Jessica Taekman

Bay Area native Jessica Taekman spends her spare time hiking, surfing, and baking.

Falcon City


In early spring, downtown San Francisco’s office workers are treated to quite an air show outside their office windows: peregrine falcons!

Gray Whale Migration


Now is the time to see gray whales migrating along the California coast and maybe even appearing inside the Bay.

Down on the Farm


There are many local farms in the Bay Area where families can visit to learn about how food is grown and raised and meet the farmers who make it happen.

Whales at the Farallon Islands


Picture hungry tourists swarming around an all-you-can-eat buffet. Only the tourists are 100 feet long and weigh almost 200,000 pounds. These are blue whales, the largest animals ever, and they’ve come to feast on some of the tiniest animals on the planet: millions upon millions of tiny shrimplike krill.

Book Review: Raptors of California


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 … Read more

Book Review: Birds of Napa County


Birds of Napa County, by Herman Heinzel, Heyday Books, 2006, 132 pages, $12.95 The common image of Napa County is a world of wine, fine cuisine, and row upon row of grapevines. But Herman Heinzel’s Birds of Napa County … Read more

Presidio, Past and Present


San Francisco’s Presidio is among the richest historical sites in the Bay region, or perhaps in all of California, a place with structures and changes in the landscape that go back to the arrival of the Spanish in 1776 and … Read more

sand dollars

The West Coast’s Living Sand Dollars


There’s a lot more to the western sand dollar (Dendraster excentricus) than meets the eye. Most people who spend any time at the beach are familiar with the sand dollar’s skeleton, or test—the rigid, white flattened disk that commonly washes … Read more