The California State Park and Recreation Commission today voted to approve “Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park” as the park’s new official name. The vote was unanimous after the commission visited the light station and heard impassioned pleas from a wide range of supporters to keep “Light Station” in the name despite a park staff recommendation to leave it out. Mendocino County Supervisor Kendall Smith appeared in support as did representatives for Congressman Mike Thompson and State Senator Wes Chesbro. Point Cabrillo Light Station draws nearly 100,000 visitors a year, many of whom stay and eat in Fort Bragg.
Archive for the ‘parks’ Category
Mendocino Coast Heritage Days
Thursday, May 1st, 2008
Mendocino Coast Heritage Days begins on Friday, May 2, with fun and unique activities for the whole family. In its 5th year, the 2008 celebration will feature a series of living history reenactments, 19th century and Native American games, museum exhibits, heritage roses and historic walking tours. Annual favorites include the moonlight cemetery tour and the heritage walking tour. The Temple of Kwan Tai will be open to the public on both weekends, and the historic walking tours include an inside look at the Masonic Temple. Talks by experts in preservation and archaeology will give us a different perspective on our local surroundings. Living History Day will have ice cream and butter making, lumberjack demonstrations, the fire pumper, and – new this year – Wells Fargo Stagecoach rides. Many events are free.
Here is a printable (PDF) schedule of events. These pictures are from previous Heritage Days events.
Star Party – Total Lunar Eclipse
Monday, February 18th, 2008
On Wednesday, February 20, a total lunar eclipse will be visible along the Coast (barring heavy fog, that is.) An eclipse of the Moon takes place at Full Moon, when the Moon passes through some portion of Earth’s shadow. The color and brightness between eclipses can vary considerably, but most probably it will take on a vivid red or orange color (see the accompanying photo by Carolyne Cathey of MAPA). In recent years, there have been reports of cyan-colored flashes (caused by ozone in the earth’s atmosphere).
The eclipse will last a total of 3 1/2 hours, with some part of it taking place before the moon appears on the horizon. The total eclipse will occur at 7 pm. The Ford House Visitor Center hosts another Star Party, where visitors can borrow telescopes and talk with local experts. MAPA, the Ford House staff, CA State Parks, and Out of This World are co-hosting. Clouds or high winds will cancel: call 707-937-3335 or 707-937-5397.
Taylor Lockwood’s “Chasing the Rain” Show January 3
Sunday, December 30th, 2007
By Marilyn Boese, Mendocino Area Parks Association, 707 937 4700
Russian Gulch Recreation Hall in Mendocino will be the site for Taylor Lockwood’s only coastal showing of his new program, “Chasing the Rain” on January 3. Astonishing photographs and a globe spanning narrative will bring the world of mushrooms to life as you’ve never seen it before. This completely new show features Taylor’s far flung discoveries in the kingdom of fungi as he has traveled the world in pursuit of the “world’s most beautiful mushrooms”. You simply have to see the show to believe it. The show begins at 7:00PM.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $2.50 for children 12 and under. The digital slide show will be shown in its entirety and mushroom items and books will be available for purchase. Refreshments will be served. Entrance into Russian Gulch State Park is included in the price of admission. Taylor Lockwood’s presentation is a fundraiser for MacKerricher State Park educational programs and the Mendocino Area Parks Association.
For ticket purchase contact MAPA at (707) 937-4700 or email to email@example.com .
Of Tundra Swans, Waterfalls, and Organic Cows
Monday, December 24th, 2007
There was certainly more water coming off the waterfall than in the summer, but the real story was the ocean. The waves were at times quite large — large enough for the spray to obscure the waterfall! Unlike the last time we went down there, it was a sunny day, and we could see the Point Arena Lighthouse in the distance to the north.
After we headed back to the Garcia River wetlands, we went off on a side road on the north side of the river — but just around the bend, it was marked as Private Property. A man came along in a pickup as we were starting to turn around, and we asked if we could go in and take some pictures of the swans. He said it wasn’t his land, so we couldn’t get out there. But he urged us to follow him, and he took off. A couple of miles up the highway, he turned off on a dirt road towards the ocean. In a short while, we were entering the Clover Dairy — not only the sole dairy in the county, it’s also the only organic dairy in the county. He told us to join him in his truck, and he took us out a short distance to where the swans were hanging out in the fields. He introduced himself as Walt Stornetta, the owner of the dairy. He has about 400 cows on 550 acres of land. Each cow produces on average 67 pounds of milk — about 8 gallons a day. I felt really lucky to run into him like we did, and that he was so generous with his time.
Whale Migration has Started Along the Mendocino Coast!
Monday, December 17th, 2007
Every year, over 20,000 California Gray Whales make their way south from Alaska and the Bering Sea down to their breeding grounds in Baja California. After a brief respite in Baja where the babies are born, the whales return back to their northern territory. The Mendocino Coast provides excellent opportunities to see the whales without all the crowds around, starting at the end of December and continuing into April. If you have ever been to Point Reyes when the whales are going by, it’s hard to park anywhere near the ocean because of all the watchers. That’s not a problem up here!
We’ve seen the first whales already, and we’re starting a new feature from Captain Tim at All Aboard Adventures: the whalewatching report.
There are 3 ways to see the whales: watching from the shore, going out on a whalewatching excursion from Noyo Harbor, or going on a plane flight. Some great places to see whales from the shore are: Mendocino Headlands; Chapman Point / Spring Ranch; Point Cabrillo; Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens; Noyo Bluffs; MacKerricher State Park.
The other way to see the whales is to go out on a boat. You’ll find a number of excursion boats that will get you up close and personal (not really — they are required to keep a decent distance from the whales). But you are incredibly close, and you’ll take pictures that amaze everybody else afterwards! Some of the excursion boats are: All Aboard Adventures; Adventures Unlimited; Noyo Fishing Center (Rumblefish and Tigerfish); Lady Irma II; Telstar Charters; Fort Bragg Sportfishing.
The third way to see the whales is to go for a flight with Coast Flyers, who fly out of the Little River Airport.
If you want to know more about the whales, MacKerricher State Park Visitor Center has a Gray Whale & Marine Mammal Program. MacKerricher Docents lead interesting talks and watches about Gray Whales and marine mammals on Saturday and Sunday mornings, January through March. Meet at the MacKerricher Visitor Center, then after a brief program, caravan to Laguna Point deck to watch for whales and other sea life through spotting scopes and binoculars. Call 707-964-8898 for the schedule.
Check out this page for more information about whales, including contact info for the businesses that will take you out on whalewatching excursions.
Whalewatching Report from Captain Tim, All Aboard Adventures
December 14, 2007
We spotted a pod of four whales heading for their winter home while fishing for crabs about a mile off MacKerricher State Park between Pudding Creek and Cleone. Weather was cool and sunny.
All Aboard offers public crab fishing adventures: trips accommodate up to 20 people, but will go out with as few as four. $75/person. Whale Watching for up to two hours for $35/person.
Friday, November 23rd, 2007
Heads up bird lovers! Fred Andrews from California State Parks is leading a bird walk this Saturday, starting at 11 am; meet in the Cleone parking lot at MacKerricher State Park in Fort Bragg. It’s going to be a gorgeous day on Saturday, with temps in the mid-60’s. This is a don’t miss activity for the family!
Thursday, November 15th, 2007
By Charles Poplinger
This photo by photographer Bob McDuell shows the 17P Holmes Comet’s halo and its outer aurora.
Ancient Greeks thought the heavens were perfect and the earth imperfect, therefore any unusual object in the skies such as a comet was a bad omen because it was closer to the earth than the stars. Astronomers diligently searched the heavens for comets, logged their appearance and made their presence known to the rulers who based important decisions on them. One of these astronomers was Edwin Holmes who discovered the comet 17P Holmes which is named after him. He spied the comet on November 6, 1892. The comet orbits around Jupiter and the Sun and during the 1892 orbit, the comet seemed to explode, just as it’s doing today. The comet really isn’t exploding. As it nears the sun, its interior is heating. The heat is causing volcanoes at its surface which are expelling gas into space around it so it looks huge.
Saturday, November 17, 6:30 pm at the Ford House in Mendocino, interested star-gazers might be able view comet 17P Holmes through the new telescopes donated by Out of this World to Mendocino Area Parks Association (MAPA). Although the potential for viewing the comet looks promising for the 17th, comets can fizzle or brighten without warning. Weather permitting, other astronomical viewings will be the Andromeda Galaxy, the Pleiades, moon, star clusters, nebulae, Uranus and Neptune and more.
Meet behind the Ford House museum at 6:30 p.m., 735 Main Street, Mendocino. Telescopes will be provided, but bring your own flashlights and volunteers will cover them with red cellophane. Be sure to dress warmly. In case of rain or fog, the backup plan is an indoor program: The Sun, Our Star, given by Charles Poplinger. Sponsored By: Ford House Museum/Visitor Center; Out of This World in Mendocino; Mendocino Area Parks Association (MAPA); and California State Parks. For more information: Ford House, 707-937-5397; Out of this World, 707-937-3335.
Dine-Out for Your Favorite Charity
Sunday, November 11th, 2007
On Wednesday, November 14, you can support the Mendocino Land Trust and have a fabulous meal by attending Dine-Out Night at the MacCallum House Inn and Restaurant in Mendocino.
Dine-outs are an ongoing series of dining fundraisers hosted by MacCallum House Inn & Restaurant to support our community. The concept is very simple; MacCallum House donates all of the proceeds to the non-profit organization it’s honoring for that evening. The dine-out is an amazingly clever way to capture a donation for a well-deserving charity from both tourists and locals.
MacCallum House hosted their first dine-out in 2004; it was a St. Patrick’s Day event for KOZT. Jed explains, “We have tried to make it part of our culture and now do several events every month during the slower season. It is a great way for us to connect with the community. We have done dine-out’s for so many different organizations I have lost track.” But as Jed rattles off the names, I could tell there were not many missing from the list.
There are lots of dine-outs coming up, taking us through the holidays, such as the Mendocino Coast Humane Society, College of the Redwoods Community Choir and Project Sanctuary. With more to come in 2008!
Many thanks to MacCallum House for sponsoring so many community activities. MendocinoFun.com is also doing our part by listing these events on our Calendar of Events. You can do your part. Get together a group of friends to celebrate the holiday season and give to your favorite charity at the same time.
The MacCallum House (45020 Albion Street, Mendocino) will be serving their regular menu on November 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Please make your reservation as soon as possible by calling 937-5763.
Out of this World Gives the Stars
Thursday, November 1st, 2007
Submitted by Carolyne Cathey, Executive Director, MAPA
The Star Party at the Ford House Visitors Center on Saturday, November 17 will have a new sparkle with the gift of two new telescopes. Out of this World owners, James Blackstock and Marilyn Rose, donated the scopes to the Mendocino Area Parks Association (MAPA). A Celestron 90mm refractor, chosen for ease of use and better lunar and planetary views, will replace the 6-year-old refractor telescope at MacKerricher State Park. The second scope is a Celestron 130mm computerized reflector, allowing greater light capture, and a “go-to” motor system controlled by an on-board processor with a 4000 celestial object database. After a simple alignment procedure, you can pick a planet, galaxy, nebula, or star cluster, and the telescope will locate and track the object. MAPA will use this scope in their interpretive programs. Celestron telescopes were chosen because they are lightweight and easy to operate. Blackstock has also volunteered to get several of the older scopes back into working order. Staff members, Jenny Heckeroth, Fred Andrews, John Millott, Scott Lewis, Charles Poplinger and Carolyne Cathey, were provided two training sessions by James Blackstock and John Wilder.
At the next Star Party on Saturday, November 17, interested gazers should gather at Ford House Visitors Center for a chance to talk with astronomers while observing the night sky. Meet behind the museum at 7:00 p.m., 735 Main Street, Mendocino. Bring your own telescope and flashlights! Be sure to dress warmly. In case of rain or fog, our backup plan is an indoor program. Sponsored By: Ford House Museum/Visitor Center; Out of This World in Mendocino; Mendocino Area Parks Association (MAPA); and California State Parks. For more information: 707-937-5397, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.mendoparks.org