The rains have come to Marin the way we are used to them. We normally have intermittent rains December through March, with sunny days between.
Rain is good; it provides our drinking water. Marin has unusually good drinking water, 75 % coming from five lakes on Mount Tamalpais and two large reservoirs in north-western Marin. The lakes on Mount Tamalpais are Phoenix, Lagunitas, Alpine, Kent, and Bon Tempe. Take the time this year on a sunny or misty day to visit Alpine, Bon Tempe and Kent lakes on the south west side of Fairfax; they are spectacular. The northern reservoirs are Nicasio and Soulajoule. The rest of our water (25%) comes from Lake Mendocino via the Russian River.
So far, the rain is doing well to fill our lakes and reservoirs. The Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) reported on January 24 that water storage this year is at 82% of capacity. The average to date is 79%. The rainfall at Lake Lagunitas, high on Mount Tamalapais, has been 28 inches this rainy season, twice as much as last year. The average rainfall at Lake Lagunitas since 1879 was 52 inches. We still have time to catch up.
One of the delightful aspects of the rain in Marin—besides the lush vegetation—is the waterfalls that cascade down Mount Tamalapis to the bay and ocean. My favorite is Little Carson Creek Falls out the Fairfax-Bolinas Road. It is a little tricky to find the trail, but on a sunny, warm day in early springtime, it is a delightful place to sit by the water. Here is a list of the top seven waterfall hikes, courtesy of Don and Kay Martin. For a few fine photos of the waterfalls, see this “Scrapbook” blog.
Marin Water Quality
Marin water quality is very good, but not as good as I remember when I moved here in the 1970’s. While I was in graduate schools, I hiked the remote country in the High Sierra for a week or two each summer. The drinking water from the streams and ponds was unforgettable. It seems to me that Marin water used to taste like that. At some point it became not quite as good. Someone told me that State law required Marin to add more chemicals to assure water safety, and that this decreased the water quality. If you can add to or correct my recollections, please let me know.
Pelican Sculpture in Novato
Novato is the name used by the original, native Miwok people for the pelican. A few years ago, the City of Novato commissioned a sculpture of a pelican to be installed in a marsh-side park, at Scottsdale Lake. Tim Omarzu related the story in the Novato Advance on January 20, 2010.
Marin Independent Journal Newspaper Involved in Bankruptc
The parent company of the Marin IJ may soon file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The fate of our fine, conventional, local newspaper, which I read every morning, is at stake. Sam Chapman presented a detailed analysis in the Pacific Sun on January 22, 2010.
Harbor Seals in Drakes Bay
20% of California’s harbor seals live in the Point Reyes area. The Marine Mammal Commission is about to release its report on “seal disturbances” in the area. It should also tell us the effects of these disturbances. Andrew De Fao reports in the Point Reyes Light on January 21, 2010.
Rustic Bakery of Larkspur Opens in Novato
The Rustic Bakery at the north end of Magnolia Ave in Larkspur is opening a second store on Grant Ave. in Novato. You might not think this is big news unless you have tried their bread, pastries, muffins, salads, and more. We are lucky to have them! Tim Omarzu tells more in the Twin City Times on January 20, 2010.
Marin Home Prices at Glance: 1965-2009
Every year in January we present the past years years of home prices for each city in Marin, starting in 1965. You’ll see that the rapid rise in prices in 1998-99, the peak of the market in 2006-07, the price levels for 2009. Please go to this page at livinginmarin.com. if you have any questions about your specific neighborhood or a specific house, send a note to email@example.com.