Page 19 - WVG2017
P. 19

Deerly Beloved
A look at some of the amazing critters that call the Ojai Valley home
Story by Perry Van Houten
With diverse natural habitats ranging from chaparral to oak woodlands, grasslands to conifer forests, the Ojai Val- ley is literally crawling with critters.
Some animals, like birds, squirrels and lizards are everyday encounters, while sighting a bear or a mountain lion is a more rare experience, it is not unheard of.
What’s the trick to spotting wild animals in nature?
“Luck,” says naturalist Bruce Vincent, “no animal wants to be seen.”
Vincent teaches the art and science of enjoying wildlife.
“The art part is using your observational skills — being in tune to what’s around you and blocking out the city and
everything else. The science part is knowing what you’re looking at.”
So much of what you can see and where you can see it depends on habitat.
“The Ojai Valley is a mosaic of so many habitats and primarily they're defined by plants. Take a guide and learn
them while you're hiking,” Vincent advised.
Continued on page 20
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