On October 31, 1769, Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola and his mounted troops and livestock trudged down Montara Mountain into San Pedro Valley. The uniformed soldiers and vaqueros on horseback, followed by cattle and pack mules, must have made quite a sight for the Ohlone Indian residents of the valley. One can imagine their curiosity, fear, and awe. Accounts of the event say that some Indians hid, some ran, while others confronted the strangers. Portola's men and their Indian scouts offered the natives "treats" of shiny, colorful glass beads, commonly used to initiate rapport with Indians. The beads were well received. The Indians used them like money in trading as well as ornamentation on clothing and baskets. Today, these beads still can be seen in museum collections housing California Indian artifacts. The Cantor Museum in Palo Alto displays fine examples of baskets decorated with the shiny trinkets. At the time the Portola expedition entered Pacifica, native people made up 100 percent of the ethnic demographic. Today it is approximately 0.6 percent. That, sadly, is another story.
Rick Bauman says, "Something in our Linda Mar neighborhood needs to be acknowledged. My friend Mike Moore and his wife Lisa have been putting on this elaborate haunted house for the past 15 years. It features a Pirates of the Caribbean motif and has a full-size ship in his front yard on lower Alicante. The garage is done up like the Disneyland ride of the same name; it's very cool. Mike says this is the last year that he will be doing it. It will be missed by young and old alike."
Become a San Francisco Bay ACS Chapter Naturalist! February 4, 2016 naturalist classes are now taking sign-ups. Classes fill very quickly, so be sure to sign up right away by emailing Lynette R. Koftinow at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sponsored by San Francisco Bay Chapter, American Cetacean Society:
In addition to everything else, scientists are buzzing about the disappearance of the long-ballyhooed "blob," a mass of extremely warm water off the Pacific Coast that might have blocked the El Nino this time around. It had been there for several years, but over the past few weeks it vanished.
Signs of Wild Winter
According to Wikipedia, The Blob was discovered in late 2013 and had been expected to continue "throughout 2015."
From Pacifica.city: We went on the first-ever tour put on by Coastside Land Trust of Half Moon Bay's Purissima Ghost Town (click the link to register for the next tour, November 28). Despite warnings of poison oak and wasp attacks, we toured Purissima with a young child, who loved it. All the buildings are gone, long since reclaimed as roadbed material for Highway 1 or farm buildings, but the original row of cypress trees, the mansion foundation, and water tower concrete pad are still quite visible. Henry Dobbel built Purissima up to just around 300 people in the 1860s before a variety of circumstances destroyed the town. If you loved A&E's show Cities of the Underworld, you'll love Purissima.