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Opposums, rats, pigeons, plus San Diego's geologist who hates roadside landscaping

Close look at San Diego's natural world

"The highest-priced bird sold here in the United States was a couple of years ago, sold for $32,000. The bird’s name was Senna.”
"The highest-priced bird sold here in the United States was a couple of years ago, sold for $32,000. The bird’s name was Senna.”
  • Our Panther

  • Our fair city does have one black jaguar resident, downtown, in Cat Canyon, near Sun Bear Forest, across from the Hunte Amphitheater, in the San Diego Zoo. He was born October 1992 at Wildlife World Zoo, in Litchfield, Arizona. He weighs as much as I do, about 165 pounds. His name is Orson.
  • By Geoff Bouvier, July 14, 2005
I started to mention Rilke's poem, but Noel gently cut me off. "That poem doesn't apply to Orson at all."
  • More or Less Sudden Mountains

  • Looking at the first of many instances of San Diego hydroseeding, across from Costco and Ikea along Friars Road, Deméré declared, "I don't mean to dis botany completely. I can appreciate plants." But more often along our trip he would indicate that roadside landscaping was, to a geologist, a kind of proliferating evil.
  • By Geoff Bouvier, Jan. 13, 2005
Tom Deméré: "I used to surf a lot. On bad surf days, I'd check out the terrific exposure on the sea cliffs."
  • Our friend, the opossum

  • Shawn Powell and I are driving south on Jackson Drive, carrying three opossums in Powell's Hyundai Santa Fe. Our mission is to liberate them. We could stop and dump them out on the sidewalk, but that would be injudicious.
  • By Jeannette DeWyze, Aug. 31, 2006
As an animal rescuer, "You're dealing with a lot of death."
  • Marathoners of the Sky

  • Today, Hamilton and his “grandson,” John Timmerman, have about 750 pigeons in Jamul, the largest collection in San Diego County. As we sat on the deck of their loft, amidst soft cooing and wafting feathers, Hamilton looked at his birds and smiled. “We’ve won every race there is. All the top races, top prizes, we’ve won.”
  • By Don McCullough, April 1, 2004
Virginia Kraft, lives in a big French chateau in Rancho Santa Fe and has some of the best birds in the county.
  • Frozen Drama

  • When you walk in the front door you enter another world. What was originally meant to be a living room is now his showroom/office and is filled with many mounted ducks and other birds, some fish, and three or four stunning tableaux/dioramas (as one might see in a natural history museum) combining sculpture and taxidermy.
  • By Thomas Lux, Jan. 1, 2004
Mounted wood duck. Even though 98 percent of the duck is hand-painted, the airbrush painting is crucial.
  • Rats!

  • Call them what you will — roach-boys, rat-men, rat-catchers, terminators, pest technicians — the fact is that pest inspectors are professional killers.
  • By Geoff Bouvier, Sept. 22, 2005
Zaludek showed me a decomposed rat skeleton, which he'd found in a corner of the attic.
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"The highest-priced bird sold here in the United States was a couple of years ago, sold for $32,000. The bird’s name was Senna.”
"The highest-priced bird sold here in the United States was a couple of years ago, sold for $32,000. The bird’s name was Senna.”
  • Our Panther

  • Our fair city does have one black jaguar resident, downtown, in Cat Canyon, near Sun Bear Forest, across from the Hunte Amphitheater, in the San Diego Zoo. He was born October 1992 at Wildlife World Zoo, in Litchfield, Arizona. He weighs as much as I do, about 165 pounds. His name is Orson.
  • By Geoff Bouvier, July 14, 2005
I started to mention Rilke's poem, but Noel gently cut me off. "That poem doesn't apply to Orson at all."
  • More or Less Sudden Mountains

  • Looking at the first of many instances of San Diego hydroseeding, across from Costco and Ikea along Friars Road, Deméré declared, "I don't mean to dis botany completely. I can appreciate plants." But more often along our trip he would indicate that roadside landscaping was, to a geologist, a kind of proliferating evil.
  • By Geoff Bouvier, Jan. 13, 2005
Tom Deméré: "I used to surf a lot. On bad surf days, I'd check out the terrific exposure on the sea cliffs."
  • Our friend, the opossum

  • Shawn Powell and I are driving south on Jackson Drive, carrying three opossums in Powell's Hyundai Santa Fe. Our mission is to liberate them. We could stop and dump them out on the sidewalk, but that would be injudicious.
  • By Jeannette DeWyze, Aug. 31, 2006
As an animal rescuer, "You're dealing with a lot of death."
  • Marathoners of the Sky

  • Today, Hamilton and his “grandson,” John Timmerman, have about 750 pigeons in Jamul, the largest collection in San Diego County. As we sat on the deck of their loft, amidst soft cooing and wafting feathers, Hamilton looked at his birds and smiled. “We’ve won every race there is. All the top races, top prizes, we’ve won.”
  • By Don McCullough, April 1, 2004
Virginia Kraft, lives in a big French chateau in Rancho Santa Fe and has some of the best birds in the county.
  • Frozen Drama

  • When you walk in the front door you enter another world. What was originally meant to be a living room is now his showroom/office and is filled with many mounted ducks and other birds, some fish, and three or four stunning tableaux/dioramas (as one might see in a natural history museum) combining sculpture and taxidermy.
  • By Thomas Lux, Jan. 1, 2004
Mounted wood duck. Even though 98 percent of the duck is hand-painted, the airbrush painting is crucial.
  • Rats!

  • Call them what you will — roach-boys, rat-men, rat-catchers, terminators, pest technicians — the fact is that pest inspectors are professional killers.
  • By Geoff Bouvier, Sept. 22, 2005
Zaludek showed me a decomposed rat skeleton, which he'd found in a corner of the attic.
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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