HAPPY WANDERER – FAR AWAY PLACES CLOSE TO HOME

CONTRACOSTATIMES.COM February 13, 2009

TRAVELING IS GOOD for the soul, albeit not so good for the wallet. But with a cowlittle imagination, you can visit some far off places sans your suitcase and credit cards.

Here are my fave five East Bay getaways:

1. Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve. It’s Ireland without the pubs. The undulating terrain formed by ever-shifting tectonic plates reminds me of the hills south of Dublin in County Wicklow. And while Sibley’s prominent feature is Round Top, the 10 million-year-old volcano, I’m more smitten with the bovine. Continue reading

Look out for the lady bugs

MONTCLARION NEWSPAPER – February 6,  2009

HERE IN THE HILLS, we do things differently. While the rest of the country counts on the groundhog to predict the ladybugs2arrival of spring, we look to the lady bug. Indeed, the gals have already gathered at their annual convention site in Redwood Park Girls Camp. One has to wonder if they pick this place to be gender specific, or for its dew-kissed, aphid rich soil. There’s also the matter of privacy, as the lady bugs are mating here and being ladies would prefer that the whole world weren’t watching. To this end, I would recommend that the Girls Camp trail be closed during lady bug mating season. The East Bay Regional Park District does this for newts in Tilden Park and newts aren’t nearly as cute.

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