The Week in Bloom

Shell Beach, from the Kortum Trail I thought appreciatively of Bill Kortum as we hiked the section of the California Coastal Trail named in his honor. Bill is an environmentalist of local renown who has been instrumental in protecting the coastline for public use. The late morning fog kept us cool as we made our […]

The Week in Bloom

“When I first caught sight of it over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley, I was fifty miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.”  -John Muir At just over 14,000 feet, Mount Shasta is a stratovolcano that is California’s fifth […]

Green Walnut Harvest

Ene and Aili harvested hundreds of green walnuts from our tree to make our annual batch of nocino, the homemade digestif we like to share with friends and family on special occasions throughout the year. The nuts peaked about a week later than last year, and we managed to clear the tree of the plump, […]

The Week in Bloom

the nuts of the beech (Fagus grandifolia) are edible While foraging for materials to build the pole lathe and develop a Mildred’s Lane product, my attention shifted continually from the trees overhead to the ground underfoot. Here is a sampling of some sightings during the course of a morning hike around the property, near the […]

The Week in Bloom

Native to the state, the California Buckeye (Aesculus californica) grows prolifically along seasonal streams and south-facing hillsides, and was often planted as an ornamental next to barns and schoolhouses of West Sonoma County. The tree has been in bloom for longer than expected this year with the cooler weather, and its sweet smelling blossoms are […]

The Week in Bloom

Zebra Swallowtail butterfly (Eurytides marcellus) Spring’s acceleration has leveled off as the solstice approaches. Trees are all in full leaf, and it’s looking like a potential bumper crop year for apples and pears. The hay has been cut, dried and baled on nearby farms and the sheep are ready for shearing. Most grazing meadows still […]

The Week in Bloom

elegant windlass at each pair of posts, framing a gateway The only sounds punctuating my bike ride to the coast along the quiet, eight mile stretch of Valley Ford-Franklin School Road were the sweet song of the meadowlark perched on fence posts and the eerily creaking eucalyptus in the wind. As I climbed the long […]