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Learn more about birds at UC Davis Arboretum

Ready for some bird talk? Two free workshops this weekend focus on the birds that can be seen in the area in winter.
(Photo courtesy UC Davis)

Two weekend events put winter visitors in spotlight

This weekend, UC Davis Arboretum is for the birds. Two excellent presentations (one indoors, one out) will help make you a better birdwatcher – and more informed about your feathered friends.

At 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, veteran birder Lois Richter presents “Birds in Davis: The Inside Scoop,” featuring dozens of winter birds that can now be seen in Yolo County. A longtime docent, Richter will present a slide show and discuss the many birds that frequent the Davis and Sacramento area this time of year. The event will be in the Environmental Horticulture Building, Room 146. Admission is free.

(For a map, go to: )

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, Richter takes the discussion outdoors along with her binoculars for a birding tour of the Arboretum gardens. On the free “Birds in Davis: Out and About” tour, see the many species of birds that call the campus home.

During the Sunday tour, Richter will cover much of the same material as Saturday’s lecture, but with live subjects instead of slides. Learn how to spot various species in their natural habitat – and hear what they sound like, too.

This one-hour tour starts near Visitor Lot 5. Parking is available free on campus during the weekends.

Details: or call 530-752-4880.


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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