Archive for June, 2018

As regular readers of this blog know, Lynn Axelrod and I were married on April 26. The first installment of our honeymoon began June 5 when we headed up the coast to enjoy a few days in Gualala, Mendocino County. The second installment will come later this summer when we’ll probably head down the coast to Monterey County.

Gualala makes for a romantic getaway, and we’d previously vacationed there a couple of times. The downtown sits beside an ocean bluff at the foot of forested hills. Every year ocean waves restore a sandbar that closes the mouth of the Gualala River. This creates a lagoon that lasts until the next rains swell the river enough that it can burst through the sandbar.

The Gualala River is a large part of what keeps bringing us back. (Lynn took this photo of me during a 2012 trip.) Adventure Rents, which operates from a clearing on the bank just downstream from the Gualala Bridge, offers kayaks as well as canoes; we always rent a canoe. The river’s current is fairly weak at this time of year, making it easy to spend an afternoon paddling upstream. Because of wind off the ocean, paddling downstream into the lagoon and back would have been far more laborious.

A bald eagle regularly perched in a dead tree near our inn. We were told it had a mate, but we never saw it.

A covey of mostly very young quail greeted us when we returned to Point Reyes Station after being away four days. In fact, young animals of other species had also begun hanging out around Mitchell cabin.

A blacktail fawn stays alert in this unfamiliar world.

A couple of small jackrabbits were among the other youngsters. Rabbits are weaned when they’re a month old or less. They then start grazing away from the nest but return to sleep. (Photo by Lynn Axelrod Mitchell)

A rapid rabbit: While I was watching this adult rabbit last week, it started and bounded off downhill as fast as it could go. When I looked uphill to see what had alarmed the rabbit, I saw ….

a male bobcat. He was acting pretty much like a male dog: peeing on posts to mark territory and rolling on the ground on his back with his feet in the air. He didn’t chase the rabbit.

A raccoon with four small kits now show up on our deck every evening, and we usually give them handfuls of dog kibble. Unfortunately, a skunk recently figured out the routine and has begun arriving around the time the raccoons are done eating. Neither animal alarms the other. This mother raccoon sometimes takes a nap while the skunk eats. On other nights, they eat side by side. It’s really too bad that humans don’t have the gentility of raccoons and skunks.

This collection of Western Weekend-parade photos was supposed to go online two and a half weeks ago, but problems with my blog’s programing operation, WebPress, had kept it offline. Tonight two webmasters from Los Angeles, Dave LaFontaine and his wife Janine Warner, called and guided me through a couple of complex problems, so we’re back.

Point Reyes Station on June 3 hosted its 70th annual Western Weekend parade. (Western Weekend for many years was called the West Marin Junior Livestock Show.)

The grand marshal of this year’s parade was Rhea McIsaac of Tocaloma, who rode beside her husband Ted.

Mollie Donaldson, 16, of Tomales was the junior grand marshal.

The West Marin Community Services entry, like many in the parade, warranted a second look. 

A close look at staffer Andrew Hammond holding up one end of the WMCS banner reveals he’s wearing a live boa constrictor around his neck. 

This group from San Francisco called Cidade Juntos, which is Portugese for City Together, playfully danced and marched.

As the group passed by, onlookers quickly realized that this entry too warranted a second look.

The West Marin-Inverness School Wildcats also had more going on than first met the eye.

Behind the Wildcats marchers, a group of students holding a dragon flag aloft dashed around in ever-changing formations while dodging the horse droppings left by earlier parade participants.

Tim Bunce, a mechanic and towtruck driver at Cheda’s Garage, with his infant daughter on his lap drove an old tractor in the parade.

Not far behind Tim was more of the gang from Cheda’s with mechanic Curtis McBurney standing in front on a towtruck.

Lourdes Romo, the executive director of Papermill Creek Childrens’ Corner preschool, rode on a truck promoting One Heart One Community, a celebration at Sacred Heart Church in Olema. 

The Community Land Trust of West Marin, CLAM: At center is Paul Warshow. CLAM board member Jorge Martinez is to his left. CLAM’s executive director Kim Thompson (in a green dress) is to his right. Kerry Livingston, a member of the board, follows (in a red blouse).

The Rapid Response Team phone line is designed to notify West Marin residents of local Immigration and Customs Enforcement activity and provide immediate support to families in the event of a raid. Members of the team document ICE actions and inform these families of their rights.

Immigration politics not surprisingly were evident throughout the parade.

One of the more humorous political statements was worn by this young man.

The parade was mostly geared to young people, and the ones I saw were definitely enjoying themselves. (Photo by Lynn Axelrod Mitchell)

A veteran of many Western Weekend parades, Terry Aleshire of Inverness rode his motorcycle with sidecar.

Another parade veteran is Jason MacLean, with his flame-shooting truck. Here a blast of fire soars in front of the Grandi building. With El Radio Fantastique in tow (band leader Giovanni DiMorente is disguised by his white-bird mask), the fire-and-music entry received the top prize from parade judges. 

Following the parade, much of the crowd headed to a Farm Bureau barbecue beside Toby’s Feed Barn.

The tardiness of this posting is unfortunate, but it seemed worthwhile to put it online if only to add to the scrapbook of West Marin history. With some technical problems seemingly solved, we’ll now see if postings can resume on a more regular basis.