Gray and green and glorious, Humboldt unfurls itself like a heron spreading its wings, like a 3-year-old twirling in the sunshine, like a seductive smile.

Humboldt is what we make it, and we make it marvelous.

We people the hills, but not too densely; we find the secret, quiet places and create the raucous ones.

And when we think about Humboldt's best, favorites come tumbling, cartwheeling, fire-dancing out:

"The redwoods, coastline and rivers."

"The messy but big hearted companion animal foundation spay/neuter/kitten adoption/thrift store. ...The way the fog burns off in some places but clings to the coast in others."

"Here's to everyone lucky or smart enough to have found their way here -- see that you use your talents to make it a better place for all of us!"

Along with everything in our survey, you wanted us to know about the best dragonflies, the best geology, the best veterinarians and the best landlords. You celebrated Victorians and Old Town, Arcata and Petrolia and Ferndale, and just about every place in between.

So thanks, Humboldt, for sharing the love. To borrow one of the biggest-hearted end-of-survey responses: "You. Yes, you. You, there. You're my favorite. F'reals."