Shelter in Nature: A Natural History Symposium

shelter in nature flyerThank you all for attending!

Our natural history symposium was a roaring success, with over 80 people from around the country tuning in to hear great music, great science and great stories of UCSC's history. 

If you haven't already, please fill out this form to give us feedback about the event.

A recording of the event is available on YouTube.

May you find solace and wonder in nature, wherever you are, in these difficult times!


Nature Notes

Finally, here are the other Nature Notes that we didn't get a chance to read at the symposium.

  • Joel & Kian Schulman in Malibu This is snake mating season in the Santa Monica Mountains. We shoo’d a big garter snake away from the middle of the road a couple of days ago. The first snake of the season.
  • Brook, Hopland CA, my yard bird list has almost doubled due to me being home 24-7 this spring!
  • This is David Weckler. I live in Mill Valley, in Marin County north of San Francisco. I live surrounded by redwoods and a lovely garden, and red shouldered hawks have always been here, but they’ve always flown and cried well above the tops of the redwoods. With so little activity in the neighborhood, they are now down here with the crows and humans, swooping low over my deck. Birds seem much more happy to come close.
  • In Pacific Grove across from Hopkins Marine Station, watching a pair of Black Oystercatchers working on the nest site they’ve occupied for at least the last 6 years. Seems so normal! Vicki Pearse
  • Hi, This is Kim from Santa Cruz. I find myself noticing bird song, so much more than I used to.
  • Irene—Santa Cruz. Appreciated watching and photographing cormorants nesting near Natural Bridges State Park.
  • Kenwood, near Santa Rosa, CA  Just a few minutes ago I observed an enormous bird in our tall Laurel trees.    Poor vision prevents me from identifying but it was big.    18" ish.    I just love all the wildlife around here.   G.
  • Madeleine from near Calaveras Big Trees State Park.  While walking a fire road today I saw a bobcat about 20 feet up a ponderosa pine being bombed by a stellars jay, wonderful!
  • Ken Kellman!!! Aptos Lise and I have been watching a white backed chickadee who is using a nest box on our fence.
  • Catherine Gorchoff Natural History Field Quarter 1976. I have been getting very close to bark, ants, grass, rocks while I wander with my two year old granddaughter while her parents work from home. Granddaughter time is restorative and seeing the world through her new and wondering eyes brings me to real time and hope for the planet, and for all of us.
  • Maggie: I am in Tucson AZ and when I walk the neighborhood I map the prickly pear flowers to know where the fruits will be in a few months at jelly time.
  • Clive Bagshaw   West side Santa Cruz (near Neary Lagoon) A pair of Violet green swallows have just started bringing feathers to a nest box on our house - I have a video camera installed inside the  box to watch them - amazing!
  • Jan from Albany, CA. This morning at the Berkeley Marina, three fledging White-tailed Kites were being harassed by crows. Mama kite gave a warning cry from afar, and then a mockingbird mimicked her cry and the crows cleared out! Nature is the best medicine for the soul.
  • Emily Barnett Currently in Shaver Lake. I’ve been lucky enough to continue working during this time as a field biologist, and today I saw a new life bird - a chipping sparrow!
  • Caroline, Santa Cruz, Wild flowers blooming
  • Susan. Been hearing lots of birds especially dawn chorus. Santa Cruz mountains.
  • Mike - New Mexico, The desert is in bloom.
  • Petra, evening sunset walking after work.  currently at Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge. 
  • John Fisher The consistent swell and warm weather for beach and surf bliss Santa Cruz
  • I love that no matter where I am—inside or outside—I can hear my bird neighbors, know who they are, and by their vocalizations, have an idea what they’re up to.  This brings me joy many, many times/day.
  • Jory - Santa Cruz - I observe that the birds and squirrels in the back yard and on the deck seem much happier with humans locked inside.
  • In the last couple days, we saw a falcon feeding her 2 young eyases in the wild.
  • Spencer, in Monterey, CA. So many nesting and baby birds around where I am. Juncos, scrub jays, pygmy nuthatches, black phoebes, mallards, swallows, and on and on and on.
  • I loved watching the antics of the Acorn Woodpeckers by my home. How loud their colony was during courtship, and how quiet it is now (nesting, I assume).
  • migratory birds from all over are gathering en masse here in Talkeetna AK on their way to more northern nesting grounds, or even nesting HERE on the beaver pond below my house. The bird song & activity is 24/7 around here
  • Terry, We live in Cazadero, CA under the redwoods. We have been going on many walks down our rural road. Each day we watch the incredible growth of the plants and it has been very inspiring.
  • Camille Hartley, Sierra Valley, CA, sandhill crane on a nest
  • Gage. bumble bee robbing nectar from a salvia in my yard. Live Oak!
  • Western bluebirds arrived in our neighborhood (I haven’t seen them here before), the deer are emboldened, walking our hillside streets, and the blooms throughout the area are spectacular. Cricket, El Cerrito
  • Every morning, I am accompanied on my walk by the music of birds, magnificent flowers including Matilija poppies, trees with brilliant green leaves and more! It sets me for the day! Thank you, Connie/Santa Paula
  • Zeka- Santa Cruz, CA : I found a live oak by my house that holds water in a rotten branch where the birds come to drink and bathe :)
  • Jeff, sc, new birds in my backyard
  • Anonymous, Santa Cruz: seeing Cedar Waxwings reminds me that seasons are changing!
  • Bruce Lyon Santa Cruz  Tons of Pacific Loons flying north towards their arctic breeding grounds
  • Omg Mima Meadow is off the charts right now! Came to see the sunset and ended up watching a cranefly battle it out with a young grasshopper instead :’) -Alex in Santa Cruz
  • Tutti, Santa Cruz Lying under the trees on Swanton Rd watching the swallows dart about.
  • Lazuli buntings on campus in full song yah!
  • I love to walk on the trail by Moran Lake. lots of birds there- hawks, egrets, herons, and last year I saw a peregrine falcon
  • David in Santa Cruz. I’ve seen 3 different butterflies in the last few days. Each one different from the other !
  • Kate, Santa Barbara, I observed lots of singing bird right from my front porch.
  • Bry from San Gregorio, CA. I am grateful for the Pygmy nuthatch pair that resides in the telephone pole outside of my front door. They provide hours of delight and entertainment.
  • in the evening, when I walk under the trees in Felton, there is a sound like falling rain drops. it is not leaves falling, and I cannot see nor feel anything falling. very interesting.
  • Josh, San Fernando Valley, the flowers have been arising and dying and it reminds me of the impermanence of life
  • Santa Cruz - Dorris here - I kayak daily. had a surface swimming halibut hang out with me yesterday. Lots of harbor seals and otters in the healthy looking kelp at Steamers.  
  • This evening I was observing two clutches of ducklings at Nearly Lagoon. The older group consisted of 11 ducklings, the younger only 4 small ducklings. The mother ducks from each brood would bite the other’s ducklings if they came too close to their due
  • Alex Jones in Aptos---my son and I have been so lucky to spend a ton of time in a nearby local creek, a secret spot we have all to ourselves. We've had so many good experiences but the most amazing was finding a fossil shark tooth from a Carcharodon hastalis in the creek! The extinct ancestor of the great white shark
  • Brian, Portland OR - Seeing otter swimming in the Willamette River.
  • Sean Reilly; currently in Live Oak; we love watching the monarch caterpillars grow up on the milkweed in our front yard :)