The Gualala River usually closes in the spring, after the winter rains. A big sandbar always forms at the river mouth, and the river then backs up and fills to the brim. We've been waiting and waiting for this to happen this year, and it finally happened mid-week.

Here is what the river looks like when it is closed - just beautiful.

Craig Tooley took this aerial photo of the closed Gualala a few years ago.

You can see the big sandbar stretching across the river's mouth. Some of the river seeps through the sandbar and some of the water will evaporate, as the river slowly loses water. Now is the perfect time to kayak the river.

Fun fact: When the river is closed, the water at the mouth is called a lagoon. When the river is open, the water at the mouth is called an estuary.

Thanks to Craig for allowing me to show his aerial photo. To see much more of Craig's work, here is his website: www.ruffimage.com

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NOAA conducted a deep sea corals cruise in 2015. They found a new coral species.

It was named Swiftia faralloneseca, a gorgonian. It was found at "The Football," an oval-shaped area north of Bodega Canyon and west of Salmon Creek.

NOAA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, studies our oceans, among many other things. NOAA's National Weather Service monitors storms, droughts, and all things to do with the atmosphere. At NOAA, science matters.

Every now and then we see The Fulmar, their research vessel off our coast. Here's a look at the Fulmar, photo by Jamie Hall.

Thanks to NOAA's Mary Jane Schramm and Jamie Hall for allowing me to share these photos with you here. To learn much more about NOAA, here is their website: http://www.noaa.gov/

Craig Tooley photographed the Peregrine Falcon nest with two chicks. In Craig's first photo, the adult Peregrine has just finished feeding the chicks and is flying away.

Here one of the Peregrine Falcon chicks is exercising his or her wings. It won't be too long before they fledge. These photos were taken over a week ago.

Thanks to Craig for allowing me to share his photos with you here. To see much more of Craig's nature photography, here is the link to his website: www.ruffimage.com

It really cooled off on the coast today...thank goodness!

Harm Wilkinson was sure surprised to see this Acorn Woodpecker imitating a hummingbird at his sugar-water feeder.

Harm said the woodpecker drained the hummingbird feeder.

Here's a close-up of a male Acorn Woodpecker on the left (notice the red on his head goes all the way to the white on his face) and a female (she has black between the white on her face and the red on top of her head) at a seed feeder. This photo was taken by Jim Garlock.

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Thanks to Harm and Jim for allowing me to share their photos with you here.

Esther Shain recently photographed a Wild Turkey mother with her three chicks.

I think the chicks are cute. Hope you agree!

Thanks to Esther for allowing me to share her photo with you here.

After an absolutely scorching day yesterday, where it was near 80 right at the ocean, and 96 degrees at our place in Anchor Bay, the fog has developed over the ocean and cooled us off some. Thank goodness for our fog air conditioning, because it's the only air conditioning we have! Down 16 degrees today.