So far the winter in West Sonoma County has been a bit on the dry side with no major storms. In spite of this a tree still fell down and missed the phone line by a few feet. If you aren't handy with a chain saw in these parts life can be very difficult indeed! The hills are green, the creeks are full, and the house is quite cozy these days. I mentioned in my last blog that Barley and Hops Tavern is a new venue in Occidental worth your attention. They have a great beer pub with an excellent selection of off beat local beers like Hen House IPA and the Russian River Pliney. The menu is solid casual Americana and the atmosphere is superb. So if this sounds like something you might like, check it out!!
The picture below is of a steelhead in Willow creek heading upstream to spawn. My wife and I hiked up Willow creek a couple of weeks ago and saw six steelhead. The creeks in the area are closed to fishing and there has been an ongoing effort to repopulate the creeks with steelhead and salmon. This steelhead appears to have an adipose fin which would make it a wild fish. We saw three otters at the mouth of Willow creek lying in wait for the poor buggers to make their way up the creek. Steelhead once spawned by the thousands up this creek before all the trees were cut down and the creeks destroyed by the logging. If you want directions to this area let me know. You will see that there are hundreds of huge old growth redwood stumps in this valley which was once a paradise ecology. While we can't go back and change the sad history, we can march forward to protect and restore. Seeing these fish truly made my day!
While posting this pic I lost all the rest of my January blog so rather than try to rewrite it while I am grumpy I will get to it tomorrow after a good hike up a local mountain.Stay tuned!
The gist of my blog for the month was this. Barley and Hops in Occidental is a fantastic new venue! They have a great selection of local beers at their beer pub and excellent casual Americana cuisine. Check them out for dinner when you come to town. Really a great place
Other than that, it is beautiful in West Sonoma County right now with green hills and other than the wild iris blooms, little sign of spring. The days are noticeably longer! February looms right around the corner.