Posted by: facetothewind | July 10, 2012

Home alone on the range

This week I’m ranch sitting for Charlie & Lark in Redwood Valley, CA. They own a fantastic 20 acres atop beautiful golden brown hills covered with ancient oak trees.

My duties include tending the garden and the pool and feeding the real queen of the ranch: Roo the 13 year old one-eyed cat. The property has sweeping panoramic views and is hammered by constant winds. Probably more than anything I’m here for fire watch — it’s peak fire season and wildfires are springing up all over as the grasses have turned brown and are highly flammable. We already witnessed about an acre of a neighbor’s yard burn. This can be absolutely devastating to the coastal range hills in the summer.

The plant palette here is very diverse with edibles, natives, and plenty of summer-dry climate plants. One of my faves is the Salvia Clevelandii, a super fragrant sage native to Southern California. It is the smell of my childhood in Laguna Beach, pungent and earthy with a great structure to its flowers…

Not sure what this plant is. Sure is perdy…

The Mendocino National Forest about 20 miles to the east is on fire. About 17,000 acres are blazing out of control. This of course makes for fabulous sunsets. Does anyone ever tire of a good smoky sunset?

Strange but I’m here all by myself and am completely content. This is something I could not have done even a few years ago. Isolation historically has freaked me out. I dread being lonely. But I guess when you travel foreign countries by yourself, work for yourself at home you learn to be alone a lot. I put on music, swim laps, have a cocktail by the pool, read and do photography. I guess that’s one advantage to getting older, huh? Some of the things that used to torment you no longer have teeth.

But I do confess I just got freaked out by the frog that jumped onto my leg while I was typing. I jumped about 6 feet and squealed like a girl. Some things just never change.



  1. Hey David,
    Too bad we didn’t get to connect when you were here in SF – sounds like you’re in a divine place now. Enjoy!

  2. What a FABULOUS summer get-away. The flowers, vistas, solitude, meditation and fairie butt plug? Keep playing and never mind the frogs.

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