Sour Grass

Oh, but I was proud of myself yesterday. The rain was coming, at last, at last, and I had an hour and a willing assistant and with these two things I removed nearly all of the oxalis flowers from my front yard. Without flowers, the seeds would not fall, the rain would not sow them, […]

A tiny cave creature, eyeless and deadly

Joey Pakes was swimming in a cave in Mexico on July 4, 2008 when she spotted her first remipede. Pakes, a graduate student in biology at UC Berkeley, had seen pictures of these aquatic centipede-like creatures before. But when she encountered one in the wild, the experience was completely different. “They’re such graceful animals,” she recalls. “It […]

The story I won’t tell

I was having lunch with a vegetarian friend recently, when I caught myself wanting to tell her the story. When you’re a vegetarian, a lot of people — friends, distant relatives, complete strangers — barrage you with the story. It starts like this: “Yeah, I tried going vegetarian once.”  During my 13 years as a […]

Mare Incognitum

This week, a great white shark named Lydia may be the first white shark seen crossing into the eastern Atlantic. Scientists tagged her a year ago in Florida; since then, she’s swum 19,000 miles and as of yesterday morning, she was about 1000 miles from the Irish coast. White shark populations, along with those of […]

Love Song for the Capital Weather Gang

The latest snowstorm was only somewhere around 5 inches, depending where in the yard I stuck my ruler, and as usual the Capital Weather Gang had nailed it.  I’d written them asking if I could interview them for this post, but at the time they didn’t answer, so intent they were on predicting the upcoming […]

On Tap, Special Reserve

If you were a kid in the eighties in California, you might have done things like this: Save the bathwater and flush the toilets with it. Turn off the shower when you soaped up. Let it mellow. You might have even had a Rube Goldberg-like contraption like the one my dad made to use water […]

Naturalist Without a Notebook

One of my New Year’s resolutions is not to write in a journal everyday. I’m terrible at it, even though I wished I loved to scribble daily. I can’t even keep up with my Planner Pad. (In fact, I’ve already lost my 2014 edition). That’s not to say that I haven’t occasionally kept a notebook. […]