Jeanette Marantos
Jeanette Marantos
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Monarch butterfly fans are clamoring for native milkweed. Here are 8 places to buy it

Monarch butterfly fans are clamoring for native milkweed. Here are 8 places to buy it

Copyright © 2021, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementButterfly fans, take a breath. I know it’s officially spring and we’re all pounding on nursery doors, anxious to plant some California native milkweed to stay afloat since, yes, milkweed is the only thing its caterpillars will eat and nonnative varieties appear to be hastening its demise.But here’s the thing: native milkweeds are still slowly coming back to life. Native milkweeds — especially narrow-leaf milkweed, the most prominent variety in California — are just now emerging from dormancy, a normal, natural thing that won’t be...

April 1, 2021
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Your bird feeder is canceled. Attract birds with these 13 native plants instead

Your bird feeder is canceled. Attract birds with these 13 native plants instead

Copyright © 2021, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementAttention wildlife fans: Bird feeders are killing songbirds, thanks to a vicious salmonellosis outbreak this winter. Wildlife officials in multiple Western states issued warnings earlier this year that so many birds are dying, the safest plan is to take down all our feeders, at least for now, so they’ll stop congregating and spreading the disease. So it’s time for a new strategy to attract and support our feathered friends: creating habitat in our garden space — whether it’s a balcony or backyard — by growing native plants and...

April 15, 2021
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Newts, tarantulas, ringtails: What you need to know about trail critters

Newts, tarantulas, ringtails: What you need to know about trail critters

Copyright © 2021, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementThis story is part of our You can buy a print copy at the .Spoiler alert: You probably aren’t going to see P-22 on a hike in Griffith Park. Coming in contact with a mountain lion on a trail in Southern California is beyond rare. But if you take the time to observe, there are other creatures you may encounter. Here are some of our favorites and what we think makes them special. Just don’t ever pick up or handle a wild animal.Dipodomys californicusYour best chance to catch a glimpse of this track and “field” superstar is just before...

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March 13, 2021
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6 ways Californians can help save the iconic Monarch butterfly

6 ways Californians can help save the iconic Monarch butterfly

Copyright © 2021, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementThis is not a drill. California is poised to lose the Western monarch butterfly and its mysterious annual migration from the continent’s Western regions to the coastal areas between Baja to Mendocino.The list for blame is long — habitat destruction, insecticides, herbicides and yes, good intentions, because if you’ve ever planted a showy orange milkweed in Southern California with the goal of helping the monarch, consider yourself part of the problem.So why should we care? First off, caterpillars are a critical food source for most...

February 23, 2021
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L.A. volunteering during COVID: In person, virtual options

L.A. volunteering during COVID: In person, virtual options

Looking for an opportunity to serve? There are plenty of ways to connect with your community, including distributing meals at a food bank, tutoring from home or delivering meals to seniors.The Times has compiled a list of places to volunteer in the L.A. area, but the rules are a little different this year. Many organizations have limited capacities, dress codes and medical testing requirements. Please make sure to register in advance and contact the organization directly if you’re interested in offering your time.Any opportunities we didn't cover? Let us know .How to volunteer:All In-person...

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December 10, 2020
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How to dye Easter eggs with stuff you already have in your pantry or fridge

How to dye Easter eggs with stuff you already have in your pantry or fridge

Stuck at home without a store-bought Easter egg kit? Not a problem. We’ve got lots of easy hacks for coloring and/or decorating both white and brown eggs using simple food dye or more interesting ingredients hiding in your pantry, refrigerator or yard. Get the kids involved by promising a double Easter egg hunt, with the first search being for items you can use to color your eggs. Pro tip: You don’t need children to color eggs; these techniques are fun for everyone. Enliven your virtual cocktail hour by sharing a glass of wine with friends while you all decorate eggs. These tips range...

April 10, 2020
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