Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

December, 2010
Regional Report

Books

Bird Watching
Life of the Skies by Jonathan Rosen (FGS Press; ISBN - 10: -374-18630-8) is a charming and insightful book written for anybody who has ever enjoyed watching birds. The book contains amusing stories about famous bird watchers including James Audubon, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Morse, Teddy Roosevelt, Walt Whitman and Henry Thoreau, among others.

Owls, hoopoes, larks and sparrows all weave into the fascinating fabric of our culture. Rosen says "Everyone is a bird watcher, but there are two kinds; those that know what they are and those that haven't yet realized it." Rosen is a natural storyteller who imparts history, legend and literature through the realm of the skies.

Favorite or New Plant

Corokia
Corokia cotoneaster is one of those weird plants that only a mother could love. I'm crazy for the wiry branches and tiny, yellow star-shaped flowers that cover the plant in early spring. A perennial shrub native to New Zealand, corokia does best in well-drained soil and full sun; however, it will tolerate less than ideal conditions. Corokia grows very slowly so a bad pruning job will set you back a few years. Plant in rock gardens or as a focal point, if you like unusual things.

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