Tromp Blog

Planting A Fall Garden? Read This First.

Persimmon trees: a good source of food for local wildlife.  Photo by Geomr on Wikimedia Commons.

Santa Cruz naturalist Randall Morgan has some creative suggestions about the best plants to attract birds and insects.

My Fair Fungus

Chicken-of-the-Woods: a delicacy—as long as you're not allergic.

A Santa Cruz Mountain rain brings forth Chicken-of-the-Woods and memories for a mountain biking mushroom hunter.

The Outdoor Poet: Sholeh Wolpé

Brocken Inaglory/Creative Commons

After a hiatus, The Outdoor Poet returns with "How Hard is It to Write a Love Song" by Iranian-born poet Sholeh Wolpé.

Merriment, Mole & Mariachi

The chefs of the Kitchen at Discretion Brewing.

The 2nd annual Mole and Mariachi Festival brought throngs of revelers to the Mission Adobe State Historic Park on Saturday in a celebration of the Mexican culture that shaped California.

Video: Pumas Mating in SC Mountains

Hot feline porn underscores the need for wildlife connectivity. (Yes, that's right: we're link-baiting the word "porn" to make you read about the Land Trust's $1 million campaign to build a wildlife crossing. Got a problem with that?)

Radical Reels 2014 in Santa Cruz

The Banff Mountain Film Festival’s annual world tour has long been a favorite Santa Cruz winter event, selling out the Rio Theater for one weekend every February.

Hike The Great Park: Ocean View Summit

The view from Ocean View Summit is very similar to this one from McCrary Ridge: forested ridges leading to the sparkling Pacific. Photo by Miguel Vieira on Wikimedia Commons.

This Big Basin hike offers a stunning summit-to-sea perspective on the Great Park, a 200-square-mile swath of Santa Cruz Mountain redwood forest.

Still Time for Half Dome

The cables are up on Half Dome until October, meaning there's still time for mere mortals to climb it  in 2014. Photo by Rainer Hübenthal..

Summer's ending, but Yosemite's famous destination is attainable for another month yet.

Adventure Out's Jack Harrison

Jack Harrison has helped Adventure Out expand its survival and wilderness skills classes.

When he talks about the wilderness and indigenous skills like fire-starting and flint-knapping, Jack Harrison’s tone blends harsh honesty and reflective eloquence. “There aren’t any do-overs in the wild,” he says.

Randall Morgan on The Amazing Tern

An elegant tern at the top of its dive-bomb fishing maneuver—showing how it got its name. Photo by Regular Daddy.

Among Santa Cruz's rich community of amateur and professional naturalists, Randall Morgan is beloved for his knowledge, passion and wit. As Hilltromper's unofficial Naturalist-in-Residence, he answers our questions—this week, about the beautiful seabirds called terns.