Michael Ellis

Send your questions to atn@baynature.org.Santa Rosa-based naturalist Michael Ellis leads nature trips throughout the world with Footloose Forays (footlooseforays.com).

What are glowworms?

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We don’t have fireflies in the Bay Area, but we do have glowworms. What are they and why the heck do they light up?

Why Do Birds Flock?

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Q: I recently saw a video of a cloud of birds moving in wild patterns. Then I saw shorebirds doing the same thing. Why do birds do this–other than because they can? [Michael, El Cerrito] A: There are several kinds … Read more

Photosynthesis in Leaves That Aren’t Green

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Q: How does photosynthesis occur in plants that are not obviously green, such as ornamental plum trees with deep purple-colored leaves? [Paul, Santa Cruz] A: Photosynthesis (which literally means “light put together”) is that very elegant chemical process that jump-started … Read more