Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
A Field Guide To Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley Regions, by Arthur M. Shapiro and Timothy D. Manolis (University of California Press, 2007; $18.95), is a beautifully illustrated addition to the Natural History Guide book series from the University of California Press. In addition to glorious illustrations, the book includes butterfly life histories, natural enemies, butterfly behavior, migration, host plants, and tips on butterfly gardening and butterfly rearing. The book addresses the importance of conservation and preserving habitat. It's easy for the beginning butterfly enthusiast to use, and it includes a glossary of terms. Experienced lepidopterists will find the volume up to date.
Clever Gardening Technique
Make Your Trees Rodent Proof
To prevent rodents and raccoons from climbing into trees and taking up residence, tack a wide band of aluminum or copper sheeting around the trunk. The slippery surface of the metal will not allow rodents to get their nails into the trunk, preventing them from climbing up to the canopy. This technique works for palms as well as other trees. It will not work if the canopy of the tree is in contact with nearby trees.