Mendocino in the Fall

Fall in Mendocino means mushrooms.  Mendocino is surrounded by ocean, redwoods, and hills therefore the fall colors do not blaze as brightly here as they do on the drive through the wine country to get there from Sacramento.

Mushroom hunting

My husband and I dream of owning property here one day.  But, in the meantime it really does not get any better than camping at MacKerricher State Park.  It is $35 per night and one is surrounded by Redwoods, ocean, Cleone Lake, mushrooms, curious seals, deer, wine cork stealing bunnies, and even a Giant Whale Skeleton on display for kids.

 

IMG_6443

She is smart enough to sniff and walk away!

Looking for seals or wayward sailors

IMG_6370

After realizing she looks a lot like a seal with legs

MacKerricher is my favorite campsite in California located in one of the prettiest areas of California.  MacKerricher sits just north of Fort Bragg.  Fort Bragg is a tough old logging town which is finding its footing with breweries, shops, and tourism.  Fort Bragg has newly renovated its famed Glass Beach formed from years of waves crashing against an old garbage site.  My favorite place to visit in Fort Bragg is the Mendocino Botanical Gardens.  It is and will remain my happy place.

Just a hop, skip, and a jump down the road is the village of Mendocino.  This iconic village is where Eric and I got married five years ago!  (Happy Anniversary to us!)  We relived the big day by having dinner at our favorite restaurant 955 Ukiah Street Restaurant.  The next day we picked up a baguette from Cafe Beaujolais and picnicked on the ocean.

Just north of MacKericher is a beach near Pacific Star Winery where the tide pooling is stellar.  A nice little blue grab game out to assert his domain.

IMG_6397

Mr. Blue Crab

IMG_6401

Not that you can tell with the iPhone but those are seals out there lounging in the sunshine

 

 

IMG_6414

Low tide allows for shenanigans like this

The amazing part about the Pacific Ocean is that we left weather in the 40’s and found clear weather in the 60’s on the ocean.  The weather is typically the opposite of what is happening in the Sacramento Valley.

Happy Fall everyone. I am trying to hang on to the last bit of it before winter takes hold.  Is it cold and wintery where you are already?

Remnants of an old dock at MacKerricher

For further Mendocino and Mushroom adventures click here.

Flower Power – Mendocino Botanical Garden

I really enjoy camping up on the coast above Mendocino and Fort Bragg. One of my favorite things to do in the late summer early fall is to visit the Fort Bragg Botanical Gardens because the Dahlias are in bloom! The entire grounds are magnificent but the Dahlias are my favorite. I didn’t even know what a Dahlia was until about five years ago. Now I am obsessed with them even attempting to grow them in my own backyard. (Incidentally, Sacramento heat and my lack of a green thumb make them slightly less spectacular that Mendocino cool air and sunshine but I grow them nonetheless.)

I love photographing them. It gives me a reason to obsess over them even well after I am gone. I get to go through hundreds of photos choosing some of my favorites for light editing. I took these photos a few years ago but they are still some of my favorites. The vivid colors and strange shapes make them so interesting and alive to me.

On one visit to the gardens you can see that a lovely Hummingbird stopped by for a glamour shot. He hovered for me long enough for me to snap some shots over a bouquet of flowers.

DSC_2496-58

DSC_2329-1

DSC_2338-11

DSC_2341-14

DSC_2344-17

DSC_2346-21

DSC_2354-23

DSC_2369-28

DSC_2387-33

DSC_2401-36

DSC_2403-41

DSC_2430-2

DSC_2450-48

DSC_8725-172