Bob Mattson, Barbara Sparhawk, and Black Walnut

Last week I got an email from a friend and fellow blogger in Carmel Valley, Barbara Sparhawk. What an amazing lady. Her life has been so rich and diversified, I want to be her when I grow up. She wrote for CBS News, FOX, and others in NYC, all the while doing huge murals in NYC, Coney Island and other places. You can find a sprinkling of who she is here: hawk’s Perch

Any way, she emailed me about a walnut tree that had shed a limb that she wanted to offer to a Big Sur wood carver. Rock Knocker is such a carver, so I asked if he would be interested. “Hell yeah!” he said, and so we were off to see the Farm Center in Carmel Valley on Robinson Canyon Rd. I hadn’t been since I moved to the South Coast, and there were LOTS of changes! I love what the place has become – an artist’s colony. Here are some photos of that journey.





I am convinced that Barbara is a soul sister from a past life. If not, she should be!


Barbara carried 90% of the wood to Rock Knocker’s truck. What a gal! I’ll make sure there is a bowl for you, but RK says it will be at least a year before it is ready to carve. If he won’t carve it, I will. My maiden name is “woods” for a reason!


Community Gathering, Patrols, and fires

Late this afternoon, I left the heat of the mountain for a sweet community gathering sponsored by John Handy of TreeBones. He roasted two pigs, had a band, and everyone brought something. It was so good to see so many of my neighbors. Neighbors here live miles from each other. Gatherings are the only way we get to see each other, sometimes.

Our host, John Handy …

The band …

the roasted pigs.

On the way home, I found one F&G ranger (he said there was another, whom I did not see), and one LPNF ranger patrolling Plaskett. So many hunters were up here, I suspect this was the last weekend of this portion of the season. I am just astounded, frankly, that Plaskett is getting all this attention. AND, I am extremely grateful. I cannot explain my relief at seeing firefighters and rangers making this effort this time of the year. Just a presence helps to discourage so much of the behavior I’ve been watching build over the last few years. Thank you, guys.

When I got home, I found a voice mail from Kelly O’Brien, reporter from KUSP who lives in Jamesburg, of a wildland fire that broke out in Carmel Valley, 6 miles up Robinson Canyon Rd. from CV Rd. She left the message at 5:45 pm, and I did not pick it up until 7:30 pm. The CHP opened Robinson Canyon Rd. back up (it had been closed for 2 hours) at 8:11 pm this evening, so that probably indicates this fire is controlled.

There were a number of small fires that started in various places on the central coast, including one on Apple Pie Ridge in Big Sur. So far, they have all been picked up fast, including the local one.

Given the temps and the low humidity, our firefighters are doing an incredible job. Our thanks can never be enough.