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Santa Clarita Outdoor Report

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: Blooming Through The Drought

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: Blooming Through The Drought

Introducing Contributing Writer:  Mieko Alley As summer temperatures rise, you may be inclined to spend more time inside or drink more water as a response to the heat. Your dog may dig under the house to escape the sun or you may find that your cat has given up his perch on the windowsill. You may even find that your ...

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Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: The “Day Tripper” Wolf

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report:  The “Day Tripper” Wolf

In this week’s Santa Clarita Outdoor Report, Wendy Langhans tells us more on the extirpation or local extinction of Gray Wolves in California, and the possible comeback with a “Day Tripper Wolf” known as OR7. Last week, we spoke about the “extirpation” (local extinction) of Gray Wolves in California.  We have anecdotal evidence that they once lived here in Southern ...

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Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Eggs-cetera

Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report:  Eggs-cetera

  Earlier this week, as I was watering my potted plants on the front porch, I discovered a new resident had moved in.  There, smack dab in the middle of my sage plant, I spotted a nest with two small eggs.  Later, I saw a Mourning Dove sitting on the nest, her two brown eyes carefully watching my every move. ...

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Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: Beetle Voicemail

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report:  Beetle Voicemail

Thirty years ago, I was working in Silicon Valley for ROLM Corporation, one of the pioneers in voicemail telecommunications.  But recently, I learned that insects have been communicating with their version of “voicemail” for much longer than 30 years – more like millions of years. To leave a voicemail, you first need a telephone.   In 2008, researchers from Netherlands Institute ...

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Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: Juniper “Cones”

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report:  Juniper “Cones”

Most well-equipped kitchens have a place where the dried spices are kept.  It could be a drawer, or a cabinet shelf or even a spice rack on the counter.  And when we think of spices that we use, we think of bark – like cinnamon.  We think of roots – like ginger.  And we think of dried fruit – like ...

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Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: 21-Second Rule

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report:  21-Second Rule

Growing up in Wisconsin, I had the good fortune to spend part of my summers on my Aunt and Uncle’s dairy farm.  There, I discovered a fundamental principle of four-legged mammals – they all pee.  Dogs, cats and especially cows all need to get rid of the waste products produced by their bodies. So imagine my surprise when I learned ...

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Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: Melting Snow

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report:  Melting Snow

I’m not sure I can ask this question without smirking just a bit:  Cold enough for you?  That’s because I went to college in Minnesota; in St. Paul, the average temperature in December ranges from 27 (high) to 12 (low).  But last week, I discovered something that dimmed that smirk just a bit.  Something I thought I knew about snow ...

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Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: Acoustic Stealth

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report:  Acoustic Stealth

In my night-hike tool kit, I carry two short pieces of rope:  one is smooth with a well-defined edge, while the other is frayed with a tattered edge.  I use them to demonstrate the stealth acoustics of owl wings.    Photo courtesy of: Lilian Holt I begin by asking the hikers a question:  When I swing each of these ropes in ...

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Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Speed Of Sound

Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report:  Speed Of Sound

What do bats and toothed whales have in common?  Certainly not size, not habitat, and not even how they get from one place to another.  But they both hunt using sound waves to locate their prey, a technique known as echolocation.  A recent report from the University of Southern Denmark concludes “that bats and toothed whales produce signals for echolocation ...

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