Oct-Dec 2005

 

Issue Content

A Shore Thing

October 01, 2007 by Lisa Owens-Viani

The East Bay shoreline is strung like a necklace with more than a dozen parks, from the bluffs of Point Pinole near Richmond to the sandy beach and shallow waters of Alameda’s Crown Beach to the salt marshes near Coyote Hills. The place where water meets land is a magnet for life of many kinds, and these parks are no exception: recreational destination for joggers, swimmers, and windsurfers; home for leopard sharks, bat rays, and crabs; wintertime smorgasbord for thousands of shorebirds. Turn back the clock a few decades, and you would have found garbage dumps or dynamite factories here. Skip back a few more decades, and you would find thriving aquatic ecosystems. You can still see traces of all of this and more at the shoreline parks of the East Bay Regional Park District.

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Book Review: California Native Plants for the Garden

October 01, 2007 by Sue Rosenthal

  Ask anyone who gardens with California natives to name a good, comprehensive book on that subject and you’ll always get the same answer: Marjorie Schmidt’s Growing California Native Plants. In fact, this has been the one and only broad, book-length reference for native plant gardeners since it was published in 1980. But that is […]

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Book Review: California’s Wild Gardens

October 01, 2007 by Novella Carpenter

California’s Wild Gardens: A Guide to Favorite Botanical Sites, edited by Phyllis M. Faber, University of California Press, 2005, 248 pages, $34.95 Recent years have seen the increasing use of native plants to create water-wise gardens in our cities and suburbs. But many urban gardeners may never have seen these plants in their wild homes. […]

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Book Review: Firescaping

October 01, 2007 by Matthew Bettelheim

Firescaping: Creating Fire-Resistant Landscapes, Gardens, and Properties in California’s Diverse Environments, by Douglas Kent, Wilderness Press, 2005, 149 pages, $18.95 Given the propensity for California’s wildlands to ignite, Douglas Kent’s Firescaping is a much-needed addition to the libraries of home owners situated on the flammable wildland/urban interface, as well as city-dwellers and suburbanites interested in […]

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Book Review: Introduction to California Birdlife

October 01, 2007 by Matthew Bettelheim

Introduction to California Birdlife, by Jules Evens and Ian Tait, University of California Press, 2005, 382 pages, $16.95 paperback, $45.00 hardcover Don’t reach for this book hoping to immediately identify birds at the bird feeder. Think of it as a natural history guide for those amateur and aspiring birders who want to learn their birds […]

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Book Review: Lagunitas Creek

October 01, 2007 by Adrienne So

Lagunitas Creek: Hope in Restoration, photographs by Todd Pickering, text by Gregory Andrews, poetry by Albert Flynn DeSilver and Lagunitas 8th graders, 2005, 60 pages, $15. Available at Point Reyes Books, BookBeat (Fairfax), and by email at Todd@ToddPickering.com This locally published collaboration between photographer Todd Pickering, biologist Gregory Andrews, and the blossoming poets of Lagunitas […]

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Book Review: Peninsula Tales and Trails

October 01, 2007 by Kristen Van Dam

Peninsula Tales and Trails, by David Weintraub, Graphics Arts Books, 2004, 384 pages, $19.95 By any standard, Peninsula Tales and Trails is the most detailed, comprehensive guide to Peninsula parklands and trails ever written, offering much more than just directions and trail maps. A project to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Midpeninsula Regional Open […]

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Book Review: Raptors of California

October 01, 2007 by Jessica Taekman

Raptors of California, by Hans and Pam Peeters, University of California Press, 2005, 305 pages, $17.95 Here in California, we are fortunate to have 27 species of raptors, a designation that includes eagles, hawks, and falcons. It’s not unusual for folks in the Bay Area to spot a red-tailed hawk perched atop a roadside utility […]

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Book Review: Stairway Walks in San Francisco

October 01, 2007 by Kevin Cutler

Stairway Walks in San Francisco, by Adah Bakalinsky, Wilderness Press, 2004, 212 pages, $14.95 “A good walk is an organism of mysterious nuances that can affect us in subtle ways, from quiet harmoniousness to ebullience, from languor to exuberance,” writes Adah Bakalinsky in her celebration of stairway perambulation, Stairway Walks in San Francisco. Bakalinsky’s love […]

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Book Review: Tending the Wild

October 01, 2007 by Sue Rosenthal

Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources, by M. Kat Anderson, University of California Press, 2005, 526 pages, $39.95 A common belief among those who are not of California Indian ancestry is that California was a pristine wilderness before the arrival of European and American settlers, peopled by small […]

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Caching In

October 01, 2007 by Judith Larner Lowry

Think of the western scrub jay: screeching, assertive, a bully and glutton at backyard bird feeders. But also, as Judith Larner Lowry has noticed in her West Marin yard, caching acorns, bay nuts, and other seeds, many more than the birds could ever hope to recover. Given that these seeds can’t move uphill on their own, we owe our oak-studded hillsides in part to the forethought, and forgetfulness, of this very familiar bird. Lowry’s advice? Sit back and let a few of our local jays’ missed meals take root.

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Artificial Reefs for Oysters

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

In our October-December 2004 issue, Bay Nature reported on efforts to restore once-thriving Bay populations of the West Coast oyster, Ostrea conchaphila, which were devastated by a complex mix of Gold Rush-era sedimentation, Bay fill, pollution, and over-harvesting. In the last few years, several pilot restoration projects—many funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration […]

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Bay Area Ridge Trail

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

The Bay Area is home to several regional trails, from the Bay Trail near the water’s edge up to the Bay Area Ridge Trail, which traverses the high points of our landscape. The ultimate goal of this latter project is to ring the hills that surround San Francisco Bay with a 500-mile ridgetop trail open […]

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Bay Trail Birding, Surf Scoter Decline

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

Winter is high time for birding on the Bay, and now the San Francisco Bay Trail has become the area’s longest birding trail. The trail currently covers 260 miles of a planned 400-mile route. A new map and brochure, “Birding the San Francisco Bay Trail,” highlights 16 birding sites along the trail, including Petaluma’s Shollenberger […]

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Grunion

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

Most summers, cold northerly winds off the Pacific Coast drive warm surface waters away from the shoreline and churn up colder, nutrient-rich waters from below. But this year, for reasons scientists don’t understand, that wind lacked its usual punch, resulting in weakened and delayed upwelling and a dramatic decrease in phytoplankton, the base of the […]

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Mary Bowerman Memorial

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

In 1930, UC Berkeley botany student Mary Bowerman accepted a professor’s assignment to identify all the flowers on Mount Diablo. “Little did I know 65 years ago that my senior project would become my life’s work,” explained Bowerman, who died at her Lafayette home on August 21 at the age of 97. The senior project […]

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Napa Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area Restoration

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

At the northern edge of San Pablo Bay, a salt marsh harvest mouse hides beneath the protective cover of a pickleweed plant while a red-tailed hawk searches for breakfast. Only about six inches from the tip of its tail to its nose, the mouse, endemic to the salt marshes of the San Francisco Bay, clings […]

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Finding the Stash

October 01, 2007 by Matthew Bettelheim

From the snowdrifts of Siberia to the labs of UC Davis, assistant research professor Vladimir Pravosudov has studied the food-caching behavior of various birds, including Russian birds that cache up to half a million items in one year. Born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Pravosudov says his childhood interest in birds carried him from northwestern […]

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Letter from the Publisher

October 01, 2007 by David Loeb

As we enter the last weeks of the dry season and await the return of the rains that will put some life back into our parched hillsides, I’m still living off the remembered images of our incredible, extended spring, with its profuse and sustained palette of wildflowers lasting from early February through late June. The […]

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New Life For The Laguna

October 01, 2005 by Gina Covina

Thirty years ago, few people gave a second thought to the Laguna de Santa Rosa, the North Coast’s largest freshwater wetland. The once-teeming marshland had become a dumping ground. But things are changing, and this complex waterway is finally beginning to recover some of its former glory.

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