A funny thing happened in 2000. And again in 2003. For the first and second time in recorded history, a southern resident killer whale entered the waters of Monterey Bay. With fewer than 80 remaining individuals, the southern resident orcas … Read more
Art & Design | Botany | Climate Change | El Niño | Fire | Fungi | Geology | History | The Bay | The Ocean | Urban Nature | Water | Weather | Wildlife
Amid predictions that the West Nile virus will reach the Bay Area some time this summer, local health and pest control authorities are keeping a sharp eye out for mosquitoes carrying the disease. The first sign of the virus’ presence … Read more
Dubbed the cosmic center of the universe by locals, Elkhorn Slough is one of the richest wetlands along the California coast, a magnet for wildlife and humans alike. And the best way to see it all is in a kayak.
Northern mockingbirds, year-round residents of the Bay Area (having expanded their breeding range here after the arrival of European settlers), each develop their own songs. Similar to those of other songbirds, mockingbirds’ songs consist of a specific configuration of syllables … Read more
Lakes aren’t a natural feature of the coast range landscape. But since cities need places to store drinking water, we drowned some valleys for reservoirs. While precious creek habitat was lost, these man-made lakes now draw bald eagles and other wildlife, as well as thousands of human visitors for swimming, fishing, boating and other summer pastimes.
Of course the Marin Headlands–a favorite destination for hikers, bicyclers, birdwatchers, wildflower enthusiasts, and beachgoers–is protected open space. What else could it be? Would you believe…a city of 30,000? It almost was. But thanks to some determined citizens and a little bit of luck, one half of the Golden Gate will remain wild forever.
Below the opaque surface of the calm waters of Richmond and Sausalito Harbors lies an unexpected world of curious forms, brilliant colors, and furious competition for a place to hold on.
Tom Smith. A simple name. Not so the man. My great-great-grand-father. Father and grandfather and great-grandfather to many Coast Miwok and Pomo people. I’ve told stories about him, stories I have heard, stories others tell: how he performed miracles healing … Read more
Though it’s the most extensive natural habitat in California, chaparral’s brambly ways discourage human visitors. Still, plenty of wildlife finds sanctuary in its tangled, brushy universe, as do the dormant seeds of wildflowers as they await the inevitable next fire, forceful sculptor of this complex landscape.
A shower of magma-heated liquid and steam makes for more than just a pretty Calistoga postcard. It’s a 30-million-year-old lesson in California’s dynamic underground history of sliding plates, volcanic eruptions, and molten rock.