Cooks Beach, just north of the town of Gualala, has a large pocket beach, a creek for little ones to play in, and a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. It's a perfect place to go to see the sunset. Eric Duff did just that a few weeks ago.

I love the reflection on the wet sand. Thanks to Eric for allowing me to share his photo with you here. To learn more about Cooks Beach, here is the link to the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy: http://www.rc-lc.org/

Some smoke has flowed into the coast from the inland fires today. It's not too bad, but you definitely can smell smoke. There are a lot of evacuees here, and we are trying to help them as best we can. We pray the rain in our forecast materializes. It is forecast for late Wednesday. Rain would be such a boon for Northern California.

Grace O'Malley spotted this Hummingbird Moth, Macroglossum stellatarum, in her garden near Timber Cove. In Grace's first photo you can see the very long tongue of this moth.

Grace wrote,“A Hummingbird Moth appeared in my garden, hovering around and sipping nectar from the Giant Impatiens.  The U.S. Forest Service advises ‘like most moths, they have a very long tongue which they carry rolled under their chins’ and unfurl to reach the nectar of the long-necked flowers they prefer."

These spectacular moths are most often seen around dusk. Thanks to Grace for allowing me to share her photos with you here.

The Mendonoma coast is free of smoke from the terrible fires. Many evacuees have come here and their stories are heartbreaking. Rain is in our forecast for next Wednesday. We hope it will come sooner than that and put out all the fires.

Craig Tooley photographed the sun yesterday. The terrible fires that began Sunday night inland from the coast have brought smoky skies. This was taken in the middle of the afternoon.

The smoke is less today, but we can't relax until the first rains come. Steve Paulson of KTVU TV said the long range forecast shows rain possible Oct. 20th. May it be so!

Thanks to Craig for allowing me to share his photo with you here.

Pacific Wrens are hard to photograph, at least for me! They used to be called Winter Wrens, but their name was changed a few years ago. This little bird with the upright tail was foraging near a small pond in our creek. Our neighbor, Karen Tracy, pointed this bird out to me. Thanks, Karen!

Also seen was another inconspicuous bird, a Brown Creeper.

In the bottom photo, the Creeper caught a bug!

We are having a warm day here on the Mendonoma coast today. With the clear horizon last night, Rick and I saw a small green flash at sunset, bringing feelings of gratitude and happiness.

Doug Forsell just sent this in:

"I was out on Manchester Beach yesterday (Friday Oct. 6) at about 5:30 PM walking south from the Stoneborough Road entrance, and about 500 yards from the mouth of the river, I came upon a raccoon feeding at the edge of the surf. Wanted to get a picture so I slowly walked towards it.  Kept expecting it to run away, but even after it saw me it continued to feed. I was about to walk away when it finally turned towards me, hunched its back and began acting very aggressive. It even made a couple of charges towards me, of about 5 feet.

I continued south and every once in a while looked back with my binoculars and the animal remained vigilant with his back raised watching me for about five minutes until I disappeared from sight. Any normal animal would certainly have run for the dunes so I suspect this animal may have rabies or some serious mental issues.
Thought you might want to put a notice on your blog to let people know that there may be a rabid raccoon in that area. Especially important for those who take their dogs to the beach. While of course dogs are supposed to be on leashes, most of the dogs I see there are not on leashes.  I think that raccoon could do serious damage to the biggest dog."

***Please keep your dog on leash while on Manchester Beach until this Raccoon is found and tested.***

Thanks to Doug for the warning and his photo too.