i love you california

Episode 25 – The Watts Towers

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(Photo source: Wikimedia Commons)

I have heard them described as ugly or an eyesore.  I have also heard them described as a feat of human artistic ingenuity.  Whatever you may think of their aesthetics, you cannot but marvel at the feat of creation that you will find when you travel deep into the southern end of Los Angeles to a community known as Watts – where an Italian immigrant who was known locally as Simon decided to build something that took over 33 years to construct.  

https://shows.pippa.io/i-love-you-california/episodes/ep-25

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i love you california

Episode 24 – Carmon Neff

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I grew up originally in Merced CA which meant that we knew and visited people often just over the line in Madera County, in the town of Chowchilla.  One time when traveling through the area my father took us outside of town to drive past a small ranch property. This site had all sorts of statues and windmills covering the property, all made out of welded and cut scrap metal.  You had dinosaurs and insects, creatures of all shapes and sizes pieced together from old tractor parts, rebar, large gears, chains, leaf springs, and about anything else you can think of. This was when I learned the name of Carmon Neff.

https://shows.pippa.io/i-love-you-california/episodes/ep-24

i love you california

Episode 23 – The California Field Atlas

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One day a year and a half ago or so I was driving home from work and listening to various podcasts as I tend to do and I heard someone raving about a new book they had just received about California natural history.  It was a bit odd in that they just gave generalizations, it was a book, talked about California Naturalism, and was just beyond beautiful. Not only that this was on a podcast about pod culture and technology, not the kind of place I expected to hear about such a book.  As soon as I got home and looked up the book on Amazon but it was sold out and going for way too much from third-party dealers…so I just added it to my wish list and forgot about it.

About 6 months later I was on a photography trip from my home in Central California up the coast of Oregon and back.  On the way we stopped in a local museum in the town of Ukiah and I saw the book in their gift shop. I got excited, related the story to my wife, and decided I had to buy it then and there and I was not disappointed.  Today’s episode is about the California Field Atlas by Obi Kaufmann.

https://shows.pippa.io/i-love-you-california/episodes/ep-23

i love you california

Episode 22 – The Carrizo Plain

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If you have grown up in California there is a spectre that has haunted out collective unconscious for many years – and that spectre is the San Andreas Fault line.  Many people know it is a thing, know it affects people and public policy here in California, but not as many can tell you exactly where or how it runs. There are signals of the fault line all over California if you know where to look – but there is a great valley in the southern half of the state where the fault line is most prominent.  The best part about this valley is that no matter what time of year you visit there is something to experience.

https://shows.pippa.io/i-love-you-california/episodes/ep-22

i love you california

Episode 21 – Harold Richardson Redwood Reserve

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There is a group called the “Save the Redwoods” league that has been active for a hundred years and works for the preservation of coastal sequoia groves up and down the state.  Earlier this year they gave us a gift by announcing the purchase of a large chunk of land in Sonoma County. This land has been privately owned by a family for a century who have kept in in pristine and almost completely untouched state.  With this purchase the league is working to open up a new park and hopes to have it ready by 2021.

https://shows.pippa.io/i-love-you-california/episodes/ep-21-harold-richardson-redwood-reserve

i love you california

Episode 20 – The Mother Orange Tree

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Butte county has a lot of interesting features and sites – as the county covers an area of the north valley as well as the foothills and mountains north of the Sierras.  There is a lot of California history in this part of the state but one item is a living relic from a past time that had huge effects on the California economy. We are talking about tree that started in Mexico, purchased in Sacramento, and planted finally in Butte County – in 1856.

https://shows.pippa.io/i-love-you-california/episodes/ep-20

i love you california

Episode 19 – Moaning Caverns

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In 1851 when gold miners were working all over the Sierra foothills they heard a sound in the distance – it was described as a “moaning,” which lured people towards the entrance to a cave.  While this cave had been known for thousands of years to the indigenous people in the area which they referred to as “Samwel Cave,” the modern explorers referred to it by the sound that they heard.  It was rather forgotten about until 1919 when it was re-rediscovered – the people who found it decided to file a mining claim over the land, which was granted, and the new owner immediately started working on the cave for exploration and public access.  This site that once struck fear in the heart of indigenous people is now one of the top attractions in Calaveras County.

https://shows.pippa.io/i-love-you-california/episodes/ep-19