One of the challenges faced by rare native plants like the buckwheat is the spread of invasive nonnative plants. July 18 to 24 is Invasive Weeds Awareness Week, and weed groups across the state will be spreading the word on exotic plants that choke our native ecosystems. The annual commemoration began in 2003 after a […]
”Karl Linn spent his lifetime bringing people together in community, in an urban setting, in nature,” says Carole Bennett-Simmons, project coordinator for the Peralta Community Gardens, one of five Berkeley projects built by the prominent landscape architect, social justice activist, and advocate for urban green spaces. Linn died in his Berkeley home in February at […]
Archive | Gardening | History
The city of Livermore might be most famous for its national laboratory, but native plant enthusiasts and biodiversity advocates will tell you that the area should be just as well known for its many “botanical hot spots.” On the north side of town, one such ecologically significant area, called an alkali sink, is the habitat […]
Archive | Wildlife
It’s rare that a species gets taken off what seems an ever-growing list of extinctions, but that’s exactly what happened in May, when Berkeley-based botanist Michael Park found about a dozen Mount Diablo buckwheat flowers (Eriogonom truncatum) growing in a remote corner of Mount Diablo State Park. Officially recorded just seven times between 1862 and […]
The tools scientists use to study pelagic marine life have come a long way. Now, with the use of advanced computing technologies, scientists are pondering the relationships hidden in data beamed by the animals themselves from electronic sensors and satellite tags. In a project called Tagging of Pacific Pelagics (TOPP), 22 species of marine predators […]
Archive | The Ocean | Wildlife
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.
Botany | Gardening | Wildlife
When I moved out to San Francisco from New York City in late 1973, it was mostly for love. But not for a person. I had fallen in love, pretty much at first sight, with the Bay Area. There was the quality of the light. There was the thriving youth culture. Housing in the Mission […]
Enter the woods on Inverness Ridge and pause for a moment to listen. Natural history weaves itself into stories for those willing to hear—whether teased from the patterns in stone, distilled from the rings of a tree, or gathered from the melody of birdsong. Here in the forest, bishop pine trees whisper in the cool […]
Botany | Fire
On a clear January day in 2005, I took a walk up from my house on the east slope of Inverness Ridge to the trail that runs south from Mount Vision in Point Reyes National Seashore to Drakes View Drive and the Paradise Ranch Estates area. At the crest of the hill, in every direction, […]
Fire dwells deep in the human psyche. It is among the oldest of words, the most elemental of tools, and the primary means by which early man projected himself onto the world. The torch and the hearth fire enabled our move from the cave to the village, while broadcast burning gave us the ability to […]
Botany | Fire | History
On October 3, 1995, a wildfire erupted on Mount Vision at Point Reyes National Seashore. Before the flames were extinguished a week later, 12,000 acres of this popular park had been scorched, and 45 nearby homes burned to the ground. A decade later, we return to Point Reyes for a lesson in local fire ecology to see how the landscape—and the community—were reshaped and renewed by the blaze.
On October 3, 1995, a wildfire erupted on Mount Vision at Point Reyes National Seashore. Before the flames were extinguished a week later, 12,000 acres of this popular park had been scorched, and 45 nearby homes burned to the ground. A decade later, we return to Point Reyes for a lesson in local fire ecology […]
Some folks love their scent and shade; others resent them for crowding out natives; most of us know they came from Australia and found a niche here. But few know that the East Bay’s eucalypts owe their presence to one entrepreneur who thought the trees would make him rich. They didn’t, but now, love them or hate them, the trees are here to stay. Fortunately, some animals have profited from Mr. Havens’s mistake.
Botany | History | Stewardship
With stunning views of the Bay and Marin, Richmond’s Point Molate has seen a lot of changes: It’s been a shrimp camp, a huge winery, and a Navy fuel depot. Now the site of a controversial casino proposal, this modest point of land is home to diverse wildlife and some of the East Bay’s last native coastal prairie.
Botany | Geology | History | The Bay
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 of Sciences has done a fair bit of his work on the several acres of […]
History | Wildlife