The Saguaro Cactus are in bloom in some areas
Desert Botanical Garden: We’ve been snapping photos throughout the week of blooms along the trails. Everything from the saguaros to echinopsis have flowers!
The Thirteenth Annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua is June 20 to 22. It includes an extensive schedule of field trips, workshops and presentations. Registration begins on Sunday, April 15. Register early as events can fill quickly. See schedule at http://www.birdchautauqua.org/sched_041015.pdf
For more information go to: 2015 Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua.
Pacific Northwest Wildflowers has a detailed wildflower and plant list for Grass Knoll TRail #146 in Gifford Pinchot National Park.
Oregon Wildflowers reports for Angel’s Rest, OR
hiked up the Angels Rest trail and over toward Wahkeena, about 4 mile one way. The larkspur were fabulous. There were carpets of vanilla leaf and false lily of the valley. The flags were lovely also. We counted 65 flowers. Go and enjoy the wonderful textures and colors.
- Oregon Wildflowers 5/4/15- updated (naturalhistorywanderings.com)
Theodore Payne Foundation has a new flower report for numerous southern California locations today at Wild Flower Hotline | Theodore Payne Foundation including
- Kings Canyon Sequoia National Park
- Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
- Placerita Canyon Nature Center
- Environmental Natura Center
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Palms to Pines Highway in the San Jacinto Mountains
- Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
May 15 is the 10th National Endangered Species Day
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recognizes the 10th National Endangered Species Day with a focused environmental concern. The purpose of the Endangered Species Act is to conserve imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend to prevent extinction.
Wildflower Viewing – Joshua Tree National Park (U.S. National Park Service) has just posted its final report for this 2015 at http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/upload/2015-05-15-Wildflower-Report.pdf
Lake Tahoe Bird Festival is Saturday June 12, 2015 10am to 3:30pm
We are partnering with the Forest Service again for this fun and informative family event. Learn about bird research happening in the area, go on a bird walk with a local bird expert, and see live birds of prey for the whole event as our falconers will be there all day!
The event includes guided bird walks along the Rainbow Trail every hour from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., a bird art contest for all ages, information on migratory birds and spotting scope use, and a presentation by Master Falconer Marie Gaspari Crawford that includes live birds of prey.
All of the festival activities, except for the off-site bird walks to other birding locations, are located at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center in South Lake Tahoe. Participating agencies include the US Forest Service, Falconer Marie Gaspari-Crawford and California Department of Fish & Wildlife. The Taylor Creek Visitor Center, located three miles north of South Lake Tahoe on Highway 89.
Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups. has a report for Highway 120 to the Rim Fire area. A loop via Cherry Lake Road, Mather Road to Hetch Hetchy, and Evergreen Road back to 120.
Highlights:–Whole hillside of Ehrendorferia chrysantha (Golden Eardrops) along Cherry Lake Road, on the open slopes a few miles north of 120. These need fire to germinate and are uncommon except after fires.–Short hike along the Preston Falls Trail off Cherry Lake Road; most stuff past its prime at this elevation, but good variety–Lots of Lupinus stiversii (Harlequin Lupine) along the road–Big field of Lupinus bicolor (Miniature Lupine) at Ackerson Meadow–Short hike along the Carlon Falls Trail; lots of Darmera peltata (Indian Rhubarb) in the creek, which were new to me and look kind of spooky (especially if one has recently seen Day of the Triffids)
Press Release Center for Biological Diversity
Obama Administration Gives Shell Green Light to Drill in Arctic
ANCHORAGE, Alaska— The Department of the Interior announced today that it has approved Shell’s plan for exploratory oil drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea this summer. The Center for Biological Diversity’s Alaska Director Rebecca Noblin issued this statement in response:
“It’s deeply troubling to see the Obama administration give the oil industry the green light to drill in the Arctic. Not only does it put the Arctic’s pristine landscapes at a huge risk for oil spills and industrial development but it’s utterly incompatible with President Obama’s rhetoric to address the climate crisis.
Yosemite National Park Press Release
Rain and Snow predicted this evening through tomorrow
The Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park will temporarily close at 8:00 P.M. tonight, May 13, 2015. This is due to a significant storm predicted for the area that will potentially produce several inches of new snow at higher elevations.
Both roads will remain temporarily closed until conditions permit safe travel. There is no estimated time for the roads to reopen.
The Plumas County Bloom Blog reports on wildflower bloom in the Quincy area over the past few days.
Butterfly Valley – Dogwood, Pitcher Plant and Hartweg’s Iris.
Blackhawk Road – Violets and Spotted Coral RootMount Hough Road – Showy Phlox and Lupine among clover.
Chandler Road – Red Clover.
See photos at Bloom Blog.
Gary Regner Photography reports
Wildflowers have continued to improve with all the rain, and I expect the show to continue for about a month.
Check out his wildflower photos for this year at the New Work Gallery.
Marin CNPS reportedon a CNPS field trip on California native coastal prairie and dune willdflowers at Abbotts Lagoon along the public trail to the Lagoons, dunes, and up on the bluff.
Some of the species in flower that were seen were Lupinus polyphyllus var. polyphyllus (giant marsh lupine), Claytonia sibirica (candy flower), Ranunculus orthorhynchus var. platyphyllus (large marsh buttercup), Lathyrus littoralis (beach pea), Layia carnosa (beach layia), and one new plant for the list, Acmispon strigosus (an annual lotus).
see photos at 2015 May 10 Field Trip to Abbotts Lagoon – CNPS Marin.
The National Parks published an Annual Park Ranking Report for Recreation Visitors in 2014. It includes how many visitors were are at each national park, national monument, national historic park, national recreation area, national parkway, and national memorial. The most visited property is the Golden Gate National Recreation at 15,004,420. To see the total visitors at each site go to Stats Report Viewer.
Updated with more detailed plant list
Yesterday it took us over three hours to do the .7 of mile Mary Bowerman Trail near the top of Mt. Diablo. It had many flowers in bloom and was most inviting for photography (except for the wind in sections). A friend had recently found three species of Calochortus and also Lewisia in bloom a few days earlier. We didn’t find the Lewisia and saw only two Calochortus species but had a good time all the same. Highlights were the Mt. Diablo Fairy Lantern, Mariposa Tulips, Common Broom-rape, Whispering Bells, Red Larkspur, Wind Poppy and Chinese Houses.
I was mainly focused on photographing and looking at the flowers but did see and hear a few birds. The best sighting was a Hermit Warbler, which I had also seen two days earlier with the birding class in Mitchell Canyon.
To see full plant and bird list click read more
Wildflower Viewing – Joshua Tree National Park (U.S. National Park Service) has just posted a new report dated May 8 week at http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/upload/2015-05-08-Wildflower-Report.pdf
The BBC reports that
The El Nino effect, which can drive droughts and flooding, is under way in the tropical Pacific, say scientists.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology predicted that it could become a “substantial” event later in the year.
Read story at ‘Substantial’ El Nino event predicted – BBC News
Lassen Volcanic National Park announced
Snow! A late winter storm has come through and the Lassen National Park Highway – the main road that connects Hwy 89 through the park – is temporarily closed until further notice. Even though the road is closed the park and Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center remain open.
The Plumas County Bloom Blog reports that in American Valley.
The Mountain Lady Slippers have just started to bloom at my favorite site on the Oakland Camp Road just a couple hundred yards past the bridge over Spanish Creek. Also in bloom are Orchard Morning Glory, Interior Wild Rose, Mule’s Ear, Checker Bloom and Ox-eye Daisy.
See photos and older Posts at Bloom Blog.
Oregon Wildflowers reports
Mary’s Peak 5/10/15
As with other locations this spring, Marys Peak is at least a week ahead of schedule.
Blooming in the forest along the East Ridge Trail: Endless carpets of Redwood Sorrel (Oxalis oregana) as well as Wood Violet (Viola glabella), Evergreen Violet(Viola sempervirens), Smith’s Fairybell (Disporum smithii), Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa), Dwarf Oregon-Grape (Mahonia nervosa), Candyflower (Claytonia sibirica), and Oaks Toothwort (Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii). Vanilla Leaf (Achlys triphylla) just starting. Some Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum) blooming at higher elevations (past peak closer to Connor’s Camp TH). Occasional red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum).
Blooming in the first meadows: not much yet beyond Roundleaf violet (Viola orbiculata), Early Blue violet (Viola adunca), and lots of Merten’s Sedge (Carex mertensii).
Blooming in the meadows along the gravel road to the summit: Spring Gold (Lomatium utriculatum), Cliff Larkspur (Delphinium menziesii), Harsh Paintbrush(Castilleja hispida), Small-Flowered Blue-Eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora), Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), and Catchfly (Silene douglasii). In addition to those, as you round the corner and approach the rock garden you will also see lots of Spreading Phlox (Phlox diffusa) and Western Buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis var.occidentalis). I saw a few Arrow-Leaf Groundsel (Senecio triangularis) just starting, and a couple of Rough Wallflower (Erysium asperum) in bloom. There were still a few Glacier Lily (Erythronium grandiflorum) near the road/trail junction, but those will probably be gone very soon. There are considerable lupine leaves in the meadows, but it is still too early for blooms. No tiger lilies yet
Shifting to renewable energy sources has been widely touted as one of the best ways to fight climate change, but even renewable energy can have a downside, as in the case of wind turbines’ effects on bird populations. In a new paper, a group of researchers demonstrate the impact that one wind energy development in Kansas has had on Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) breeding in the area.
The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival will be held in Ashland, Oregon from May 29th-31st. Registration for the Festival will be available on the Klamath Bird Observatory website at www.klamathbird.org. The Mountain Bird Festival offers guided bird walks, a keynote presentation, fine art galleries, local wine, microbrew and food vendors, and a feel-good community atmosphere. Registration includes half-day or full-day field trips offered on both Saturday and Sunday.
The 2015 Mountain Bird Festiv al combines a celebration of the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion’s spectacular mountain birds and the stewardship ethic needed to ensure thriving landscapes for humans and wildlife. Every citizen who participates in the Festival helps to advance bird and habitat conservation in multiple ways. They contribute to habitat protection through the purchase of a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (a.k.a. the Duck Stamp), thereby supporting one of the most successful conservation programs in the United States. Festival attendees also purchase a Conservation Science Stamp with proceeds supporting Klamath Bird Observatory’s regional science and education programs aimed at achieving sustainable natural resource management. Additionally, every Festival goer serves as a citizen scientist contributing field trip bird sightings to eBird Northwest, a rapidly growing database that advances our knowledge about birds and their habitats.
This year’s Mountain Bird Festival features a keynote presentation by Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s International eBird project leader, Brian Sullivan. Brian will show us how eBird and its state of the art technologies are revolutionizing birding, making this popular recreation a powerful conservation science activity.
The Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion of southern Oregon and northern California is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, an absolute must-see for birders and naturalists. The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival offers guided bird walks to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes of the region. Field trips will target highly sought after mountain birds of the Cascade, Siskiyou, and Klamath Mountains, as well as Klamath Basin specialties. Target birds include Mountain Quail, nesting Sandhill Cranes, dancing Western and Clark’s Grebes, Black Terns, Great Gray Owls, Calliope Hummingbirds, and the bird that will be featured on this year’s Conservation Science Stamp, the White-headed Woodpecker.
Gary Regner Photography has a May 10 Central Texas Wildflower Update
Central Texas is awash with color due to a spectacular wildflower bloom brought on by abundant spring rains. Firewheels, yellow primrose, bitterweed, wooly-white, coreopsis and many other wildflowers and cacti are currently blooming, and in many areas they are forming massive displays.
> Inks Lake State Park – The park is alive with color. Many wildflowers are currently blooming including: bitterweed, firewheels, prickly pear cacti, lace cacti, wild onions, bull nettle, stonecrop and many others. Rating: 3-4
> Llano county – All along the major highways (Hwy 29, Hwy 16 and Hwy 71), you will see massive displays of firewheels and bitterweed. Coreopsis and horsemint are starting to make a show as well, and prickly pear cacti are blooming too. Rating: 4-5
> North Austin – Many vacant lots are covered in firewheels. Other flowers blooming include yellow primrose, silver-leaf nightshade, greenthread and many others. Rating: 3-5
See photos and older reports at Texas Wildflower and Bluebonnet Sightings Report : Texas Wildflower Hot Spots and Pictures by Gary Regner Photography.
Oregon Wildflowers reports
Horse Rock Ridge 5/9/15
Horse Rock Ridge is in bloom!
The predominant flower blooming in the forest is Fairyslipper (Calypso bulbosa), which begins immediately after the fence. Other forest flowers now blooming include: Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata), Oregon Wood Sorrel (Oxalis oregana), Woods Strawberry (Fragaria vesca), Western Starflower (Trientalis latifolia), a few Spotted Coralroot (Corallorrhiza maculata), several remaining Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum), and a single Yellowleaf Iris (Iris chrysophylla) with more on the way.
The BBC reported
Police in Indonesia have arrested a man they suspect was smuggling rare birds inside plastic bottles.
The man was allegedly caught carrying the live birds on a passenger ship near the city of Surabaya.
They included 21 yellow-crested cockatoos, which are listed as endangered. They were kept inside bottles to stop them from flapping.
see full story and photos at Indonesian smuggler ‘hid birds in plastic bottles’ – BBC News.
Today I went on a field trip with the Master Birding Class I am taking through Golden Gate Audubon and the California Academy of Science. We saw or heard about 45 different species of birds, saw many wildflowers and even a number of butterflies.
The most interesting observation was watching a Nuttall’s Woodpecker aggressively mob a garter snake that had likely gone after a nest. The Woodpecker was joined by a number of Anna’s Hummingbirds, Spotted Towhee, Oak Titmouse, and other birds in harassing the snake.
We saw late season Hermit’s and Townsend’s Warblers. The Mt. Diablo Fairy Lantern is still blooming in good number. We also found a good group of Wind Poppies and had three species of Swallowtail Butterfly.
Click read more to see detailed bird, plant and butterfly lists
I hear 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. ‑ ed.
Topanga Canyon State Park Musch Trail 05/05/15
I didn’t have much time and only went a little ways. Still I was very surprised at all the flowers that I saw. I have been encountering a lot of dried out trails and this one was a pleasant surprise. The soap root lilies were out, being day time they were closed but clearly ready to bloom. The grasslands had purple clarkia, golden star lily, slender tarweed and golden yarrow. Otherwise there were the usual flowers, honeysuckle, Indian pinks and California buckwheat.
Theodore Payne Wildflower Hotline has a new report for May 8 that includes
- Sequoia and King Canyon National Park
- Descanso Gardens
- Placerita Canyon Nature Center
- Elizabeth Learning Center
- Environmental Nature Center
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Kingston Range Wilderness
- San Jacinto Mountains
- Bear Ridge Loop in Bear Canyon
- Casper ‘s Wilderness Park
See full report with photos at http://theodorepayne.org/hotline/2015/TPF_WildFlowerReport_May8-2015.pdf
KCET reported on Inyo County Off-Road Plan being reduced by 95 percent. They wrote
A controversial plan to open up hundreds of miles of dirt roads and city streets to off-road vehicles in Inyo County has been cut back by 95 percent as the result of a settlement in a legal battle over the plan.
Inyo County’s Adventure Trails System, which would originally have opened up 242 miles of roads in the county for off-road vehicle users, was the subject of a lawsuit by conservation groups who charged the plan would endanger both the environment and public safety — including the safety of ORV riders.
Read full article at Inyo County Off-Road Plan Scaled Way Back | ORVs | Revisit | KCET.