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First Time Camping with Kids? 5 Tips!

It’s that time of year when parents with young children are beginning to plan that very first camp trip with their young child.  Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve read a ton of articles about camping with kids.  What can possible be added to the discussion?  I have a few extra tips for…

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Backyard Wildlife… Baby Jay

The baby scrub jay is leaving the nest more frequently, testing his wings… so cute.  Every time the baby “screeches” for food, he puffs up and flaps his wings. And here’s mom (or dad)… Related articles Backyard Wildlife… Scrub Jay (anaturemom.com) Bring Wildlife to Your Home – Create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat (anaturemom.com)

Readership Appreciation Award.. Thank You!

Thank you to FeyGirl at Serenity Spell, one of my absolute favorite blogs, for passing along the Readership Appreciation Award to me!  If you are interested in wildlife and photography, I highly recommend you check out Fey’s blog.  It’s gorgeous! Now, for the six blogs, each nature-inspired, that I’d like to pass the Readership Appreciation…

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Backyard Wildlife… The Squirrel

We’ve had this one bird feeder in the backyard for almost two years now, without any problems with squirrels.  But that changed this week.  We now have a small red squirrel who visits us daily, cleans up the seeds dropped on the ground by the birds, and has, unfortunately, begun to raid the bird feeder…

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Great Climbing Structures, Creekside Park, San Ramon

A friend recommended that I check out this park, and we finally made it there a few weeks ago. Creekside Park in San Ramon is a fun little park, with two play areas; one for little kids, one for older kids. This is one of the few parks around that might actually be challenging for…

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Birding with Kids, Shadow Cliffs, Pleasanton

Since the week my son turned three, we’ve been attending the East Bay Regional Parks Outdoor Discoveries program, a naturalist-led class designed specifically for three-five year-old children.  Each outing includes a hike and plenty of time for observation, exploration, and play.  To make the classes even more fun, I always invite friends from my Nature…

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The Little Brown Bird

This little bird is my son’s favorite visitor.  He says the bird has “cool creature powers,” as the bird can jump along vertically up our back fence.  I believe this is an oak titmouse.  All I know is it’s cute, and my son loves it. Also, I’m looking for some suggestions.  For bird identification, I’m…

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“Awesome”… “Wow!”…

Quotes from my son while viewing the solar eclipse last evening at the Lawrence Hall of Science in the Berkeley hills… I figure he’ll be seventeen for the next solar eclipse… have to experience these moments while we can!! Related articles 40 Awesome Photos Of The Solar Eclipse (buzzfeed.com) Trans-Pacific ‘ring of fire’ eclipse wows…

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Backyard Wildlife… Scrub Jay

I’ve finally figured out who is living in the nest high up in our oak tree.  I can hear the babies chirping, but I haven’t been able to spot the parent bird feeding them.  But I’ve finally had success!  It’s a scrub jay family.  I should have known.. the birds are so territorial, but I…

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The Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz

For Mother’s Day, I wanted to explore someplace new with my husband and our son.  I reviewed my “to-see” list, considered outings in the Marin Headlands and San Francisco, and decided, instead, that it would be a great day for a visit to The Arboretum at the University of California Santa Cruz.   And I’m…

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“Mommy, look! A deer on the hill!!”

Multiple times a day, ever since my four-year-old son could talk, he exclaims, “Mommy, look!  Mommy, look!  There’s a deer on the hill!!”  Of course, he won’t let up until I take a look.  Today,  his shouts were slightly different.  “Mommy, look! Mommy, look! A teenage boy deer on the hill!!”  Here’s what my son…

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Bring on the Butterflies…

After tons of research, I finally decided what to plant in our yard to attract butterflies.  As you may know, we’ve been creating a backyard wildlife habit, following the guidelines set forth by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). My first goal in creating our butterfly garden was to add plants to our yard that will…

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The Hill Before Weed Abatement

The grasses on the hill behind our home are beginning to dry out. That means it’s weed abatement time. We live in fire country, and it’s required that all flammable and combustible growth within thirty feet of our home must be removed each spring. I completely understand the necessity of this requirement, but it makes…

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Spring Nature Activities!

I’m always on the lookout for fun things to do with my son. Today I came across the Spring 2012 Nature Rocks Spring Activity Guide, which is filled with tons of fun nature activities. Coincidentally, it includes a couple activities I recently recommended (take favorite toys outside and do messy art activities outside), but also…

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Simple Outdoor Play: Take Inside Toys Outside

Simplest of outdoor play… let your child take their inside toys outside.  My only constraint?  I don’t allow toys with small pieces that can get lost (Lego‘s) or items that can roll under the deck (Marble Run, Hot Wheels).  When I was a kid, I loved to take my Barbies outside.  They would frequently go…

Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments Award.. Thank You!

Very cool!  Travel Lady with Baby has passed this award on to me.  Thank you!  I love your blog! *** The rules for this award are that you must answer the following ten questions and nominate ten blogs that you think deserve the award. 1. Describe yourself in seven words.  Caring, Loving, Earthy, Passionate, Observant,…

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Visit a Garden for Free! National Public Gardens Day 2012

This Friday, May 11th, is National Public Gardens Day!  Better Homes & Gardens and the American Public Garden Association have collaborated to provide free admission to gardens throughout the United States and Canada.  What a wonderful program to help people discover and learn about their local gardens! Interested in attending?  Sign up through the Better…

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Gardening with Grandpa

Over the weekend, we went to Sacramento to help my parents plant their vegetable garden.  The garden has historically been my mom’s project.  However, as my parents have become older (they are now entering their 80’s), the yard work has become more difficult for them.  My mom uses a walker, and getting down to the…