Fire & Fire Season in Sonoma!

Around 3:00 pm today we left Sonoma on our way back to Petaluma. Shortly after leaving Sonoma, we noticed smoke in the hills (Coastal Mountains, if you must). As we got closer to Petaluma and Adobe Road we had a closer view of the scene…As close as we ever want to be.

We noted quite a few Petaluma Fire Units on the road  and perhaps one CDF truck

REMINDER–When you hear sirens, pull over!!!!!  Also suggest turning on your emergency blinkers to alert those people behind you that are too busy with their Smartphones.

Photos below

Quality is not the best as I was shooting through the car windows…and no I was not the driver.

Sonoma Grass Fire

Sonoma Grass Fire

Petaluma Fire

Petaluma Fire

Sonoma Grass Fire

Sonoma Grass Fire

 

CDF?

CDF?

Petaluma Fire

Petaluma Fire

Petaluma Fire

Petaluma Fire

 

Sonoma Grass Fire

Sonoma Grass Fire

 

 

Signs…to inform…to instruct…& to amuse…

…or signs that catch my attention…

…For example this van I recently spotted in Petaluma…

Who knew???!!! (Petaluma)

Who knew???!!! (Petaluma)

For more, continue to the slideshow below…

EmojiEmoji

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Views From Lafferty…Views of Lafferty

For those not familiar with the background story of the Lafferty property on Sonoma Mountain, here is a quick summary:  The 269 acre property (Lafferty Ranch) on the side of Sonoma Mountain was purchased by the City of Petaluma in 1959 to serve as part of its water system.  Access to the property by city employees was never challenged.  It wasn’t until recently that adjacent property owners challenged access to the property when it was proposed to turn it into a Wilderness Park for the general public.  Some of the details of this dispute, and its possible resolution, are contained in the links at the end of this article.

A recent article in the Press Democrat (link below) about public access to Petaluma’s Lafferty Ranch revived an old longing on my part to see the land and the supposedly grand vistas from the mountain.

The problem, of course, is that the public cannot access the property at present.  Unless, of course, one obtains “legal” access with a City Official and a guide. And so it came to pass that I found myself on February 18th in front of the Lafferty Gate–the scene most often published in articles about Lafferty…

The Lafferty Gate

Lafferty "Entrance" Gate

Lafferty “Entrance” Gate

VIEWS FROM LAFFERTY

Moving up from the gate to the first meadow I had to pause to take it all in.  While it was partly sunny (in California, that means mostly cloudy) I was able to see the entire Petaluma Valley, the course of the Petaluma River, Mt. Tam, and San Pablo Bay. I could string out a long collection of clichés about the views but instead I will say that I could have stayed there all day watching the light change and playing with the camera toys.

A View From Lafferty

A View From Lafferty

Lafferty Petaluma Valley Vista

Lafferty Petaluma Valley Vista

VIEWS OF LAFFERTY

The Lafferty landscape is indeed a wilderness in terms of vegetation, wetlands, animals, and streams. Some of the foundation stones of the original Lafferty home are still in place.  For the most part, much of the land is the same as it was when California became a state.  In many places the only sound (other than my occasional grunting) was the sound of Adobe Creek.

Granted, the area is not as lush as it normally would be at this time of the year because of the drought, but the recent rains did have some positive impact. 

Lafferty Middle Meadow

Lafferty Middle Meadow

"If you go out in the woods today..."

“If you go out in the woods today…”

Photo Gallery (Click to Open)

In closing, the best evidence as to whether or not I was impressed by my Lafferty experience is that it provided a new header for this blog.  Perhaps the opportunity to visit Lafferty will be available to everyone in the not too distant future.

THE LAFFERTY STORY–RELATED LINKS

History At Your Feet Part I…Petaluma’s Downtown

The buildings on Kentucky St. and Petaluma Blvd. are home to an active business and retail district but they also represent and reflect Petaluma’s past…

Kentucky & E. Washington

Kentucky & E. Washington

From my perspective, this area is also a terrific location for photography and I concentrated my efforts there from February to July in 2012.  See Downtown…Photo Grid

I thought I had thoroughly “absorbed” the area during my photo grid project. However, on a recent visit, I happened to look down.

Herold's

Herold’s

Granted I had noticed (but did not note) this marble and tile work from my past walks but I now wondered about the thresholds and entry ways of other buildings. So I decided to attempt a photo survey of sorts. I mainly confined my efforts to Kentucky St. and Petaluma Blvd. bordered by East Washington and Western Avenue…

FINDINGS

  • Not every building has a marble, granite, or tile threshold or entryway.  Many are simply standard sidewalk concrete presentations.
  • On the other hand, I did find many intricate mosaic tile displays, some mixed with marble or granite.  Some contain the street address or the names of previous businesses from the distant past. For example, Daunt’s, Nielsen’s, S & G, L & M Drug Co.
  • Other locations did have tiled entrances but they were, shall we say, in various stages of deterioration.
  • Some locations reflect modern tile work which is quite colorful.

According to local historian, Katherine J Rinehart, much of the older work was by  E.W.M. Evans: “Evans and his sons are responsible for much of the tile and marble work you see in downtown building entrances. He died in 1942 and according to one obituary, ‘…he took pride in the work of installing monuments, vaults and granite curbing. He also installed many store fronts, tiled floorings and marble work.'”

Over time, more and more of the tile and marble work may disappear as remodeling takes place. In fact, I observed tile being removed and replaced with concrete last week in one location. 

My goal for this project was to try and document some of  what remains. 

For example, this elaborate mosaic tile apron on Kentucky & Western…

Kentucky DSCF1168RAW

…and the scenes in this gallery.

Click on any photo to open the collage to see full sized photos.

  • Navigate between photos using the left and right arrow keys, or by clicking or tapping the arrows on the left and right.
  • Click “view full size” below any image to see the photo directly outside the gallery.

In Part II I will take you to the doorway of a famous Petaluma building>> (CLICK HERE)

American Alley WPA Murals–Meet the Artist In The Argus

Past articles regarding the WPA murals by Charlie Roetter* & Fernando Nugent are filed under American Alley

Sixth in the series about Petaluma’s American Alley

A collaborative project with Independent Journalist, Frances Rivetti

* We learned  today that this is the correct spelling of the name. “Roder” was picked up from the original Argus article in 1995.

 _______________________

Eighteen years after completing his work on the American Alley WPA multimedia murals, Fernando Nugent once again returned to the scene to talk about the project with Frances Rivetti.

By way of history, Fernando was featured in an Argus-Courier article on April 25, 1995, standing in front of the artwork.

Today, May 10, 2012, Fernando is again featured in a column by Frances Rivetti in the Argus: American Alley mural ‘hiding in plain sight’ 

  • For those fortunate enough to be Argus-Courier subscribers, you are in luck! If you are not a subscriber, pick up a copy of today’s paper! The column will not be available online except in the E-edition of the Argus. For information as to how to subscribe, go to Argus Courier E-Edition
  • For readers ourside the Bay Area, including Petaluma Expats living in Washington DC and NYC, I can offer little solace except that Frances has also written a blog article about the interview with Fernando Nugent. In her blog article, Frances also includes photos of me getting down & dirty! Lord, did I really do that!!?  I guess a photo is worth a 1000 words! Check it out now by clicking on Petaluma’s American Alley Mural Mystery. 

SLIDESHOW

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