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  • Writer's pictureThe Skunk Corner

5 Ways to Enjoy Nature This Fall

Even though Santa Barbara does not get the same kind of autumn as other parts of the country have, the season is still great for observing wildlife. The early sunsets, changing temperature, and falling leaves all make it a unique time of year to get out in nature. Here are five outdoor activities that anyone in Santa Barbara (and beyond) can enjoy this fall.

1. Go on an owl walk. This season is the perfect time to look and listen for owls in your local park, open space, or preserve. Go to a clearing or the edge of a wooded area as the sun goes down and you may see an owl hunting for a meal. You also may find owls perched in trees, calling to their mates.

2. Ride your bike through a natural area in the darkness. Take advantage of the early sunset by waiting until it's dark to go on a bike ride. The best time to go is when the moon is out, so that you don't even need a flashlight.

3. Watch an orb-weaver spider build its web. You've seen the white cobwebs that people put up for Halloween, but real spider webs are plentiful too and can be very interesting to watch being built. If you're outside at night and notice a spider building a web, stay and watch for a little while. Spiders work hard to build their intricate webs, but they make it look easy!

4. Listen to the sounds of the night. It's relaxing and peaceful to sit outside at night and just listen. Find a comfortable seat on a rock or a log and take in the calls of the owls and the sound of the autumn breeze rustling the leaves. You can also engage more senses than just hearing- notice the smell and feel of the air also.

5. Gather leaves and seedpods for a fall display or wreath. Fallen leaves, acorns, twigs, and seedpods can make for a festive centerpiece or autumn wreath. Collect some of these objects at your local park, your yard, or any place with a variety of trees.

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