Palo Alto’s kiddie zoo just reopened! Here are 8 animals that zookeepers think you shouldn’t miss on your first visit back.

After two years and $33 million, the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo is twice the size, with 50 species and a two-story treehouse. (Photo courtesy Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo) When the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo outgrew its clunky 1940s architecture (including concrete bathtub-shaped exhibits), the beloved family staple closed to undergo a two-year makeover. Now it’s back at nearly double the size with a Loose-in-the-Zoo theme that ...

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“A watershed moment”: Coho salmon are re-introduced to Pescadero Creek

Coastside conservationists (literally) carry a native species on their shoulders Story by Sarah Wright // Photos by Adam Pardee Juvenile coho salmon are released into Pescadero Creek in Memorial Park in Loma Mar on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. (Photo by Adam Pardee /HMB Review) Coho salmon are set to make a comeback on the South Coast. Last week, 10,000 of the young fish were released into Pescadero Creek after National Oceanic and Atmospheric ...

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Wonders of the water: Meet the tide pool whisperer of the San Mateo coastline

Local resident Aron Sanchez has curated an engaging Instagram account of aquatic oddities, coastal creatures and other rapidly-disappearing denizens of the sea A purple sea star gorges on a mossy chitin; San Mateo County, June 2015. (Image via Aron Sanchez/Waterbod) Aron Sanchez never really liked the beach while growing up. It’s a paradox, of course, for a guy who has amassed 119,000 followers on Instagram as a result of clocking long hours on ...

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Fungus Photography: Mushroom hunting in Northern California (through a macro lens)

From Candy Caps to Witch’s Butter, the San Francisco Peninsula can be a field day for foraging—and photographing—fungi. Photos/Intro by Charles Russo. Reporting by Laura Ness A golden chanterelle mushroom, one of the most sought-after species for fungus hunters. Chanterelle mushrooms fetch a high price at grocery stores and are known to be very meaty, with a great flavor that is both nutty and fragrant. They are often found in the vicinity of ...

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Feral Photography: amazing animal imagery from Silicon Valley trail cams

Peninsula resident Katharina Pierini has compiled a unique glimpse into the unseen world of Bay Area wildlife By Charles Russo A lone bobcat photographed along the coast. (Photo by Katharina Pierini) Katharina Pierini is surprisingly quick to refer to herself as “skittish.” That can come across as a bit of a dubious admission, especially if you’ve seen the images of her in action— with a chainsaw strapped to her back as she rides a dirt bike ...

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Deciphering the Forest from the Feast with Silicon Valley’s breakout food blogger

Local author and blogger Erin Gleeson talks Peninsula lifestyle, from bakeries to back-to-school-night booze. By Charles Russo Erin Gleeson, author of The Forest Feast, pictured in the garden at her Redwood City home. (Photo by Charles Russo) Erin Gleeson recently approved the Korean-language edition of her children’s cookbook — The Forest Feast for Kids. It was a bit of a peculiar process, but she just rolled with it. “They asked me how it looked,” Gleeson explains, “and ...

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Apple rustling and pie wrangling: Family fun on the San Mateo coast

This Labor Day, keep it low-stress with an outing to the farm country south of Half Moon Bay. The slice of bucolic heaven that lies on the other side of the Santa Cruz Mountains is one of the best things about Silicon Valley. Goat farms, produce stands and quaint towns turn a trip down Highway 1 into an odyssey to another time. And then there’s the scenery: miles of blue Pacific Ocean ...

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A Procrastinator’s Guide to Camping in Silicon Valley

A Procrastinator’s Guide to Camping in the Bay Area Looking for a last-minute campsite within an hour of the Peninsula? Try one of these places. Matt Dolkas, content marketing manager for the Peninsula Open Space Trust, has a sermon to deliver to all you hiding in your cubicles right now: Get outside. Better yet, go camping. “Not to get too preachy, but that’s exactly what people need to do,” says Dolkas. “They need to feel the ...

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This backpacking noob trekked the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail. You should too.

Four women, 30 miles, three days and zero permanent injuries on the PCT of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Story and photos by Kate Bradshaw Ever since moving to the Peninsula two years ago, I’ve envisioned hiking the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail. Why this trail? Because its lovely name telegraphs its two loveliest features: great views and a net elevation loss. And frankly, the thought of schlepping a heavy backpack roughly 30 miles sounded more tolerable ...

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My own private Peninsula: permit-only hikes in the Santa Cruz Mountains

You know those people who always come back from fabulous vacations bragging about how they “had the whole place” to themselves? Next time, summon a smirk of your own and direct them to your Instagram feed, where they’ll see you cavorting in a beautiful park right here at home with NO CROWDS AT ALL, because you got a permit or arranged a special tour to get there. “We could have ...

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