Nature

Preserving and Sharing Rancho Mark West

Dec 5, 2016
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

For 50 years, Jim Doerkson has managed and maintained a small mountainside covered in fir and redwood, and narrow footpaths. His Rancho Mark West is becoming an increasingly popular place for nature education and family outings.

Getting a First and Close-Up Look at Yosemite

Sep 25, 2016
Jonathan Bravo, LandPaths

For several years, LandPaths has been offering hikes and other outings for Sonoma County’s Latino residents. This weekend, they took that program a big step further.

Rolling Out an Accessible ‘Hike’

May 17, 2016
Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District

  A quartet of Sonoma County agencies teamed up last weekend to organize and support a first-ever group outdoor outing for non-ambulatory Nature lovers. KRCB News Director Bruce Robinson tagged along.

Queen of the Sun

Dec 18, 2015

  Honey bees have been pollinating plants all over planet Earth for millennia. But now, rather abruptly, there are far fewer of them around to do the job. A new documentary examines the history of bees—and worries about their future.

  

An abridged version of Queen of the Sun: What Are The Bees Telling Us? opens the new season of Natural Heroes  Monday evening at 7:30 on KRCB Television. See a trailer for the full-length film below.

Documenting California's Disappearing Glaciers

Sep 21, 2015
Tim Palmer

 Climate change is being felt even at the highest peaks in the Sierra Nevada, where the remaining glaciers in California are melting away. So Tim Palmer set out to capture them on film, while it was still possible. He talks about that project on this archive edition of the North Bay Report.

Landpaths Introduces ‘TrekSonoma’ Outings

Jun 25, 2015

  Landpaths is one of several local groups that is active in preserving and protecting scenic and unspoiled properties across Sonoma County. But they are also committed to getting people out on those lands, and will introduce a new series of extended outings later this summer.

Hiking across the countryside as part of a small group, says Landpaths Executive Director Craig Anderson, becomes a collective experience, which is quite different from traveling alone or with just one or two other people. 

California: A State of Change

Apr 15, 2015

Even before the first western men reached California, the natural environment was altered by the presence of native people. In State of Change, an impressive work or historical ecology, Laura Cunningham illustrates what the state might have looked like then—or even hundreds of years earlier.

Debunking Myths About Bats

Oct 10, 2014

  Even though we may not see them all that often, bats are common to Sonoma County. They are also the subject of many common—but erroneous—myths, which tend to come up every year around this time. To counter them, today we have some bat facts.

Rachel Griffiths will be the main presenter at a special Bats Day at the Laguna Environmental Center on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 11.

Tracking California's Fall Colors

Oct 1, 2014
Kevin Lennox

  As summer turns to fall, California experiences its own seasonal wave of brilliantly changing foliage, something that is now being tracked and reported online for the benefit of those who want to seek out the fall colors nearby.

See lots more multi-hued photography at the California Fall Colors website.

Fewer birds in North Bay skies

Sep 18, 2014

  Climate change and habitat loss are threatening the survival of hundreds of North American bird species. And local birding observers say, the numbers of numerous familiar birds are already visibly declining in the North Bay’s skies.

  The Pacific flyway along the North coast is a vital corridor for many larger birds of prey, but Susan Kirks, past president of the Madrone Audubon Society, says that as a group, they are among the most threatened species that traverse this region.

Federal Protection Sought for Monach Butterflies

Sep 2, 2014
Carly Voight / The Xerces Society

Colorful orange and black Monarch Butterflies used to be a frequent sight across northern California. But in recent years, their numbers have declined so sharply that federal protection is now being sought for the Monarchs. 

You can read the full petition to the US Fish and Wildlife Service here (it's very long) or an FAQ summary here.

The Curious World of Carnivorous Plants

May 7, 2014

  Horror movies and popular musicals notwithstanding, carnivorous plants do not eat people, nor do they grow to tower over us. Without that far-fetched scare factor, they are strangely beautiful…and decidedly weird.

Thinking Like A Naturalist

Feb 25, 2014

Part of the fun of being outdoors here in the North Bay is recognizing the birds, wildlife and flora that surround us. A trained naturalist will know more of the names and patterns all those things, but that’s not the only thing that separates him or her from us more casual observers. A program in Sonoma tomorrow night offers insights into those differences, and Bruce Robinson talks with the presenter for that event.

Bio-mimicry Gains Traction

Nov 14, 2013
Pax Scientific

  In the past decade and a half, some 200 new products have come onto the market, derived from the careful study of the plant and animal worlds through “bio-mimicry.” And a prominent businessman in the field predicts that’s a mere trickle, compared to the flood he expects to follow.

Jay Harman grew up along the Australian coast, where his fascination with the natural world developed early on.