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Archive for May, 2012

Green on the GREEN, May 18 Golf Benefit for Earthteam


Green on the GREEN: 2nd Annual Golf benefit for EarthTeam
All proceeds will help support EarthTeam’s mission to provide award-winning, top quality environmental education programs for Bay Area schools and communities in need. Over 2,500 students in 40 schools participate in EarthTeam programs each year!

Join me in helping to support 2,500 East Bay teens and teachers (60% teens in need) by playing golf at EarthTeam’s Annual Green on the Green Golf Tournament on Friday (May 18).  $95 includes, cart, games, auction, barbecue dinner and celebration including students proudly presenting their accomplishments.  $40 for dinner and celebration only.   How can you miss!  Volunteers are needed as well.

EarthTeam’s award-winning projects are already on a slim budget that is getting slimmer.  Please go to and sign-up or call the office at 510-704-4030 to sign-up, donate an auction item, or volunteer. Thanks for helping, and caring! /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
Under: EarthTeam | No Comments »

Daughter Goose & 4 goslings made it off the roof last weekend!

Daughter Goose’s 4 goslings made it safely off the Contra Costa Times’ roof. Photo by Ann & Bill, Concord, CA
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For all Daughter Goose webcam admirers. The four little ones made a successful jump and are safe and happy at the business park pond.
Ann & Bill, Concord, California

Ann & Bill:
Thanks a BIG bunch for being on hand to get photos of the BIG event. First Mother Goose got safely off with 4 goslings … and now Daughter Goose hatched and got HER 4 babies safely off the roof this last weekend.
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Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
Under: Canada Goose, Daughter Goose | 13 Comments »

Alligator lizard breeding is pretty rough

Breeding alligator lizards. Male is holding female’s head. Photo by Niki & Tim Bowden, Felton, CA
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On two occasions little more than a week apart recently we have stepped out our back door onto a scene of primitive savagery we have not experienced in over 35 years in these woods. The figures were frozen each time as you see above.

In the first instance, the predator, if that’s what he was, scurried away from the walkway with his prey at least 30 minutes after they were first observed. In both cases, they were locked together and still for long periods.  Can you give us some idea what this drama is about and who are the players?
Niki & Tim Bowden, Felton, California

Niki & Tim:
These are two alligator lizards … mating. The male grabs and holds the female by the head and they wrestle around a lot and finally breed. As you observed, it’s pretty rough and tumble and primitive. The “event” can sometimes last for a few hours. /Gary

Breeding alligator lizards. Male is holding female’s head. Photo by Niki & Tim Bowden, Felton, CA
1alligator2 liz niki & tim bowden felton

Posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2012
Under: Alligator lizard | No Comments »

Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon, June 9-10. Looking for a free pet?

2010 Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon (Maddie’s Fund photo)
Maddies, anyone for a latte

Maddie’s Fund Aims To Find Homes for All Shelter Dogs and Cats in Three Bay Area Counties on June 9 & 10

Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon Expands into San Francisco County

Maddie’s Fund will hold its third annual Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon on June 9 and 10.  Due to the success of previous Adoptathons*, Maddie’s Fund has decided to grow the event – both geographically and financially.  This year, 13 shelters and rescue organizations from San Francisco County have been added to the roster.  A total of 62 groups will hold adoptions in more than 80 locations throughout Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco Counties**.  In addition, Maddie’s Fund has set aside $3 million for this year’s Adoptathon to meet its goal of finding loving homes for 3,000 dogs and cats in all three participating counties.

Free adoptions of dogs and cats will be offered to qualified adopters.  In return, Maddie’s Fund will pay each shelter or rescue group from $500 to $2,000 per adoption***.

Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton and Bay Street Emeryville have partnered with Maddie’s Fund to host pet adoptions.  The San Francisco SPCA and Animal Care & Control will host a street fair event for San Francisco-based shelters during the Adoptathon located on the corner of Alabama and 16th Streets.  PETCO, PetSmart and Pet Food Express stores throughout the three counties have also offered to provide additional adoption locations.
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Posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
Under: Cats, dogs, Maddie's Fund | 2 Comments »

Doe gives birth to twin fawns in Walnut Creek backyard

Two fawns born in Walnut Creek backyard. Photo by Jean Faszholz, Walnut Creek, CA
1fawn2 jean faszholz wc

Your column this morning (May 2, “Do deer leave fawns unattended?”)  has prompted me to write about the amazing event my downstairs neighbor and I witnessed the other morning.

When I opened the drapes and looked out on the beautiful hills (as I do every morning) I was thrilled to note that a doe had just given birth to twin fawns on the lawn right below our window.  I immediately phoned my animal loving neighbor, Marg.  We spent the morning peeking from our windows and patios … taking pictures and phoning each other on the progress of this little family.
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Posted on Monday, May 7th, 2012
Under: deer | 4 Comments »

Mom Squirrel taking new babies for a walk to check out the backyard

Mom Squirrel taking her babies for a walk. Photo by Michael Cohen, Walnut Creek, CA
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A squirrel family has been gathering on our deck, sometimes huddling together, with one or two getting up on the mother’s back, and then scampering off together. Random squirrels have visited our deck for years, but never an entourage such as this. Can you explain?
Karen Cohen, Walnut Creek, California

You just lucked out and got a chance to see Mom Squirrel taking the kids for their first outing from the nest to show them HER backyard. Pretty funny. /Gary

Mom Squirrel and her babies. Photo by Michael Cohen, Walnut Creek, CA
1sq family michael cohen, wc

Posted on Friday, May 4th, 2012
Under: fox squirrel | 6 Comments »

Jackrabbit encountered on Mount Diablo (photos)

Jackrabbit on Mount Diablo. Photo by Barbara Yencho, Martinez, CA
1jack barbara yencho mtz

I took these photos at the beginning of an early morning trek along Mitchell Canyon on Mount Diablo.  This guy was pretty fearless.  He was dining on his surroundings, then noticed me, and stopped.  We had a stare-down. Either I won or he got bored, for he slowly hopped across the trail and up the hill.  After a while, it finally occurred to me that I was staring at nothing.
This was the first time I’ve ever seen a jackrabbit not on paper.
Barbara Yencho, Martinez, California

Jackrabbits are interesting characters. Sometimes when you encounter them they are gone in the blink of an eye. Other times, as you caught in your beautiful photos, they just sit there and stare back. They are also pretty tough. I once saw a red-tailed hawk dive down and grab a jackrabbit. The jackrabbit responded by kicking the hawk head-over-tailfeathers with its powerful back feet. Tough dudes! /Gary

Jackrabbit on Mount Diablo. Photo by Barbara Yencho, Martinez, CA
1jack2 barbara yencho mtz

Posted on Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
Under: Jackrabbit | 2 Comments »

Got raccoons prowling your backyard?

A couple of raccoons checking out the photographer. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
1coons dave harper oakley

Got raccoons prowling your backyard?

More photos of wild creatures of the Urban Wilderness (your backyard) by Dave Harper, Oakley, California.

Raccoons digging up your yard? (This is what I’m talking about:

If your yard is looking like the above example, email me at and request a copy of “Gary’s Raccoon Help” and I’ll email you back an electronic copy of my 7-page raccoon brochure. It’s is FULL of information on how to humanely stop raccoons from destroying your lawn, plus an explanation on why they are doing it.  /Gary

Find a raccoon in your backyard? Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
1coon dave harper oakley

Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
Under: Raccoons | No Comments »

Great horned owls really give a hoot

Great horned owl checking out the photographer. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
1ghorned dave harper oakley

Who gives a HOOT?

Great horned owls, that’s WHOO!

Another great photo of wild creatures of the Urban Wilderness (your backyard) by Dave Harper, Oakley, California

You can see more of Dave’s great photographs in HIS blog at:     /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
Under: great horned owl | 1 Comment »