Posts Tagged ‘Humboldt’

*f/14 – exposure 1/100 – ISO 100

No matter where you live there’s always thing to do and adventures to go on if you look hard enough. Living in the Northernmost part of California(five hours further north than San Fransisco) we are blessed with an abundance of outdoor adventure locations, whether it be for a leisurely walk or a intense kayaking/rock climbing/mountain biking experience there is no limit to the beautiful places and winding trails you can find.

This last weekend we took a little trip to one of our favorite hiking locations the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge located on Highway 101 about 10 minutes South of Eureka it’s a wonderful place for walking with children and spotting lots of wildlife. The trail is about a mile long and flat the entire way which is a big bonus when we take SweetPea(19m) hiking. During migration season the refuge is full of majestic geese, swans and grebes, but during the off season you mainly just see a lot of beautiful land and some seagulls, but it was a great time none the less.

The journal/comment box at the end of the trail.

*These are great setting to start with when photographing the sun reflecting brightly off of water with a dark background.

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Crazy happy dirt road doggies.


Thank you.


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Yesterday I wrote a brief piece about my loyal dog Korbin and his love for cow pie cologne. Today I tell a different story, a sadder story, a story that smells much, much worse.

About 10 years ago when my family first moved to the hills of Central Humboldt I met my best friend. Her house was exactly one mile from mine, and on cold winter morning, hot summer days, and any free moments in between we’d make the long uphill trek (both ways mind you) to meet in the middle and decide where to go from there.

About a third of a mile from my house there was a well a few yards from the edge of the road. Old and forgotten all that remained were a few inches of cement well casing grown over with reeds and grasses, and completely hidden from wondering eyes. The day we finally discovered it we found a long stick and poked it to the bottom. It wasn’t to deep having been filled in over the years by leaves and sediment only 5 or 6 feet of water remained.

My best friend had an older sister, only a few years our senior but an older sister none the less, and the duties of a younger sisters are to love, support, and terrorize whenever possible, and that is just what we loved to do. Now there are a few things that make a person an easy target… such as being easily embarrassed or overly self conscious, but the mother of all targets the one that just paints a big red and white doughnut on your butt would have to be…. the phobia…

Coulrophobia -the sweet, sweet uncontrollable, completely reliable and totally irrational fear of clowns, and a fear that our dear, sweet older Sis so conveniently harbored. So as we walked home that day we laughed and joked about telling her what was “really” at the bottom of that old forgotten well, about an old dead clown drowned long ago by a jealous circus performer, and left forever lurking in the depths of the murky water … waiting… just for her.

Years passed and we grew up, moved to different places started different schools, and forgot about hidden wells and the white painted faces of men who lurked at the bottom of them… That is until a few weeks ago.

“Did you see the cow?” my Dad asked one day after my husband and I had just arrived home.

“What cow?”

“The cow in the well”

And the next time we headed out the road there it was. A full grown black and white cow with her head and most of her body lying in the grass next to the well, her feet and hind quarters stuck down in the watery hole as if they had been seized and drug down by white gloved hands. Such an illogical picture it painted, for the well was small and my dad had taken a sledge hammer to the concrete rim years ago to allow wondering animals a chance to avoid a damp, stagnant grave, but there she was none the less…  I can’t even begin to fathom how she died there, how she was unable to pull herself out of the hole and up onto the grass… There was only one explanation… and at that moment silly thoughts of silly young girls suddenly began to feel a little less like jokes to scare older sisters, and more like the makings of legends that were beginning to scare us.

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Well…. We finally did it. It was a long and grueling process, starting with an emergency flight to San Francisco two weeks earlier than scheduled to be with a family member in the ICU at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, and almost ended two weeks later as I watched my husband’s plane almost land at the Crescent City airport, but do to the “Fog” he was rerouted to Redding to wait it out and refuel. Three hours later the fog parted and the plane landed safely on a clear sunny runway, and he emerged a civilian for the fist time in 4 years.

We made our way to my parent’s rural Humboldt property and there we have remained surrounded by the beautiful hills and mountains I grew up in, the streams and valleys of my childhood, loving dogs, friendly goats, dear, squirrels…. and cows

Something I hadn’t expected to witness (and silly me for not expecting it, it happens every year) were cows, big fat black and brown escapees from the ranch lands on the other side of the valley.  When I saw the first sign of there passing through it was already to late, my yellow retriever cross had caught a whiff of the fresh steaming cow booty biscuits and was happily striping himself from ear to tail before I even got the chance to tell him different.

I looked around for the culprits, and there just on the other side of the meadow was the guilty party peering sheepishly over the rise of grass they’d attempted to hide themselves behind.

So back to the house we went, my fearless puppy doused in his favorite flavor of Ode de Excrement. Little denounce to him that with each step he got closer to a cold bath with the garden hose.


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I know…. I’m a bad bad Blogger.

But in all fairness I have been practically comatose for the last few months; either that or spending my morning dry heaving over the toilet… happily of course.

Excuses aside…

I’m gonna have to change the header on my blog soon because this Humboldt Girl is heading home… For Good! My Hubby and I have decided that the best thing for us and our little Sweet Pea is to move back to the place I/we love and raise our family Together. So back to the majestic hills of Humboldt we head. Only six more weeks to go.

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Why… Oh Why… Do I always book the redeye?

This is the thought that I ponder as I stuff rolled up pairs of jeans and vitamin supplements into my big red travel case. “Why?” I say.

It always seems like a good idea. We can leave after my husband gets off work making the most of the vacation time. We’ll get to Humboldt with time for breakfast with whoever retrieves us from the airport. I can sleep on the plane which will be just like getting a restful nights sleep in my bed at home… right?

WRONG… This is where I’m always wrong. I have this delusion that I’m gonna be able to sleep on the plane. That for some reason this time… unlike the 50 times before… I’m just gonna plop down in my seat close my eyes and drift off into a peaceful sleep surrounded by strangers breathing recycled air, then I’m gonna wake up 5 hours later at SFO and it’s only gonna seem as if it took 5 minutes to get there…

Hahahahaha… doubtful. Now I’m not gonna say it’s not possible, because I suppose it could be “possible”, but it’s sure as hell not likely. I can never sleep when I fly, there’s always something, and when I do nod off I never get past that stage right before restful sleep… It’s almost like being stuck in a deep meditation… except its not peaceful or restful and time doesn’t pass much faster…

But I do get to fly with my husband instead of by myself which is exciting because besides having the company it means he’s accompanying me on vacation which I LOVE! And in only 5 short hours we’ll be in California and then it’s just a puddle jump to Humboldt for breakfast with my parents!

Who needs sleep when you’ve got love and family?

And three puppies waiting at home?

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Dew drops cling to Plumeria blossoms, lining  grasses like little bits of forgotten confetti on the 2nd of May, as the air is warmed with the sweet titillating fragrance of Plumeria. It dances across the wind like thick tendrils of smoke emanating from a burning stick of incense swept up by the currents of a room.

Spring has arrived in Hawaii! My living in a tropical climate has taught me that it takes a little better tuned senses to realize the arrival of a new season. It’s not quite as easy as it used to be back before I found myself on this heat infused island. The first day of spring was always the first day you could go outside without a sweater, the first day you could feel the sun as it warms your skin and intoxicates your very soul with each heat soaked ray. When everything begins to turn green and once again the meadows and forests were alive with the movement of all the little creatures that had been hiding from the cold icy hands of the post autumn freeze.

The first sign of Hawaiian spring was the fledglings, little half feathered baby birds on their first trips out into the world and away from the nest. We were lucky enough to be graced with two little overnight guests roosted on a rock in our back yard after being fed and tucked in for the night by their mother and father, they were left to dream little bird dreams until the morning came and they were called away to hop about the fields in search of mangoes, and early worms.

The second sign of Hawaiian Spring was the flowers. Now don’t get me wrong there are always tons of flowers all year long, but this… this is ridiculous! It’s as if every tree on island has exploded into rainbow colored fireworks covering every branch with blossoms and sprinkling the ground with little fragrant bits of shrapnel.

My time in Hawaii is winding down, less than five months until I’m given the option to choose (my) Humboldt for good. I do miss my home. The place I came from, and all the people (and animals) that make up my family, the cold Gray beaches framed by towering redwoods, the community based cultures and the flower based subcultures, sweltering dry summer days spend splashing in the cool waters of the Eel river, seeing my best friend a hand full of times in a week, the fresh mountain air, and the unforgettable undeniable sense of knowing that this is the place you belong, but all of that aside. I will miss Hawaii, if for nothing else than for the sweet smell of plumeria carried across the island on the arms of the Trade Winds.


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A Cairn hidden deep within the Humboldt hills

An Ode to Gravity, to the beauty of the land that surrounds us, a little altar for a big world and a small sign of appreciation for all the great things that have been given…

and a Goat Butt…


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Humboldt Light

SoHumBorn –  Sundays on RedHeaded BlackBelt are a MUST read! A beautiful view of the life and culture that make Humboldt country the place it is.

First: SoHumBorn Sunday: Growing Up

Second: SoHumBorn Sunday: Cheap Lesson

Third: SoHumBorn Sunday: Tooth Fairy

Fourth: SoHumBornSunday: Unexpected Company

Fifth: SoHumBornSunday: Other End of the Line

Tune in to RedHeaded BlackBelt every Sunday to read SoHumBorn’s Stories


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September 15th, 2009

A special treat left for an unsuspecting visitor to find, my bridal bouquet precariously placed on the edge of the board walk only a few short hours after preforming as the centerpiece of my wedding day.


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