Petrified Forest – Santa Rosa

My son and I took a trip to the Santa Rosa Mountains outside of Calistoga to visit Safari West. On our way there we took a pitstop at the Petrified Forest. The site has a quick little mile loop where you can read and learn about the petrified forest and the history of the location. We learned about these trees being knocked over 3 millions years ago when Mount Saint Helena erupted burying these trees in ash and thereby petrifying them for posterity. It’s a very interesting little spot which folks can’t see just anywhere. It’s a great way to be outside particularly as COVID lingers on. It’s a lovely drive there and through the mountains or a quick side trip from the beautiful Napa area.

Safari in the Sonoma Serengeti – Safari West Zoo

I was fortunate enough to attend a Safari West Photography Expedition Workshop.  I am pretty sure you could see the smile plastered on my face from space.  I spent last weekend with full access to all of the glorious animals lovingly cared for at the 400 acre Safari West Zoo in Santa Rosa, California.

The program was an instructional workshop on wildlife photography.  We were taken out all over the huge property for viewings of all of the animal specimens they have on site.  We were provided up close and personal access to the smaller animals and birds even able to enter in to some enclosures.

I spent the night in an awesome tent cabin which enabled me to listen to all sorts of “whoop whoop,” growls, beeps, and bumps in the night.  The cabins were incredibly comfortable and can be rented allowing visitors overnight access to the facility.

“Base Camp” provided a wonderful BBQ style dinner and lunch for overnight visitors.  And believe it or not they have spectacular collections of wine and craft beers.  (They even provide a beer tasting safari tour for groups! Sign up now!)

Visitors can walk amongst the animals while waiting for their scheduled three hour jeep tour.  On the tour or on foot one can enjoy Flamingoes, Cheetah, Giraffe, Rhino, Zebra, Ostrich, Antelope, Crane, Guinea Fowl, Hornbill, Ibis, Malayan Great Argus Pheasant, Spoonbill, Tortoise, Hyenas, Blue Duiker, Bongo, Cape Buffalo, Gazelle, Kudu, Impala, Hogs, Watusi Cattle, Wildebeest, Macaw, Colobus Monkey, and Lemurs. (Say that three times fast!)  And those are just some of the animals I saw!


I can only hope that you get a fraction of the enjoyment from these photos as I had in taking them.  What a spectacular treat it was to be so close to these animals and to observe how magnificent they really are.  Kudos to Safari West for taking such fantastic care of the animals and for sharing them with the rest of us in a top notch way.


I mean seriously? Look at this bird?


Is this not the prettiest little face?


Flamingo from a different angle


Giraffe are the sweetest most awkward creatures


The Rhino were running around like they were on a sugar high while I was there. What a treat it was to see them active.


This ostrich was trying to tell me something? What do you think she was trying to say?


Sweet little moment between mama and baby Zebra


Gloriously beautiful Cheetah


This guy just looks smart doesn’t he?


back side of a pheasant showing his colors.


Hyena but he wasn’t laughing


Look at the colors on this guy’s face!


The color on this Ibis is spectacular


Woah. Nice Bill.


This bird looks like the back of a bald old man.

For more information on Safari West please click here.

For more posts on other Zoos or animals I have visited or photographed I would be honored if you would click here