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New Home Builders in Southern California Let You Talk to The Animals

Butterfly - pd

Orange County is replete with resident-pleasing activities, recreational areas, and sunshine. If you just look on the surface, there seems to be a lack of things to do with four-footed creatures that are not our pets. But scratch a little deeper and you’ll find many opportunities like the following for communing with nature’s fascinating wild creatures.

Seal The Deal

Scientifically, they’re called pinnipeds but most people just call them adorable. Seals and sea lions often frolic among the rocks just off the Southern California coastline. If you want a close-up view of these marine mammals without swimming in the ocean, pay a visit to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach. This organization rescues and rehabilitates stranded pinnipeds that are often injured by human activity, shark bites, and diseases. There’s no charge to visit the patients, which may number two dozen or more. Consider donating money or time support their worthwhile mission.

Nature’s Pools

While you’re in Laguna, head for Main or Treasure Island Beach. Docents in those areas are happy to introduce you to the tide pools that form among the rocks by the shore. These watery ecosystems feature gardens of anemones that support small fishes, snails, crabs, and shells. Wear sensible shoes that protect your feet from the jagged rocks and look but don’t touch. All the creatures that you see are inside the State Marine Conservation Area. You’re not allowed to take anything out, whether it’s dead or alive.

Colorful Fliers

Our naturally dry environment is hardly conducive to butterflies without some man-made effort. So if you miss these colorful beauties, check out the Butterfly House at the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach. Inside an enclosed environment, you’ll enjoy several butterfly species native to the area, including Monarch, West Coast Lady, California Dogface, and Anise Swallowtail. Their website also has useful information about creating a butterfly garden in your own home.

Farm Friends

Reveal your kids where eggs, milk, cheese, and meat actually come from. No, this is not a trip to your local supermarket but a visit to Centennial Farm, a three-acre working farm in Costa Mesa. Admission is free as long as there are no special events going on. You’ll be able to see such livestock as cattle, goats, pigs, and chickens, and also learn about agriculture. Look for the cow-milking schedule on the website, so you can watch the starting point of all dairy products like milk and ice cream.

Going Batty

If you’re not inundated with mosquitoes, gnats, and other unpleasant tinies every time that you step outside, you can partially thank our unheralded insect catchers, the bats. These furry fliers are about the size of small birds, come out only at night, and are extremely quiet, which means you’re unlikely to notice them at all on your own. If you want some help, sign up for the summer Bat Walks at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine. Typically held for 2 1/2 hours around sunset, these educational excursions fill up fast, so register early. You’ll spy dozens of these aerial mammals as they feed on insects at the marsh with their pups, or baby bats.

It Started with Monkeys

In 1952, Joseph Prentice left his land to be used for public purposes as long as there were always 50 monkeys on the grounds at all times. This is how the Santa Ana zoo at Prentice Park got started. If it’s your first time there, see if you can count all 50 primates. Along the way, you’ll also see over 80 species of animals, including the smallest monkeys in the world, the Pygmy Marmosets. Picnic areas, a carousel, a train ride, and a children’s farm make visiting the zoo a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

For more information on what else is fun in Orange County, or if you want to view what new home builders in Southern California have to offer, please contact us.