Sunshine for a whole week means it’s green enough for our foothills to qualify as Irish. In another month or so, our hills will be marching toward golden brown for the summer months.
Spring weather also brings to mind camping. The newest iteration of camping reservations in our state is now filled with ideas. Go to www.reserveamerica.com. No longer just for reservations, the site has some very good ideas on where to spend your summer vacation. You can also use it for reservations at national parks. The site is no guarantee that what you want at the park you chose will be available, unless you reserve early.
Make your plans now; reserve now to fit your schedule.
Given the heavy rains, a lot of dead wood debris has collected on the roadsides close to home. This is a good time to collect a pile for summer camping. It takes a wheelbarrow of wood to cook wieners and burn marshmallows for one night. If you pick hard wood like oak, madrone and bay, your camp fire will last long enough for sitting around, cozied up with that special someone.
Now is the time to consider clam digging. Tomales Bay is excellent for that, but you will need a boat as tides rush in and out of the bay at an amazing clip. Rowing is not a good idea there unless you are working with the tidal flow. On the far side of the bay, think south up against Point Reyes, you can find small gravel bars on the tidal beaches. In those gravel bars you can rake clams. Think little-neck, cherry stone and steamer clams. Steamed in an elevated insert, the juices can be captured, drained of sand and reduced in a sauce pan with butter and wine to make an elegant sauce. It is fun to dig your own clams, but you can go clam digging at Costco, where it is less about luck. Digging there seldom means sand in your underwear, a common malady at Tomales.
At home we have some of the best hunting and fishing stores in the region, they can hook you up with the right gear and great advice. Go in, introduce yourself and tell them if you’re thinking of a new Barbie fishing pole or digging clams or fishing the San Francisco Bay, the Delta or any other spot. Chances are you will go away happy.
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.