Archive | March, 2016

Carefree Camping





Camping is an excellent way to be able to observe nature, to explore, to relax and to save money on traveling. I have a confession. The last time I ever went officially camping was when I was in elementary school. We went with my best friend at the time and camped at the camp ground at Lake Casitas. Soon I will again be going on a camping adventure, but this time as an adult. Soooo this time I need to think in advance and to prepare for the trip instead of just riding along. What are some techniques that are important to know in camping? What are some big do’s and some big don’ts? Below I have compiled a list of do’s and don’ts according to my own personal research into a beginners guide to successful, fun and simple camping excursions. Hope it is as helpful to you as it is to me!


Bring a tent. If you aren’t planning on sleeping under the stars and in the mosquitoes (which eat me alive)

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Guest Blog: Tom Follis’s Nature Adventures

ojaiI am going to tell you about a lovely, unique, remote area, the location of which shall remain unknown except to say that it is approximately 70 miles Northwest of Central Los Angeles and about 10 miles inland from the sunny surfer’s beaches in Ventura County. For about 34 years I lived with my wife and a dozen other residents, who were the only people fortunate enough to live in this valley. A valley surrounded by hills, oak trees and in the winter, meadows with knee high wild oats— where no one was ever seen except the occasional hiker. There are no trails, only dense brush, chaparral and rough steep hills.  My granddaughter when she would visit would ask, “Where are all the people?” Because there were no cars or people who she’d seen that morning!

Every species of animals and many kinds of birds that normally inhabit California have at one time or other passed through our 3 acre homestead. Two of these 3 acres were thickly covered by oak trees. I remember some coyotes yipping and howling around at night — sounding like there were hundreds out there in the total darkness (but probably only 3 or 4 were really out there). During the day sometimes a coyote would sneak into the yard and we could see them from the kitchen climbing up the apple trees. They would climb up, seize an apple and trot off to devour it in peace. Continue Reading →

Birding: Lake Casitas through a Lens

During a recent trip to Lake Casitas Alex, Winkie and Panda discovered an amazing amount of birds and other wildlife. Pictured below are some of the unique and wonderful local species and several visitors for the season!