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While Staying At Home, Why Not Try Backyard Exploration

Michelle Loxton.
Tammy Jakl is an interpretive ranger with the Bureau of Land Management. She is what many would call an expert in backyard exploration. Here she is under her Manzanita bush in her backyard. She says hummingbirds love to visit the flowers on this bush.

Locally, staying at home has become the norm. But this forced constriction has brought to life the idea of flourishing within the boundaries of a smaller world. And one of the ways to do that is through backyard exploration -- going on an adventure in a familiar place. 

Tammy Jakl is an interpretive ranger with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) right here on the Monterey Peninsula. Ranger Tammy, as she’s known to many, says people often think there’s nothing exciting to see in their backyard or on a walk in the neighborhood, but that if you look and listen quietly you’ll find there’s plenty of nature no matter where you go.

KAZU News joined her on one of her backyard explorations.
Ranger Tammy has created dozens of video lessons about exploring the Central Coast. The BLM says they can be included in any nature curriculum. Check out her YouTube playlist here, which includes a visit to Fort Ord National Monument, learning about fire ecology and meeting Ranger Tammy’s snake Kolbie.

From 2019 to 2021 Michelle Loxton worked at KAZU as an All Things Considered host and reporter. During that time she reported on a variety of topics from the coronavirus pandemic, the opioid epidemic and local elections. Loxton was part of the news team that won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for the continued coverage of the four major wildfires that engulfed California’s Central Coast in 2020.