Rich Trissel keeps a "yard list," a list of birds he sees in their yard north of Gualala. A few days ago he added a Rough-legged Hawk to his list. Nancy got the photo.
Here is what the Cornell Lab of Ornithology says about these autumn/winter visitors: "The Rough-legged Hawk spends the summer capturing lemmings on the arctic tundra, tending a cliffside nest under a sun that never sets. Winter is the time to see this large, open-country hawk in southern Canada and the U.S., where it may be perched on a pole or hovering over a marsh or pasture on the hunt for small rodents. Found globally across northern latitudes, this species occurs in both light and dark forms."
Nancy photographed a light form, adult Rough-legged Hawk.
To hear their calls, here is the link: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Rough-legged_Hawk/sounds
Here is a close-up photo I found on the web, from the Audubon handbook.
I hope I get to see one of these magnificent hawks! The Trissels and I are neighbors, as the Raven flies!
Thanks to Nancy for allowing me to share her photo with you here.
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.
Peggy Berryhill noticed these unusual clouds a few weeks ago. Scott Gasparian identified them as mammatus clouds, often a predictor of wild weather.
Scott wrote, "When I used to fly paragliders cross county, I found there are two sizes of clouds: those that are small and fed by an updraft, and those that get big enough to internally generate lift. We refer to the second type as 'cloud suck.'
"The normally flat bottom of the cloud starts to dome upwards as the freezing/cooling water in the clouds starts to accelerate. When the vertical column reaches up far enough to get into the really cold air zone, then we get hail, and thunder and lightning.
"If it keeps getting higher, with enough warm wet air to feed into it, tornadoes and waterspouts can spawn. If you see mammatus, and they start to rotate, duck. If moving away from you and rotating, sound the alarm. I lived in flat Missouri for a while and have seen two tornado starts, and a bunch of almosts, scary thrilling power to behold."
We Mendonomans will stick to a little hail and lightning, thank you very much.
Thanks to Peggy for allowing me to share her photo with you here, and thanks to Scott for teaching us about mammatus clouds.
Bob Rutemoeller and Sandy Hughes both noticed this big moth resting at the Gualala Post Office. It's a Western Cecropia, or Giant Silkmoth.
Harm Wilkinson photographed a Ceanothus Moth just a block or two away.
They each have the distinctive white markings on their wings, but the colors are different and the markings on the bottom of their wings is different. Still, at first glance, I would have thought Bob's moth was a Ceanothus. We are seeing wild lilac, Ceanothus, in bloom right now, which always attracts Ceanothus Moths. They are quite large and exciting to see. The Giant Silkmoth is a rarer sighting for us.
Thanks to Bob and Harm for allowing me to share their photos with you here.