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Archive for June, 2009

Benicia, CA: Save Our Solano Parks Day on June 21

Benicia State Recreation Areas

On June 21 a Save Our Solano Parks Day of Action gathering — a march (Bike Ride) and rally — will be held in Benicia to oppose the proposed closure of the Benicia State Recreation Area (SRA) and the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park (SHP).

The Day of Action is being conducted in conjunction with similar actions in State Parks all across California. The California State Parks Foundation, the Benicia State Parks Association and the California Native Plant Society Willis Linn Jepson Chapter (Solano) are leading the efforts in Benicia.
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Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2009
Under: Benicia State Parks | 1 Comment »

Got squirrels digging in your flower pots?

Squirrel digging in pot. Photo by Mike Gordon, Walnut Creek, CA.
sq in pot

Have you got squirrels digging in your flower pots?

Spritz some apple cider vinegar from a spray bottle around the top side of your pot and maybe a little on the dirt around the plant. (I have no idea what the vinegar might do to the plant so don’t get the spray on it.)

I’ve had reports from several people who have done this and they say the squirrels have not come back. Seems like a simple and humane solution for dealing with that. If you try it, let me know how it works out. /Gary

Posted on Friday, June 12th, 2009
Under: Squirrels | 2 Comments »

Who said cats were afraid of water? Not me!

Ozzy’s in the sink again! Photo by Nicki Gwizdak, Concord, CA
cat in sink1

Attached is a picture of my niece’s Bengal cat, Ozzy. He loves to turn on this faucet when no one is home! He also likes to jump in the shower with the kids!
Jan Ross in cyberspace

Reminds me of our Abyssinian cat, Tut, bless his long departed soul. One day when our then 5-year-old son Karl was taking a bath and playing with his many bath toys (parents will understand), Tut leaped into the tub to try and catch Karl’s little yellow rubber ducky. He had so much fun splashing around he started taking baths with Karl every night.

Who said cats were afraid of water? I sure didn’t! /Gary

Posted on Thursday, June 11th, 2009
Under: Cats | 2 Comments »

The poop on finding penguins: Follow the guano

Adele penguins, Antarctica. Photo by Karl Nielsen, Benicia, CA
antarctic2 penguins

This is simply too good to let pass. Enjoy. /Gary

From the Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Scientists looking for lost penguins stumbled upon an effective method: Follow their poop from space.

In remote Antarctica, about one-and-a-half times bigger than the United States, researchers have been unable to figure out just where colonies of emperor penguins live and if their population is in peril.
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Posted on Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
Under: Penguins | No Comments »

$33,000 reward fund to help catch Livermore horse killers

Billboard to help catch horse killers

We are still working to publicize the $33,000 reward fund that was established to help generate leads in the Livermore horse killing case, and have partnered with Clear Channel to erect one of their billboards on northbound 880 in Oakland.

I’m hoping that many of your readers will notice the billboard. I suspect that they will be curious about the case. The following information will help bring them up-to-date.
M. Eliza Fried, director of development and Marketing, East Bay SPCA, Oakland & Tri-Valley
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Posted on Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
Under: Horses Shot | No Comments »

Skunk smell is SO bad it can make a stone cat statue wince

Cat statue winces at skunk smell. Photo by Larry Muth, Orinda, CA
skunk & cat

I want to share this photo with you that I took on our back deck several nights ago.

A raccoon emptied our squirrel-proof bird feeder the night before. The next night he brought his friend, the skunk. They were enjoying an evening snack just inches apart. When I slightly opened the glass door to get a clear shot, the raccoon left. I only took this one photo so I wouldn’t bother the skunk more than necessary

Check out the position and expression on the stone bird bath cat. Priceless.

The skunk didn’t leave a smell as a thank you.
Larry Muth, Orinda
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Posted on Monday, June 8th, 2009
Under: Skunks | 7 Comments »

Special Photo Essay: Spring @ S. F. Bay National Wildlife refuge

Red-winged blackbird dive bombs a northern harrier (Aric Crabb/staff)
Staff Photojournalist

You definitely don’t want to miss this!
Coming Sunday in Bay Area News Group newspapers — A special photo essay of the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

BANG staff photographer Aric Crabb shares his eye for the beauty of nature in SPRING at the S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge — second in a four-part series. (The pictures you see here are just a sample!)
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Posted on Friday, June 5th, 2009
Under: San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge | No Comments »

Poaching is increasing in California: New efforts to catch poachers

Deer are commonly poached for their meat. Photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA

The Humane Society of the United States Teams Up with CalTIP, Department of Fish and Game to Combat Poaching in California

The HSUS has just announced new efforts to work with the California Department of Fish and Game to combat poaching in California. The collaboration includes a $5,000 donation to California Turn in Poachers (CalTIP) to support food and veterinary care for five rescued dogs who have been trained to assist Fish and Game wardens in cracking down on poachers.
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Posted on Thursday, June 4th, 2009
Under: Poaching | 3 Comments »

Acorn Woodpeckers: Rossmoor gets rid of them … one way or another

Acorn woodpecker S.O.S. art by Kat Mulkey, Lafayette, CA

Controversy over killing acorn woodpeckers in Rossmoor comes to a disappointing conclusion

As a federal permit allowing homeowner groups in the Walnut Creek, California, community of Rossmoor to shoot acorn woodpeckers expired last weekend, according to Audubon California, conservation advocates who had strongly opposed the killing might have had cause to celebrate.

However, the expiration of the permit came along with news that a separate federal agency had already trapped 20 acorn woodpeckers from the same Rossmoor area for “scientific purposes.”
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Posted on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
Under: Acorn woodpeckers | 8 Comments »

Save Our State Parks (SOS): Keep California’s State Parks Open!

Mount Diablo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA.
more diablo

The following is from our friends at Save Mount Diablo. (I couldn’t agree more!):

Fight State Park & beach Closures
The Governor is proposing to close 80% of State Parks … in total 221 out of 280 State Parks and beaches, including 43 here in the Bay Area. They include nearly every State owned beach, Mount Diablo and Delta State recreational areas, Mt. Tam, Henry Coe, Big Basin, Angel’s Island, Fort Ross and Salt Point for example.

This despite the fact that closing a park is almost as expensive as operating it — but without the revenues, and that our State Parks and beaches are economic drivers that generate far more local dollars than they cost to operate.

Important- this will take about 15 seconds:
This link  — — will allow you to send a FAX to Arnold & your legislators, asking them to minimize cuts.
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Posted on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
Under: Save Mount Diablo | 1 Comment »