Ladybug–Fly Away Home!

One of the most important insects to gardeners is the colorful ladybug. Not only does this classy beetle brighten the garden with its familiar red-orange cape dotted with black polka dots, but it can eat its weight in aphids in a single day!

Wildlife on the Run

Mixed conifer forests, like those in the Sierra Nevada, have evolved with the regular incidence of fire occurring every 5 to 300 years, depending on the local climate.

Insects: Going buggy…All business all the time.

Imagine an hourglass filled with the exact number of grains of sand equal to the number of every living organism found on earth—all species: bacteria, protozoa, fungi, plants and animals. Of all the unique life-forms that comprise our planet, insects would fill half the hourglass.

Harbingers of Spring: Canada Geese

The ubiquitous Canada goose is one of the most recognized birds in North America. These large tan and black birds with the banded neck can be seen along waterways or migrating in familiar V-shaped patterns which herald the beginning of spring. Canada geese (not “Canadian”) were once endangered from over-hunting, but are now plentiful throughout the contiguous U.S. and Canada.

The Who’s Who of Owls: The North American Spotted Owl

Owls have long been a part of folklore and legend. Often depicted prominently in popular culture, they rank on par with bats and spiders as the most celebrated of Halloween creatures. Owls appear as wise and noble characters in many children’s stories, including Winnie the Pooh, and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Possibly the most famous owl, is Hedwig, the snowy owl in the Harry Potter series.

Born to Run: California Valley Quail

Imagine a bird with an identity crisis. Surely it would be the California quail. Even though quite capable of flying, in most cases this colorful bird has forsaken this magnificent talent in favor of running. Why remain grounded when the world of flight offers such rich possibilities? The answer lies in the woodland chaparral the quail occupies—a habitat rich in food, cover, and security.

LAFCo is No Laughing Matter

The Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) is a political subdivision of the State of California. LAFCos are independent agencies ensuring that changes in government organizations facilitate efficient delivery of services and preserves agricultural land resources.

Stein Elected Chairman of Calaveras Council of Governments for 2014

Paul Stein of West Point was recently elected as Chairman of the Calaveras Council of Governments (CCOG) for the second consecutive year. CCOG is the Regional Transportation Planning Agency for Calaveras County and regionally collaborates with Cal-Trans to deliver state transportation projects that affect the Mother Lode region.

Woody Woodpecker

Have you ever hiked in the woods and heard a loud drumming resonating through the forest? Most likely you’ve been lucky enough to hear the elusive Pileated Woodpecker, the largest of the common woodpeckers in North America.

Not Your Average Bear

American black bears feature prominently in folklore and mythology. They are revered by the Native Americans, symbolizing strength and endurance. Probably the most iconic of black bears is Smokey the Bear—the mascot of the United States Forest Service, so named after a cub that was rescued at Lincoln National Forest in the spring of 1950.