amateur naturalist

Look at these gorgeous engravings I just found in Vintage Treasure’s shop on etsy. Some of them are over 200 years old. The colors! Such beautiful palates! Go look for yourself here.


Last year G and I decided that instead of storm chasers we would be wildflower chasers and follow the wildflowers up in elevation in such of perpetual spring. Here’s some pictures of the stunning Sunol Valley Regional Park.

I have a big plan forming of making my way to the Mojave desert in mid-April to see hill after hill of California Poppies in bloom. I’ve been stalking flickr sites to look at all of the amazing photos people have taken of this area. Antelope Valley Preserve has 8 miles of trails that are packed tight with poppies, but also with lupines, coreopsis and owl’s clover, and is home to lizards, rattlesnakes, coyotes, bobcats, scorpions and ….. kangaroo rats. That list of critters should keep people on the trails and away from crushing the plants! They even have a Poppy Hotline to call to find out about peak bloom times: 661-724-1180. I think I’ll line myself up for a job at the poppy hotline when I retire! Here’s a beautiful photo set from Rennet Stowe off of flickr.

I’ve been watching a sparrow build a nest in a tiny tube that’s built around the electric wire in front of my house. The tube isn’t even solid, there’s a large open bit right under where she’s making her nest. I’ve been watching the straw and paper bits float to the ground below. Harrowing business. I’ve recently come across a website dedicated to urban birds that’s out of Cornell University. It’s a great informational site and they even have ways where you can join in on their field studies. Recently they had a photo competition for pictures of nests built in odd places. Here are some of my favorites, but you can see the rest here.

The Great Horned Owl was nesting in a potted palm tree! I love the colors on this picture.

I know if you are visiting this blog that you too, are a nature geek. Welcome. So I know that you are going to love the collaborative 10 postcard set by jennie smith and jessica seaman that was put out by the publishing company little otsu. The postcards are gorgeous, painstakingly intricate, and look even better in person. And they are printed responsibly!

spotted owl

from hadley hutton’s etsy shop (please click on image for link)

Hadley’s shop is beautiful and I just had to share her work.  Now that I know where and when I can walk along with owls at night I can’t stop thinking about them. It is a strange turn of events to find myself walking around in a park that is basically a landfill covered with grass, with the bay on one side and 10 lanes of 880 on the other side, to then look around and notice the owls flying amongst the dog walkers, kite flyers and maker-outers.


traceface owl


etsy shop: traceface, owl plus tree (click on image for link)

Discovery: Right before dusk at the Berkeley Marina the owls come out to hunt. They like to perch in the cedars before swooping down to glide over the hills. Currently there is a baby owl in the owl box that likes to watch the walkers.