A privately held preserve and an enduring example of a typical rural California coastside smallholding, Hununu is a family farm that has provided support and shelter to the creatures who have existed here for generations.
We neither seek nor accept grant monies or donations.
"Rangeland, which is land characterized by natural vegetation i.e., grass, forbs and shrubs and managed as a natural ecosystem, is the predominate source of open space in the San Francisco Bay Area."
Sheila Barry, UCCE Bay Area Natural Resources/Livestock Advisor Certified Rangeland Manager
Looking for this image? See this.
Local ranches:Dipper Ranch
Some of our friends:Karen Francis
Other sites of interest:The Red Legged Frog
Sun powered cooking:Retained heat cooking
It happens so fast, but it could have been worse.
The arc caused by two wires (from the main PG&E power line that runs through the property) caused sparks to ignite the dry grass in the field. The insulator somehow broke and the lines came together, making a horrible noise. The loose one then settled on the crossarm of the power pole and the sparking stopped. But the damage was done: sparks had gotten to the grass and it blazed away.
Fortunately there wasn’t much of a breeze and the fire continued to spread in a circle, out from the pole. The ranch road runs diagonally above the charred area in the picture and acted as a fire break. If there had been gusty winds it might have been a different story. Until help arrived, we tried to maintain that line by beating it with wet burlap feed sacks. A mowed swath along the gravel road eased this part of the job by limiting the fuel right along the road. If you have a fast connection, click on the image to view a really detailed one. The power pole in the center of the picture is where the fire started—note that it isn’t even damaged.
Our local volunteer fire department and California Department of Forestry responded and contained the fire in no time. They even dispatched a bulldozer that wasn’t needed (see detailed picture), thank goodness.
We sincerely thank the firefighters for their fast response and the neighbors who called to report smoke, even though they didn’t know exactly where it was. This time of the year don’t take a chance! If you smell smoke, report it.
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As I was going for a wildflower walk in the spring I noticed how many round shapes occur in nature. Trying to be artistic, I edited my images to highlight the round shapes.
I forgot that the background color for the articles on the page is not white, so the white background in the pictures appeared jarring to my eye. Discouraged, I saved this article as a draft so that is was not visible. I was going to fix those pictures! Now, a year-and-a-half later I have decided that I will never get around to it.
So here they are, in all their jarring glory.
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A neighbor has just reported that one of his goats was dragged off and partly eaten a week or so ago. I’ve been a non believer in mountain lions until recently. Obviously they are moving back into this territory.
One day as I got out of my car to close the gate I noticed a large scat beside the road. It was full of hair and much larger than any I’d seen from a coyote. Since I had my camera I snapped a picture and promptly forgot about it.
Today I got it out and compared it to some other pictures I found on the web. Identification is still up in the air, but I am heading out to count the sheep. I will be looking up when I walk under the trees and looking down in soft earth for tracks. I don’t expect to actually see one, but I will be on the lookout.
The last documented mountain lion sighting in this particular area (outside of very recently) was in 1903. So it appears to me that they are moving in to the area from elsewhere.
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The other evening I snapped a picture of a beautiful sunset. We’ve had a lot of rain and even some snow at the higher elevations. Now the days are growing noticeably longer. This sunset, with its lowering clouds and ridgetops in silhouette seemed amazing to me.
A sign of spring was the first wildflower to be spotted. Usually I come across Milk Maids or naturalized blue Forget-Me-Nots in January or February.
This year after the snow, during a sunny pause I glimpsed this lupine in bloom on February 1.
This colony grows on a dry rocky sidehill that dries out very early in the spring. I have noticed over the years that if we have a dry spring but get enough unexpected late rain, this lupine will have new blooms on it at the same time it has seed pods that have already burst open to disperse the earlier crop of seeds.
We can have more rain or even snow, the groundhog can see his shadow and head back for more nap but I am assured that spring is on its way.
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This is the time of year (autumn to some, fall to others) when the hills are no longer the palomino tan of summer. The dry grass has collected a coating of dust that has been turned to a coasting of gray by the moisture of the fog.
The other morning I noticed a collection of spider webs in the tall grass by our gate. A heavy fog was burning off and the webs were sparkling with dew drops. The webs are always there, we just don’t notice them without a little highlighting.
I zoomed in close with my camera and noticed the resident spiders awaiting the unsuspecting visitor. The camera caught the beauty of the dew drops but not the nearly glow-in-the-dark green stripes on the spider.
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