This is the time of year we see salamanders and newts. Craig Tooley spotted this salamander, a Northwestern Salamander.

Craig said this salamander was hiding under a mushroom. It takes a good eye to see a creature as well camouflaged as this one is!

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

Cathleen is the owner of Coasting Home, a property  management company in Gualala. On this evening Cathleen was called out on a service call. This sunset at Green Cove was her reward.

Last night's sunset was beautiful too, but today we have a little smoke from the terrible fires in Southern California. We need to start our rain dances.

Thanks to Cathleen for allowing me to share her photo with you here. If you are looking for a Mendonoma vacation rental, here is her website:


Paul Brewer was in Jenner when he spotted this Bald Eagle flying over the Pacific Ocean. Beneath the big eagle was a Harbor Seal.

Nice catch by Paul! He also got the mated pair standing on the beach - two beautiful, mature Bald Eagles.

Thanks to Paul for allowing me to share his photos with you here. To see much more of Paul's nature photography, here is his website:

Scott and Tree Mercer are studying marine life off the Mendonoma coast. One of the most productive sites is the bluffs of the Point Arena Lighthouse. Scott recently photographed Tree on the bluffs. She was helping spot whales.

The Mercers post their daily sightings on Facebook at Mendonoma Whale and Seal Study. Here is the link:

They also share their sightings with other research groups, and fortunately with me, for my weekly Mendonoma Sightings column in the Independent Coast Observer. Recent sightings have been young Gray Whales feeding off the coast, and several Humpback Whales about 3 1/2 miles out.

I thank Scott for allowing me to share his photo with you here.

The Gualala River, closed to the Pacific Ocean by a big sandbar for months, finally opened last Sunday night or early Monday morning. Bob Rutemoeller found it open at the north end when he checked mid-morning on Monday.

Steelhead, trapped in luxury during the summer and early autumn months, were swept out to sea to begin the next stage of their lives. The Gualala River didn't stay open long, though. It filled once again, and then reopened. And as of Saturday, it was closed again. With the high tides, King Tides, the river might be closed for a while. We will be watching!

Thanks to Bob for allowing me to share his photos with you here.