A Petaluma360 Blog

Backyard Traveler

Jemetha Clark Cosgrove on travels close to home

Tasting Chowder in Bodega Bay: Saturday 11am-3pm

One of the perks of living so close to the coast is having easy access to one of my favorite dishes – fresh chowder! Opinions on what makes a great chowder run the gamut; should the potatoes be in big pieces or small, should it have a some kick, heavy on the herbs or not, thin or thick? Well, this Saturday is your chance to weigh in on this delectable debate at the 9th Annual Bodega Bay Chowder Day. Chowder… Read More »

Touring the Holiday Lights

The holiday lights seem to be shining brighter in Petaluma this year. During our evening driving tours we have seen more houses with lights and more lights on individual houses than we can remember in recent years. I don’t know whether that is a sign of our economy getting better or just people getting tired of not living their lives because of the times; either way it is a wonderful sight. We made our first tour of the lights two… Read More »

Sonoma County Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Farms

There was a time when Petaluma had as many as ten Christmas tree farms, with even more in Sebastopol and other parts of Sonoma County. Over the years their numbers have dwindled but many of the farms that still exist today have been passed down through families; bringing joy to many through their dedication and enthusiasm for raising beautiful trees and enlivening the Christmas spirit. Each farm offers a unique experience; whether you want to quietly commune with Mother Nature… Read More »

Collecting Leaves in Kenwood

The maple trees in my yard have been confused this year; our autumn was so unseasonably warm that they have been reluctant to give up their lovely leaves for the winter. With the recent burst of crisp cool weather the trees have suddenly burst forth in bright colors, losing their leaves in a flurry. It is one of those passing moments in nature that you just want to capture and keep. So, during a recent drive over to Sonoma Valley,… Read More »

Learning about Local Cheese

Cheese making has a long history in and around the Petaluma area; Marin French Cheese was established in 1865 and, today, is one of many artisan cheese makers that are attracting cheese aficionados to our region. The landscape of our local cheese industry continues to evolve as more cheese makers enter the scene and a wider variety of artisan cheese styles become available. As a lover of cheese I am grateful to live in such a dairy blessed corner of… Read More »

Argh! A Petaluma Pirate Treasure Hunt

Pirates have been on my mind lately.  I just finished Laurie R. King’s latest novel The Pirate King and, with Halloween approaching, it is the time of year when memories of marauding madmen (and a few women) haunt our imaginations; from the fearsome Captain Hook to the more affable Jack Sparrow.  The giant Jolly Roger stretched across the entrance to the Petaluma Historical Museum announcing Pirates: Legends & Lore has been beckoning me for weeks and finally lured me in… Read More »

Petaluma Pumpkin Patches & Events 2011

It is pumpkin season! This is my favorite time of year and there is no better place than Petaluma to enjoy the autumn bounty and the growing number of activities and attractions that go along with it. The pumpkin patches start to open this weekend and promise weeks of festivities and entertainment to keep you and your family busy; whether you want to pick a pumpkin to bake a pie or take the kids on a fun-filled day of farm… Read More »

Riding the Russian River

There we were; lazily coasting down the Russian River in quiet isolation, water calming lapping up along the sides of the boat, birds chirping in the distance, sun shining, and river glistening… Or, at least, that is how I imagined our day on the calmest stretch of the Russian River. Reality was more of a silly family adventure of spinning, bumping, ducking, splashing, and paddling our way from Healdsburg to the Wohler Bridge in the Dry Creek Valley; never very… Read More »

Mendonoma Brewery Tour

Let me start by stating that I’ve never been much of a beer drinker but with so many good local breweries in my own backyard I figured it is never too late to start! Seized by an urge to investigate our local world of micro-breweries, we recently embarked on an impromptu beer tasting tour that turned into a full day brewery adventure in northern Sonoma and Mendocino counties. From Cloverdale to Ukiah and as far as Boonville we imbibed at… Read More »

Blooming Wildflowers at Bouverie

The tenacious existence of wildflowers is something worth admiration. Without the coddled manicured care of a garden flower the wildflower exists on its own temerity; unruly and independent. Our erratic spring weather gave us plenty of rain but less sun and late chills. Still, the wildflowers arrived to bring us their bright and transient beauty. There are many places to view wild flowers in Sonoma County but the pristine Bouverie Wildflower Preserve near Glen Ellen provided me with a cherished… Read More »