May 16, 2011 § Leave a comment
April 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
As you know, I chase butterflies. Mostly its been larva (these little black caterpillars that have the slightest of orange spots and are very difficult to spot) at Coyote Ridge, Santa Clara county. Sometimes you can spend a whole day looking for the little guys and well, that’s your day. In good years, like this year, we’ve found many “mini-cats” on the cool slopes of Coyote Ridge.
February 17, 2011 § 2 Comments
It’s been an amazing year for Bay Checkerspot Butterfly (BCB) larvae this year. Numbers have increased 5-fold, ten-fold, even 20-fold for some of our long term research plots. After about a half dozen “down years”, it’s a welcome rebound. This little federally threatened butterfly that takes to the skies mid to late March every year and then disappears for another 11 months has helped ecologists understand the interaction of this species with an soil environment that is increasingly saturated with nitrogen from automobile exhaust.
January 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
I was fortunate to get invited (ahem, I invited myself I guess) to a hike with two of the most notable, contemporary botanical explorers of the East Bay. We headed out to Mt. Diablo State Park in Contra Costa County for which Barbara Ertter, and Diablo champion Mary Bowerman, have published a unique and informative flora. Beyond just plant identification and simple cataloging, this book relates ecological studies, talks plant associations and offers tidbits of history and nuance. Truly a classic, get it here. I have a signed one with a personal note from Barbara, so I’m considering this means we’re friends 🙂
November 9, 2010 § 1 Comment
Wendy Tokuda is a real star. Besides being an anchorwoman and reporter at KPIX (CBS) in the Bay Area, she’s a real advocate for the environment. But Wendy isn’t one of those “this is what should be done types”, but rather she’s a real go-getter. For her insatiable energy and religious devotion to the environment, she’s being written up in a Bay Area magazine.