Field Reports

Readers, Send Us Your Nature Encounters!

A call for mini-stories.

September 24, 2022

In late August the squirrels went nuts in my yard. The hickory tree was raining down progeny and there was no upper limit to what they could eat and shove away in every corner. Everywhere you looked: frantic squirrel. As the nut-squabbles heated up, I watched from my office window, enjoying their wildness. How they never hold back. Two squirrels chased and leapfrogged each other, bumped chests like luchadores. A fight seemed to be brewing. Then squirrel one hopped right onto squirrel two for a still moment. I’d read this whole thing wrong. Ah, nature! Once finished, the female grabbed a large red fruit, in lieu of cigarette, and began nibbling on it. That’s when I lost it and ran outside, yelling at them. It was the last nectarine on my little tree, and I hadn’t gotten a single one yet.

Hi, friends —

What have you seen outside lately? A mountain lion at rest, a battle in a tidepool, the birth of baby spiders, a roadside cleft revealing ancient history, an unexpected hailstorm?

We at Bay Nature would like to hear about your remarkable encounters with wildlife or nature in Northern California. We will publish a selection of them, edited for style, length and clarity, in the next print magazine (Spring 2023).

Maybe what you saw is astonishing enough on its own. But we are also interested in the human side of such encounters (see mine, above). What you were thinking at the time and how the encounter changed you. Maybe it calmed or inspired you, scared or angered you. Maybe it allowed you to see this creature, place, or moment in a new light — or yourself. Maybe it made you laugh. Please send your vivid mini-dramas, set in the Bay Area, 100-200 words long, using the form below.

Encounters are unpaid, like letters to the editor.

For inspiration: read the inaugural round of Encounters from the Winter 2023 issue (plus a few extra).

Thanks to all who submit! We get very excited about reading these.

Kate Golden, digital editor

About the Author

Kate Golden is Bay Nature's digital editor. Her background is in investigative, data-driven, and science journalism, and she has reported from rural Australia to the Bering Sea. She is also an artist, cyclist and sailor. Send tips to kate at, or find her on IG at @meownderthal.