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Archive for November, 2010

See San Francisco SPCA’s adoptable pets in S.F. Macy’s Holiday Windows

San Francisco SPCA cats in Macy’s Holiday Window. Photo by Jennifer Jamieson Photography and Sweethardt Photography.
macys jennifer jamieson photography

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. — The San Francisco SPCA is teaming up with Macy’s for the 24th annual Macy’s Holiday Windows featuring adoptable animals from the SF SPCA. The Windows were unveiled on Friday, Nov. 19, and will last through Sunday, Jan. 2. Shoppers and pet-lovers alike are encouraged to visit and adopt some of San Francisco’s cutest cats and dogs from the Windows located at Stockton and O’Farrell streets in Union Square. The SF SPCA has a goal of 320 adoptions by Jan. 2.
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Posted on Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
Under: Cats, dogs, San Francisco SPCA | 2 Comments »

Can you find the Cooper’s hawk in this picture?

Cooper’s hawk hunting from a stump. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA.
coop dave harper oakley

I’m back! Hope you all have a nice Thanksgiving. I sure did. I suspect the lady hawk above had a pretty good Thanksgiving, too. Now … back to reality. /Gary

Posted on Monday, November 29th, 2010
Under: Cooper's hawk, Hawks | No Comments »

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

We’re ready for Thanksgiving! Photo by Glenda Blue of “Bodacious Bichons,” Satellite Beach, FL, submitted by her friend John Sherry, Lafayette, CA.
Thanksgiving Bichons

“We’re ready for Thanksgiving!”

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I’m off on my annual Thanksgiving week vacation. I’ll be back here blogging on Monday, Nov. 29. See ya! /Gary

Posted on Monday, November 22nd, 2010
Under: dogs, Thanksgiving | No Comments »

Mount Diablo: You’ll LOVE these photos!

An “island In The Sky” photo from the summit of Mount Diablo.
diablo1 brian murphy wc

My friend Brian Murphy of Walnut Creek, California, who “hates to have the drama of a photo wrecked with photo credit,” took these 3 wonderful photos of Mount Diablo. That’s why I’m placing his photo credits here instead of across the tops of the photos as I usually do. I definitely wouldn’t want to wreck the drama of these wonderful pictures of my favorite mountain.
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Posted on Friday, November 19th, 2010
Under: Brian Murphy, Mount Diablo | No Comments »

Save Mount Diablo: Please help us save more local open spaces!

Viera-North peak property on Mount Diablo, Contra Costa County, Calif. Photo courtesy Save Mount Diablo.
Viera north peak smd

Last year, Save Mount Diablo in Walnut Creek, Calif., purchased “Viera-North Peak” — 165 acres of spectacular chaparral, oak woodlands and streams right on the slopes of Mount Diablo’s second highest point, North Peak.

Rising to an elevation of 2,300 feet, Viera-North peak is one of the two highest elevation private properties remaining on Mount Diablo. It shares half of its border with Mt. Diablo State Park, for which it is a natural addition. More than 55 rare plant species, like the Mt. Diablo jewel flower, and several rare animal species, like the Alameda whip snake, have been sighted there.
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Posted on Thursday, November 18th, 2010
Under: Open space, Save Mount Diablo | No Comments »

Blue dragonfly at Lafayette Reservoir

dragonfly jim kardoz wc

A blue dragonfly, one of the skimmers, at Lafayette Reservoir, Lafayette, California. Photographed by Jim Kardoz, Walnut Creek, CA.

Beautiful! Look out, mosquitoes! /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
Under: Dragonfly | 1 Comment »

Gray fox sleeps in trees by day, hunts in backyards at night

Gray fox in tree. Photo by Joe Heath, Point Richmond, CA

I am a resident of Point Richmond.  Before the sun rose this morning I noticed movement about 10 feet up in one of our tall cedar trees at the back of our yard.  The silhouette looked like a fox.  As the light increased, it became obvious that it was, indeed, a fox.  It’s been in the same spot all day about 20 feet up.  I’m assuming it will descend this evening when it is dark.  I read that red foxes rarely climb trees.  So could this be a gray fox?
Julie Heath, Point Richmond, Calif.

Gray fox in tree. Photo by Joe Heath, Point Richmond, CA

It’s a gray fox. Gray foxes have retractable claws, like cats, and they stay very sharp. That’s why it’s easier for them to climb trees than red foxes. Red fox claws always stay out like dog claws and get worn down. The fox probably has a sleeping spot somewhere up in your trees and comes down at night to forage in neighborhood yards for food. That’s how they survive, living in suburbia. Clever dudes. /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
Under: Foxes, Gray foxes | 2 Comments »

Wild turkeys are too beautiful to eat for Thanksgiving!

Colorful wild turkeys in local business park. Photo by Susan Atkins, Walnut Creek, CA.
wild turkey2 susan atkins wc

In the spirit of the season I would like to send you a picture of the turkey I took at a Walnut Creek, Calif.,  Business Park near the John Muir Hospital. First my husband and I were surprised at where we found the birds. Then, I was astounded to discover that turkeys are not brown.  They are every color of the rainbow.  Fortunately I had a long lens on my camera and was able to get a close up of those great colors even though I could not get close to the birds.
Susan Atkins, Walnut Creek, CA

Photo by Susan Atkins, Walnut Creek, CA
wild turkey susan atkins wc

WOW! Who would want to eat one of these BEAUTIFUL birds for Thanksgiving? Anyone who gets a look at your colorful photos will turn into a vegetarian! /Gary

Posted on Monday, November 15th, 2010
Under: wild turkeys | 2 Comments »

North American Bees: Check out this beautiful calendar!

Photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
hover fly brian

Birders have it so easy with  many bird identification books to choose from!

Just try to identify a few of the 1,600 species of Native Bees who live in California in your backyard pollinating your flowers, vegetables and fruit trees! Where is the Native Bee identification book for that?

Since we don’t have one of those books yet, a good start for Native Bee identification would come from the 2011 North American Bee Calendar as it features 12 more commonly seen North American Native Bees. These Calendars are available at…  or … You not only get to learn more about those native bees, but you also get to support pollinator conservation efforts of these organizations when you buy a calendar!

Since bees are responsible for every third bite of food, it is very important we begin to help our pollinators in any way we can. Thanks.
Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek

I can’t argue with that! Those native bee calendars are also pretty neat! I’m going to get one myself. /Gary

Posted on Friday, November 12th, 2010
Under: Bee decline, bees | 1 Comment »

Mac the dog: A Giant’s fan who watched the Series on TV

Mac watching second game of World Series. Photo by Sue & Steve Nekimken, Fremont, CA
baseball sue and steve nekimken fremont

Mac the Giant’s fan.
We thought this was a timely photo of our Mac who routinely watches TV. Here, he is enjoying the 2nd game of the World Series — Matt Caine pitching.
Sue & Steve Nekimken, Fremont, CA

Sue & Steve:
You should get Mac a Giant’s cap. GO GIANTS! /Gary

Posted on Thursday, November 11th, 2010
Under: dogs | 1 Comment »