Finding California

What Stories are Unseen Hiding Waiting to be Found Here?

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The 200 ft tall block of granite we're standing on has coasted 300 miles north from Los Angeles where it started, along the San Andreas fault.

This is the edge of a vast body of water. Out here there's only open ocean for 5,100 miles, until you reach Japan.

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Elusive weasels pop in and out of their burrow homes here. (Photo: Jackie Sones)

There's a whale superhighway here just offshore, migrating families of giant Blues, Greys, Humpbacks pass within easy view.

The coastal prairie here bursts into sheets of colorful blooms in May.DSCF4642

Monarch butterflies and hundreds of bird species migrate north and south past here, on journeys hundreds to thousands of miles long.

Bodega Head  Sonoma County

I believe exploring nature is more than knowing where to go.

It’s about what we discover when we’re there.


Entire worlds lie hidden behind the wild surfaces we see.

Like to experience more of nature's hidden secrets?

Not so very long ago most humans came into direct contact with nature every day and knew it intimately

We still have the ability to read the stories nature tells, with a perfectly designed toolkit of senses

Nature speaks, all the time, in a million voices – we only need to learn to hear its stories.

All humans have a life and origin story. So does every single other thing in nature.

From the bee on a poppy to a towering rain cloud, from the kelp in the sea to the swaying sequoias, the stories of the natural world reveal the mysteries of what they’re doing, how they came to be, what makes them unique, how they get on in the world, what they’re connected to. 

And how we belong.

These stories can reassure us – we are not alone.  They remind us that nature is deeply resilient, and infinitely inventive.  They remind us of real things.

The stories nature tells can be wellsprings of inspiration and spirit, wonder and romance, beauty and joy.

Experiencing nature can physically improve our health and well being.

Today, we have unbelievable resources and an ever growing body of knowledge to help us observe and experience nature’s hidden stories. If we choose.

FINDING CALIFORNIA isn't just about California

It’s about discovering the layers of stories hiding in Nature everywhere.


About Map e1641416891526

The nature trails I hike and share on Finding California lie inside the blue line.

I'm a California Naturalist, writer, and photographer.

Within a four hour drive in any direction from my home lies some of the planet’s most awe-inspiring natural treasures: miles of rolling green ridges, blue alpine lakes and breath-stealing peaks buried in snows, thundering surf and ocean coves; riverine canyons and waterfalls, towering redwood forests, and wildlife beyond belief – thousands of species of plant, bird and animals – as well as echoes of its earlier human visitors. I hike hundreds of miles a year here, finding this wild California as I go: a rich tapestry of wonders that remain in these last protected environments.

Fortunately, we have ever-growing opportunities to go out and explore and experience them, and resources to discover and understand the stories nature has to tell.

Finding California is a portal into those natural worlds – and a reassuring glimpse of nature for the times you can’t visit them yourself.

Stephen Nett


we imagine we’d receive if nature could type

“Finding California dives into the heart of what we're doing out here – yes, there's a lot more going on than pretty petals and superblooms!”
First Poppy
California Poppy
Eschscholzia Californica
"As the number one mover and shaker in the state, want to say thanks for pointing out where the fault lies without all the blame.
Stuff falls, we know."
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San Andreas
Monster Fault
"Appreciate the respect for the working birds. Happy to see FC has some guts, and explores more than cute otters, red trees and pretty flowers."
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Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura
“After 1,644 years, Finding California was worth the wait. Looking forward to seeing how you cover the next few centuries.
Ha ha.”
Giant redwood in forest
Giant Redwood
Sequoiadendron giganteum

Nature’s stories are vital because they tell us something fundamental
about ourselves


FINDING CALIFORNIA is a portal, a gateway, to some of the hidden stories the natural world has to tell.​

Tiny bird fluffed against the cold in golden winter twilight.

This handful of fluff dances just ahead along the trail, chirping brightly, watching. Is he luring us away from a nest? And how does such a tiny thing stay warm, with freezing air closing in at twilight?

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