No need for alarm — it’s just a sign of fall.
What do you want to know about the natural world? Thanks to donations from readers like you, Bay Nature has teamed up with the naturalists at the California Center for Natural History to answer your questions about the world every other Tuesday. Some questions find their way to naturalist Michael Ellis, whose answers appear in our quarterly print magazine. Email us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Yesterday afternoon I went for a jog along the Bay Trail and saw a bunch of little fish flipping around near the surface right at the edge of the beach. What were they? Were they being chased by something?–A.J., Alameda … Read more
I saw a bunch of spiders hanging from structures in the middle of their webs. What are they and why do they do that? Looks like you’ve stumbled across one of the more interesting web builders of the Bay Area, … Read more
I found this on my front door — it looks like needles in a circular motion with white tips. What is it? The small “needles” that start to decorate doors, plants, and just about any surface imaginable this time of … Read more
What are some the biological consequences of climate change in Northern California?
Where do turtles go in the winter and summer? —Alma, Sebastopol I am assuming you are referring to our only native freshwater turtle—the western pond turtle—which you might see basking in the sun and then quickly kerplunking right into the … Read more
What is this weird belt-like growth on poison oak? Fasciated plants have fascinated humans for thousands of years due to their gnarled and belt-like growth patterns on stems or bizarrely elongated flowers. Fasciation has been documented in over 107 plant … Read more
Which species am I most likely to see in a Northern California tidepool, and how can I try to identify them? There is something fascinating about tidepools. They are places of liminality, an in-between world that is neither fully land … Read more
I think I saw a worm swimming in the Bay, what is it? It was mid August in 2015 when I first held one, its long thread like body rolling and pulsing in my hand. Tickled by the anticipation of … Read more
How do slugs and salamanders survive the summer? Ah, seasons. The Bay Area may not have the distinct seasonality of New England, but there is a definite cool and rainy season and a definite dry and hot season, and our … Read more