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Butterfly Fun! Coyote Hills Regional Park

We had a wonderful time at the 14th Annual Butterfly & Bird Festival at Coyote Hills Regional Park today!  The highlight?  So many monarchs fluttering around the Nectar Garden.  Beautiful! Related articles This Sunday! Butterfly & Bird Festival, Coyote Hills (anaturemom.com)

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Squirrels: Waiting

These two are such a nuisance.  Now they’ve taken to sitting on the fence, one on each wall, watching me, waiting patiently for me to leave.  I’m sure the second I’m away from the window, they’ll attack the bird feeder. Looks as if I may have to try one or two of these “Tips for…

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Neighborhood Wildlife: Young Buck

My son excitedly informed me yesterday afternoon that there was a boy deer on the hill behind our home.   The buck was in no hurry to leave, giving me plenty of time to snap some photos.  My son is sick (again), so he stayed home from school yesterday and today.  Luckily, the neighborhood wildlife has…

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Nature Walk: Animal Tracks

A fun activity to do a few days after a good rain is head to a nearby creek and look for animal tracks in the mud. We went on this kind of walk yesterday in the nature area near our home.  As we walked to the area, I asked my son what animal footprints he…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

I’ve had two amazing surprises within the past week that, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture with my camera.  Both were visitors to our backyard. The first was… a fox!  He visited Thursday morning at 10:00am, and he it stayed for about five minutes, giving me a lot of time to watch what it was…

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Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

Within Natural Bridges State Beach, in Santa Cruz, you’ll find the Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, a grove of eucalyptus trees where thousands of Monarch Butterflies spend the winter each year.  The butterflies may be viewed by taking a short 0.75 mile Monarch Trail loop through the Preserve, or by simply taking the short, wheel-chair accessible…

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Backyard Birds: Sparrows

We now have both juvenile White-crowned Sparrows and juvenile Golden-crowned Sparrows visiting our yard.  Now that I can see both, frequently side-by-side, I can clearly see the difference.  The one I thought last week was a Golden-crowned Sparrow is definitely a White-crowned one.  Here are a few photos of the fist-year Golden-crowned Sparrows who visited…

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Acorn Woodpecker, Sunol Regional Wilderness

Wow, I can really see how this bird got its name!!  There were four Acorn Woodpeckers busy pecking holes in this tree and filling them with their stash. From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds site… “Their social lives are endlessly fascinating: they store thousands of acorns each year by jamming them into…

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Backyard Birds: Golden-Crowned Sparrow?

I need help identifying this bird.  It’s been visiting our yard in the San Francisco East Bay for about a month now.  At first, I thought it was an immature White-crowned Sparrow, but now I’m thinking it’s an immature Golden-crowned Sparrow.  With Project FeederWatch coming up, I want to make sure I have the right…

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Werewolves and Vampires?

While attending Boo at the Zoo over the weekend, we looked for “spooky” animals.  Werewolves?  Vampires?  Unfortunately, we didn’t find anything truly frightening at the Oakland Zoo, but did see this gorgeous hyena (I bet he’d get pretty scary if anyone tried to take that bone away from him!!) and a bunch of cute bats……

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Boo at the Zoo, 2012

Yesterday we attended the annual Boo at the Zoo event at the Oakland Zoo.  Kids wear their Halloween costumes and participate in a bunch of fun activities.   It was a hot day today (back into the 80′s), so I talked my son out of wearing his thick, black ninja costume. The highlight for my…

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Butterfly, The Fen, Yosemite Valley

Quite a few of these beautiful butterflies were fluttering around “The Fen” in Yosemite Valley on Saturday morning. Haven’t heard of “The Fen”?  It’s one of my favorite little spots in Yosemite Valley.  It’s a short boardwalk trail through a marsh.  If you follow the trail from the Happy Isles shuttle stop to the Nature…

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Project FeederWatch

As I wrote the other day (Let’s Count Stars!), we enjoy participating in citizen science projects.  It’s a fun way to contribute to scientific research and learn about science at the same time.  I wrote earlier in the week about participating in the Great World Wide Star Count.  Perhaps stargazing isn’t your thing, but you’d…