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!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice

From the Caliso Learning newsletter - Nature On The Side: Summer Solstice
  • Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning "sun" + (sistire)"to stand still."
  • The day that the Earth's North Pole is tilted closest to the sun (the summer solstice) is the longest day (most daylight hours) of the year for people living in the northern hemisphere. It is also the day that the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky (where it seems to stand still).
  • As a major celestial event, the Summer Solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year for the Northern Hemisphere in June, but the people on the Southern half of the earth have their longest summer day in December.
  • The summer solstice marks the first day of summer.
  • “Midsummer” is often associated with this solstice as it occurs midway through Europe’s growing season for many ancient healing plants that were(are) harvested at the summer soltice.
No matter what your traditions, the summer solstice is a great time to celebrate growth, life, harvest, unions…and summer!

Image: Laura Huff
Sources: http://www.Chiff.com and http://www.religioustolerance.org

Saturday, June 19, 2010

11-year old Artist Campaigns to Save Gulf Wildlife!

Wow, Olivia you are our hero!

Please read this thoroughly inspiring story about a passionate, budding ornithologist who has helped raise over $70,000 to protect pelicans, manatees, whooping cranes and the other birds she loves that are threatened by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

LINK: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/artist-11-campaigns-to-save-gulf-birds/

Yay Olivia!!

Happy Father's Day Super Dads!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

8 Animal Webcams to Brighten Your Day

Take a nature break while working at your computer! Check in on wildlife around the world with these streaming live feeds from Gimundo News and Features: 8 Animal Webcams to Brighten Your Day

More nature webcams from Caliso Learning's Planet Pages and previous blog posts!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lavender Festivals: Family Fun!

The site of lavender fields, lavender flowers, the smell lavender can inspire the imagination of any age! Here’s a fun way to spend Father’s Day, the 123 Farm’s 6th Annual Lavender Festival this June 12-13, and 19-20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. If you’re interested, please visit their website for details, directions to their Cherry Valley location, festival activities, schedule, and organic herbs and oils for sale (including lavender, peppermint, rosemary, and sage!).

Lavender farms can be found throughout the region, check your local area for any local harvests, find out what's available in your area. Don't worry if lavender is not a likely harvest--now's a great time to learn about the organic goodies in your region to discover a local farm that celebrates their harvest publicly for natural family fun!

Fun on a lavender farm (or any herb or veggie farm or fruit orchard you can visit):
 • Take a family photo sitting in the middle of a blossoming lavender field
• Collect fresh lavender for drying
• Paint as a family, a minimalist scene of lavender rows…
• Identify as many different pollinators as you can find in the fields
• Eat a yumm-a-licious dish prepared with with lavender!
• Bring lavender home with you, purchase a lavender plant to add to your patio garden or yard!
• Have a picnic in the fields
• Participate in the u-pick lavender, workshops, demonstrations, craft artists, music, food and other activities you can find at various lavender festivals!

Share your ideas and experiences with us!

About the 123 Farm: http://www.localharvest.org/farms/M14941
Photo by derekwt http://www.flickr.com/photos/derekt1/3392168766/in/set-72157616023029554/

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Protecting Our California Deserts

We like John Randall's ideas and solution(s) toward balancing renewable energy RESPONSIBLY while maintaining our beautiful and diverse, fragile desert ecosystems. For a quick read: The Nature Conservancy in California - Faces of Conservation - John Randall