Tag Archives: Berkeley nature
City workers began taking down a huge eucalyptus tree at King Pool in North Berkeley on Wednesday morning after it was found to be decaying at its core.
According to local resident and Berkeleyside freelance reporter Mary Flaherty, the crew was working to remove large branches from the tree and grind them up. A worker told Flaherty the work began at 8 a.m. Wednesday and would likely last for two days.
Berkeleyside reported in February on the planned removal. The tree was found to have wood fungus and decay, said city staff, and its location next to the pool and a playground thus created a dangerous situation.
The tree was estimated to reach 140 feet, with four massive trunks.
Thursday, Robert Collier shared this photograph of the work up to that point. City spokesman Matthai Chakko said the tree will be cut down to a depth of 16 inches below ground.
Scroll to the bottom of this post for the latest photographs. … Continue reading »
The sun peeked through the clouds early this morning creating a dramatic rainbow that appeared to plunge into the bay, perhaps leaving its treasure there?
At least four readers thought it was precious enough to photograph, and they shared their images with us before 8 a.m. (After this post was published, several more readers sent us their rainbow photos and we have added them to the collection.) … Continue reading »
No matter how grand the “internet of things” becomes, all the digital wizardry in the world will never rival the unsurpassable majesty of nature.
Applied to the Bay Area, this global truth spears the soul four times a year as it arrives in the unassuming vehicle of the quarterly magazine Bay Nature.
Marking the 15th anniversary of a publication dedicated to the natural world of the San Francisco Bay Area, the magazine, whose offices are in Berkeley, has flowered into 53 consecutive editions, an informational website, “Bay Nature on the Air” videos, and free naturalist-led hikes.
At the helm of the independent nonprofit organization, Bay Nature Institute, sits publisher and editor David Loeb. Or rather, Loeb hikes, animal-watches, kayaks, cycles and otherwise explores water, land and sea while searching for the next story, the next gorgeous photograph. … Continue reading »
Antoine Wojdyla is a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley Lab and lives near the Fourth Street shopping district. He rides his bike to work and, recently, has taken a few detours to document the dozens of gorgeous magnolia trees that are in winter bloom in the city.
Being organized, he also compiled the locations of the trees into what he calls a “magnolia blotter,” and shared them with Berkeleyside (below).
A giant eucalyptus tree that presides over the swimming pool at King Middle School needs to be felled due to safety concerns, according to City of Berkeley tree experts.
The tree, which sports not one, but four massive trunks, and soars to an estimated 140 feet, is much loved by regulars at the pool, and news that it will be removed has come as a blow to many.
“There’s no outrage in this story, just sadness and admiration for a truly majestic tree that has reached its end,” said local resident Robert Collier. … Continue reading »
Last September, while working on an article for Berkeleyside, I took a short trip to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek. My mission there was purely amphibious: to photograph western toads that the museum keeps on display.
The toads were cute, for sure.
But soon, my experience turned from amphibious to serendipitous.
For I was the lucky photographer who happened to be at the museum when a golden eagle was brought through its doors. … Continue reading »
By Bruce Mast
They are the clowns of the oak savannah — Acorn Woodpeckers — with their harlequin faces, gregarious habits, and off-kilter laughing calls that inspired Woody Woodpecker.
Here in the Bay Area, Acorn Woodpecker colonies are fairly common in the East Bay hills and the western slopes of Mount Diablo, particularly where there are concentrations of valley oaks. South of Livermore, they can be locally abundant in the Diablo range. They are rare in Tilden and Redwood Regional Parks, however, and practically unheard of west of the Hayward Fault.
So what’s up with the recent spate of Acorn Woodpecker sightings in urban San Francisco and the East Bay lowlands? … Continue reading »
For a long time, I’ve wanted to write an article on frogs for Berkeleyside. In fact, my first “kiss” came from a frog in Tilden Park. It jumped to my lips as I drank water from a fountain on a scorching-hot day at summer camp.
But that was the 1970s. Frogs were more common then. Loud throaty choruses of Pacific treefrogs kept me awake (in a good way) on spring nights, and tiny tadpoles wiggled through the algae-laden waters of a ditch along my street in Kensington. … Continue reading »
Some of Berkeley’s most common and beloved birds could face extinction within the next 70 years due to climate change, according to an authoritative new study by National Audubon Society.
The study – released on Tuesday after seven years of research – predicts the effects of climate change on 588 species of North American birds.
It concludes that nationally, 314 species are at risk – nearly half of the continent’s bird species. Of those, 126 species could see severe population declines by 2050, and another 188 species face the same fate by 2080 if climate change continues on its current path.
For Berkeley and the Bay Area, the list of birds in climate trouble includes some species like Snowy Plovers and Least Terns that are already on state or federal lists of endangered/threatened species. … Continue reading »
A hummingbird whirrs by, as a squirrel flicks its tail, flirting. A robin fluffs its feathers after bathing in the stream. Leopard lilies, columbines, even the cacti are in full summery bloom. But today, at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park, we’re here for the butterflies.
Alan Kaplan, an entomologist, educator, and retired Tilden Park ranger, meets me at the garden’s gate, where, already, I have spotted maybe five different types of butterfly, from a teensy so-called “blue” to a glamorous pipevine swallowtail.
Still, there are rules for counting butterflies in nature. So Kaplan gives me the rundown of the day’s event — the Fourth of July Butterfly Count (currently run by the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) — held for its fortieth continuous year in Berkeley. … Continue reading »
Not long ago, Berkeleyside reader Patrick Hickey kindly sent in a photo of a beautiful bird of prey, perched on a tall building near his home in downtown Berkeley. I had my own suspicions (and sense of elation) over what kind of bird it might be. Then Rusty Scalf, teacher and trip leader for the Golden Gate Audubon Society, confirmed it: the bird was a peregrine falcon — the fastest animal on Earth. In California, not long ago, it was also one of the most endangered. … Continue reading »
A city animal control officer rescued an injured crow Thursday afternoon after it got tangled in a piece of string and stuck in a tree 40 feet off the ground in West Berkeley.
Workers in an office building called the city Thursday at roughly 2:10 p.m. after noticing the bird struggling but unable to take flight, said John Kindle, an animal control officer for the city.
The Berkeley Fire Department responded to the scene, at 700 Heinz St., along with Kindle, to assess the situation.
When Kindle arrived, he used binoculars to take a closer look. He saw the crow high up in the tree with what appeared to be string tied to a branch and wrapped around one of its claws. … Continue reading »
It may have been April Fool’s day, but there was nothing funny about the fright Berkeley resident April Gilbert got when she spotted what she thought was a giant white rat right outside her window on Monday.
“I initially thought it was a gigantic — as in 15 to 20 lbs — white rat,” said Gilbert who lives on Russell Street. “It came up very close to my office window and sat looking at me for several minutes before waddling off along my fence. I felt a bit traumatized by the experience, especially on my namesake day, but managed to take some photos of it with my phone.” … Continue reading »