Wrapped in Rough, Wrinkled Skin

smallChorus Frog
By Marcia Hanscom

A friend recently invoked the spirit of the snake, telling me about her experiences with a friend from afar that she referred to as a “snake” – but really meaning she didn’t want much to do with him. How did snakes get such a bad rap? And how is it that most of us feel at least a little squeamish when talking about the fauna with which we share the planet that pre-date our species by millions of years? Reptiles and amphibians are intriguing to us as children, but by the time we become adults, it seems that only those who belong to the local herpetology society or are hard-core naturalists retain that sense of wonder.
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Summer Solstice a Second Spring for LA Coast

Acmon Blue butterfly nectaring on Dune Buckwheat
Summer Solstice is here.   But it’s really second spring on the Los Angeles coast. The first spring comes soon after the rains of our winter downpours. Sometimes it’s February, March or even April when brown grasses and golden fields green up, and brilliant wildflowers – yellow, purple and white - sprout everywhere. Read More...