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Poison Oak

In Maritime Chaparral, Plants and Fungi, Slough Life, Woodlands by Administrator

Upland woodland and riparian habitats. Some animals eat poison oak’s leaves and berries. Poison oak is a vine or shrub that is native to California. In spring the foliage is bright green, in late summer it begins to turn red & slightly brownish-orange. Extremely variable, it grows as a dense shrub in open sunlight, or as a climbing vine in …

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Great Horned Owl

In Birds, Grasslands and Scrub, Slough Life, Woodlands by Administrator

Woodlands, grasslands, barn nestbox Great horned owls are the only animal that regularly eats skunks. The Great Horned Owl is one of the most common and widespread owls in North America, being found from the Arctic Tundra, to the arid desert, to tropical forests to urban settings. Their name comes from the tufts of feathers on their heads or “horns” …

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Arboreal Salamander

In Agricultural and Residential, Reptiles and Amphibians, Slough Life, Staff Blog, Woodlands by Dave Feliz

Among our western salamanders, Arboreal Salamanders send our thoughts aloft with only the mention of their name. Salamanders that climb trees? Indeed they do. The Arboreal Salamander Arboreal Salamanders (Aneides lugubris) are members of the lungless salamander family. They breathe through their moist skin. In order to keep their skin moist, they must stay under cover for much of the …

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Life Around the Coast Live Oak

In Staff Blog, Woodlands by Dave Feliz

With the sub tropical deciduous forests of Mexico left well behind, the forests of California appear with increased frequency this morning. The Pacific Slope Flycatcher is moving north through the night when the familiar crescent shape of the Monterey Bay interrupts the California coastline at daybreak. Halfway up the shore of the bay a body of water extends east to …

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In Freshwater, Reptiles and Amphibians, Slough Life, Staff Blog, Woodlands by Dave Feliz

The crowd has worked themselves into a frenzy, convinced the lady they’ve cornered is a witch. John Cleese’s character provides the final bit of evidence. “She turned me into a newt.” The crowd is silenced, looking at his obvious non newt like condition………………..”I got better.”   Why do newts come to mind when witchcraft is parodied? Why is “eye of …

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In Reptiles and Amphibians, Slough Life, Staff Blog, Woodlands by Dave Feliz

As day lengths fade and evening temperatures chill, our first autumn rains cannot be far away. In our dry summer Mediterranean climate, this is a rebirth of that ancient animal group, the amphibians. For most amphibians, their skin serves a respiratory function and must be kept moist. During our dry periods, they spend most of their time below the surface …