Silver Lining

 Tafoni Salt Point Sonoma Coastline by Soma Acharya


We were going to go on a secluded, completely self-sustained and therefore safe cabin adventure in the Sierra mountains for a few days. A couple of days before our departure, the National Forest Service had to close down all the areas under its jurisdiction due to the continuous massive wildfires raging in and around the state of California.  Not only was our cabin located in one of those areas, the air quality there had become acutely hazardous and remains that way even today.






Not to be put off and eager to see my beautiful state again after months of being at home, I spent the next 12+ hours poring over maps, books and websites, trying in vain to find another safe venue.  Eventually, instead of forcing the matter, I decided to stay home and turn my attention to areas that are closer by for one or two day trips.




Tafoni Salt Point Sonoma Coastline by Soma Acharya



The very next morning, we woke up to an eerie orange sky from another large wildfire north of us.  The wind flow kept the ash in the upper atmosphere.  That kept the air quality moderate enough for us to be outside for limited amounts of time.  My husband and I drove out to the coast toward a place we had not been to before, in search of a rock formation called Tafoni.



 Tafoni Salt Point Sonoma Coastline by Soma Acharya



We drove through coastal mountains covered in low marine fog, while the treetops peeked over the haze.  The orange haze, however, was a constant reminder of the acrid air outside.





Please click on the images for a larger view



With the sun lost above the ash-laden sky, light was failing fast, even though we were nowhere near the time of sunset.   When we got there, I decided to look for Tafoni close by instead of walking out on a trail.  Fortunately, I readily found a cliff face very close by, after just a couple of minutes of walking. 




Tafoni Salt Point Sonoma Coastline by Soma Acharya



Despite the murky sky, the area was beautiful, framed by the crashing waves on one side and nature’s artwork of Tafoni on the other.  Listening to the ocean had a wonderful healing effect on the mind.  As it was getting dark and I started developing a headache as air quality worsened, we had to pull ourselves away for the journey back home.





Storyboarding my most favourite Middle Earth lore for a minibook



We did manage to go on one more very tiny outing close to our home before it became really bad outside.  So I stayed at home and travelled though playing in my sketchbook during the rest of our time off.


You know how much I love the Sierra mountains, and I have always gone there for comfort.  This year I needed to be there more than ever, but I felt very lucky to have been able to visit this beautiful place close to home.  I hope to go back there soon and venture onto more trails.


Until next time,


I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page. Please pay a visit to some of them.  I have joined a few new ones recently and they are a wonderful bunch!



57 thoughts on “Silver Lining

  • Lady Fi September 28, 2020 at 22:32

    Lovely shots and so glad you could do a trip – but heart-breaking about the wildfires.

  • dee September 27, 2020 at 08:53

    Lovely pictues, Soma — especially those of the rocks. Those textures on the rocks! <3
    Those orange skies and sepia days were kinda eerie. So glad it's over, for now at least.

    I miss the mountains too. Maybe next year. ;)

  • rachelswirl September 26, 2020 at 15:53

    Wow – what amazing photos they are! Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your snapshots with #MySundaySnapshot – you are a very talented photographer!

  • Bernhard September 26, 2020 at 07:52

    Beautiful photos

  • Tanza Erlambang September 24, 2020 at 17:12

    Gorgeous photo….love the rock formation.
    Hope, fires and pandemic over soon…

  • Donna September 24, 2020 at 05:05

    Your photos look so eerie – I hope the air has cleared now x

  • betty - NZ September 23, 2020 at 16:12

    Plan ‘B’ is often the one we end up with but that doesn’t diminish the adventure! What lovely scenery you found. Even though the reason is ad, the overcast from the fires makes for some very interesting photos.

    I am glad you joined us at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!!

  • Chris September 22, 2020 at 20:36

    Well written. I understand all too well. This has been a difficult year, but you are redefining ways to keeping your sanity. I hope these fires end soon.

    Take care,


  • Angie September 22, 2020 at 20:09

    Soma – my heart breaks for you that you were not able to get to your beloved Sierras. These days, it seems that we are blocked at every turn from doing what we want/need; if it’s not the virus, it’s the smoke/flooding/hurricanes. We must be resilient and look for other outlets – you are leading the way! Thanks for sharing your story with everyone at Mosaic Monday!

  • Yvonne September 22, 2020 at 07:56

    I grew up in Nevada, so I know how beautiful the Sierra Mountains are. I can see why you would go there for comfort. Your photos are so beautiful of your shorter trip nearby.

  • handmade by amalia September 22, 2020 at 07:08

    These are challenging times anywhere you look. Glad you managed a very tiny outing and came back with these gorgeous photos.

  • Susan Mann September 22, 2020 at 03:53

    It is so sad to hear about these wildfires and all the smoke. The air quality sounds like it will cause some issues. The Tafoni rock looks really interesting and the views are stunning xx

  • Maggie Bryant September 22, 2020 at 02:57

    Dear Soma, I was very sad to read about the wildfires in your area, they are not something that we see reported here in UK to a great extent. Despite that I was glad that you were able to make a short trip to the coast and that your spirits revived somewhat there.
    Stay safe.

  • Eileen September 22, 2020 at 02:28


    It is so sad to hear about these wildfires and the smoke. The air quality sounds dangerous, especially for those who already have problems. The Tafoni rock formations are interesting, I read it is described as honeycomb like, I see that on your photos. The coastal views are beautiful, even with the sky. Take care and stay safe! Enjoy your day! Have a great week ahead.

  • Alison Hall September 22, 2020 at 01:15

    Such beautiful and interesting photos! Hope you get to visit your beloved mountains soon, and praying for the fires to die down.
    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  • Luisella September 22, 2020 at 00:34

    What a beautiful Autumn shot! It has some enchantment…
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a nice day!

    1. Luisella September 22, 2020 at 00:41

      …I mean the solitary rocks, of course. But so sorry for the fires! :(

  • Veronica Lee September 21, 2020 at 21:12

    It’s so heartbreaking to read about the fires.

    Stay safe, my friend.

  • Rain Frances September 21, 2020 at 08:56

    Wow Soma, those rock formations are very cool! I hope everyone on your end is safe from the fires.

  • Michelle Keltner September 20, 2020 at 16:44

    Beautiful scenery and I really like the rock formations. Stay safe with the air quality. Truly a dangerous thing. Thanks for linking up.

  • Nikki - Notes of Life September 20, 2020 at 09:27

    Wonderful photos. I hope the fires are easing now.

  • Darren Coleshill September 20, 2020 at 07:06

    Really love that first photo, gorgeous.

    Sorry to hear your trip was cancelled. I kept seeing how bad the air quality was getting.

    Thank you for linking up to #MySundayPhoto

  • Kim Carberry September 20, 2020 at 06:36

    How worrying to be so close to the wildfires. I have seen reports on the news about them.
    Beautiful photos. Take care and stay safe x

  • Carol September 20, 2020 at 05:58

    It’s so sad about all the destruction. I have asthma and get ill whenever we have fires here in central Florida. I can’t even imagine who you are coping with the smoke and destruction. Prayers are with California, one of my favorite places to visit.

  • Tamar A Strauss-Benjamin September 20, 2020 at 04:12

    What amazing rocks.
    The smoke is so scary, my sister in Oregon just got rain thank gd!

  • NatureFootstep September 20, 2020 at 00:30

    It is soo sad to hear on the news huge areas are burning again. California and Oregon is hazards I think.
    Due to the smoke you got some different yet beautiful shots of nature. I ope you will get some rain soon to stop the fires.
    Take care and stay safe.

  • Sarah MumofThree World September 19, 2020 at 23:11

    So sorry to hear your trip was cancelled. I’m glad you at least got to see the rocks, but it must have been strange with the poor air quality. I hope things improve in the area soon.

  • chickenruby September 19, 2020 at 21:52

    As soon as you said Sierra Mountains I remembered our trip to Lake Tahoe. Shame you didn’t get up in to the mountains due to the fires, my cousin has recently left the area with her family due to the forehand moved to Iowa, they’ve been evacuated too many times. Which part of the coast did you visit? I’ve explored a fair bit of the coast between San Francisco and Oregon over previous years. #mysundayphoto

  • A ShutterBug Explores September 19, 2020 at 09:45

    Beautiful area that you found as an alternative ~ I guess ~ Gorgeous photos ^_^

    Live each moment with love,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  • Robyn Vaughan September 18, 2020 at 17:55

    Shame the fires stopped you having a break where you wanted but new areas are often overlooked and it’s always a nice surprise to have something to view/enjoy while you are there. May be a thought to wear a mask outside while the fire pollution is present. I have to mask up at various times in Summer, here, due to the pollen/dust irritating my hayfever. A slight inconvenience when the alternative is to consume medication on a regular basis. If you can visit this place again try to on a sunny clear day as the Tafoni with sunrise/sunset, steeply angled sunlight, makes some lovely light/shadow patterns. You may have to play around with focus and time exposures, though, to have a photo that highlights the ambience of the light and rocks.

  • Linda Calverley September 18, 2020 at 12:19

    Those rocks are amazing!

  • Peppylady(Dora) September 18, 2020 at 09:20

    Interesting rocks. Up here in North Idaho it quite smokey. Happy PPF

  • Kim September 18, 2020 at 05:33

    It must have seemed like a treat to be able to escape, if only for a little while, to the wonderful ocean and experience those amazing rock formations. America is being buffetted from all sides at the moment. I can just imagine the dreadful quality of the air in California. Please take care, Soma.

  • samt September 18, 2020 at 05:27

    It is so sad to see the fires on the news X

  • sirkkis September 18, 2020 at 04:49

    Fantastic photos, thank you for sharing. An amazing rock texture, indeed.
    Happy PPF xx

  • BLOGitse September 18, 2020 at 03:31

    Fires are so dangerous…These rocks look like in Bondi beach in Sydney :)

  • Elke September 18, 2020 at 01:16

    That is a interesting story, the fires sound horrific. That is a great drawing
    Have a good weekend, Elke

  • riitta k September 17, 2020 at 23:55

    Such fires are terrible and make the scenery quite unreal, yet beautiful. For me it is hard even to imagine, as we don’t have wild fires in Finland – some advantage of a cooler climate. This kind of rock looks really interesting at closer look. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

  • Mary September 17, 2020 at 17:58

    Oh, what a shame. I know of your love of the Sierras. My husband and our sons had a trip planned for there this weekend and canceled it due to the air quality. The mountains would have been such a nice break for you after all the months of Covid restrictions. I’m glad you made the most of it and it does look like you enjoyed some great sights. Our air has looked the same. Today was the first day where I could make a bit of blue out of the sky. It has been such an eerie color for so long.

  • Susan September 17, 2020 at 17:30

    We have had some of that smoke come to Michigan. Today it finally began to clear. Your pictures make me want to go see these rocks.

  • Ida P. Krause September 17, 2020 at 16:24

    Seems like the air quality in much of the Western US is horrible. It’s good you were able to find a little bit of respite. Those rocks were super cool looking.

  • Sue September 17, 2020 at 16:08

    Sad to hear you had to cancel your holiday, but good that you are keeping safe. Your day our was good, shame about the air quality, the rock formations are amazing. Bushfire create such devastation, as we saw here in Aus last summer. Your sketches look wonderful, stay safe.

  • Noelene Winter September 17, 2020 at 14:54

    I trust you stay safe where you are, we know just what fires can do here in Australia.
    Many blessings, I love your photos and those Rick faces are beautiful. Noelene Winter.

  • Janine September 17, 2020 at 14:41

    I’m glad you are safe. The fires sound terrible. I hope they will end soon. I’m sorry you missed your holiday but I’m glad you found such a lovely place close to home. That rock formation is very interesting and it will be good to visit again one day when the air quality is better :)

  • Andrea @ From the Sol September 17, 2020 at 13:13

    It is so sad what is happening to your beautiful California. The pictures on the news are devastating. I have many friends that live there and so far they haven’t lost anything to the fires, but the air quality is fraught with danger to everyone’s health. I hope the day will come when all of this is in the past and we can return to enjoying life as it is meant to be. I love your Tafoni pictures and, of course, I saw faces and animals all through them. It gives them an added bit of joy when that happens. Hope you are home, safe and you find a way to be content for now.

    Andrea @ From the Sol

  • Kathleen Kingsbury September 17, 2020 at 12:01

    So happy to hear from you and that you are safe. According to our weather forecasters here in NYS, some of our current overcast skies are due to the smoke from the fires out west. Amazing that it can travel so far. Your photos are beautiful.

  • Lavender dreams September 17, 2020 at 10:16

    I love seeing your sketches! I am longing to get out in nature but we have been kept in by stray showers. It’s a chance to work on photo editing for me! Hope the fires are out soon and everything recovers!

  • Nicole/DVAtist September 17, 2020 at 09:48

    Hi, Oregon is right there with you as far as the fires. Toxic air it’s horrible. Your photos, on the other hand. are simply beautiful. Be safe out there.

  • Dixie September 17, 2020 at 09:05

    So good you had a bit of time away to such a beautiful area, Soma.
    So sorry to read and hear about the wild fires in your area and along the west coast.
    I do hope the firefighters get things under control soon.
    Lovely journal page.

  • Sandy September 17, 2020 at 08:05

    I had never heard of tafoni but I think I’ve seen it. Where were you? Crashing waves … oh how I’d love to immerse myself in that sound. I so miss the beach. I’m sorry you did get to go to your cabin, though. I hope it survived the fires. Your photo really captured that orange sky.

  • Jennifer A. Jilks September 17, 2020 at 07:55

    What a shame about the smoke. Our kids in Vancouver are having to stay indoors with the smoke.
    I hope you are feeling better.

  • Alycia Quilts September 17, 2020 at 06:51

    i think 2020 is just a year of *different* ! But I love the photos you have from the places you did get to visit – although the orange is horrible 0 it sure added some neat looks to the photos! Stay safe and healthy!

  • Cathy Kennedy September 17, 2020 at 04:50


    Our Appalachian mountains to our south in the Smoky’s and the Blue Ridge Parkway are our favorite places to get-away to even if it’s for the day. There’s nothing like the calming effects of being in nature’s beautiful surroundings. I call it God’s country because I can see His handy work more abundantly. Perhaps next year you’ll be able to return to the Sierra mountains for a little R&R. We’re making plans to take a New England vacation in 2021 which has me super hyped! I enjoyed your photographs you shared and your art journal entry. Have a doodletastic day!


  • Kokopelli Design September 17, 2020 at 01:14

    Oh, lovely photos! Love the rocks! So sad you had to cancel your vacation! All is different this year. Stay safe with the fires. The photos we see on the news here in Europe are horrible.

  • Valerie-Jael September 17, 2020 at 00:25

    Interesting story, the fires sound horrific. Have a great week, Valerie

  • Michelle September 16, 2020 at 23:24

    The fires are just horrible! I’m glad you managed a short day trip. Those rock formations are so intriguing. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with the ash and poor air quality.

    Stay safe, friend.


  • Christine September 16, 2020 at 21:36

    Awful about the fires. Interesting rock formation. Stay safe.

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