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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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For week of Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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