Next Saturday, August 2, there will be a festival from 3:30-6:30 PM in Martinez, California to celebrate the return of beavers to that town a couple of years ago, and their successful raising of some baby beavers. This is a really easy trip from the East Bay, only 30 minutes by car from Berkeley or you could take Amtrak and sit in style while watching the beautiful scenery (the tracks follow the bay all the way around, unlike the freeway, so you see stuff you can’t see if you drive). My wife and I have gone a couple of times, and I’ve even ridden my bike there from Berkeley (although I would not claim that it was easy). Martinez is a great little town. Once, we went to see the beavers early in the morning and then did some birdwatching at the slough farther downstream; another time, we took our bikes along and rode the really splendid bike route from Martinez to Crockett and back. Have lunch or dinner in Martinez and tell ‘em you’re there for the beavers — honestly, that is the best way to help ensure that the beavers continue to have a home, because, believe it or not, there are some people there who want to get rid of the beavers! So just by going to the festival and having a drink or some food at a local joint, it’s a bit like making a donation (as long as you mention that you came for the beavers). Can’t beat that!
More about the beavers is at the “worth a dam” blog (which doesn’t prominently mention the festival because the information has been pushed down the page by recent entries, but these are the people organizing the festival). There’s also an article on the Bay Nature website. Bay Nature is a Bay-Area-specific nature magazine (as you might, just might, have been able to guess from the title) that is really, really good — my wife and I have been getting it since it came out and it is really terrific. But I never before realized that they do stories on their website that they don’t have room for in the magazine, so even if you get the magazine you need to check out their website too. I’ve added it to the blogroll.