Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 30, 2015

Mt. Saint Helens Nat. Monument Wildflowers 7/26/15

Pacific Northwest Wildflowers has a detailed wildflower and fauna report for Windy Trail #216E, Loowit Trail #216, Loowit Falls Trail #216F, Willow Springs Trail #207A, and Truman Trail #207, Mount Saint Helens National Monument. See list and photo.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 30, 2015

August 2015 Golden Gate Audubon Birding Field Trips

Golden Gate Audubon Society August  2015 Field Trips

  • Birding the “Head” – Heron’s Head Park, San Francisco Sunday, August 2, 2015 – 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. (That’s right, 3 pm!)
  • San Francisco Botanical Garden Sunday, August 2, 8 – 10:30 a.m. (First Sunday bird walk)
  • Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley Friday, August 7, 2014, 8:30 — 10:30 a.m. (First Friday bird walk)
  • Aquatic Park and Waterfront, San Francisco Saturday, August 8, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
  • Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, Oakland Sunday, August 9, 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon
  • Pt. Isabel Regional Shoreline, Richmond Friday, August 14, 2015, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. (Second Friday bird walk)
  • Hayward Shoreline, Alameda County Sunday, August 16, 11:00 a.m.
  • Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco Sunday, August 16, 8 – 10 a.m. (Third Sunday bird walk)
  • Corona Heights, San Francisco Friday, August 21, 8 – 10 a.m. (Third Friday bird walk)
  • Abbotts Lagoon, Point Reyes Saturday, Aug. 22, 9:00 a.m. to about 12 noon
  • Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland Wednesday, August 26, 9:30 a.m. – noon (Fourth Wednesday bird walk)

for more information on above walks go to Upcoming Field Trips | Golden Gate Audubon Society

 

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 29, 2015

Climate Leads To Dragon Lizard Sex Changes

ScienceDaily reports

A climate-induced change of male dragon lizards into females occurring in the wild has been confirmed for the first time, according to recent research.

Read story at: Climate-change is turning male dragon lizards into females — ScienceDaily


 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 28, 2015

Muir Woods To Require Reservations

KCET’s SoCal Wanderer reported that to deal with the continuing and escalating overcrowding Muir Woods National Monument plans to implement a reservation system. The reservation system is still being developed and won’t be in place for at least two years.

Read story at Muir Woods Will Soon Require Reservations | National Parks | SoCal Wanderer | KCET

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 27, 2015

Recent Photos

A few recent photos. The grasshopper was in my garden and offered a great chance to work with red/green contrast. The back lit flower and buckwheat were photographed at Annie’s Annuals nursery where I went to a talk by garden photographer Saxton Holt.

 

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Back Lit Flower

Back Lit Flower

San Miguel Island Buckwheat/ Eriogonum grande var. rubescens

San Miguel Island Buckwheat/ Eriogonum grande var. rubescens

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 27, 2015

Best Ventura County Coastal Hikes

The SoCal Wanderer has a new post on the five best Coastal hikes in Ventura County.They are

  1. La Jolla Canyon
  2. Sandstone Peak
  3. Mugu Peak
  4. Ventura Promenade
  5. Emma Wood State Beach

Read more about the hikes at 5 of Ventura County’s Best Coastal Hikes | Hiking | SoCal Wanderer | KCET

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 26, 2015

Colorado Wildflowers: San Juan Mts. 7/25/15

Rocky Mt. Nature Photographers has the following new report for the San Juan Mts.

American Basin looked good with the columbines at peak with none withered and many buds.  Stoney looks pretty good.  Went up to Clear Lake and absolutely nothing happening aside from a few marigolds around the lake’s edge.

See older reports at Rocky Mt. Nature Photographers

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 26, 2015

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 7/25/15

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom report  for July 25 at the Pine Ridge Association website with photos and a list of flowers now in bloom at: Henry W. Coe – Wildflower Guide.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 26, 2015

What Makes Fireflies Glow?

ScienceDaily reports

As fireflies are delighting children across the country with their nighttime displays, scientists are closing in on a better understanding of how the insects produce their enchanting glow. They report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society new evidence of how the beetles’ chemistry works. Their findings could apply to the bioluminescence of other organisms, too.

Read full story at What makes fireflies glow? — ScienceDaily.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 25, 2015

Woodland Park, CO Wildflowers 7/25/15

Lauren Staley reports
Rainbow Gulch trail out of Woodland Park, CO.  The wildflowers on this trail are fantastic!  We saw Mariposa Lilies, a few Columbines, Butter & Eggs, tons of Pineywoods Geranium and many others.  It’s an easy trail, 2-3 miles out and back to Rampart Reservoir and not much elevation change. 
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 25, 2015

Climate Change’s Impact On Interbreeding

Science Daily reports

One of the questions raised by climate change has been whether it could cause more species of animals to interbreed. Two species of flying squirrel have already produced mixed offspring because of climate change, and there have been reports of a hybrid polar bear and grizzly bear cub (known as a grolar bear, or a pizzly).

Read story at  Risk of interbreeding due to climate change lower than expected — ScienceDaily.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 24, 2015

Mt. Rainier National Park Wildflowers 7/24/15

Mt. Rainier National Park reports currently blooming  on July 24, 2015:

Peak bloom has passed in the park, but wildflowers can still found particularly at higher altitudes and around water sources. One water-loving flower is Water Parsley (Oenanthe sarmentosa). Growing directly out of standing water or slow-moving streams, this plant has relaxed stems, 12-24 in (30-60 cm) long, with compound, coarsely toothed leaflets. Its delicate cluster of white flowers helps mark it from the profusion of green plants that can crowd water sources, especially as the hot, dry summer continues.
Wildflower Reports

  • Longmire: (7/23) yarrow, foamflower, wall lettuce, rattlesnake plantain, water parsley
  • Paradise: (7/12) Past peak, but best wildflowers to be found on west side of Panorama Point, upper Golden Gate, and the upper east side of the Skyline Trail.
    • Lower Paradise trails: Late summer-like conditions prevail with few flowers: False Hellebore, Gray’s Mountain Lovage, American Bistort, and Subalpine Daisy.
    • Deadhorse Creek and West Side of Skyline Trail: Very few flowers. All lupine have gone to seed. Few Pasqueflower Seedheads, Bistort.
    • West side of Panorama Point: A few nice areas on the climb up to Pan Point of Lupine, Paintbrush, Bistort, Pink Mountain Heather, and Phlox still in bloom.
    • Upper Skyline Trail: Alpine environment, realm of cushion plants: Alpine Lupine, Saxifrage, Golden Fleabane.
    • Upper East Side of Skyline Trail: Bistort, Lupine, Paintbrush, Pasqueflower Seedheads, Pink and White Mountain Heather still hanging on. Lewis (pink) Monkeyflower in wet areas.
    • Creek Crossing above Sluiskin Falls on Skyline Trail: Large area of Lewis (pink) Monkeyflower.
    • East Skyline Trail from Paradise Glacier Trail down to Lakes Trail: Bistort, patches of Lupine, Pasqueflower Seedheads, Sitka Valerian, Bracted Lousewart, Cascade Aster, Arrowleaf Groundsel.
    • Lower East Skyline Trail down to Myrtle Falls: Cascade Aster, Fireweed, and Cliff Paintbrush.
  • Sunrise: (7/12) peak: corn lily/false hellebore, rainiera, yarrow; past peak in general but better at higher elevations, like at Berkeley Park, Forest Lake, and Upper Palisades.

See photos at Mt. Rainier National Park.

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 24, 2015

HIghway 140 Reopens

Yosemite National Park release the following press release yesterday:

Popular Road into Yosemite National Park Closed Since Tuesday due to Mudslides and Debris

The El Portal Road (continuation of Highway 140) into Yosemite National Park will re-open at 6:00 p.m. this evening to all vehicular traffic. Intermittent traffic delays are possible due to on-going clean-up operations.

Yosemite National Park road crews and law enforcement rangers worked extended shifts to get the road open as soon as possible and make it safe for travel.

The popular road into Yosemite National Park has been closed since Tuesday evening due to mud and debris on the road as a result of heavy rains.

Yosemite National Park would like to thank Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, and the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance during the temporary closure.

 

via El Portal Road (continuation of Highway 140) in Yosemite National Park to Re-Open at 6:00 p.m. – Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 24, 2015

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

The New York Times reports

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature.

Read story at  How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain – The New York Times.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 23, 2015

Oregon Wildflowers: Jefferson Park 7/22/15

Oregon Wildflowers  has a new wildflower report for Jefferson Park in the central Oregon Cascades on 7/22/15

Jefferson Park is at 5,880-foot elevation, and this is about the park and nearby area approaching on the Whitewater trail. The real story here was the thousands of beautiful blue gentian, which began at the bridge just before the PCT junction and continuing into the park. Most of the wildflowers were in this area — also some (not a lot) asters, monkeyflower, paintbrush, and earlier on this trail a blooming fireweed stem here and there

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 23, 2015

40 Years of North Pacific Seabird Survey Data Now Online

USGS Press Release

40 Years of North Pacific Seabird Survey Data Now Online

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The U.S. Geological Survey today released the North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database — a massive online resource compiling the results of 40 years of surveys by biologists from the United States, Canada, Japan and Russia. The database documents the abundance and distribution of 160 seabird and 41 marine mammal species over a 10 million-square-mile region of the North Pacific.

“The database offers a powerful tool for analysis of climate change effects on marine ecosystems of the Arctic and North Pacific, and for monitoring the impact of fisheries, vessel traffic and oil development on marine bird communities over a vast region,” said Dr. John Piatt, head of the Seabird and Forage Fish Ecology Research Program at the USGS Alaska Science Center. “It also creates an unprecedented opportunity to study the biogeography and marine ecology of dozens of species of seabirds and marine mammals throughout their range in continental shelf waters of the United States.”

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 22, 2015

Joshua Tree National Park May Gain 32,00 Acres

KCET’s SoCal Wanderer reports Joshua Tree National Park may gain 32,000 new acres. Read story at Joshua Tree Possibly Adding 32,000 Acres | National Parks | SoCal Wanderer | KCET

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 22, 2015

Virginia Golf & Housing Development Threatens Thousands of Eagles

The Washington Post reported on the approval of a golf and housing development near the Rappahannock River in Federicksburg, Virginia that will threaten  habitat used by tens of thousands of eagles. Read story at Eagle ‘hot spot’ in Virginia could be replaced by a golf course and resort – The Washington Post.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 21, 2015

Carson Pass Wildflowers 7/21/15

Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Group had the following new report for Carson Pass

Meiss Meadows may be as good as I’ve ever seen it. Tho corn-lilies are always common here, there were more than I’ve ever experienced. We did a loop: Carson Pass to Showers Lake return to Carson Pass via xcountry route over Meiss Ridge.
Today we were going to do a larger loop, but got stopped by aforementioned storm. The flowers from Woods to Lake Winnemucca were ‘normal’ good, which means very good, tho less lupine than I remember from past, and far more queen-ann’s lace.  We took a xcountry route up to the saddle at the base of Round Top. Stunning. And the flowers on the saddle were mind-blowing amazing. In addition, thank to the storm, we had fantastic views of thunderheads over Tahoe.

We think we say between 80 – 90 individual species of flowers in just 5 hours today. Magnificent.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 21, 2015

Impact Of Drought On Pacific Flyway Birds

Audublog has a story on the  major impact the drought has had on migrating ducks, geese and swans swans along the Packfic Flyway. The drought has dried up California wetlands and insects, fish and plants that are food sources for the birds are greatly depleted.

Read story at Drought hitting Pacific Flyway birds hard.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 20, 2015

Temperature Change Results in Loss of Mexican Bird Diversity

ScienceDaily reports

A wide-ranging study of gains and losses of populations of bird species across Mexico in the 20th century shows shifts in temperature due to global climate change are the primary environmental influence on the distributions of bird species.

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 19, 2015

Red Rock Canyon Open Space, CO Wildflowers 7/19/15

Lauren Staley reported on Red Rock Canyon Open Space in Colorado Springs.

Lots of pretty wildflowers, but I especially enjoyed seeing the Mariposa Lilies. Have posted photos on Flicker at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78352882@N08/

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 19, 2015

Where Are The World’s Best Birds?

Atlas Obscura says

Species for species, the French territory of New Caledonia, in the South Pacific, has the world’s best birds.

To crown the area with the best birds, first, we have to decide our criteria for what “the best birds” even are. First up: there must be several interesting bird species that occur nowhere else on Earth. Second: To be a “good” bird, a bird must have something superlative. It could be very large or very small, very bright, very loud, very smart, very weird, very cute, or very threatening

Read full article at The Elaborate Case for Where the Best Birds in the World Live | Atlas Obscura.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 18, 2015

Birding Eastshore State Park In Berkeley 7/18/15

Canadian Geese along Berkeley Bay Trail

Canada  Geese along Berkeley Bay Trail

As it is summer there is a lot less activity along the Bay Trail in Berkeley. It is a peaceful walk as there are usually only a few people on the trail. Twenty-one different species were seen with some small peeps unidentified that may have been Western Sandpipers.

Butterflies were active. There were Anise Swallowtails, Cabbage Whites, the tiny Western Pigmy Blue and a skipper that was probably a Fiery Skipper.

Surprisingly even with the drought many plants were in bloom both natives and aliens, especially ones that like disturbed places. We saw Yellow Lotus, Bristly Ox-tongue, Wild Radish, Wild Mustard, California Poppy, Zauschneria, Lizard Tail, Bush Monkeyflower, Evening Primrose, Buckwheat, Gumplant, Anise, Salt Bush, Yarrow, and Rosehips from roses that had gone to fruit. Shrubs seen included Coyote Bush,Willows, and Himalayan Blackberry.

See bird list at Eastshore SP-Berkeley Access 8/18/15

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 18, 2015

Climate Change Shrinking Bumblebees’ Range

The New York Times reports

Climate change has narrowed the range where bumblebees are found in North America and Europe in recent decades, according to a study published Thursday.

The paper, published in the journal Science, suggests that warming temperatures have caused bumblebee populations to retreat from the southern limits of their travels by as much as 190 miles since the 1970s.

Read full story at Climate Change Is Shrinking Where Bumblebees Range, Researchers Find – The New York Times.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 17, 2015

Google Street View Now In California’s State Parks

KCET’s SoCal Wander reported that Google Street View has come to California’s State Park

California State Parks and Google Maps unveiled a project that allows folks to experience the images and sights of various hikes throughout California State Parks. Rather than fitting a 360-degree camera on top of a car, Google used Trekker, its camera that fits onto a wearable

Read story at  Google Street View Comes to California’s State Parks | State Park | SoCal Wanderer | KCET.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 16, 2015

Carson Pass Area Wildflower Update 7/16/15

Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups had the following update on the Carson Pass area today

I found the meadow at the intersection of 89 and 88 to be beautiful. The trail up to Frog Lake was lovely, but not a lot of flowers and most were past prime. All I met that were coming down from Winnemuca said there were many more wildflowers up there

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 16, 2015

Rocky Mt. Wildflower Updates 7/16/15

The Rocky Mt. Nature Photographers have new wildflower updates:

 

I spent the last couple of days in the Crested Butte area.  I’ll echo what others have said, in that the area is at or near peak.

The meadow areas close to CB are starting to wither and not as good as a few days ago.  This is true for the bottom of Washington Gulch, although there are still lots of great comps to be had there.

Gothic is in full bloom with a great variety of flowers and plenty of them. This continues all the way up to where the road grade steepens where the flowers thin out.  At this elevation there are an abundance of buds formed and the appearance they will pop any day!

If you are planning on heading the CB this year, I’d say you better pack the bags and hit the road.

Gothic Rd, particularly Rustlers Gulch is outstanding.

See photos and older reports at Rocky Mt. Nature Photographers

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 16, 2015

Birding Arrowhead Marsh 7/15/15

Yesterday I went on the Golden Gate Audubon Field trip to Arrowhead Marsh at Martin Luther King Regional Shoreline at low tide. The highlight of the morning was watching a number of Ridgway’s Rails who were walking around the mudflats relatively close to the group. Probably the best and longest views I have had of them. There were also a large number of shorebirds for so early in season including Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Black-bellied Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs , Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Marbled Godwit, and Least Sandpiper. The group saw a total of 39 species. Also seen were a Harbor Seal, Ray and Ground Squirrels.

Here are links to photos of the rails taken by one of the participants:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/99583878@N06/19705044626/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/99583878@N06/19735886461/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/99583878@N06/19731240615/in/dateposted-public/

Click read more to see full bird list

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 16, 2015

Mt. Rainier National Park Wildflowers 7/16/15

Mt. Rainier National Park reports currently blooming  on July 16, 2015:

Pink and yellow monkeyflower are thriving along many of the park’s streams and creeks, such as around Sluiskin Falls in Paradise. Pink monkeyflower (Mimulus lewisii), also know as Lewis monkeyflower, grows in dense clumps of stems and flowers. Stems are 12-24 inches (30-60 cm) tall with oval, toothed leaves. Similar in appearance, yellow monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus) is generally found at lower elevations than pink monkeyflower, which favors the subalpine regions of the park. Both are commonly found growing together along waterways in the park.

Wildflower Reports

  • Paradise: (7/12) Past peak, but best wildflowers to be found on west side of Panorama Point, upper Golden Gate, and the upper east side of the Skyline Trail.
    • Lower Paradise trails: Late summer-like conditions prevail with few flowers: False Hellebore, Gray’s Mountain Lovage, American Bistort, and Subalpine Daisy.
    • Deadhorse Creek and West Side of Skyline Trail: Very few flowers. All lupine have gone to seed. Few Pasqueflower Seedheads, Bistort.
    • West side of Panorama Point: A few nice areas on the climb up to Pan Point of Lupine, Paintbrush, Bistort, Pink Mountain Heather, and Phlox still in bloom.
    • Upper Skyline Trail: Alpine environment, realm of cushion plants: Alpine Lupine, Saxifrage, Golden Fleabane.
    • Upper East Side of Skyline Trail: Bistort, Lupine, Paintbrush, Pasqueflower Seedheads, Pink and White Mountain Heather still hanging on. Lewis (pink) Monkeyflower in wet areas.
    • Creek Crossing above Sluiskin Falls on Skyline Trail: Large area of Lewis (pink) Monkeyflower.
    • East Skyline Trail from Paradise Glacier Trail down to Lakes Trail: Bistort, patches of Lupine, Pasqueflower Seedheads, Sitka Valerian, Bracted Lousewart, Cascade Aster, Arrowleaf Groundsel.
    • Lower East Skyline Trail down to Myrtle Falls: Cascade Aster, Fireweed, and Cliff Paintbrush.
  • Sunrise: (7/12) peak: corn lily/false hellebore, rainiera, yarrow; past peak in general but better at higher elevations, like at Berkeley Park, Forest Lake, and Upper Palisades.
  • Bench & Snow Lake Trail: (7/6) peak: white rhododendron, gray’s lovage, yellow monkeyflower, lewis (pink) monkeyflower, corn lily; late/few: fireweed, scarlet paintbrush, mountain bog gentian.

See photos at Mt. Rainier National Park.

 

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