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Girls in Traditional Russian costumes at the Fort Ross Harvest Festival. Photo:
Girls in Traditional Russian costumes at the Fort Ross Harvest Festival. Photo:

Fort Ross Harvest Festival
Gualala Art Center Events
Point Arena Lighthouse Lecture Series

and more...

Sep 25, 2019
by Robin Joy Wellman


October comes slowly for us on the coast and most of Sonoma Mendocino counties.  Many other areas of the United States are already experiencing full-blown color on the trees, rain and/or snow, fires to warm the house, bonfires outside, spiced drinks, possible freeze warnings and are starting to huddle inside with a book. But we, on the coast, are waiting!  Waiting for the rain so we can breathe a sigh of relief, and waiting for many rains storms before we have a bonfire with friends with some sort of spiced drink, we are waiting for the mornings to heat the house with the woodstove, we often think about a jacket and maybe put one on for a few hours in the morning or evening, we wait for the trees to have the color we all love, and we know we are safe from frost for now. For us, October brings amazing sunsets, often calm oceans (look for the inverted horizon), and a last chance at the dip in the creek. October gives us time.  Until finally our woodpiles are stocked and ready, our gardens are mulched, pumpkin muffins are at hand, and the teakettle is a welcomed drink to warm our souls. 

Fort Ross has that special touch of a real down-home Harvest Festival.  Russian folk songs shared in the historic orchard by Kedry, harvesting apples and pears from the old historic orchard, pumpkin carving, and interpretive walks in the fort compound, beautiful views and more. Please visit Fort Ross Harvest Festival page here to learn more about this fun event for the whole family:   "She had only to stand in the orchard, to put her hand on a little crab tree and look up at the apples, to make you feel the goodness of planting and tending and harvesting at last."-  Willa Cather

Gualala Art Center is jammed pack with events as usual. Quilt shows, 4th Annual Cajun Zydeco Fest on October 4th, several art openings, music performances by the Manhattan Piano Trio, and Jazz is scheduled too. Please visit them at

Box office at the Arena Theater in the town of Point Arena, California. Photo: By Smallbones (CC0 1.0) Public Domain

At the Point Arena Theater which is one of the best hometown theaters ever, they play first-run movies as well as must-see films from around the world. October 31st they are hosting a dance party that sounds like a good time for all. Visit them here for more information.

The Point Arena Lighthouse continues its great lecture series.   Saturday, October 19, 4 p.m. Judy Bryan Mello will speak about ‘Those Horses in Striped Pajamas. Meet the Zebra at B Bryan Preserve’. Also, they host full moon tours on October 13th and 14th. Please visit their web at

Here are a few dates to keep in mind for National observances.  Surprise a friend or coworker with some homemade cookies for National Homemade Cookie Day on October 1, or go and visit our local sheriff and enjoy a cup of coffee for National Coffee with a Cop Day on the October 2, make an Apple Betty (so easy) is October 5th, honor the Native American’s on October 14th, and enjoy a piece of Pumpkin Cheesecake Day on October 21. For all the National Observances visit them here

Snap-Apple Night, painted by Irish artist Daniel Maclise in 1833. It was inspired by a Halloween party he attended in Blarney, Ireland, in 1832. public domain work of art - PD-US-expired

So the custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840s by Irish immigrants fleeing their country's potato famine.  At that time, the favorite pranks in New England included tipping over outhouses and unhinging fence gates. The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes," made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. Costumes were worn to ward off evil spirits. For more history on Halloween please check out this website

Enjoy the autumn with a walk on the beach, sitting under a tree eating an apple or any of your harvest joys, rainbows with a quick rain shower, stunning sunsets, and enjoy the last of our flowers. Many blessings to you this autumn.  

North Coast Winds by Robin Joy Wellman


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