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Archive for January, 2011

Tule elk bull spotted at Sunol Regional Wilderness area

Tule elk at Sunol by Terri Bostater, Pleasanton, CA
tule elk terri bostater pleasanton

Gary:
I work part time at Sunol Ohlone Regional Wilderness and my frequent trips to this wonderful place let me see some amazing things, especially animals.  On Monday, this week, on my way home from the park, I noticed two men on Calaveras Road looking up the hill.  One of them had binoculars.  I was hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever they were looking at.  I pulled over and to my delight was this huge bull elk, not 100 yards from the road.  I’ve learned to always have my camera with me and ready to use at all times.  I was so happy to capture an image of him and wanted to share with you.
Terri Bostater, Pleasanton, California

Terri:
Thanks for sharing that tule elk with us. The Sunol Regional Wilderness is one of the few places in the East Bay Area where you can get lucky enough to see one of those beautiful animals. In fact there’s a whole herd of tule elk there. /Gary

Posted on Monday, January 17th, 2011
Under: Tule elk | 2 Comments »

Happy New Year Adoption Special at the Antioch Animal Shelter

jazz4

Happy New Year Adoption Celebration at the Antioch Animal Shelter!

Saturday, Jan. 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Antioch Animal Shelter in historic downtown Antioch at 2nd and “L” streets on the same grounds as the Antioch Police Department.

On this special “Adoption Day” friends of Animal Services will be paying the spay/neuter and immunization fees for any BLACK OR BLACK & WHITE CAT OR DOG adopted through Antioch Animal Services

These adorable black & white animals will be “formally attired” in their “Tuxedos” and ready for a new year adoption!

For more information or to make a donation for the animals, please call 925-431-8318

Please visit the Friends of Animal Services site at http://www.friendsofanimalservices.org

Posted on Friday, January 14th, 2011
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

‘White’ raccoons: Ever seen a white-blond-tan raccoon before?

“White” (left) and normal colored raccoon (right). Photo by Ann Sevier, Walnut Creek, CA
raccoon white ann sevier wc

Gary:
My hubby and I came home to find 4 raccoons on our deck last evening.  I had seen them once before, but failed to get a good pic.  Last night I got 2 good pics showing their unique color.  Please let me know how common tan and brown raccoons are!
Ann Sevier, Walnut Creek, California
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Posted on Friday, January 14th, 2011
Under: Raccoons | 17 Comments »

Wild pigs chill out in the hot steamy rain forest jungle

Hot pigs take cool bath in steamy rain forest jungle. Photo by Gary Bogue
1pigs hot in singapore

CHILL OUT!

While wandering through the steaming hot rain forest jungle on a little island off the coast of Singapore in early October of last year, I came across these two wild pigs. They obviously knew how to deal with the horrific heat and humidity.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough room for me to join them. /Gary

Posted on Thursday, January 13th, 2011
Under: Pigs, Rain forest, Wild pigs | No Comments »

A bald eagle says ‘Happy New Year!’

Bald eagle in winter. Photo by Pam Kappelhof, Martinez, CA
bald eagle at tahoe pam kappelhof mtz

Gary:
I would like to share the enclosed picture of a Bald Eagle.  Taken on December 31 at Sugar Pine Point State Park on the west shore of Lake Tahoe.
Pam Kappelhof, Martinez, California

Pam:
What a great New Year’s Eve shot! A bald eagle in winter. A great way to welcome in the New Year!
And a very Happy New Year to you, too! /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
Under: Bald Eagles, Raptors | 1 Comment »

You think YOU’VE got ant problems? Check these out.

Ant sculpture. Photo by Flickr user P Pogo used under a Creative Commons License.
Ant sculpture by Flickr user P Pogo

Last week I asked readers of my daily newspaper column if they were having ant problems. I was curious, since ants have been trying (for weeks!) to carry my house away. I filled up my Sunday (Jan. 9) column with responses (“Ants in your pants? Me, too. It tickles”) and still had plenty left over. I don’t want them to go to waste, so here they are:

MORE ANTS IN OUR PANTS

*** My ants are very creative. We came home from Lake Tahoe a few weekends ago to find they were living in my carnivorous plant!  The pitchers on my plant are so large and the ants so small, that they were wandering in and out again at will.  Must’ve been the local ant gang with some very high-risk behavior!  Love your column. (Karen in Kensington, CA)
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Posted on Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
Under: Ants | 2 Comments »

Dead birds falling from sky: Recent bird kills only tip of the iceberg

Wind turbines, Altamont Pass, Calif. Photo by Mike Parr, American Bird Conservancy.
wind turbines mike parr ABC

Recent bird kills are only the tip of the iceberg

I just received the following News Release relating to the recent reports of thousands of dead birds falling from the sky in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Sweden. I thought you might find it interesting. I sure do. /Gary

(Washington, D.C., January 6, 2011) Recent reports of thousands of dead birds falling from the sky in Arkansas, while getting much attention in the press, only represent a tiny fraction of birds killed each year due to human causes, according to American Bird Conservancy, the nation’s leading bird conservation organization.

“There are many human-related causes of bird mortality including buildings, outdoor cats, pesticides, communication towers, automobiles, wind farms, and lead poisoning from spent ammunition and lost fishing tackle. But because most of the deaths from those sources often occur in ones or twos, they often go unnoticed or unreported,” said ABC Vice President Mike Parr.
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Posted on Friday, January 7th, 2011
Under: Birds, Cats, Pesticide, Wind Turbines | No Comments »

Center for Biological Diversity: Global warming vs. polar bears

After viewing the above dramatic, award-winning Public Service Announcement, please visit the Center for Biological Diversity’s polar bear website to learn more about what can be done to help save these special animals http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/polar_bear/index.html

Read about what you can do to help stop global warming. You can help. /Gary

Posted on Thursday, January 6th, 2011
Under: Global warming, Polar bears | No Comments »

Importation of live turtles & frogs: Something fishy at Fish & Game?

Bullfrog. Photo by Flickr user John-Morgan used under a Creative Commons License
bullfrog John-Morgan

Gary:
In March of 2010, in a move to protect the state’s natural resources, The California State Fish & Game Commission voted unanimously to direct the California Department of F&G to cease issuing permits for the importation of live frogs and turtles for human consumption, the culmination of a 15-year struggle. The Commission received nearly 4,000 letters supporting the ban, from conservation and sporting organizations and the general public. Former Resources Secretary Huey Johnson wrote twice.
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Posted on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
Under: Fish and Game, Frogs, Turtles | 5 Comments »

Guinea hens: Party! Party! Party! All night long.

Guinea hens from Flying Pig Ranch, Martinez, CA. Photo by Sue Horn, Mtz., CA
guinea hens sue horn martinez

Gary:
I find when I leave lights on outside our chicken/guinea barn, the guineas like to stay out late!  This is Big Boy in front, with Cyranose de Birdgerac and Ethel behind him. Happy New Year from the folks and critters of the Flying Pig Ranch, Martinez, California.
Sue Horn, Flying Pig Ranch

Sue:
That’s a guinea hen for you — party, party, party — all night long! And a Happy New Year back at you. Just one question … how come you didn’t send us a picture of a flying pig? /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, January 4th, 2011
Under: Guinea hens | 1 Comment »