🎅 This acorn woodpecker might look like it's wearing a Santa hat, but those feathers are au naturel.
🪶 However, storing gifts for winter is a talent of this brilliant bird and key to its survival.
🌰 Each fall, acorn woodpeckers gather as many as 100 acorns per day, sometimes traveling up to 14 miles, to stash in trees. Woodpeckers use their long, pointed beaks to make holes in the tree, perfectly sized to store each acorn. Each hole takes at least 20 minutes to complete, but is time well spent to protect food that could be taken by other animals.
🐜 In the warmer months, woodpeckers eat insects, fruit, sap, flower nectar and even lizards to keep them well-fed until the colder holidays arrive.
🌳 Next time you're out at a park, keep an eye out for these tree-mendous birds!
❄️ It's almost time for snow much fun at the 36th annual Candlelight Walk at Heritage Hill Historical Park!
🕯️ Enjoy a visit with Santa Claus, live musical performances, holiday crafts and an evening stroll through the be-yule-tifully decorated historic grounds during special park hours.
📝 If you're making your list and checking it twice, be sure to include a visit to this free, family-friendly event December 9, 10 and 11 from 5 to 9 p.m.
🎄 Visit https://ocparks.com/events/candlelight-walk-3 for more information.
⛅ We're soaking up every bit of this from Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.
📸 Enjoy the view from Dreaded Hill Road with opportunities to see native plants and stunning vistas!
🌳 It’s a great day to and enjoy OC Parks’ hiking trails with your loved ones.
🥾 Here are about essential items to have on hand while exploring the great outdoors.
🍂 We're thankful for all the beautiful spaces to explore and enjoy at OC Parks and grateful for our staff working through the holiday!
👟 OC Parks are a perfect place to visit for an impromptu Turkey trot.
🦃 Happy Thanksgiving!
🌅 It doesn't get much better than a SoCal sunset.
⛅ Enjoy this sun-sational view from Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point!
🥾 It's and there's no better way to celebrate than stepping outside for your next adventure!
🏞️ OC Parks offers hundreds of miles of beautiful, scenic trails with something for everyone to enjoy.
🌲 Looking to explore? Here are three suggested hikes at Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park, ranging from easy walks to strenuous treks.
Some may find this photo im-possum-bly adorable. Others just see some mangy marsupials. Either way, opossums actually play an important role in our ecosystem.
🪲 Opossums, like the ones pictured here at Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, eat more ticks than any other animal, which helps prevent the spread of Lyme disease. They may also try and paw through your unsecured garbage if given the chance.
🦘 Opossums are the only marsupial in North America and raise their young in a pouch, like kangaroos and koalas. Baby opossums, also known as joeys, are born as small as a honeybee and will stay in their mom's pouch for about 2 months and then will spend another two months riding on her back before they are ready to head off on their own.
🦉 These nocturnal neighbors are also great im-poss-ters. "Playing possum," or pretending to be dead, is an involuntary reaction to fear and helps protect them from predators.
🐍 Opossums are also largely immune to snake venom and rabies.
Alerts | OC Parks
*11/17 UPDATE: All affected parks and the zoo have opened.*
As of Wednesday morning 11/16: Irvine, Peters Canyon, Santiago Oaks and Yorba regional parks and the OC Zoo are closed due to hazardous wind conditions. Check current closures here:
Alerts | OC Parks
Making Orange County a safe, healthy, and fulfilling place to live, work, and play, today and for generations to come, by providing outstanding, cost-effective regional public services.
🌦️ It's so here's a showery shot from Irvine Ranch Historic Park that won't cloud your day!
🍊 The 16.5-acre park, which once served as the agricultural headquarters of the historic Irvine Ranch, was one of the world's greatest Valencia orange producers and a leader in dry farming.
🏡 The early office, pictured here, is among 24 original ranch structures at the park dating back to the 1800s.
⚠️ Today's rainy weather is causing wet and muddy conditions at many of our parks and trails are closed throughout OC Parks.
🚧 Please visit https://www.ocparks.com/parks/alerts for an updated list of trail closures.
📸 Something is looking a little different at Irvine Regional Park!
🎉 The historic arch recently received a facelift to commemorate the park’s 125th anniversary.
🪧 First unveiled at the 125th Anniversary Celebration on October 1, 2022, the updated pieces were recently installed on the archway. Fun fact – the historic arch is actually a replica of the original arch at the park entrance back in 1898.
🎉 Happy Quasquicentennial, Irvine Regional Park!
⏰ "Hey Siri, remind me to set the clocks back."
🕰️ Daylight saving time comes to an end tomorrow and many OC Parks will close earlier for the fall-winter season.
🕕 As a friendly reminder, most of our regional parks will be open from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. during our fall-winter hours. Wilderness parks close at sunset year-round.
ℹ️ Please visit https://www.ocparks.com/news/fall-winter-park-hours-begin-nov-6 for detailed park hours.
🦊 We tried to think outside the fox with this post, but to tail you the truth, this critter is quite cunning!
📷 Spotted on an OC Parks trail camera, the timing was fur-tuitous to catch this gray fox wandering Irvine Regional Park.
🦊 Gray foxes, sometimes know as a "tree fox" or "cat fox," are common but sly. They're sneaky to spot in the wild and tend to avoid urban areas.
🌳 Unlike other animals in the canid family, these foxes are very tail-ented at climbing trees and use them as a place to den, hunt or hide from predators.
🐛 They'll eat almost any kind of fruit, meat, vegetable or insect and are primarily nocturnal, but may look fur food during the day.
🎃 Even the animals at the OC Zoo are carving out some time to celebrate !
💀 We hope your day is frighteningly fun!
🔮 There are no bad omens in this post of Ziggy, a fanged feline at the OC Zoo.
🐈 Sporting his black base-coat speckled with black spots, this killer kitty is known as a black-on-black, or melanistic, jaguar.
🐾 Jaguars are the largest cats in the Americas and have the most powerful jaws of all the big cats. That's purrty scary!
🐱 Looking for something claw-some to do this weekend? Visit Ziggy, along with four other large cats, at the OC Zoo in Irvine Regional Park.
🐾 Happy Meowloween!
🎃 If you like spooky stories, here's a to get in the Halloween spirit.
🪦 Legend has it, every other summer, a woman wearing pink appears at Yorba Cemetery to pay her deceased family members a visit. Her name is Alvina de los Reyes and she died in December, 1910 after falling out of a carriage on the way home from a school dance.
⚰️ According to the story, she visits sometime after midnight on the same summer night of every even-numbered year. In years past, people have gathered by the hundreds into the early morning hours waiting for the "pink lady" to appear.
📖 Here's a plot twist: this ghost story isn't true. While it might sound believable to some, the story was made up by a local librarian many years ago to tell kids on Halloween. Historic records show Alvina died in December, 1910, but from childbirth instead.
🪦 To hear this story and other terrifying tales, join OC Parks for a tour of the Historic Yorba Cemetery on the first Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. It's a scary fun experience worth doing at least once!
UPDATE: 11:45 a.m., the park has reopened.
Santiago Oaks Regional Park is temporarily closed for police activity.
🎃 Trick-or-treating is coming soon but this Rustic Sphinx Moth recently spotted at Irvine Ranch Historic Park wears its costume all the time.
🌳 This large, nocturnal flier uses its cryptic coloring to camouflage on tree bark and avoid hungry predators.
🍬 It's not candy they're after - these moths prefer nectar from a wide variety of flowers and are important .
💀🕯️🕸️What spooky images appear when you examine this boo-tiful insect?
🍂 Thank you to everyone who joined us for an un-be-leafably fun experience at the second annual Fall-O-Ween event at Heritage Hill Historical Park!
We hope those who attended had as gourd of a time as we did! 🎃
🎤 FREE CONCERT!
🎶 🇺🇸 Join us Friday, November 11 for a free Veterans Day concert at Irvine Regional Park from 12-5 p.m.
🎸 This family-friendly event features live performances from Angel Force Band and The Side Deal, a kids bounce house, obstacle course and food trucks! A beer and wine garden will also be available for adults 21 and over.
🎵 Admission and parking are free. Please visit ocparks.com/events/veterans-day-concert-irvine-regional-park for more information.
🎃 Orange you excited for Halloween?
🦇 In the spirit of the spooky season, today's is an eerie-sistible sunrise over
☁️ Misty mornings can be expected over the marsh this time of year because low-lying fog forms when warm air meets cool water, giving the bay 🟠⚫
🦎 It's and a fitting time to highlight cold-blooded creatures of the past and present in our parks.
🐢 Did you know reptiles in Orange County have changed drastically over the last 40 million years?
🐊 Around that time, Orange County was mostly tropical lowlands and home to fleet-footed crocodiles that hunted on land instead of water. In the photo below, you can see the skull of a modern Nile Crocodile next to the braincase, armor plate and teeth of an extinct crocodile found in Rancho Mission Viejo.
🦎 The jumble of bones photographed under a microscope is actually the skull of Parasaurolamus, a member of the iguana family from about 40 million years ago and found during construction of the Eastern Transportation Corridor. Lizards have small, delicate bones and don’t tend to be preserved in the fossil record. It's why there are only 16 Parasaurolamus fossils known in existence, meaning there are more fossils of Tyrannosaurus rex than of this incredibly rare lizard.
🐍 Today, reptiles like the red diamond rattlesnake are present in many of our parks and play a key role in our ecosystem. 🐀 They're important for pest control by eating rodents and other small mammals, which can help protect crops and slow the spread of insect-borne illnesses like Lyme disease.
🐍 Known to shake, rattle and roll, the rattles on their tails are made from keratin, just like human hair and nails, and serve as a warning when you're too close. Many species of non-venomous snakes that share a home with rattlesnakes mimic the rattling sound by vibrating their tails in the dirt to deter predators afraid of a venomous bite!
In March 1947, the yacht of local financier Walter Overell and his wife Beulah exploded in Newport Harbor with both aboard. Their autopsies alleged signs of physical trauma occurred before the explosion of a makeshift clock bomb. Suspicion quickly fell upon the Overells’ daughter, Beulah Louise Overell, who would inherit her parents’ fortune, and her fiancé George “Bud” Gollum.
⚖️The ensuing murder trial was the most infamous to occur in the Old Orange County Courthouse. Media had full access to the Department 2 Courtroom during the trial. Salacious love letters written by the couple while in County jail were confiscated and released to the press, inciting the public with a gossipy thrill. After 19 lengthy weeks, newspaper and radio reporters from across the nation flocked to the Courthouse to hear the final verdict: “Not guilty!” A public frenzy ensued as the couple walked free.
🧛 We had a scary good time at the opening weekend of Fall-O-Ween at Heritage Hill Historical Park!
🏚️ This spook-tacular free event continues October 21-23 from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
👻 Don't forget your costumes and cameras to strike a pose at the eerie-sistable fall and Halloween-theme photo ops.
🐕 Pets are welcome at this family-friendly event, as long as they remain on a leash no longer than six feet.
🕷️ Our spidey senses are tingling!
🕸️ During the fall months, tarantulas like this one at Santiago Oaks Regional Park, are crawling about looking for a fanged fling!
🕷️ There are roughly 900 species of tarantula, ranging from the size of your fingernail to a dinner plate!
🕸️ All tarantulas are venomous, but encounters with them usually don't turn hairy if you leave them alone.
🚨 Remember, never touch wildlife - that leads to a whole web of problems.
🧙♀️ 🧹 "Come, we fly!"
✨ Grab your broomstick and fly over to Carbon Canyon Regional Park Friday, October 21 for a magical showing of Hocus Pocus (PG, 1993).
🔮 Enjoy a wicked fun night under the stars watching the cult classic Halloween film at this free, family-friendly event.
🌙🍿 The event opens at 5:30 p.m. and the movie will start around 7 p.m. Parking and popcorn are free, while supplies last.
🎥 Please visit https://www.ocparks.com/events/movie-park-featuring-hocus-pocus for more information.
🎊 OC Parks is excited to announce some EPIC news!
🏆 The California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) recently recognized OC Parks’ virtual content with the 2022 EPIC Award for a Social Media Campaign. OC Parks creatively reinvented in-person programs online during the pandemic with engaging and dynamic digital content that allowed the public to interact with us for educational programming, a virtual concert series and holiday-themed campaigns amid pandemic restrictions.
🏅 OC Parks' Drive-In Movie Series also earned the 2022 Award of Distinction for Special or Community Event, Recurring. While many events were cancelled during the pandemic, this series allowed families to safely enjoy 19 movie screenings throughout OC Parks, featuring strategic parking plans, touchless transactions and free branded giveaways.
👏 Thank you to everyone who contributed to these special honors!
🟠 This sunset time-lapse captured during a rainy summer night at Irvine Regional Park is giving us some serious Halloween vibes! ⚫
🧙♀️ Don't forget to witch upon a star once it gets dark enough. 🌠
👏 OC Parks volunteers are a key part of park operations and help provide valuable services for our facilities, staff and visitors each year. They're critical in supporting OC Parks' core values of community, commitment to excellence, service and stewardship.
🎈 On Friday, September 16, we hosted our eighth annual OC Parks Volunteer Celebration at Irvine Ranch Historic Park to honor their continued dedication and recognize their years of service. The event also featured live music and a tour of the historic park.
🏆 Congratulations to 18 volunteers honored with the Excellence in Volunteerism Award: Joshua Pierce, Della Rose, Lesley Larragoitiy, Janet Lang, Darlene McCampbell, Len Cavers, Nancy Marosi, Vickie Clepper, Kate Clark, Warren Haines, Luanne van Hunnik, Kerri Barry, Bob Barry, Jane Welgan, Mark Bowler, Bill Frey, CJ Stumpf-Barton and Roxanne Bradley.
ℹ️ For more information on becoming an OC Parks volunteer, please visit ocparks.com/about-us/volunteer
🎈 Irvine Regional Park's 125th anniversary celebration was filled with fun for the whole family!
🎶 🎉 Thank you to everyone who joined OC Parks in celebrating California’s first regional park. From antique cars to live musical performances, the momentous day featured classic and modern-day activities highlighting the historical and cultural significance of the park.
Helena Modjeska: US Theatrical Tours
🎭 Famous Shakespearean actress Helena Modjeska was born in Poland on October 12, 1840. She spoke several languages, designed and made her own costumes and was an incredibly dedicated performer.
🗺️ If you've visited her home in Orange County, you may have noticed the large map showing where she toured across the United States.
🎁 In honor of her birthday and prolific career, OC Parks is sharing a new digital, interactive version of the map of Modjeska’s tours across North America from 1877 to 1907.
🎼 After immigrating to California, she had 26 tours over the course of 30 years. Can you guess how many North American cities she performed in?
📍 Due to the large volume of tour stops, the maps have been broken into separate pages. As you explore, you may need to click the red button at the bottom to continue to more maps.
🚪 The grounds at Arden: Helena Modjeska Historic House and Gardens are open for visitors Wednesday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information on touring the inside of the home, please visit ocparks.com.
Helena Modjeska: US Theatrical Tours
From 1877-1907, Polish actress Helena Modjeska toured the United States and Canada. This project maps her historic career.
🎃🍁 Looking for some fall fun this month? Join OC Parks at the second annual Fall-O-Ween event at Heritage Hill Historical Park!
💀🕸️ Have a skele-ton of fun at this free, family-friendly event October 14-16 and 21-23 from 4:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tour the decorated historical grounds during special park hours and enjoy spook-tacular activities including fall and Halloween-themed photo opportunities, a straw maze and scavenger hunt for ghoulish goodies.
🧛🏻♂️ 🕯️ Don't forget to wear your costume! Furry friends are welcome too, as long as they remain on a leash no longer than 6 feet. We hope to see you there!
🥳 to an action-packed weekend celebrating Irvine Regional Park's 125th birthday!
🎈 The event, held Saturday, October 1, featured live musical performances, classic cars, crafts, interpretive programs, giveaways and much more!
👻 It’s always a ghoulishly good time at Fall-O-Ween at Heritage Hill Historical Park!
🧛 Join OC Parks on October 14-16 and 21-23 from 4:30 – 8:30 p.m. to tour the decorated historical grounds during special park hours. Take some fa-boo-lous fall and Halloween-themed photos, find your way through the straw maze and complete the scavenger hunt to earn some fang-tastic giveaways at this free, family-friendly event.
🧙♀️ Costumes are encouraged and pets on leashes no longer than 6 feet are welcome! Visit https://www.ocparks.com/events/fall-o-ween-0 for more information about the freakishly fun festivities!
👀 Looking for something fun to do?
🚪 Visit Heritage Hill Historical Park and learn more about Orange County's rich cultural history!
⛪️ Explore the fully restored buildings dating back to the 1860 on a free guided tour and enjoy programs that bring the past to life.
ℹ️ Heritage Hill Historical Park is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with walk-in tours of the buildings available Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11 a.m. for groups of seven or less. For more information visit https://www.ocparks.com/historic-sites/heritage-hill-historical-park