Large protected areas in the Xingu River Basin have helped shield an Amazonian watershed from the effects observed in its less-protected neighbor, the Araguaia-Tocantins, a study shows.
Large protected areas in the Xingu River Basin have helped shield an Amazonian watershed from the effects observed in its less-protected neighbor, the Araguaia-Tocantins, a study shows.
DesertUSA has new wildflower reports today for Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico the following California locations:
See reports and photos at Desert Wildflower Reports – DesertUSA.
Oregon Wildflowers has two new updates
Silver Falls State Park 3/26/15 early spring wildflowers are in full bloom, including Oaks toothwort (Cardamine nuttallii), snow queen (Synthyris reniformis), and roundleaf violet (Viola orbiculata). Some flowers are blooming very early, such as red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), calypso orchid (Calypso bulbosa), salmonberry (Rubus spactabilis) and western trillium (Trillium ovatum). The wildflowers in the canyon are not yet as far along as those outside the canyon. The Rim trail would be one of the best trails to hike right now… lots of violets, snow queen, and trillium. There are even a few calypso orchids near the South Falls Lodge.
Shellburg Falls, Lyons, OR 3/25/15 We spotted blooming salmonberry, wild strawberry, wild cherry and apple trees, red-flowering currant, pacific bleeding hearts, yellow wood violets, white wood sorrel, trillium, and lots of unidentified little purple flowers, including some kind of purple, bell-shaped lily.
ScienceDaily reports in a recent article
At least five mass extinction events have profoundly changed the history of life on Earth. But a new study shows that plants have been very resilient to those events.
Oregon Wildflowers has a wildflower report for the Memaloose Hills
We walked from the overlook 1.1mile south. There were impressive carpets of Blue eyed Mary, Collinsia parviflora, everywhere. Balsamroot still has 2 weeks to go even tough there were some nice clumps. Lovely bunches of Naked Broomrape, Orobanche uniflora, was found 3/4 of the was up the trail. We saw 34 varieties of flowers.
See older reports at Oregon Wildflowers • Report Search Results.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported
Two California senators, angered by the tepid reaction to a mystery goo that has killed hundreds of birds on San Francisco Bay, are introducing legislation Monday to close a loophole that effectively froze state funding and prevented a unified multiagency response to the crisis.
Sens. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, say SB718 would create a funding mechanism for the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife harmed by marine spills involving non-petroleum-based substances.
Read full Article and see photo slideshow at After mystery spill ravaged bay, law pushed to galvanize response – SFGate.
Texas Wildflower Haven has numerous reports from throughout the state including
See reports at Texas Wildflower Haven
Texas Wildflower Sightings reports
Garwood , TX I-10 West Bound from Weimar to Flatonia 201503-23
Plants Seen: Indian Paintbrush, Texas Bluebonnet
Some good Bluebonnets/paintbrush in many areas. Also saw a couple of good Verbena and Wine cups or Phlox displays after Flatonia.
Austin , TX Shady Hollow West Nature Preserve 2015-03-22
Plants Seen: Agarita, Bluebonnets, Dogwood, Verbena
Gorgeous and the bluebonnets are starting to pop.
Sealy , TX I-10W @ Pyka Rd, Sealy TX, Hwy 36 N 2015-03-21
Plants Seen: Bluebonnets, Texas Indian Paintbrush
Indian Paintbrush and Bluebonnets blooming. Bluebonnets plants are huge this year.
See photos and older reports at Texas Wildflower Sightings
submitted by Spencer Westbrook
Tejon Ranch Conservancy reports
Although we’ve seen some great color this year, continued warm temperatures are making for an extremely short season. It is likely that after this weekend (3/28, 3/29), we will have to cancel our remaining Wildflower Viewing Stations due to diminishing flower populations. We have seen the fields dwindle in extent, but there are still some great places that our docents have found.
Plumas County Bloom Blog reports
What used to be called the Keddie Cascades Trail, together with the area’s many deer paths, has undergone a lot of revision recently, and there are now signs and maps galore. On Sunday, we began our hike at a trail head by the bridge over Spanish Creek on the Oakland Camp Road. It’s across the road from the popular swimming hole. We started off on what is called the Spanish Traverse. If we had stayed on this trail, I think we would have come out in the vicinity of the Keddie Cascades. But, we opted to head further up hill by taking what was called the Spanish Ridge loop.
Altogether we hiked close to five miles and found a surprising number of spring wildflowers blooming. There’s one purple species I haven’t yet identified, but it looks like it might be a Penstemon. Some of them were so fleshy and beautiful, they looked like they could have come as potted plants in a nursery, despite the very dry soil, or even apparent lack of soil. It’s obvious the area has been logged, probably several times, and much of it has inadequate soil fro growing trees. This, Manzanita, Black Oak, Buck Brush, and Silk Tassel Bush dominate the drier hills. At the highest point on the ridge trail there were abundant patches of Death Camas ( a lily) and Shooting Star. These areas were relatively flat and had a fair amount of soil consisting mostly of pine needles. We saw the early leaves of lots of species that haven’t bloomed yet and this promises an interesting spring. Among those is the Heart-leaf Milkweed pictured here. There were also lots of Lupine, Horkelia, Fennel, Pennyroyal, and various lilies.
It took the Army Corps of Engineers all of about two days to reject opposition and move forward with its plan to kill 11,000 cormorants and destroy 26,000 nests on East Sand Island in Oregon. The Audubon Society of Portland has already threatened to sue. We’ll be tracking this story closely in the next few days, as there are likely to be a lot of developments.
Borregohiking.com has several new wildflower hikes with descriptions and photos on their Facebook page including
Description of findings of Cup Valley Wilson Mountain Loop mentioned above from Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association
We explored a part of Culp Valley we haven’t been before and we ended up far to the east in washes that eventually end up in the Glorietta Canyon.
A nice surprise to still find Goldfields, Lasthenia gracilis everywhere, mixed with Narrowleaf goldenbush, Ericameria linearifolia they make it very yellow. Cleveland’s beardtongue, Penstemon clevelandii var. clevelandii and Parish’s purple nightshade, Solanum parishii along boulders. Desert globemallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua var. rugosa are in the thousands, out there, some are already blooming.
We found our first ever Chinese Houses, Collinsia concolor, should be more out there. Veatch’s blazing star, Mentzelia veatchiana are hard to miss, they are everywhere It would be a bad hike if we wouldn’t find Hairy bush monkeyflower, Mimulus aurantiacus var. pubescens and we found 8+ and they always grow in the most impossible places. This is Carla’s favorite. We where looking for Lemmon’s linanthus, Leptosiphon lemmonii before and found only a few now we found 100+ but only at one particular spot.
ScienceDaily reports on a study that validates what many of us have already believed about the fragmenting and shrinking of habitat.
An extensive study of global habitat fragmentation — the division of habitats into smaller and more isolated patches — points to major trouble for a number of the world’s ecosystems and the plants and animals living in them.
Gary Regner Photography reports on March 22, 2015 Poteet/Somerset area south and east of San Antonio,TX
Spent another day exploring south and east of San Antonio. Best area by far was west of Poteet. FM 476, FM 1333, and FM 2504. Best route was FM 476 between Jct FM 2504 and Somerset. This area has literally miles and miles of fields of sandyland bluebonnets in full bloom that appear at peak now. Also mixed in was magenta phlox, groundsel, paintbrush and prickly poppies. The area around Floresville looked worse than earlier in the week, not sure if it was due to recent heavy rains or if the flowers are already on the decline. Passed through Seguin and travelled FM 467 south to FM 539 to Floresville, some wildflowers here and there and some fields but nothing great. Then travelled FM 536 west to US 281 south, then FM 1470 west to Poteet. Things get really nice around Poteet and to the west.
Bay Nature reported on a study on the effectiveness of native bees as pollinators in San Francisco
a study that measured the pollination service of the city’s native bees. The study, published in January in the journal Urban Ecosystems, found that the native bee population, indeed, supplies “adequate pollination service” for the city’s agriculture, including parks and gardens.
The results are surprising since previous studies have found that urban environments have lower bee populations and fewer bee species than surrounding areas. Urban growers should take heart, as there are 150 native bee species in San Francisco, LeBuhn said.
“It is pretty clear that there is sufficient pollinator service for urban agriculture from native species alone,” LeBuhn said. “We don’t need to add honeybees to have pollination (in the city).”
Read full story at San Francisco’s Native Bees Do the Job Just Fine – Bay Nature.
Drove up to Wildrose from Furnace Creek in Death Valley National Park on Saturday. Wildflowers below Emigrant Campground on CA 190 have dried out but there are a few interesting ones blooming on the first ten miles of the road to south to Wildrose.
Around Mile 9 on the Wildrose Road there is a stretch with clumps of Desert Indian Paintbrush, whose brilliant red flowers light up the otherwise tan vegetation. Closer to Wildrose Campground, big creamy colored tufts are those of California Buckwheat, but good luck finding a place off the narrow road to park to photograph them.
Back near the intersection with CA 190, yellow Brittlebrush line the highway, interspersed with a dozen small shrubs of deep purple flowering Indigo Bush. If you look closely around the road margin some belly plants like Rattlesnake Weed (White Margin Sandmat) make an appearance. In all not a whole lot of blooming wildflowers there, as compared to the Greenwater Valley, which we will revisit in a few days.
See photos at Death Valley Wildflower Report – DesertUSA.
Today we went to Mt. Burdell to see flower bloom and birds. We went in the south side of Mt. Burdell entering from San Carlos Way and did a two mile cross country loop through Grasslands, Serpentine, and Oak Savannah. The most impressive plant was the large displays of Limnanthes douglasii var. douglasii / Douglas’s Meadowfoam up the hill and slightly to right of the entrance gate. Lots of bird activity and sound in the Oaks. Although I was unable to identify a number of the bird songs or calls, I was surprised by how many birds I was able to identify by sound.
Click Read more to see plant and bird lists
Oregon Wildflowers has five new wildflower reports
John B. Yeon State Park he Gorge Trail between Elowah and Wahclella Falls. Trillium and Red Flowering Currant were in bloom. Bleeding Heart and fringecup was also starting to show.
Memaloose Hills 3/21/15As with other locations in the eastern Gorge, the Northwestern Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea) has started blooming, well ahead of schedule. I estimate that it will be at peak in 2-3 weeks. Also blooming are: profuse amounts of Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia grandiflora), Gold Star Crocidium multicaule, Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora), Upland Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum), Western Buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis var. occidentalis), Smooth Prairie Star(Lithophragma glabra), Northwestern Saxifrage (Saxifraga integrifolia), Miners Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata), Manroot (Marah oreganus), Ball-Head Waterleaf(Hydrophyllum capitatum var. thompsonii), Oaks Toothwort (Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii), Glacier Lily (Erythronium grandiflorum), and a few remaining Grass Widows(Olsynium douglasii).
Point Reyes National Seashore reports
A portion of the Arch Rock overlook collapsed yesterday killing one person and injuring another. The area leading up to Arch Rock is closed for your safety. The land may still be unstable and further collapse or erosion could occur. See photo at Point Reyes National Seashore Facebook page.
International Union for Conservation of Nature news release
According to a new study by IUCN and partners, the conservation status of pollinating bird and mammal species is deteriorating, with more species moving towards extinction than away from it.
On average, 2.4 bird and mammal pollinator species per year have moved one IUCN Red List category towards extinction in recent decades, representing a substantial increase in extinction risk across this set of species.
“Our study is the first global assessment of trends in pollinators,” says lead author Eugenie Regan of UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre. “It shows a worrying trend that may be impacting negatively on global pollination services, estimated to be worth more than US$215 billion.”
Arizona Wildflower reports at DesertUSA
Lost Dutchman State Park Reports Mar 20 2015: – It’s still hot out there, but the rain may jumpstart even more Chuparosa & Brittlebush to carpet the base of the mountain. When you go, please make sure to bring water, boots, and a camera!
Bartlett Lake on the afternoon of March 17, 2015 to see what was blooming. Up toward and beyond Rattlesnake Cove toward the lake and campgrounds there were good swatches of color. The brittlebush and chuparosa were the strongest, with some golden poppies, lupine and lovely, pale tangerine desert mallows mixed in.
Peridot Mesa on Tuesday, March 18, 2015. There are still thousands of poppies on slopes and a lot of clusters on the Mesa. We also saw a lot of Blue Lupine. Highway 79 south of Florence,March 17.Desert marigolds and lupine lined the highway for miles. As you get nearer to Florence, there is also desert mallow, usually in pastel colors. US 60 between Florence Junction and Gonzales Pass. Most of the flowers were brittlebush, with some poppies and Perry’s penstemon. The final photo is from Lost Dutchman State Park in the Superstitions. There is abundant brittlebush, although I have seen the slopes considerably more yellow. One valley is lined with chuparosa. It’s about a 600′ climb in elevation to the highest point in the trails, and it’s warm, so take plenty of water. I took three pint bottles and drank two of them.
See photos for above at Desert Wildflower reports for Phoenix and Northern Arizona Area – DesertUSA.
Picacho Peak State Park reports: Poppies have started to wane, but the Eastern face of the peak is still covered in beautiful yellow daisies from Brittlebush, with a variety of other flowers throughout the Park. See photos at Desert Wildflowers Tucson – Southern AZ – DesertUSA
U.S. Department of Fish and Game News Release
Final Recovery Plan Released and Status Reviews Initiated for Endangered Island Fox
VENTURA – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released the final Recovery Plan for four subspecies of island fox (Urocyon littoralis). The Service is also initiating status reviews of each subspecies – San Miguel Island fox (U. l. littoralis), Santa Rosa Island fox (U. l. santarosae), Santa Cruz Island fox (U. l. santacruzae) and Santa Catalina Island fox (U. l. catalinae) – to determine if any of the subspecies warrant consideration for reclassification or removal from the list of Federally Threatened and Endangered Species.
Santa Monica Mts. National Recreation Area just posted the following new wildflower hike reports:
Triunfo Canyon Park Westlake Vista Trail 03-19-15
Westlake Vista Trail at junction of Triunfo and Lindero Canyon. This is the trail to the right, going up to the reservoir area; the Pentachaeta Trail is the one to the left.
Trail route and conditions: The route is flat for a few hundred yards until a junction with a trail going left. If you go straight here, you’ll come out at the flat area near the reservoir. For the best flowers, though, take this left fork, which now proceeds uphill and becomes more rugged. Continue taking the left forks at subsequent trail junctions except those that dead-end. A few spots will require caution if children are present as there are drop-offs. The trail will eventually come out along the ridge overlooking the reservoir from above. Hike down parallel to the fence towards the reservoir and the floral carpets you’ll see as you approach it, then return on the main trail from there.
Flowers: This trail appears to have the best variety of species of any trail in the region at present, with several dozen types in bloom. It’s also one of the few trails with actual carpets of flowers, not just individuals and small patches. The densest flowers include owls clover, goldfields, popcorn and phlox. Highly recommended, and don’t miss the floral mix near the corner of the reservoir fence!
Triunfo Creek Park Pentachaeta Trail 03/19/15
Took a trip to Triunfo today as despite living next to it for several years I’ve never noticed it! I opted to take the Pentachaeta Trail from the car park (sign posted). Was not disappointed with the displays of goldfields, purple owl’s-clover, foothill plantain and some other good plants.
The most common plants of the day were wild hyacinth, purple nightshade agg., miner’s lettuce (perfoliata), wide-throated monkey flower, shiny lomatium, Fuschia-flowering gooseberry, fiesta flower, caterpillar phacelia, “common” fiddleneck, cottonweed, western blue-eyed grass, fringed lianthus, California chicory, silver puffs, poison oak (in flower), everlasting nest straw, black sage. I was rather happy to find one of my long-standing “nemesis flowers” which was Padre’s shooting-star, there is a large congregation about 20-25 minutes down the trail but most have lost their flowers. Lots of wild cucumber (which I mistook for white bryony being from Britain and all) with vines over many shrubs and oaks.
Wow, Mother Nature pulled the rug out from under us. We’re astonished to find that our big bloom of desert-adapted, ruggedly persistent poppies has been all but cooked away by the unseasonable heat we had a week ago. Where we had the densest poppy germination anyone’s seen in a decade, all that’s left on the south slopes are desiccated orange petals that didn’t even have a chance to go to seed before they were left shriveled on the stalk. This is completely unexpected, as the early and regular rains this winter should have given the plants the deep growing roots that would enable them to withstand a month of dry weather; however heat waves are always a variable factor that can quickly alter any prediction.
However, all is not lost! The north slopes of the reserve are angled away from the sun and still have lovely mosaics of color with goldfields, forget-me-nots, gold cups, cream cups, owl’s clover, and lupine among scattered poppies. The best patches of wildflowers can be found on the first section of the North Poppy Loop Trail, and the north sides of Kitanemuk Vista Point and the Vista Point just up from the east end of the paved parking lot.
Can the season be saved if we get a good rain? Where the poppy plants aren’t dead, they could be triggered to put out more buds…. but no rain is predicted soon. Still, the weather has been beautiful, the views are amazing, and visitors have enjoyed the beauty of the reserve despite the lack of the anticipated orange carpets. We’re unable to predict how long the bloom will last at this point, but at this rate, as soon as mid-April there may be little left of this year’s bloom.
Poppy Trail North Loop – The cheat grass and brome are going to seed. Fiddleneck still has flowers but some are drying and going to seed, the Filaree are going to the Storksbill seedpods, Silver Puffs are going to the puff stage (their seed). Flowers in bloom are: Cream Cups, Evening Snow, Forget-me-nots, Goldfields, Poppies, Owl’s Clover and Blue Dick.
Recent Wildflower Reports – CNPS Marin has the following new report for Bon Tempe in Marin county on 6/19/15
many flowers blooming on the shady side of Bon Tempe, including milkmaids, hound’s tongue, iris, shooting stars, and mission bells. On Lagunitas-Rock Spring Fire Road there are one or two spots with dense displays of Claytonia gypsophiloides. Rocky Ridge Fire Road is blazing with manzanitas and ceanothus. I found just one Oakland star tulip and several bush poppies blooming there.
photos can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bay-Area-Hiker/138877479476343?fref=photo
The Death Valley National Park Facebook page has its weekly wildflower report for 3/20/15
The mid-elevations are the place to go for flowers this week. Dante’s View Road is looking very nice, especially above the trailer parking. Daylight Pass Road is getting some fine areas between Hell’s Gate and Daylight Pass. Golden Evening Primrose, Pincushion, Chicory and Encelia are predominant, but keep a sharp lookout for the reds of Paintbrush and the orange of Desert Globemallow. The Beavertail Cactus have started to bloom. A good place to look for them is on the Badwater Road between Ashford Mill and Salsbury Pass. There are some good belly flowers where the Brittlebush is blooming between Jubilee and Salsbury Passes. Get out and walk around a little! Encelia, Phacelia, and Globemallow are decorating the road up to Scotty’s Castle. The west side of the park is still looking good along Highway 190 between Towne’s Pass and Father Crowley Lookout. Rock Nettle and Death Valley Sage are blooming in the canyons.
If you have a high clearance vehicle, Greenwater Road is just delightful. Yellow is the main color theme, with accents of white, cream, pink and purple. Get out and take a closer look every few miles, as the yellow changes from Desert Gold Poppy to Desert Dandelion to Blazing Star to Fiddleneck to Coreopsis to Golden Evening Primrose and back again, an infinite palette of differing hues. Hot spot of the week, though, is reserved for those lucky enough to have access to a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Gold Valley!!! Ever wonder how it got the name? This is the week to find out. Unbelievable displays of coreopsis, also known as Bigelow’s Tickseed await you.
Although there are still some good patches of desert gold and gravel ghost is just about everywhere, the bloom at the lower elevation roadside flowers is just about done. The very hot weather we have continued to have (99°F on Monday) has just fried them. Hiking the canyons, like last week, are still the best bet for good flowers in the lower elevations. Get an early start, it is hot out there!
See photos at (1) Death Valley National Park.