renaissance

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: 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 ...

Eye on Nature: Built to Last, Pelicans Thrive Again

By Ellen Girardeau Kempler Models of tactical precision, squadrons of brown pelicans have become a familiar sight in Laguna and all along the California coastline. They conduct their fish-finding missions gliding just above the waves in lines of three or more birds, or flying...

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...