Monday, August 29, 2011


It is the seventh of June. A baby sable is one day ago and this adorable animal, in the family of antelopes, has to be vaccinated and tagged. Frank Mello, co-owner of B. Bryan Preserve drives his truck into the gated field to spot the newborn. The adults are far away and do not appear upset with Frank picking up the calf, bringing it into the truck and returning it back to the where it hid itself. I was in the truck to see it all and sneak in a petting.

The B. Bryan Preserve is what I would term as a “private zoo”. He and his wife, Judy is into breeding and preservation of African Hoof Stock for the last 5 years. Animals, ranging from endangered to critically endangered, include various species of zebra and antelope. Thus you have: roan antelope; greater kudo; sable antelope; Grevy’s Zebra; and Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra.

Open to the public for tours and overnight stays, the animals are fenced in within their specific species. Frank feeds his “friends” but not close enough for contact as well as naming each one of them (suggested by the guests). They are wild animals and not a petting zoo.

He can only hold, vaccinate and tag a newborn a day or two after their birth and that’s his greatest pleasure. Frank will even kiss the baby on its head. That’s good because housing is being prepared for giraffes.

Cottages are fully furnished and the only food on the premises is fresh eggs from the hen house. Breakfast and off to Santa Rosa. For further information go to

photos by Nancy Kozicki

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I was so happy to hear that the B. Bryan Preserve was not far from the Lighthouse in Point Arena. We continued driving along the road that overlooked the Pacific Ocean to 130 Riverside Drive. There were no tourist signs but still easy enough to get to via directions given by owners Frank and Judy Mello.

Nancy, Barb and I checked into the two bedroom, fully furnished Carriage House, located above the garage and near both the main house and hen house. The house had one double bed, one single bed, and full bath, 60’s Rock Posters and local collections.

The den was furnished with a satellite TV, DVD player (with some DVD's) a comfortable couch, coffee table and chair with ottoman. A fully equipped kitchen gave as a refrigerator, electric stove, microwave and dishwasher. Frank would get the fresh laid eggs from the hens and place them in a container for easy access. Judy had set up a garden with seasonal vegetables for the picking to have with your eggs or dinner, if you wished to cook.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Our next destination was the Point Arena Light Station and Point Arena Lighthouse. We left Ukiah and first traveled some roads that went past the ancient redwood groves of Montgomery Woods State Park. These redwood trees are huge and well worth stopping a few times to view and compare your height to them.

These winding roads didn't seem as bad until will got to the coast. Barb drove and she apparently is not afraid of sharp turns or falling off into the ocean. We had to stop as I was getting car sick. Found a place where there were seals. Nancy walked out to the ocean rocks for a better view.

Here we are at the Point Arena Light Station where there are two structures. One is the station that houses the history, 1st Order Fresnel lens and other displays. One room lends itself as a sheltered place to watch for whales and sea birds.

Then there is the lighthouse. Nancy climbed the steps while I looked around to see a gazebo in the north corner of the station. That gazebo was the remaining piece of movie set from "Forever Young". BTW, the Point Arena tower is the only Pacific West coast lighthouse of significant height (115 feet) that you can climb to the top!