Building Forts! Adventure Playground, Berkeley

The Adventure Playground in Berkeley… the only place I know in the San Francisco Bay Area where kids are encouraged to get creative with saws, hammers & nails, and paints to build forts.  And play on their creations!  Photos from our school field trip to the playground yesterday… For more information, check out this post from our August visit… Wow!  Adventure Playground, Berkeley Continue reading Building Forts! Adventure Playground, Berkeley

Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Santa Cruz

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center, located in Santa Cruz on the bluffs above the Monterey Bay, is a true gem.  Don’t expect the grandeur of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but be prepared for a smaller, quieter, more intimate experience here.  The location is phenomenal.  On a clear day, the views can’t be beat. Inside the center, children will actually have time to experience the touch … Continue reading Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Santa Cruz

Explore the Tide Pools, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

When the tide is low, head out to the rocky, north end of Natural Bridges State Beach to explore the tide pools.  Look for sea stars, hermit crabs, sea anemones, sea urchins, and more.  So fun! For more information about Natural Bridges State Beach, visit the California State Parks website… http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=541 If you’re here between mid-October and mid-February, be sure to visit the Monarch Preserve, … Continue reading Explore the Tide Pools, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

Within Natural Bridges State Beach, in Santa Cruz, you’ll find the Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, a grove of eucalyptus trees where thousands of Monarch Butterflies spend the winter each year.  The butterflies may be viewed by taking a short 0.75 mile Monarch Trail loop through the Preserve, or by simply taking the short, wheel-chair accessible Monarch Boardwalk to the viewing platform.  The monarchs are here … Continue reading Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

Crissy Field, San Francisco

On Monday morning, my husband and I went for a run out at Crissy Field in San Francisco (while our so rode his bike).  This is my absolute favorite spot to run in the Bay Area.  Luckily, it’s also an awesome trail for kids to ride bikes!  I took a couple photos from the East Beach parking lot before heading out on our run… The … Continue reading Crissy Field, San Francisco

Botanic Garden, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley

Another place we love to visit in Tilden Regional Park is the Botanic Garden.  I enjoy experiencing the seasonal changes of this garden throughout the year.  These images are from our visit on Sunday, November 18th, 2012, on a quiet morning after two days of rain. Interested in going?  The Regional Parks Botanic Garden is located at the corner of Wildcat Canyon Road and South … Continue reading Botanic Garden, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley

Jewel Lake Trail, Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley

The Jewel Lake Trail in Tilden Regional Park is a great hike to do with little kids.  The loop is about a mile, is mostly flat, and has a fun variety of things to see and do.  I like to take my son on this walk whenever we’re in the Tilden Nature Area, usually to feed the animals at the Little Farm.  Be sure to … Continue reading Jewel Lake Trail, Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley

Feed the Animals! Tilden Little Farm, Berkeley

The Tilden Little Farm, located within Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley, is a favorite destination for just about every little kid I know.  For over a week now, my five-year-old has been begging me to take him there to feed the animals, so we headed over today. Here’s a little history of the Farm, from the park brochure… “The red barn was constructed in 1955 … Continue reading Feed the Animals! Tilden Little Farm, Berkeley

Backyard Birds: Sparrows

We now have both juvenile White-crowned Sparrows and juvenile Golden-crowned Sparrows visiting our yard.  Now that I can see both, frequently side-by-side, I can clearly see the difference.  The one I thought last week was a Golden-crowned Sparrow is definitely a White-crowned one.  Here are a few photos of the fist-year Golden-crowned Sparrows who visited this morning. For comparison, here are a couple shots I … Continue reading Backyard Birds: Sparrows

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

Renewal, to me, is when the hills begin to turn green after our first few rains.  We typically go for five-six months without rain here in the San Francisco East Bay, so the grasses are pretty brown and thirsty by this time of year.  It’s lovely to see the hills “renewing” already! The hill behind our house Photos taken at Sunrise, November 11th, 2012 *** … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

Acorn Woodpecker, Sunol Regional Wilderness

Wow, I can really see how this bird got its name!!  There were four Acorn Woodpeckers busy pecking holes in this tree and filling them with their stash. From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds site… “Their social lives are endlessly fascinating: they store thousands of acorns each year by jamming them into specially made holes in trees. A group member is always … Continue reading Acorn Woodpecker, Sunol Regional Wilderness

Backyard Birds: Golden-Crowned Sparrow?

I need help identifying this bird.  It’s been visiting our yard in the San Francisco East Bay for about a month now.  At first, I thought it was an immature White-crowned Sparrow, but now I’m thinking it’s an immature Golden-crowned Sparrow.  With Project FeederWatch coming up, I want to make sure I have the right ID.  Thanks! Continue reading Backyard Birds: Golden-Crowned Sparrow?

Silent Saturday: LaRiviere Marsh Trail, Don Edwards S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Photos from a hike I took this morning with my son at Don Edwards S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Newark, California .  We walked the the short 0.7 mile walk around the LaRiviere Marsh Trail, beginning at the Visitor Center. Continue reading Silent Saturday: LaRiviere Marsh Trail, Don Edwards S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge