Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thankful for Bodega Bay Wildlife

This is part 3 in a series of my conversations with former Bodega resident Merritt Clifton. He’s now editor of ANIMAL PEOPLE magazine, and was surprised by the abundant wildlife photos featured thoughout BodegaBayLife.com. Here are his words:

"Your world is unimaginably different from that of the rural working poor community that I remember -- no one there then could ever have imagined it.

"But along with the affluence has come recovery of the local wildlife population, whose habitat was destroyed by logging, grazing, and hunting during the 20th century.

"Your site offers many wonderful photos of wildlife we never saw. Turkey vultures & sheep, yes. We had those. We sometimes saw deer, though they were mostly represented by heads on the walls of the Casino bar & grill in Bodega and The Tides, which was then the only restaurant in Bodega Bay. No one had seen a bobcat in 30 years.

"Our world would have been much richer with the wildlife. Instead, what I had was a 1900 edition of True Bear Stories, by Joaquin Miller, describing the wildlife that used to be there & was no more, even then.

"Looks as if you have the critters again, all except the extinct California golden bear. The last one, Monarch, was captured and ended his life in the original San Francisco Zoo, in Golden Gate Park, before the present zoo was built. Miller covered the capture as a newspaper correspondent, & included the story of the bear's subsequent life in his book."

This was all news to me and it makes me even more grateful for the abundant wildlife here on the coast today. And there's more good news--Merritt will dig this recent article in the Press Democrat,
Birds of Prey Thrive at Jenner Headlands.

Here are a couple of our more recent bobcat photos. Maybe we can get some raptor shots soon...


Anonymous said...


This is what Alfred Hitchcock knew should exist in the area, and didn't, because all the predators of any sort had been shot, trapped, poisoned, & polluted out of the logged & overgrazed habitat.

All those raptors are there because the prey species have recovered. This is also why you have the bobcats & coyotes.

Back when I was a lad, about all we saw of coyotes around there were spring-loaded "coyote-getters" around the perimeters of sheep ranches, that would fire a spray of Compound 1080 at any critter who nosed one or tripped over it.

My brother & I pitched rocks at one once to make it fire & were damned lucky it didn't fire in our direction.

-Merritt Clifton

Michael Trapani said...

Great bobcat pictures! Where were they taken?

Anonymous said...

I love the pictures!


Kathlene said...

Thank you for your comments! They were taken in Bodega Harbour, near Pinnacle Gulch.

Cherrie said...

Great pictures and post!

Lisa said...

These are terrific photos! I haven't seen a bobcat in California yet, though I keep hoping...

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