About The CWW


mare_naturalistHi there!  And welcome to my blog!

As you probably know, according to statistics only one in three adults in the US participate in the recommended amount of weekly exercise, and by 2030 half of all of the adults in the US will be obese (according to President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition blah-blah-blah).  Lots of outdoor activities are available, but much of it is targeted toward the “super fit” – hikers, cyclists, joggers and swimmers – rather than the everyday person who just wants to get some exercise, and doesn’t want to be subjected to “10-mile death march” hikes through rugged terrain or arthritis-aggravating “boot camp”-style exercise programs.  We just want some low-impact healthy stuff to do!

So I started walking around the Central Valley region and out into the surrounding counties and started putting together pictures and information on the places I’ve been to and like the best.   Around the same time I started doing this, I started working for Tuleyome, a nonprofit conservation organization based in Woodland.  Through them I was able to take and complete coursework to become a Certified California Naturalist — not bad for an “old broad” over 60, huh?

I’ve researched and compiled several books for Tuleyome in including “A Compendium of Tuleyome Tales” (a 2 volume set), “Tuleyome’s Wild Nature Book for Children!”, and “A Species Guide of the Berryessa Snow Mountain Region”.   CLICK HERE to purchase them.  I don’t make any money off of these books; all of the profits go to Tuleyome.

I’ve also written a series of books of my own of the plants, fungi, animals and other species I’ve encountered on my walks: “The Chubby Woman’s Guide to Cool Stuff Along the American River”.  As I started to put my first book together I was actually kind of amazed by how many different species I had photographed (and could actually identify). I have enough material for about 3 guides in the series!  I’ll be donating all of the profits from the sale of these books to the American River Parkway Foundation and other conservation nonprofits in the region.  CLICK HERE to see my “Cool Stuff” books.

keep calm naturalist crownOver the next few years, too, I’ll be helping Tuleyome to start its own certified naturalist program in partnership with the University of California, and will also be leading some guided walks for the public, helping them learn more about the local wildlife and how to identify them.  Fun times!

So, take a look around this website.  I hope you enjoy it!  …And if you can suggest some places in region that are good for low-impact nature-based adventure, please let me know!

Some Walking Tips from the Chubby Woman™:

  • Check the weather forecast BEFORE you head out on your walk and dress appropriately.
  • Be aware of the Air Quality Index for the day for your area, and don’t go out for a walk if it’s in the “unhealthy” range.
  • Take a cell phone with you wherever you go, in case of an emergency.  And make sure the battery has a full charge.
  • Whenever you can, bring a buddy with you.  You’ll benefit from the exercise AND the company.
  • If the walk is going to be a long one, bring along a snack and some water.
  • Know where you’re going.  Even when you’re going to some place new, it’s always best to get as much information on it as you can before you go there so you’re not surprised.  (You don’t want to drive 2 hours in a car with your dog to a walking location only to find that dogs aren’t allowed there.)
  • Wear appropriate walking shoes.
  • Don’t over exert yourself, especially in hot weather.  Know the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Don’t eat plants in the wilderness unless you’re absolutely positive they’re safe.
  • Know how to recognize local snakes.  If one rattles, give it a wide berth.