Muir Woods and Muir Woods National Monument

You can’t go to Northern California and not take time out to checkout Redwoods and Sequoias some of Earth’s oldest and tallest trees! On holiday vaccay easier this year to San Francisco, Hawaii and the Big Sur, we wanted to see for ourselves these amazing trees. 

Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks were under snow and when P looked to see how far Hawaii was from California, Hawaii won. Luckily just north of San Francisco is Muir Woods and Muir Woods National Monument, a National Park filled with Coast Redwoods and Giant Sequoias. 

Most of the photos are noisy with ISO as it was my first time shooting in such light. I wasn’t sure of the levels shutter speed or aperture so please excuse the noise and look of some photos.  As usual I’m a bad editor cutting down photos.

If driving there you have to book up in advance the parking ticket. No advance ticket, no entry. About 1-2km from the park are signs reminding you last chance to book up before as there’s no mobile or wifi coverage once in the park. Parking is $8.50, entrance $15 per person. Under 15’s free. A shuttle bus is available from near by towns.

The main show is the monument, a mostly boarded loop trail in the thickest darkest part of the forest. Redwoods are the stars here. I wanted to do the Panoramic Trail (once the ocean view walk before the trees grew blocking the vista) however time was an issue before the park closed. A ranger recommend the Canopy trail, a 4.8km/3mi approx 2 hours hike that connects with Lost Trail and and part of Fern Creek trail looping back to the entrance. He mentioned it’s great for lefties. Being mixed handed I loved the trial until it looped back in favour of righties. The path flowed. We got there around midday on a Sunday with the trial already getting busy. If you want peace and quiet, no human voices go early. It was so obvious we were the tourists in our winter coats while the locals were in t-shirts and tank tops. No way was it warm enough! It was the same temps as back in Barcelona and everybody there was in winter coats.

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May 2020 Flower Moon

The best month of spring is May. Not only because it’s my birthday month, flowers start blossoming letting you know summer’s a month away hence May’s full moon name, Flower Moon.

This May it was extra special being the last of 2020 super moons (when it’s closer to Earth making it look bigger) and the first moon of some sort of freedom from Spain’s covid-19 lockdown. We were finally allowed outside to exercise! Okay, it was age time slotted freedom, but we were allowed out after 7 weeks cooped up. Flower Freedom Moon.

I didn’t take many photos of May’s moon phases. Like April’s Pink Moon they’re a little same same. No trees, building framing la luna. I’ve included this month some of the wildflowers that the councils didn’t cut due to the lockdown and sunrises. Some thing a little different. 

Birthday Moon

May’s other moon names include Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon, Corn Planting Moon.

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Detergent Free, Eco Friendly Laundry: Eco Egg vs Magnesium Pellets

Having eczema sensitive skin I always opt for environmentally friendly laundry detergent that’s fragrance free. Eco friendly as I care about nature, fragrance free and harsh toxic, chemical free as I never know when I have a bad flare up usually once a year what caused it. 

Ecoegg

I used the laundry Ecoegg for about a year and as promised an update on its use. It was fine for the first few months, then I started not to be happy with it. It’s cheap. I only paid about €15-20 inc shipping for refills throughout the year which is great. I for sure noticed I wasn’t buying laundry detergent every month and the pennies saved. The white balls are mystery however they are harmful chemical free, biodegradable and vegan which react with the water. The black tourmaline pellets to lift stains by energising the water. Ecoegg state what the tourmaline pellets do, but I find it shady they don’t mention what the white pellets are made of. I did find one site that listed the ingredients but as it’s not Ecoegg themselves I can’t be sure it’s the complete list of ingredients. They recommend disposing of the used white pellets in the bin as they haven’t been tested on wildlife or plants (so how eco friendly? The ingredients separately are? Together are? They contradict themselves here by saying not harmful to aquatic life). I think for light washes it’s okay and at low temperatures. However it’s not great on whites, leaving them grey. It also washes out colours from clothes. This could be the dye, cheap clothes but after one wash, lighter colours such as pinks, greens they started to fade noticeably after just one wash (see photo below). It could also have been that my washing machine died this year and wasn’t washing as good as previous.

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The Magic of Parc de la Ciutadella

The past few weeks during time slotted exercise hours I switched the coast for the park. As much as I love the sea I needed some greenery!

It was a little emotional my first ride cycling past the zoo and around Parc de la Ciutadella. After 7 weeks lockdown indoors, 2 week cycling up the coast, then being hit with greenery, birds singing and flying everywhere, I nearly burst into tears. I had missed what being outside surrounded by trees not just the sea felt like, how I missed being surrounded by nature. Now we’re in phase 2 the beaches are open to sunbathe and take a dip, exercise hours dropped save the over 70’s time slots, we’re allowed to go outside as many times as we want. That said the park only has it’s peaceful magic in the mornings. The afternoons and evenings the place gets loud with humans. When I can I’ll still take my early morning bike rides to the park for its quietness. I get to see the sea up close cycling there and back. That is until the zoo opens where when everybody’s at the beach if you time it right it’s like you have the place to yourself (my view on zoos here) when I can do both the beach and zoo. A little balance of both.

The ducks and geese early morning like to preen and sunbathe as do the turtles. Later on in the day I’ve noticed they either hang around the easy spot for food or take a nap.

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Muir Beach

We stopped by after visiting Muir Woods National Monument earlier this year on our holiday vaccay to Northern California and Hawaii, Muir Beach. A cove, lagoon and beach that’s nestled along the coast by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Mount Tamalpais State Park. Though it was January it was still busy when we got there near sunset with a switch from the day beach goers to the dusk beach goers. 

We didn’t stop long, only exploring the beach not the beach overlook as we wanted to look around Sausalito before it got dark. It was enough time for me to understand the magic of California beaches. All beaches have their charm. Maybe it’s the hype, maybe it’s because California is known for its beach life, maybe because it was my first California beach, maybe it was the mid winter light. Either way I can see why California beaches and the sea ocean draw people under their spell. 

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