Christmas Hike in SoCal

So. what better way to take a break from all the holiday hullabaloo than to get out in nature and get some fresh air?  Of course, here in Southern California the air hasn’t been so fresh lately with the huge Thomas fire bringing air quality to lows not seen in years.  But the winds have pretty much shifted so the monkey took off for the hills. Kongo is fortunate to live adjacent to the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation area and loves to take advantage of the dozens of nearby scenic trails.  On this brisk day he pretty much had…

August Birthdays

August is birthday month at Kongo’s house.  In this monkey troop if your birthday isn’t in August, well it just doesn’t count.  Of course that’s not completely true but with birthdays on the 11th, 18th, 22nd, and 25th there is a lot of celebrating to do.  Kongo and his two sons are all a week apart and the newest granddaughter, Persephone, jumped into the August club three years ago.  Whenever possible, and this is most years, the family all gathers to have one giant celebration sometime in August.  We did it yesterday! Naturally the three year old took center stage…

Irish Spring in Southern California

So it’s been raining in Southern California.  Maybe you heard about it.  Rain in Southern California is sort of a rare thing, particularly in the past several years.  But not this year.  During the latest rainstorm over the past weekend Kongo measured 7 inches in his Home Depot bucket in the back yard, a fairly accurate rain gauge by any standard.  That’s like almost a whole year’s worth of rain in a single weekend.  And that was just one of the storms that have washed over the area since the beginning of year courtesy of the “Pineapple Express” or what…

Satwiwa

Above a Chumash ap is partially recreated at the Satwiwa Native American Culture Center in the Santa Monica Mountains north of Los Angeles near Point Mugu. “Satwiwa” means the bluffs in the Chumash language and is situated near the base of the high cliffs on nearby Bony Mountain. The entire area in what is now the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area was once home to the Chumash, Tongva, and Gabrielno cultures. These peaceful and highly intelligent tribes lived along the central and Southern California coastal regions. The traditional home was about 15 feet in diameter and framed by Willow…