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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Winter Birding Descanso Gardens, California

Walking through Descanso Gardens on a late December morning we saw nearly 2 dozen different species of birds.
It's a beautiful walk through classic gardens and native plants.
Here are a few of birds we got on camera!

Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus 

Allen's Hummingbird  Selasphorus sasin

White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys

Great Egret Ardea alba


Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr, 

La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011, USA

 For more videos of gardens near Los Angeles, visit us at

Hidden Gardens of Los Angeles

#1 - Visit Orcutt Ranch Park
#2 - Visit Malibu Legacy Park
#3 - Visit Pierce College Botanical Garden
#4 - Visit Conejo Valley Botanical Garden 
#5 - Visit a Kelp Forest at CA Science Center  

 Happy New Year, 2016!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Winter's Walk at Lake Tahoe, California

Lake Tahoe sits astride the borders of California and Nevada well over a mile high in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

We went for an end of the year snowshoe and stroll in the brisk, quiet air.
Join us for a Winter's walk at Lake Tahoe, California!

Look for the white-headed woodpecker! 

We stayed on the California side in South Lake Tahoe. 
Breath deeply!   The Lake level is about 6,224 feet!

The lakeside has fascinating pebble and boulders - and miniature ice sculptures from the melting and re-freezing of the wet ground.
For More trips in California, Visit us at


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Find Your Earth Minute - Stop in One Place

The Earth Minute is all about taking a moment to connect with the world around you. Linger in one place for a few minutes and be amazed at the life around you.


Looking for just a few minutes at one spot at Sepulveda Wildlife Basin we spotted:
  • American coots
  • song sparrow
  • double-crested cormorant
  • mosquito fish
  • a true bug

You can find an Earth Minute anywhere, just stop and focus outside of yourself.

Green ant
More Earth Minutes with...
The tiny: Green Ants; Valley Carpenter Bee, Illinois Butterflies

The shy: Bewick’s wrens, Great Horned Owl Taking Shelter

The common: Western Fence Lizards, Los Angeles River
The unusual: Strange Art on an Australian Beach, Wind Across Mongolia, Encounter with a Lace Monitor, Trees Dreaming

Another Moment in One Place
More of Sepulveda Basin and the Los Angeles River 

Go Find Your Earth Minute

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Stroll Under Glass in Historic Kew Gardens Palm House

30 minutes from central London, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens has fantastic lawns and pathways to explore. 
In the middle is a wonder of early Victorian iron and glass, and a wonder of subtropical plants ; the Palm House.
 Walk in with us!


16,000 panes of glass vault their way into the sky keeping hundreds of specimens happy even in the dead of winter.

musa lasiocarpa
Chinese dwarf banana or golden lotus banana
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, 
Surrey, TW9 3AB 

For a map of the entire gardens, visit:

For More Earth Minutes from Far away:

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Discover The L.A. River at Sepulveda Basin

Los Angeles River west of Balboa Blvd.
As the Los Angeles River heads to the ocean, this is the first section that has a “soft” or natural bottom. Most of the concrete disappears and the River is allowed to strive for wildness.


You can easily walk this section along a dirt road/path from Lake Balboa to the Sepulveda Dam. The flow of the river slows and vegetation provides habitat. We were surprised to find wetlands between one of the golf courses and the River. 

American wigeons and mallards
Birds abound here; we saw 42 species including the Canada geese, red-tailed hawk, American coots, American wigeons, mallards, snowy egrets, and a great blue heron highlighted in the video.

The fish in the river with flashy silver sides were counted by agency biologists on December 1, 2015 and found to be introduced tilapia. While the tilapia provide food for native birds, they are not a native species. Biologists are hoping the potential El Niño will wash these rapidly increasing non-native fishes out of the river. See the article in the L.A. Times.

Native fish species were decimated when the River was cemented in the 1930s. Restoring the River means helping native fish reestablish populations. Wouldn’t it be a major success to have steelhead and salmon return to spawn in the Los Angeles River?

My favorite stretch of the River, just above the Sepulveda Dam
Discover more of the Los Angeles River:
L.A River Headwaters
Walking the L.A. River - San Fernando Valley

Up-close with a snowy egret
Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve

Visit weekly  
Celebrate a positive moment with the planet.