Sunday, August 31, 2008

Vacation to Patrick's Point

We just returned from camping along the northern California coast at a wonderful state park named Patrick's Point. This is in the land of the great redwoods, damp 65 degree weather, wild blackberries and ... banana slugs. The yellow guy pictured above was making his way up the side of our tent one morning.

Our campsite was on a bluff about 40 yards from the ocean. From camp we could hear the crash of the ocean. We had a couple of clear evenings when we could see sunsets from this point behind our tent. On the clear nights, the stars were incredible.

We had fun at several beaches near Patrick's Point. This picture shows the beach and bay at Trinidad, which is a fishing village six miles south of Patrick's Point. A monument above the beach lists the names of locals lost at sea.

On this trip we covered nearly the entire length of the state -- logging 1,900 road miles. Our kids and van both survived the trip. I'm reminded that California is an amazing place. From border to border, there is a great diversity in terrain, climate, industry, history, population and culture. And the northern coast and Patrick's Point -- simply beautiful.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Baby Mouse

Our son caught this tiny mouse which was being chased by Mr. Orange, the neighbor's cat. This little guy is really fast and hard to catch. We've seen Orange and our two cats carrying rabbits, rats, lizards and moles, but this is the first time we've seen such a little mouse. It was fun to see, but our outdoor-loving son returned the mouse to nature.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chicken Update

So here's Rhode Island Red and our Barred Rock at almost two months old. They have grown up fast. We remember when they were just days old fluff balls and then when they started getting their feathers after a couple of weeks. Hopefully in a few more months, they will start laying eggs. In the meantime, our family has had fun with the chickens. They are very much family pets.

Did you know that there is an "urban chicken movement" sweeping the nation? Citizens groups in cities, such as Ann Arbor and South Portland advocate for urban chicken keeping and more lenient "chicken laws." Pasadena's own Path to Freedom has one of the best websites around. Another good one is backyard chickens.