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Archive for April, 2012

Tony La Russa & Baxter … can you help?

Tony La Russa and Baxter. (ARF photo)
1bulldog tony arf

Two weeks ago, I met the ARF rescue truck and help unload the dogs.  One stood out from the others, with his squatty little bulldog legs and chocolate brown fur.

Baxter was nearly 2 years old and had been housed in the county animal shelter since he was 6 months old as evidence in a criminal case. Alone, no toys and no grass for 18 months on a cold concrete floor, night after night.  Each time the rescue team inquired whether this amazingly good-natured little brown bull dog mix could join the others in the truck … and trip after trip, he had to stand there all alone and watch the others leave.

Finally Baxter was able to join the others in the ARF rescue truck.   He’s been up for adoption here now and we would love to have him find a “real” family who can show him what “fun” means.  Can you help get the word out?
Elena Bicker, Executive Director, Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation,
2890 Mitchell Drive, P.O. Box 30215, Walnut Creek, CA 94598 … 925-256-1ARF

My pleasure! Hey, everybody! Baxter needs a loving home so he can learn what life is REALLY all about. Give them a call, or drop by ARF and meet Baxter in person so you can see what a great dog he is. You can find out more about ARF at

Thanks for caring! /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
Under: ARF, dogs, Tony La Russa's Animal rescue Foundation | 1 Comment »

Spring: Western fence lizards enjoy California poppies in Shell Ridge Open Space

Western fence lizard, soaking up the sun and enjoying the spring poppies. Photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
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Spring has sprung …  and western fence lizards are enjoying the California poppies in the Shell Ridge Open Space in Walnut Creek, California.

Thanks, Brian Murphy of Walnut Creek, for noticing that!

OK, everyone, time to make a sandwich, fill up a plastic water bottle … and go for a walk! The California poppies await you … /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
Under: Spring, Western fence lizard | No Comments »

Mother & Father Goose and their chicks made it! Check this video!

Mother & Father Goose & their 4 chicks go for a paddle. Photo by Ann & Bill, Concord, CA
1geese ann and bill concord

I’m happy to report another successful family raised by Mother Goose this year on the roof of the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, California.

Friday was a bit hectic with Mother Goose suddenly jumping up out of her nest, flying down to the ground and honking to her 4 chicks to jump off the roof so they could waddle over to the stream and pond at the business next door to the Times. Two of the eggs were sterile and didn’t hatch.

One of the chicks suffered a minor injury in jumping off the roof (stunned) and I carried it with me as Ray Saint Germain and I herded the geese over to the pond. The chick got stronger along the way and when we reach the pond, was ready to be released along with its other 3 brothers and sisters. Ray took video of the whole event and put together a beautiful little 5-minute video show (which I narrated) to show you what happened. You can enjoy it here:

Ann & Bill, of Concord, who occasionally send me beautiful photos to use here in my blog, came over Friday afternoon and took the photos above and below of the Mother Goose Family paddling and walking around the pond together. Thanks, Ann & Bill! Enjoy, everyone. This truly has been a team effort!  /Gary

Mother & Father Goose, and their 4 chicks, checkout the pond. Photo by Ann & Bill, Concord, CA.
1geese2 ann and bill concord

Posted on Monday, April 9th, 2012
Under: Mother Goose | 2 Comments »

Mother Goose eggs are hatching. Here are some great photos of the goslings!

Mother Goose and her freshly hatched goslings taking a nap. (Doug Duran/staff)
1goose chix doug duran

It’s Friday morning, April 6, 2012. As of last night, four of Mother Goose’s six eggs had hatched. As I’m writing this, it is still too dark to see of the last two eggs have hatched. I’ll let you know when I find out.

You can also see for yourself by clicking on this link to our Mother Goose webcam:

In the meantime, check out these beautiful photos of the four chicks that have hatched to date by Doug Duran, one of our staff photographers. Talk about cute! Doug got these great shots through a window in the hallway that goes past the rooftop where Mother Goose has her nest.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, April 6th, 2012
Under: Mother Goose | 16 Comments »

Does this squirrel think it’s a turkey? Or does the turkey think it’s a squirrel?

Backyard buddies. Photo by Patrick Barry, Pleasant Hill, CA
1squirrel turkey patrick barry ph

My old high school chum, Pat Barry, sent me the above photo taken in his backyard.

Is this a squirrel who thinks it’s a turkey … or a turkey who thinks it’s a squirrel?

You have to admit … backyards can be interesting places. That’s why I call them the “Urban Wilderness.”

There’s a lot of wild stuff going on out there! Thanks, Pat! /Gary

Posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2012
Under: fox squirrel, wild turkeys | No Comments »

Mother Goose: Eggs should hatch this week. Use our webcam to watch

Mother Canada Goose tends to her baby and the other eggs on Monday, March 23, 2009 in Walnut Creek, Calif. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Staff)

The eggs should hatch sometimes this week!

Just thought I’d remind you that Mother Goose is still sitting in her nest on the roof of the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, incubating her eggs. Based on the 28 days it takes to incubate Canada goose eggs, and when I “think” I saw her lay the last egg (not positive), I think her eggs are due to hatch this week. There’s one way to find out exactly when … just watch! Here’s a link to our webcam:

Have fun! /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
Under: Canada Goose, Mother Goose | 1 Comment »

Freeloading crow joins squirrels for free peanuts

Freeloading crow joins squirrel to beg for peanuts. Photo by Ann & Bill, Concord, CA
1crow sq ann and bill concord

We’ve been sharing peanuts with the squirrels and bluejays for quite a few years, but the last few days a lone crow has found our backyard and decided to get in on the snacks. He sits in our cherry tree for a few minutes and caws loudly at the squirrels, but they aren’t afraid, so he finally comes down for his share. I’m going to have to buy more peanuts.
Ann & Bill, Concord, California

Ann & Bill:
Good thing you don’t live in the tropics. Next would come the parrots … and then the macaws … and then the monkeys … BUY more peanuts? Heck, you’d have to start GROWING them! /Gary

“I got my peanut!” Photo by Ann & Bill, Concord, CA
1crow ann and bill concord

Posted on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
Under: Crows, fox squirrel | 4 Comments »

With scrub jays, it’s all a matter of taste

Scrub jay, spicing up a peanut with a moth. Yum! Photo by Barbara Yencho, Martinez, CA.
1jay barbara yencho mtz

This is one of my scrub jays at work going after a peanut with a moth in its mouth.

I can’t say that I’ve ever tried this, but the combination must add a smooth aftertaste with just a hint of piquancy to mildly spike the flavor of an otherwise bland diet.  I think I’m impressed with my scrub jay.
Barbara Yencho, Martinez, California

Ah, yes … the scrub jay is a true gourmand. /Gary

Posted on Monday, April 2nd, 2012
Under: scrub jay | No Comments »