Docent Update

“Spring Has Sprung!”

May 7, 2017

You know it is Spring if you have visited Shipley in the last few weeks…….flowers in bloom, trees budding, birds singing in the trees…..makes you almost want to break out in song. One of the spectacular sites are the egrets, 12 of them rebuilding their nests to lay their eggs. When they take off in flight it is a sight to behold. Be sure and make a visit and return when the young are hatched. They are the most exuberant young birds I have ever seen. You would think that they were starving as they continually cry out for food! We have not seen any coyotes for many weeks. What we have noticed is an increase in rabbits and squirrels, something has gone wrong with the balance in nature! Also one of our docents met up with a large snake on the path from the parking lot to Shipley. Not dangerous, just a little surprising and scary. We also had a visit from a Snapping Turtle, something usually not seen at Shipley. It was large and lived up to its name as it began snapping at Wes, as if to say, “just leave me alone”. However West found a Wildlife Center which took it in, as it didn’t belong at Shipley.

The City had to close the parking lot on Goldenwest as people were complaining about the dust and the federal agency in charge gave the City notice to make the necessary repairs, which they are doing. I know that many of you have been inconvenienced and had to walk a little longer than usual, but it looks as if it is now under control. At least our cars will not need to go to the car wash every time we park in the lot. Many visitors thought that this lot was the responsibility of Shipley, but it is and always has been under the control of the City.

During the last wind storms, Shipley took its share of abuse from the winds as we lost one large tree and are inspecting others to see if they should be taken down. Mother Nature is always in charge……gave us rain when we were desperate, but now strong winds.

Don’t forget we have an Open House on June 3, 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.   To celebrate spring, the children will perform the Maypole dance. There will be exhibitor booths and everyone’s favorite the Butterfly House. The Guava Groove Ukulele Players and Kahakai Loa will provide music. California native plants are always available for purchase. If you like succulents in your garden do go by the plant sale booth because on that day succulents will be 2 for 1.

Cool Summer Nights begins on July 30 with O.C. Birds of Prey, July 27th Native Americans, Aug. 3, George the Reptile Guy, and Aug. 10th, Southern California Dulcimer Heritage and the O.C. Astronomers. Quite a summer, plus the Master Gardeners on May 27th, Soils, June 24th Vertical Gardens, July 22 Composting 101, Aug. 26, Raised Beds and Container Gardens, Sep. 23, Growing Bulbs and Oct. 28, Growing Herbs. They all start at 10:00 a.m. No fee or advance reservation required.

The Friends of Shipley Nature Center very much appreciate your donations and membership support throughout the year and wish to say thank you.

Shirley Dettloff

Volunteer, Education Committee

The Friends of Shipley Nature Center