Joe Eaton

Joe Eaton lives in Berkeley and writes for the San Francisco Chronicle and Estuary News.

Out in the Tules

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The rounded hills by the Bay are the first thing that catch your eye at Coyote Hills Regional Park. But the brackish and freshwater marshes behind the hills have a charm of their own. Remnant of a once-extensive mix of tidal and freshwater wetlands that sustained a thriving Ohlone community for several thousand years, the marsh is now home to marsh wrens, muskrats, and one of the East Bay’s few remaining patches of tules.

The Raven Returns

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Considered one of the smartest and most adaptable birds in the sky, ravens are as comfortable dining on garbage as on endangered snowy plovers. After dwindling for decades, raven populations have rebounded throughout the Bay Area, bringing with them a touch of wildness to our urban lives.

Mastadons in Our Midst

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The Blackhawk Quarry in Danville points to a time, nine million years ago, when the Bay Area was inhabited by elephant-like browsers, herds of three-toed horses, packs of bone-crunching dogs, and an eight-foot-long-sabertooth salmonid, Where did they all go?

Taxonomy 101

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Over 200 years ago, Swedish naturalist Karl von Linne (or, as he Latinized the name, Carolus Linneaus) devised a system for classifying all living things based on anatomical structures. Although Linneaus lived before Darwin, his method presaged later concepts of … Read more