Get Your Nature Groove on! - Rancho La Puerta
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Get Your Nature Groove on!

Week of June 12, 2021

Get Your Nature Groove on! Be Dazzled by Signs of Wildlife Up Close and Personal
Examine a variety of nature items and explore some of nature’s mysteries. Learn about native plants and their uses for medicines, shelter and food. Be awed by this nature exploration presentation, as Naturalist Educator Extraordinaire, Judie Lincer, shares fascinating wildlife tales and tidbits. Examine and dissect Barn Owl pellets, peer through scopes to see a magnified world that we don’t get to experience in everyday life. Learn about what wildlife and native plants live around Rancho La Puerta. We will examine native plants and learn how these resources were used by Native Americans. Be dazzled by what we so often overlook that is right below our feet! Take the time to connect even deeper with your surroundings and take these examination skills with you whenever you explore the outdoors. Judie will also share her “Museum in a Box” where you can examine a number of interesting nature items found out on trail and strategies of how to identify what you find (e.g., Mountain Lion scat, Barn Owl pellets, wasp galls, and interesting native plants that were used for a variety of purposes).

Bringing Nature Home-Backyard Pool to Pond Project-A Wildlife Innovation and Invitation
Learn the benefits of using native plants for gardening to create habitat, including a presentation about Judie’s Backyard Pool to Pond Conversion. Out with the chemicals, in with the algae! Judie will share a PowerPoint and some backyard artifacts, showing the process of converting a typical backyard pool and garden into an oasis for wildlife. View some of the documented wildlife that has frequented the pond and learn about the species that make their home in this backyard paradise. You will enjoy hearing some funny and entertaining tales about unexpected animal visitors that make appearances in her wildlife habitat and newly created “waterfront property.” This is a unique opportunity for guests to see and appreciate how this interesting and dynamic project has beautified and created a backyard paradise, and inspires others to bring nature and tranquility to their home environment.

Whose Scat is That? And Other Signs of Wildlife around Us
Many animals make their home here at Rancho La Puerta, which provides important habitat to live, breed and thrive. Look up, down, left and right as we closely examine trails, bushes, trees and surrounding areas for signs of birds, reptiles, insects and mammals that share our space here. We will be looking at scat (poop), animal tracks and other signs of wildlife. Judie will also be sharing some of her nature collections and specimens for an opportunity to inspect up close and personal, cool stuff like nests, skulls, feathers, scat and more.

Local Ethnobotany-Plant Uses for Medicines, Food, Clothing and Shelter
Ethnobotany is the study of a region’s plants and their uses through traditional knowledge of local culture and people. Join us as we explore areas of the Ranch and learn about which native plants were used for millennia for a variety of everyday uses around Rancho La Puerta. Touch, smell and even taste some plants and learn about how they were used by local native people. Wildlife is also dependent on native plants for food and shelter. We will also look at plants that are important habitat for animals that live here such as birds, reptiles, insects and mammals including foxes, bobcats, skunks, opossums and other animals that share our space here.


Judie Lincer, M.S. Ed., is a Naturalist Educator with San Diego Audubon, who has over 25 years of teaching experience and guides hikes teaching about ecosystems, adaptations, ethnobotany (the study of a region’s plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of a local culture.). She is an enthusiastic speaker who teaches scientific-inquiry skills and inspires others to develop an appreciation of the environment and diverse ecosystems. Judie is a Workshop and Tour Director for the California Native Plant Society-San Diego, which educates the public about the benefits and beauty of using native plants in creating habitat in landscaping.