In the beginning this blog was centered on San Francisco parks and open space issues with special emphasis on natural areas and natural history. Over time it began to range into other areas and topics. As you can see, it is eclectic, as I interlace it with topics of interest to me.

I welcome feedback: just click this link to reach me.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


1.   Presidio Trust seeking development professional
2. reveals Stockton Street Surface Improvement Plan
3.   When you buy or sell a home you can support Literacy for Environmental Justice
4.   Downtown High School's WALC Program Exhibition Day  at Heron's Head Dec 9
5.   The Fascinating World of Spiders December 7 in Antioch
6.   Feedback
7.   1st-ever cut-your-own Christmas tree Saturday/tomorrow, 12/4, at Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve - and more from the Coastal Zone
8.   Christmas gift:  MailStop Envelope
9.   Why do you garden? Ocean Health wants to know
10. The Butterfly Guy reports on latest foray onto Yerba Buena Island in search of Monarchs
11.  A bird ecologist's view: the trees on Hawk Hill
12.  Google Earth shows how dams may worsen climate change/beavers take on state of Michigan, and win
13.  Creating nature?
14.  Corwin Street Community Garden looking for new steward(s)
15.  Levi's ripped at the crotch are trying to tell you something
16.  Bee-a-thon: count bees in your own backyard/sign Highways Bee Act to create corridors for pollinators
17.  SF Natural History Series notes and schedule through March
18.  Robert Reich still trying to teach corporations basic economics.  Duh
19.  Wild turkeys as a pest species/turkey-tail fungus pix
20.  Notes & Queries: If Shakespeare's grave were opened, what might be found there?

1.  We're Hiring - Director of Advancement

The Presidio Trust is seeking a dynamic, self-motivated development professional to lead the fundraising efforts for the National Center for Service & Innovative Leadership. This person will play a vital role in the Center's formation, working closely with the Board of Directors, Executive Director, and senior management team to create and implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy for the Center's first phase of development. View the full vacancy announcement and please forward to those that may be interested. Contact for additional information.

Stockton Street Surface Improvement Plan

For many years, Muni riders along Stockton Street have experienced unbearable crowding coupled with slow and unreliable public transit service.  Now, the SFMTA is asking the people of Chinatown to wait another 8 or 10 years while it builds a subway that won’t even begin to solve the problem.

On Tuesday, December 6, 2011 (beginning 6:30 PM, One South Van Ness Avenue, 2nd Floor atrium), at the SFMTA’s TEP Public Scoping Meeting, will release its Plan for quickly and cost effectively improving conditions along Stockton Street.
Summary:  Stockton Street is a major Muni corridor served by the 30, 45 and southbound 8x bus lines.  Passengers board these lines from many parts of San Francisco, including the Presidio, Marina District, Fisherman’s Wharf, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, North Beach, Chinatown, Downtown, Mission Bay, San Bruno Avenue, Visitacion Valley, and Bay View/ Hunters Point.

Long overdue, Muni and other surface improvements along Stockton Street are needed to ease crowding, improve reliability, decrease travel times, ease pedestrian movement. improve safety, and facilitate commercial activity.  These improvements can be instituted on a trial basis relatively quickly and at modest cost.

A summary of’s Stockton Street Plan will be provided at the Tuesday, December 6th TEP Public Scoping Meeting.



Support LEJ’s Mission When You Buy or Sell a Home – At Zero Cost

If there was a zero-cost way you could help support environmental restoration and youth development in Bayview Hunters Point, would you do it?

Of course you would.

That’s why Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ) is pleased to announce our new partnership with My Broker Donates. My Broker Donates empowers our supporters to generate donations to LEJ worth thousands of dollars—at zero cost—when you buy or sell a home.

How It Works
My Broker Donates connects people looking to buy or sell a home with caring, qualified brokers who donate 15% of their fee to LEJ. My  Broker Donates refers you to an agent who is an expert in exactly the kind of transaction you are looking for, and you choose the agent you like best.

Once you choose the right agent for you, the process is no different from any other real estate transaction—only LEJ gets a big donation.

Every LEJ supporter who is thinking of buying or selling a home should consider using My Broker Donates because the potential donations are sizable.

  Get Started Now >>

What Your Donation Supports
A $500,000 real-estate transaction generates a donation of more than $2,000. That money will help LEJ continue its mission to transform Bayview Hunters Point from the city's toxic dumping ground into a community that is healthy, equitable, and sustainable. Your donation will fund hands-on environmental justice education programs for thousands of students, and help employ youth interns who get paid to restore the city's polluted shoreline into thriving wetlands, as they learn the professional and personal skills necessary to succeed in college or the job market.

Even if you have an existing relationship with an agent or broker, My Broker Donates can help you create a donation for LEJ. Just visit their Getting Started  page.

Tell Your Friends – and Your Real Estate Agent  
If you're an agent or broker who supports LEJ, you can become a My Broker Donates Affiliate.

When you buy or sell a home through My Broker Donates, they take care of everything. Buyers and sellers work with a great, prescreened agent, and LEJ receives much-needed funding.

These are real estate transactions that are going to happen either way. Shouldn't LEJ benefit from them?

Spread the word about this great idea!


News & Events Please visit our website for more details

Downtown High School's WALC Program Exhibition Day 
December 9th, 2011
9am -3pm, Heron's Head Park & The EcoCenter

This past semester, the Heron's Head Park education staff successfully completed it's first semester-long program pilot with Downtown High School's Wilderness Arts and Literacy Collaborative (WALC). Students visited the park multiple times and received a number of in-class visits to infuse their existing class curriculum with that of LEJ's Heron's Head Park Program curriculum. As a culminating project of their experience and gained knowledge, students have created their own children's book and will read these books to children from local elementary schools. To celebrate their achievements is hosting their end-of-the-semester Exhibition at the EcoCenter along with plenty of fun, educational, and community engaging activities throughout Heron's Head Park (HHP). Enjoy this day with children of all ages and visit the many stations that will exemplify their learning of environmental justice, stewardship, and leadership!

Golden Gate Audubon Society
"California Raptors in Winter"
Saturday Feb. 18, Presentation: 9 AM – Noon (Heron’s Head EcoCenter SF)
Sunday Feb. 19, FULL DAY Field Trip ( Point Reyes) 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Sunday Feb. 26, FULL DAY Field Trip (Half Moon Bay Area) 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Rain dates for field trip = February 25 and/or 26
 Fee = $60.00, limit 20 students

Relatively mild temperatures and productive food sources make California an ideal destination for raptors in winter. In this class we will focus on the amazing evolutionary adaptations and life histories of California’s Hawks, Eagles, Harriers, Kites and Falcons, Presentations include information specific to resident, migrant and seldom seen vagrant raptors. On two full day field trips, we’ll have opportunities to view and focus on this order but not at all ignore the myriad of other birds that call California home during our winter. *Inclement weather postpones field trips. Field Trips meeting points will be announced in class where carpooling can be coordinated.

Please visit Nature Trip's website here for more information on how to register and be a part of this amazing experience.

Donate, Donate, Donate!
Our programs are still in great need of your support. We continue to work towards environmental justice through engagement of our community and we thank you for your ongoing support of our organization! We couldn't do it without you! Click here to find out how you can give TODAY.

The Fascinating World of Spiders
Wednesday 7 December, 7.15 pm
Antioch Library
501 West 18th St, Antioch

At the December meeting of the Sierra Club Delta Group we'll hear all about the eight-legged arthropods of Contra Costa, including the much-maligned California tarantula, colorful garden spiders, the notorious black widow, and the voracious wolf spider.  Michael Marchiano's program will include both a Powerpoint presentation and a few of his live spider friends.


6.  Feedback

Saxon Holt:
Clearly I am showing my ignorance of various groups and their causes and this is why we all appreciate you doing your best to keep us informed.  Keep up the good work.  I'm glad someone is fighting the battles so that the inevitable compromises have all needed input.  best - Saxon

Janet Gilles (re: I haven't even gotten to one of my main concerns, namely the lack of wildlife habitat, and the fact that we're destroying some here.)
Another reason to support local agriculture.

Almost all wildlife habitat in the US is on farmland.  We need real farmers, the ones in picture books, with cows and chickens and geese and gardens and fields and woods.

Tragically, the US farm bill is aimed directly at removing these farmers in favor of mono-culture, which destroys habitats.

75% of the money in the farm bill goes to mono soy and corn in the upper Mississippi, and the rest goes to rice, wheat, and cotton.  Farmers who rotate crops and grow diverse crops are given no funding whatever.

Farmers are not going out of business because big ag is more efficient, but rather, because big ag is subsidized and undercuts real farmers.
"Almost all wildlife habitat in the US is on farmland."  No; there's still millions of acres of wildlands.

Bern Smith:
RE: things with feathers:
"How wrong Emily Dickinson was! Hope is not "the thing with feathers". The thing with feathers has turned to be my nephew. I must take him to a specialist in Zurich."
Woody Allen


7.  Hi Coastal Zoners -
Here's a quick couple of important updates:
The first ever cut-your-own Christmas tree event is being held this Saturday/tomorrow, 12/4, at Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve in Corte Madera - Marin County. Ring Mountain is a small ridge-top preserve on the Tiburon Peninsula hosting endangered wetlands and grasslands, and most notably the ONLY world population of the Tiburon Mariposa Lilly - Calochortus tiburonensis. The County of Marin is hosting a public tree cutting of the invasive Monterey Pines growing in the preserve. Here's a recent article regarding the event and directions to the preserve, from the Marin IJ on November 28th:

Commercial crab season finally opened four days ago. The union strike made headline news in the Bay Area, while fisherman awaited a fair price offer from the seafood processors. Too bad there's a middle man to deal with for these guys.. Makes me think of the commercial abalone fishery in New Zealand, which somehow was a co-op with the fishermen/divers calling the shots on processing and pricing. They made millions overnight, but the resource management was poor and the decline was quick. Anyhow, a compromise between the crabbers and buyers was reached and a bustling scramble to hit the water, with stacks of crab pots on-deck, pored out of several central California harbors the other day. If you get a chance to buy from the crabbers directly at the dock, go for it.

This all is a reminder that we need to honor and preserve not only the heritage commercial fishing community of Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, but also that of the small, historic harbors and fishing communities up and down the coast, such as Half Moon Bay, Bolinas, Bodega Bay, and Point Arena. There does appear to be a shot of young blood to the fleet in Bolinas, which was rapidly dwindling to just two or three commercial boats per season out of the harbor. It's nice to see. It's also nice to see the big crab numbers/tonnage being harvested in this well-managed local fishery the last couple of years.

On opening day the tule fog whipped down the Central Valley, across the SF Bay, and out onto the near-shore waters. This fog was so thick that visibility on the water was reduced to a few yards at times, and getting in and out of the Bolinas Lagoon channel proved hazardous, with one boat in the fleet flipped after being caught inside a big set of breaking waves, not visible approaching in the fog. The driver was thrown into the water, and escaped injury (or worse) somehow, and he was quickly picked from the water by the next boat exiting the channel behind him. The boat was towed-in, and small enough to manually flip back over at low tide. Some crab pots were saved and some were lost. The night before commercial crab opened huge "factory" boats from Oregon and Washington could be seen poised for action anchored off the Marin and SF coast, an unfair competitor for the small local boats. This scenario could all change next year since the passing of California Senate Bill 369.

An unprecedented 66 Tundra Swans are currently rafting in the Bolinas Lagoon. I recommend driving down Highway One to take a look at the spectacle.

Got CA?


8.  Catalog Choice

Looking for a meaningful gift that everyone needs? MailStop Envelopes save trees and reduce clutter by stopping unwanted mail. Prepaid MailStop Envelopes make perfect, practical gifts for your friends, family and co-workers. Everyone will appreciate this easy way to eliminate the waste of unwanted mail.

MailStop Envelopes are great for people who are too busy to use our online service, not Internet-savvy, or just have not gotten around to stopping unwanted mail. With the postage-paid MailStop Envelope, you simply collect and send in mailing labels, saving trees and time with minimal effort. Give envelopes to anyone who wants to make a difference this holiday season and beyond.

We are conducting a survey of people to find out about their motivations for gardening and what incentives can encourage people to plant environmentally-friendly gardens. We need feedback from current gardeners, aspiring gardeners, and people who do not have gardens. The more responses that we can get, the better picture we will have of motivations for gardening and what incentives would be the most effective at encouraging more gardening.

Thank you for passing this along.

Eli Saddler


10.  The butterfly guy reports

Yesterday I returned to Treasure Island with a group of folks to show them something Matt Zlatunich and I discovered back on November 22: an unknown overwintering site for Monarchs.  No one had ever thought to look for them using this manmade island.
The main person I was eager to get there was Mia Monroe, the NPS ranger at Muir Woods who oversees all of the data I collect for the Xerces Society and the co-author The Monarch Habitat Handbook: A California Landowner's Guide to Managing Monarch Butterfly Overwintering Habitat. I've included a GoogleMap with a red dot to show the location.  Unfortunately I learned a few days ago from Ruth Gravanis that this parking lot is slated to have a giant luxury skyscraper right there - to the east of the chapel in the last slide.

We all listened to Mia and brainstormed about what we could do. The high winds of the last few days had scattered them about and the numbers were nothing like the 240 Matt and I had counted a few weeks back. Whoever laid out this parking lot some 80 years ago inadvertently created a perfect "bowl" for the Monarchs to thrive in: shelter from the wind, nectar sources, lower canopy barrier shrubs.

Of course the Redevelopment Plan never looked (or never knew to look) for these creatures so it's not really their fault.  It seems this story is repeated over and over, according to Mia, when Monarchs decide that the conditions that converge in an arrangement of eucalyptus humans have planted lands them on private land: almost no Monarch overwintering sites are protected - other than the ones in parks. A complicated issue to say the least. Why can't we embrace what the Monarchs are telling us and leave this place for them?

Recently my work was used by the folks "trying to save all eucalyptus on Mount Sutro", which is something I do not agree with, BUT when these places are found (and we find them by watching the butterflies - let them tell us by their use which are important)

It seems like we as San Franciscans have an opportunity to crawl out from the shadow of Xerces Blue (a butterfly whose habitat was destroyed out in the Sunset and disappeared forever) and do something right--it would be a better legacy.

So...does anybody wanna chain themselves to these trees with me?  - Liam O'Brien

Not me, Liam.  There's too many of  this kind of outrage perpetrated--just in the Bay Area alone.  I'd always be chained to a tree. :)

I may have some good news for you:  Such a building, if it ever happened, would be far in the future.  But it won't happen.  The world economy is so bad and going to get worse that we will have to create another kind of economy.  It will still be capitalism--the only kind that works--but not necessarily corporate-controlled.  Imagine, an economy that responds to supply and demand instead of creating demand.  That would bring an end to some of the insane aspects of the present.  (Not that there will be dancing in the streets--and we have a lot of pain and horror to go through first.)  Jake


Recently I watched the first season of “Streets of San Francisco,” the 1970s Karl Malden detective show, and there in the opening credits—hovering over Michael Douglas’ shoulder—was Hawk Hill. Only this time it was different: no trees. In 1972, there were no trees visible on Hawk Hill. I was a little stunned, because in the present day the trees sweeping off of the west face have become an identifying fieldmark for Hawk Hill.

As many of you know, Hawk Hill is slated for a face change—a change of physiognomy. Physiognomy is a great word as it means both “face” as in human face, and also “botanical landscape.” And in this case, both apply. The Hawk Hill Restoration and Trail Improvement Project begins December 5, 2011 with the removal of invasive Monterey pine and cypress to help restore the site to its original physiognomy, a mix of wind-shorn grasses and shrubs known as “Coastal Prairie and Scrub.”

Why should this be done? Most simply, to conform to the requirements of the U.S. Endangered Species Act and to give the best shot at long-term survival to an endangered butterfly with a one-inch wingspan—the mission blue butterfly.

Complete article at:


12.  Brock Dolman:
Google Earth Shows How Dams Could Worsen Climate Change
National Geographic article on detrimental effects of dams.  Here is the link so you can watch the video:

Not all “dams” nor dam makers are ecologically or socially destructive in North America and Euro-Asia – au contraire – we need a full employment campaign including, in some cases reintroduction, of the best eco-hydro-engineering dam makers evolution ever created – Beavers!!!!
Small scale & frequency, uber-local, site specific, self managed, bio-diversity enhancing, salmon saving, water supply improving, climate change responsive and a green infrastructure that is not just economical upfront but pays out multiple dividends over the long run!  Curious – ask me for more info...

Mostly Water,

(JS:  I have posted a delightful true story about a beaver dam in Michigan before, but it is worth revisiting periodically.  It was an actual letter from and a reply to the Michigan Department of  Environmental Quality, State of Michigan:
Score one for the beavers.)


13.  LTE, High Country News

Parsing 'Pristine'

The thing that bothered me most about Emma Marris' essay was the suggestion toward the end that we should "look to the future and create more nature instead of clinging to disappearing scraps of seemingly untouched land" (HCN, 10/6/2011, "The mirage of the pristine").  How exactly does she propose that we go about creating nature?

I think most scientists would define a particular system as pristine if its composition, structure and function is essentially unaltered by man. It would be foolish to discount the value of unmanaged or primitive ecosystems as biological resources, living laboratories and sources of a wealth of scientific information about how things work, how nature has evolved and how we can do a better job of managing and growing products that we use every day.

In restoration ecology, we commonly design treatments based on conditions that are found within forests and streams that have not been cleared of wood. We know that unmanaged or old-growth forests are far more complex and diverse than tree plantations -- the primary form of nature that we have created to replace the forests that we have clearcut.

I grew up in southern Illinois, in a region of the country that has been almost entirely converted to agricultural production. There are no native prairies left in Illinois. In order to maintain the manufactured landscape that we have created, we pump increasing amounts of nitrogen fertilizer into the soil and invent a never-ending progression of hybrids and genetically modified crops capable of resisting disease and infestation. Much of the biological and genetic diversity that could have provided a stable and ecologically resilient base for our food supply has been eliminated from the landscape.  I see the same thing happening here to a lesser extent. Fortunately, in the Northwest we have national parks and wilderness areas.

Stephen Kropp
Renton, Washington

Announcement  - From the Friends of the Corwin Street Community Garden
Bill Murphy - lead gardener for the Corwin Street Community Garden (CSCG) for the past 14 years - is stepping away from his position to pursue other interests. For this reason the Friends of the CSCG are seeking a person or organization to take over this volunteer, leadership role.

We are seeking a person, group of people, and/or organization who will understand, respect, and build upon the spirit and character of this unique space.  Please forward this message to any person or appropriate organization who might be interested in this position. “Open house” hours will be held at the garden on Sunday, December 4, 11, and 18, from 11:00-1:00. Send all inquiries to this email address:

Thank you for helping us to find the right steward(s) for this very special garden.



This evening, the sturdy Levi's
I wore every day for over a year
& which seemed to the end
in perfect condition,
suddenly tore.
How or why I don't know,
but there it was: a big rip at the crotch.
A month ago my friend Nick
walked off a racquetball court,
got into his street clothes,
& halfway home collapsed & died.
Take heed, you who read this,
& drop to your knees now & again
like the poet Christopher Smart,
& kiss the earth & be joyful,
& make much of your time,
& be kindly to everyone,
even to those who do not deserve it.
For although you may not believe
it will happen,
you too will one day be gone,
I, whose Levi's ripped at the crotch
for no reason,
assure you that such is the case.
Pass it on.

~ Steve Kowit ~

(The Dumbbell Nebula)


Marathon Bee Broadcast
This month people from around the world tuned in for the marathon 12-hour Bee-a-thon Encore broadcast and live chat as top bee experts shed light on the plight of our bees. Among guests for this online event were representatives of the Xerces Society and the Pollinator Partnership, the director of the film "Queen of the Sun," and entomologists teaching kids about the fascinating world of insects. The founder of The Great Sunflower Project invited all to help our pollinators by tracking and counting bees right in our own backyards. Join us now if you haven't already!

Highways Bee Act
Sign the petition to create green corridors for pollinators
Support the creation of bee-friendly habitat along 17 million acres of U.S. highway - through reduced mowing and native plantings.
Sign the Pollinator Partnership's petition today.

Beekeeping Alive in the Big City
NYC Beekeeping helps city bees thrive
NYC Beekeeping tends beehives on city rooftops, leads courses (including a free bee course on Dec. 8), offers peer mentoring and more to support urban beekeeping and to raise pollinator awareness.

Thanks for voicing your support for actions that will share our highway landscapes with pollinators by creating better habitat, while helping States save taxpayer dollars. 

You can encourage your contacts to sign on by sending them the following link:

Visit if you would like to join our Pollinator Action Team (P.A.T.) and receive periodic updates and alerts about opportunities to take action for pollinators.

2012 National Pollinator Week is June 18-24.  Mark your calendar, and plan a local event!


17.  San Francisco Natural History Series

Jan 19 – The Golden Age of Mesopredators - Glen Martin
Feb 16 – The Sturgeon in San Francisco Bay - Michael McGowan
March 15 – Return of the Harbor Porpoises - Bill Keener

John Jack Muir Laws - Reclaiming the Art of Natural History

Jack Laws started his talk with a story of where careful observation can lead us.

It started with a moth which turned different colors depending on the leaf it could see and eat (the color change is not the same if done in the dark). Like a manzanita leaf which has bell shaped flowers that the bumble bees grab onto, hang upside down from, and buzz, to vibrate the nectar out to be collected. Other bees like carpenter bees, drill holes in from the top to collect the nectar, which Dance flies take advantage of when they are not hunting. When they are hunting the males (when they are not cheating) bring little presents for potential mates which they carry about in swarms you might find above a trail.  Birds of course take advantage of this. Birds like hummingbirds who don’t just eat nectar, they do like a bug or too, and go so far as to rob spiders as well. Not just of meat, the hummingbirds also take
strands of spider web to help hold their tiny little nests together, the elasticity and strength of the spider strands comes in handy as the nest needs to stretch to take in the tiny eggs, then the little but growing birds. The hummingbirds pick out the strands because they glow in UV which they can apparently see, but know one knows why bugs can’t see them. Moths though — like the one we started with, can escape a web thanks to the scales that cover their wings.

This is one but of many equally fascinating stories all around us. But it takes effort to see it. He gave us a couple tools to do that. First is to leave the name behind: the name is not the thing. It is an important tool of science, but can shut us down to seeing the thing.

Second, is to get in a dialog with whatever that creature is. The important thing here he suggests is to say it out loud — our minds are excellent machines for forgetting, and speaking things out loud is a way around this. And when we are in this dialog, we should say

* what we notice…
* what we wonder…
* what it reminds us of..

He ran us through a test of this, a bird with not quite a white ring around the eye, a slight white beard, a puffed up orange breast with a spiderweb pattern of white across it, the breast was not as red as we expected, its tail feathers had white dashes. We wondered how old it was, what it was doing on the branch, if it ate the berries in the picture. The bird was an American Robin, but I don’t think many of us had looked so closely.

Drawing is of course another way of seeing, and another way of heading off our brain’s forgetting machinery.

For this, Laws is hoping to turn the bay area into a field sketchbook mecca. He firmly believes anyone can learn the skill of drawing. You can find out more about these efforts (and how to draw a bird) on his website


18.  Marketplace, November 30

Robert Reich: The basic bargain at the heart of the American economy used to be that employers paid their workers enough to buy what employers were selling. That bargain created a virtuous cycle of higher living standards, more jobs, and better wages.
Back in 1914 Henry Ford decided to pay his workers three times the average factory wage because they'd use the money to buy Model-Ts. His profits doubled in two years.

But now that bargain has come apart. New data from the Commerce Department shows employee pay down to the smallest share of the economy since the government began collecting the data in 1929. And corporate profits, the largest share of the economy since then.

Yet incredibly, some politicians think the best way to restart the nation's job engine is to make corporations even more profitable. That means reducing corporate taxes and cutting back on regulations.

These same politicians want average workers to have even less money. They're against extending the payroll tax cut or unemployment benefits. And they want to make it harder for workers to form unions.

These politicians have it upside down.

The reason companies aren't creating more jobs is because consumers don't have money. And their spending accounts for 70 percent of the economy.

You see, without the basic bargain we're in a vicious cycle. The only way out is to put more money into the pockets of average Americans. At the very least, extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.

Beyond this, we need a new WPA to get the long-term unemployed back to work. And a Civilian Conservation Corp to create jobs for young people. More teachers for overcrowded classrooms. More construction workers rebuilding highways and bridges.

Pay for all this by hiking taxes on millionaires. Get it? There's really only way to revive the American economy. That's by restoring the basic bargain.


19.  Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

The wild turkey is an invasive species introduced to California from the East Coast over 100 years ago. Their growing presence in our parks intensifies competition with native species for food. These omnivorous turkeys scarf acorns, insects, salamanders, quail eggs, and even endangered red-legged frogs! Though you may feel bad for turkeys on Thanksgiving, please don’t aid their expansion by feeding these non-natives. 


The fungus Trametes versicolor, also known as the “turkey tail,” is a common sight in our Golden Gate National Parks. Photo by Ashley Ross.


20.  Notes & Queries, Guardian Weekly

If Shakespeare's grave were ever opened, what might be found there?

If Shakespeare's grave would be opened, he would be found tearing up his manuscripts.
Bernie Koenig, London, Ontario, Canada

• The ghosts of Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe and Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.
James Carroll, Geneva, Switzerland

• Dust, bones, Bacon's Reminiscences and De Vere's Poems.
Philip Stigger, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

• The good that was interred with his bones.
Joan Dawson, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

• Five words: All's well that ends well.
Cynthia Dummett, Basingstoke, UK 

• Much Ado About Nothing.
Eddie van Rijnswoud, Kalamunda, Western Australia

• Alas, poor Yorick! A skull, of course.
Bronwyn Sherman, Wollongong, NSW, Australia

• A quintessence of dust.
Tijne Schols, The Hague, the Netherlands

• "Gilded tombs do worms enfold" (Merchant of Venice, 2.7).
Josh Beer, Ottawa, Canada

• Bookworms.
John Sang, Solothurn, Switzerland

• His ghost writer?
Alan Williams-Key, Madrid, Spain

• Will's will.
Jim Neilan, Dunedin, New Zealand

Predators and editors

Is it just a coincidence that creditor rhymes with predator?

It is indeed a happy coincidence because now there is no excuse for Hollywood not to have a new movie franchise called Alien versus Creditor. Hands up those who always wanted the aliens to beat the humans for once. I thought so.

James Cameron is first choice to direct, no doubt about that.
Jennifer Hor, Sydney, Australia

• No more of a coincidence than the fact that minister rhymes with sinister, or priest with beast.
Nigel Grinter, Chicago, Illinois, US

• It is probably no coincidence that the person putting the Diversions page together was aware that both creditor and predator rhyme with editor.
Kendall Wild, Rutland, Vermont, US

• You get it.
Emma Coats, Canberra, Australia

Stocked and amazed
What would be the result of declaring all the world's stock markets illegal?
A form of highly addictive contraband that would be globally traded with even greater risk, self-interest, government support and outright thievery than is currently the case.
Bob Sherrin, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

• That nine-tenths of the world's population would rejoice, as the first step towards sanity has been taken.

Dick Hedges, Nairobi, Kenya

• Laughing stocks.

Andrew Sheeran, Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada

• Shocks and stares.

Margaret Wyeth, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Any answers?

Do any creatures besides humans and ants deliberately enslave their own species?

Debbie Levey, Brookline, Massachusetts, US

Do only humans keep pets?
Donna Samoyloff, Toronto, Canada

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