Outdoors

Friday, April 27, 2018

Don't Start Your Engines

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 1:18 PM

Doing laps at Redwood Acres Raceway. - FILE
  • File
  • Doing laps at Redwood Acres Raceway.

If you're revving your engines for the start of racing at Redwood Acres Racetrack, you'll have to wait. The predicted heavy rains are delaying tomorrow's kick-off but not for long. April 28 ticket holders can use them on Saturday, May 5, when the track will be roaring with roadrunners, legends, bombers, mini stocks and bandoleros — "small cars driven by youngsters," according to the Redwood Acres Racing press release. If my kids are reading this, that's a hard "no." And if you live by the track, enjoy the blissful silence this weekend.

Read about local speed demons and life on the track in "Race Day" by John Bennett.
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Monday, February 12, 2018

All the Marbles

Posted By on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 5:49 PM

Artist Geoffrey Beetem's marbles were among the scores of glass creations on display at the Humboldt Marble Weekend. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Artist Geoffrey Beetem's marbles were among the scores of glass creations on display at the Humboldt Marble Weekend.

The Humboldt Marble Weekend attracted a large crowd of marble fans of all ages to Redwood Acres in Eureka over the weekend to watch 46 glass artists display their creative work (not just marbles) and also conduct glass-making demonstrations. See the photo slideshow below for highlights.

"We started the fun Thursday night, raising $1,540 for the Humboldt County Search and Rescue Posse at the Marble Makers Ball fundraiser," said event organizer Topher Reynolds, of Copius Glass in Eureka. "A donation at the ball got you a free drink and a handmade 'hider marble' to to place somewhere for Sunday's Massive Marble Hunt."

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

All Aboard: Vintage Train Video

Posted By on Sat, Oct 14, 2017 at 2:48 PM

A speeder car on the tracks by the Samoa roundhouse. - TIMBER HERITAGE ASSOCIATION VIDEO
  • Timber Heritage Association video
  • A speeder car on the tracks by the Samoa roundhouse.

Everybody loves trains. OK, maybe not packed commuter trains. But if you aren't charmed by the cow catchers on black locomotives or Orient Express-style dining cars from the turn of the century, we can't hang out. The volunteers of the Timber Heritage Association are out at the Roundhouse in Samoa most weekends restoring regal and rusty beauties for posterity. And occasionally, like this weekend, the overalled rail enthusiasts offer rides on the bright orange and yellow speeder cars that once moved loggers in and out of the woods.

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

HumBug: Ancient Fliers

Posted By on Sun, Jul 16, 2017 at 4:44 PM

A scene from the past today, a Common White Tail on a Scouring Rush Horsetail. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A scene from the past today, a Common White Tail on a Scouring Rush Horsetail.
Three hundred million years ago, when the world was a hot swamp and the air carried twice as much oxygen as it does today, it is very likely a Griffinfly landed on a horsetail (the plant that was around back then, not the equine anatomy which was not). At the time they were the dominant aerial predators. Some Meganeurids, the largest flying insects of all time, had wingspans up to 28 inches.

These extinct giants weren't truly the dragonflies of today, but are considered to be either ancestors or relatives of them.

A Pacific Clubtail. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A Pacific Clubtail.
The other day a common whitetail (Plathemis lydia) with a wingspan of about 4 inches, landed on a Scouring Rush (Equisetum) in front of me, recreating in a small way that scene from the Permian era, a time before bats, birds or even pterodactyls were around to contend with them for supremacy.

A Red Veined Meadowhawk. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A Red Veined Meadowhawk.
Venturing a bit farther up the Van Duzen River than usual, a small red dragonfly flew up and perched on a stick close to me. At first glance, it looked like a cross between a Cardinal Meadowhawk and a Variegated Meadowhawk, two species that are very common hereabouts. It was a cooperative subject so I took several photos. When I downloaded them and looked it up, I found it was a Red Veined Meadowhawk (Sympetrum madidum), a species new to me. An online friend verified my identification, and I made a little mark in my book adding another species to my "life list."

A Red Veined Meadowhawk. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A Red Veined Meadowhawk.
Finally, a Pacific Clubtail (Gomphus kurilis) perched on a rock and allowed me to get a couple of shots. I guess they had sticks and stones back in the Permian Era too.

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Splashdown: Kinetic Day 2

Posted By on Mon, May 29, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Tempus Fugitorium in the splash zone. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Tempus Fugitorium in the splash zone.
They survived the sand and dared Deadman's Drop. On Sunday, Kinetic Grand Championship competitors got amphibious, using foam, floats, kayaks and paddles to navigate the waters of Humboldt Bay. Making waves (and making it back to shore) is no joke — listing craft, log jams and busted cabooses were just a few of the challenges. A slightly damp Mark McKenna returned from the second leg of the sculpture race with the slideshow below. Enjoy it from the dry comfort of your home.

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All Downhill: Kinetic Day One

Posted By on Mon, May 29, 2017 at 10:31 AM

The majestic Kinetic Kootie rides again with the Carson Mansion as backdrop. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The majestic Kinetic Kootie rides again with the Carson Mansion as backdrop.
After parading around the Arcata Plaza, teams competing for glory (or just trying to stay upright) took off on the 2017 Grand Kinetic Championship. As the crowd cheered on Saturday, the human-powered contraptions made their way to the Manila Dunes to face Deadman's Drop, the steep, sandy, downhill challenge that's toppled many a team. Photographer Mark McKenna was there amid the gears and gritted teeth, catching the action. Check out the slideshow below and stay tuned for more updates this weekend.
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Monday, May 1, 2017

Coming Up Rhodies

Posted By on Mon, May 1, 2017 at 4:05 PM

A flower festooned Ford rolls through town. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • A flower festooned Ford rolls through town.

The sun was shining and the rhododendrons were blowing in the breeze on Saturday for the annual Rhododendron Parade through Eureka. Pageant queens waved serenely from cars crammed with blossoms, marching bands strutted down the streets and the Shriners zipped around in their tiny cars while judges handed out trophies and crowds lined the sidewalks to view the proceedings. Once it all wound down, Carson Park welcomed folks for hot dogs, bouncy houses and relaxing in the grass. Photographer Mark McKenna was there snapping photos of the flowers and the faces. Enjoy his slideshow of the day below.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Cannifest Destiny

Posted By on Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 10:26 AM

Angus Funkhouser competing in the Humboldt Grow Games at Cannifest. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Angus Funkhouser competing in the Humboldt Grow Games at Cannifest.

Attending Cannifest at Redwood Acres was clearly a high point of the weekend for a large crowd in attendance on Saturday. The "sustainable agriculture" event, billed as "Humboldt's manifest cannabis festival and trade gathering," was quite a contrast from the recent Logging Conference also held at Redwood Acres. It was a look into the rapidly changing cannabis culture and industry on the North Coast.

Cannifest hosted a wide range of consumption options, from edible to combustibles in Area 215 for those with prescription cards. If you didn't have a 215 card, you could stop at the 215 doctors' tables under the grandstands, where you could apply for one. Seven music stages with live music and a family-friendly play zone offered more entertainment options. Many vendors offered growing-related products, clothing and munchies. On Sunday, the festival included a cannabis job fair, a series of Cannifest talks, more live music and the results of the cannabis flower competition.

Attendees could also participate in cannabis-infused holistic yoga or the Humboldt Grow Games. The latter included the Re-Plant Hustle, the Dirt-Bag Drag and the Emerald Triangle Irrigation Puzzle.

Cannifest is also the kickoff event for the 11th annual Humboldt Green Week, celebrating all things green during the week of Earth day and the cannabis holiday, 4/20.
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Logging On

Posted By on Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 2:31 PM

HSU Soils and Range Management major Sierra Berry, of Sacramento, handled her end of a two-person crosscut saw in the Lumberjack & Jill Show on Friday. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • HSU Soils and Range Management major Sierra Berry, of Sacramento, handled her end of a two-person crosscut saw in the Lumberjack & Jill Show on Friday.

Redwood Acres Fairgrounds transformed into the 79th annual Redwood Region Logging Conference in Eureka this weekend. The sounds of saw mills and chainsaw carvers at work and the whistle of a vintage steam railroad engine keep a large crowd moving among the massive equipment and logging displays. Also available were historic displays, a wildlife show, a college-student Lumberjack & Jill competition, and a line-up of massive logging trucks in the new Show 'N Shine competition. This year's theme was "Growing Forests, Families and our Future." See the slideshow below for highlights.

HSU Soils and Range Management major Sierra Berry, of Sacramento, handled her end of a two-person crosscut saw in the Lumberjack & Jill Show on Friday. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • HSU Soils and Range Management major Sierra Berry, of Sacramento, handled her end of a two-person crosscut saw in the Lumberjack & Jill Show on Friday.
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Monday, January 30, 2017

Splash and Dash

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 12:05 PM

Splashing across Little River toward the finish line. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Splashing across Little River toward the finish line.

Even at low tide, runners in the 52nd Trinidad to Clam Beach Run Honoring Ford Hess found crossing the Little River at Moonstone Beach a little more challenging in this non-drought year on Saturday, Jan. 28. The mild, sunny weather brought out a crowd to Clam Beach to watch the soaking-wet runners approach the finish line. The Marching Lumberjacks provided a little musical inspiration at the finish line before heading into the water themselves.

Runners participated in a newly added half marathon or 3-, 5 3/4- or 8 3/4 mile run/walks. The Trinidad to Clam Beach Run is sponsored by the Greater Trinidad Chamber of Commerce. Profits from the Run support the chamber's scholarship fund. Bundle up and view the slide show below for highlights.

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