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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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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

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

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

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

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

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

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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