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


If the rich could hire someone else to die for them, the poor would make a wonderful living. -Jewish proverb 

1.   Project Coyote hiring Operations & Development Manager
2.   Need support letters for bill to prohibit crumb rubber on athletic fields and playgrounds
3.   Ano Nuevo  Elephant Seal Walk, Saturday, February 7th
4.   SF Nature Education February events
5.   Poet Marge Piercy notices that nothing moves in straight lines, but in arcs, epicycles, spirals and gyres
6.   Greater & Greener 2015 is an international urban parks conference in San Francisco, April 11-14, 2015
7.   Registration opens for May 3 Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour
8.   Watershed Nursery selling plants for garden tours
9.   Claremont Canyon Conservancy February news
10. Poem: It is 1959. It is the cusp of the coming revolution. We still like Ike. We are still afraid of Sputnik; in the spring we will have a new car…
11.  Artist Andie Thrams will be at Codex Book Fair & Symposium Feb 8 - 11
12.  What the world looks like if you scale countries by population
13.  Feedback: roads not meant for cars/spam? Ms Google Manners should be told
14.  The "real" Marlboro Man died on January 12, aged 85
15.  Notes & Queries: Best April Fool's joke? /Testosterone more of a threat to planet than CO2?

Project Coyote is hiring!:
Position: Operations & Development Manager

 The Operations & Development Manager will oversee internal operations and will work closely with the Executive Director to support and coordinate all levels of organizational development and growth from fundraising, donor development and grant writing to capacity building and operations streamlining. This is an exciting opportunity to join an organization that  is at a critical juncture in its growth and help develop the organizational framework to ensure Project Coyote’s success.

Read more here (


2.  SF Ocean Edge wants support letters for bill to prohibit crumb rubber on athletic fields and playgrounds

Please have organizations send Senate Bill 47 support letters to:
Senator Jerry Hill
Attn: Nate Solov
1303 10th Street, Room 5035
Sacramento, CA 95814
All letters need to focus on SUPPORT FOR SENATE BILL 47.
The bill prohibits installation of new fields & playgrounds containing crumb rubber from used tires for two years (Jan 1, 2016 – Jan 1, 2018) while the state conducts a comprehensive study on potential health impacts.  Fields / playgrounds made from alternative materials not containing crumb rubber from used tires are not subject to the moratorium.  Fields / playgrounds made from crumb rubber from used tires that are already under construction, or any contract for such installation entered into by Jan 1, 2016 are not subject to the moratorium. 
Here are examples of tv stories that have aired so far:
There are alternatives to crumb rubber turf infill: coconut fibers, rice husks, cork, used shoes (Nike Grind), etc


3.  Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association Present:

Sanctuary Explorations: Elephant Seal Walk
Saturday, February 7th, 2:00pm-5:00pm

Join a Farallones Sanctuary staff naturalist and a State Parks  interpretive guide for a walk through the Nature Preserve at  Año Nuevo State Park to observe one of the largest mainland  breeding colonies of northern elephant seals in the world! Every  year up to 10,000 elephant seals visit to breed, give birth, and  molt in this amazing park. Watch males battle for prime beach  real estate and the right to mate, while females are birthing  and suckling their newborn pups. Learn about their fascinating  natural history, behavior and ecology of northern elephant seals while observing them first hand during this fun and dynamic afternoon program. 

WHERE: Año Nuevo State Park
WHEN: Saturday, February 7th, 2:00-5:00pm
COST: $12/person*

*State Park parking fee is an additional $10/vehicle. Please carpool!
Space is limited. Registration Required!

Contact Sara Heintzelman to reserve a spot: or (415) 561-6622 x237

San Francisco Nature Education February events


I Saw Her Dancing
Nothing moves in a straight line,
But in arcs, epicycles, spirals and gyres.
Nothing living grows in cubes, cones, or rhomboids,
But we take a little here and we give a little there,
And the wind blows right through us,
And blows the apples off the tree, and hangs a red kite suddenly there,
And a fox comes to bite the apples curiously,
And we change.
Or we die
And then change.
It is many as raindrops.
It is one as rain.
And we eat it, and it eats us.
And fullness is never,
And now.
~ Marge Piercy ~
(Available Light)

Greater & Greener 2015 is an international urban parks conference in San Francisco, April 11-14, 2015, presented by Washington, DC-based advocacy group City Parks Alliance in partnership with San Francisco Recreation & Park Department. This four-day indoor and outdoor conference will focus on the roles of urban parks in creating healthy, resilient cities. Participants will explore the Bay Area’s diverse range of local, regional, state and national parks through expert-led tours and hands-on workshops, and attend special networking events. They will have an opportunity to learn about innovative public-private partnerships and hear from more than 150 speakers from cities worldwide on how and why parks are increasingly important to growing city populations — with examples for organizations of all sizes to take back and implement in their communities. The conference is based at the Westin St. Francis on Union Square with daily opportunities to get outside and experience innovative park projects across the Bay Area. Full conference package and single day tickets are available. For more information and to register, visit 

Registration for the Sunday, May 3, 2015  Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour is now open! This year’s tour will fill; register now to reserve your place.
A variety of bird- and butterfly-friendly, pesticide-free, water conserving, low maintenance gardens that contain 60% or more native plants will be open on Sunday, May 3, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at various locations throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. More than 40 garden talks will be scheduled throughout the day.
Native Plant Sales – New this year!  Shop during our Valentines Day Plant Sale on Saturday, February 14, as well as over the course of the week-end of May 2 and 3 during the Tour’s usual Native Plant Sale Extravaganza.

Workshops - In addition to the Tour and plant sales, a series of workshops will be offered this spring.  Learn how to sheet mulch your lawn away, or install drip irrigation. Judy Adler will be leading two tours of her amazing Walnut Creek garden (think chickens, pond, rainwater harvesting, native plants, fruit trees, seed collection, and more!).

Can you print and distribute Tour fliers?  Due to budgetary constraints, this year we are not distributing Tour fliers. If you are able to print and distribute the flier we would be grateful.

Volunteers are needed to spend a morning or afternoon greeting tour participants and answering questions about natives.  Complete the Volunteer section of the registration form if you would like to help out this year. Benefits to volunteers include invitations to Garden Soirees, in which tour gardens are open to hosts and volunteers; a pre-tour meeting with the owner and private tour of the garden you will be staffing; a guaranteed tour reservation for the half day you are free; a Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour t-shirt, and, perhaps best of all, heartfelt thanks for helping to educate the general public about the many pleasures and benefits of gardening with California native plants.  Prior to signing up to volunteer, browse the gardens to choose the garden you would like to be assigned to. Click here for more information on volunteering.

2016 Tour -Applications for the 2016 Tour are now being accepted. You can download the application form from the Tour website.  Garden visits will be made in May and June.  (Please note that gardens must contain at least 60% or more native plants.)

Donations - This year, please join your fellow guests in supporting the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour. Given decreasing public agency support, we find it necessary to turn to Tour participants to help keep the tour going and to keep it free for those who cannot afford to pay. Please follow the instructions in the registration form to make your contribution, or you can donate here.

Advertise with us!– A limited amount of  ad space is still available in the printed garden guide. Please contact me asap if you are interested in ad space, as the guide is being laid out now.
Facebook - "Like" us on Facebook!  This spring the Garden Tour's Facebook page will run articles such as "What to do in your native plant garden each month;" and "What's in bloom now?;" describe the spring workshops; feature specific gardens; show you before-and-after garden photos; and just generally provide a behind-the-scenes look at the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour. Don't miss out!
I love this fabulous video on pollinators, and I thought I'd send this link again.  I hope you enjoy seeing what goes on in the garden when you aren’t watching:

Fruit Trees, too - Are you interested in fruit trees, as well as native plants?  If so, Ann Ralph, fruit tree expert extraordinaire, will be leading a "Winter Fruit Tree Pruning" workshop in my garden on Saturday, January 31, from 10:30 – 12:30. The cost is $40 (proceeds go to pay Ann); please register directly with Ann at   if you are interested in this workshop.

Bringing Back the Natives
Native Plant Sale ~ 25% off
Saturday, February 14th
10 am - 4 pm

The Watershed Nursery participates once again in the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour day for Lovers (of plants!). We will be celebrating with great shopping opportunities, and our huge selection of native plants will be marked down 25%. Clarie Brown will be returning to give an afternoon information filled talk
Garden Talk
Saturday, February 14th, 1:30 - 2:30 pm 
"Native Medicinal Plants of California:
Uses, Ecology and Cultivation" with Claire Brown


9.  Claremont Canyon Conservancy
No Word Yet from FEMA 
While FEMA released the Final Environmental Impact Statement in early December, it has yet to issue a record of decision that would enable release of funds to remove the fire hazardous eucalyptus trees.

FEMA has expressed concerns that the University continued its own fire hazard reduction program during the on-going grant process (during the past 10 years). Technically per the Code of Federal Regulations, one is not supposed to do any work while the grant is in process. So it appears that FEMA's own mission is relegated to second place behind technical procedure. Thus the funding delay continues.

In the meantime, we urge our members to review two documents. 1) Our Q&A on the issue which we revised and lengthened to discuss thinning in anticipation of the EIS and 2) the Executive Summary of the EIS itself. The Q&A is located on our website here: 
and the Executive summary is located here:
Saturday, February 21 Winter Restoration Workshop
Lech Naumovich of the Golden Hour Restoration Institute will be leading one more winter workshop in Gartber Park on Saturday February 21 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM. This one will be on fern ID and expansion of the fern glade. Garber is home to many beautiful native ferns. We will ID them and continue expanding our newest restoration site. Fern Glade, begun only last year, is becoming an incredible success story. 
For details and to RSVP, go to or call Shelagh at 510.540.1918.
Saturday, February 28 Stewardship
This month our regular fourth Saturday stewardship returns to the upper canyon for work on the Willow Trail. A willow tree has fallen across the trail and we need to reroute the trail where the area has been flooded. Join us at 10:00 AM at Signpost 29, 1.5 miles up Claremont Avenue from the Ashby Avenue intersection. We'll work til Noon as usual.

From Our House to Your House 
by Jack Ridi

It is 1959. It is the cusp of the coming revolution.
We still like Ike. We are still afraid of Sputnik.
We read Life magazine and Sports Illustrated
where the athletes grow up shooting hoops
in the driveway, playing catch in the backyard.
We sit on our sectional sofa. My mother loves
Danish modern. Our pants have cuffs. Our hair
is short. We are smiling and we mean it. I am
a guard. My father is my coach. I am sitting
next to him on the bench. I am ready to go in.
My sister will cheer. My mother will make
the pre-game meal from The Joy of Cooking.
Buster is a good dog. We are all at an angle.
We are a family at an angle. Our clothes are
pressed. We look into the eye of the camera.
“Look ‘em in the eye,” my father teaches us.
All we see ahead are wins, good grades,
Christmas. We believe in being happy. We
believe in mowing the lawn, a two-car garage,
a freezer, and what the teacher says. There is
nothing on the wall. We are facing away
from the wall. The jungle is far from home.
Hoses are for cleaning the car, watering
the gardens. My sister walks to school. My
father and I lean into the camera. My mother
and sister sit up straight. Ike has kept us
safe. In the spring, we will have a new car,
a Plymouth Fury with whitewalls and a vinyl top.

From Practicing to Walk Like a Heron. © Wayne State University Press, 2013


11.  Andie Thrams

February 8 - 11, 2015

Dear Jake,
Every other year book artists from all over the world gather for one of my favorite art world events, the Codex Book Fair & Symposium. I'll be there, too, sharing my newest work. I hope you'll come say hi and see what the buzz is all about. 

Craneway Pavillion, Richmond, California
Sunday February 8: 12:30 to 5:30PM
Monday February 9: 12:30 to 6:00PM
Tuesday February 10: 12:30 to 6:00PM
Wednesday February 11: 10:00AM to 3:00PM
Entry tickets sold at the door:
$5 Students, $10 General Admission, $30 Multi-day Pass 

For more information and directions: Codex Foundation 

Tilden Botanic Garden
Art Workshops
April 25 & 26
My husband, Dennis Eagan, and I will return to the Big Island for our third annual retreat! Quieter pursuits of watercolor painting, journal keeping, meditation, and pranayama will be balanced by hiking, swimming, and yoga.  
Details & Registration Info:

My only California workshops scheduled for this year will be held at the delightful Tilden Botanic Garden, in the Berkeley hills. Early signup is recommended! Teaching updates will continue to be posted on my website throughout the year.
More Details:

This is what the world looks like if you scale countries by population

You might watch the video WATCH: "Meet the enormous boats that carry your stuff".  The scale is frightening.

(JS:  What would the world look like if you scale by consumption and pollution?)


13.  Feedback

On Feb 3, 2015, at 7:58 AM, J.Fred Decker wrote:
How roads were not built for cars

Some of the most enduring paved roads still existing were built for foot traffic: Roman Legionnaires, that is. 

No doubt wagons and carts and horses and mules went along with them: multimodalism ruled from the get go!

"The correct, legal term is footway"

Now there's an Anglicism we here would do well to adopt. Cyclists on the sidewalks are dangerous (and very, very rude). Lazy, too, if they just can't abide "driving" around the block in obedience to one-way streets.

As in:   "Get off the FOOTWAY you silly tosser".

On Feb 2, 2015, at 8:45 PM, Vishnu wrote:
Hi Jake,
Sometimes "Nature News" gets inexplicably directed to my Spam box by the great Google in the sky.  This time I can only speculate that Ms. Google Manners sent it there because your opening quote, from Goethe no less, uses the pronoun 'her' 6 times, mentions powerlessness, embracing, penetration and spectators!!
What's a poor filter to do?

Best to you and thanks for all your good work :)
Perhaps Ms Google Manners hasn’t been around long enough to develop a wry sense of humor.  Too bad; she’s missing something.

At least you know to look in your spam box.  I suspect I sometimes lose readers because their detector is turned too high.  Over the years I have received messages from people who say they were dropped from my list months or years ago.  However, they are still on my recipient list and have been mailed to all along.  Why do they not receive, and why do I not get a ‘bounce’ message from their provider?  I have been guessing that they don’t have a spam box or that they never look at it.  I have no other way of contacting most people except through their email address, and if their email is not delivered to them the link between us is broken - without the parties knowing it.

Do you know?

On Feb 3, 2015, at 12:30 PM, Vishnu wrote:
I have a friend here with the same internet provider that I have and when she posts to a third friend it always bounces back but when I post to the third friend (at the exact same email address) it always goes through. I imagine there is an explanation somewhere that a genius geek might know but we've given up trying to figure it out.

Your hypothesis about people not having a spam box (perhaps they made a preference sometime for the filter to automatically delete) or that they never check their spam boxes is the same conclusion I would have made.

Darrell Winfield, the “real” Marlboro Man, died on January 12th, aged 85

The Economist

OVER the years, all sorts were tried. One was a navy football coach; one ran a fencing company. One was a jobbing actor in police dramas; one lived in the New York Athletic Club, and had never smoked in his life. Several were models. One was so terrified of horses that he had to be hauled up with a rope and plonked into the saddle, every time.

Of all these Marlboro Men, used by the Philip Morris company after 1954 to bring masculine vigour to a “Mild as May” slow-selling filter cigarette, only one, according to a spokesman, was real. That was Darrell Winfield, the principal Man from 1968 to 1989. He was also the most successful. It was in his time, in 1972, that Marlboro became (as it remains) the world’s bestselling brand, and it was mostly his lean, moustached face, squinting into a western sun, that broodily symbolised America on billboards from Lima to Latvia to Lagos.

Serendipity led to his discovery. In 1968 the men from the Leo Burnett advertising agency, uneasy Chicagoans let loose in the wild West, were out looking for authenticity on Philip Morris’s behalf. They had decided more than a decade before that cowboys best epitomised masculinity. But merely to dress some Joe in denims and apply the Man-Tan did not a cowboy make. In Wyoming they found cowboys aplenty, but it was Mr Winfield, a lowly wrangler, who caught the creative director’s eye. “I want that guy,” he said.

That guy. He needed no name, because it didn’t matter. He fitted the physical template exactly: a noble, weatherbeaten face, a grey Stetson, lariat coiled on his shoulder, easy one-handed grace on a horse. There was also something inexorable about him, some terrific look, which “scared the hell” out of the creative director. And his life, of course, was already fully known. This was a mysterious wanderer, a modern Odysseus journeying who knew where; or perhaps a Jungian archetype, ranging the primeval savannah as man had done for most of the past 10,000 years. He was alone by choice in the vastness of the hills and plains, running his cattle and closely encountering wild white horses: alone save for that manly cigarette lodged in his thin, grim lips. Flinty and unconcerned, he would light the next smoke from a flaming stick plunged into his camp fire.

Mr Winfield certainly wore those clothes and roped those cattle; they were his. He liked to smoke, collected bits and spurs, and mainly read books about the West. But he was also a sociable guy. The gritty, hard-trek part of his life had been done when he was six, when his destitute farmer parents had left dust-bowl Oklahoma for California. He enjoyed team-roping, and liked to play backgammon and gin rummy. He often had the neighbours round to his horse-ranch at Riverton; they said he was a tease and a joker. When he smiled, and he smiled a lot, he looked rather like Ronald Reagan.

Aristotelian perfection
In the world of the TV ads, no family tied the Marlboro Man down. He had no home, though he was once in a ramshackle shed, holding his tin cup out roughly for coffee. As one scholar said (for he inspired much philosophising), he personified the Aristotelian aesthetic in which all that was accidental and particular was stripped away, leaving only the metaphysical essentials of what a perfect man of action should be. For one heart-stopping moment, in one ad, he rolled over in his blanket at dawn to reach for—what? A woman? Or, perish the thought, a man? Neither; his hat, of course, and his boots, with the spurs still on them.  
Family filled Mr Winfield’s life. He got married at 18 to Lennie Spring, a local rancher’s daughter, having courted her secretly for months. Together they had Brian, Janet, Nancy, Linda, Debi and Darlene; then the grandchildren, three of whom they brought up themselves; then the great-grandchildren. The house rang with giggling and games and was warm with the smell of home cooking.

Marlboro Man was fuelled not merely by nicotine, but also by well-earned pride. He epitomised resilience, self-sufficiency, independence and free enterprise. As the right-wing American ideal, he obviously voted Republican. Mr Winfield was more complicated. A humble soul, he made nothing of his Hollywood connection, save joining the Screen Actors Guild. The money he earned was useful for the family and, in 1974, to buy his own place, but his life was just the same. Obediently he endured the endless takes required to get the right shot of him lighting up on horseback, hunched against the sunset, or flipping open that red-and-white pack to hold it just so in his big, hairy hand. As for his thinking life, he believed in the Native-American version of the world, held sacred sweats in his own lodge, and was known round Riverton by his Indian name, Strong Mountain, as much as by Darrell Winfield. That didn’t necessarily suggest a vote for the Grand Old Party.

Bad health never plagued the Marlboro Man. Wind, sun and hard riding blew any weaknesses away. Other Marlboro men revealed the lie in that: several died, relatively young, of lung diseases. Mr Winfield lived long, loyally smoking Marlboros all that time, and his vascular system disabled him, with a stroke, some years before his breath failed. Why exactly it had failed, no one would precisely say.


15.  Notes & Queries, Guardian Weekly

Did you know spaghetti grows on trees?

 Spaghetti harvesting in Switzerland, as shown in the 1 April edition of Panorama in 1957. Photograph: BBC Archive

What is the best April Fool’s joke you have encountered?

As a child in London I watched a BBC April Fool programme on the growing of “spaghetti bushes”, complete with footage of bushes covered in spaghetti that was said to be drying in the sun after harvesting. I asked my mother if we could grow some in our garden.
Margaret Wilkes, Perth, Western Australia

• My husband and I married on April Fool’s Day. It was 42 years ago now and he hasn’t stopped laughing yet!
Flora Smith, Mount Lawley, Western Australia

• Thanks a lot. Now I feel stupid.
Margaret Wyeth, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

• My wife’s aunt sent her conservative lawyer husband to his law office with the escape hatch on his boxer shorts sewed shut.
W R Burgett, Powhatan, Virginia, US

Far from the madding crowd

What constitutes a “hidden gem”?

In real estate parlance, usually a property that’s overblown, overgrown and overpriced.
Lawrie Bradly, Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia

• Nothing – until it’s discovered. But then it’s no longer hidden.
Stewart Dutfield, Delmar, New York, US

• Something away from the madding crowd, such as an isolated moorland stream in the early spring.
Philip Stigger, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

• The jewel in the crowd.
David Isaacs, Sydney, Australia

The problem is really male

Is testosterone more of a threat to the planet than CO2?

Testosterone indeed might be the biggest threat to the planet, not only because of reproduction. An overwhelming preponderance of men are still in power. They start horrific wars, with subsequent massive loss of lives, and environmental destruction.

Maybe a more balanced world order would change this stat for the better. How we can ever get to a better balance is very challenging, as once in power, most men are loath to give it up for almost any reason.

My theory is incomplete but, I think, sound.
Jan Blum, San Francisco, California, US

First flower of the spring

What is the most beautiful smell there is?

Oh dear! Until I read this question I hadn’t realised that beauty was in the nose of the beholder.
Alan Williams-Key, Madrid, Spain

• The fragrance of my wife when we embrace.
Michael Andrews, Park City, Utah, US

• After a long cold winter, the first time I bend over in the garden to smell the lily of the valley.
Doreen Forney, Pownal, Vermont, US

• A Rome coffee house.
Roger Morrell, Perth, Western Australia

• The smell of “new”, as in new-baked bread, new-brewed coffee, new-mown grass, new leather shoes, new paint, new car, new-sawn pine ...
PJ Ansley, New Plymouth, New Zealand

• Dung … to a dung beetle.
Anthony Walter, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

Let’s leave it to the poets

Is exaggeration a necessity or a bad habit? And at what point does it become a lie?

At the point where “poetic licence” is used.
Avril Taylor, Dundas, Ontario, Canada

Any answers?

Is it still satire if it is respectful?
Reiner Jaakson, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Why did the music die and can it be resurrected?
Terence Rowell, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada


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