have been genetically developed to hang their seed-heads down, to make it easier for humans to keep the crop safe from birds.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Peaches and Pears

Along with some table grapes, organic fruit CSA subscribers got beautiful boxes of peaches and pears. I can barely keep up with all the regular produce, so skipped it this time. Not without some envy.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bye Bye Bank of Willits

It's been announced that the Bank of Willits (you didn't think we were big enough, did you) will be absorbed into the Savings Bank of Mendocino, and this sign will become a thing of history. I take no responsibility for any symbolism you may apply to this image.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grapes in Willits

Ah, well, there they are. Proof that grapes can indeed grow up here in Little Lake Valley. I found these growing deep within a tangle of vines overflowing a fence by a back alley in town. What I have not seen are any commercial vineyards in our immediate area. The production of wine seems to start south of Ridgewood Grade, in Redwood Valley and beyond. The quality required for Mendocino wines is rigorous, with a worldwide reputation to maintain. Our valley may not have sufficient heat, for long enough, at the right times of year, to do the job. The other thing we may not have is enough guaranteed water each year. Vine installation is an expensive investment, and water has to be available for irrigation. But these are still good to see.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Quiet Pastime

I spotted a friend of mine enjoying the company of other chess enthusiasts on a recent evening at a local late night eatery. There are so many hidden cohort groups in every little town, and it's nice to see.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Big Wheel

I've only been in Willits for about eight years, but already I've started taking some things for granted. Like the intimate relationship this town has to railroads, and the blessing of so many expert enthusiasts who keep its history alive. You might recognize this as a big, powerful wheel on a beautifully restored steam locomotive, a technology that made possible the Euro-American settlement of the western states.