Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 1, 2015

Turkey Vultures Poisoned By Veterinary Drug

California Department of Fish & Wildlife News Release

Euthanasia Drugs Reach the Wrong Animals

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has confirmed that several turkey vultures have been poisoned from the veterinary euthanasia drug pentobarbital in Marin County.

Six turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) were brought to the WildCare Wildlife Hospital in San Rafael between July and October 2014. All the birds were comatose and barely breathing, presenting a medical mystery to the wildlife hospital staff.

With immediate and intensive medical intervention all of the birds recovered, and digestive samples were sent to a laboratory to determine what made them sick. CDFW confirmed pentobarbital exposure in all birds tested, but the source of the exposure remains unknown.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 28, 2015

Anza- Borrego Wildflower Report 2/28/15

Driving into the park today along highway S-22 the dominant plant in bloom is Brittlebush. Also found in flower were Ocotillo, 2 species of Phacelia, Desert Tobacco, a species of Salvia, Desert Dandelion, Desert Globe Mallow, Poppies, Arizona Lupine, and Popcorn.

At the visitor center blooms included Cresote, Brittlebush, Beavertail Cactus, Barrel Cactus, Fremont’s Pincushion, Desert Dandelion, and others. There was some bird activity and I was able to identify White-winged Dove, Gambel’s Quail, and Cactus Wren. The Hummingbirds and a couple of other small birds were to quick to get a good look.

At the visitor center they reported that the Spinx Moth caterpillars have decimated several wildflower areas Coyote Canyon. Areas that they reported as having good flowers at present included Henderson Canyon Road, Hellhole Canyon and Borrego Palm Canyon.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 28, 2015

Joshua Tree Wildflower Update 2/27/15

Joshua Tree National Park has posted a new Wildflower Report for Feb. 27, 2015 at Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers 2/27/15

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 28, 2015

Anza- Borrego Wildflower Update 2/27/15

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has the following Wildflower Update for February 27, 2015

Unseasonably warm temperatures earlier in the month brought annual
wildflowers into bloom fairly quickly.

For the first time in several years, desert sunflower and dune primrose are
blooming along Henderson Canyon Road, though plants are small and less
showy than in peak years. Predicted winds this weekend can have a
severe drying effect, so the plants may not last much longer. An occasional
desert lily rewards the sharp-eyed flower seeker.

Annual flowers including purple phacelia and yellow desert dandelion are
blooming at the Visitor Center and in Borrego Palm Canyon; shrubs such
as brittlebush, chuparosa, and desert lavender are making a beautiful
showing as well, especially in western canyons.

Creamy brown-eyed evening primrose and pink sand verbena can be found
in the fields along DiGiorgio Road and alongside many of the roads
throughout the Borrego Valley.

Caterpillars of the white-lined sphinx moth have devoured most of the
blossoms at the north end of DiGiorgio Road.

Daytime temperatures are warm, but mornings are delightful for hiking,
exploring, and wildflower-seeking!

For updates, join Anza-Borrego Foundation’s email list at www.theabf.org
or call the State Park Wildflower Hotline, 760-767-4684.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 28, 2015

Henry Coe Wildflower Wildflower Update 2/28/15

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom update for 2/28/15 at the Pine Ridge Association website. To see what is in bloom including photos of flowers in bloom go to: Henry W. Coe – Wildflower Guide.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 28, 2015

CNPS Field Trips March 2015

California Native Plant Society Chapter March 2015  Field Trips:

Bristlecone (Mono, Inyo and NE Kern counties) http://bristleconecnps.org/index.php

  • March 7, Saturday, 9am, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Wildflowers of Short Canyon, with CNPS and Friends of the Inyo
  • March 21-22, Saturday-Sunday, overnight, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip:  Chicago Valley SEDA/DFA, Conglomerate Mesa,

East Bay CNPS http://www.ebcnps.org/

Marin CNPS http://www.marin.edu/cnps/

  • March 6, Chimney Rock, Pt. Reyes 10 to 3pm

Milo Baker (Sonoma county) http://milobaker.cnps.org/index.php/events/field-trips

  • March 8, 2015 (Sunday) 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Salmon Creek Road, Town of Bodega,
  • March 19, 2015 – Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Annadel State Park, Cobblestone Trailhead, Channel Dr., Santa Rosa
  • March 26, 2015 – Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Carpool Hwy 12 Park & Ride at 10:15 a.m.) Modini – Mayacamas Preserve Native Plant Demonstration Garden, 226A Center Street, Healdsburg
  • March 28, 2015 – Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve, Pruitt Creek watershed

Napa Valley http://www.napavalleycnps.org/

  • Saturday, March 7 Rockville Hills Park. in Fairfield
  • Saturday, March 14 Fritillary Trip: Knoxville, Aetna Springs and Snell Valley. Land Trust of Napa County Missimer Wildflower Preserve
  • Saturday, March 21 Bothe Napa Valley State Park.
  • Saturday, March 28 East Napa Hills private property.

North Coast http://northcoastcnps.org

  • Mar 14¸Sat. Flint Ridge Trail Day Hike

Santa Clara Valley http://www.cnps-scv.org/

  • Sunday, March 1, 9am – 1pm Pulgas Ridge Open Space (San Carlos)
  • Thursday, March 5, 10am – 3:30pm  Maguire Peaks Loop, Sunol Regional Park
  • Sunday, March 8, 9am – 1pm  Stile Ranch, San Jose
  • Sunday, March 15, 10am – 3:30pm San Bruno Mountain (Brisbane)
  • Saturday, March 21, 10:30am – 2pm Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley Hills
  • Monday, March 23 – Saturday, March 28 Mojave Desert Car Camp

Santa Cruz http://www.cruzcnps.org/field_trips.php

Yerba Buena (San Francisco/Northern San Mateo) http://www.cnps-yerbabuena.org/

Check chapter websites for more information and late listings.

If you are interested in information on other chapters go to: http://www.cnps.org/cnps/chapters/

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 27, 2015

March 2015 Birding Field Trips

Golden Gate Audubon Field Trips

for more information on the trips below go to Upcoming Field Trips | Golden Gate Audubon Society.

  • San Francisco Botanical Garden Sunday, March 1, 8 – 10:30 a.m. (First Sunday bird walk)
  • Tilden Park, Berkeley March 6, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. (First Friday Bird walk)
  • Seal Rocks and Sutro Park Saturday, March 7, 9:00 a.m. to about 12 noon
  • Tilden Regional Park Botanic Garden, Berkeley March 13, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.(Second Friday Bird walk)
  • Chain of Lakes, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Saturday, March 14, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont Sunday, March 15, 9:00 a.m. – Noon
  • Fort Mason Community Garden, San FranciscoSunday, March 15, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. (Third Sunday bird walk)
  • Sausal Creek and Dimond Recreation Center Playground  Wednesday, March 18, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.  (Third Wednesday Bird Walk)  
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline—Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland Thursday, March 19, 2015, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Corona Heights, San Francisco(Third Friday bird walk) Friday, March 20, 8 – 10 a.m.
  • Alameda Creek-Coyote Hills Regional Park by bicycle, Fremont. Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m. – ~3:30 p.m.
  • Napa River boat trip with Dolphin Charters (departs from Vallejo) Saturday, March 21, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland, Alameda County (Fourth Wednesday bird walk) Wednesday, March 25, 9:30 a.m. – noon
  • North Beach/Telegraph, San Francisco Saturday, March 28, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. 
  • Upper San Leandro Reservoir (Valle Vista), MoragaSunday, March 29, 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon

For more trips with other birding groups and Audubon chapters go to: http://www.diabloaudubon.org/cgi-bin/calendar/calendar.pl?month=3&style=List

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 27, 2015

Today is International Polar Bear Day

International Polar Bear Day takes place every year on February 27th. We invite you to join us in celebrating it as a day of action to reduce carbon emissions by taking our Thermostat Challenge—and by speaking up to policymakers in support of a fair price for carbon.

Here’s how:

  • On International Polar Bear Day—or starting any day you choose—adjust your thermostat a few degrees (up or down, depending on where you live or the season) to show your commitment to greenhouse gas reductions.
  • Pledge to make every day a Polar Bear Day by keeping your thermostat adjusted, insulating your home, or taking other steps to save energy.
  • Speak up in favor of a sustainable future for your children and grandchildren by letting your representatives know you support a fair price for carbon.
  • Make it a community-wide challenge! See our Thermostat Challenge Toolkit, the first in a series of community action toolkits, for ideas and support materials.
  • Visit our SOS! Community Page to commit to additional actions. Also take a photo or make a video of your actions and share it in our gallery to help build momentum and inspire others. If it’s winter time, you could turn down your heat and show yourself “bundled up” for the bears. Or you could share an image of yourself weather-stripping your doors or saving energy another way.

The Polar Bear Connection
Saving energy produced by carbon-based fuels reduces our carbon emissions and can slow and even reverse global warming, which causes sea ice to melt. Polar bears require sea ice for reaching their prey. Without sea ice, polar bears can’t survive.

Did You Know?
Heating and cooling account for roughly half of the energy consumption in an average home, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Want to Learn More?
Visit the EPA website for an overview on climate change and what each of us can do. You can also learn where your energy comes from by visiting your power company’s website. Many companies allow you to choose a green option.

The Thermostat Challenge is part of our SOS! (Save Our Sea Ice) campaign, a series of celebrations centered around action on climate change. It begins each year on International Polar Bear Day, February 27th, and continues through Polar Bear Week in the fall—although you can take the challenges at any time.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 26, 2015

Anza-Borrego: Wildflowers Versus Sphinx Moth Caterpilllars

The Anza- Borrego Desert Natural History Association has the following report on the explosion of Spinx Moth Caterpillars. The months are devouring wildflowers in areas, but the Swainson’s Hawks and other birds are feasting on the caterpillars.

The wildflowers that are bringing visitors to the desert right now are mostly desert annual plants.  They have evolved over time to germinate only when there is enough moisture in the soil so they can quickly grow, flower, and produce seeds.  Those seeds will then wait in the ground, perhaps for years, until there is enough moisture once again for them to start the cycle all over again. This adaptation leads to a very short lifespan for an individual plant, a couple of weeks perhaps,  but tens of thousands of years of existence for the species.

But in nature, it does not go unnoticed that all of those springtime plants are also a good source of food.  The creatures that can rapidly swing into action to take advantage of that food are the creatures that will prosper over time.  Enter the Sphinx Moth.  Sphinx moths emerge from the ground and lay their eggs, thousands of them, on the leaves of the emerging plants.  When the food is there, as it is right now, the sphinx moth caterpillars eat constantly and grow fast, and it is incredible to see how many caterpillars can quickly mobilize to take advantage of the food source.  They are an army on the move.  Thousands of brightly colored Sphinx moth larvae can now be found in certain areas, devouring plants as rapidly as they can.  Their goal is to eat, grow fast, burrow into the ground where they pupate and emerge as moths, and then lay their eggs on the leaves of plants, to start the cycle all over again.

So the race is on right now.  It is the plants vs the caterpillars.  The people who love the wildflowers are cheering for the plants but to the caterpillars it is just one big feast out there!

To the birds, of course, the caterpillars look like lunch.

 

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 26, 2015

S. California Wildflower Updates 2/26/15

DesertUSA has the following reports for Southern California over the last few days

  • 2/25/15  Diamond Valley Lake near Hemet Right now the wildflower trail is full of poppys and other flowers already in full bloom. The workers say this is one of the better years this season.
  • 2/24/15 Carrizo Plain National Monument Looks like it maybe a good year! (see link below for photos)
  • 2/22/15 Pacheco State Park – fields with numbers of shooting stars, yellow violets, popcorn flowers and blue dicks. Fiddlenecks were just starting to bloom. Some small lupine flowers on short stems were present but not obvious. Other flowers (saxifrage and purple sanicle for example) were present in smaller numbers. At the end of Dinosaur Point Road near the San Luis Reservoir, we parked in a large parking lot on the left side of the road. We walked up a hillside behind the restrooms and saw lots of flowers on that hillside.

See photos and older reports at Desert Wildflower Reports for Southern California by DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 26, 2015

Table Mt. Early Season Wildflowers 2/21/15

The Nerdinboots blog has an early season Table Mountain wildflower report with photos at Table Mountain Bloom Report 2/21/15.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 26, 2015

Arizona Wildflowers Updated 2/26/15

DesertUSA has the following new wildflower reports for Arizona

Feb. 24 Lake Pleasant Regional Park

 No great flower fields, but a lot of excellent macro opportunities are available now along the Pipeline Canyon and Yavapai Point trails at Lake Pleasant Regional Park (use the North Entrance) north of Phoenix. I saw the following genera in bloom: Eschscholzia (poppy), Gilia, Pectocarya, Anemone, Lupinus, Sphaeralcea (globemallow), Calliandra (fairyduster), Eriogonum, Orobanche, Trixis, Eucrypta, Pholistoma (fiesta flower), Senna, Encelia (brittlebush), Lesquerella, Marina, Dichelostemma, Simmondsia (jojoba), Ditaxis, and Ambrosia… and a few others unidentified or about to bloom (in bud). This is a great trail right now, and should be for the next few weeks.

Feb. 24 Picacho Peak 

Sunset Vista Trail, Picacho Peak. The poppies are a bit further along than last weekend, but still not the dense blankets some may hope for. Lupine were a few inches taller but, again, not all that dense. Brittlebush everywhere. I’m no botanist, but I get the impression that one more rain event wouldn’t be a bad thing. Plenty of other sporadic flowers to be found if you look

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 26, 2015

Peridot Mesa, Arizona Wildflowers 2/26/15

Wild in Arizona reports

If Mexican gold poppies are what you seek, then drop everything this instant and RUN – don’t walk! – to Peridot Mesa on the San Carlos Indian Reservation.

Based on when the flowers normally bloom here (mid-March), it seemed a little early, but the weather has been warm until recently.  …  The hillsides were covered with poppies!

Mainly poppies, but also some blue dicks, lupine, and budding globemallow, blanketed the basin in between Peridot Mesa and Peridot Hills.  With the cooler temperatures, the poppies began closing up quite early (about 2 hours before ‘sunset). As a couple walking the dirt road at sunset suggested, “The flowers have been sleeping [i.e., closing early] for three days in the cold.”

In sampling a number of clusters, it appears there are just as many buds waiting to bloom as there are flowers in bloom.  Also, in surveying the ground, the lupine, blue dicks, globemallow, and other flowers are just starting to show.  With this in mind – even though it looks stunning now – I think this location has yet to officially peak.  Now, that said, forecasters are predicting 85-100% chance of rain in Phoenix starting Saturday and lasting through Tuesday.  A heavy rain could damage the delicate and dainty poppy blooms, but could encourage the other blooms to continue their progress.

See photos and more at Wild in Arizona.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 26, 2015

Conservation Groups Sue To Block Inyo County Off-Road Plan

KCET reports

Inyo County officials have approved a measure that would allow off-road vehicles on paved roads, but two national conservation groups are suing to block the plan.

The so-called “Inyo County Adventure Trails System” could eventually open up 242 miles of public roads to dirt-bikes and other non-street-legal vehicles used for off-road recreation, though the pilot program approved by the Inyo County Board of Supervisors in January would allow off-roaders on just a handful of county roads.

Read Full Story Groups Sue to Block Inyo County Off-Road Plan | ORVs | Revisit | KCET.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 25, 2015

Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update 2/25/15

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association reports a Feb. 25 Update:

Could this be the best bloom since 2005?  With the forecast for cool weather in the week ahead and possible rain this weekend, some longtime residents are saying this year’s bloom has the potential to be the best in the past ten years.

The extent to which this prediction plays out over then next couple of weeks is in the hands of Mother Nature, but…setting all such predictions aside… there are more wildflowers to be seen in the Borrego Valley right now than at any point over the past several years.

The best flowers are to be found in the north end of the Borrego Valley, with bright yellow desert sunflower, expanding mats of purple sand verbena, white Dune Evening Primrose, brown-eyed primrose, and Arizona Lupine looks to be ready to bloom in the days ahead.  Desert Lilies are there too, scattered among the other flowers.

Where to look?  Some good spots include:

If you want to hike: Scroll through the detailed reports below to see where flowers are being reported.

If you want an easy walk and/or a driving tour:

Hike up Henderson Canyon: You can drive about a mile up the dirt road, park and walk for as long as you desire. Over 30 wildflower species are in bloom, including California Barrel Cactus.

• Purple Phacelia and yellow Desert Dandelion are blooming at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center, the western canyons, and on roads throughout Borrego Valley.

• The Visitor Center – Campground Trail is also a good spot for an easy walk.

• In Borrego Palm Canyon and Little Surprise Canyon,  shrubs such as Brittlebush, Chuparosa, and Desert Lavender are making a beautiful showing as well. • Brown-eyed Evening Primrose and Sand Verbena can be found in the fields along DiGiorgio Road and alongside many of the roads throughout the Borrego Valley.

• Lupine plants are widespread, and will soon be blooming in abundance along DiGiorgio Road north of Palm Canyon Drive and south of Henderson Canyon Road as well as the north side of Henderson Canyon Road just west of the junction with S22.

• Desert Sunflowers and Dune Evening Primrose are present in the sandy fields north and south of Henderson Canyon Road between Borrego Valley Road and Pegleg Monument Yellow-flowering Creosote is in full bloom on S22  as you drive east of Pegleg Monument

• Desert lilies are blooming among a variety of annual plants along the north side of Henderson Canyon Road, between Borrego Valley Road and S22..

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 25, 2015

Owens Lake Bird Festival April 24 &25, 2015

Festival Program

 

Friday, April 24

 

6:00pm- 8:00pm Opening reception

featuring the film The Legacy of Owens Lake

 

Check in, registration and social at Lone Pine Film History Museum, 701 S. Main St. Enjoy hors-d’oeuvres and drinks

 

Saturday, April 25

 

7:00am- Meet and Register, Stratham Hall, 138 Jackson Street

Continental breakfast provided

 

8:00am-11:30am- Morning field trips

 

12:00pm-2:00pm- lunch, speakers, and festival dedication, Stratham Hall, 138 Jackson Street

 

Mike Prather (Friends of the Inyo) ‘The Magic and Wonder of Owens Lake’

Andrea Jones (Audubon-CA) ‘Owens Lake Important Bird Area’

Jeff Nordin (LADWP) ‘Owens Lake Master Project’

Dave Herbst (Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory) ‘The Owens Lake Food Web and Why Is That Lake Red Sometimes?’

 

2:30pm-5:30pm- Afternoon field trips

 

5:30pm-7:30pm- Closing Reception

The Owens Lake Project: Photographs by Robin Black

Interagency Visitor Center, junction of Hwy 395 and Hwy 136,

exhibit and refreshments

For more information and registration go to Owens Lake Bird Festival | Friends Of The Inyo.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 24, 2015

Jepson Prairie & Rockville Trails Wildflowers 2/24/15

Solano Land Trust reports

Rockville Trails (2/24/15) Winds were from the North and were stiff at times, 25-30 with gusts in the high 30’s. A lot of Ranunculus blooming. In moist areas Nemophila, Collinsia sparsiflora, Micranthes, foliage of Calandrinia and Mimulus guttatus are well represented. Dichelostemma and Plagiobothrys are everywhere and Lupine are becoming more widespread. Saw new leaves on a single specimen of Viburnum ellipticum.

Jepson Prairie  (2/17/15) It has been beautiful out there but Mother Nature reminded me what spring at Jepson looks like. Winds S/W 20-25 mph, whitecaps on Olcott Playa. Added another layer and hiked Buck and South pastures. Yellow carpet is getting ready to live up to it’s name. A lot of plants growing but blooms are limited to a few species. Fritillary, Tryphysaria, Plagiobothrys, Dodecatheon, Lomatium, Minutia and a few Lasthenia.

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 24, 2015

Wildflowers Near Livermore, CA 2/24/15

Calphoto reports

There are nice patches of poppies along Corral Hollow Road (the eastern extension of Livermore’s Tesla Rd), on the north side in canyons a bit east of Carnegie SVA on the south side of the road. The orange adds to the yellow mustard and blue lupine.

See more reports at Calphoto. (must register to use site)

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 24, 2015

Fresno Blossom Trail Update 2/23/15

Blossom Trail reports

Feb 23, 2015 –Reports that early varieties of plums and nectarines are now in full bloom on the Fresno County Blossom Trail.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 24, 2015

Pigeons Are Smarter Than We Think

The Environmental New Network reported that pigeons are much smarter than we give them credit for.

In a new study from the University of Iowa, researchers found that pigeons can categorize and name both natural and manmade objects–and not just a few objects. These birds categorized 128 photographs into 16 categories, and they did so simultaneously.

Read about the study at Wildlife and Habitat Conservation News: Pigeons are smarter than you think!.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Poppy Bloom Near Fresno 2/24/15

DesertUSA reports

beautiful orange and yellow flowers running along Highway 180 near Fresno. They went on for miles!!If you are coming from Los Angeles, drive north towards Fresno (It’s about a three-hour drive). Then take Highway 41 north to Highway 180. Then take Highway 180 east. You will begin to see the flowers running parallel to the highway. The flowers go on and on for about two or three miles. They begin at about De Wolf Avenue and continue all the way down to Academy Avenue. There are plenty of places where you can stop and safely take photos.

See photos at Desert Wildflower Reports for Southern California by DesertUSA

Please respect private property when photographing wildflowers.

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Rare Gray Fox Seen in S.F. Presidio

The SF Chronicle reported on the rare sighting of a Gray Fox in the San Francisco Presidio. It was believed that the Gray Fox had disappeared due to the increase in coyote population. Read story and see photos at Rare gray fox sighting in San Francisco’s Presidio (photos) – SFGate.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

More Anza-Borrego Wildflower Updates 2/23/15

Two more Anza-Borrego wildflower updates. One from Anza-Borrego State Park and the other from Borregohiking.com.

Borregohiking.com. has new photos from  Henderson Canyon Road and Thimble Trail.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park reports on February 22, 2015

Unseasonably warm temperatures earlier in the month brought annual wildflowers into bloom fairly quickly.

Desert sunflower and dune primrose are blooming along Henderson Canyon Road, though plants are small and less showy than in better years. It should be possible to find something blooming somewhere over the next two weeks, though a dramatic landscape blanketed with colorful “drive-by” blossoms is unlikely without another significant rainfall.

Annual flowers including purple phacelia and yellow desert dandelion are blooming at the Visitor Center and in Borrego Palm Canyon; shrubs such as brittlebush, chuparosa, and desert lavender are making a beautiful showing as well, especially in western canyons.

Creamy brown-eyed evening primrose and pink sand verbena can be found in the fields along DiGiorgio Road and alongside many of the roads throughout the Borrego Valley.

Caterpillars of the white-lined sphinx moth have devoured most of the blossoms at the north end of DiGiorgio Road.

Desert lilies are blooming among a variety of annual plants along Henderson Canyon Road, just east of its intersection with Highway S-2.

Daytime temperatures are warm, but mornings are delightful for hiking, exploring, and wildflower-seeking!

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Marin Headland Wildflower Report 2/24/15

DesertUSA reports

San Francisco flowers are starting on all coasts of the City. Across the Golden Gate, Marin Headland are beginning to bloom. Blue Iris in woods and Zigadene from the woods to the hillsides. Toothwort in the shaded hills and poppies popping sporadically most everywhere. Evening Primrose from the hills to sea cliffs. Yellow Sorrel is most common everywhere.

See photos  Desert Wildflower reports for Northern California by DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Oregon: Cottonwood Canyon State Park Report 2/22/15

Pacific Northwest Wildflowers has a detailed plant, Bloom and animal list for Cottonwood Canyon State Park at Wildflower Bloom in Cottonwood Canyon State Park: February 22, 2015.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Mt. Burdell Wildflowers 2/22/15

CNPS Marin has a report on Mt. Burdell.

Although there were a few of the rare Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary), they were not at their best, but other flowers were in bloom including Taraxia ovata (Sun-cups), Collinsia sparsiflora var. collina (hillside collinsia), Cardamine californica (milk-maids), Lomatium macrocarpum (glabrous-petal hog-fennel), and Sidalcea malviflora (checker-bloom)

See photos and older reports at  Recent Wildflower Reports – CNPS Marin

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Antelope Valley Wildflower Update 2/23/15

 Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve SNR reports:

Current Bloom Status: 2/23/15

The hills are still mostly green with small patches of scattered poppies beginning to bloom on some of the south-facing slopes.  The early-season grape soda lupine is in full bloom at the top of Tehachapi Vista Point, and lacy Phacelia is also carpeting the top of Kitanemuk Vista Point.  Filaree and loco week have also begun blooming, and some other small flowered species.

The rain we’ve had this winter has resulted in a tremendous number of poppy plants germinating across the reserve, but most only have buds forming at this time.  We expect a fantastic bloom this year from mid-March through April.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Asian Songbird Migrants In Trouble

from Birdlife International

Asian songbird migrants in trouble

songbirds in East Asia are in trouble, according to new research. The study calls for national action and international cooperation to deal with threats, as well as more monitoring and research to help understand and protect this unique migration system.

The East Asian-Australasian Flyway, running from Siberia and Alaska down to South-East Asia and Australia, supports the greatest diversity of migratory birds on the planet, with 170 long distance migrant songbirds and over 80 short distance migrants. However, it is also one of most poorly studied of the world’s major migration routes. Remarkably little is known about the populations and ecology of many of its songbird migrants, which rely on habitats along the migratory route for their survival.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 22, 2015

Detailed Anza-Borrego Wildflower Update 2/21/15

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association has a very detailed wildflower report for 2/21/15. Go to website for photos.

General Wildflower Update  Feb 21
• Hike up Henderson Canyon: You can drive about a mile up the dirt road, park and walk for as long as you desire. Over 30 wildflower species are in bloom, including California Barrel Cactus.
• Purple Phacelia and yellow Desert Dandelion are blooming at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center, the western canyons, and on roads throughout Borrego Valley.
• In Borrego Palm Canyon and Little Surprise Canyon,  shrubs such as Brittlebush, Chuparosa, and Desert Lavender are making a beautiful showing as well, especially in western canyons.
• Brown-eyed Evening Primrose and Sand Verbena can be found in the fields along DiGiorgio Road and alongside many of the roads throughout the Borrego Valley.
• A drive to the end of the pavement at the north end of DiGiorgio Road yields a variety of annuals, including spectacle-pod, brown-eyed evening primrose, sand verbena, desert dandelion, sunflowers, and even a few desert lilies coming into bloom.
• Lupine plants are widespread, and will soon be blooming in abundance along DiGiorgio Road north of Palm Canyon Drive and south of Henderson Canyon Road
• Desert Sunflowers and Dune Evening Primrose are present in the sandy fields north and south of Henderson Canyon Road between Borrego Valley Road and Pegleg Monument Yellow-flowering Creosote is in full bloom on S22  as you drive east of Pegleg Monument
• Desert lilies are blooming among a variety of annual plants along Henderson Canyon Road, just east of its intersection with Highway S-22.

Click Read more for extensive details about locations, blooms and links

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 22, 2015

Texas Wildflower Update 2/22/15

Photographer Gary Regner reports on February 22, 2015

Early Signs of Spring

We’ve had a roller coaster ride of temperatures over the last several weeks that included many days of above normal spring-like weather. That has come to an abrupt end with colder than normal temperatures forecast for the next 7-10 days at least. The warmer weather did, however, cause some trees to start blooming and put on new leaves. The only native tree spotted in the Austin area that has begun to bloom is the redbud. Invasive weeds are blooming already including invasive mustard and pin clover. The landscape is becoming much greener as well with grasses waking from their winter slumber. Native annuals should be starting to bloom soon, but it is unclear how the recent temperature extremes will impact the bloom. I will begin scouting trips the first weekend of March.

via Texas Wildflower and Bluebonnet Sightings Report : Texas Wildflower Hot Spots and Pictures by Gary Regner Photography.

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