Tag: nature

Aromatherapy with California Native Plants

Image Courtesy of californianativeplants.com

I believe that mother earth provides us with everything we need to heal.  Our earth is full of natural medicine, we just need to be opening and willing to try it. As a child, my mother had a tea for everything! I wish I had paid a little more attention and wrote her remedies down.

Every once in a while something I’m reading or learning about in one my classes brings a memory of one of my mother’s many natural cures. Finding events such as this one brings a smile to my face and no doubt makes her happy.

Tree of Life Nursery is holding a FREE “Aromatherapy with California Native Plants” class this weekend. This a great chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the season, be surround by nature and learn something new.

For centuries, aromatherapy has been used to enhance health and well-being. Modern research recognizes the benefits of aromatherapy for stress reduction, sleep and mood management, as well as easing discomforts associated with anxiety and chronic pain. During this workshop, Certified Yoga Therapist and California Native Plants Education and Outreach Specialist, Melissa Adylia Calasanz C-IAYT, will discuss her approach to sustainable aromatherapy, and how she uses the healing property of California Native Plants cultivated locally, at Tree of Life Nursery.

  • When: Saturday, December 23, 2017 from 9:30 am – 10:30 am

  • Where: Tree of Life Nursery, 33201 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano CA 92675

  • Cost: FREE


Nature Nights

Come to Oak Canyon Nature Center for Nature Nights this Summer!

Join the the staff Naturalist along with experts from a variety of natural fields as they lead you through a series of Nature Nights.

Image courtesy of http://www.anaheim.net/1096/Oak-Canyon-Nature-Center

Every Wednesday from June 28th through August 16th, the evening will begin with a guided twilight walk at 7:00 p.m. and followed up by a formal presentation at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free mission but a $5 donation per family would be greatly appreciated.

  • June 28:  Journeys to the Past
    Jacque Nunez is a Master storyteller and award winning educator. She will captivate you, and every family member. Journey with her back in time and be captivated by her stories, songs and engaging use of ancient instruments!
  • July 5: Twilight Walk
    Join us for an introduction to Oak Canyon and a walk with Oak Canyon’s Naturalists as the sun begins to set. Several walks of varying ability levels will be offered. Be sure to bring your flashlight.
  • July 12: Wonders of Wildlife
    Cheryl Rendes from Wonders of Wildlife will share a variety of animals, from the savannas of Africa to the tropical regions of South America.
  • July 19: Orange County Birds of Prey
    Dr. Kristian Krause, Veterinarian from Serrano Animal Hospital and Orange County Birds of Prey Center, will share information on raptors and will bring a variety along for an audience “encounter.”
  • July 26: Reptiles from Around the World
    Dr. Tom Greek from Greek & Associates Veterinary Hospital will bring along an exciting collection of reptiles including local and exotic snakes, lizards and more. Learn about the lifestyles of these unique reptiles and enjoy an opportunity to see and touch these animals up close.
  • August 2: Our Solar System
    Mike Beckage will introduce the challenging hobby of amateur astronomy through his breathtaking slide show. Then we will journey up the hill and view the night sky through telescopes aimed at the evening’s best features. *This program involves a strenuous uphill walk to reach the viewing area.
  • August 9: “Trapper” Dan Jundanian’s Insect Fair
    Join us for an evening of learning and fun. Dan Jundanian, a former longtime Oak Canyon Naturalist, returns for his annual Nature Night presentation. Enjoy an evening of insect education as Dan displays exciting insects from around the world.
  • August 16: Annual Flashlight Walk
    While waiting for the sun to set, get an introduction to the “creatures of the night” then join Oak Canyon’s naturalists on a trek through the trails of the Nature Center. There will be several walks of varying abilities. Don’t forget your flashlight as we explore Oak Canyon at night!
Jacque Tahuka-Nunez of Journey’s to the Past

When: Every Wednesday from June 28th through August 16th

Where: Oak Canyon Nature Center, 6700 E Walnut Canyon Road, Anaheim, CA 92807

Cost: A $5.00 donation per family is greatly appreciated


Click here for directions.


All About Snakes

OC Parks

Hiking season is in the air! One of the ways to prepare the kids for upcoming hikes is to make them aware that snakes live in the parks and trails we hike in.

O.C. Parks invites you to join local herpetologist Steve Bledsoe at O’Neill Regional Park to learn all about snakes that can be found in Orange County.

This family-friendly event will feature a live reptile display with local snake species.

Come learn how to identify snakes, where they live and what to do when you encounter one on park trails.

There will also be an informative presentation on rattlesnakes of Orange County.


  • When: Saturday, May 13, July 8 and September 2, 2017 from 7:15 – 8:30 pm
  • Where: O’Neil Regional Park, 30892 Trabuco Canyon Rd, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678 – Meet at the O’Neill Nature Center and Amphitheater. Parking at the O’Neill Nature Center lot.
  • Cost: The event is free event, parking fee  is $5.00

All About Snakes


OC Parks invites you to join local herpetologist Steve Bledsoe at O’Neill Regional Park to learn all about snakes that can be found in Orange County.

This family-friendly event will feature a live reptile display with local snake species. Come learn how to identify snakes, where they live and what to do when you encounter one on park trails.

There will also be an informative presentation on rattlesnakes of Orange County.

  • When: Saturday, July 23, 2016 from 7:15 – 8:30 pm
  • Where: O’Neil Regional Park, 30892 Trabuco Canyon Rd, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678 – Meet at the O’Neill Nature Center and Amphitheater. Parking at the O’Neill Nature Center lot.
  • Cost: The event is free event, parking feess apply. .

Kumeyaay Family Fun Day

Image from sanelijo.org
Image from sanelijo.org

Get unplugged and head outdoors at the San Elijio Lagoon while you learn about the Kumeyaay. During this month’s Family Fun Day you’ll discover the Kumeyaay who relied upon the lagoon’s resources, through arts and crafts and activity-guided tours.

Family Fun Days are held on the 1st Sunday of the month. Rain or shine. Presented by Conservancy & County rangers.

  • When: Sunday, July 3, 2016 from 11:30am – 1:30pm
  • Where: San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, 2710 Manchester Ave, Cardiff, CA 92007
  • Cost: FREE

Nature Fest

Image courtesy of nhm.org
Image courtesy of nhm.org

Come to the Natural History Museum for a two-day celebration of Nature in the City! 

Coyotes cross Sunset Boulevard. Lizards scale manzanitas. P-22, Los Angeles’s resident mountain lion, explores Griffith Park. Vaux’s swifts take cover in downtown chimneys. Western gulls steal your beach picnic. Squirrels are doing summersaults in your front yard. L.A. is a surprising biodiversity hotspot — and it’s time to celebrate our urban nature!


Museum scientists and Southern California nature organizations are joining forces for a weekend filled with hands-on, fun family activities.

Ongoing programming includes roaming performances, hands-on activities, landscape artists in residence at work, as well as your chance to take a photo with “Charles Darwin”. Check out this year’s schedule of timed programs below.  To see the list of exhibitors as well as the schedule please HERE for the brochure.


BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS (get your timed-ticket on site; first-come-first-served)

Behind-the-Scenes Tours of NHM’s Bird Collection at 11 am, 2 pm, and 3:30 pm 
Go behind closed doors with a special peek into the ornithology collection at NHM! 


Dragonfly Story Performances at 10:30 am and 12 pm
We invite you to listen to an enchanting story all about dragonflies, with puppets.

Snake Feeding Demonstration at 11 am
Watch as our Live Animal Programs gives a snake a snack.

Meet a Live Animal! at 1 pm
Meet your SoCal neighbor and learn about its life here in CA.

Rhythm Child’s Interactive Music for Families at 2:30 pm and 3:45 pm
Grab a drum and play along!

WORKSHOPS (get your timed-ticket on site; first-come-first-served)

Taxidermy Demonstration at 10 am and 12 pm
Observe the Museum’s taxidermist in a step-by-step demonstration on the preservation of a bird specimen.

Photography for Science at 11 am and 1 pm
Learn how to take nature photos, for science, with your smartphone with NHM’s Citizen Science team. 

Silk Screening with Self Help Graphics at 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm
Make unique screen prints on textile with nature-inspired designs.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is located at: 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Buy your tickets today and skip the lines.




Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is set to host “SummerFest”, a celebration of Nature, Art, Food, Wine and Music this weekend.


SummerFest is a two day event filled with nature hikes, arts & crafts, kids activities, food, wine tasting a native plant sale, live music and vendor booths.


  • When: Saturday, June 4, 2016 and Sunday, June 5th, 2016 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Where: Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, 29322 Modjeska Canyon Road, Silverado, CA 92676
  • Cost: $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for Children & Seniors, Children under 5 are free – visit Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary‘s website for a coupon good for $2.00 off. 

Parking is limited however there will be shuttles available from on offsite parking site of Modjeska Canyon.


Happy Birthday John Muir


Happy Birthday to John Muir, writer, naturalist, and advocate of U.S. forest conservation.He founded and was the first president of the Sierra Club and helped establish Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks as well as help to protect the Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon.

In celebration of his birthday – “John Muir Day” is each April 21st  a day to recognize that our well being, our survival depends on the conservation of an ecologically sound natural environment. Take this day to inspire others and carry on the movement created John Muir.

If you have any plans of going the the San Francisco area – don’t miss out on visiting the Muir Woods. It is amazingly beautiful and the trails are surrounded by trees and a beautiful stream. Put this Family Friendly hike on your “must do” list.


If you’ve ever thought of Hiking the John Muir Trail, The Pacific Crest Trail Association website has everything you need to know from planning, to permits, transportation to where to get more supplies while on your journey.

John Muir Trail

Happy Hiking my fellow nature lovers!



KelpFest 2016

Image courtesy of Kelpfest.org
Image courtesy of Kelpfest.org

More than 20 years ago the kelp forests of Orange County disappeared due primarily to overfishing and pollution, In 2002 marine biologist Nancy Caruso of Get Inspired! started a project which would eventually restore this once lush forests.

In 2002 with what came to be 5000 volunteers, Caruso and her volunteers began restoring the kelp forests in Newport and Laguna Beach. By 2010, the kelp had reached historic densities and the animals were starting to return to the area.


In celebration of this event, KelpFest was created to celebrate the return of the kelp forests and to honor the thousands of people who helped to restore them. The 7th annual KelpFest, will be on April 17th, 2016 this year on Main Beach in Laguna Beach from 9am-3pm.


There will be many like-minded environmental organizations with exhibits at the event to help educate the participants and help to nurture an appreciation for giant kelp forests. Other activities throughout the day include live painting , a life size interactive kelp forest model, live performances, guided tide pool tours, a swim to the kelp forest, talk to a real mermaid, beach clean up, as well as lots of arts and crafts for kids.

Schedule of events:

  • 9:00am Kelpfest begins
  • 9:00-10:00 Kelp forest comes to life as we construct one for visitors to walk through
  • 10:00am Musical performances begin

All Day

  • Live kelp forest paintings and raffle
  • Docent led tide pool tours
  • Arts and crafts for kids
  • Live musical performances
  • Mermaid!

Get the kids ready for the event by downloading a FREE Gaby Garibladi coloring book here!

  • When: Saturday, April 17, 2016 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Laguna Beach – Main Beach
  • Cost: FREE

Grow Your Own-Spring Festival

On this day, last year, we attended the Ecology Center’s – Grow Your Own – Earth Day Celebration. The Grow Your Own event is an annual tradition to celebrate an abundant earth and vibrant communities.


This year the “Grow Your Own – Spring Festival” will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2016,


The event was filled with earth friendly crafts for the kids and plenty of giveaways for the adults.


We enjoyed live music and yummy samples from food and drink vendors.

EcologyCenterEarthDay4The family friendly festival was a celebration of all things green!


My girls loved petting the chickens and learned so much about them, they now want chickens.


I don’t know if it’s on the agenda this year but kids loved making Tee-pee’s.


The celebration consists of harvesting, gardening, and a more abundant future.


This year, they are excited to include opportunities to learn garden skills and have your questions answered by The Ecology Center’s own experts. We had a fantastic time last year.


The great news is the Admission is FREE at this year’s Grow Your Own! Spring Festival.

Activities include:

  • DIY stations: terrarium building, easy pickling, and more!
  • Hands-on garden skill demonstrations by TEC experts
  • Ask an Eco-Designer & Ask a Grow Your Own! Teacher booths
  • Organic seedling sale
  • Wildcraft Lab for kids
  • Live music & dance
  • Delicious local, handmade food
  • Bike Valet – arrive on two wheels and we’ll have a safe place to stash your bike!
  • Visits with The Ecology Center chickens
  • Organic strawberry picking at South Coast Farms (our next door neighbors)
  • Voucher to redeem a FREE rain barrel for San Juan Capistrano residents and new/renewed family members of The Ecology Center
  • Giveaways from our partners Chipotle, KIA Motors, SDG&E, and EcoScraps
  • Special offers on The Ecology Center events, workshops, and more!

Bring your family, friends, neighbors, and garden questions for a special gathering celebrating the season when the garden truly comes alive!

  • When: Saturday, April 16, 2016
  • Where: The Ecology Center, 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 92675
  • Cost: FREE

For advance FREE Tickets & Info, click here.