Defining the edge of a shifting body of water like San Francisco Bay, whose exact extent changes with every tide, every season, every storm, can be tricky business. In our region the regulators sometimes fall back on a botanical criterion. … Read more
Everybody knows about the California clapper rail, the charismatic (though elusive) endangered bird of San Francisco Bay marshes. The San Pablo Baylands shelter almost half its known population. But here the clapper shares the wetland with its smaller, quieter, and … Read more
On a fall day in duck hunting season, the sound of shotgun fire echoes across the Napa-Sonoma Marshes. It will continue to do so. Here as elsewhere, hunters have paid a good share of the cost of habitat protection, and … Read more
On summer weekends, the nearly 4,000 picnic tables of the East Bay Regional Park District are packed with families from many of the Bay Area’s diverse communities, returning year after year to their favorite spots, along with great blue herons hunting gophers, crows and ravens pillaging trash cans, and raccoons swiping meat right off the grill. All just part of the curious ecology of our local picnic areas.
Few craft can match a kayak for allowing you to immerse yourself in the watery universe of bay or ocean, moving silently through the world of seals, otters, dolphins, and seabirds. Two of our region’s most experienced sea kayakers take us out on the water for up-close and personal encounters with some of the bountiful and charismatic marine life plying our local marine habitats.
Discover the world of water striders and water boatmen.
The 19th-century cattle baron Henry Miller (not the noted California author of the same name), who once had an estate on Mount Madonna (the subject of our July-September 2007 On the Trail feature) is not generally remembered for his conservation … Read more
Years ago, in my mother’s garden, an ominous mound appeared: a volcano- or horseshoe-shaped pile of earth with an off-center hole, plugged with loose dirt. Her response, echoing the response of generations of frustrated gardeners, was to reach for a … Read more
Would you believe a twig is watching you? That some leaves can walk? And that if you brush against a piece of bark, it just might fly away? Insects play “April Fools’” tricks on their would-be predators all the time, … Read more
Two hundred years ago, the captain of a 280-ton whaling vessel reported seeing a bounty of fur seals on the Farallon Islands, 28 miles west of San Francisco. Subsequently, the captain and a small group of Boston-based whalers returned to … Read more