Friday, December 11, 2020

Ocean View School Oak Ambassador Natalie teaching on Vamonos Trail


What is that mossy stuff hanging from the oaks? Natalie shares the story of lace lichen with her cousin while hiking in Vamonos Canyon at the Pismo Preserve. Did you know that California has a State Lichen? Yep! This mossy stuff isn't moss and it is honored as the State Lichen of California. Pretty interesting that it is not one but two organisms (up to three for lichens in general) living symbiotically

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Nature close to home

 Thanks to volunteer Bill K. for sharing these photos from his Arroyo Grande critter camera.

A fawn asking, "Where's mom?" 

A deer checking out the camera up close

A finch showing off for the camera

Monday, November 2, 2020

Who left that scat?


Pismo Preserve Ranger CJ found this scat on a trail at the Pismo Preserve. Notice that it is not at all hidden. Maybe this animal wanted to make a statement? What else do you notice? Tapered ends, twisted tubular shape, presence of hair and size. Any guesses? Maybe a coyote?

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Ladybugs know when it's time to snuggle


Vineyard School Oak Ambassador alumnus Tristan discovered these ladybugs snuggling up for the winter ahead. Even though our winters are mild, ladybugs still know when it's time to snuggle. As the supply of their favorite foods, like aphids, drops off in the fall, it's time to rest. Warming days will awaken them and signal that it's time to mate, eat and produce more ladybugs. See

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Red-winged blackbird choir sings good night

LATO docent ~ nature photographer Mike Klatt shared these observations and photos: 

"The last couple of evenings a bit after sunset, large numbers of red-winged blackbirds have been flying to roost for the night in the Italian cypresses in our backyard.  We're not sure where they are coming from, but we do see them in a large valley oak tree that's about 50 yards away from the Italian cypresses before they fly to the cypresses.  The sound is truly beautiful.  It's like a choir of red-winged blackbirds all singing good night to each other.  There must be at least 100 or more of them."

Friday, September 4, 2020

Happy new homes for Santa Margarita Ranch LATO trail songbirds

September 4, 2020

Young Santa Margarita Elementary School nature photographer Emily and her Oak Ambassador sister were on hand this morning with their mom Jen to help Morro Coast Audubon Society volunteers Freddy and Cheryl install eight new songbird nest boxes along the Santa Margarita Ranch Learning Among the Oaks (LATO) Trail. Emily shared these photos and videos!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

The velvet has done its job for this buck

Mike Klatt watched this buck rubbing the velvet off of its antlers. It took about an hour of hard rubbing. Velvet is a type of skin, richly supplied with blood vessels to provide nutrients for growing antlers. Once the antlers have finished growing, the velvet has done its job. It is rubbed off or dries~falls off in late summer, early fall. Read more about this fascinating process: