Florida softshell turtle. Photo by Flickr user John Picken used under a Creative Commons License.
My friend Eric Mills, coordinator of Action For Animals in , Calif., sent the following letter to the Director of Calif. Department of Fish & Game, and to the Calif. Fish & Game Commission. It pertains to the Live Animal Food Markets in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond throughout the state. Many illegal creatures are presently being sold in these markets and Eric has been fighting the good fight for years, trying to stop this travesty.
He’s getting close (GO ERIC!) … the Commission just voted to issue NO future important permits for these frogs and turtles for the live markets. Unfortunately, this still allows current sales to continue for up to a year. What they need to do now is to BAN the current sales of these animals. /Gary
Eric’s letter, written March 24, 2010:
John McCamman, Director
DEPARTMENT OF FISH & GAME
John Carlson, Exec. Director, and Members
FISH & GAME COMMISSION
Over the years I’ve been making weekly visits to the live animal markets in both Oakland and San Francisco to see whether or not state laws and codes are being enforced. In a word, they are not. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo by Flickr user WF&DT used under a Creative Commons License
The month of March brought with it the much anticipated opening of one of the Contra Costa Humane Society’s newest programs: Kitty Corner!
Kitty Corner is a private shelter that houses some of Contra Costa County Animal Services’ surplus adult cats. During kitten season, many adult cats find themselves out of luck as decreased space and heightened interest in young kittens means that adult cats (even as young as one year old!) are often overlooked. In addition, the current economy has caused surrender rates to increase while decreasing adoptions.
With this first-of-its-kind partnership between a local rescue group and Animal Services, CCHS hopes to help offload some of the feline frenzy that fills the public shelter every Spring, Summer and Fall by providing additional off-site space at CCHS. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo by Flickr user Todd Huffman used under a Creative Commons License
Check out the Associated Press story below. We humans just don’t get it. We’re flooding the local environment with pesticides, killing the honeybees and poisoning our own food supplies. What a disaster. /Gary
BEES IN MORE TROUBLE THAN EVER …
By Garance Burke & Seth Borenstein (Associated Press Writers)
Associated Press – The mysterious 4-year-old crisis of disappearing honeybees is deepening. A quick federal survey indicates a heavy bee die-off this winter, while a new study shows honeybees’ pollen and hives laden with pesticides. Read the rest of this entry »
Hummingbird nest at Mirant’s Pittsburg Generating Plant. Photo by Jon Ridler, Pittsburg, CA.
PG&E may have falcons, but Mirant’s Pittsburg Generating Plant has hummingbirds! These two babies are being raised in a nest on a bearing cooling water return line for a 6 unit condensate booster pump. The water line is warmer (but not too warm) so it’s an ideal nesting location. Mirant employees have marked off the area and are keeping an eye on their young visitors which are approximately 10 days old. These photos were taken March 21 by Jon Ridler, 24-year employee at the plant and member of Worth A Dam. Heidi Perryman, Worth A Dam, Martinez, CA
Hummingbird nest on bearing cooling water return line. Photo by Jon Ridler, Pittsburg, CA
Thanks for sharing these GREAT photos. Hummingbirds don’t mess around. If you need to keep your babies warm, why mess around building your nest in a Pittsburg backyard? Build it at a Pittsburg Power Plant instead! Hummers — you gotta love ‘em! /Gary
At feeding time in the California Academy of Sciences’ vine snake exhibit, one blink and you might miss the action. These pencil-thin snakes hunt fish swimming in the water below, striking with lightning speed.
We recently captured a feeding on film and I thought you might be interested in sharing it with your blog readers. A piscivorous arboreal (fish-eating and tree-dwelling) snake is extremely rare, and the Academy was the first aquarium in the world to display this species, thanks to our ongoing research on the reptiles and amphibians of Myanmar. Read the rest of this entry »
Gary and Lois stand in one of their backyard garden boxes, surrounded by 12-foot-tall Burpee Mammoth Sunflowers.
Some of you have been writing and asking where my wife Lois and I get the seeds to grow the 12-foot-tall sunflowers we’ve been growing in our Benicia, Calif., garden. Since you asked:
My husband Jim would like to know what kind of sunflower seeds you buy that grow to 12 feet tall with a stalk of 3-4 inches in diameter and where to purchase them. Sharon Beckerich, Oakley, Calif. Read the rest of this entry »
Fleas photo by Flickr user Megadeth’s Girl used under a Creative Commons License
On the bottom front page of today’s (March 18) “Morning Report” section for Bay Area News Group newspapers (in San Francisco Bay Area), is a story headlined, “Flea and tick products linked to pet deaths.” (If you don’t subscribe to one of our newspapers, I’m sure there’s a similar story in yours.)
The first paragraph of the story reads: “WASHINGTON — Products intended to treat cats and dogs for fleas and ticks kill hundreds of pets each year and injure tens of thousands, the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday as it outlined plans to make the products safer.”