Plant Trees SF Events 2011 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Event

 
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1.   Native Perennials for the Garden - TONIGHT in Campbell
2.   Blue Greenway community workshop Thursday June 16
3.   Wildflowers of Monterey County June 17 in Los Altos
4.   Art in Storefronts talk June 15/butterfly habitat gardening June 23/SOMA volunteer garden workday June 25
5.   Urban sustainable gardening
6.   Beginner's Woody Plant Walk @ Alum Rock Park June 19
7.   Call of Life:  Facing the Mass Extinction film - Pt Reyes Station June 15
8.   Showing all summer:  Tarantulas Alive and Up Close at SF Zoo
9.   Being in the thick of it turned a trapper – a killer – into perhaps the best friend that wolves ever had - Wolfer
10.  Egretfully, VII - improvisational/choreographed dance
11.  The Transcontinental Railroads and Wars Better Left Unfought - June 16
12.  Community Archaeological Dig at El Polin Spring June 18
13.  Feedback:  Picasso, computers
14.  3-minute video of Western Fence Lizards and their relation to ticks and Lyme Disease
15.  Diving spiders make their own gills
16.  Prey, predator make same poison - independently evolved cyanide recipe
17.  Tracing genetic roots of a classic evolutionary tale:  how moth lost its speckles
18.  Scientific American potpourri

“Most scientists today began their careers as children, chasing bugs and snakes, collecting spiders, and feeling awe in the presence of nature. Since such untidy activities are fast disappearing, how, then, will our future scientists learn about nature?”  -Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

1.  Tuesday, Jun 14, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Native Perennials for the Garden, a talk by Stephanie Curtis
Campbell Library, 77 Harrison Ave., Campbell. (408) 866-1991.

Beautiful and vibrantly colorful California native perennials require little input from the gardener, yet provide unmatched habitat value for birds, butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. Learn about popular, cultivated native perennials from the major plant communities of the Bay Area. Stephanie Curtis is the owner of Curtis Horticulture, a landscape construction firm, specializing in the design and maintenance of native plant landscapes. 


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2.  Meeting notice and agenda for this Thursday's (6/16) Blue Greenway community workshop, where concepts for improvements to the Blue Greenway Linking Streets, Signage and Site Furnishings will be presented and the project cost and draft prioritization will be reviewed.
The meeting is at Pier 1 and is from 5:30 - 7:30, the following is the agenda:

1. Introduction and Review of Planning Process (5:30-5:40)
2. Review Linking Street Concepts (5:40 - 6:10)
3. Review Signage Concepts (6:10 - 6:50)
4. Review Revised Site Furnishing Standards Concept (6:50-7:10)
5. Review Draft Project Cost  & Prioritization (7:10 - 7:25)
6. Next Steps (7:25 -7:30)

The revised draft  of the Blue Greenway Planning and Design Guidelines, which includes the concepts, cost and draft prioritization is available on line at www.sfport.com/bluegreenway

We will be taking public comments on this document at the workshop and up to July 29th.


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3.
The Wildflowers of Monterey County
Speakers: Michael Mitchell & Rod Yeager
Friday, June 17, 7:30 PM
Los Altos Library Program Room
13 S. San Antonio Road, Los Altos

Of the 5,862 species and subspecies of native plants in California, more than 2,000 are to be found within Monterey County. We will get a glimpse of this incredible plant diversity from the authors of the new field guide, Wildflowers of Garland Ranch.

Garland Ranch offers a microcosm of the plant habitats found throughout the county. Located in Carmel Valley, this regional park comprises 3,464 acres at the northern end of the Santa Lucia mountain range with the Carmel River running along part of its northern boundary. Its 50 miles of hiking trails cover a diverse range of habitats, from the riparian and flood plain to lowland oak woodlands and redwoods, to sage brush and chaparral before reaching the ridge lines at 1,500-2,000’, with their exposed grasslands and scrub. Garland Ranch is home to over 350 species of flowering plants. An observant hiker who goes through both the woodland areas and chaparral to the ridges may expect to see close to 100 species on a spring day.


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4.  Art in Storefronts Talk - Wednesday, June 15 · 6:00pm - 9:00pm

at the luggage store 1007 Market Street San Francisco
Swallowtails & Sycamores

Before
    Before

amberimage

Photo by Lydia Gonzales
    Photo by Lydia Gonzales


Description: Amber Hasselbring brings to life the story of the Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly and the London Plane tree, two indigenous species found on Market Street. Drawing attention to one of the natural habitats found on San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, the saturated, realistic photo-collage mural illustrates the metamorphosis of the butterfly and its specific relationship to the trees which populate Central Market.

Butterfly Habitat Gardening - Thursday, June 23 · 10:00am - 1:00pm

at Bulb-outs at the intersection of Precita and Folsom

Join us, and work with Precita Valley Neighbors to expand butterfly habitat in Precita Park street side. One garden in place already at Precita Alabama Triangle, and the other will be built at Precita and Folsom June 23. 

Precita Alabama Triangle: female west coast painted lady, Vanessa anabella laying eggs on a larval food plant, Sidalcea malvaeflora

SOMArts Volunteer Garden Workday - Saturday, June 25 · 11:00am - 4:00pm

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5.  Urban sustainable gardening.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/06/08/HOO91JL14L.DTL#ixzz1P6amj8ww

The securest guarantee of the long-term good health of both farmland and city is, I believe, locally produced food…
         Wendell Berry

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6.  Beginner’s Woody Plant Walk @ Alum Rock Park
Sunday, June 19, 9:00am-2:00pm

It was once a tourist attraction with spas, a swimming pool, and a light rail terminus; today it is a scenic and serene city park returning to its original natural state. Join us for a plant walk along Alum Rock Park’s cool and shady South Rim Trail. On this hike, our focus will be on identifying woody shrubs and trees. Expect to see several native oaks, bay laurel, gray pine, holly-leaved cherry, buckeye, coffeeberry, holly-leaved redberry, blue elderberry, toyon, hillside gooseberry, sticky monkeyflower, and blue witch, among others. Beginners interested in basic plant identification are welcome. The distance is 2 miles with 600’ of elevation gain. Bring water and a bag lunch.

Space is limited. RSVP to arvind.kumar@cnps.org or 408-715-7020 for directions to the meeting place. This walk is open to CNPS members; memberships are accepted at the trailhead.
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We are the only species with a concept of death and extinction

7.  Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction - Film Showing (1 hour)
Presbyterian Church - Point Reyes Station (up the hill from the gas station)
Wednesday, June 15 at 6:30 pm - discussion to follow viewing
Sponsored by Mainstreet Moms and Transition West Marin (663-1380)
$2 Donation Requested to cover use of space

Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction is the first feature documentary to investigate the growing threat to Earth’s life support systems from this unprecedented loss of biodiversity. Through interviews with leading scientists, psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers, and indigenous and religious leaders, the film explores the causes, the scope, and the potential effects of the mass extinction, but also looks beyond the immediate causes of the crisis to consider how our cultural and economic systems, along with deep-seated psychological and behavioral patterns, have allowed this situation to develop, continue to reinforce it, and even determine our response to it.

Call of Life tells the story of a crisis not only in nature, but also in human nature, a crisis more threatening than anything human beings have ever faced before.

Warning:  This film is depressing and is a wake up call for urgent action, not for those wishing to stick their heads into the sand.

http://calloflife.org/

Link to interviewees:  http://calloflife.org/p-appearing.htm

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8.  Patrick Schlemmer:
We just opened a new tarantula exhibit at the Zoo. Tarantulas Alive and Up Close features 20 different species and runs through Labor Day. You can see a short clip of me talking about it for Channel 2 here: www.ktvu.com/video/28204203/index.html.
It’s a fun exhibit. I recommend you check it out sometime over the summer!

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9.  When was the last time you devoured a book in one sitting?

 
WOLFER By Carter Niemeyer
2011 gold medalist, Independent Book Publisher Awards

 
In his page-turning memoir, Carter Niemeyer lets you ride shotgun in an action-packed adventure – and sometimes misadventure – through a wild life working with predators. Caught between the ranchers and the environmentalists, Niemeyer pushed, cajoled and negotiated, trying to preserve what's wild in the American West. Being in the thick of it turned a trapper – a killer – into perhaps the best friend that wolves ever had.

 
With an introduction by Nicholas Evans, author of The Horse Whisperer


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10.  Egretfully, VII
( 7th improvisational/ choreographed dance)


June 18 - 2PM.

HONORING Egret

Audubon Canyon Ranch
ON the lawn

( egrets are nesting in the trees above the dance!)

LOCATION Address: 4900 Shoreline Hwy.
Just past Stinson Beach
( 3 miles north of Stinson Beach)
Allow travel time over the Mt Tam route please.
( picnics welcome)

FREE performance though contributions welcome!

INFORMATION: ( 415) 868-9244
www.egret.org

Patricia Bulitt, dancer, will present solo dance with cello music by Gretchen Yanover on June 18th.

Her work incorporates and celebrates years of observing the egret movement and engaging with naturalists.  Honored with grants from numerous agencies such as Choreography Fellowship from National Endowment for the Arts, East Bay Community Foundation, Alaska Humanities Forum, New Pacific Studio Fellowship, her work has been presented in US, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand.

Honoring birds on the waters of Lake Merritt, for the Wildlife Center in New Zealand, Alaska, and at the ranch, this dance is an invitation to remember beauty and peace.

EGRETFULLY was presented in Bethel, Alaska as part of "Refuge Week," 2010, and in Kyoto and Tsuwano, Japan, 2010.

Contact: Patricia Bulitt
creek.dancer@earthlink.net

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11.  Voices & Views: Contemporary Historians at the Presidio - Lecture Series through November 17, 2011

Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop
Author of "Railroaded" Featured in New History Series
The next installment in the Contemporary Historians at the Presidio series is The Transcontinental Railroads and Wars Better Left Unfought, featuring Richard White of Stanford University. White is the author of the new book Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America. He will share his perspective on the story behind how the system came to be. Please join us on Thursday, June 16. The author will sign books beginning at 6:30 pm; lecture at 7 pm. Free. No reservations required. To learn more about other upcoming programs in this new series, visit the website.

 
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12.  Community Archaeology Dig at El Polin Spring
image002.jpg
The Presidio Archaeology Lab invites you to participate in a Community Archaeology Dig this June. The lab is seeking volunteers to help excavate the Works Progress Administration (WPA) cobblestone channel at El Polin Spring in the Tennessee Hollow Watershed. Individuals and families are invited to participate. Come learn about the park’s history and the process of archaeology.
Saturday, June 18
Session 1: 10 am to 12:30 pm (family session)
Session 2: 2 to 4:30 pm
Saturday, June 25
Session 3: 10 am to 12:30 pm
Session 4: 2 to 4:30 pm (family session)
*Registration is required (space limited). Contact Katie Ahern, Archaeology Education and Outreach Coordinator, at kahern@presidiotrust.gov or (415) 561-4163.

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13.  Feedback

Anthony Holdsworth (re Picasso, computers):
> Picasso once remarked "Art is a lie that reveals the truth." Most art is a lie that amuses, distracts or deludes us.  This is art that is popular, mainstream or immediatley accepted by the academy (cutting-edge these days). But I do believe that art can, by often devious means, pull back the curtain on reality, otherwise I wouldn't bother.

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"I think biology must be one of the most satisfying careers because the things you are studying are so absolutely and endlessly real and interesting and directly important.  You never have to doubt the validity and interest of what you are doing."  Peter Raven

14.  Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) 
photograph/video link:
 
photo by Robert MacConnell, 6-9-11 at Transmitter Site
 
VIDEO, SCINTILLATING INTERVIEW
Please click on the photo to watch a 3 minute video all about Western Fence Lizards and their relationship to the insects* known as Ticks, and Lyme Disease...  The audio is from an interview
conducted by KPFA's CS Soong with naturalist John Muir Laws, which was broadcast recently on 5-24-11 for the noontime "Against The Grain" show.  That interview is a TREASURE TROVE
of information relevant to the transmitter site, and presented in a totally scintillating, exciting, and understandable aura...  I plan to make a similar video with a clip from that interview about
the American Kestrel, and I hope to make the entire 45 minute (or so) discussion between Mr. Soong and Mr. Laws available too...

(*  Ticks are arachnids (8 legs), not insects (6)  JS)

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“[Biology] is the least self-centered, the least narcissistic of the sciences—the one that, by taking us out of ourselves, leads us to re-establish the link with nature and to shake ourselves free from our spiritual isolation.”   Jean Rostand, French biologist 1894-1977

15.  Diving spiders make their own gills
Like underwater insects, aquatic arachnids can pull oxygen from water
By Daniel Strain
Thursday, June 9th, 2011

ds_JEB-5-Argyroneta-eating-water-flea-in-bubble-2011-014110.jpg

DETACHABLE GILL
Eurasian diving bell spiders breathe underwater by staying close to air bubbles that they trap in webbing. These air bells work like “physical gills,” researchers say, drawing oxygen in from the surrounding water.Stefan Hetz, adapted with permission from Jo. of Experimental Bio.
In Germany’s Eider River, spiders not only swim with the fishes, they kind of breathe like them, too.
Eurasian diving bell spiders (Argyroneta aquatica) survive entirely underwater by living in large air bubbles, which the crawlers trap in silken webs. A new study shows that these bubbles work like a “physical gill,” drawing oxygen in from the water to match much of the spider’s consumption. Researchers from Australia and Germany report their findings in the July Journal of Experimental Biology.
For insects, physical gills are nothing new. Certain small bugs bob and dive into streams and rivers with the help of plastrons, trapped films of air that coat their bodies. As the bugs consume this trapped oxygen, gas diffuses in from the surrounding water, replenishing the supply, says Morris Flynn, a mechanical engineer at the University of Alberta in Canada. In contrast, diving bell spiders seem to actively replenish their air bubble – called a diving bell after the antique submarines – by frequently traveling to the surface to grab more oxygen. They trap the air between their back legs and abdomens, later adding it to the bell. This keeps the diving bell from collapsing.
But scientists didn’t know if the diving bell spiders’ diving bells, which the crawlers can leave behind while they go grab food or find a mate, were anything but scuba tanks, holding a one-time supply of air.
It turns out that, like plastrons, the diving bells behave like gills too. Roger Seymour of the University of Adelaide in Australia and Stefan Hetz from Humboldt University of Berlin discovered. At least five times the original supply of oxygen can diffuse into an occupied bell throughout the bell’s lifetime, Seymour says. Using tiny oxygen probes, the team discovered that the oxygen coming into the bell may, at times, match a resting spider’s consumption. By estimating the oxygen needs of a spider resting in an average-sized bell, “we showed that the spider was quite happy for more than a day,” Seymour says. In fact, the bells’ endurance seems to be largely limited by nitrogen rather than oxygen, he adds. Nitrogen gas slowly leaks out of the bubbles like helium from a helium balloon, leading to collapse.
Diving spiders may have to visit the surface more than daily, however, since they do more than rest. In this study, the team observed that before dining on insects captured in underwater webs — an energy-intensive feat — spiders paddled to the surface to squirrel away more air.
The diving bell’s gill-like properties do, nevertheless, mean that spiders can stay safely in their bubbles for longer. The open water is a dangerous place filled with predatory fish and insects, all better swimmers than the spider, says Michael Taborsky, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Bern in Switzerland. “When they have to go to the surface to replenish their oxygen preserves,” Taborsky says, “this is the dangerous side.”
Diving bells may have their limitations, but insect plastrons could inspire submersible designs, Flynn says. Some researchers have already proposed contouring small underwater crafts so that their fuel cells collect similar gills, providing the machines with a continuous supply of oxygen.  Science News 9 June 2011

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16.  Prey, predator make same poison
Caterpillars and hosts independently evolved cyanide recipe
by Rachel Ehrenberg in Science News 7 May 2011

There's a patent war pending over the invention of the cyanide bomb.

Zygaena caterpillars, which deter hungry birds by storing the poison in their flesh, make cyanide using the exact same cellular machinery as their host plants, scientists report April 12 in Nature Communications.  It still isn't clear which one came up with the recipe first, but the researchers say the discovery is the first known example of organisms from entirely different kingdoms evolving the same biochemical treachery.

Some plants, such as bird's-foot trefoil, concoct cyanide bombs that are trip-wired to blow up in the mouths of nibbling animals.  When a slug or insect chews a leaf, ingredients that are kept in different compartments in the plant's cells combine to form cyanide, poisoning the animal.

Scientists knew that some caterpillars could eat cyanide-laced plants and store the poison in their bodies. But researchers only recently discovered that when host plants are cyanide-poor, the caterpillars can make the poison themselves as a means of deterring their own predators.

"We had no clue how they were making it," says study coauthor Birger Moeller of the University of Copenhagen.

The researchers first speculated that sometime in the evolutionary past, the caterpillars stole the genetic instructions for making cyanide from the plants.  But the plants' and caterpillars' cyanide genes look nothing alike, Moeller and his colleagues discovered.  Strangely though, the plants and caterpillars both use genes that are found in pretty much all living things (humans use genes of this type to break down toxins in the liver).

Not only do both organisms record their cyanide-concocting instructions in three similar but very distantly related genes, they also build the poison with the same cookware.  the enzymes working the molecular assembly line leading to cyanide are the same, modifying the same molecular ingredients in both creatures, the researchers report.

"They are using the exact same chemistry and enzymes," says David Gang of the Institute of Biological Chemistry at Washington State University in Pullman.  "It is like inventing the wheel twice."

Which came first is under investigation, says Moeller.  If the plants were first, the caterpillars could have exploited a new food source once they figured out how to safely sequester the toxic compound.  Conversely, if the caterpillars already made cyanide and they chanced upon plants that did too, the insects could have saved energy and resources by getting the poison from the plant.

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17.  How the moth lost its speckles
Tracing the genetic roots of a classic evolutionary tale
by Tina Hesman Saey, Science News, 7 May 2011

The molecular mechanics behind an example of evolution dating back to Darwin's time may soon be revealed.

As soot from coal-fired factories blackened trees and buildings in 19th century England, naturalists noted that peppered moths in polluted regions blended in by sporting a sleek, all-black look known as the carbonaria form instead of the usual lightly speckled wing.  Within a few decades the black moths made up 90% or more of the population in urban areas.

Now, researchers led by Ilik Saccheri, a geneticist at the University of Liverpool in England, report online April 14 in Science that they have traced the mutation responsible for the funereal look to one region of a chromosome that in butterflies contains genetic instructions for creating color patterns.  This region is an adaptation hot spot, where mutations produce hundreds of different wing color patterns in many species.

"Presumably it takes hundreds of genes to make a wing pattern", says Robert D Reed of the University of California, Irvine.  "So why does this [relatively small] region appear over and over again?"

No one has found the precise DNA changes that lead to the many different color patterns, but scientists are scouring the region.

Likewise, Saccheri and his colleagues don't yet know the exact nature of the carbonaria mutation.  They do know that black moths collected from 80 sites in the United Kingdom share some key genetic signposts, suggesting that the carbonaria mutation involves only one spot in the genome and happened just once, probably shortly before the first reported sightings in 1848 near Manchester.

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18.  Scientific American

OBSERVATIONS: Why This  E. Coli  Outbreak Has Me Scared
The new strain has picked up the genes to make two different deadly toxins
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=12&ms=MzY2OTE3NDES1&r=NTM5NzIzNTA1NgS2&b=2&j=MTAzMzM5NDE2S0&mt=1&rt=0 

NEWS: New MRSA Strain Found in Dairy Cattle and Humans
High-tech genetic tests miss a new strain of drug-resistant staph, which seems to be transferable between people and cows
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=41&ms=MzY2OTE3NDES1&r=NTM5NzIzNTA1NgS2&b=2&j=MTAzMzM5NDE2S0&mt=1&rt=0 

ASK THE EXPERTS: Pyramid versus Plate: What Should the USDA's Food Chart Look Like?
Nutritionist Marion Nestle explains why the new dietary model should help Americans understand how to eat better--and how it could be improved
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=45&ms=MzY2OTE3NDES1&r=NTM5NzIzNTA1NgS2&b=2&j=MTAzMzM5NDE2S0&mt=1&rt=0 

For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.