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From an Entomologist’s Backyard

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The sticky monkey flower, common on sunny Bay Area hillsides, hosts an array of insect visitors. Edward Ross’s intimate photos of these visits are but a small sample of the thousands he’s taken over six decades of studying insects near and far.

Ubiquitous Eucalyptus

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Some folks love their scent and shade; others resent them for crowding out natives; most of us know they came from Australia and found a niche here. But few know that the East Bay’s eucalypts owe their presence to one entrepreneur who thought the trees would make him rich. They didn’t, but now, love them or hate them, the trees are here to stay. Fortunately, some animals have profited from Mr. Havens’s mistake.

Left to Burn

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At the turn of the 20th Century, the California Academy of Sciences was the oldest scientific society in the western United States. From its humble beginnings in 1853 as California’s de facto cabinet of curiosities stemming from “the systematic survey … Read more

The Mount Diablo Buckwheat One Year Later

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Botanists and nature lovers celebrated good news this spring as the Mount Diablo buckwheat (Eriogonum truncatum)—presumed extinct until its rediscovery in 2005—germinated and bloomed for a second year in the wild for and for the first time in carefully-tended greenhouse … Read more

A Guide to Northern California Tidepooling

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This story was updated on March 1, 2017. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is home to some of the most diverse and accessible tidepools in the state, but there are many other good tidepooling destinations along California’s more than 1,000 miles of … Read more

Beachfront Property

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San Francisco’s Fort Funston is perhaps best known for dogs and hang gliders, but its cliffs also host a thriving coastal bank swallow colony.

Betting on Point Molate

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With stunning views of the Bay and Marin, Richmond’s Point Molate has seen a lot of changes: It’s been a shrimp camp, a huge winery, and a Navy fuel depot. Now the site of a controversial casino proposal, this modest point of land is home to diverse wildlife and some of the East Bay’s last native coastal prairie.

Don’t Call Them Bugs

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Edward Ross has visited every continent except Antarctica in pursuit of his passion for studying, collecting, dissecting, classifying, naming, photographing, and deeply appreciating insects. In between his globe-trotting adventures, the 89-year old curator emeritus of entomology at the California Academy … Read more

Deep Water Corals in Monterey Bay

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Thriving in cold, dark waters 4,265 feet below sea level, communities of large, ancient, and colorful corals grace the peaks of Davidson Seamount, a 7,546-foot inactive volcano 75 miles southwest of Monterey. Courtesy 2006 MBARI/NOAA, www.mbari.org “Coral reefs are charismatic … Read more

Growing a Greenway in Hunters Point

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On San Francisco’s southeastern waterfront, Heron’s Head Park hosts nesting avocets, nature education programs, and the seeds of a revitalized city Bay shore.