Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 5, 2015

Predicting Tree Mortality

ScienceDaily reported on a University of California-Santa Barbara study on the interaction of drought and insects and how they impact trees. They found

A combination of drought, heat and insects is responsible for the death of more than 12 million trees in California, according to a new study. Researchers studying environmental factors contributing to tree mortality expect this number to increase with climate change.

Read full article at Predicting tree mortality — ScienceDaily

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 4, 2015

Washington Lilies in Plumas County 7/3/14

The blackoaknaturalist reports

Not bad for a cell phone! My wife and I took a quick drive to Graeagle this afternoon, and after twelve or thirteen miles of brown, dried-up vegetation at the sides of the road, my attention was grabbed by a great patch of blooming Washington Lilies, Lilium washingtonianum, around a quarter mile east of Lee Summit. There must have been fifty or more blooms, many of them wilted and turning brown. But there were enough fresh-looking ones for some photos. At 4,000′ elevation, practically all the lilies are done for the season. I’m hoping to go up to 6,500′ and higher within the next few days where it should still be spring. There should still be some lilies at that elevation and also Monkshood.

See photos at blackoaknaturalist: The Last Lilies


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 4, 2015

8 of L.A. County’s Best Coastal Hikes

8 of L.A. County’s Best Coastal Hikes

The SoCal Wander has an article on 8 of L.A. County’s best coastal hikes. The list includes

  • Palos Verdes
  • Santa Monica Boardwalk
  • Paseo Miramar
  • Tuna Canyon
  • Corral Canyon
  • Solstice Canyon
  • Zuma Canyon

Read article for details of hikes at:  8 of L.A. County’s Best Coastal Hikes | Hiking | SoCal Wanderer | KCET.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 3, 2015

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 7/3/15

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom report  for July 3 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 3, 2015

San Bruno Mountain Butterfly Count Sunday, July 5th

The North American Butterfly Association (NABA) will conduct its annual San Bruno Mountain butterfly count again this year, on Sunday, July 5th (rescheduled from Sunday June 14), under the direction of Patrick Kobernus. Patrick has been in charge of this count for several years, and again this year will be joined by Liam O’Brien, lepidopterist, who is quite the celebrity in the San Francisco Bay Area butterfly world.

Participants will meet at the San Bruno Mountain State & County Park entrance parking lot at 9am.

PLEASE RSVP: You need to contact Patrick if you are planning to come for the count, and be prepared for hiking up steep hills. Patrick will email you complete information:

Patrick Kobernus  650-269-3894

Previous knowledge of the butterfly species is not necessary, as each group will have a leader who is knowledgeable in the local butterfly species.

If there is heavy fog and/or rain on the day of the event, we will reschedule.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 3, 2015

Cat Owners In Denial About Their Cat’s Kill Counts

ScienceDaily reports

Pet owners are reluctant to face up to their cats’ kill count, a new study suggests. Cat owners fail to realize the impact of their cat on wildlife according to new research.



Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 2, 2015

Mount Rainier Wildflowers 7/2/15

Mt. Rainier National Park reports wildflower bloom as of  July 2, 2015:

Though about a month early compared to normal years, many areas are already in peak bloom! This holiday weekend should be a great one for wildflower viewing, particularly in Paradise and Tipsoo. There are also impressive displays of twin flower blooming at lower elevations, carpeting the mossy ground in flowers. Twin flower (Linnaea borealis) is one of the easiest flowers to identify with its distinctive paired flowers. They can be white to pink in color and have the faint scent of almonds.

Wildflower Reports

Longmire: (7/1) twin flower (peak!), salal, pipsissewa, foam flower, northern microseris, tiger lily (late), slender bog orchid, self-heal, alumroot, saxifrage, pine drop, rattlesnake plantain

Sunrise: (6/28) peak: subalpine daisy, lupine, sitka valerian, paintbrush, cusick’s speedwell, American bistort, small-flowered penstemon, yarrow; late: phlox, arnica, jacob’s ladder; early: bracted lousewort, bird’s beak lousewort, tiger lily, false hellebore/corn lily

Tipsoo: (6/28) lupine, sitka valerian, magenta paintbrush, cinquefoil, phlox, pink mountain heather, bistort, speedwell, few avalanche lilies

Paradise: (6/27) lupine (peak!), sitka valerian, American bistort, magenta paintbrush, partridgefoot, pasqueflower, glacier lilies (late), sitka mountain ash, pink mountain heather, Jeffrey’s shooting stars, rosy spirea, slender/scarlet paintbrush, alpine aster

Owyhigh Lakes: (6/22) corn lilies, magenta paintbrush, arnica, alpine aster, tiger lilies, rosy spirea, thistle, cascade penstemon

Berkeley Park: (6/21) avalanche lilies, glacier lilies, bird’s beak lousewort, paintbrush, menzie’s penstemon, sitka valerian, paintbrush, rosy spirea, American bistort

See photos at Discover Wildflowers – Mount Rainier National Park (U.S. National Park Service).

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 2, 2015

Lyons Creek, El Dorado Nat. Forest 6/30/15

Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups has a wildflower report from Charlie Russell of  Wildflower Hikes

I hiked the lower portion of the Lyons Creek trail in El Dorado National Forest (off of hwy 50) on Monday, and the flowers are fantastic. I only went up about 2.5 miles due to time limits (didn’t make it up to Sylvia Lake, unfortunately). I almost didn’t get out of the parking lot, actually, because there were so many flowers right there. The trail (for this portion) is relatively flat and easy, progressing through a series of small meadows. I found at least 49 different species of flowers.

My first cut of pictures are at Flickr: Lyons Creek – I haven’t identified everything yet (not enough time) so feel free to leave comments to help with identification (and please correct any mistakes I made).

Go early in the day, because it can get pretty hot there this time of year (it was in the upper 80’s, and that was before the heatwave hit this area), and because the flies were more annoying in the late afternoon. No mosquitoes unless you get up to the lake (which is about 5 miles in).

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 2, 2015

Three Pyramids Trail, Old Cascades Wildflowers 6/30/15

Greg Vaughn reports

Hiked the Three Pyramids Trail in the Old Cascades with Oregon Wild the other day. Fantastic old-growth forest, meadows filled with wildflowers and 360 degree views from the summit of Middle Pyramid.

See photos at Greg Vaughn Photography.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 2, 2015

Edgewood Park July Wildflowers

Friends of Edgewood Park have updated its website to show what plants are typically blooming in July. There are  photos of plants you might see. Explore plant locations, plant species, which plant blooms when, and answers to a host of other questions at What’s Blooming This Month.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 2, 2015

Mt. Rainer Wildflowers 7/1/15

Rocky Mt. Nature Photographers reports

Lupines are in fine display on Mt Rainier

See photo at Photo Critique Forums.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 2, 2015

New Firefly Species Found In S. Calif.

The LA Times reported

A never-before-seen species of firefly was just discovered in the Santa Monica mountains, in Topanga.

It’s just a little guy — about half a centimeter long. It does glow, but faintly. Experts say it has nothing on its beaming East Coast cousins that light up lawns on warm summer evenings.

Entomologists have known about fireflies in our region for a long time, but they say they are rarely seen and are difficult even for the professionals to find.

Read full story at  New firefly found in SoCal — Wait, we have fireflies? – LA Times.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 1, 2015

Oregon Wildflowers: Canyon Creek Meadows 6/29/15

Oregon Wildflowers has a new report for Canyon Creek Meadows

Canyon Creek Meadows is in full bloom… nearly a month ahead of schedule! See web site for photos.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 1, 2015

California Wildflowers Losing Diversity

ScienceDaily reports:

Fifteen years of warmer, drier winters are affecting California’s wildflower diversity, scientists report. Grasses and wildflowers may be able to withstand the current drying period through their extensive seed banks, which can lie dormant for decades waiting for the right conditions to germinate. However, California’s drought is expected to intensify in the coming decades, so this rescue effect may end up being too late for some species, they add.

Read full article at:California’s wildflowers losing diversity in face of warmer, drier winters — ScienceDaily


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 30, 2015

2015 Crested Butte Wildflower Festival July 13 to 19

The 2013 Crested Butte wildflower festival is July 7-13 in Crested Butte, Colorado,  the official Wildflower Capital of Colorado! It includes

  • Over hikes ranging from easy to technical
  • 4×4 Tours into the alpine backcountry
  • Garden tours of historic Crested Butte
  • Photography classes for all levels
  • Art classes
  • Medicinal classes using botanical ingredients
  • Gardening with wildflowers
  • Birding and butterflies

For more information go to:  Crested Butte Wildflower Festival.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 30, 2015

July 2015 CNPS Field Trips

 California Native Plant Society Chapter Field Trips:

Bristlecone (Mono, Inyo and NE Kern counties)
July 4, Saturday, 8:30am:  Golden Trout Lake
July 18, Saturday, 7am: Upper Convict Creek and Mildred Lake Basin
July 18, Saturday, Joint Bristlecone Chapter-Friends of the Inyo Field Trip: Coyote Plateau
July 24-25, Saturday ( Friday optional): 
Glass Mountain Peak and Sawmill Meado 

Milo Baker (Sonoma county)
July 11, 2015, Saturday, 10a.m. – noon Wendy Born’s Home Garden
July 15 – July 18, 2015, Wednesday – Saturday Eastern Sierras Camping Trip

Santa Clara Valley
Grass Walk at Los Tranco OSP
(Los Altos) Saturday June 2
Mineral King Backpack (Southern Sierra Nevada) June 27 to July 5

If you are interested in information on other chapters go to:

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 29, 2015

July 2015 Golden Gate Audubon Birding Field Trips

Golden Gate Audubon Society Field Trips

  • Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley Friday July 3,  8:30 – 10:30 a.m. (First Friday bird walk)
  • San Francisco Botanical Garden Sunday, July 5, 8 – 10:30 a.m. (First Sunday bird walk)
  • EBMUD Valle Vista Staging Area, near Moraga Friday, July 10, 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. (Second Friday bird walk)
  • Family Birding along Strawberry Creek, Berkeley Saturday, July 11, 9:30 to 11 a.m.
  • Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County Five Brooks and Bear Valley Visitor’s Center area Sunday, July 12, 8:30 am to 12 noon
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline, Oakland Wednesday July 15,  8:30 – 10:00 a.m. (Third Wednesday Bird Walk)
  • Corona Heights, San Francisco Friday, July 17, 8 – 10 a.m. (Third Friday bird walk)
  • Aquatic Park and Waterfront, San Francisco Saturday, July 18, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco Sunday, July 19, 8 – 10 am (Third Sunday bird walk)
  • Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland Wednesday, July 22, 9:30 a.m. – noon (Fourth Wednesday bird walk)
  • Hayward Regional Shoreline, Alameda County Birding By the Bay: Shorebird Migration and More Friday, July 31, 9:00 a.m. – Noon

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



Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 28, 2015

Rocky Mt. Wildflowers: Horsetooth Mt. 6/28/15

The Rocky Mt. Nature Photographers Wildflower Thread reports

There is still a nice scattering of wildflowers at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space west of Fort Collins.

See photos and older reports at Rocky Mt. Nature Photographers Wildflower Thread

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 28, 2015

Butterfly Photos

A short slideshow of butterfly photos taken from in a friend’s front garden in Oakland. The butterflies especially liked nectarine on Lantana.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 28, 2015

East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden Classes

Friends of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden August to November Classes

  • Weave a Paiute-Style Water Bottle Saturday, August 1, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
  • Drawing Plants Saturday, August 15, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
  • Ferns of California Saturday, August 22, 10 am–3 pm
  • Inviting California to Dinner: Using Native Plants in Your Everyday Diet Sunday, August 23, 10 am–3 pm
  • Designing a Native Garden Thursdays, September 10 and 17, 9:30 am–12 pm
  • Trees and Shrubs of the Bay Area 3 Saturdays, 10 am–3 pm: September 26, October 17, November 7
  • Botany and Ecology of the Delta Sunday, September 27, 10 am–6 pm
  • Fall in the Siskiyou Mountains of Northwestern California  October 9 through 12
  • Seed Propagation of California Native Plants Saturday, October 24, 9 am–12 pm

for more details go to Friends of the Regional Park Botanic Garden, Tilden Park, Berkeley.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 27, 2015

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 6/27/15

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom report  for June 27 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 | June 27, 2015

Snowmobiles Threat to Wildlife

WildEarth Guardians Press Release

Wildlife Must Be Protected From Snowmobiles

Court Orders Montana National Forest to consider impacts on big game wildlife and habitat, including wolverine, moose, deer, and elk

Seattle, WA – Wildlife will get a reprieve from motorized vehicles including snowmobiles on National Forests in Montana. A three judge appeals court panel sided with conservationists in their fight to secure stronger protections for grizzly bears, wolves, wolverines, lynx, and a broad variety of “big game” from motorized recreational vehicles. At issue in this case is the designation of over or 60% of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest for snowmobile use. WildEarth Guardians, Friends of The Bitterroot, and Montanans For Quiet Recreation brought the legal challenge.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 26, 2015

Drought Lead To Sharp Decrease in California Waterfowl Breeding

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 26, 2015

Rocky Mt. Wildflowers: Steamboat 6/26/15

The Rocky Mt. Nature Photographers Wildflower Thread reports

the Mules Ears around Steamboat but particularly in the Hahns Peak-Steamboat Lake area are all over meadows and hillsides.

See photos at Rocky Mt. Nature Photographers Wildflower Thread

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 26, 2015

Mt. Rainier National Park Wildflowers 6/25/15

Mt. Rainier National Park reports currently blooming  on June 25, 2015:

Meadows throughout the park are lush with a variety of plants and wildflowers. One plant that stands out for its large, ribbed leaves is Corn Lily (Veratrum viride), also known as False Hellebore. These plants provide interesting texture to any meadow, growing to be 2.5-6.5 feet (0.7-2m) tall, with star-shaped, pale-green flowers clustered on drooping, branched stalks. They are also extremely poisonous. Deer, for example, will not eat this plant, except for in the fall when the leaves turn brown and loose their toxicity.

Wildflower Reports

  • Owyhigh Lakes: (6/22) corn lilies, magenta paintbrush, arnica, alpine aster, tiger lilies, rosy spirea, thistle, cascade penstemon
  • Berkeley Park: (6/21) avalanche lilies, glacier lilies, bird’s beak lousewort, paintbrush, menzie’s penstemon, sitka valerian, paintbrush, rosy spirea, American bistort
  • Tipsoo: (6/17) sitka valerian, arnica, magenta paintbrush, lupine, pasqueflower seedheads, sitka mountain ash, bistort, subalpine daisy, cinquefoil, buttercup, alpine speedwell, cusick’s speedwell, avalanche lily, glacier lily, smooth stem willowherb
  • Sunrise: (6/17) magenta paintbrush, phlox, cusick’s speedwell, cinquefoil, pasqueflower seedheads, slow jacob’s ladder, bluebell, pink mountain heather, lupine, harsh paintbrush, subalpine daisy, arnica
  • Sunrise Road: (6/17) thimbleberry, lupine, penstemon, paintbrush, sitka valerian, arnica, sitka mountain ash, yarrow, pink mountain heather, phlox, cinquefoil, columbine
  • White River: (6/17) vanilla leaf, bunchberry, columbine, asters, thimbleberry, thistle, sitka mountain ash, lupine
  • SR410: (6/17) lupine, sitka valerian, paintbrush, arnica, bear grass, cow parsley, goat’s beard, columbine, thimbleberry, rosy spirea, sitka mountain ash, cow parsley, goat’s beard, penstemon, thistle
  • SR123: (6/17) arnica, tiger lily, columbine!, thimbleberry, goat’s beard, paintbrush, sitka valerian, lupine, subalpine daisy
  • Grove of the Patriarchs: (6/17) foam flower, pathfinder, starflower, thimbleberry, candyflower, self-heal, columbine, cow parsley, vanilla leaf, devil’s club, bunchberry
  • Ohanapecosh: (6/17) devil’s club, goat’s beard, foam flower, thimbleberry, twin flower
  • Stevens Canyon: (6/17) arnica, goat’s beard, paintbrush, tiger lily, columbine, fireweed, penstemon, thimbleberry, lupine, cow parsley, sitka valerian, rosy spirea, bear grass, subalpine daisy
  • Paradise-Longmire Road: (6/17) jeffrey’s shooting star, sitka valerian, lupine, thistle, cow parsley, bog orchid!, arnica, paintbrush, penstemon, goat’s beard
  • Paradise: (6/14) lupine, bistort, cusick’s speedwell, sitka valerian, sitka mountain ash, pink mountain heather, harsh paintbrush, subalpine daisy, cinquefoil, bear grass, jeffrey’s shooting star
  • Comet Falls/Mildred Point/Van Trump: (6/9) colubine, bluebells, queen’s cup, arnica, candyflower, sitka valerian, sitka mountain ash, elderberry, false solomon’s seal, star-flowered false solomon’s seal, violets; peak: avalanche lilies – very dense!
  • Reflection Lakes/High Lakes: (6/9) avalanche lily, shooting star, cinquefoil, lupine, columbine, bistort; early: pink mountain heather, sitka valerian, cliff penstemon, elephant head

See photos at Mt. Rainier National Park.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 26, 2015

Wildlife Commission Approves Hunt Rare Florida Black Bear

Press Release Center for Biological Diversity

Wildlife Commission Ignores Science, Citizens, Approves Hunt of Rare Florida Black Bear

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted today to approve an October hunting season for the rare Florida black bear that could wipe out 20 percent of the population. The decision comes despite overwhelming opposition from Floridians and in the absence of recent data indicating how many bears there are in Florida.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 25, 2015

Santa Monica Mts. Wildflowers 6/24/15

Santa Monica Mts. National Recreation Area reports on 6/24/15

things are really drying out and that the SoCal drought continues. In that case the true flower connoisseur must begin using their craft to find the treasure. It is out there every month of the year.

They also have just posted a wildflower report for Santa Ynez Trail in Topanga Canyon State Park but note that it is for 06/10/15 and may be outdated

Trailhead at the very end of Vereda de le Montura Street off of Palisades Drive in Pacific Palisades. You can also access this trail from Trippet Ranch.

When all the flowers start withering away it is time to investigate the cool, dark, shady canyons. This is one that is home to several varieties of flowers that I don’t know in any other places. Like in any moist, shady canyon there is a LOT of poison oak. Long pants and long sleeves are recommended.

The humboldt lilies are out in the riparian area and they are hard to beat, so beautiful that they seem to illuminate the area around them. The cream bush, one of the “specials” of this canyon, is just coming into bloom. Additionally there is a lot of California buckwheat, California chicory, large flower phacelia, honeysuckle, Indian pinks and black sage. I actually debated with myself whether or not to head up into the chaparral, figuring everything up there would be done. I would have missed so much if I had not gone! There is a lot of scarlet larkspur and a number of gorgeous plummers mariposas, also white snapdragon, fleabane aster, white pincushion, Santa Monica dudleya, slender tarweed and the beautiful, tiny sapphire wool stars. When I returned I took the spur to the “waterfall” to see if there were any additional flowers there. The only ones I encountered were farewell-to-spring and another “special” coast boykinia growing on a wall above a puddle of what is left of the creek.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 25, 2015

The Success Of Tomales Bay Restoration

The restoration of Tomales Bay has exceed all expectations.  The water quality has improved as has the ellgrass habitat. Shorebirds populations have grown in large numbers. Read about the success of the Tomales Bay restoration at Tomales Bay Revival – Bay Nature.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 24, 2015

How Octopus See Through Their Skin

Recent studies show that the skin of the group animals called cephalopods (Octopus, Squid and Cuttlefish) may have evolved a way to perceive light, and perhaps color, directly via their skin. Read about it at For an Octopus, Seeing the Light Doesn’t Require Eyes –

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 23, 2015

Oregon Wildflower Report: Blair Lake Meadows 6/21/15

Oregon Wildflowers has a report for Blair Lake Meadows for 6/21/15

a number of wildflowers are blooming, and in particular the beargrass is phenomenal. See trip report and photos at

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