Oregon Wildflowers has a report for the Ochoco Mountains (Big Summit Prairie)
One of the best wildflower areas in Central Oregon. Many past peak and near peak species. Numerous Paintbrush (castlleja) and Owl Clover (orthocarpus barbatus), Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Wyethia Helianthoides, Penstemon, Buckwheat (eriogonum nudum), Larkspur, Bistort, Old Man’s Beard (geum triflorum), Blue Camas, Death Camus, Stonecrop, Blue Bells, Grass Widow (sisyrinchium), Wild Flag Iris, Frasera Abicaulis, Shooting Star, Prairie Star, Large Flowered Brodiaea (triteleia grandiflora), and much more. New to us this visit: Marsh Yellowcress (rorippa palustris), Modoc Hawksbeard (crepis modocensis)
European Union Press Release
State of Nature: Largest ever assessment draws a mixed picture for Europe’s habitats and species
Brussels, 20 May 2015
The Commission has adopted a new report providing the most comprehensive picture yet on the ‘State of Nature in the EU’. The findings show that the majority of birds have a secure status, and some species and habitats are doing better. Targeted conservation actions have brought successes, but a much greater effort is required for the situation to improve significantly.
Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “This report is significant and timely. While it shows a mixed picture overall, it clearly demonstrates that efforts to improve vulnerable ecosystems can be highly effective. It also underlines the scale of the challenges that remain. We have to rise to those challenges, as the health of our nature is linked to the health of Europe’s people, and to our economy.”
The L.A. Times reported
A clean-up operation was beginning Wednesday after a ruptured pipeline near Santa Barbara leaked an estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil Tuesday.
Officials were still trying to assess the environmental damage of the spill, which sent oil onto beaches.
“It is horrible,” said Brett Connors, 35, a producer from Santa Monica who said he spotted sea lions swimming in the oil slick. “You want to jump in there and save them.”
Read the full story at LA Times – Officials assess damage from large Santa Barbara oil spill.
KCET’s Socal Wander Blog has a recent post listing 9 of San Diego County’s Best Coastal Hikes. They listed
- Border Field State Park
- Sunset Cliffs
- Pacific Beach to Mission Beach
- La Jolla Cove
- Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and State Beach
- Torrey Pines to La Jolla Shores
- South Carlsbad to San Elijo
- San Elijo Lagoon
- San Clemente Beach to San Onofre
See hike descriptions and details at 9 of San Diego County’s Best Coastal Hikes | Hiking | SoCal Wanderer | KCET.
Oregon Wildflowers Reports
Our group of 4 hiked up to Angels Rest and across to Wahkeena Falls. We counted some 85 flowers. The larkspur was still lovely and so impressive. Vanilla leaf, starry solomon seal, Oregon flags, western white anemone,Oregon anemone, bunchberry, false lily of the valley,etc. Go this week to enjoy the huge area of larkspur.
This Wednesday, May 20 the PBS show Nature is showing “The Sagebrush Sea”, a documentary shot, edited, and produced by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s multimedia team. The film focuses on wildlife and conservation in the threatened sagebrush region that covers 250,000 square miles of North America. Watch the trailer at Sagebrush Sea Trailer. Check your local PBS station for broadcast time. Learn more at The Sagebrush Sea.
The Guardian reports
One in three European birds is endangered, according to a leaked version of the most comprehensive study of Europe’s wildlife and natural habitats ever produced.
The EU State of Nature report, seen by the Guardian, paints a picture of dramatic decline among once common avian species such as the skylark and turtle dove mainly as a result of agricultural pressures, and also warns that ecosystems are struggling to cope with the impact of human activity.
Yesterday I spent 5:20 AM – 10:00 AM at Muir Woods National Monument to listen to the “Dawn Chorus” as part of the Master Birding Class. We started before sunrise. It was shady and cool in 40’s most of morning. We walked both in and near Muir Woods.
I mostly heard but also saw 33 species. Several group members observed a chipmunk raiding a Pacific Wren nest and take five young and the adult wrens’ response. We had a good look at a Pileated Woodpecker at the top of a Snag. We also heard a Spotted Owl when first started.
There were a fair number of plants in bloom with most prolific being Cow Parsnip, Blue Elderberry, Red Clintonia and Star Flower.
See complete bird and plant lists by clicking read more
The San Francisco Bay Osprey Days will take place at the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve. It includes guided hikes, presenters, boat trips, fish tacos, art and photography show. Look for details in late May. For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoBayOspreyDays
The Saguaro Cactus are in bloom in some areas
Desert Botanical Garden: We’ve been snapping photos throughout the week of blooms along the trails. Everything from the saguaros to echinopsis have flowers!
The Thirteenth Annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua is June 20 to 22. It includes an extensive schedule of field trips, workshops and presentations. Registration begins on Sunday, April 15. Register early as events can fill quickly. See schedule at http://www.birdchautauqua.org/sched_041015.pdf
For more information go to: 2015 Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua.
Pacific Northwest Wildflowers has a detailed wildflower and plant list for Grass Knoll TRail #146 in Gifford Pinchot National Park.
Oregon Wildflowers reports for Angel’s Rest, OR
hiked up the Angels Rest trail and over toward Wahkeena, about 4 mile one way. The larkspur were fabulous. There were carpets of vanilla leaf and false lily of the valley. The flags were lovely also. We counted 65 flowers. Go and enjoy the wonderful textures and colors.
- Oregon Wildflowers 5/4/15- updated (naturalhistorywanderings.com)
Theodore Payne Foundation has a new flower report for numerous southern California locations today at Wild Flower Hotline | Theodore Payne Foundation including
- Kings Canyon Sequoia National Park
- Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
- Placerita Canyon Nature Center
- Environmental Natura Center
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Palms to Pines Highway in the San Jacinto Mountains
- Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
May 15 is the 10th National Endangered Species Day
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recognizes the 10th National Endangered Species Day with a focused environmental concern. The purpose of the Endangered Species Act is to conserve imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend to prevent extinction.
Wildflower Viewing – Joshua Tree National Park (U.S. National Park Service) has just posted its final report for this 2015 at http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/upload/2015-05-15-Wildflower-Report.pdf
Lake Tahoe Bird Festival is Saturday June 12, 2015 10am to 3:30pm
We are partnering with the Forest Service again for this fun and informative family event. Learn about bird research happening in the area, go on a bird walk with a local bird expert, and see live birds of prey for the whole event as our falconers will be there all day!
The event includes guided bird walks along the Rainbow Trail every hour from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., a bird art contest for all ages, information on migratory birds and spotting scope use, and a presentation by Master Falconer Marie Gaspari Crawford that includes live birds of prey.
All of the festival activities, except for the off-site bird walks to other birding locations, are located at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center in South Lake Tahoe. Participating agencies include the US Forest Service, Falconer Marie Gaspari-Crawford and California Department of Fish & Wildlife. The Taylor Creek Visitor Center, located three miles north of South Lake Tahoe on Highway 89.
Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups. has a report for Highway 120 to the Rim Fire area. A loop via Cherry Lake Road, Mather Road to Hetch Hetchy, and Evergreen Road back to 120.
Highlights:–Whole hillside of Ehrendorferia chrysantha (Golden Eardrops) along Cherry Lake Road, on the open slopes a few miles north of 120. These need fire to germinate and are uncommon except after fires.–Short hike along the Preston Falls Trail off Cherry Lake Road; most stuff past its prime at this elevation, but good variety–Lots of Lupinus stiversii (Harlequin Lupine) along the road–Big field of Lupinus bicolor (Miniature Lupine) at Ackerson Meadow–Short hike along the Carlon Falls Trail; lots of Darmera peltata (Indian Rhubarb) in the creek, which were new to me and look kind of spooky (especially if one has recently seen Day of the Triffids)
Press Release Center for Biological Diversity
Obama Administration Gives Shell Green Light to Drill in Arctic
ANCHORAGE, Alaska— The Department of the Interior announced today that it has approved Shell’s plan for exploratory oil drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea this summer. The Center for Biological Diversity’s Alaska Director Rebecca Noblin issued this statement in response:
“It’s deeply troubling to see the Obama administration give the oil industry the green light to drill in the Arctic. Not only does it put the Arctic’s pristine landscapes at a huge risk for oil spills and industrial development but it’s utterly incompatible with President Obama’s rhetoric to address the climate crisis.
Yosemite National Park Press Release
Rain and Snow predicted this evening through tomorrow
The Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park will temporarily close at 8:00 P.M. tonight, May 13, 2015. This is due to a significant storm predicted for the area that will potentially produce several inches of new snow at higher elevations.
Both roads will remain temporarily closed until conditions permit safe travel. There is no estimated time for the roads to reopen.
The Plumas County Bloom Blog reports on wildflower bloom in the Quincy area over the past few days.
Butterfly Valley – Dogwood, Pitcher Plant and Hartweg’s Iris.
Blackhawk Road – Violets and Spotted Coral RootMount Hough Road – Showy Phlox and Lupine among clover.
Chandler Road – Red Clover.
See photos at Bloom Blog.
Gary Regner Photography reports
Wildflowers have continued to improve with all the rain, and I expect the show to continue for about a month.
Check out his wildflower photos for this year at the New Work Gallery.
Marin CNPS reportedon a CNPS field trip on California native coastal prairie and dune willdflowers at Abbotts Lagoon along the public trail to the Lagoons, dunes, and up on the bluff.
Some of the species in flower that were seen were Lupinus polyphyllus var. polyphyllus (giant marsh lupine), Claytonia sibirica (candy flower), Ranunculus orthorhynchus var. platyphyllus (large marsh buttercup), Lathyrus littoralis (beach pea), Layia carnosa (beach layia), and one new plant for the list, Acmispon strigosus (an annual lotus).
see photos at 2015 May 10 Field Trip to Abbotts Lagoon – CNPS Marin.
The National Parks published an Annual Park Ranking Report for Recreation Visitors in 2014. It includes how many visitors were are at each national park, national monument, national historic park, national recreation area, national parkway, and national memorial. The most visited property is the Golden Gate National Recreation at 15,004,420. To see the total visitors at each site go to Stats Report Viewer.
Updated with more detailed plant list
Yesterday it took us over three hours to do the .7 of mile Mary Bowerman Trail near the top of Mt. Diablo. It had many flowers in bloom and was most inviting for photography (except for the wind in sections). A friend had recently found three species of Calochortus and also Lewisia in bloom a few days earlier. We didn’t find the Lewisia and saw only two Calochortus species but had a good time all the same. Highlights were the Mt. Diablo Fairy Lantern, Mariposa Tulips, Common Broom-rape, Whispering Bells, Red Larkspur, Wind Poppy and Chinese Houses.
I was mainly focused on photographing and looking at the flowers but did see and hear a few birds. The best sighting was a Hermit Warbler, which I had also seen two days earlier with the birding class in Mitchell Canyon.
To see full plant and bird list click read more
Wildflower Viewing – Joshua Tree National Park (U.S. National Park Service) has just posted a new report dated May 8 week at http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/upload/2015-05-08-Wildflower-Report.pdf
The BBC reports that
The El Nino effect, which can drive droughts and flooding, is under way in the tropical Pacific, say scientists.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology predicted that it could become a “substantial” event later in the year.
Read story at ‘Substantial’ El Nino event predicted – BBC News
Lassen Volcanic National Park announced
Snow! A late winter storm has come through and the Lassen National Park Highway – the main road that connects Hwy 89 through the park – is temporarily closed until further notice. Even though the road is closed the park and Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center remain open.
The Plumas County Bloom Blog reports that in American Valley.
The Mountain Lady Slippers have just started to bloom at my favorite site on the Oakland Camp Road just a couple hundred yards past the bridge over Spanish Creek. Also in bloom are Orchard Morning Glory, Interior Wild Rose, Mule’s Ear, Checker Bloom and Ox-eye Daisy.
See photos and older Posts at Bloom Blog.
Oregon Wildflowers reports
Mary’s Peak 5/10/15
As with other locations this spring, Marys Peak is at least a week ahead of schedule.
Blooming in the forest along the East Ridge Trail: Endless carpets of Redwood Sorrel (Oxalis oregana) as well as Wood Violet (Viola glabella), Evergreen Violet(Viola sempervirens), Smith’s Fairybell (Disporum smithii), Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa), Dwarf Oregon-Grape (Mahonia nervosa), Candyflower (Claytonia sibirica), and Oaks Toothwort (Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii). Vanilla Leaf (Achlys triphylla) just starting. Some Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum) blooming at higher elevations (past peak closer to Connor’s Camp TH). Occasional red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum).
Blooming in the first meadows: not much yet beyond Roundleaf violet (Viola orbiculata), Early Blue violet (Viola adunca), and lots of Merten’s Sedge (Carex mertensii).
Blooming in the meadows along the gravel road to the summit: Spring Gold (Lomatium utriculatum), Cliff Larkspur (Delphinium menziesii), Harsh Paintbrush(Castilleja hispida), Small-Flowered Blue-Eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora), Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), and Catchfly (Silene douglasii). In addition to those, as you round the corner and approach the rock garden you will also see lots of Spreading Phlox (Phlox diffusa) and Western Buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis var.occidentalis). I saw a few Arrow-Leaf Groundsel (Senecio triangularis) just starting, and a couple of Rough Wallflower (Erysium asperum) in bloom. There were still a few Glacier Lily (Erythronium grandiflorum) near the road/trail junction, but those will probably be gone very soon. There are considerable lupine leaves in the meadows, but it is still too early for blooms. No tiger lilies yet