Outdoors

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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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Nice Sweater

Posted By and on Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 11:02 AM

The crowd of racers putting the "sweat" in "sweater" during Sunday's Ugly Sweater Run. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • The crowd of racers putting the "sweat" in "sweater" during Sunday's Ugly Sweater Run.
Some things are so ugly they're cute. On Sunday, Dec. 4, nearly 300 people leaned into the ugly, donning bright, lumpy, spangly and snowman-festooned pullovers and cardigans for the Ugly Holiday Sweater Fun Run. Starting at the Arcata Plaza, the wild and wooly 1-mile or 5-kilometer race organized by Arcata Main Street benefitted Humboldt Educare. Photographer Mark Larson was right in the fraying fray, snagging shots of the knitted nuttiness. Behold its tacky majesty in his slideshow.



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Monday, August 15, 2016

Light and Fog

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 5:06 PM

Personalized paper lanterns drift out onto Klopp Lake on Saturday night. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • Personalized paper lanterns drift out onto Klopp Lake on Saturday night.

Under sunny skies on Saturday morning, the northwest corner of the Arcata Plaza was filled with people making their personalized remembrance lanterns for that evening’s 34th annual Lantern Floating Ceremony at Klopp Lake in the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary.

“This has become a way of remembering those who died 70 years ago in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to help console those who have lost loved ones,” said Maggie Shaffer, one of the event organizers. The Lantern Floating Ceremony, based on the Japanese Obon tradition of honoring the departed, was first organized by the city’s Nuclear Free Zone Committee.

Other community groups and the city of Arcata now host the event, and volunteers organize the lantern-making workshop and evening program, move the hundreds of lanterns to Klopp Lake and retrieve the lanterns after the event.

Under foggy skies, Arcata Mayor Paul Pitino introduced the evening program which included three large lanterns floated to symbolize the “past, present and future,” followed by poetry and sing-alongs led by the Raging Grannies group and Fry Wolhandler.

Around 9 p.m., organizers and attendees began launching the flotilla of lanterns with battery-powered lights inside (new this year instead of candles) onto Klopp Lake. Volunteers waded into the shallows to help move the lanterns out into a light breeze that carried them east into the fog and fading light.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Folklife Does 'Send me Back Home' for Merle

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 10:50 AM

Rick Levin and Steve Irwin helped close the Merle Haggard tribute with "Okie from Muskogee."  "Everything I love about playing music was all there yesterday, and I will long remember it," said Levin. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • Rick Levin and Steve Irwin helped close the Merle Haggard tribute with "Okie from Muskogee." "Everything I love about playing music was all there yesterday, and I will long remember it," said Levin.

A full house experienced a magical “Sing Me Back Home” tribute to Merle Haggard at Saturday’s closing performance of the Humboldt Folklife Festival in the Dell’Arte Amphitheatre in Blue Lake. The “Merle choir,” which performed the tribute, was put together with members of different local bands who shared a common bond in that they all knew and loved to sing Merle Haggard songs.

“The day Merle died, Ken Jorgenson (of The Mighty Rovers) called me up, knowing I was a big Merle fan, and suggested the idea of doing a tribute show at the Folklife Festival,” said Steve Irwin of the Delta Nationals and The Yokels. “I was thrilled with the idea and got to thinking that I knew lots of local musicians who were fans of Merle. Then it snowballed into kind of a ‘Merle choir.’”

The musicians on Saturday included, among others, Steve Irwin, Ken and Maria Jorgenson, Paul DeMark, Dave Ryan, Hal Krohn, Jake Wiegandt, Doug and Libbey Eastteam, Rick Levin, Bruce Johnson, Fred Neighbor, Joyce Hough, Gary Davidson and Marc Jeffares.

Continue reading »

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