There’s a turf battle going on in Southern California. One local, one imported. One, a big fluffy-tailed specialist with a penchant for pine trees and tree nuts that used to rule the roost in SoCal. The other, a red-furred sleek generalist from the East Coast, a fast procreator with an appetite for everything. To call this a mismatch would be an understatement.


Many hands were working feverishly in a small shed at Redondo Beach’s SEA Lab facilities for this inaugural task; to, for the first time, outplant green abalone raised in captivity into the Southern California marine ecosystem.

Sister Corita Kent

The exhibition is the first full-scale retrospective that spans 30 years of work from Kent, an Immaculate Heart of Mary sister and artist/instructor at the Immaculate Heart of Mary College in Los Angeles from 1947-1968; she eventually left the religious order and kept practicing art until her death in 1986.


Hidden gems on the second floor of a secluded campus building. The cabinets are plain and ordinary on the outside, but once opened, they reveal birds of all shapes, sizes and colors. A rainbow of feathers.


Holy Scriptures are just one element of exhibition at California Science Center.


Spending time with artists is a reminder of the creative spirit. Artist Simon Toparovsky discusses his latest exhibition at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.


Being out on the ocean is always exhilarating, especially here in Southern California where sea life is constantly on the move. Seeing whales puts all of life in perspective.


The energy is this classroom is infectious, as were the students’ presentations.


A comeback story in the making. A once decimated area now blooming and lively. Nature does find a way.


Toxic poisons are killing and sickening more than just rats in Los Angeles. Maybe owls are part of a cleaner solution?


When I rounded the corner to enter the Getty museum gallery, I gasped. Out loud and loud. The sheer beauty and majesty of the paintings and tapestries was overwhelming. The curator Anne Woollett said to me: “That’s just the reaction we want to see.”


When I was younger, I loved fishing back in Minnesota with my grandfather and cousins. The L.A. River has the potential to be a vibrant waterway, according to many enthusiasts, scientists and more.


The sight and sound of thousands of Mexican free-tail bats emerging out from underneath a bridge is breathtaking. So is people watching at this SoCal location near Hemet.


Who wouldn’t love to run across these hoppers when out hiking? How local groups/organizations are working to stabilize SoCal’s native frog population.


It’s always fun to write for Westways Magazine — great information, great photos and fun subjects. They sent me to places that I have always wanted to explore, especially the Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro. What a lovely symbol of peace, art and culture!


Yappy Hour at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. I asked the pastor, Msgr. Kostelnik, why not cats? After all…it’s a CAThedral… This was a photographer’s dream job….


This is the kind of school I wish I attended when I was an elementary student. Leo Politi School is near downtown Los Angeles but you wouldn’t know it when you are wandering around its 5,000 sq. ft. native plant garden.


Who wouldn’t enjoy sitting down chatting with a feisty, spunky and opinionated 101-year-old conservationist? Just don’t try to take her photo!


Behind every great wildlife photo is a photographer with hundreds of duds. I tagged along with two camera trappers up in the Los Angeles Forest to see how they are using technology and art to create wonderful images of local wildlife.


As the rock star of the butterfly family, the migrating monarch is a beloved sight in SoCal. Let’s hope we keep seeing these flappers.


I’m a sucker for brilliant wildlife photography — not to mention energetic and passionate photographers like Jennifer MaHarry whose recent exhibition “Nature LA: Birds of Prey” features local SoCal raptors.


I love visiting the Getty and it’s so fun to interview curators like Liz Morrison who are so enthusiastic about their subject matter.

Home remodeling nightmares? Not when the Autry National Center decided to change up two of their galleries. I enjoyed discovering how the designers think when it comes to large public spaces.


Critter Corner! I wish I could write one of these every month! There is so much wildlife to see in SoCal every DAY!!


Proving that rock star birds are around us in SoCal at all times, the Belding’s Savannah sparrow is a story of perseverance and pluckiness.

Photo by Kevin Knight

What a fun topic to research — great old playgrounds in Southern California. Makes me wish my daughter was once again 6 years-old!

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After talking with the owners of these active BnBs, I went running to my calendar to see when I could go and experience a little down-home escapism!

Photo by Martha Benedict

I enjoyed working with super photog Martha Benedict on this article about the pilot program of re-opening of the LA River to kayakers and boaters. I know I’ll have to jump in and paddle this summer!

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An eye-opening day with kids, scientists, snakes and lizards. Did I mention a rattlesnake?


For this Arroyo Monthly article, I laced up my walking shoes to find out how seniors are keeping fit with the simple art of putting one foot in front of the other.


Birding and more at the Sepulveda Basin was a mixed experience. So much wildlife on the North Reserve, but so much destruction on the South Reserve…the issue is still not resolved…


I was excited — and nervous — to join with my fellow citizen scientists to help count big horn sheep in the San Gabriel Mountains. Little did I know….


I paid a visit to the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro. What is making all these California sea lions so sick? No one seems to know…


What a treat to learn that the two mountain lion cubs rescued last year and doing fine up in Paso Robles. Here’s my report for SoCalWild…


Architecture and the environment…two of my favorite things to explore! The team at Lettuce Office explains to me the concept behind their new solar array design for Occidental College.

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Renewal energy meets art in the new design shaping up on the hills of Oxy College. Here’s what I learned about the project for the Eastsider lA Blog.


For this Arroyo Monthly article, I got a chance to explore the roots of Pasadena’s Bungalow Heaven as I profiled mover and shaker, Bob Kneisel.


Brainy students from the Los Angeles Archdiocese compete for top cerebral honors at the Sports Arena. One thousand kids, 3,000 spectators….it was a daylong celebration of top smarts!


I enjoyed discovering Wynn Wilson’s Altadena garden — dreamy landscape full of critters! Just my style.

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Exploring new worlds that are closeby is a wonderful treat. This month, I joined a small group of folk who were granted access into Bitter Creek Wildlife Refuge, normally closed to the public during the year. We were there to learn more about California condors — and we got an eyeful!


Sure September is back to school time, but it’s also the time of year to look up and witness a great migration here in Los Angeles — the Vauxes’ swifts, that for about three weeks, take roost in a downtown chimney. Here’s my post for SoCalWild on the spectacle.


For this month’s Arroyo Magazine, I met Highland Park furniture designer, David Johnson of Sidecar Furniture, a local Highland Park boy who is lost in the midcentury.


I had the most wonderful opportunity to board a whale watching vessel one morning out of Long Beach with staff and biologists from the Aquarium of the Pacific. We were on search for those lovely leviathans of the deep, our summer visitors, the blue whales. Along with photographer friend, Martha Benedict, we captured what it was like to be on a watery expedition. Here’s our featured post for SoCalWild.


As the penultimate soda pop store in the entire world – yes, I will make that claim! – Galco’s of Highland Park is one of those stores you love to visit and love to love. Heart, soul, a good story, good people and good sodas…it’s all here.


When I stumbled upon David Marlos’ wonderful website, “What’s That Bug?”, I didn’t realize that Marlos’ was a neighbor. Only after I submitted a query about identifying a group of bees that every morning clung to a single lavender stalk, did I discover that Marlos lived practically right down the street from my Eagle Rock home. I was happy to profile him in a recent post on SoCalWild.

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Our regional paper, the Boulevard Sentinel, contains news stories, events, local happenings and stories. Here’s an article I did for them about a very special canine.

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After months of prepping, I have officially launched this month my new wildlife website, Southern California Wildlife, or SoCalWild for short. The website is a mixture of news, information, resources and original content all about the diversity of wildlife we have here in the Greater Los Angeles area. From dolphins to desert tortoises, from falcons to mountain lions, the vast array of critters that will be explored is practically endless! As editor, I am always looking for good wildlife news whether it’s from pr people, scientists or field researchers. I am also on the lookout for good writers who can

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Talking with Joe Domand about the loss of his 22-year-old son Jeff to a car accident was difficult — what parent doesn’t have such fears? Still, Joe and wife Rita, originally from Haiti, decided to turn their grief into a memorial of life for the people of their homeland by sponsoring a school in a rural area. The best turn: the school is located in the house where Joe and his 16 siblings grew up in. Talk about giving folk the “shirt off your own back…”


An American couple on a dream trip — sail the world’s seas, meet new people, share their faith in a friendly not pushy manner, experience all life has to offer. In late February, 2011, this Santa Monica couple was found shot to death after U.S. forces boarded their hijacked vessel.

Here’s the emotional story that I did for the Catholic weekly publication, the Tidings:


“Eight Ideas for Updating Your Kitchen.” All of the stuff I researched and wrote about…I could never, ever, ever afford. I can’t even afford to dream about them!


For this latest issue of the Arroyo Mag. I enjoyed meeting Brian Brophy, theater director at Caltech. Aw, theater people! Energy, wit and experience….gotta love ’em!


For more than five years, I have spearheaded the public relations effort for the annual Friends of the Gamble House lecture series. These popular series feature well-known experts discussing art, architecture, history, gardening and more. The accompanying tours give the public a sneak peek into rarely-seen homes (Frank Lloyd Wright’s La Miniatura), neighborhoods (Eichler communities in the San Fernando Valley) and backyards (Heather Lenkin’s stunning personal gardens.)


Heard of Green Prints? It’s a fine little literary mag that’s aptly called “The Weeder’s Digest” because it contains nifty and touching stories about the true world of gardening. I submitted a story to them about, oh, five, six years ago. They liked it, bought it and sent me a check. Now, in this fall’s issue…I finally see the story, “My Daughter, the Tortoise” appear in print. Well worth the wait! Here is the story: My Daughter the Tortoise By Brenda Rees We’ve babysat kids and took care of neighbor’s cats, but when Janna called one late September evening asking

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How often does this happen? September’s Arroyo Monthly Magazine has not one, but two of my articles! One is a roundup of popular must-have items for kids while the other one is an indepth look at how parents are coping with the high cost of private schools in this dismal economy.