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 atn@baynature.org!

salamander in fire

Which Bay Area Salamander Are You?

 • 

What salamanders live in the Bay Area? Ahh yes, salamanders. The under-appreciated amphibians, second to their more well-known and vocal (if slightly obnoxious) cousin the frog. For these slimy critters, existence under the forest floor or in murky bodies of … Read more

western pond turtle

Where Do Turtles Go in Winter and Summer?

 • 

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

fasciated poison oak

Fasciated Plants and Where to Find Them in the Wild

 • 

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

pillar point tidepooling

How Do I Start Out Tidepooling?

 • 

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