SEARCH: The Sound of the Sea

 The Sound of the Sea
by Elliot Thorpe

MUSICThe sea has intrigued and called to humanity for centuries, and we take for granted now that the planet has been mapped to the nearest millimeter. Yet, take the idea, if you can, of standing in the relentless surf, looking toward the flat, wide horizon. Distant gulls swoop across the sky reaching even further still, and you wonder what it is about the oceans that tempts us so.

From such a rich canvas, we have seen much to fire our imaginations. From beautifully, emotive art such as Hokusai’s The Great Wave or Kensett’s tranquil Sunset to stories that bring to life the very sea itself as well as those who live on it, in it, or under it Hornblower, Moby Dick, and Ariel are three prime examples. Music, too, entices a … continue reading in the Summer 2018 issue.

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SEARCH: Octopus is Coolest

Octopus is Coolest
by Dianna Kersey

The hovering blue ringed octopus

From the Atlantic Pygmy Octopus to the fabled Kraken, octopuses have been entrenched in our culture as some of the coolest sea creatures to swim in our oceans and even to crawl on our lands.

Humans are simply fascinated by these weird enigmas. Who can resist H.P. Lovecraft’s famous Cthulhu monsters with their deadly tentacles? Or the dozens of movies from all over the globe featuring these suction cupped beasts? Let’s face it, we’re hooked. There are countless reasons why octopus are the coolest creatures in the sea, but let’s hit my top three.

Prison Breaks Nothing can keep these amazing eight-legged cephalopods in one place. It takes a very special type of tank to enclose these guys in captivity for very long. Marine biologists have … continue reading in the Summer 2018 issue.

SEARCH: Attracting Birds

Attracting Birds
by Kay Tracy

ATTRACKING BIRDSWhen you think of spring, what jumps into your head? For me, in addition to new plants and flowers, it’s the birds.

Even in the smallest patio garden one can find avian visitors. All you have to do is invite them. Food and water will do the trick. For some birds that is as simple as having plants that bloom. For others, try an invitation to dine with you.

Hummingbirds, unless you live near the Arctic Circle, will join you for an offering of sugar water. Colorful finches abound when seeds are on the menu. Do avoid bread. Look to quality mixed seeds for wild birds. You can use some of the resources listed at the end to help you determine what your goal with birds might be.

Add a source of water, like a glazed planting pot base or even an old clean dented frying pan, and you will delight them not only with a drink of water, but a spot for bathing. With the urbanization of the world, our small creatures have… continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue.

SEARCH: SCRAP, San Francisco

SCRAP, San Francisco
By Emerian Rich

SCRAPSFSCRAP is an awesome place for crafters, teachers, and makers. Essentially an art and crafts thrift store, this nonprofit is a great place to both donate and shop.

Calling themselves “a source for the resourceful”, SCRAP is a creative re-use center, material depot, and workshop space founded in 1973. Breathing new life into old objects, SCRAP reduces waste by diverting over 200 tons of materials heading to landfill every year. For those looking for a learning opportunity, SCRAP offers classes and workshops. Some are regular drop-in events, while others require registration beforehand.

Located at 801 Toland Street, San Francisco, this is a creators dream. Supplies are inexpensive and range from fabric and home decorating items to paper, craft supplies, crayons, and books. Educators will love…continue reading in the Winter issue for 2017.

SEARCH: Rodeo, California

Rodeo, California
By Leslie Light

RodeoRodeo, California was not my first choice to live in. It’s a small town on the north-western edge of the San Francisco Bay Area. It isn’t tony, or upscale, or even hipster. What it is, however, is easy. Easy to get to and out of. Easy to stay in and make a quiet home. We’ve been here five years and will probably stay five more.

Rodeo is bisected by the I-80 freeway. The built up part of town can be divided into three areas: Old, Mid-Century, and New. Most of the Rodeo town limits is open space where cows graze, and there is rumored to be an old military installation somewhere. Regardless of where you are, you can see a field of grass.

In the “old” part of town are cute three and four bedroom houses built before WWII. Sitting porches with views of rose bushes are the primary look and feel. Many have back decks have a view of San Pablo Bay. Most of the Mid-Century houses were built for…continue reading in the Winter issue for 2017.

SEARCH: Galindo House, Concord

Galindo House, Concord
By Emerian Rich

Galindo.jpgMost Concord residents never knew the Galindo house existed until a few years ago when the Concord Historical Society took charge of the estate and cleaned up the trees and greenery in front of it.

Located at 1721 Amador Avenue, Galindo House was built in 1856 for one of Concord’s founders, Don Francisco Galindo and his wife Maria Dolores Manuella Pacheco. The six-room farmhouse sat on the then seventeen-thousand acres of land granted to Galindo after the Mesoamerican War. The names Galindo and Pacheco will sound familiar to residents because many of our streets and buildings are named after the founding fathers. Don Salvio Pacheo’s Adobe at 1870 Abode Street—belonging to Maria’s father—is another notable building still standing from that time period, but Galindo House was the first wooden house built in town. …continue reading in the Winter issue for 2017.

SEARCH: El Sobrante

El Sobrante
By Emerian Rich

EL SOBRANTE_Rancho El Sobrante used to be the home of the Huichin, an Ohlone Tribe. Spanish missionaries took over the land around 1795, and after Mexico independence from Spain, it was deeded to Juan Jose and Victor Castro. El Sobrante is Spanish for “remaining land” and it’s fitting, given the three odd -shaped pieces of land it covers in-between Pinole, Richmond, and San Pablo.

El Sobrante used to have the reputation of being wild but in recent years has become a more family oriented with many parks in the area. Kennedy Grove, for example, is a great place to have picnics or toss around a football. They also have hiking trails and excellent bird-watching opportunities. For water sports, San Pablo Reservoir offers fishing, boat rentals, kayaking, and canoeing. Water birds abound at the reservoir including white pelicans, geese, ducks, and shorebirds. Along the trails, you can see wild turkey, quail, and dove, as well as predators such as eagles, ospreys, hawks, and owls. You might even spy a deer or a bobcat.

The annual El Sobrante Stroll is an event…continue reading in the Fall issue for 2017.