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SCV Outdoor Report

    SCV Outdoor Report: Hole-y Dirt

    By Wendy Langhans

    I learned a lot by playing in a sandbox when I was a child.  I particularly remember pouring buckets of water over the imaginary landscape.  It was fascinating to watch the sand change color as it soaked up the water, much like our kitchen sponge turned bright red as it soaked up my spilled cherry Kool-Aid.  I discovered that dirt is hole-y.


    SCV Outdoor Report: Watching Dragonflies

    By Wendy Langhans

    One morning early last week, I was sitting on the front porch slurping a cup of hot coffee.  It was o'dark hundred, way too early for civilized folks to be up and about.  With my eyes half open, I watched two dragonflies, darting back and forth, like runway models strutting and holding a pose.  Their movements were unpredictably quick and precise.  I wondered, "how do they manage to fly like that?


    SCV Outdoor Report: Spontaneous Combustion

    By Wendy Langhans

    The Guiberson fire, which is now burning in Ventura County near Fillmore and Moorpark, was possibly caused by spontaneous combustion in a manure pile. I know it sounds like a bad joke, but could it possibly be true? Can spontaneous combustion actually occur? And if so, how?


    SCV Outdoor Report: A Tarantula Walks Into A Bar

    By Wendy Langhans

    Last week, a friend shared her photos from a trip to the wineries around Santa Barbara.  She included a few photos of a tarantula she found in a winery patio.  This reminded me of the classic opening line to a joke:  a (fill-in-the-blank) walks into a bar...  I wonder if any of these jokes would work with a tarantula?  They'd have to be both funny and accurate.  You be the judge of how funny they are.


    SCV Outdoor Report: Pyrocumulus Clouds

    By Wendy Langhans

    It looked both ominous and somehow familiar - the pyrocumulus clouds that appeared over our Santa Clarita valley almost two weeks ago.  It certainly caught my attention, enough so that I went home and grabbed my camera.


    SCV Outdoor Report: If It Can Burn, It's Fuel

    By Wendy Langhans

    "It hasn't burned in 60 years."  My heart sank when I heard that on the news reports, because I knew fire requires fuel and a lot of fuel can accumulate over 60 years.  But as anyone who has ever built a campfire can tell you, not all fuel burns equally well.  Firefighters refer to three characteristics that affect fuel flammability:  moisture level, size of fuel pieces and vertical arrangement.

    SCV Outdoor Report: Honking Geese At 2 AM.

    By Wendy Langhans

    Our bedtime ritual in Santa Clarita - opening the upstairs bedroom windows and allowing the cool, fresh night air to fill the rooms.  Of course, sometimes the rooms are also filled with night noises, like honking geese at 2:00 AM.

    SCV Outdoor Report: Headbangers

    By Wendy Langhans

    Who among us hasn't hit their head?  Whether it's a cabinet door left open or a slippery banana peel, we all know what it feels like.  IT HURTS!

    But woodpeckers are constantly banging their heads against trees.  We often hear Acorn woodpeckers and Nuttall's woodpeckers pounding on trees to get at the tasty insects lying beneath the bark.

    SCV Outdoor Report: 24 Hour Odor Protection

    By Wendy Langhans

    One of the first signs of puberty is the growing collection of smelly grooming products - deodorants, perfumes and hair gels - that threaten to take over all the shelf space in the bathroom.  These products are designed with one purpose in mind:  to help the teenager blend in with the crowd by looking and smelling like everyone else.

    SCV Outdoor Report: What's The Buzz?

    By Wendy Langhans

    Anyone who's ever been on a picnic knows what a bee sounds like.  Or do they?  Watch this video and listen carefully - can you hear the two different buzzes - each with a different pitch?

    The lower pitched buzz occurs when a Bumblebee flies between blossoms.  The higher pitched buzz occurs when a Bumblebee lands on a blossom.  Why the difference?  What's going on?