Shane Brown is a lifelong naturalist and the caretaker at Big Oak Canyon, Earthroots 39-acre property in Silverado, California. This blog is a highlight reel of his experiences at Big Oak Canyon.

Big Oak Canyon Highlights

Here’s a peek at what some of the animals and plants at Big Oak Canyon are up to this fall.

October was marked by several days of dry, gusty Santa Ana winds, big swings in temperature, and the return of the wintering birds, like hermit thrushes, kinglets, and juncos! Days are getting short, nights are getting chilly, the land is parched, and the leaves are falling off the elm trees. Forest kindergarten sang rain songs for the rain to arrive soon!


Spanish Immersion class got to harvest potatoes and black walnuts, and plant cempasuchil in celebration of Dia de los Muertos.
(Photo by Karina Ducoulombier)
Some marine fossils dug up while excavating pipes
A honeybee visits sagebrush flowers
A tarantula hawk wasp visits English ivy flowers

Projects and Discoveries:

Little helpers clear the road after big winds knocked down tree limbs

Trivia Questions:

Last Month’s Trivia:
Why did the scorpion cross the road?
Because a road was built across where it lives

What medicine was first derived from willow bark?
acetylsalicylic acid (aka aspirin)

What do the roots of alder trees do for the soil?
They are nitrogen fixers, meaning the excrete nitrogen compounds into the soil.

What is the name of the insect commonly found eating the insides of acorns? The acorn weevil is the most common insect found eating acorns, and their larvae are called grubs.

This Month’s Trivia:
What do tarantula hawk wasps eat?

Why can fossils of sea creatures be found so far inland in the mountains?

What color dye can you get from walnut husks?

What is one building material that is fire-proof, natural, insulative, sturdy, cheap, and can be shaped into any form imaginable? 

Blog post written by Shane Brown.
Shane is the caretaker of Earthroots’ Big Oak Canyon property. He also teaches the Spanish Immersion in Nature and Ancestral Arts programs. He occasionally helps with other Earthroots classes and leads volunteer days at Big Oak Canyon.


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