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Jul-Sep 2010

Our summer 2010 issue encompasses the long-lasting–rocks of the East Bay hills and geology of Salt Point State Park–and the ephemeral–MaryAnn Nardo’s stunning paintings of delicate local butterflies—as well as efforts to protect and restore habitat for rare species on East Bay Regional Park District lands, conditions that create our welcome summer afternoon breezes around the Bay, and the amazing communication that happens within the colony of ants that’s crashing your picnic. Cover illustration by MaryAnn Nardo.


The Ants Go Marching One by One

July 01, 2010 by Mike Koslosky

How the heck do all those ants find you every time you sit down at a park for a nice picnic? The short answer is: sheer numbers and good communication. But there’s a lot more to know about ants than that…

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Bolinas Ridge Discoveries

July 01, 2010 by John Muir Laws

Jack Laws finds new wonders at a familiar haunt.

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Was there ever a waterfall at the Golden Gate?

July 01, 2010 by Michael Ellis

Q: Rumor has it there might have been a waterfall at the Golden Gate during the last ice age, when sea level was at its lowest. Is there any evidence for this? [Cisco, Oakland] A: Well, there is no incontrovertible evidence for a “waterfall” at the Golden Gate, but there very well could have been […]

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Best of Times, Worst of Times for Contra Costa Preservation

July 01, 2010 by Aleta George

The new Habitat Conservation Plan in East Contra Costa County has been short on money, but land prices almost couldn’t be better.

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Jack Laws on Loving Nature

July 01, 2010 by Aleta George

Naturalist and artist Jack Laws throws his whole body and soul into inspiring people to love, and understand, the natural world around them. His field guides are amazing, but have you seen his impersonation of a jumping spider? Not to be missed…

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Tarantula Trekking

July 01, 2010 by Aleta George

Come fall, the male tarantulas get restless and go looking for a mate. Look carefully, and you just might see some of the action.

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The Long, Slow Spill of the Luckenbach

July 01, 2010 by Aleta George

We don’t even have a word for an oil spill that drags out over five decades, but that’s just what happened with one ship that sank off the Golden Gate. Now, funds are flowing to help mend the damage.

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Habitat and Humanity

July 01, 2010 by Kathleen M. Wong

With millions of people and millions of acres of open space, the Bay Area is a lively, and sometimes uneasy, blend of wild and urban. In the East Bay, dozens of rare species — from birds along the Bay to wildflowers in the hills — survive against the odds thanks in part to the East Bay Regional Park District, whose staff does everything from creating nesting islands to clearing trees for the sake of imperiled plants and animals.

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Letter from the Publisher

July 01, 2010 by David Loeb

This issue of Bay Nature rocks!

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Marbled Murrelet, Mariner of the Old-Growth

July 01, 2010 by Kris Vann

This is a story about a little-known bird that’s no owl, eagle, or peacock. It’s not featured on a stamp or in a Disney cartoon. Most people haven’t heard of it and can’t even pronounce its name. But dig deeper into the marbled murrelet (that’s MER-let, not mure-a-LET), and you’ll find a story of scientific mystery and dedicated people working to help an increasingly scarce bird and its habitat.

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Painted Wings

July 01, 2010 by MaryAnn Nardo

MaryAnn Nardo’s luminous watercolors capture species’ whole life cycles, from larvae feeding on host plants to winged adults in search of nectar.


School of Rock

July 01, 2010 by Erik Vance

Berkeley native Erik Vance first encountered the rocks of the East Bay hills as a teenager looking for excitement. For a century, geologists at UC Berkeley have used them to teach geologic mapping, in the process unraveling the complex geology of our hills. And for decades pioneering rock climbers learned techniques here that they took with them to the Sierra and beyond.

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Stories in Stone

July 01, 2010 by Doris Sloan

You’ll find some of Central California’s most remarkable rocks at this state park on the Sonoma coast. Here, waves, fault lines, and changes in sea level have left sublime stories written into the landscape.

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Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine

July 01, 2010 by Eric Simons

Summer is the season for sea breezes in the Bay Area, and no one knows that better than the kite-boarders, windsurfers, and sailors who ply the Bay every chance they get.

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