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Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report

Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Wendy’s Diner

Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Wendy’s Diner

This is a “Best of Wendy Langhans” Report Restaurant menu’s vary from basic comfort food to fancy signature dishes.  But plain or fancy, most restaurants offers seasonal specials.  Just imagine June without strawberry pie or October without pumpkin pie.  The same is true at Wendy’s Diner, the name we have given to the bird feeders on our front porch.  With ...

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Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: Secrets In The Scat

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report:  Secrets In The Scat

By:  Mieko Alley This week’s Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report fills us in on the secret details of scat.  Scat shape and appearance, marking territory, evidence of diet, and are just part of the lessons of scat. So get on out there and see what scat you see while hiking. If you’re a fan of crime dramas, you’ve probably realized ...

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SCV Outdoor Report: The Ants Go Marching, Part II

SCV Outdoor Report: The Ants Go Marching, Part II

Wendy Langhans’ Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report, “The Ants Go Marching,” answers questions about flower pollination.  In part II, Wendy answers the “why” ants go marching. Two weeks ago, we took a closer lookat the pollination of flowering plants by ants.  We explored three reasons why it rarely occurs.  This week, I’d like to address the follow-up question – if ...

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Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: The Ants Go Marching (Part I)

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report:  The Ants Go Marching (Part I)

Last Saturday, as I was teaching a class of volunteer docents about our local wildflowers, one of the docents asked, “What about ants?  I see them on flowers all the time. Do they pollinate flowers?”  I smiled (a bit sheepishly, I might add) and said I would get back to her.  And here is what I found…. In the natural ...

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Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Curve Ball

Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Curve Ball

Nature comes in various shapes – some straight and some curved.  We all know how to create a curved shape.  Children use the palms of their hands to shape cookie dough into round balls.  Pastry chefs use a rolling pin to shape a round and flaky pie crust.  And pitchers put a “topspin” on a baseball to throw a curve ...

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Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Working Skunks

Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Working Skunks

  This week’s Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report by Wendy Langhans explains how solitary animals, like skunks, and social animals, like meerkats, protect themselves.     I was talking with a friend a few days ago.  We engaged in the usual small talk, until I noticed the small skunk logo on his shirt.  I broke into a huge grin and ...

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Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: One Way Street

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: One Way Street

Breathing. It’s something we normally do 12-18 times every minute. But just for a moment – pay attention to the flow of air. Take a deep breath. Hold it for five seconds. Then slowly breathe out. You have what is called a bi-directional flow of air to and from your lungs. According to Dr. C.G. Farmer, associate professor of biology ...

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Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Skunky Beer

Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Skunky Beer

Q1.   Did you every wonder why some beer bottles are brown?  A1.    To protect the beer from the unwanted effects of ultraviolet light. Q2.   And what are the unwanted effects of ultraviolet light?  A2.    Skunky beer! Beer contains hops, a plant material, that normally produces a pleasing flavor in beer.  But hops also contain light-sensitive chemicals known as isohumulones.  ...

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Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Contrails

Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Contrails

Six seconds into this YouTube clip of John Ford’s classic western, “Cheyenne Autumn”, you can hear the narrator identify the date as September 7, 1878.  Meanwhile, as the opening scene fades from darkness into view, you can see a vertical contrail hanging in the sky.  This creates a slight problem – because contrails are made by airplanes and airplanes didn’t ...

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SCV Outdoor Report Best Of: Juniper Berries

SCV Outdoor Report Best Of: Juniper Berries

Earlier this year, my husband and I took a drive out to the eastern edge of the Santa Clarita valley.  It was a sunny morning, so we bundled up in our jackets and took the top down.  As we drove along Agua Dulce Canyon road, the junipers caught my eye – they were chock full of plump, greyish-blue berries.  But, ...

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