Tracks in the Mud

Our homeschool class explored Trabuco Creek and found an area with cracked mud that held lots of clear animal tracks.
Do you know whose feet made these? Grab your field guides or use the internet as a resource! The answers are at the end of this blog.

Cactus Fruits, Yarrow, and Spiderwebs

It has been four years since I planted the nopal cactus in my garden. I cut five sections, called pads, off another cactus. After letting the cut end dry out and form a scab, I buried them about halfway in the dirt, right out in the sun. Today, the five new cacti are taller than I am!

This is the first year the nopal cactus has had flowers and fruits. They are beautiful and delicious. They taste a bit like papaya.

I seem to get cuts on my fingers often. Today, I got sliced by some broken glass. It’s a good thing that I have plenty of my friends, yarrow, growing in my garden. Yarrow is astringent, meaning it causes body tissue to contract, meaning it can shrink blood vessels and stop bleeding. When I am bleeding, I like to chew a couple of leaves of yarrow and spit them onto the cut. I usually hold the leaves there until the bleeding stops and then replace the yarrow with a cotton and tape bandage. Today, I remembered that I once read something about spiderwebs being used as bandages, so I decided to try it. There is no shortage of spiderwebs in my yard! There are all different kinds- big spirals, small funnels, messy ones in corners(look out these could be black widows!) I found out that the biggest spiders make the strongest, thickest strands of web. And, the net-like funnel webs are good for adding cotton-like bulk to the bandage.

Here is a picture of my yarrow and spiderweb bandage next to the yarrow leaves and flowers. As I type this, 10 hours later, the bandage is still on!

Thanks, yarrow! Thanks, spiders!

The answers to the tracks question are Coyote, Bobcat, and Mule Deer.

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