Thank you for visiting the home blog of Caliso Learning, a natural science-based business celebrating the beauty and ecology of our natural environments. Our goal is to connect you and your family with nature--actually, we want you to fall in LOVE with nature!

Here you will find nature-inspired articles and posts, family activities, personal stories, resources, and more--all with the goal to connect you with the benefits of nature for family fun and inspiration! Please enjoy and let us know what you like :) Follow us on Facebook for even more resources, more frequently!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Grants for Monarchs In Your Garden!

This is a great opportunity for kids to get involved in a fantastic project. Project Learning Tree grants are available to create Monarch butterfly waystations/pollinator gardens at schools. Details here: Monarch Watch Blog

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Full Moon: Moon Meditations

The moon is a great mentor in living your life to its fullest. Find a comfortable spot in the moonlight tonight and try one of these empowering meditations inspired by the full moon...

Live full. The full moon creates a lot of action; humans celebrate it, animals and oceans move by it. When the moon is full and bright, we can see things outside without the aid of artificial light. Live your life fully, illuminate your own path, celebrate your strengths.

Radiate light. Despite being the weakest reflector in our solar system, the moon shines brightly against the black backdrop of space. Reflect positive qualities in your interaction with others.

Infuse yourself with nature. The moon is intimately aligned with the natural world as we have witnessed through the pull of lunar tides and the variety of species that rely on its light for survival. Plant yourself in the cycles of nature to appreciate your vital role in the world we share, increase your personal awareness, and heighten your sensitivity to your attitudes and behavior as it compares to your core standards and beliefs. This type of connection may intuitively affect the conscientious mind and accountability that guide your decision making process.

Inspire others. Our silvery moon has long been the source of inspiration for artists, philosophers, and poets. Both science and art continue to seek ways to study and interpret its profound affect on our lives. Think about the people in your life, and how they inspire you; awaken those same inspiring qualities in your self. Find ways to express yourself as passionately as those who inspire you and others will not be able to resist supporting you in achieving your goals.

"Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine." ~the Buddha

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Taking A Child's Perspective

With Earth Day two days away, it's time to regroup and see where we're really making a difference. Sometimes, we just need to shift our perspective to ask better questions that won't mire our progress and energies with lengthy, over-analized answers.

Folks at the 7GenBlog remind us to step back and simplify our approach--they remind us to listen to our children--to take a child's perspective--because they tend to think of the most important questions :) In the very least, how about rethinking some creative solutions as your inner child would, so we can take action in providing a safe and natural environment for our children. Read about it here: Taking a Child's Perspective Seventh Generation

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's the BUZZ...Native Bee Boxes

Denise Shreeve is a beekeeper of an unusual sort. Instead of honey bees at her home in McLean, Va., she raises native orchard mason bees -- solitary bees that don't produce honey, but do pollinate abundant gardens and crops. Orchard mason bees are native to the entire North American continent and are amazingly efficient pollinators, especially of early fruit and nut trees. After completing a honey beekeeping course a few years ago, and realizing how many chemicals it takes to keep them alive, Denis Shreeve decided to research native bees as an alternative and found:
  • Orchard Mason Bees are gentle, mild-mannered solitary bees that rarely, if ever, sting. (Males don't even have stingers.)  
  • OMB’s do not make honey, but rather use collected nectar and pollen to feed themselves and their young.
  • They don’t have a Queen to defend so will never attack if disturbed, making them very safe around kids and pets, and fun and educational to watch.
Continue reading this article for more about these native bees, native beekeeping and how Shreeve creates her beautiful, easy DIY bee boxes 6 Facts About Native Bees
Photo: Denise Shreeve

Create your own Mason bee or other native bee boxes:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Upcoming Spring Festivals :)

From our Festivals page, here are some upcoming festivals and events to get you connected with nature. Look for Caliso Learning at a few of these favorite spring happenings!

April 15-18, 2010
Yuma Birding & Nature Festival, Yuma, AZ

April 16-17, 2010
First Annual Santa Monica Mountains Science Festival http://www.nhm.org/site/sites/default/files/pdf/NHM_NPS_SciFest_SantaMonicaMtns_2010.pdf

April 17, 2010
Earth Day Festival, Hi-Desert Nature Museum, Yucca Valley, CA http://www.hidesertnaturemuseum.org/events.html

April 17, 2010
Mother Nature's Earth Jam at The Living Desert, Palm Desert, CA

April 23-26, 2010
Desert Symposium, Desert Studies Center, Zzyzx, CA

April 24, 2010
Earth Day Birding Challenge, Coachella Valley, CA

April 24-25, 2010
California Poppy Festival

May 1, 2010
31st Annual Endangered Species Faire, Chico, CA

May 15, 2010
Southern California Indian Storytelling Festival, Palm Springs, CA 

May 15-16, 2010
25th Annual BUG FAIR Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Memorial Day Weekend 2010
Memorial Day Weekend Wildflower and Art Show, Idyllwild Nature Center http://www.idyllwildnaturecenter.net/Home.html

May 15, 2010
21st Annual Idyllwild Earth Fair, Idyllwild, CA