Great Outdoors

Expanding your Gardening Awareness: Poison Oak & the North State Garden

PHOTO: An expansive native oak in a natural oak woodland setting, just up from the banks of Chico Creek. Look closely, its trunk is encircled with a stand of poison oak, just leafing out. Some of the poison oak twines its way up the trunk of the tree. Both plants provide a lot of food [...]

Torpedoes of Death Masquerade as Innocent Grass to Torture Dogs

I see foxtails. Everywhere. Hordeum murinum or “Hare Barley,” a non-native invader from Spain, grows in healthy, thick patches along the trails and in open spaces where people walk their dogs. What appears to be innocent, lush grass in early spring quickly develops into pesky, sometimes-lethal spiny seed-heads; little torpedoes ready to burrow into anything [...]

April in the North State Garden & Monthly Calendar of Gardening Events

Our very mild winter and early warm temperatures, with little precipitation, have brought us to what feels like an early burst of life and color in the garden this year some of my garden plants – roses and salvias for example seem close to a full month early. With the urban world in bloom and [...]

Happy (and Hungry) are the Hummingbirds

PHOTO: A hummingbird sitting on her tiny nest. Her body literally fills the lichen, spider web, twig and fluff-constructed nest to the edges, sealing in the eggs from weather and temperature fluctuations. Spring is here and more than a few creatures have spring fever. Daily I strip long lines of pale green aphids from the [...]

March in the Garden & North State Calendar of Gardening Events

As spring rises, so do my gardening urges – dreams and plans. Thankfully, the older I get – and it’s a nice round number for me this year – the more deeply I care about some things, and the far less I care about others. This is true in all facets of my life. I [...]

New West Side Trail Connection

The Westside Trail is a gem, a multi-faceted gem. The main trail and its access trails provide more than 8 miles of adventure, the destination of which are the vistas provided by traveling along the ridge, which is the western skyline of the city Redding. This trail is the result of the vision of a [...]

Lassen Volcanic National Park Opens Park Highway to the Devastated Area

  Photo from Lassen NPS Visitors can now drive to the Devastated Area, ten miles from the north entrance of Lassen Volcanic National Park. ” Beyond the Devastated Area visitors will find snow depths of two to three feet and excellent spring-like skiing conditions,” stated Acting Park Superintendent Steve Gibbons. We hope many of our [...]

Shrove Tuesday in the Garden and the Coop

My hens are laying up a storm now that storms have arrived in our part of the world. I welcome both! Shrove Tuesday is February 17th this year, so the Lenten Season is here. Every year Shrove Tuesday arrives – the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, the Catholic/Anglican/Episcopal 40-day season of [...]

Lassen, Whiskeytown Offer Free Admission on Presidents’ Day Weekend

  To celebrate the connections between our national leaders and national parks, all 405 National Park Service sites will have free admission during Presidents Day weekend, February 14th through February 16th. “Every U.S. president has visited, resided in, or been honored in a national park,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. “Sites such as George Washington’s birthplace, Ulysses [...]

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