Nature

Woods for you: Best redwood parks for family times, wowwing out-of-towners, quiet reflection

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You have no reason not to explore California's freakishly gorgeous lands now. The treehuggers over at the Redwoods League (who have purchased more than 190,000 acres of the trees for conservation since the group's inception in 1918) have released their first-ever parent's guide to the behemoth old-growth beauties. This means day trips sensibly arranged and explained so that even the couch-bound and fresh air-phobic can figure out which woodses are best for them. Which redwood park operates a nursery? A science center? All in the guide, available for the price of your email address.

To aide you even further, Redwoods League director of outreach Jennifer Benito gave us her top picks for redwoods to take the parentals to, the most impressive stands to wow your out-of-towner babes, etc. Click through for the League's detailed info on visitor centers, trails, and hidden treasures in each of the parks on her list. Read more »

Editor's Notes

What of waterfront contemplation if the Warriors Arena lands on the Embarcadero?

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tredmond@sfbg.com

EDITORS NOTES It was breezy and San Francisco-spring-perfect along the Embarcadero the other day. People were jogging, and rollerblading, and sitting in the sun. Red's Java House was doing brisk business.Read more »

Light-up wonders, deep sea explorers, jelly apps: Marine biology at the Bone Room

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You don't have to travel far to enter foreign waters. Just a few miles off San Francisco shores lies a world more alien to us than anything dreamed up by the likes of Ridley Scott or James Cameron. And as Doctor Steve Haddock of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute told us in his lecture, entitled "No Bones About It: The Diversity of Gelatinous Invertebrates in the Deep Sea" at Berkeley's Bone Room last Thursday night, this world -- otherwise known as Monterey Bay -- holds 4,000 meters of uncharted underwater territory , miles of yet-to-be-discovered ecosystems, organisms, and almost unimaginable possibilities of new life.

Monterey Bay is one of the most biologically diverse bodies of waters in the world due to the massive sub-oceanic Monterey Canyon, one of the deepest of its kind off the coast of the United States. It stretches about 4,000 meters in depth, surpassing the depth of the Grand Canyon. 

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Bloombastic: It's magnolia season at the SF Botanical Garden

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As we speak there are budding booms in Golden Gate Park that will have even the greenest of thumbs tickled pink. Yes, it is magnolia season, and the San Francisco Botanical Garden is a fantastic place to check out the flowers' arrival -- the Garden is home to nearly 100 rare and historic magnolias, all erupting in aromatic array. In fact, the collection is the most comprehensive and long-standing one of its kind outside of China. We're talking 51 species and 33 cultivars, all assembled by the Garden in the name of varietal preservation.Read more »

Nudi pics to brighten your day

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It really doesn't matter that this National Geographic slideshow is from 2008. The relevancy of the nudibranches featured therein defy space and time and will easily be the most uplifting and forward-thinking thing you see on the Internet today. 

5 top spots for Labor Day from our (just-posted!) complete Nude Beaches Guide 2012

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You saw the abridged version in our now-famous print edition last month, but just in time for the three-day weekend, Gary Hanauer's complete guide to the clothing-optional watering holes and breezy beaches of NorCal is available for your pants-free perusal. Didn't have any outings scheduled for your Labor Day lazefest? Here's five of the top spots for nudeling included in the 100-plus listings. 

1. Hop on over to Marin County's highly-recommended RCA Beach, where Hanauer affirms driftwood dragons can sometimes be spotted. "Want to recharge your life? ... a single stopover at the beautiful beach will probably inspire you to keep coming back." Read more »