renaissance

Eye on Nature

No Butts About It: Earth Day is Everyday By Ellen Girardeau Kempler By the time you read this, Earth Day 2014 will be history. The now-annual observance that started in 1970 has become a touchstone for campaigns around a host of causes from water conservation to land...

Eye on Nature: Hummingbird Haven

By Ellen Girardeau Kempler   The battle begins every morning at the hummingbird feeder outside my bedroom window.  Even before I’m fully awake, I’m aware of the shrill, aggressive chirps of hummingbirds battling it out over the sugar water nectar. Our resident warriors are...

Eye on Nature: Coyote Caution

By Ellen Girardeau Kempler   In neighborhoods bordering Laguna’s wilderness, there’s a natural echo you often hear when fire engines answer a nighttime call.  The primal, high-pitched yips, yaps, yelps and howls of coyote packs riled by such urban sounds as sirens, alarms...

Eye on Nature: A Flowering Invader

By Ellen Girardeau Kempler   California’s original gold arrived long before the prospectors.  Each spring, tall swaths of European black mustard cover the Golden State’s coastal wilderness in bright blooms. According to many sources, starting in the 1630s the Spanish padres ...

Tree lover supports view ordinance

Editor, Our civic literary culture has been enriched and enhanced immeasurably by the nature writing of Ellen Girardeau Kempler. Her “keep it wild” bio-essays for the Laguna Canyon Foundation always eloquently and informatively articulated sound environmental ethics....

Eye on Nature: Saddleback’s Past is Part of OC’s View

by Ellen Girardeau Kempler   Southern Orange County’s view across a sea of development toward Saddleback is a rugged reminder of wilder times. Forming the saddle at 5,687 and 5,496 feet respectively, Santiago and Modjeska peaks mark the highest, and most visible,...

Eye on Nature: Observing Gray Whales’ Historic Migration

By Ellen Girardeau Kempler   In his 1841 travelogue, “Two Years Before the Mast,” sailor Richard Henry Dana described seeing gray whales for the first time, on their migration south to Mexico: “For the first few days…we watched them with great interest–calling o...