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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 16, 2014

Texas Wildflower Updates

Wild About Texas Wildflowers has the following new reports

155 and Meyersveille Cheappel Hill, TX (4/16/14): Bluebonnet fields along Meyersville. Didn't drive the entire road, but found several fields not far from 1155.

Flewellen and Whitman Brenham,TX 4/13/14: Angela M says: This was my favorite spot on my trip. There were some donkeys on the left at the turn onto Whitman. On the other side is a thick area of flowers. Both sides are fenced in, but I like trying to take pictures with the fence in it. This is my one day where I try to act like I know what I'm doing!

See photos for above posts and older reports at: Wild About Texas Wildflowers

Wildflower Haven has this report:

West End of Ennis around Carls Corner between 135 E&W:Not really part of Ennis but about the same latitiude. We were on our way to Fredericksburg for a couple days and saw quite a few nice BB along I35W between Milford and Carls Corner so got off at Carls Corner on FM2959 and drove east to US 77 and went north. came across a couple nice spots with lots of color (orange,yellows, blues, pink & red) with a building in the background with painted Texas Flag. Continued N on US 77 to FM 934 and turned left (NW) on 934. We found a few spots mostly on the right side of the road of large fields of BB, yellow flowers, some red and oranges, We went up a couple of the dirt roads a few 100 yards for different views. By the time we got to Iverson, we did not see much, only spotty clums along the road. Contiued to Itasca then back to I35 via TX 81.

Not much else on drive to Fredricksburg. Really sparse along TX29 from Georgetown and TX 16 Llano to Fredricksburg.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 16, 2014

Obama Urged To Help Monarchs

The New York Times wrote of efforts by scientists, educators, naturalists, farmers and poets urging President Obama to take actions to protect Monarchs. They urged the executive branch to pursue actions on both public and private land along the butterfly’s migratory path to benefit the Monarchs. Read story at: White House Pressed to Protect Ailing Monarch Butterflies – NYTimes.com – NYTimes.com.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 16, 2014

Progress On Florida Everglades Conservation

Sierra Club Florida News has a new article about a step forward in the conservation of the Everglades

Last week the Sierra Club and its allies scored a major victory when state water managers decided to move forward on a plan to restore water flow across Florida’s state-owned Everglades. The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board unanimously voted to share the cost of the Federal Government’s plan to remove two key canals and degrade a third that block water flow leading to Everglades National Park.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plan known as the Central Everglades Planning Project (or CEPP) is a suite of critical, but never-authorized, projects in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (or CERP) of 2000.

Sierra Club members and supporters submitted more than 200 emails to Governing Board members and 10 spoke at the public hearing. In all, more than 30 speakers supported CEPP. None opposed.

But the fight is not over. Congress still needs to include CEPP in the Corps’ latest funding bill, and still not settled are important water quality issues between the Federal Government and the State of Florida. The Courts are closely eyeing the amount of Phosphorus from sugar, cattle and municipal waste allowed in various parts of the Everglades. Who will be forced to clean it up and to what extent is where the next battle lies.

via  Sierra Club Florida News: Everglades Victory

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 16, 2014

2014 Lyrids Meteor Shower April Peaks April 23

The Lyrids meteor shower are usually active between April 16 and April 25 every year. It will peak April 23. A waning gibbous moon will make it harder for observers to view the shower.

Considered to be the oldest known meteor shower, the Lyrids are named after constellation Lyra. The radiant point of the shower – the point in the sky where the meteors seem to emerge from – lies near the star Vega, one of the brightest stars in the sky during this time of the year. The Lyrids are associated with comet Thatcher, which takes about 415 years to orbit around the Sun.

Read more at:  2014 Lyrids meteor shower.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2014

Columbia River Gorge Wildflowers 4/13/14

Pacific Northwest Wildflowers has an detailed plant and fauna list for the three Columbia River Gorge areas:

April 13, 2014: Mark Hatfield Trail (Twin Tunnels Trail) – From the Mosier Trailhead west to the Rock Quarry.

April 12, 2014: Columbia Hills State Park & Natural Area Preserve – Be sure to post your Washington Discover Pass to avoid the $99 fee!

April 11, 2014: Latourell Falls Loop Trail (Glenn Talbot State Park)  (link not active at time of posting check back later here or at link below)

via Wildflower Bloom in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington for 2014.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2014

Henry Coe Wildflower Report 4/15/14

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom update today 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 | April 15, 2014

Anza-Borrego Desert SP Wildflower Update 4/15/14

Anza-Borrego Desert SP has the following new wildflower update for April 15, 2014

Winter rains this year have not been enough to prompt a showy display of annual wildflowers, but a careful observer willing to spend some time looking can find something in bloom somewhere. Cacti, shrubs, and ocotillo are persisting in small numbers. The Palo Verde trees are still blooming at the Visitor Center and around town, but the bright yellow blossoms won’t last much longer. The Visitor Center’s Desert Willow is in full bloom, with gorgeous lavender blossoms. Ironwoods and indigo bushes are beginning to sport tiny purple flowers. Hikers may still find occasional blooming plants in western canyons, and should try sections of the Pacific Crest Trail, particularly at higher elevations, for more flowers.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2014

More Antelope Valley Wildflower Updates 4/15/14

Desert USA has three new posts with photos  for Antelope Valley including photos from yesterday’s post by Son Nguyen at  Desert Wildflower Reports for Southern California by DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2014

California Hwy 245 Wildflowers 4/15/14

Desert Wildflower Reports – DesertUSA has the following wildflower report for Highway 245 between Visalia and Kings Canyon - Sequoia National Parks

drive on SR-245 and encountered the most beautiful array of wildflowers in a natural setting that just took our breath away and made us smile. The route starts in Visalia, CA, where you will head east out of town on SR 198 for just a few miles until you come to the SR-198/SR-245 intersection. Then you take SR-245 north to and through Woodlake Junction. You just continue following the SR-245 signs through the foothills and long sweeping turns. The road continues to wind and twist. Stick with it all the way to Highway 180 and you will be rewarded with miles of lovely wildflowers. If you’d like, at Highway 180 turn left and you will probably see even more wildflowers. See photos at: Desert Wildflower reports for Northern California by DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2014

Oakland Camp, Plumas County 4/14/14

blackoaknaturalist posted a report on Oakland Camp in Plumas County

For the first time this season, I took a hike out past Oakland Camp to Gilson Creek. There's a little slope between the dirt road to the creek and the railroad track where I usually find Blue-eyed Mary around this time. But, the slope was so dry, there were hardly any flowers at all. But, growing out of the creek as usual there were a few Indian Rhubarb blooming.

The blackoaknaturalist writes about all aspects of nature in Plumas County.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2014

Texas Wildflower Reports 4/14/14

Wildflower Haven has the following updates

Image of March RD.  It clearly shows the field is still in early bloom and will likely not peak until after Easter weekend.see photo at:  March RD – 4/12/2014 Image – Ennis and DFW.

Took a drive Sunday April 13 to check out the big bluebonnet field at the corner of Watterson Rd and FM535 between Rosanky and Rockne.  It is definitely at peak.  One of the locals drove down Watterson Rd warning those taking pictures that rattlesnakes have been seen in the dtiches so beware!!   Well worth the drive to see this field.   Then I  took 535 to 21 back to Bastrop, then headed down 71 to LaGrange where I picked up 77 toward Schulenberg.   Fields and fields of bluebonnets from LaGrange south on 77 all the way to Int. 10.   The picture of the cows in the field of bluebonnets was amazing.  Had to make a stop at Franks restaurant, then went back up 77 to pick up FM 159 East from LaGrange.   The bluebonnet field with the longhorns was not far out of LaGrange and was absolutely gorgeous !!!   Then not far down from it was a beautiful mix of bluebonnets and paint brush in a field with hay bales.  FM159 has been hit and miss some years, but this year is a good one !   Basically flowers most of the way to Bellville.   Old Nelsonville Rd off of Shupak Rd      ( east of Industry) was a gorgeous drive with a pond surrounded by paintbrush and bluebonnets and another large field further down the rd.  All and all a beautiful wildflower day in spite of overcast skies and off and on rain. see Rosanky, LaGrange, Nelsonville area – Brenham Area.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2014

Amador County Wildflower Report 4/13/14

Calphoto has the following report for Amador County

My best find was the previous afternoon on the drive to Sonora on Hwy 49.  A little ways north of Jackson, there were lots of poppies on the hills on the east side of the road.  When I got to the Mukelumne River, I took the road on the north side of the river going east (I think it is Electra Rd., or something similar).  It is a narrow paved road that follows the river for about 3 miles, the river on one side and hills on the other.  The hills were covered with poppies, lupines and oaks from bottom to top.  I was able to get some wonderful photos.  I think that there are probably a few good days left before the flowers dry out.

see more reports at Calphoto (must register to use site)

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2014

BirdTape To Prevent Bird Crashes Into Buildings & Create Art

Birds crashing into buildings is a serious problem that may kill as many as a billion birds a year. To learn more about this threat read the article Bird friendly buildings could save millions in Conservation Magazine. To learn what about something simple you can do at home to help birds read this media release from American Bird Conservancy about BirdTape.

Stunning Creativity by Virginia Artists Saving Birds at  the Virginia Zoo
Collisions Prevented by Innovative Use of ABC BirdTape

Three artists from Virginia have taken a very practical product called ABC BirdTape, which is designed to prevent birds from fatally crashing into buildings or home windows, and turned it into spectacular artwork at the Virginia Zoo that maintains its functionality but brings breathtaking imagery to the task.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Lancaster/Antelope Valley Wildflower Update 4/14/14

Wildflower report for Lancaster/Antelope Valley area submitted by Son Nguyen

In Lancaster on Avenue I from 110 West to Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is blazing with flowers. Carpet and carpet of flowers, with many different colors. The poppy is not big, but it’s a good thing because they blend really well with other flowers to create wonderful field of color.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Yosemite Valley & Merced River Canyon Updates 4/14/14

Yosemite Nature Notes Blog has a report on what is happening in Yosemite Valley and the Merced River Canyon. Here are the flower and bird highlights.

The Merced River canyon below Yosemite Valley is ablaze with poppies and dozens of other flower species just now. The color of millions of petals is dazzling even from miles away on the Glacier Point Road. Clarkia is already in bloom in the very lowest foothills.

Snowplants have been emerging for about 3 weeks already. Miner’s Lettuce and Gooseberry are blooming in Yosemite Valley. What we call ‘the first dogwood’ located along Hwy. 140 above Cascades is officially in bloom now; Valley trees will be lit up shortly. Orioles have been in the Valley since the end of March, with black-throated gray warblers right behind. Black-headed grosbeaks arrived in the Valley a week ago. Vireos and tanagers are on their way. Conservancy naturalists have started springtime birdwalks and botany walks from the Art Center and there are some really great natural history field seminars coming up.

See full post and photo at  Yosemite Nature Notes Blog.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Bear Valley & Walker Ridge Wildflower Report 4/11/14

The Calphoto Yahoo Group has the following report for Bear Valley and Walker Ridge from April 11, 2014:

The valley is barren. However, there are some nice hillsides with poppies, lupines, and birds-eye gillas along the road before the bridge to the resort. There is also a new beaver dam just before you rise up and bend right for the valley floor overview. On Walker Ridge Road the best spots are those burned out manzanitas, they have a variety of onions and lots of yellow fairy lanterns. Many in bud. Moreover, there are some good stands of shooting stars. All Adobe lilies are past prime, but still good subjects as seed pods

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


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Washington State Wildflower Reports

Washington Trails Association has many new hike reports. Here are some wildflower excerpts from recent hikes:

North Cascades — West Slope
Wildflowers are just starting and should be in full swing in the next few weeks.
Central Cascades — Stevens Pass – East
Flowers were abundant. Beautiful fields of Glacier Lillies, and large numbers of Balsamroot.
South Cascades — Columbia Gorge
Arrow-leaf Balsamroot carpeted the rolling hills of the Columbia Hills Preserve today. Next week the Lupin that is mostly in bud will start opening and turn the hillside into a blue and yellow show. As you traverse up to Stackers Butte and back you can enjoy an exhibit of wildflowers; red indian paintbrush, white and purple phlox, purple larkspur, yellow desert parsley and white blooming Milk-vetch, along with views that burst out in every direction. We enjoyed seeing a Golden Eagle and numerous hawks flying overhead, to the songs of the Meadowlark and Magpies below.
Eastern Washington — Yakima
 Wildflowers were in bloom. Mt Adams and Mt Rainier were visible most of the time. I guess now is the best time of the year to visit this part of Eastern Washington. It is not too cold, not too hot, wildflowers are in bloom.
Central Cascades — Stevens Pass – West
The trail had a few little wildflowers here and there (not as many as we were hoping but still lovely)
Issaquah Alps — Tiger Mountain
 There were a few wildflowers along the path.
Eastern Washington — Spokane Area
Wildflowers were blooming and birds were singing in the clear skies.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Anza-Borrego Wildflower Updates 4/13/14

Two more reports from  Borregohiking.com for Anza-Borrego

Bittercreek 4/13/14:The terrain in the Bittercreek area is growing back after the 2012 fire, still easy to hike.
The wide-throated yellow monkeyflowers are still there, but no longer in the hundreds.
Hike description:  http://www.borregohiking.com/hiking/2014_bittercreek_loop_2.html
Photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/eFMerTrail/BittercreekLoop2

Cool Canyon 4/11/14:  We did see more lizards on this hike that all the 5 previous months combined.
The canon is filled with dry falls, most of them are relatively easy.
Still a great variety of flowers.
Hike Description: http://borregohiking.com/hiking/2014_cool_canyon_loop.html
Photos:  https://picasaweb.google.com/eFMerTrail/CoolCanyonLoop

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Great Smoky Wildflower Update 4/11/14

 Great Smoky Mountains Association has the following report for April 11

Porter Creek  -  Yellow Trillium, Common Blue Violet, Trillium Erect,Trout Lily, Squirrel Corn, Rue Anemone, Wild Phlox   and Dutchmen’s Breeches. Many Blooms:  Large Flowered Trillium, Long Spurred Violet, Frazer Sedge, White Fringed Phacelia, Wood anemone, Spring Beauty and Dwarf Ginseng. Few Blooms:  Creamy Yellow Violet,  Sweet White Violet, Common Cinquefoil, Little Brown Jugs, Wild Ginger, Star Chickweed and Hepatica. Just Starting to Bloom:  Foam Flower, Blue Cohosh, Daisy Fleabane, Wild Geranium, Solomon’s Seal, Meadow Parsnip, Bishop Caps and Yellow Mandarin. Past Peak Blooming:  Seersucker Sedge and Toothwort.

Note:  The White Fringed Phacelia is at peak.  The blooms between the long foot log bridge and Fern Falls are fantastic.  Probably a hard rain would greatly reduce the quality of the blooms on many of the plants. Now is an excellent time to view the flowers on this trail.

Follow reports at:  Wildflower Updates | Great Smoky Mountains Association.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Oregon Wildflower Report 4/14/14 – updated

Oregon Wildflowers just posted new wildflower report:

Catherine Creek  Eastern Washington (4/13/14)  The camas lilies are in full bloom. Also saw plenty rosy plectritis and buckwheat (I think that is the name), a few bi-colored lilies, prairie stars, a very few shooting stars on lower trail, desert parsley, hound’s tongue and blanketflower. The grass widows are all gone, but it looks like it was a good year. Lupine look like they will bloom in about two weeks. I looked for chocolate lilies and couldn’t tell if what I saw had already bloomed or has a bit to go. Too much poison oak to get too close. Oh and the larkspur are also at their end. A couple told us they saw dutchman’s breeches but we couldn’t find them. Again, too much poison oak. Great hike, thoug

the Cove Palisades State Park  at Lake Billy Chinook (4/14/14) is slowly waking up from winter. The balsam root (Balsamorhiza) is blooming and is adding a beautiful hint of gold to the hills.

Eagle Creek 4/13/14) It’s prime wildflower time on Eagle Creek. Flowers seen: glacier lily (most I’ve ever seen on the trail), Calypso Orchid, Larkspur, Shooting Star, monkey flowers (the tiny ones), Chocolate Lily.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

U.S. National Park Week April 19 to 27

Free Admission To U.S. National Parks during National Park Week

During National Park Week, April 19 to 27 , ALL 7 U.S.  national parks offer free admission, all week long! Many parks are also having special events in honor of National Park Week.

For more information go to:  U.S. National Park Service National Park Week.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 13, 2014

A Few Photos From My Garden Today





Douglas Iris

Douglas Iris

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 13, 2014

Texas Wildflower Updates 4/12/14 -updated 4/13/14

Rob Greebon Photography reports on 4/13/14:

This bluebonnet panorama comes from a dirt road outside of Shiner, Texas. I drove a long way this past Saturday, covering the areas between Gonzalez, Yoakum, Shiner, and Luling. I didn’t find as much as I had hoped, but there were some fields of blue on some of of the Farm to Market Roads between Shiner and Yoakum.

Wildflower Haven has the following new wildflower reports:

Ennis – some areas nice but not much in others 4/12/14

I went to Ennis today and started off along FM 85. There were some areas along the roadsides that looked very full. Most of the fields that had bluebonnets weren’t very full, either there’s not many blooms or it’s just starting to bloom. There were a few fields that had nice blooms. One was east of Mach Rd. The field on Mach Rd doesn’t look as good as 2012 but looks a lot better than last year. Creechville Rd didn’t look as nice as last year. Fields were people were stopping in last year, had only a few blooms this year. The field by the Texas flag gate looked nice. Hornik Rd had very few blooms. I took Hwy 34 to FM 660 then Union Hill to Andrews Rd to Slate Rock Rd back to FM 660. I went up FM 660 and then drove west along Sugar Ridge Rd. Union Hill had a few places along the road where people would stop and take pictures but not much else. The house that looks like a barn didn’t have much in the yard either. Along Andrews Rd, there were some fields on the south side that had nice blooms. On the north side of Andrews Rd, close to the intersection with Union Hill, there is good bloom coverage farther back on the top of the hill. Sugar Ridge Rd is very disappointing. I think this year is the least amount of blooms I’ve seen along there. At the intersection of Old Gin Rd, fields along the north side that have typically had good coverage have almost nothing. Even the open field that the Ennis Garden Club owns is only partly covered. There are some places along Andrews Rd and Sugar Ridge Rd that have quite a bit of Paintbrushes in the field but nothing that makes me go “wow”. There are some areas along FM 813, west of Sugar Ridge, that have nice spots but again, not a “wow”.

Unfortunately, a lot of the pictures didn’t come out good in the color of the bluebonnets. Maybe it was the light filter I had on it or trying to lighten it so they weren’t as dark. Guess I might have to learn how to play with raw (took the pictures in both raw and jpg today).  https://texasbluebonnet.shutterfly.com/pictures/1673

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 13, 2014

Joshua Tree Wildflower Report 4/11/14

Joshua Tree National Park has posted a new wildflower report of for 4/11/14. They report:

There has not been much change from last week’s report. The west entrance still has the showiest colors with the yellow flowers of the desert dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata), desert marigold (Phoradendron californicum), and white blooms of the tufted evening primrose (Oeothera californica ssp californica). Many shrubs, including desert senna (Senna armata), honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana) and paper bag bush (Scutellaria Mexicana) are in bloom. The yellow flowers of the palo verde (Parkinsonia florida) are starting to bloom south of the Cottonwood Visitor Center.

Watch for snakes and tortoises on park roads and trails. Please do not touch or disturb animals in the park.

Weekly reports are posted on our website at: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/blooms.htm 

See the full detailed report for 4/11/14 which includes what plants are in bloom, locations and abundance at:  Blooming Wildflowers 2014_4-11

Related articles

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 13, 2014

Figueroa Mountain Wildflower Update 4/13/14

submitted by
Helen Tarbet, Adventure Pass Field Ranger

Los Padres National Forest Figueroa Mountain Wildflower Update

I realize that you have all been waiting for a Figueroa Wildflower Update; however, I hate to report that there really isn’t much to write about this season. Due to the drought that we are experiencing, the wildflowers are few and far between. I was holding off writing this hoping that the minimal amount of rain we received a month ago might bring us some wildflowers, unfortunately, the wildflowers that we did get are few and nothing compared to years with more rain. The lush, beautiful carpets of poppies and lupine are non-existent this year (see picture above). These spectacular displays need rain in December and January, as well as snow/frost in order for the seeds to germinate and create the gorgeous, colorful carpets that we so much enjoy. This year, we had none.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 13, 2014

Oregon Wildflower Reports 4/12/14 – updated

Oregon Wildflowers just posted new wildflower reports for

The Dales Mountain Ranch 4/11/14

the famous DMR balsamroot display is starting, and should improve within the next 2-3 weeks. Several photos can be found at http://www.portlandhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=18582

Eagle Creek 4/12/14

Chocolate lily, trillium on way to Punchbowl Falls, larkspur, shooting star just starting, many others making nice hillside displays in moist areas.

Latourell Falls 4/12/14 in Oregon

Western corydalis was running riot! One delphinium spotted.

Angle’s Rest 4/9/14 in Oregon

Trillium at full bloom and phasing out, delphinium just beginning to bloom, bleeding heart

Coyote Wall in Columbia Gorge 4/6/14 in Eastern Washington

The predominate flowers are currently Western saxifrage , (Saxifraga occidentalis) Pungent Desert Parsley (Lomatium grayii), Rusty Popcorn Flower (Plagiobothrys nothofulvus), and Slender Popcorn Flower (Plagiobothrys tenellus).

Also blooming: Smooth Prairie Star (Lithophragma glabrum), Gold star (Crocidium multicaule), Upland Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum var. nuttallianum), Naked Broomrape (Orobanche uniflora var. purpurea), Big Root (Marah oreganus), Rigid Fiddleneck (Amsinckia retrorsa), Baby Stars (Linanthus bicolor), Chickweed Monkey Flower (Mimulus alsinoides) in some moist areas, Northwest Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea), Western Buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis var. occidentalis), Bighead Clover (Trifolium macrocephalum), and assorted Desert Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon conjugens).

At higher elevations, there were still a few Grass Widows (Olsynium douglasii) hanging on.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 13, 2014

California Native Plant Sale 4/19/13

Regional Parks Botanic Garden California Native PLANT SALE 

Saturday, April 19, 2014 10:00am-3:00pm

(admission is free) on Wildcat Canyon Road (between Anza View Road and South Park Drive) near the Brazil Building

Whether you’re an amateur gardener or a pro, please support the garden on April 19th. California shrubs, trees, perennials. Find many plants that are not available in a commercial nursery. Horticultural advice gladly given! Organized by the Staff & Volunteers of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden Buy some plants to take home. Proceeds directly benefit the Garden. Please bring boxes to carry home your treasures and an umbrella if it rains. Refreshments available.bgarden@ebparks.org510-544-3169http://nativeplants.org

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 12, 2014

Southern California Wildflower Updates 4/12/14

Theodore Payne has a new wildflower post for Southern California

Received several short posts about California poppies covering the hillsides along the I-5 Grapevine, Gorman (Tejon Pass) region. Look for the golden hillsides. If you haven’t seen reports yet this year from your favorite places (like Carrizo Plain or Anza Borrego), it’s because there are few if any wild flower blooms due to continued drought. The few exceptions are the areas we’ve been reporting on recently, especially in the Mojave Desert. That doesn’t however, mean that you shouldn’t visit these glorious sites, because they are natural treasures with or without wildflowers.

We like to give annual tribute to Prisk Native Garden, a long established school garden in Long Beach. Visit the garden at their 19th Annual Open House on Sunday, April 13, 1:00 – 4:00 pm for blooming spring beauties. This is a MUST visit if you are in town on Sunday (See directions to Prisk in the events section below.) Admire the swaths of tidy tips (Layia platyglossa), colorful penstemons (Penstemon centrathifolius, Penstemon pseudospectabilis, Penstemon eatonii, etc.), clarkias (Clarkia unguiculata, Clarkia bottae), apricot mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua), three colors beavertail cactus (Opuntia basillaris) blazing star (Mentzelia lindleyi), absolutely gorgeous Mariposa lily (Calochortus catalinae, Calochortus splendens), wild hyacinth (Dichelostemma capitatum) wind poppy (Papaver heterophyllum) several colors of monkey flower (Mimulus spp. and cultivars), globe gilia (Gilia capitata), meadowfoam (Limnanthes douglasii), several shades of pink, white and red coral bells (Heuchera spp. and cultivars), thistle (Circium occidentalis) and many, many more. Come out and celebrate the effort to maintain this beautiful native garden for so many years.

Click read more for many more reports

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 12, 2014

Richmond Bay Trail: Birds and Flowers 4/12/14

Today we went for a walk along the Richmond part of the Bay trail from Pt. Isabel to Meeker Slough, along Meeker Slough to Marina and back to Pt. Isabel along the bay. We were able to identify 42 different birds. The most unusual sighting was a Cinnamon Teal, which is the first time I have seen one on the Richmond Bay Trail. Also seen were a Harbor Seal and Anise Swallowtail butterfly.

The flowers were looking good today. It was especially nice to see how well some of the native plantings were doing that volunteers have put in as part of the restoration efforts. Native plants seen included California Poppies, Phacelia, Flax, Yarrow, Bush Monkeyflower, Lizard Tail, Sage (Salvia) and Ceanothus. Most impressive were the California Poppies and the non-native Echiums.

To see today’s Bird List go to: Bay Trail Bird List 4/12/14

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 12, 2014

Texas Wildflower Updates 4/11/14

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