Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for April, 2008

Wild turkeys: Guess what’s eating them?

Dear Gary:
My friend Rodger Hartwell pointed out that in his neck of the woods, they are noticing mountain lions eating wild turkeys — something they have not seen before.

So I might suppose the same thing might be happening in the hills around Rossmoor in Walnut Creek (where there are a LOT of wild turkeys! /Gary). Rodger had been wondering what was going to come of the increasing wild turkey population. One predator has now stepped up.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, April 24th, 2008
Under: Mountain lion, wild predators, wild turkeys | 4 Comments »

Grizzly bear used in Will Ferrell movie kills trainer

A grizzly bear that appeared in Will Ferrell’s movie, “Semi-Pro,” killed a 39-year-old trainer with a bite to his neck.

The grizzly had to be subdued with pepper spray.

According to an Associated Press story, this grizzly was described as “the best working bear in the business,” in a February interview with the owner of the Predators In Action facility in Southern California, where the bear lived along with other wild animals used to make movies.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008
Under: Grizzly bear | 3 Comments »

Army killing endangered desert tortoises, coyotes, and … ?

Army relocates endangered desert tortoises into drought area. Starving coyotes kill tortoises. Army kills coyotes. Nobody wins, except the Army.

When our little story opens, 770 endangered desert tortoises are living peacefully in their local ecosystem in California’s lovely Mojave Desert. Then along comes the U.S. Army to stake claim on the endangered tortoise’s critical habitat because they want to use the area for Army tank training.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
Under: coyotes, Desert Tortoises, Endangered species | 2 Comments »

Wildest Bird Nest Contest … great prizes!

Who’s got the weirdest and most artistic bird nests sitting in their Bay Area yard? Is it you?

It’s time for the 4th Annual Gary’s Wildest Bird Nest Contest and you’re all invited to search your yards and enter some wild and wonderful photographs of all the unique bird nests you find. Check all the nooks and crannies in your yard and around your house (or on your house!).
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, April 21st, 2008
Under: Bird Nest Contest, Bird nests, Birds | No Comments »

Are Martinez beavers moving away on their own?

This quote from Lisa White’s story in today’s Contra Costa Times:

“Mary Tappel, an environmental scientist who has a long history of helping communities manage beaver populations, said it appears the Martinez beavers have practically depleted the creek banks of their favorite foods and seem to be moving downstream. ‘Beavers always move,’ she said, adding that city leaders should not believe they can keep the animals in the location in the creek where they have built their dam.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, April 18th, 2008
Under: Beavers, Martinez Beavers | No Comments »

Toxic industrial chemicals contaminate cats & dogs in high levels

Amounts of toxics in blood and urine many times higher in pets than humans

Here are excerpts from a press release I just received:

WASHINGTON — Today the Environmental Working Group released results of the most comprehensive tests ever conducted on industrial chemicals in the bodies of pets. EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC, that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, April 17th, 2008
Under: Cats, dogs, Toxic chemicals | 1 Comment »

Stranded in Guantanamo: Thoughts to keep minds busy


Dear Gary: Rambling thoughts and a garden of wonder and joy.

I was just lying on the couch feeling crappy. I shut my eyes and I heard in my head the sound of wings. I thought of the way bats sounded at night when they were flying all around our heads when we used to go bank fishing. Then, I thought about the sounds of a boomerang … or, what about the sound of a jump rope when the kids speed things up … an old timey disciplinarian with a willow switch … a rodeo rider getting ready to rope a cow … the buzz of a hummingbird’s wings … the bees in my garden hovering over the borage plant with its tiny sapphire blue star-like flowers. The gentle, beautiful garden …
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
Under: Gardens, Natural Thoughts | No Comments »

Great new book: “Trees and Shrubs of Mount Diablo”

Dear Gary:
What a glorious spring it has been on Mount Diablo — quite the most spectacular display of plants we have seen in years.

I urge everyone to visit Mount Diablo State Park to enjoy it, before the slopes turn golden and the flowers fade.

To enhance this enjoyment, may I also recommend a new little book, hot off the press, “Trees and Shrubs of Mount Diablo.” It was written by the well-known San Francisco Bay Area botanist Glenn Keator and published by the Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, April 15th, 2008
Under: Book, Mount Diablo, Shrubs, Trees | No Comments »

Martinez beavers need you now!

Your presence is requested to assist the Alhambra Creek Beavers in Martinez

Please join other beaver lovers when the Beaver subcommittee report will be presented to the full Martinez City Council for review and possible vote.

WHY: Your beavers need you. The City Council may decide to make a decision about the beavers at this meeting. Trap and relocate the beavers to a place where they may not survive? Let them stay where they are? Other? The beavers need your support!
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, April 14th, 2008
Under: Beavers | No Comments »

Brunfelsia, “Morning, Noon & Night” plant is poisonous to pets

ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center warns pet owners about deadly plant

Since a gardener’s Eden can quickly turn to purgatory for inquisitive pets, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reminds us that many plants and flowers have the potential to cause life-threatening illnesses in both dogs and cats.

One such plant, and a favorite of many gardeners, is Brunfelsia, also known as “Morning, Noon, and Night” or “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” An ornamental plant that thrives in the gardens of warmer climates, or year-round in pots, Brunfelsia has fragrant flowers that bloom in a vivid purple and gradually change to lavender before fading to white.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, April 11th, 2008
Under: Cats, dogs, Pets, Pets & Poisons, Poisonous plants | 2 Comments »