Timely news, art, ideas and science from the natural world of Northern California.

Moss Knows How to Wait


Mosses are not particularly competitive; they do not crowd out other species. They find a foothold where there are the proper resources: moisture, a place to tuck their rhizoid roots. The range from which they can acquire nourishment is limited. Humans are on the opposite end of that spectrum, able to move resources long distances, at increasingly devastating costs to one another and to ecosystems.

On the (Oddly Satisfying) War Against Invasive Species


Invasive species removal is a long game. If you see the entire job before you, you may despair. But if you keep your head down and only look at what’s right in front of you, then you have a chance of really making a difference in the long term. 

Don’t Blame the Bark Beetles


While walking in the woods, you’ve likely encountered a dead log engraved with maze-like squiggles. These natural carvings are known as beetle galleries, and the grooves are munched out by the larvae of bark beetles in the subfamily Scolytinae.