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Friday

Gradual Clearing
Gradual Clearing
High: 82 °F
Low: 60 °F

Saturday

Partly Sunny
Partly Sunny
High: 85 °F
Low: 60 °F

Sunday

Partly Sunny
Partly Sunny
High: 86 °F
Low: 62 °F

Wendy Langhans

    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.

    Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Contrarian Wildflower

    “Hoary Fuchsia” is a contrarian wildflower.  For starters, it’s a contradiction in terms - a combination of words whose meanings are in conflict with one another.  The word hoary means “having grey or white hair”, while fuchsia means “a bright reddish-purple color”.   What were those botanists thinking when they named that flower?

    SCV Outdoor Report: Superpowered Rose Petals

    When I think of something soft and delicate, rose petals come to mind.  It could be from a childhood memory - the scent of my mother’s hand lotion.  Or perhaps it could be the memory of a flowergirl scattering rose petals along the bride’s path. 

    Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Moving Too Fast...

    We don’t always see what’s going on around us, especially if it’s moving too fast.  For example, if you’re reading this on a computer screen, what you are seeing is being redrawn at a rate of 60-75 times per second (60-75 Hz).  Yet we perceive a constant image; why don’t we see the screen flickering? 

    Santa Clarita Valley Outdoor Report: Must Go Faster....

    When being chased by predators, it’s best to move quickly.  I remember a scene in the movie, “Jurassic Park”, where the characters were being chased by a Tyrannosaurus Rex.  As the jeep sped down a dirt road, Jeff Goldblum kept repeating, “Must go faster”.  And then there was a scene in the movie, “Independence Day”, where Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum were fleeing from the bowels of the alien mother ship.  Jeff’s words of advice to Will Smith:  “Must go faster.”

    SCV Outdoor Report: If You Can’t Stand The Heat....

    We learn to avoid touching hot stuff at an early age.  I was reminded of this one Sunday afternoon, a few week’s ago, when I spent some time baking cookies with two of my cousin’s 9-year-old daughters.  My job was straightforward and simple.  I was the “oven assistant” - I put the cookies into and took them out of the hot oven.

    SCV Outdoor Report: Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On

    Anyone who’s ever taken care of a baby knows that babies sleep - a lot.  According to this NIH report, “Infants generally require about 16 hours a day”.  And these, “Infants...spend about half of their sleep time in REM sleep”, which, as we know, is the stage of sleep where most dreams occur.  Adults, on the other hand, sleep fewer hours asleep (7-8 hours) and generally spend less of their sleep time in REM sleep (about 20%).

    SCV Outdoor Report: Flash Versus Substance

    It’s a peaceful August night in Wisconsin.  I’m sitting in a cozy chair, talking with my Dad, when suddenly I see a tiny speck of light glowing through the window.  It was a brief flash, less than a second, but my face lit up with a smile in response.  It was a firefly - also known as a lightning bug.  This firefly was looking for romance and trying to make a flashy first impression.