The morning was bright and cheerful and very few people were out when I went for a nature walk this morning. The green grass and the blue sky were inviting and the shimmering shaking of the golden aspen leaves were delightful. Everything was peaceful. It couldn’t be better. Nothing could go wrong in this kind of beauty.
And that was when I saw it. Out of the corner of my eye a slight flash of light. A warning. It instantly triggered hundreds of similar warning messages and memories. . . SPIDER. It was the white of the early October sunlight reflecting on a thin strand of web. But it was too late!
I already had broken the thread and shuddering I stepped back. Hesitating, I looked up wondering where the rest of the web was. Above my head and to the left wobbled a loosely hanging web, it wobbled and swayed as a bulbous red brown body clung for dear life in the center. Only a few moments had passed but the damage was done. The beautiful web had been destroyed by my carelessness and a large orb weaver’s world was rocked. Continue Reading →
On Saturday, September 24, 2016, the director and assistant director of this nonprofit participated in a fund raising event. Julie and Michael Newsome, a lovely couple, opened their Westlake Village home giving everyone a warm welcome. This event was held to benefit both local mountain lion research and wildlife crossing project. The plan is a huge undertaking in that it is a wildlife bridge that will act as a corridor erected over the 101 Freeway at Liberty Canyon. It is desperately needed because every year many animals (rabbits, coyotes, mountain lions) die trying to cross the freeway. Such corridors constructed in other parts of the world have proven to be successful. This diminishes inbreeding that can develop into many other problems that humans eventually have to solve. It may take an estimated $17 to $50 million dollars and will be the largest wildlife corridor in the world when completed. When the north and south wilderness areas are connected animal breeding can improve and plants can receive pollination and grow undisturbed.
The event was well attended. This indicates that residents and politicians alike care about wildlife and wilderness conservation. Some political attendees were California State Senator, Fran Pavley, who is a pioneer of this project and Al Adam who is on the Thousand Oaks City Council. They are always ready to protect, preserve, improve, and make a better life for the people of the Conejo Valley. Continue Reading →
Happy Fall everyone! The leaves are turning colors, the weather is “starting” to get cooler, and animals are beginning to prepare for winter. Last week we got to see some jays storing their seeds and nuts. Jays are not the only animal to display this “collecting” or “hoarding” behavior, many other birds and even rodents will store food. Scientists also call this type of behavior “caching” because these animals will store a cache of food. Sometimes they will do this in times of surplus for a time in the future when food will be less plentiful–other times animals will store food because it needs to ripen.
Rodents (squirrels, hamsters, and mice) will hoard their food using different strategies. Hamsters will use a single location or a “larder” to store their food. Usually, their larder is in their nest where they live and have easy access to their stores of food. The downside of this technique is that other animals can easily raid or steal from the single food source. Usually, this means that the animals which use the larder hoarding must be very defensive of their territory and hoard. Continue Reading →
Did you know you could go on a safari in the United States? In fact we have recently done it: at Out of Africa located in Camp Verde, Arizona. It is incredibly similar to a true safari experience. You get to ride in an actual safari vehicle as you drive through double gates to see the free-roaming exotic wild animals, birds, and reptiles. It is as you would expect to see when going on safari in Africa. Most of the animals living on this preserve have been rescued but all have different stories, and they are all wild animals and not tame pets. My husband, Sandor Havasi, and I decided to get some photos of these animals to share our experience better. We have had the privilege of visiting and have seen this facility a few times before, and each time it is a new adventure. Scott Williams was our safari guide, who pointed out different animals at each stop and helped us to learn more about these incredible creatures including:
“Chalet”–a Siberian white tiger, “Kobo” Reticulated giraffe, “Diligence” Grant’s zebra, sable antelope, ostrich, “Sedona” – a ring-tailed lemur, “Jericho”- Southern white rhinoceros, “Enoch”-Black Leopard, Patagonian cavy, and “Chobi”-Gemsbok, “Wilbur”- prehensile-tailed porcupine, “Cypress”-Grizzly Bear, “Chipa” and “Chitabe” -spotted Hyenas, “Humphrey” – Dromedary Camel, “Nairobi”- sable Antelope, “Kanab”- Gray Wolf, “Tambua” – Gaboon Viper, “Jag and Bently” – Marmoset Monkeys, and “Fisher” – Spectacled Caiman.