Please Vote Yes on California Proposition 67


Estuarian readers who live in California have to opportunity to vote for the environment by voting YES on Proposition 67. It will ban single use plastic bags in California.

We have already banned single use plastic bags in Sebastopol, California where I live. It has made a difference—I see far fewer plastic bags in the estuaries around here.

Proposition 67 would ban single use plastic bags statewide—a good thing for all of California’s living things. It would be good for the whole planet, actually.

For example, take a look at this video of the contents of a dead camel’s gut. Plastic bags kill more than human babies. The camel died near Dubai. These bags are a problem worldwide.

Credits: Video of Camel Gastrolith by Chris Jordan. Thanks to Richard James of for making me aware of it.

Plastic bag manufacturers have introduced a Proposition of their own to confuse voters, Prop 65. Vote NO on 65.

Vote YES on 67.

Ten Miles on Tomales Bay 4

Rains blew in today from the eastern Pacific.

The change in weather has made last week’s placid sunny autumnal outing on Tomales Bay seem a long-ago memory. A seagull sunned himself on a piling.


Another gull had crab for breakfast.


The western shore still has quaint housing built before Tomales Bay became part of Point Reyes National Seashore, like this red cabin with its own beach.


The old Spenger’s place .


Spenger Place. I believe this is the same family that had a fish restaurant in Berkeley when I was a college student there.

And the remnants of Clayton Lewis’s assemblage of structures at Laird’s Landing.



I enjoyed lunch at Clayton Lewis’s place and spent about a half hour working on a sketch of one of his buildings.


I had the whole place to myself.

The Ancient Voice of a Great Blue Heron

Listen as you watch this video of a Great Blue Heron taking off and voicing disapproval of my intrusion into the serenity of its world.


Last summer my brother (artist, author, videographer, and blogger, James Gurney, creator of Dinotopia and author of Imaginative Realism among much else) and I visited the American Museum of Natural History in New York city.

We went there to see a new exhibit exploring how dinosaurs didn’t really disappear 65 million years ago. They survived and evolved to become the birds we see around us today.

Whenever I hear the expressive voice of the Great Blue Heron I wonder what the large dinosaurs of long ago sounded like. If their voices matched their hulking sizes, the sound would have been terrifying.



Ten Miles on Tomales Bay 3

A Great Blue Heron stood on a rock along the shore….

gbhe-1-tmotI approached, slowly, snapping photos.


The heron turned around and sprang into the air.


These beautiful birds are light. They have legs so strong that they can leap into the air and, with just one powerful wingbeat, take to the sky.

This one flew up the shore and around a point, just out of sight. It had landed on a rock where I encountered him a second time.


Again he flew—this time in the opposite direction, back towards his original rock.

That pleased me. Sometimes birds will fly again and again in the same direction, each time a little bit further up the shore in the direction I am paddling and we repeat the encounter repeatedly—to their obvious annoyance.

I was able to take a short video of this bird shortly after taking the photo above.

When you watch the video, you can hear the bird’s ancient voice. It seems to express displeasure at my interference.

I’ll post that video tomorrow.