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Sep 19
2010

Extinct Clover

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , West County , research , rescue , preservation , open space , Marin , environment , education , coast , California

Bruce Robinson

The number of plants and animals listed as threatened or endangered is almost constantly growing. But only rarely does a species that was thought to be extinct make a come-back to join the endangered list. This is the story of just such a recovery, in the coastal hills of the North Bay.

It's now been a little more than 17 years since Connors made that first surprising discovery, but he clearly remembers the surprise and concern that accompanied that moment.

 Finding that single specimen in the first place was an enormous stroke of good fortune, Connors readily admits, and the fact that it survived to bear seeds seems nothing short of miraculous. Because even after he surrounded it with an improvised wire cage to protect the clover from hungry herbivores, it still narrowly escaped two nearly fatal encounters with inattentive humans, just in a mater of days. Connors recalls thatfortunatley it was his practice to stop by and check on the plant every other morning that late summer.

the_only_remaining_wild_pop.jpg

That first specimen, found on an inland hillside west of Occidental, has not reappeared, but three years later,Connors found a second wild patch of the same clover, growing on a coastal bluff in Marin county. That population, seen in the photograph at right, remains vital, in part because it lies on private property where it is less likely to be overrun by hikers or other visitors.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Aug 16
2010

Windsor Substation

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , Windsor , technology , recreation , public safety , protest , planning , parks , open space , Health , families , environment , energy , current events , community , children , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

 

A power struggle in Windsor is pitting homeowners against PG&E, whose engineers have concluded that the best place for a new electrical substation lies in the town’s south center area. The people already living nearby think that’s a very bad idea.

Homeowner Rosemary Olson describes the reaction she got when she shared the PG&E substation plans with an electrical analyst who has no connection to the project.

 

Another issue with potential health impact, says Dr. Wayne Freenman, is exposure to the constant electro-magnetic fields that would be present at the substation.

Jun 14
2010

"A California Bestiary"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , salmon , open space , history , environment , California , author , art , animals

Bruce Robinson

From the extinct California Grizzly to the omnipresent California ground squirrel, a carefully chosen 12 animal species are featured in the small, reflective and beautifully illustrated new book,  A California Bestiary.

Rebecca Solnit drew on both personal experience and background knowledge, focused field trips with illustrator Mona Caron, and some updated research to prepared for writing this book.

Two of the dozen species featured in the Bestiary, are insects—both butterflies. Solnit says she chose the Monarch and the Mission Blue as a minor study in contrasts.

The full list of animals included in A California Bestiary is as follows:

Acorn Woodpecker

Bluebelly Lizard

California Condor

California Grizzly

California Ground Squirrel

Chinook Salmon

Desert Tortise

Elephant Seal

Misson Blue Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Mountain Lion

Tule Elk

 

In the additional illustrations by Mona Caron shown below, note how the background includes the human-created obstacles that have become a part of the landscape for the native species.

 

Feb 16
2010

Project GROW

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , volunteer , trees , teens , students , Science , resources , open space , nonprofit orgs , jobs , Green , farms , environment , education

Bruce Robinson

It may take a lifetime to see the results, but students replanting a native oak forest near Glen Ellen are taking the long view.

   Bouverie Preserve 

   Sonoma Valley High School

 

 

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