by Ingrid Spetz
So much of our modern world is based upon conveying information. As a species, we know more collectively now than we’ve ever known before, and that knowledge is growing exponentially. In a world with so much important information out there competing for our attention, how do we decide what to pay attention to? And what do we actually remember?
These were some of the questions that we pondered during a five-day interpretive planning workshop I attended last week in the Carmel River Valley. As interpreters of the natural world, our job is to help instill in others a love of nature and a desire to protect it. How we form that bridge between what people hold as their own highest, most closely-held values and the conservation work that we do is key to developing the support that is needed to continue this work into future generations.
by Bob Neale
As I bumped around in my morning routine, I noticed the sun shining its early light so much lower on the horizon. Glorious. Every year it seems that it is suddenly fall. Not a slow coming round the corner day by day but a thump, a sudden change, a new scent in the air, the colors are different, a sudden chill.
Summer is over. I love autumn, even though I’m not a fan of change. And that’s what it harbors — the closing of childish joys of summer vacation, a visceral hint at the darkness and cold to come. And that brief time in between is the absolute best time to be alive in California and in Sonoma County.
Don’t you just want to shut down your computer and run out into the fall air and frolic in the poetry of the season? Well, that’s what we like to do here at Sonoma Land Trust — literally. Enjoy a few Haiku written by our stewardship staff to ponder over a tasty cup of joe.
by Shanti Edwards
Every year around this time — as the big leaf maples turn gold and begin dropping leaves, the reddish haze from distant fires fills the air and signs of the shifting seasons appear — I notice raptors abounding in the rolling grasslands of our coastal preserves. In addition to the dramatic influx of Kestrels, Red-tailed Hawks, Kites and Northern Harriers, we are visited by migrating raptors such as Cooper’s Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks and Ferruginous Hawks, all of whom bring their annual dance of migration and predation with vivid displays of exquisitely patterned wings.
by Trevor George
For a construction project like this, it’s tempting to wait until the end and just share the final completed project with “before” and “after” photos. And I will do that when the bridge is complete, but I think part of the intent of this blog is to show you the inside of some of these projects. So we’re going to take a look at what it takes to build a bridge at Live Oaks Ranch.
The old, culverted bridge (see photo below) has been eroding and is at serious risk of failure. By replacing this with a new, free-span structure set above the creek, we are helping to restore the natural stream bed, provide better passage for aquatic wildlife and stop erosion that degrades water quality. Since this property contains residences across Bidwell Creek into the farmstead, we’re keeping the old bridge functional and passable while we build the new bridge slightly downstream. Once the new bridge is complete, we’ll demolish and remove the old one. This project is just one part of our greater habitat enhancement plans for Bidwell Creek on Live Oaks Ranch.
by Tony Nelson
Yesterday, as I was checking into some things at Glen Oaks Ranch and walking by the old stone “mansion,” it occurred to me that it is almost time for one of my least favorite annual chores.
I love the crisp days of fall with visions of cooking everything pumpkin. I don’t mind the deepening cold — and I love rain when we get it — but I lament the passing of summer’s sun and really good peaches. I know I’m not alone in this amongst my fellow hominids, but wild animals have more to deal with living outdoors and I suspect they are not as comfortable with the changing weather soon to hit us.
Sonoma Land Trust is a local nonprofit based in Santa Rosa, CA, that conserves scenic, natural, agricultural and open lands in Sonoma County for the benefit of the community and future generations. This blog focuses on SLT's stewardship team, whose members do hands-on work to directly protect, restore, and safeguard the land for generations to come.