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Talk turkey and explore nature at Effie Yeaw

Nature center hosts family program on Friday, turkey hike on Saturday

Three wild turkeys strut their stuff in the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Carmichael.

Three wild turkeys strut their stuff in the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Carmichael. Photo courtesy Effie Yeaw Nature Center

Wondering what to do the day after Thanksgiving (besides shopping)? Here’s a treat for nature lovers of all ages -- while walking off some calories. 

Friday, Nov. 25, is “Effie Family Day,” with nature hikes geared for young explorers.

“Come join us for some family fun at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center,” say the organizers. “Embark on a walk through the Nature Study Area to explore what the animals are up to this fall season, meet and learn about our animal ambassadors, and create a craft with your child to take home!”

Located inside Ancil Hoffman Park, the nature center is a suburban oasis of wildlife, especially birds.

Suggested donation is $10 for adults, $5 children. Kids age 3 and younger admitted free. Pre-registration is required; call 916-876-4918.

Can’t get enough turkey talk? At 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, the nature center is hosting “Great Gobblers,” devoted to wild turkeys who call Effie Yeaw home. Did you know wild turkeys can fly up to 55 mph? An one-hour guided hike around the center will turn up some turkeys (hopefully) as well as other birds.

Suggested donation: $2 adults, $1 children.

The Nature Center is open 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; closed Thanksgiving.

Effie Yeaw Nature Center is located at 2850 San Lorenzo Way (off Tarshes Drive) in Carmichael.

Parking is $6 per car.

Details and directions: www.sacnaturecenter.net.

-- Debbie Arrington

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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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