Hip, Hip, Howwoool !

"Dogs at Boggs" drew nearly fifty attendees and their well-behaved canine pals
“Dogs at Boggs” drew nearly fifty attendees and their well-behaved canine pals.

The first annual dog gathering at Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest, “Dogs at Boggs”, took place on a balmy weekend earlier this month (5/4/13). Participants came on foot/paw, by bike, car, and motor trike, and from places as far as Marin County.

Co-sponsor Friends of Boggs Mountain limited the number of canine participants to a manageable thirty. However, two doggone cute latecomer additions were also warmly received.

Dogs at Boggs Norwich Terrier
“WOW, Mom, this is so awesome!” wags Sadie, the Norwich Terrier. (You can’t see it but she IS wagging.)

The event was kicked off by dog handler and AKC member Leslie Puppo, who demonstrated the basic “sit-stay” exercise, and provided specifics on trail etiquette to achieve friendly and positive encounters on Boggs trails shared by hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers.

Trail etiquette on Boggs
Leslie Puppo discusses trail etiquette.

For instance, taking the downhill side of the trail to allow horseback riders to pass is a practice seldom known to hikers and bikers. Because a horse is a prey animal, any moving object looming above it can trigger its flight response. You and your dog (or other surrounding people and animals) certainly don’t want to be standing in the way if that happens.

Off-leash dogs in the forest can be problematic particularly for breeds with strong prey drive, herding or protective tendencies, and who are not responsive to voice control. Puppo recommends always to keep your dog on leash, and to shorten the lead when trail users are in close proximity. As for bikers who’ve literally been hounded by canines, a gentle squirt from a water bottle can befuddle the pursuer and allow a quick escape.

Before the group took off for a short hike on the Interpretive Trail, FOBM Director, event organizer and animal lover, Karen Rhoads, demonstrated the delicate technique of discarding Fido’s waste using poop bags. Amid chuckles from the audience, she also informed them of FOBM’s recently-installed poop bag dispensers in the main parking area, near the campgrounds, and horse camp.

The brief lesson on poop disposal appeared quite effective, according to Middletown High School volunteer, Carli Fauci, who owns three dogs.

“It was so funny. The dogs all got excited when they were out on the trail, and next thing you know, everyone was fumbling in their pockets for their poop bags,” she laughs.

Use poop bags at Boggs
Karen demonstrates the fine art of using a poop bag.

Keeping the trails poop-free certainly made the hike more enjoyable. The native dogwood trees were smothered in beautiful white blooms, and spring wildflowers were putting on a good show.

Following the hike and refreshments, every canine received a goodie bag and the coveted “I’m a Boggs Dog” button. Co-sponsor Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Company got high marks for the generous goodie bags: all-natural dry food samples, a bag of jerky treats, two canned specialties and coupons.

Reluctant goodbyes were exchanged, and many participants asked that Friends of Boggs Mountain host the event again next year.

“It was a lovely day and wonderful to be around such well-behaved canines and their handlers,” remarked Peggy Campbell, who looks forward to the next gathering.

Her friend, Lynne Bruner added, “The pups, Frankie, Lucy, and Roscoe, had a wonderful time and slept well that afternoon.”

Many thanks go to the dedicated volunteers who donated their time and enthusiasm, and who helped make “Dogs at Boggs” a tail-wagging, tongue-lolling, howling success!

Moby, the toy poodle, with co-passengers Carole Christe and Buzz Foote leaving Boggs on their snazzy motor trike
Moby, the toy poodle, with co-passengers Carole Christe and Buzz Foote leaving Boggs on their snazzy motor trike. (Editor comment: I want!)

Click here to see more photos of the event.

“Dogs at Boggs” Event, Sat., May 4

Our “Dogs at Boggs” event is full up!  We look forward to seeing you at our first annual “Dogs at Boggs” event for canines and their companions on Saturday, May 4, 2013, from 10am to noon at Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest!Dogs Boggs Mountain

Leashed, friendly dogs and their companions are welcome!

American Kennel Club member Leslie Puppo will provide 30 minutes of dog-handling tips specifically for forest visitors. Following the lesson, participants will enjoy a fun exploration of the 1.3-mile Interpretive Trail. No leaf will remail unsniffed!

Canine participants will receive the coveted ā€œIā€™m a Boggs Dogā€ button and a bag of treats. Refreshments will be provided for humans.

This free event is sponsored by the Friends of Boggs Mountain and Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company. We are looking for more volunteers to help out with setup, wrangling, and/or cleanup so please contact us if you can help!

Reservations are required as space is limited. Please note that the organizers reserve the right to turn away any human or dog in this event for any reason.

Click here for directions to the event.

Hope to see you and your pal in the forest!
Happy Trails and Tails,
Friends of Boggs Mountain

Head’s up!

The winter and spring weekends are a popular time for bike riders and cycling groups to enjoy the forest and prepare for races. All visitors are advised to be mindful of blind corners, travel speed, and the right-of-way courtesies in a multi-use trail system that we have on the right navigation bar of this site. As a reminder:
Please be mindful and show courtesy to all users of the forest. Max. speed 15 MPH.

  • Hikers and cyclists yield to equestrians. Horses are easily spooked, and it is advisable and proper etiquette to be quiet, calm, put aside your hiking sticks, and give a thousand-pound animal a wide berth.
  • Cyclists yield to hikers, and should be mindful of their speed especially around blind corners. At the same time, hikers need to be aware that anything can come around a blind corner.
  • Deer yield to cyclists. Ok, that was lame. We just wanted to give cyclists recognition for having to be the most gentle(wo)manly, and kudos to those who are working hard to excel at a sport, simply enjoying the outdoors, and/or exercising to trim those hibernation layers.
Let’s all have a great time enjoying and sharing the forest!

Mushroom Talk Recap – Nov. 10, 2012

Image of Mushroom Talk at Boggs Mountain with Darvin DeShazer and audience

On Saturday, Nov. 10, the Friends of Boggs Mountain hosted a mushroom talk and walk for beginners, featuring Darvin DeShazer, Co-founder and Science Advisor of the Sonoma County Mycological Association, and Chairman of the Science Department at St. Vincent High School in Petaluma. Almost 50 forest visitors attended the brief talk, followed by a walk in the forest to find and hopefully, identify mushrooms.

New as well as seasoned mushroomers excitedly took off for the woods to see what they could find both on the ground and in the trees. Despite the meager rainfall this season, several mushrooms were found, in particular two diminutive yet fascinating Strobilurus species – delicate little white mushrooms that grow on pine cones.

Image of Gymnopus mushroom?
Might this be a Gymnopus mushroom?

After a couple of hours poking in the duff, people returned to the tables and Darv helped identify the ‘loot’ and answer questions. While Lake County is not particularly well-known for its mushrooms (the primo destination is coastal Mendocino and Humboldt Counties where Darv often goes to hunt both for the table as well as for research), some years produce prolific fruitings of milk caps, boletes, russulas, and sulfur shelves at Boggs.

Image of Turkey Tail mushrooms
Turkey Tail mushrooms

Participating in mushroom club forays and attending fairs and meetings is the best way of becoming more familiar with the fungal world. The field guide by Sonoma resident and author David Arora: All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms, is also a good start to identify and learn about some of the most common mushrooms in our area. To find the nearest mushroom club in your area, consult the North American Mycological Association Website.  

Many thanks to Darv DeShazer for his visit, CalFire for the permits, and all who participated in this event!

Darv DeShazer discusses mushroom finds at Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest

Boogie at Boggs Endurance Run

On Sunday, Oct. 14, fifteen runners took part in the Boggs Mountain Boogie 50K individual or relay endurance run. The run started promptly at 8:30am under a brilliant cool sky, and participants had the option of doing the entire 50K (about 31 miles) individually or as a relay, as well as running just half the course. The run was organized by Kenny Brown of Heart & Sole Sports, that operates a retail store and training programs for runners in Santa Rosa.

Many thanks go to the volunteers who manned the aid stations and cheered on the runners as they huffed and puffed up and down the steep trails! The results are posted here.

Boggs Boogie Endurance Run
Downhill splits always bring on a smile!

Boggs Boogie Endurance Run
Boogie down!

Boggs Boogie Endurance Run
Relay buds