Posted on February 16, 2014
Posted on February 15, 2014
Founded by Spanish settlers in 1776, the Petaluma area was part of a 66,000 acre Mexican land grant of 1834 by Governor Jose Figueroa called Rancho Petaluma . American pioneers flocked into Petaluma from the eastern United States after the discovery of gold in California in 1849. The town’s position at the head of the Petaluma River in the heart of the surrounding prosperous farmland was critical to its rapid growth during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Petaluma soon became known for its grain milling and chicken processing industries, which continue today but as a much smaller part of its commerce. Many of the river’s once bustling piers are now abandoned and rotting.
At one time, Petaluma was known as the “Egg Capital of the World,” with the nickname of “Chickaluma.” Petaluma was basically undamaged after the San Francisco quake of 1906, due to the stable bedrock underlying the region. As one of the few communities left standing after the quake, Petaluma was the staging point for most of the regions relief efforts.
Today the river, while still used commercially, flows quietly about its business.
A place for dreaming and reflecting on what has been and is becoming.
Posted on February 14, 2014
Posted on February 12, 2014
Posted on February 10, 2014
The rain around here has stopped for now and the dark clouds that have hung over us for the last few days are thankfully leaking sunlight. They say we have gotten as much as 6 inches of water dumped on Petaluma from the last storm. However, that is not nearly what this region needs. There would seem to be more rain coming soon. Good news for the environment, bad news for our walks.
This morning on our hike around our favorite 2 mile marsh loop trail, the walkers and runners were out in force. They tend to be the usual assortment of fitness buffs, dog owners, bird watchers, weight watchers and just plain tourists like us. Three-quarters of the way around the loop we ran into a happy chatty lady dressed in a LOT of purple who told us the story of how she got her hat.
It seems one day she was riding the ferry into San Francisco when she struck up a conversation with a young girl who was wearing a pretty knitted hat. The woman asked the child where she had gotten her hat and was told by the girl that mother had knitted it for her. The mother was sitting nearby and introductions were made. When the mother was asked whether she would knit a hat for for our purple walker friend the mother said yes and a few months later this hat arrived in a package with no return address and no bill.
The other thing the purple lady told us was that she owned a balloon company that had just received international recognition.
Needless to say it was a fun walk.
Posted on February 10, 2014
Posted on February 9, 2014
Sonoma County has been suffering from a very severe drought for almost 3 years now and Sarah’s favorite birding place has been essentially dry and empty of the water-fowl that winter here every year.
However, thankfully, a deluge of rain has fallen for the last 4 days and the dry marshlands are beginning to fill up with water and because of that, their usual winter residents are returning. We got completely soaked this morning but it was worth looking at the almost magical transformation the rains have wrought.