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Building Forts! Adventure Playground, Berkeley

The Adventure Playground in Berkeley… the only place I know in the San Francisco Bay Area where kids are encouraged to get creative with saws, hammers & nails, and paints to build forts.  And play on their creations!  Photos from our school field trip to the playground yesterday… For more information, check out this post…

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Explore the Tide Pools, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

When the tide is low, head out to the rocky, north end of Natural Bridges State Beach to explore the tide pools.  Look for sea stars, hermit crabs, sea anemones, sea urchins, and more.  So fun! For more information about Natural Bridges State Beach, visit the California State Parks website… If you’re here between…

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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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Botanic Garden, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley

Another place we love to visit in Tilden Regional Park is the Botanic Garden.  I enjoy experiencing the seasonal changes of this garden throughout the year.  These images are from our visit on Sunday, November 18th, 2012, on a quiet morning after two days of rain. Interested in going?  The Regional Parks Botanic Garden is…

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Feed the Animals! Tilden Little Farm, Berkeley

The Tilden Little Farm, located within Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley, is a favorite destination for just about every little kid I know.  For over a week now, my five-year-old has been begging me to take him there to feed the animals, so we headed over today. Here’s a little history of the Farm, from…

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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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Neighborhood: Lizard

We enjoyed a walk around our neighborhood yesterday, to look for some “signs of fall” and to collect leaves.  It was another hot day here in the San Francisco East Bay… in the 80’s!  This does not feel like November, but we can’t complain.  The lizards are loving it, too! Also from this walk:  Neighborhood: …

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

Boardwalk over LaRiviere Marsh Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Newark, California Photos taken November 3rd, 2012 For more photos from this walk, see Silent Saturday:  LaRiviere Marsh Trail, Don Edwards S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge *** Weekly Photo Challenge:  Geometry

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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…