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Archive for October, 2008

Top 10 over-the-counter meds that poison your pets

Prescription and over-the-counter medications can help you feel better, but they can make your pets feel a LOT worse.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York has put together a list of the top 10 human medications that most often poison our pets:
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Posted on Friday, October 17th, 2008
Under: Drugs, Medications, Pets, Poison | No Comments »

Mount Diablo Open Space: It’s time for a walk on the wild side


Enjoy! /Gary

Posted on Thursday, October 16th, 2008
Under: Mount Diablo, Open space | No Comments »

It’s tarantula time on Mount Diablo

diablo tarantula3

If you’d like to get a look at a tarantula in the wild, now is a good time to go for a pleasant hike on Mount Diablo. The mountain is one of the best places in the Bay Area to see these giant spiders.

Just be careful when driving up the mountain … there could be a lot of tarantulas crawling on or across the road. (Brake for tarantulas!)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
Under: Mount Diablo, Spiders, Tarantulas | 4 Comments »

Join the Slowskys & take a slow walk on the wild side. Here’s how.

hiking turtle1

Take your time and enjoy the natural world around you.

My thanks to Brian Murphy of Walnut Creek for the great photo illustration! /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Under: Open space | No Comments »

Invasion of the 5-pound orange feral kitten

The orange kitten gets introduced to her new home

(The post on poisoning ground squirrels is below this posting.)

Well, I did it. Friday afternoon when I got home from work I used all my worldly wiles and at great bodily risk … I CAPTURED the orange kitten and wrestled her into the house.

OK, OK … I reached down and gently picked her up and carried her to the spare bathroom and showed her the new place where she was going to live for the next few weeks. She purred all the way.
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Posted on Monday, October 13th, 2008
Under: Cats, Feral cats, Kittens | 79 Comments »

Poisoning Ground Squirrels — is it right?

ground squirrel2

My column in the Times today (Sunday, Oct. 12) contains a letter from Kelly Adams of Clayton, California, complaining about two men from the Contra Costa County Department of Agriculture, who she caught scattering poison to eradicate ground squirrels in the open space on the slopes of Mount Diablo on the other side of her back fence.

Needless to say Kelly was more than a little upset at this.
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Posted on Sunday, October 12th, 2008
Under: Ground squirrels, Mount Diablo, Poison | 16 Comments »

West Nile update: 2nd horse, more birds, skeeters test positive in CoCoCo

Brentwood remains high risk area; Antioch’s risk lowered.

The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District is reporting one horse, one group of mosquitoes and six dead birds that have tested positive this past week for West Nile virus in the county. The horse and the mosquitoes were from Brentwood. Two of the birds were from Brentwood, two from Antioch, one from Concord, and one was from Danville. Brentwood remains a high risk area for West Nile virus infection in Contra Costa County.
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Posted on Friday, October 10th, 2008
Under: Birds, Horses, Mosquitoes, Mosquitofish, West Nile virus | 2 Comments »

Connecticut warbler: Want to hear its song? Come on in!

There’s a story on page A3 in today’s Times about a Connecticut warbler that’s being treated for bruises and missing feathers at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, California. (It hit a window at Peets Coffee in Brentwood.)
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Posted on Thursday, October 9th, 2008
Under: Bird Watching, Birds, Connecticut warbler | No Comments »

OK to feed hummingbirds in fall — they’ll migrate if they want to


Hummingbirds will migrate when they feel the urge, whether you’re feeding them or not.

I’ve received a few e-mails lately from readers who are concerned that if they keep filling their hummingbird feeders, it will prevent those tiny flying flowers from taking off on their winter migration. That’s not true. Birds will migrate if and when they want to.
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Posted on Wednesday, October 8th, 2008
Under: hummingbirds, Migration | No Comments »

American Kennel Club: Does your dog have one of the most popular dog names?


Move over “Fido,” the American Kennel Club (AKC) has announced that “Lady” and “Bear” top the list of most popular male and female dog names in the U.S. in 2007.

“Traditionally names based on a puppy’s physical appearance or personality, such as ‘Spot’ or ‘Sassy,’ have been popular with dog owners,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “Today we are seeing human names, such as ‘Jack’ and ‘Molly,’ and names that reflect a pet’s stature in the home, such as ‘King’ and ‘Princess,’ gain in popularity as more people consider their dog a valued member of the family.”

The top male/female dog names, according to the AKC are:
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Posted on Tuesday, October 7th, 2008
Under: Dog names, dogs | 3 Comments »