Outdoors

Thursday, August 22, 2019

You Need a Little 'Wonderful Fantastic'

Posted By on Thu, Aug 22, 2019 at 11:15 AM

Enjoy a mood lifting three minutes of the happiest music you'll hear all day in the some of the prettiest places in our neck of the woods. Raashan Ahmad's video for  "Wonderful Fantastic" is a joy-driven tour of Humboldt beaches and forest featuring local talents Jonny Woods and Brian Swizlo of Object Heavy. We defy you not to tap your toes and challenge you to spot all the locations in the video below.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Photos from the 57th Klamath Salmon Festival

Posted By on Mon, Aug 19, 2019 at 4:35 PM

Given the last few years of wildfire smoke-filled skies, it was a relief for a large crowd of attendees to only smell smoke from the traditional salmon fire pit at the 57th annual Klamath Salmon Festival on Saturday, Aug. 17. This year's theme was "Skue’n ‘Owook, Can’t Wait for Tomorrow," which linked Yurok Tribe plans for the removal of the Klamath River dams and the reintroduction of the California condor in Northwestern California. (See the slideshow below for highlights of the event.)
The traditional fire pit featured salmon steaks skewered on redwood sticks for the festival lunch menu. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • The traditional fire pit featured salmon steaks skewered on redwood sticks for the festival lunch menu.

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Mandibles and Mosquito Catchers

Posted By on Sun, Jul 21, 2019 at 3:00 PM

Like any collector, I have my unicorns. Near the top of my list was Holorusia haspera, the western giant crane fly. Looking like the biggest mosquito you ever saw, this is an impressive critter. I grew up calling them “mosquito catchers.” As a larva, they live near water, feeding on decaying vegetation in the moist soil. As adults, they are not known to feed at all. These fragile creatures resemblance to the pesky little vampires often gets them killed. I hadn't seen one in years.

The day after I received my newest camera, ordered for its impressive focus stacking capability, I noticed one with a nearly 5-inch leg span on my wall. It was very cooperative so I took dozens of shots using every technique I know for the little camera. Yay, for coincidence.

A giant crane fly with its wings spread to show its abdomen. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A giant crane fly with its wings spread to show its abdomen.
A giant crane fly up close. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A giant crane fly up close.
A giant crane fly measures up. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A giant crane fly measures up.


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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Photos from the Sand Sculpture Fest

Posted By on Wed, Jul 3, 2019 at 3:33 PM

The Northcoast Environmental Center team members took to the air when they finished their "Lend a Hand, or Eight" sand sculpture. It later won the People's Choice award. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • The Northcoast Environmental Center team members took to the air when they finished their "Lend a Hand, or Eight" sand sculpture. It later won the People's Choice award.

The 24th annual Sand Sculpture Festival turned the Samoa Drag Strip into a packed parking lot on Saturday, as the Friends of the Dunes fundraiser attracted a large crowd to the nearby ocean beach. Nineteen teams of artists working in the medium of ocean beach sand competed for fun, cash prizes and various awards, while attendees who made donations got flags to post in the sand and “vote” for their favorites. (Dig the photos of the sculptures and sculptors below.)

“We created this event as a way to share the dunes with our community in a fun, creative way,” said Mike Cipra, executive director of Friends of the Dunes. “It’s another way to get local artists and others out here to enjoy the ocean shoreline.”

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

'Tis the Ugly Sweater Season: Photos from Sunday's Run

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2018 at 4:30 PM

And they're off! The third annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Run. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • And they're off! The third annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Run.


The third annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Run on Sunday had runners and walkers in the1-mile and 5-km races wearing examples of taste-deficient knitted nightmares. The races began and ended on the Arcata Plaza. The family-friendly event is a fundraiser for Humboldt Educare, organized by Arcata Main Street.

Prizes were given out for age-bracket winners by gender in the races and for winners who stood out in the "ugly holiday sweater" theme across a mix of categories. Brace yourself for the garish slideshow below.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Hayrides and Apple Harvest at Clendenen's

Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 4:07 PM

A tractor-pulled hayride through Clendenen's apple orchard. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • A tractor-pulled hayride through Clendenen's apple orchard.

Bushels of fun were had this past weekend at Fortuna's annual Apple Harvest Festival. Locals and visitors alike enjoyed pies and cider, a street fair, arts and craft vendors and live music throughout the weekend. And down at Clendenen's Cider Works, apple-cheeked kids and adults alike sampled pressed cider and climbed aboard hayrides through the orchard. Photographer Mark McKenna captured some highlights from Sunday's festivities in the slideshow below. Savor the sweetness at your leisure.

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Monday, July 30, 2018

Grainy Photos from the Sand Sculpture Festival

Posted By on Mon, Jul 30, 2018 at 6:26 PM

The Best of Show sand sculpture "Tale of the Plastic Whale," neared completion with the help of Northcoast Environmental Center volunteers Taylor Zenobia (left), Casey Cruikshank (right) and NEC Coastal Program Coordinator Madison Peters. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • The Best of Show sand sculpture "Tale of the Plastic Whale," neared completion with the help of Northcoast Environmental Center volunteers Taylor Zenobia (left), Casey Cruikshank (right) and NEC Coastal Program Coordinator Madison Peters.

The 23rd annual Sand Sculpture Festival sponsored by Friends of the Dunes took place on Saturday under cool overcast skies at a new location on the beach at the Samoa Drag Strip (easy access and lots of parking). Fifteen artist teams and a few other freelancers showed up to have fun creating amazing sand sculptures in a very temporary medium — think high tide. They could use only sand, water and items found on the beach. Check out photos of the entries in the slideshow below.

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Monday, July 23, 2018

Photos from Northern Nights

Posted By on Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 7:03 PM

Worthy b2b Option4 perform at the main stage of Northern Nights Music Festival on Friday evening. - PHOTO BY ALEXANDER WOODARD
  • Photo by Alexander Woodard
  • Worthy b2b Option4 perform at the main stage of Northern Nights Music Festival on Friday evening.

With temps in the 90s and stage lights ablaze, the Northern Nights Music Festival was a hot ticket this past weekend. If you couldn't make it up to Cooks Valley Campground — or if you crashed out hard on the Grove Stage beds — here's Alexander Woodard's slideshow of some of the DJ and live band shows, dancing, river frolicking, trippy black-light art, outdoor yoga and impromptu didgeridoo you might have missed Friday and Saturday.


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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Mexican Rodeo at the Fair was Wild, Folks (Photos)

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 4:07 PM

A bull rider fights to hold on at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • A bull rider fights to hold on at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds.

The Brahma bulls at the Mexican Rodeo offered a new kind of thrill ride at the Redwood Acres Best of Humboldt Fair on Sunday — but only young cowboys from the rodeo company were allowed to ride the bulls.

A good-sized crowd including a lot of families got a close-up view of the action from bleachers and reserved tables surrounding the temporary corral and loading chute on the raceway midfield.  Others watched the bull riding from the raceway stands and listened to the live music offered before, during and after the rodeo.

This song lyric ran through my head after watching the bull-riding action: "Mamá, no dejes que tus bebés crezcan como vaqueros" (“Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys”).

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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Humboldt's Dancing CCC Supervisor's Binge-worthy Show

Posted By on Sun, Jun 24, 2018 at 3:00 PM

John Griffith grooms a female baboon in an episode of Wild Jobs. - VIA ANIMALPLANET.COM
  • via AnimalPlanet.com
  • John Griffith grooms a female baboon in an episode of Wild Jobs.

If you're looking for something to binge watch that might restore your faith in humankind (no small thing these days), you may want to hit up Wild Jobs, an online series from Animal Planet that's streaming now. Recognize host John Griffith? Yup, Humboldt's own dancing California Conservation Corps guy took his moves on the road to meet what he describes as "hardworking people who've dedicated their lives to helping animals" and pitch in. That means rolling up his flannel sleeves at animal rescue centers, beehives and rescue and wildlife hospitals. It also means clipping porcupine claws and grooming baboons. Episode titles like "Scary Squirrel Showdown," "Ape Karaoke Gone Wild" and "Sea Lion in Distress" should give you an idea of the vibe.


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