Category: Critters

Fishing Fun In and Around Lake Almanor

By Bob Kopernik, Lucky Grady Fishing Guide Service If you are new to this area and are interested in drowning a few worms or crickets in hopes of having Fish Tacos for dinner, do yourself a favor and purchase a detailed geographical map of the area. I like the Northern California DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer Map book because it shows most all of the lakes, streams, campgrounds and the roads to get you there.  Another good resource is the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website, to see where and when they last planted fish into the place that you are thinking about fishing.  You...

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Bark Beetles

By Melissa Wynn After years of drought in California, our forests became more and more stressed. The weakened condition of our beautiful trees have made them highly susceptible to bark beetle infestation. The bark beetles currently attacking our forests are all native. These species include the mountain pine beetle, fir engraver beetle, western pine beetle, Jeffrey pine beetle and pine engraver beetles. Under normal conditions healthy conifer (any tree that produces seeds in cones) trees are able to fend off the destructive beetles by producing enough resinous pitch to drown out the beetles...

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Three Local Hawks

What a rare find!  As we see many hawks in our area, we don’t see a Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) everyday! You will be able to identify this beautiful large hawk with their legs and feet feathered to their talons (also called chaps)!  They also have a distinct yellowish/orange marking around their beaks. They make their homes in open prairie areas; making their nests in a tree, bush, or even on the side of a hill.  The nest will often be made with roots, sticks, sagebrush, cattle dung and sometimes even cattle bones!  They will typically lay up to 5 eggs which are whitish in color....

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The Painted Lady Butterfly

Story and Photos by Jim Moore I do not often dream about bugs, but when I do it usually involves seeing an amazingly beautiful, never-before- seen butterfly, which of course I cannot ever catch. But recently I had an odd butterfly dream. In the dream I was the butterfly, and I was sunning myself on some lavender flowers in a park; and people kept pointing at me, and saying to each another, “Look, a Painted Lady Butterfly!”  But I wanted so very much to tell them, “No, no, I am a Painted Gentleman Butterfly!” But I could not, and it was very frustrating. About then, our cat stepped on my...

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Businesses Welcomed in the Small Town of Westwood

Westwood’s business community is well supported by the townspeople. The welcoming streets are named alphabetically by the names of trees. Streets are lined with old wooden homes, reminiscent of its early lumber days’ history. Retail businesses include three convenience stores, two with fuels, Lassen True Value hardware store, Now and Then thrift shop and Old Town Mercantile, an artists’ collective/Shabby Chic home furnishings & decor store which has been moving and expanding for its new early April Grand Re-opening. The town recently lost its grocery store, due to retirement, as was the...

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Snow Sedges -Delicate Creatures of Cold Winter Nights

Text and photos by Jim Moore, Entomologist Long ago, before the first humans ever set foot within the lands of Northeastern California, there were Snow Sprites. These were fairy-like creatures that arose from the cold watery depths of cold mountain streams and lakes on crystal clear moonlit nights. The legend says that they would dance in the chilled air of long winter nights over snow covered mountain meadows. As they danced they would sing to one another, and the breath of their songs would crystalize in the frozen air of the night, becoming snowflake-like hieroglyphic messages that...

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River Otters

River Otter Photos & Article by Jan Ramelli The “River Otter” is fun to observe and often sighted in local lakes or rivers! This little guy was spotted on Antelope Lake. They mostly feed on trash or bottom fish; but, will also eat bass and trout. They also eat small mammals, freshwater clams and crawdads. It’s permanent den is often dug into banks, with underwater and exposed entrances, and contains a nest of sticks, grass, reeds and leaves. If you watch closely, you may spot these creatures swimming along the surface with just their heads out, checking out their surroundings, or you...

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The Coyote

The Coyote! Photos & Article by Jan Ramelli The Willow Creek area has an abundance of wildlife including hawks, owls, kestrels, and the coyote. All of these animals play a big role in the reduction of rodents which left unchecked can reek havoc in agricultural areas. The coyote is part of the “Canidae Family” same as wolves and foxes. Coyotes build their dens near a riverbank, sides of a canyon or gulches. They breed in early spring and usually mate for life. They can have as many as 19 pups in a litter, but usually around 7; the female will often build a separate den for raising her...

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Tank On Cold Weather

It’s been cold and windy our neck of the woods and nobody wants to go outside but me. I think about it all the time but nobody else seems to. They are just perfectly content sitting on the couch, no matter how many strong glares I send. I like playing in the snow. And there is really nothing like scratching your back on a crisp bed of icy snow in the morning. Not sure anybody has noticed but playing ball is also way more fun in the snow. I could run in the snow all day long, but they won’t let me. Instead we go out for no time at all and they stay on the porch. They don’t throw the...

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Exploring Our Local Winter Wonderland – Snowshoeing, Skiing, Sledding And More

By Mara Dobyns Photos by Jessica Compton- JCM Photography In this beautiful area of Northern California we are often spoiled with snow which means we have countless opportunities for fun in the outdoor world. In my opinion it would be pretty silly not to take advantage of it. Whether you enjoy snowshoeing, cross country or downhill skiing, sledding, or just exploring your local backcountry, we’ve got something for everyone. When I was a kid having my birthday in January always meant one thing, going to our favorite local hill for play, Stover, celebrating with snow and sledding until our...

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Exploring Ice Caves In Lassen County

Photos and Article by Mara Dobyns “Life is an adventure. It’s not about the destination we reach that’s most rewarding, it’s the journey along the way. So write it down! & treasure the memory forever…” – Barlena Morina While exploring in Lassen National Forest, take highway 36 to Wilson Lake Road 29 & 63, then make a right onto the 29 N 19 road. Next, find the E. Spur Road off of 29 N 19, and if you’re lucky, you’ll stumble upon a tree marked “Ice” in blue paint. From there just ahead you will find an opening with a couch carved out of a tree, a trailhead, and a mailbox...

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