Jeannette Santiago (left) shows (from left) Jannellys Santiago (right of Jeannette), Betsey Sullivan, Joseph Sullivan, and Marguerite Dyke different kinds of wild animal scat (rubber) to help them identify animals that might also share the local trails.  Photo by Barbara Reese
Now that the successful Lemon Lily Festival is over, the Nature Center will resume the Junior Naturalist Program from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 4. Bonnie Parlee, volunteer, will lead the program, “Hands on Nature.”

“The children will meet a real deer and explore the forest floor during a nature hike. We will round out the morning with a puppet show and snacks,” Parlee said.

“Butterfly Daze” returns from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 11. This annual event brings the ever popular butterfly pavilion, where visitors can enter and observe the butterflies.

On Saturday morning, Jeannette Santiago teaches (from left) Betsey Sullivan, Joseph Sullivan and Marguerite Dyke to identify animal tracks at the Jr. Naturalists Tracks & Traces event at the Nature Center. The kids were given cards showing different animals’ prints and a ruler to measure the prints. Photo by Barbara Reese

Butterfly experts will be available to explain the life cycle of a butterfly and answer questions. The butterflies will take flight at 4 p.m. There will be free butterfly crafts for the children as there’s no Junior Naturalist Program that day.


Original artworks by local artists will be for sale, as well as butterfly T-shirts, hats, books and jewelry.

The Junior Naturalist Program resumes on Aug. 18, with a special presentation called, “Science Play.” On Aug. 25, bird expert, Sherry Domenigoni, will lead “Bird Watching.” The anatomy of a bird, wing and flight patterns and how to identify and classify birds will be covered. Parents are invited to participate too.

The Nature Center is located at 25225 Highway 243, one half mile north of Idyllwild. Call (951) 659-3850.