A Masterpiece of Nature: The California Redwood

The California Redwood, 1200-1800 years old, growing taller than 300 feet, is a true masterpiece of nature. *** The tallest tree in the world, at 379 feet, is a California Redwood (Sequoia Sempervirens). *** Photo taken July 30th, 2013 San Mateo Memorial Park Where the tallest tree is 225 feet, and 1600 years old. *** WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge:  Masterpiece Continue reading A Masterpiece of Nature: The California Redwood

Observe: Insect Activity

What cool insect, arachnid (spider), or mollusk (snail) activity can you find around your yard? Has your child watched a spider spin a web? How about ants marching along on a mission? What about a snail eating a plant? Give your child the time and space to observe these small creatures in their natural environment… your back yard. Here’s my five-year-old, completely fascinated, watching a … Continue reading Observe: Insect Activity

Rainy Day Fun: Snail Watching

After a night of rain, my son usually rushes outside to see if any snails came out.  He found this one yesterday morning on our front walkway.  He crouched there and watched it for about fifteen minutes, then rushed inside to tell me all the cute things the snail did. Photos taken March 28th, 2013 You may also enjoy this post:  Search for Snails Continue reading Rainy Day Fun: Snail Watching

Kid Science: Owl Pellet Dissection

Owls are fascinating creatures.  They have a special organ (gizzard) that stores the undigestible parts of their prey, preventing these parts (bones, teeth, fur, feathers) from proceeding through the digestive tract.  The gizzard compresses these parts into a pellet which is later regurgitated.  This is a pretty simplistic explanation.  If you’d like to learn more, check out this page from the website, The Owl Pages,… … Continue reading Kid Science: Owl Pellet Dissection

Ladybug Clusters: Redwood Regional Park

Photos taken January 27th, 2013 Redwood Regional Park, Oakland Interested in going?  The ladybugs cluster at Redwood Regional Park between November and February.  You’ll find them at the intersection of the Stream and Prince Trails.  Look on, around, and behind the bench, as well as across the trail, near (and on) the sign.  You can begin the hike at either the Skyline Gate Staging Area … Continue reading Ladybug Clusters: Redwood Regional Park

Citizen Science: FrogWatch 2013

As I sit here at my computer with the backdoor open to allow some fresh air into our home, I’m listening to the lovely sound of frogsong.  The chorus is coming from the creek on the other side of our backyard fence.  Up until today, we’ve only been hearing one frog at a time.  Suddenly, this afternoon,I can’t distinguish how many I hear.  Has the … Continue reading Citizen Science: FrogWatch 2013

More Fun with Animal Tracks

This past weekend, we attended a fun nature class at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont.  This free class for children aged 5+ and their family, called Family Nature Hour, is held on Saturday afternoons throughout the year.  Each week a different concept from the natural world is covered.  The one we attended on Saturday was about animal tracks. We were fortunate to have the … Continue reading More Fun with Animal Tracks

Backyard Birds: Sparrows

We now have both juvenile White-crowned Sparrows and juvenile Golden-crowned Sparrows visiting our yard.  Now that I can see both, frequently side-by-side, I can clearly see the difference.  The one I thought last week was a Golden-crowned Sparrow is definitely a White-crowned one.  Here are a few photos of the fist-year Golden-crowned Sparrows who visited this morning. For comparison, here are a couple shots I … Continue reading Backyard Birds: Sparrows

Acorn Woodpecker, Sunol Regional Wilderness

Wow, I can really see how this bird got its name!!  There were four Acorn Woodpeckers busy pecking holes in this tree and filling them with their stash. From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds site… “Their social lives are endlessly fascinating: they store thousands of acorns each year by jamming them into specially made holes in trees. A group member is always … Continue reading Acorn Woodpecker, Sunol Regional Wilderness

Amazing Animals Scavenger Hunt, Oakland Zoo

We’ve had a membership to the Oakland Zoo for over three years now.  We visit frequently, as it is a beautiful place to run around, with a great Children’s Zoo for the kids.  And what better way for a child to see, in relatively close and safe proximity, wild animals from around the world.  Usually when we visit the zoo, I ask my son what … Continue reading Amazing Animals Scavenger Hunt, Oakland Zoo