Natural air-conditioning rocks

The sun pounds through the thin mesh of my Nike cap, scorching my scalp.  Warmth blossoms up from my core, and the pulsing blood rushes to my face, tinting my skin pink.  I hate the heat.

Hot weather from coast to coast.  Northern California’s turn now.  The San Francisco Bay area usually has temperate summers.  Our natural cooling system, the ephemeral fog, keeps our mornings and evenings cool.  This week, the dreaded high pressure system returns.  Acting like a Kryptonite shield, the fog’s chilly entry is foiled and we bake.

The only local area immune to the high pressure hold is the small coastal town of Bodega Bay, about a twenty minute drive from Santa Rosa.  One hundred degrees in Santa Rosa means seventy degrees or cooler in Bodega Bay.   If you love cool, you head to Bodega.

A massive cloud of dewy fog lumbers over the golden hills above a popular beach spot in Bodega.

Bodega Cool: A/C au naturel

Cool Bodega fog

The fog’s eerie beauty shrouds the marsh and the nearby golf course.

Fog shrouds golfers at Bodega Bay

Fog shrouds golfers in coolness

Colors pop as the fog moves sylph-like over the landscape.

Bodega Harbor Cool

Bodega Marsh

The sun and fog play  hide and seek.

Sun while fog hovers

Natural a/c

Bodega Blue

While the sun warms, the fog flitters and floats in a delicate ballet, waiting for the right wind to glide in and envelop the landscape again.

A/c coming

Morning’s cool fog hovers over color

Natural air-conditioning rocks.


Summer rituals: The Sonoma County Fair

Fair time and summer are the perfect match.  The Sonoma County Fair rolls into town every year in late July. For scores of Sonoma County families, the fair is their number one summer ritual.  The Sonoma County Fair pays homage to the county’s deep agricultural roots.  The fair showcases the farmers, ranchers and dairy owners who dedicate their lives to the land.

The fair is also about fun, entertainment, eating, and a slew of other enjoyable activities.  Children who grew up attending the fair, now bring their children and grandchildren.  The fair’s format remains the same year after year.

The garden show is always a highlight.

Sonoma County Fair Flower Show

The design and selection of the flowers is elaborate and follows a theme.  This year it’s “Ports of Call” which is also reflected in beautifully crafted sand sculptures.

Sand sculpture

Scores of stomach-dropping rides abound.

Bluesmen are everywhere.

Mariachi bands and toe-tapping New Orleans style jazz play along.

Rolling around in a big plastic bubble on the water is a hit for the kids, and left many adults wishing for an adult sized bubble.

The best part of the fair, for many, is the fried, caloric, rich food, washed down with an icy cold brewski or a Sonoma County chard.

 Some rituals should never change.  See you next year at the Sonoma County Fair.

P.S.  People watching and picture taking top my fair favorites list. Just a few images from Sonoma County…send me shots from your local fair.

A different type of flower