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.

Monday, March 19, 2012


1.   Peregrine Falcons: Population Recovery and Beyond March 21  in Oakland
2.   Be part of the 2012 Sudden Oak Death Blitzes (information gathering)
3.   Give input to SF Beautiful on 2012 policy agenda
4.   Coastside Land Trust Gallery soliciting submissions for spring art show
5.   Born to be wild.  Buffalo are coming back to the American prairie
6.   Feedback: Learning about Eric Mills, interesting, dedicated guy
7.   Coexisting with Coyotes, March 27 in SF
8.   Looking at the Sky by Anne Porter (poem)
9.   Credo: I will love the language that never stops evolving/"preantepenultimate?
10. Wilfred Owen, born 18 March 1893.  Dulce et Decorum Est
11.  New Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge Device - The Book
12.  The Buds at the Cadillac Hotel: original songs  of independence, heartache, love, desire, social commentary and reflection, Mar 23

The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it. -John Locke, philosopher (1632-1704)

1.  Peregrine Falcons:  Population Recovery and Beyond

Wednesday, March 21, 7-9 p.m. - Free
Dimond Library, 3565 Fruitvale Ave., Oakland 94602

Learn about peregrine falcon recovery efforts from bird bander and conservation biologist Glenn R. Stewart, director of the University of California Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group. Glenn will describe the techniques used by the Predatory Bird Research Group to achieve the peregrine falcon population recovery, discuss current studies of the recovered population that foster conservation education, and make specific comments about the Sausal Creek Watershed peregrine falcons that nest at the Fruitvale Bridge. He will be accompanied by a live peregrine falcon. This event takes place at the bimonthly Friends of Sausal Creek member meeting. All are welcome! Flyer at
Contact:  Kimra at (510) 501-3672 or



Dear California residents,

2011 was a bad year for our oaks. Prolonged Spring rains have resulted in a significant spread of Sudden Oak Death throughout the State, including areas like Marin and Sonoma that have already witnessed serious outbreaks in the past, and new areas like the East Bay and the Carmel Valley.
Become involved and help to map the distribution of SOD in the State by joining the group of hundreds of citizen scientists who have been helping for the past four years by participating in local SOD BLITZES.  Attend a one-hour long local training offered by U.C. Berkeley Dr. Matteo Garbelotto on weekends throughout the State, obtain your SOD collection package, and then collect symptomatic plant material in the 48 hours following the training.  Plant material will be processed at Berkeley and results will be posted on an interactive web-available map on October first. Do not bring material before you attend the training session, as plants need to be sampled following a precise although simple protocol!

Whether you have already participated in a SOD BLITZ, or it is your first time, California oaks need you:  residents with confirmed local SOD infections in their neighborhood can in fact protect their trees from becoming infected rather inexpensively.  Training sessions on how to manage SOD are offered monthly at U.C. Berkeley, and weekly during the Fall in various California locations.

Main reasons to participate in a 2012 SOD-BLITZ:

-       SOD changes distribution every year

-    2011 was a major year (a "wave" year) for SOD spread, most of the spread occurred AFTER the 2011 Blitzes were conducted

-        Years following a  "wave" year are also conducive to the spread of SOD. Hence, we predict the pathogen will spread further in 2012

-     2012 Blitzes will follow a NEW protocol that will allow us to estimate the actual local SOD infection rate, rather that just informing on local SOD distribution!
A list with times and locations of 2012 SOD BLITZES can be accessed by going to

Matteo Garbelotto, Director: U.C. Berkeley Forest Pathology Laboratory


3.  Interested in setting our 2012 policy agenda?

SF Beautiful is looking for your input to help us set an agenda for our Public Affairs committee.

Our stakeholders have identified three areas where we should focus our efforts:
    •    Neighborhood Greening
    •    Public Space Activation 
    •    Streetscape Improvements 
How can we better work for you and your community?
Let us know!

4.  The Coastside Land Trust Gallery is soliciting submissions for our spring art show, May 6 to June 24, 2012.

Artist's work must reflect our mission, all media are invited to be considered, and submissions will be accepted to March 31. Please see details and application:

Ongoing and Upcoming:
      Mid-winter Art Show through April 29, original artwork by 20 artists, gallery open M-F 11 - 2 and Sun 9 - 1
      Wildflower Identification Workshop & Railroad Right-of-Way Tour, April 21, 1 - 5 pm
      Please "like" us on our Facebook page or follow us @CoastLandTrust
      Native plants for sale, 1 gal, $10 each
      Plants and Plant Communities of the San Mateo Coast by Avis Boutell, Toni Corelli and Nancy Frost, $20
      Envirotokens for bringing your own bag earns CLT 10 cents each at New Leaf Market

5.  Reclaiming Montana

Born to be wild

Buffalo are coming back to the American prairie

Mar 17th 2012 | BLAINE COUNTY, MONTANA | from The Economist
Oh give them a home
IN A quiet spot in eastern Montana, on rolling golden prairies and under vast skies, 71 buffalo calves charge out of a corral. Kicking up dust as they run, they quickly join a herd of several hundred American buffalo of all ages. The calves had arrived by road from Elk Island reserve in Canada; they are pure descendants of the buffalo that once lived in this area. At the end of the 19th century just a few were saved from American hunters and bred, in peace, on the other side of the border.
Before Europeans arrived in North America as many as 60m buffalo are estimated to have ranged across the Great Plains. From around 1830, however, they were systematically killed until only a handful remained. Buffalo were taken for their hides, or simply because they were getting in the way of settlers. Men like Buffalo Bill slaughtered thousands.

At the end there was also a deliberate policy of wiping out the lumbering giants in order to remove the staple food source of Native Americans and to force them on to reservations. Last week’s buffalo “homecoming” was an emotional event for the Gros Ventre and Salish-Kootenai tribes who witnessed it.
Ultimately it is logic and enormous ambition that lie behind the return of the buffalo to Montana. The idea, says Sean Gerrity, president of the American Prairie Reserve (APR), a charity, is to create the largest wildlife reserve anywhere in the contiguous 48 states. Mr Gerrity wants to rebuild a vast native prairie of 3.6m acres (9.9m hectares) where an enormous herd of wild buffalo can roam free once again.

Recreating America’s version of Africa’s Serengeti means thinking big. A sustainable ecosystem needs to be able to cope with fires, disease and icing over of parts of the ground in the winter. But such a reserve would be of international significance. Grasslands, which are economically valuable as farmland, are enormously underrepresented in nature reserves in America and worldwide. Temperate grasslands have the lowest level of protection of the world’s 14 recognised “biomes”, or habitats.

APR is currently spending about $6m a year, largely on land. By autumn it will own or lease 270,000 acres. One of the first jobs APR has to do when it obtains land is to remove the fences. A single ranch can easily have more than 800 miles of barriers. APR will ultimately be able to stitch together a network of private and public land to create its reserve. But even though the land is cheap, at around $450 an acre, APR will need $330m to set up the reserve and a further $120m for an endowment to maintain it and pay for grazing rights.

Buying land in eastern Montana is not difficult. Thanks to its lack of water, ranching in the area is hard work, often marginal and increasingly unpopular with the children of ranchers. Those ranches that are still in business are in effect subsidised by the government, which charges grazing fees of just $1.35 a month for each cow on federal land.

In only 14 years from now, thanks largely to the buffalo’s natural fecundity, APR will have over 5,000 buffalo, the largest conservation herd on the planet. Significantly, this herd will be entirely free of cattle genes—unlike most existing buffalo herds in America, which have interbred with domestic cattle. Officially, the American buffalo is now a type of livestock. But one day, if Mr Gerrity gets his way, his buffalo will be declared wild animals again.

Part of the restoration project requires the return of another crucial species: the prairie dog. This “dog” is actually a small ground squirrel that forms large underground colonies. More important, it is the Chicken McNugget of the prairie—a convenient snack food for almost every creature, from burrowing owls and ferruginous hawks to foxes and even wolves.

Prairie dogs are hated by ranchers, who say their burrows pose a danger to cattle. So they are poisoned on a large scale. APR is in the early stages of developing a wildlife-friendly label for beef produced on ranches that are friendly to such prairie wildlife. In many parts of the world, such labels allow producers to command premiums for their produce.

Mr Gerrity says that the reserve will take decades to complete. But one day, he says, Americans will be able to come on safari in their own country and roam across the prairies, unencumbered by fences, to view abundance rather than emptiness.

When the explorers Lewis and Clark arrived in Montana in 1805 they found more wildlife than they had seen in any other part of their journey; elk, antelope, deer, beavers and grizzly bears. The buffalo came in “gangues” of tens of thousands. Restoring the abundance seen by early explorers, and with nothing more than private money, is a worthy gift to any nation.


6.  Feedback

Rachel Kesel:
Wow! I just read this article about Eric Mills and am so impressed. I'm so glad you connected us.

March 27, 2012 (7pm PST)
Gina Farr- guest speaker, presentation- Coexisting with Coyotes. Location: San Francisco SPCA (16th and Alabama), San Francisco, CA.

"The people who love coyotes inappropriately are as bad as those that hate them.  They're the ones who are 'cootchy coo'-ing them onto the back porch, feeding them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches."  
Mary Ann Bonnell, senior natural resources specialist for the city of Aurora, Colorado
    From High Country News


If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
    -Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer

I have received a number of inquires about the bright "stars" or planets now showing in the night sky.  They are Jupiter and Venus in the west after sunset, and the ruddy Mars high in the east at dark.   Bob Hall, who forwarded the below poem, talks about four visible planets "right now".  Not so, unless you have a telescope and dark skies to catch Uranus and Neptune.  The fourth naked-eye planet, Saturn, will join us late next month, and Mercury is so close to the Sun that occasions to see it are rare.  JS

From Bob Hall:
I heard this poem on the Writer's Almanac. Thought it was timely since many of us are paying attention the four visible planets in the night sky right now.

Looking at the Sky
   by Anne Porter
I never will have time
I never will have time enough
To say
How beautiful it is
The way the moon
Floats in the air
As easily
And lightly as a bird
Although she is a world
Made all of stone.

I never will have time enough
To praise
The way the stars
Hang glittering in the dark
Of steepest heaven
Their dewy sparks
Their brimming drops of light
So fresh so clear
That when you look at them
It quenches thirst.

"Looking at the Sky" by Anne Porter, from Living Things: Collected Poems. © Zoland Books, 2006. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)


9.  credo
This credo I hereby affirm. I will never say marginalize or use privilege as a verb. I will avoid closure except perhaps when discussing the endings of poems. I will avoid gnostic altogether. I will not say societal and comedic where social and comic will serve just as well. I will not say hegemony except with irony. I will not put nestled, cradled, or shimmered in poems, and I will stop reading any poem that has cupped in it, or scrim, sure signs of poetical intent. I will not split infinitives if I can help it. I will use correct grammar, but I will feel free to leave out punctuation marks when it suits my purposes in a poem. I will welcome new oxymorons, as when a friend complains that she has “an ancient computer.” I will allow no-brainer and Prozac and feng shui into my poetry, not to mention the Net, the Web, the Windows software that came with the box, my laptop, my desktop, my ergonomic workstation, the bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome I suffered a few years ago, and other things that would have made no sense to anyone thirty years ago. I will love the language as a living thing that never stops evolving. — DL
A Word A Day

I was delighted to read today's entry about the word "preantepenultimate".

I have wondered, on and off, whether such a word existed ever since I listened to the song "Have Some Madeira M'Dear" by Flanders and Swann, which contains the lines

"Then there flashed through her mind what her mother had said
With her antepenultimate breath".

Ian Gordon, Surrey, UK

Now here's a word I use every time I travel!  Several years ago I was looking for a word to describe the endless "final" calls targeting wayward airplane passengers. Now, rather than bemoan yet another "final" call, I ask myself whether the announcement will be the preantepenultimate, antepenultimate, penultimate, or ultimate. After these it's time to get up and watch the passengers' luggage being unloaded.

Pamela Welch, Montreal, Canada

"Fourth from the last"

Try again!
ultimate - last
penultimate - one from the last
antepenultimate - two from the last
preantepenultimate - three from the last.

Of course, this could be the standard English/American problem of whether you start counting from zero or one. The obvious example of that is in numbering the floors in a building. English call the bottom one the ground floor (floor zero) while Americans call it the first floor (floor one).

Tony Adams, Hobart, Australia
preantepenultimate - 18 letters.
Fourth from the last - 17 letters.

I can't imagine there are too many words where it would be quicker (and easier to spell) the definition rather than the word.

Francis Gibbons, Baltimore, Maryland

Wars damage the civilian society as much as they damage the enemy. Soldiers never get over it. -Paul Fussell, historian, author, and professor (b. 1924)

Wilfred Owen, born 18 March1893

Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, 
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!--An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

From the internet:
In 1917 Wilfred Owen suffered severe concussion and 'trench-fever' whilst fighting on the Somme and spent a period recuperating at Craiglockart War Hospital, near Edinburgh. It was here that he met Siegfried Sassoon who read his poems, suggested how they might be improved, and offered him much encouragement.

He was posted back to France in 1918 where he won the MC before being killed on the Sombre Canal a week before the Armistice was signed.

His poetry owes its beauty to a deep ingrained sense of compassion coupled with grim realism. Owen is also acknowledged as a technically accomplished poet and master of metrical variety.

Poems such as 'Dulce Decorum Est' and 'Anthem for doomed Youth' have done much to influence our attitudes towards war.

11.  * * * The Book * * *
New Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge Device

The Book!

Very user friendly!

Books are easy to access

THE BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology. No wires. No electric circuits. No batteries. Nothing to be connected or switched on. So easy to use, even a child can operate it. Compact and portable. Can be used anywhere -- even sitting in an armchair by the fire -- yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc. Here's how it works:

THE BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information.

The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density.

THE BOOKs with more information simply use more pages. Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet.

THE BOOK may be taken up at any time and used merely by opening it.

THE BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, though like other display devices it can become unusable if dropped overboard. The Browse feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an Index feature, which pinpoints the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval.

An optional Bookmark accessory allows you to open THE BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session -- even if THE BOOK has been closed.

Bookmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single Bookmark can be used in THE BOOK by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous Bookmarks can be used in THE BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in THE BOOK.

You can also make personal notes next to THE BOOK text entries with an optional programming tool, the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus (Pencil).

 Affordable, durable and portable, THE BOOK is being hailed as a precursor of a new entertainment wave. Also, THE BOOK's appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform with investors growing daily.

 * * * The Book ! * * *Thanks to .. Hans-Dieter Bertuch


Please join us for this upcoming concert featuring the Buds!  The concert is on Friday, March 23rd, at the Cadillac Hotel, 380 Eddy Street, SF, between the hours of 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm.  The Buds return to the Cadillac with their unique blend of covers and original songs  of independence, heartache, love, desire, social commentary and reflection!  Free.

No comments:

Post a Comment