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Ron Russo retired as the chief naturalist of the East Bay Regional Park District in 2003 and is the author of several field guides, including Plant Galls of California and Other Western States (UC Press, 2007). He continues his writing and research, discovering several new species of plant galls each year.


Call of the Galls

July 01, 2009 by Ron Russo

Standing sentinel near the highest point in the East Bay Regional Park District, an ancient blue oak is our window into a spectrum of life in the orbit of one grand tree. From passing raptors and nesting acorn woodpeckers and browsing deer, we zoom in to the strange and colorful world of the gall wasps. These tiny insects are first-rate engineers, manipulating their host trees into creating peculiar shelters for the wasps' larvae, in often-fanciful shapes reminiscent of sea urchins, dunce caps, and more.


Peering into Muddy Waters

April 01, 2001 by Ron Russo

One measure of the ecological richness of the Bay is its role as a major nursery for five resident species of sharks.

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Bay Nature