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Monday

Increasing Clouds
Increasing Clouds
High: 83 °F
Low: 53 °F

Tuesday

Partly Sunny
Partly Sunny
High: 71 °F
Low: 46 °F

Wednesday

Mostly Sunny
Mostly Sunny
High: 73 °F
Low: 47 °F

Wendy Langhans

    Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Skunky Beer

    Q1.   Did you every wonder why some beer bottles are brown?  A1.    To protect the beer from the unwanted effects of ultraviolet light.

    Q2.   And what are the unwanted effects of ultraviolet light?  A2.    Skunky beer!

    Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: 21-Second Rule

    Growing up in Wisconsin, I had the good fortune to spend part of my summers on my Aunt and Uncle’s dairy farm.  There, I discovered a fundamental principle of four-legged mammals - they all pee.  Dogs, cats and especially cows all need to get rid of the waste products produced by their bodies.

    Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Contrails

    Six seconds into this YouTube clip of John Ford’s classic western, “Cheyenne Autumn”, you can hear the narrator identify the date as September 7, 1878.  Meanwhile, as the opening scene fades from darkness into view, you can see a vertical contrail hanging in the sky.  This creates a slight problem - because contrails are made by airplanes and airplanes didn’t start flying until 1903.  Whoops!

    Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: Melting Snow

    I’m not sure I can ask this question without smirking just a bit:  Cold enough for you?  That’s because I went to college in Minnesota; in St. Paul, the average temperature in December ranges from 27 (high) to 12 (low).  But last week, I discovered something that dimmed that smirk just a bit.  Something I thought I knew about snow was WRONG!

    Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: Acoustic Stealth

    In my night-hike tool kit, I carry two short pieces of rope:  one is smooth with a well-defined edge, while the other is frayed with a tattered edge.  I use them to demonstrate the stealth acoustics of owl wings. 

    Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: “Raspberry Red, Lemon Yellow and Orange Orange”

    As we move into the beginnings of the rainy season, our sunsets are becoming more colorful.  They remind me of the early Twix cereal commercials, the ones with the “silly rabbit” singing “Raspberry red, lemon yellow and orange orange”?  As a child, I was drawn to those colorful Trix packages in the cereal aisle.  But as an adult, I’m much more impressed by the fiery reds I see at twilight.  And I love how those nuggets of lemon yellow and orange orange have magically transformed into blazing yellow and flaming orange.

    Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Speed Of Sound

    What do bats and toothed whales have in common?  Certainly not size, not habitat, and not even how they get from one place to another. 

    But they both hunt using sound waves to locate their prey, a technique known as echolocation.  A recent report from the University of Southern Denmark concludes “that bats and toothed whales produce signals for echolocation in the same frequency range, from 10 to 200 kHz.”

    Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: Shifty Eyes, Beady Eyes, Bat An Eye

    Shifty eyes, beady eyes, bat an eye - we have many ways to describe how our eyes express our emotions and character.  But we come at this from the perspective of an animal with forward-facing eyes.  What if we were creatures with lateral-facing eyes, eyes at the sides of our heads?  What would change?  What would stay the same?

    Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Oak Tale

    This Valley Oak tree at the Bridgeport Marketplace was a least 150 years old when it collapsed last April.  Put in the context of U.S. history, it was ancient - a mere sapling when Lincoln was president.  But put in the context of its own species, with a lifespan of about 300-400 years - it was a middle-aged tree.