The coastal forests are a soggy lot after two storms that took the rain gauge from zero to 130 percent of normal for this point in time. Although it is easy to walk quietly on the wet forest floor, the stillness is pervasive. Few critters are scurrying through the over story, and the heavenly scent of evergreen is still too wet to make the short trip to your nose. Snapped off limbs are everywhere and even whole trees have toppled over. Freshets of water race at your feet to meet up with each other than gurgle together to form small waterways that come rushing into small streams that quickly grow angry in their mad dash for the ocean. There is little evidence of fungal growth, perhaps after a week of no rain they will begin to emerge from the waterlogged duff. It was so dry for so long that the early mushrooms may wait until next fall to flower.
The annual Sportsmen’s Exposition will open Jan. 16th thru 19th of 2020. Go to https://www.sportsexpos.com/attend/sacramento/ to buy tickets and scroll down for details. This is the biggest show in the west for the outdoorsman in your life and an inexpensive gift for the holidays. Workshops hosted by local experts in fishing saltwater, San Francisco Bay, coastal streams and rivers plus high mountain fishing opportunities and technique. You can sit in on presentations by some of best bird callers, deer rattlers and moose buglers. Gigantic displays of boats, fishing equipment and related goodies will join together to offer advice and flyers detailing their resorts and guided trips from local to international venues. The popular young sportsmen pavilion will teach archery, camping skills and scaled down gear for fledgling sportsmen. The ever-popular hall of dogs is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and that bird dog you’ve always wanted under the porch.
The storms have put a damper on fishing in the bay and delta, saltwater fishing is also subject to the weather. Mushrooms still sleep and hunting pigs is too slippery for a while. Hunting rocks is good to great in the southern deserts. The really big shows are in Quartzite and the mother of all rock shows in Tucson will kick off at the end of January, visit the Visit Tucson web site: visittucson.org to begin your research on this gigantic presentation from all over the world.
Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.