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SCV Outdoor Report

Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Superhero Trees

Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report:  Superhero Trees

By MRCA Naturalist Carolyn Everhart This week’s SCV Outdoor Report draws parallels between trees and superheroes.  Learn the benefits of trees and how tree bark and tree leaves play a role in simple trees being superhero trees. I love superheroes. I grew up watching them on TV and the recent boom of superhero movies has been great fun to watch. ...

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SCV Outdoor Report: Keep Your Eye On The Ball!

SCV Outdoor Report: Keep Your Eye On The Ball!

Do you remember playing dodge ball as a kid?  Do you remember ducking and weaving as you tried to avoid the large rubber balls flying at you from every direction?  Or how about hitting baseballs? How long did it take you to learn keep your eye on the ball?  Neuroscientists describe our “ability to select and respond to one sensory ...

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SCV Outdoor Report: Hitting The Trail With Fido

SCV Outdoor Report: Hitting The Trail With Fido

Written by MRCA Naturalist Mieko Alley Hiking with a partner is more than just good company, it is a time-old understanding between hiking buddies: I will look out for you, you look out for me. This summer, MRCA Rangers have had to make a few unique rescues in Caballero Canyon and Towsley Canyon. Both rescues were a result of a ...

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Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Balancing Act

Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Balancing Act

Dr. Francis Collins, the currect Director of the NIH, is one of my heroes because he is both a top-notch scientist and a Christian.  I like his perspective on dealing with opposing points of view: “One must dig deeply into opposing points of view in order to know whether your own position remains defensible. Iron sharpens iron.” And when it ...

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SCV Outdoor Report: Extinct or Extirpated?

SCV Outdoor Report: Extinct or Extirpated?

This week’s SCV Outdoor Report by Wendy Langhans tells us the difference between extinct and extirpated.  Passenger pigeons, dinosaurs, gray wolves: vanished from earth or gone from a region? What is the difference between extinction and extirpation?  My first thought would be – that depends on “how long ago” it happened.  After all, dinosaurs became extinct about 65.95 million years ...

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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 Outdoor Report: Tales From The Vienna Woods

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report:  Tales From The Vienna Woods

Johann Strauss II composed his famous waltz, “Tales from the Vienna Woods” in 1868.  However, our “tale” for this week has little to do with waltzing or the Strauss family.  But it does have to do with music…specifically bird song…and research from the city of Vienna and its nearby Vienna Woods. As anyone who’s ever walked along a city street ...

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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: 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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