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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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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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