Archive for category Mammalogy

Vintage Views: California

Bay-Bridge-1934-Standard-Oil-Bulletin_FINALSometimes majesty is found in the architecture of an environment, like the bridges that span the San Francisco Bay. Perhaps the most emblematic of those bridges are the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge. Both of these architectural feats were constructed in the 1930’s and, although the eastern span of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge has since been replaced after sections were damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, the Golden Gate still stands intact today. The Golden Gate Bridge, between the City of San Francisco and Marin County, was begun on January 5, 1933 and opened on May 27, 1937. The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge (known locally as the Bay Bridge), between the City of San Francisco and Oakland and anchored in the middle by Yerba Buena Island, was begun in 1933 and opened on November 12, 1936. Before the bridges were built, residents crossed the bay via an Air Ferry (of Air Ferries, Ltd.), amphibious air crafts that bridged the San Francisco Bay between terminals in San Francisco and Oakland. Coming in under 7 minutes from shore to shore, such flights were considered to be the most frequent and shortest air service in the world. The air ferries would eventually become obsolete with the construction of the Bay Bridge in 1936.

To celebrate these sister bridges, I have added several additional vintage images of California accumulated in association with the Vintage Views: Mount Diablo project I’ve undertaken with my wife (see Sarah Anne Photography). One by one, I have been carefully digitizing these assorted California ephemera to immortalize them on a more permanent medium.

Now, through the (bio)accumulation Etsy storefront, you can own your own Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, and Yerba Buena Island cover art, as well as other vintage views of California, as 12X18 inch wall art mounted on either Styrene suitable for matting and framing or infused directly into a sheet of aluminum metal to capture a sense of modern minimalism.

 

Metal Print
Metal prints are presented as a stand-alone image infused (printed) directly into a sheet of aluminum, providing a luminescent quality. The finished metal print includes a float-mount hanger affixed to the back of the image, floating the print ½ inch off the wall.
Price: $100

Styrene Mount Print
Styrene prints are mounted on white 2mm warp-resistant Styrene known for durability and strength. Styrene prints are ready to be matted and framed, or can be displayed on an easel.
Price: $45

To see all of the vintage wall art available to date, visit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/bioaccumulation

 

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Vintage Views: California

With the majestic Half Dome of Yosemite fame framed by the solid granite bedrock of the Wawona Tunnel – at that time (ca. 1932) still under construction – I am excited to share the newest iconic vintage images of California accumulated in association with the Vintage Views: Mount Diablo project I’ve undertaken with my wife (see Sarah Anne Photography). One by one, I have been carefully digitizing these assorted California ephemera to immortalize them on a more permanent medium.

Inside this particular bulletin, dated 1932, the editor notes:

As you emerge from a hole in perpendicular granite cliffs, you are greeted by daylight, last in evidence nearly a mile behind you, and with it the whole Yosemite Valley appears to rush upon you. You catch your breath, awed and delighted – perhaps just a bit frightened – by its magnificence and the abruptness with which it has come. The glorious panorama now seems suddenly to have  become stationary, and you start traveling – as yet only by air routes and vision – to one after another of those stupendous creations of Nature that make this great gorge outstanding among the scenic wonders of the world.

This ‘hole,” as they called it, is the eastern portal of the Wawona Tunnel, which today conveys the Wawona Road 4,233 feet (1,290 m) through a mountain at the terminus of State Route 41 before discharging Yosemite National Park visitors at the Tunnel View scenic outlook. As they erupt into sunlight, there before them stands El Capitan (left), Half Dome (center), and Bridalveil Fall (right) overlooking the Yosemite Valley.

Now, through the (bio)accumulation Etsy storefront, you can own your own Yosemite Valley/Wawona Tunnel Portal cover art, a Marvelous Mount Diablo woodcut engraving, or a nostalgic wintery scene of Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome as 12X18 inch wall art, mounted on either Styrene suitable for matting and framing or infused directly into a sheet of aluminum metal to capture a sense of modern minimalism.

Metal Print
Metal prints are presented as a stand-alone image infused (printed) directly into a sheet of aluminum, providing a luminescent quality. The finished metal print includes a float-mount hanger affixed to the back of the image, floating the print ½ inch off the wall.
Price: $100

Styrene Mount Print
Styrene prints are mounted on white 2mm warp-resistant Styrene known for durability and strength. Styrene prints are ready to be matted and framed, or can be displayed on an easel.
Price: $45

To see all of the vintage wall art available to date, visit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/bioaccumulation

 

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Vintage Views: California

This majestic California grizzly bear in a Sierra setting is just one of the many iconic vintage images of California I’ve accumulated in association with the Vintage Views: Mount Diablo project I’ve undertaken with my wife (see Sarah Anne Photography). One by one, I have been carefully digitizing these assorted California ephemera to immortalize them on a more permanent medium.

Inside this particular bulletin, dated 1916, the editor notes:

The detached phrase on the front cover of this BULLETIN refers to the quadruped depicted, and to the scenic setting of which the bear is the center-piece… all are “Of California.”

Now, through the (bio)accumulation Etsy storefront, you can own your own Marvelous Mount Diablo woodcut engraving or a nostalgic wintery scene of Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome as 12X18 inch wall art, mounted on either Styrene suitable for matting and framing or infused directly into a sheet of aluminum metal to capture a sense of modern minimalism.

Metal Print
Metal prints are presented as a stand-alone image infused (printed) directly into a sheet of aluminum, providing a luminescent quality. The finished metal print includes a float-mount hanger affixed to the back of the image, floating the print ½ inch off the wall.
Price: $100

Styrene Mount Print
Styrene prints are mounted on white 2mm warp-resistant Styrene known for durability and strength. Styrene prints are ready to be matted and framed, or can be displayed on an easel.
Price: $45

To see all of the vintage wall art available to date, visit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/bioaccumulation

 

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Book Review: Painting the Cows and Adventures in Conservation

Painting the CowsPainting the Cows: Twenty Years of Wildlife Conservation in California and the West, by T.A. Roberts, John Daniel & Company (www.danielpublishing.com), 1998, 176 pages, $14.95

Adventures in Conservation: Painting the Cows and Other Tales, by T.A. Roberts, Stone Wall Press, Inc., 1989, 174 pages, $12.95

I first discovered the work of Thomas A. Roberts several years after I settled in as a wildlife biologist. I can’t remember how I came by Painting the Cows, but I still recall my delight as I devoured and relished his writing. Later, when I loaned my copy out, I did so reluctantly – eager to share with friends a new author, concerned the book would get lost in circulation (… it did). Even though it gathered dust on a friend’s shelf for several years, upon its return Painting the Cows reassumed its rightful place with the other formative books in my personal natural history library – titles like Song of the WhaleMind of the Raven, and Never Cry Wolf that first breathed life into the job title ‘wildlife biologist’ long before I ever set foot in the field.

Roberts, wearing the hat of both wildlife biologist and forest ranger in Adventures in Conservation and its successor, Painting the Cows, revisits his years in the field with wonder, humility, and self-effacing honesty. Whether he’s setting controlled burns or smothering tempers (sometimes his own), driving a desk or driving a pickup, Roberts’ ruminations on the field of wildlife conservation are tempered by his insight into Nature and the human condition. In each story about the wild outdoors, Roberts lets slip how too often his battles are fought in the untamed wildland-urban interface of town hall meetings and written reports.

Roberts’ crisp writing is both evocative and grounded, describing a treed mountain lion “yawning improbable ten-penny fangs,” or decrying Idaho’s Snake River as a “century-long experiment to turn southern Idaho into a soil/fertilizer/pesticide slurry” such that “the state had gained world-class potatoes and a motto for its license plates, and lost the kind of locale National Geographic does specials about.” Subjecting himself to the same raw scrutiny, Roberts describes his participation in a mountain lion capture as “the kind of thing I wanted [my son] to think I did for a living,” or admits his personnel management style “was to delegate as much as possible, since I learned so much better from other people’s mistakes than I did from my own.”

AdventuresinConservationAmong the gems in Adventures in Conservation and Painting the Cows are “The Great Mule Deer Smorgasbord,” detailing Roberts’ Rube Goldberg attempts to catch a deer;  “Playing God in Montana,” in which wildlife becomes a straw man for a community’s concerns about the development of a proposed church headquarters along the Yellowstone River; and “Moment of Truth,” where Roberts’ mettle as a biologist is put to the test when the businessman side of the business asks too much of him. But don’t be mistaken. Although those stories stand out, each story in these anthologies is outstanding, making either book an upstanding gift for anyone with a hankering for wildlife biology.

And if you find yourself enchanted with Roberts’ writing, don’t overlook his fiction, an oeuvre of mysteries published over the years (Shy Moon, the Edgar Award-nominated The Heart of the Dog, and Beyond Saru) that peaks with his latest installment, Drake’s Bay, set in the San Francisco Bay Area (reviewed here).

 

(Disclaimer: Reviewer Matthew Bettelheim and Thomas A. Roberts have recently joined forces as co-editors of The Wildlife Confessional, an upcoming anthology of short stories by wildlife professionals to be published through The Wildlife Society. This collaborative effort was inspired by Mr. Roberts’ original anthologies, but has in no way biased the content of this review.)

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Marine Biologists Take to the Skies

orcadroneIn a perfect union of science and technology, marine biologists took to the skies this summer to investigate the effects of salmon fisheries on the federally Endangered southern resident killer whale population, one of the four resident communities in the eastern North Pacific Ocean. The concept of using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) – aka drones – to study killer whale health was first conceived by Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Research Program and Dr. John Durban from NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Centre after the two attended several workshops on salmon fisheries and killer whales. Together with Dr. Holly Fearnbach from NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Centre, NOAA biologist Wayne Perryman, and Don Leroi of Aerial Imaging Solutions, the researchers set about testing the concept that killer whale health could be ascertained from an individual whale’s width-to-length ratio, which might show slight changes in shape and condition.

Where previous aerial imagery could only be collected by helicopter at heights of as much as 800 feet (to avoid disturbing the whales), the use of drones allowed researchers to collect higher resolution imagery at closer distances of as little as 100 feet. This being a good Chinook year, the researchers found that while both the northern and southern resident killer whale populations were generally fit, malnourished whales could be distinguished from the air well before they showed signs of ‘peanut head’, a condition of severe malnourishment that manifests as an indentation that develops behind the blowhole from which afflicted whales rarely recover. Of note were sightings of pregnant females (which showed as visibly pear-shaped from the air); the natural loss of two northern resident whales, the older A37 as well as I63, a possibly sick female that had lost a newborn calf earlier in the year; and the opportunity to inspect a young female that had been caught underwater in a gill net before she was cut loose half an hour later for trauma or residual gear.

You can read more about the study and their findings on Barrett-Lennard’s blog, here.

 

 

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