The Napa Valley was once a place of enormous natural bounty, fed by a vibrant, healthy river teeming with salmon and steelhead. Today, the valley is more famous for its managed bounty of grapes and fine wine. The river, hemmed in by vineyards, has too often been relegated to the status of a waste canal. But now a unique alliance of growers and scientists has come together to give the Napa’s upper reach a chance to regain some of its wildness.
Q: Off San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, I saw dorsal fins beyond the surfers. After 20 minutes, I saw two bearers of fins breaching the water. What were they? [Claire, San Bruno] A: Congratulations on being very observant. The animals you … Read more
When I was growing up in Tiburon, my grandparents lived only a couple miles away and were a big part of my childhood. It was my grandfather who ignited my interest in nature, and in particular birds, by giving me … Read more
Rain or shine, Bay Area birders participate in their own Christmas tradition when they grab a pair of binoculars and head out for the annual Bay Area Christmas Bird Count. Begun in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count takes place between … Read more
While you’re heading to the polls this November, California brown pelicans will be returning to breeding grounds that range from the Channel Islands south to Mexico. From May to September, these stately birds fly as far north as British Columbia. … Read more
Things begin rumbling about now. Storm clouds pile up along the outer Coast Ranges, the winds shift and come out of the south, days get shorter, and the air gets colder. We all know what’s coming: the rainy season. Termites and spiders know it too, and they’re getting busy.
Listen for the winter song of the golden-crowned sparrow, which arrives following a spectacular migration every fall.
Q: What is the largest species of fish you could find in San Francisco Bay? A: Let’s limit ourselves to the true bony fish, which leaves out any great white sharks that might wander into the Bay looking for harbor … Read more
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
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.