From mid November to mid December we lived in the super cozy and friendly small town of Lagunitas, CA. This was the kick off location to our new nomadic lifestyle.
When living in San Jose for the past three-ish years we would often go to Point Reyes to search for nature. In order to reach Point Reyes for an adventure it required driving through the town of Lagunitas. So it was a perfect first stop. While living in this town the National Seashore is basically just down the road. Ah, a dream come true! I don’t know where we will end up after moving around California for the next six-ish months (or more!) but I would absolutely love to move to any of the small towns around here. We’ll have to wait and see if I feel the same about all the locations we station ourselves for a month or so at a time. But man o man, this area is special. Here is a little rundown of what we got up to over the past month.
Weekends are for nature! Fortunately, it aligned quite well for us that the first and last weekends in Lagunitas aligned with the King Tides, so of course we spent those tidepooling at local and slightly further away beaches. We explored: Duxbury Reef in Bolinas, Carmet Beach, Coleman Beach near Carmet, and Dillon Beach.
During the tidepool forays we found oodles of great intertidal creatures, below are a few of them. To see the full extend, check out our iNaturalist, username: chloe_and_trevor. Search for the dates: November 14-16, and December: 12-15. I also wrote about some of the nudibranchs discovered in the November King Tides in this post.
The weekends in between tidepooling were spent mostly looking for bugs, specifically beetles. Where are the bugs in Central California winter? Under bark! Under logs! Under rocks! As well as under rocks in the small creeks nearby. This was the month marked by Trevors deep dive into keying out insects, and more specifically beetle identification and anatomy.
In general we stayed nearby to find the beetles; you don’t have to go far to find cute little bundles of chiton (the material that creates beetle’s exoskeleton)! We explored Samuel P. Taylor State Park, Mount Tamalpais State Park and the Marin Municipal Water District watershed, Point Reyes National Seashore, and Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve which was right out our “backyard.” I will be writing a post on what beetles we saw in the different habitats so stay tuned.
Just for fun, my most photographed creature over the past month would probably be the California Slender Salamander. A couple different nudibranchs would come in second. I love these little guys!
During the week days I would go on runs and small hikes to explore local areas we’d always driven by in the past to go somewhere else. I was glad to finally be able to see where the trailheads lead to. These spots included: Loma Alta Preserve, Roys Redwoods Preserve, Marrietta Larson and Lagunitas School District preserve, Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve, and the Cross Marin Trail.
But actually, we didn’t have to go far to enjoy nature or find some buuugs while living in Lagunitas. San Geronimo creek was right outside our cozy cabin. We turned over rocks and checked out the sedges too. Ah, so gorgeous! Major shoutout to our Airbnb hosts, L & R you guys were wonderful! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
To satisfy our everyday needs, the town of Fairfax is the closest largest town to Lagunitas with all the stores you’d need but still small enough to keep that small town cuteness. Oh gosh I love this little town. Unfortunately due to the pandemic I didn’t properly explore the small shops, I only visited the grocery stores and gas stations. But Fairfax has one of my most favorite grocery stores, Good Earth. Holy moly, the staff there is the sweetest and the shelves contain amazing organic, local, and fun products. Their in-house bakery makes some amazing breads that Trevor gobbled up happily. The most frequented by restaurant for take-out was Arti Natural Indian Cafe is delicious, and was just a short walk away, a deadly good combination.
During this month I started the California Naturalist course through Grassroots Ecology, finally! This was supposed to start back in the spring and I’d been anxiously awaiting its start. So this entailed a trip down to the Palo Alto Baylands, participating in the California King Tides Project and starting my nature journal of which I’m loving the process.
While this post is really just a fancy journal for myself to remember our month in Marin County, until the next more informative post, here is a few more photos of local native critters which I am particularly fond of. Below we have a coyote that I stumbled upon near Abbots Lagoon. I also saw the California quail, and Golden Crown Sparrow during the same walk. The Sierran Tree frog was a surprise to find hippin’ and hoppin’ through the grass at Bodega Head. Nearby at the Bodega Dunes Beach is where I rudely, but accidentally exposed the little mouse huddling in his fluff ball house. Lovely creatures!
We are now further up the coast of California, and I will have a similar post in a month-ish!
I hope this may inspire you to find some critters in your own backyard this weekend!
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