Animal Fun! Sulphur Creek Nature Center, Hayward

I’ve been wanting to write about the Sulphur Creek Nature Center for a long time now.  When my son was two and three, we visited the center regularly for their awesome toddler wildlife classes (for 1-3 year-olds).  I found it was the best place in the San Francisco East Bay to give my son hands-on wildlife experiences.  In each class, the children are introduced to … Continue reading Animal Fun! Sulphur Creek Nature Center, Hayward

Squirrels: Waiting

These two are such a nuisance.  Now they’ve taken to sitting on the fence, one on each wall, watching me, waiting patiently for me to leave.  I’m sure the second I’m away from the window, they’ll attack the bird feeder. Looks as if I may have to try one or two of these “Tips for Outwitting Squirrels” from the National Wildlife Federation… http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Birds/Archives/2010/Squirrels. I’m hoping … Continue reading Squirrels: Waiting

Neighborhood Wildlife: Young Buck

My son excitedly informed me yesterday afternoon that there was a boy deer on the hill behind our home.   The buck was in no hurry to leave, giving me plenty of time to snap some photos.  My son is sick (again), so he stayed home from school yesterday and today.  Luckily, the neighborhood wildlife has been giving us plenty to watch out our windows! Photo … Continue reading Neighborhood Wildlife: Young Buck

Sleepy tiger + discount to the Oakland Zoo

During our Christmas Eve visit to the zoo, we mostly ran around and played, but we did check out a few animals along the way.  We enjoyed watching this beautiful tiger napping (and waking up) in the warm afternoon sunshine. For anyone in the Bay Area who may be interested, I noticed this morning that Groupon is offering a 50% off membership deal to the … Continue reading Sleepy tiger + discount to the Oakland Zoo

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

I’ve had two amazing surprises within the past week that, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture with my camera.  Both were visitors to our backyard. The first was… a fox!  He visited Thursday morning at 10:00am, and he it stayed for about five minutes, giving me a lot of time to watch what it was up to.  When it first caught my attention, walking along … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

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

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

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?

Werewolves and Vampires?

While attending Boo at the Zoo over the weekend, we looked for “spooky” animals.  Werewolves?  Vampires?  Unfortunately, we didn’t find anything truly frightening at the Oakland Zoo, but did see this gorgeous hyena (I bet he’d get pretty scary if anyone tried to take that bone away from him!!) and a bunch of cute bats… Perhaps the scariest thing of all was this giant ant … Continue reading Werewolves and Vampires?

Boo at the Zoo, 2012

Yesterday we attended the annual Boo at the Zoo event at the Oakland Zoo.  Kids wear their Halloween costumes and participate in a bunch of fun activities.   It was a hot day today (back into the 80’s), so I talked my son out of wearing his thick, black ninja costume. The highlight for my 5-year-old was the Spooky Scavenger Hunt.  The children are given … Continue reading Boo at the Zoo, 2012

Butterfly, The Fen, Yosemite Valley

Quite a few of these beautiful butterflies were fluttering around “The Fen” in Yosemite Valley on Saturday morning. Haven’t heard of “The Fen”?  It’s one of my favorite little spots in Yosemite Valley.  It’s a short boardwalk trail through a marsh.  If you follow the trail from the Happy Isles shuttle stop to the Nature Center (open May through September), you’ll find the trail off … Continue reading Butterfly, The Fen, Yosemite Valley

Project FeederWatch

As I wrote the other day (Let’s Count Stars!), we enjoy participating in citizen science projects.  It’s a fun way to contribute to scientific research and learn about science at the same time.  I wrote earlier in the week about participating in the Great World Wide Star Count.  Perhaps stargazing isn’t your thing, but you’d still like to take part in a project.  Well, here’s … Continue reading Project FeederWatch

Silent Saturday: Monterey Bay Coastal Trail

Photos taken last weekend during a walk along the Pacific Grove section of the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail.  My husband took our son on a bike ride, so I could have some much-needed time to myself… Also from our day in Monterey… Going on a Bug Hunt Cyclo-Cross, Monterey Style Weekly Photo Challenge:  Solitary Continue reading Silent Saturday: Monterey Bay Coastal Trail