habitat Tag

A Gulf fritillary rests on a Zinnia in the garden of author Steven T. Callan.

An Island of Our Own

A Gulf fritillary rests on a Zinnia in the garden of author Steven T. Callan.

Annuals, like Zinnia, attract several species of butterflies to the island, including tiger swallowtails, monarchs, pipevine swallowtails, buckeyes, painted ladies, and this gorgeous Gulf fritillary. Photo by Steven T. Callan.

Over the years, Kathy and I have often dreamed of escaping today’s fast-paced, hectic world and moving to an island of our own—an island of trees, flowers, and abundant wildlife, where we could experience the joys of nature without leaving the confines of our own property. Realizing that buying an island wasn’t a realistic option, we decided to do the next best thing and create one on our three-acre patch of oak woodland in the foothills of Northern California.

Our front yard in early spring, showing just a few of the 200 blue oaks on the island. Photo by Steven T. Callan.

An Island of Our Own

Our front yard in early spring, showing just a few of the 200 blue oaks on the island. Photo by Steven T. Callan.

Our front yard in early spring, showing just a few of the 200 blue oaks on the island. Photo by author.

Over the years, Kathy and I have often dreamed of escaping today’s fast-paced, hectic world and moving to an island of our own—an island of trees, flowers, and abundant wildlife, where we could experience the joys of nature without leaving the confines of our own property. Realizing that buying an island wasn’t a realistic option, we decided to do the next best thing and create one on our three-acre patch of oak woodland in the foothills of Northern California.

Saving Our Precious Marine Resources

Big Sur Coastline, CaliforniaFor decades, there have been major concerns about the depletion of California’s marine resources.  In 1999, the Marine Life Protection Act was established, mandating that the California Fish and Game Commission designate marine protected areas where fish, habitat, and other priceless marine resources are allowed to recover. This statewide network was completed at the end of 2012, with 124 designated protected areas from the Oregon border to Mexico.  Specific regulations may exist for individual marine protected areas (MPAs), so contact the Department of Fish and Wildlife before fishing or conducting any type of outdoor activity in these areas.  Maps, GPS coordinates, and specific information are available.  To learn more, go to https://www.dfg.ca.gov/.