Before heading back to the East Coast to see our kids and grandkid I paddled and hiked to maximize my time outdoors in beautiful fall weather here in Northern California.
Estuarian reader Loren Webster often visits Spring Lake when he visits the Santa Rosa area and writes about it on his blog. He reminds me that it is worth a paddling there.
This morning I saw Buffleheads Ducks for the first time this fall. They winter here. As always, they stay well away from me by flying away, swimming off, or simply by diving underwater. They are elusive birds. The best I can manage from my kayak are grainy photographs.
Similarly, Kingfishers keep a good distance away from human beings. My best photos of them are not too great.
Much less camera shy are Great Blue Herons,
and Canada Geese.
Clearly visible from the lake was this hillside scorched in wild fires last month.
After the paddle I took a five mile hike on nearby Taylor Mountain.
At the summit, I saw burned hillsides.
Tomorrow will be a day of busses, planes, and cars. I’m glad to have had a good helping of the California outdoors.