Book Review: Califauna: A Literary Field Guide

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Califauna: A Literary Field Guide, edited by Terry Beers and Emily Elrod, Heyday Books, 2007, 293 pages, $21.95 www.heydaybooks.com The bookworm interested in a true literary field guide to California wildlife need look no further than Califauna. Part anthology, part … Read more

Diving into Our Ocean Sanctuaries

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While living for a while on the Monterey Peninsula, I found myself drawn time and again from the cafes and shops of Pacific Grove down to the waters of Monterey Bay. Sometimes I would just sit on a bench and look for sea otters resting and feeding their pups in the undulating kelp beds. My time in Monterey was a small but privileged window into the wonderful diversity that makes the central coast of California one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world…

Making Waves for a Healthy Ocean

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When I stand on San Francisco’s Ocean Beach and look west, it’s difficult for me to comprehend that we humans can have any impact of consequence on a body of water that is so vast, let alone impacts that are … Read more

Drakes Bay Oyster Farm

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In Schooner Bay, Drakes Bay Oyster Farm grows oysters and clams, producing 85 percent of the shellfish raised in Marin County. Point Reyes National Seashore, the company’s landlord, has long planned to close the farm when its 40-year lease expires … Read more

Elfin Butterfly

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To us, the San Bruno elfin butterfly, with its one-inch wingspan, seems small, but to the ants that protected it during its larval stage, it must seem a giant. On rocky north-facing outcrops on San Bruno Mountain in South San … Read more

Presumed Extinct

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Mention extinct species, and most people think of long-gone mastodons and saber-toothed tigers. But we know that some Bay Area species have disappeared in just the last 200 years. Or have they? Prompted by rediscoveries of lost species in Solano and Contra Costa counties, we decided to see what other missing flora and fauna might still be out there, awaiting a patient observer.

The Checkerspot Comes Home

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Contrary to common notions of autumn as a season of dying back, our fall rains often herald new beginnings. That’s especially true this fall at Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve in Redwood City. For the first time since 2002, … Read more

Coyote Valley: Another Drive-By Extinction?

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As we report in The Checkerspot Comes Home, Coyote Ridge southeast of San Jose is one of the last refuges for the endangered bay checkerspot butterfly. A good deal of that habitat is protected, but the checkerspots here should keep … Read more