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Of Broken Glass, Green Gingerbread and Chain-Saw Bears...

September 24, 2012

One of our favorite things to do is visit wildlife refuges. We started in the early 1970s because the only place to see rare Canada Geese back then was on the DelMarVa peninsula. Every winter we would drive to Blackwater or Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. There we would stand and listen to their wild calls as they few over our heads in large V-formations while scanning with our binoculars. We could to see them by the thousands rustling about in the fields and ponds.

Now the Canada Goose is pretty much a pest in many urban areas, but they are still beautiful.

This is what we usually get...the geese are about 50-60 yards away, and they see and hear us, so they are walking away giving us “vent views.” They are big birds, so imagine a LBB (little brown bird) flitting swiftly from branch to branch and back-lit. Identify that?  Good Luck. 

A few days ago we visited the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge. It was cold, damp and foggy and sadly, very few migrating birds had arrived. The usual unidentifiable (to me) assortment of small and medium wading birds, wearing their autumn brown coats, scurried and bobbed along the shores of the marshes and impound ponds. Still, the fields were full of beautiful fading wildflowers and the leaves were tinged with red and gold.

We put our new Canon L 140-400mm EF lens to good use photographing more flora than fauna.


I pick up sea glass wherever I go. Sadly,  a recent visit to Glass Beach in Ft. Bragg, California kinda took some on the thrill away. On a cove that was once the city dump, the beach is made of beautiful smooth pieces of white and colored glass instead of sand.

Back on the coast of North Carolina we had struggled to find any sea glass, here it was piled under Sully’s and my feet. Crunch, crunch, crunch.


Traveling north on Highway 1, we were forced to pull off the road by some modern day cowboys in a pick-up truck. Looking down the highway, we could see why... hundreds of cattle were thundering and bawling their way down the middle of the highway towards us.

It was a real wild west cattle drive with one exception - the days of the cow horse may be over, for these cattle were being driven by cowboys on their All Terrain Vehicles; hooping, hollering and waving their baseball caps as they “galloped” by... laying rubber as they went.

Photoshop Montage


Look it’s a giant redwood in the middle of the hot and dry Central Valley of California. No, look closely. It’s a cell tower about 200 feet tall with transceivers  hidden amongst the green and brown plastic branches. Fake flower wrought large.


The Redwood Coast has spawned a rather interesting art form: The ChainSaw Bear!

Passing into the beautiful forests there are numerous gift and souvenir stands along with the omnipresent,  “DRIVE THROUGH A TREE” signs. The biggest attraction in front of these emporiums are the large statues of hacked, sawed and chiseled standing bears...usually grinning. Very Yogiesque. Who buys them? Really?


On an lonely, open hillside outside Bodega Bay, California there is a delicate bell tower hung with 140 small bells sent by Italian schools, churches and individuals to honor Nicholas Green, his family and children everywhere. Nicholas was shot while visiting Italy by a highway robber in 1994. The bells were given to honor the decision of the boy’s parents to donate his organs and corneas to seven Italians. The large center bell was made by the Marinelli foundry, which has been making bells for the papacy for over a thousand years. The names of Nicholas, the seven recipients and Pope John Paul II are cast into the bell.

Sometimes if there was a breeze we could hear a few of the small bells softly ringing from across the field.


I want a turret on our camper, Maybe...and perhaps a small tower and gabled windows...a bit of gingerbread here and there... and, and...

Built by lumber baron, William Carson, the Carson Mansion in Eureka, California Is a glorious, green wedding cake extravaganza. According to the Eureka Heritage Society it took one hundred men over two years (1884-86) to build. And when that job was neatly done, they turned around and built a smaller pink frosting event across the street for Carson’s son.

The Carson Mansion and the Pink Lady Across the Street 

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Now home to the Ingomar Club, only members are allowed inside and it can be photographed from the front only.  The club did share a few interior photographs on their website. (Mother would have loved it.)


We can never pass one of these “Stick Your Head Here” boards. This one is a particular favorite because that pink building behind us is the Shady Lady Brothel somewhere in Nevada.

My heart aches, because I want so much to be there as well....


I love those houses, and I'd be in heaven on the Glass Beach. I, too, love to find sea glass.


Oh, oh, I want the pink one too!!!


Love the Carson Mansion and pink frosting companion! Good times, keep 'em coming.


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