Great Outdoors

Poinsettias: Purity and Flower of the Noche Buena

PHOTO: The “poinsettia house” at the Plant Barn in Chico, where (including the many years under the umbrella of Chico Propagators) poinsettias have been cultivated for a dozen winters or more. Most good nurseries and garden centers will have greenhouse sections dedicated to the plants – to visit the warm, moist greenhouse filled with seasonal [...]

Snowshoeing at Manzanita Lake

A rare window of opportunity presented itself on Saturday, 12/13/14 as a clear day followed a heavy snowfall. My wife Bernadette and I headed to our favorite snowshoe venue, Manzanita Lake. And there we encountered a winter wonderland. Enjoy! Andy Ooley is a local musician and Redding native. When not building ultrasonic medical equipment for [...]

Public Invited to Participate in Mineral Christmas Bird Count on December 17

The public is welcome to come and participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count in the Mineral area.  For well over 100 years people of all ages interested in birds have taken to the field during the holiday season to count birds in and around their communities as part of the annual Christmas Bird Count.  [...]

Persimmons – Gifts of the Season & December in the North State Garden

as I eat a persimmon? the bell starts ringing? at Horyuji Temple Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) PHOTOS above: firm rounded persimmon ripening at the Genetic Resource and Conservation Center, also known as the Tree Farm, in Chico. Persimmon have long represented both the divine and the worldly delights in many cultures. These colorful, tasty and seasonal [...]

Turtle Bay Welcomes New Pond Turtles

Turtle Bay Exploration Park recently welcomed four baby Western Pond Turtles. Turtle Bay is part of a Conservation Program with Sonoma State, San Francisco Zoo, and Oakland Zoo to help native pond turtles. “We wanted to be part of making a direct impact on animals beyond education and thought what better animal to help than [...]

Wreaths of the Season 2014

The beauty of the garden in winter is a unique pleasure: fragrant, fresh evergreens, bright berries, frosty mornings. Photo: Frosty Indian hawthorne on a cold North State morning. Seasonal greens, winter fruits, and sculptural cones have long been associated with the winter holidays–with brightening shortened days and long nights, with the universal hope for the [...]

The Bear Facts: A Conversation with Pete Figura – Bears are Common Redding Visitors

You may recall that Sunday, a black bear romped through my Garden Tract neighborhood in Redding. He made a stop on my roof and exited through my back yard before touring other parts of downtown. Eventually, he was “darted”  by Pete Figura of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Today, Figura updates us on [...]

Bringing it to Life: Altacal Audubon’s Backyard Habitat Certification Program

This time of year is marked for me by the early morning calling of a great horned owl, who roosts (and hunts) from a line of blue oaks at the end of my garden. In the mid-day, the sound of hummingbird activity still dominates – nectaring in the last of the lavender and salvia, and [...]

Take a Hike on the Historical Crystal Creek Water Ditch

The Crystal Creek Water Ditch- particularly the Whiskeytown area - is a great trail for history buffs. To get there, take Highway 299 west to the Whiskeytown Visitor Center. First, stop at the visitor center and enjoy the view, snap some pictures of the beautiful lake and browse the center for a few minutes. Continue west [...]


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