It is always distressing when one good environmental cause gets pitted against another good environmental cause, but that is what is happening with the debate over wind farms. The state of California requires that one-third of all energy produced in the state come from renewable sources. Wind turbines, such as the ones at Altamont Pass, have long been seen as an ideal way to obtain energy in a way that does not harm the environment, contribute to global warming or threaten public safety. The Altamont Pass turbines generate enough electricity to power 100,000 homes.
Let’s pretend you are a bird, perhaps a robin.
Lions and tigers and kitty cats…oh my! I’m not embarrassed to call myself a wild and crazy cat lady. At the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center, I’m crazy enough to dress up like a bobcat. I’ve transformed myself to become a feline “mommy”—suiting up in a full-body costume, deodorized with bobcat urine and placing a big, furry bobcat mask on my head. This technique was developed to make us as unlike a human as humanly possible and helps ensure that the bobcat kittens don’t become habituated to their human caretakers but will remain wild and wary of people when they’re released back to their native habitats.
There has been a lot of discussion lately about the critical role apex predators play in the ecosystem. An apex predator is one at the top of the food chain, or one who “as an adult, has no natural predator within its ecosystem.” In Santa Clara County, apex predators would include mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, hawks, falcons and large owls.
New Year’s resolutions abound this time of year. For humans, they often include the usual resolve to quit smoking, lose weight and exercise more.
Lions and tigers and bees, oh my! They sting and they’re scary. We avoid them if possible, and we try to shoo them away if they come near us. If they sting it hurts, and for people who are allergic, a bee sting can be fatal. It is not unreasonable to not want them around.
“Country roads, take me home to the place I belong.” - John Denver
Last month's column summarized the results of Audubon's seven-year study on the effect of climate change and habitat loss on birds. The report was written by well-known scientists, but these highly regarded scientists could not have compiled all the data on bird locations and movements by themselves—such a task would be overwhelming. Where did Audubon's scientists get the data needed to complete this study?
For most of us, autumn is the time of year we shake off the lazy days of summer and get down to the serious business of food. Resourceful folks are canning their autumn harvests of pumpkins, pears, persimmons and peppers. People are busily preparing days ahead for sumptuous holiday feasts to share with their families and friends.
“She was born to soar