−General natural & social history of Lake Merritt with Constance Taylor and Norah Cook12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
General Natural & Social History of Lake Merritt
Presented by Constance Taylor and Norah Cook of Wild Oakland
Pop quiz… test your Lake Merritt IQ!
TRUE OR FALSE:
Lake Merritt is a natural estuary.The best solution payday loans
Lake Merritt was the first wildlife refuge in the country.
You can find leopard sharks and bat rays in Lake Merritt.
Did you answer “true” for all three questions? Congratulations… You scored 100%!! Come to our Natural History of Lake Merritt walk to hear more fun facts, including animal and plant identification.
The walk will be led by Constance and Norah, two folks from Wild Oakland. Constance is an aspiring naturalist and Norah loves history, and the two of them have been doing lots of research so they can be your guides around the lake!
Feel free to come with stories about your own Lake experiences or knowledge- encounters with wildlife, oil spills in the lake, plant identification, etc. Let’s teach each other!+12:00 pmGeneral natural & social history of Lake Merritt with Constance Taylor and Norah Cook
−Squirrels of Lake Merritt with Lila Talcott-Travis12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Squirrels of Lake Merritt
Presented by Lila Talcott-Travis from Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue
“Pity the poor tree squirrel. Throughout history, it has rarely been the object of much attention. Ignored both as a heroic beast and as despicable vermin, the squirrel has inspired few myths, poems, or art. What can be the reason?… Perhaps because they are so common, they are overlooked… Whatever the reason, there is much to ponder about the family of squirrels, from their unique tails to their evolutionary development in tune with trees such as the oak and pine.”
- Squirrels: A Wildlife Handbook by Kim Long
In Greek, skia means “shadow” and oura means “tail”. Put them together and you get Sciurus, the genus of squirrels!
Come and learn about the shade-tails on our walk, lead by Lila Talcott-Travis, a longtime wildlife rehabber and student of squirrel morphology, natural history, and lore.
Squirrels have achieved a place of distinction in European and English family crests as a symbol of retirement or retreat into the forest, something we all probably think about living in bustling Oakland. Take a time-out from your busy life to learn about…
- Their acute sense of smell! They can smell a rotten or insect infested nut through the shell, and even find caches of nuts under the snow by sniffing them out.
- Their bushy tails! Tails are used for communication, protection from the elements, balance, warmth, and to confuse predators.
- Their evolution with trees! Squirrels and trees have been evolving together for thousands of years, and some production patterns of nuts and cones are thought to have been influenced by squirrels.
- Lots of other things you didn’t even know you wanted to know…
We’ll see you at the walk!+12:00 pmSquirrels of Lake Merritt with Lila Talcott-Travis
−Pollinators at Lakeside garden with Tora Rocha12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Meet the woman behind this beauty at the Lakeside Garden, among many other things…
The bee hotel!
Tora Rocha is the parks supervisor for the city of Oakland and founder of the Pollinator Posse, a volunteer group that works to create pollination corridors as well as hand-rear butterflies to increase survival rates (and because it’s fun).
She’ll teach us about what’s going on behind-the-scenes to increase pollinator activity in Oakland through initiatives like creating pollination corridors, managing habitat, turning the condemned greenhouse at the Lakeside garden into a butterfly nursery, and more!
You can also learn how to get involved with the Pollinator Posse to raise and release your very own monarch, if you’re so inspired.+12:00 pmPollinators at Lakeside garden with Tora Rocha
−Sausal Creek history and ecology with Mark Rauzon12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Join us as we learn about the fascinating urban and natural history of this wild creek right near the heart of Oakland.
If you’ve never visited this area, you just have to come! You’ll be amazed.
We’ll hike from Dimond Park along the areas that have been restored to the redwoods along Monterey Ave near Highway 13. A walk up to the plant nursery may also be included, depending on how people are feeling.
The general area we’ll be learning about will be the upper Sausal Creek watershed, before it joins Palo Seco creek in the hills.
Our walk leader, Mark Rauzon is a geography instructor at Laney College and a board member for Friends of Sausal Creek, the organization responsible for the restoration of this area.+12:00 pmSausal Creek history and ecology with Mark Rauzon
−Stories from Lake Merritt’s past with Jim Covel12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Jim Covel is the son of Paul Covel, the much beloved first-naturalist-ever at Lake Merritt. Come mosey with us as he shares some stories about the lake, his father, and growing up in Oakland!
Learn what role the lake played in Hitchcock’s “The Birds” (yes, part of the movie was filmed here), how Buckminster Fuller himself was personally involved in constructing the geodesic dome right next to the Rotary Nature Center, and what’s changed versus what’s stayed the same around the lake in the past forty years.
Jim currently works as the Senior Manager of Guest Experience Training and Interpretation at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.+12:00 pmStories from Lake Merritt’s past with Jim Covel
−Bird natural history and identification at Lake Merritt with Marissa Ortega-Welch12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Bird Natural History and Identification at Lake Merritt
Presented by Marissa Ortega-Welch from the Golden Gate Audubon Society
Lake Merritt is for the birds! Learn how the nation’s first wildlife refuge was created to protect birds, the history of the bird islands, and how the lake continues to offer a refuge for birds such as Hank, the injured White Pelican.
Birding for all levels. Led by Marissa Ortega-Welch, Eco-Education Coordinator for Golden Gate Audubon Society.+12:00 pmBird natural history and identification at Lake Merritt with Marissa Ortega-Welch
−Mushrooms at Lake Merritt with Damon Tighe12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Meet at Noon at the entrance to the Rotary Science Center at Lake Merritt at the corner of Perkins and Bellevue.
With the first good rains of the year we have our first good bloom of fungal fruiting bodies (mushrooms) popping up everywhere. Our hour long walk will encompass the grassy areas around the boathouse and the Lake Merritt gardens. The focus will be on learning to identify the larger mushroom species of the area and learning to read the landscape for where these various hetertrophs hide out and about their many roles in the local ecology. We are very lucky in that Lake Merritt has a wide variety of mushrooms species for such a small location.
Please bring guide books if you have them. A one page guide to the commonly found mushrooms will be provided. We will meet rain or shine. Tools that you may want to bring include a small pocket knife, a paintbrush, and a jacket. This walk will not include tasting- all mushrooms will be passed around and placed back where they came from.
Your guide will be Damon Tighe, an amateur mycologist or five years and former research scientist at the Joint Genome Institute, where many fungal genomes have been sequenced for biofuel applications.+12:00 pmMushrooms at Lake Merritt with Damon Tighe
−Lake Temescal natural history and species identification with Ron Felzer12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
**NOTE: This walk is on a Sunday!!**
Our guide will be Ron Felzer, who has been teaching Biology and Environmental Studies at Merritt College since 1970.
We’ll learn about the ecology and natural history of Lake Temescal, and also how to identify plants and the many migrating birds that will be around this time of year!
If we ask nicely, he’ll probably even tell us about Hayward Fault geology.
This walk will be conducted rain or shine!+12:00 pmLake Temescal natural history and species identification with Ron Felzer