Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Poppy Bloom Near Fresno 2/24/15

DesertUSA reports

beautiful orange and yellow flowers running along Highway 180 near Fresno. They went on for miles!!If you are coming from Los Angeles, drive north towards Fresno (It’s about a three-hour drive). Then take Highway 41 north to Highway 180. Then take Highway 180 east. You will begin to see the flowers running parallel to the highway. The flowers go on and on for about two or three miles. They begin at about De Wolf Avenue and continue all the way down to Academy Avenue. There are plenty of places where you can stop and safely take photos.

See photos at Desert Wildflower Reports for Southern California by DesertUSA

Please respect private property when photographing wildflowers.

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Rare Gray Fox Seen in S.F. Presidio

The SF Chronicle reported on the rare sighting of a Gray Fox in the San Francisco Presidio. It was believed that the Gray Fox had disappeared due to the increase in coyote population. Read story and see photos at Rare gray fox sighting in San Francisco’s Presidio (photos) – SFGate.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

More Anza-Borrego Wildflower Updates 2/23/15

Two more Anza-Borrego wildflower updates. One from Anza-Borrego State Park and the other from Borregohiking.com.

Borregohiking.com. has new photos from  Henderson Canyon Road and Thimble Trail.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park reports on February 22, 2015

Unseasonably warm temperatures earlier in the month brought annual wildflowers into bloom fairly quickly.

Desert sunflower and dune primrose are blooming along Henderson Canyon Road, though plants are small and less showy than in better years. It should be possible to find something blooming somewhere over the next two weeks, though a dramatic landscape blanketed with colorful “drive-by” blossoms is unlikely without another significant rainfall.

Annual flowers including purple phacelia and yellow desert dandelion are blooming at the Visitor Center and in Borrego Palm Canyon; shrubs such as brittlebush, chuparosa, and desert lavender are making a beautiful showing as well, especially in western canyons.

Creamy brown-eyed evening primrose and pink sand verbena can be found in the fields along DiGiorgio Road and alongside many of the roads throughout the Borrego Valley.

Caterpillars of the white-lined sphinx moth have devoured most of the blossoms at the north end of DiGiorgio Road.

Desert lilies are blooming among a variety of annual plants along Henderson Canyon Road, just east of its intersection with Highway S-2.

Daytime temperatures are warm, but mornings are delightful for hiking, exploring, and wildflower-seeking!

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Marin Headland Wildflower Report 2/24/15

DesertUSA reports

San Francisco flowers are starting on all coasts of the City. Across the Golden Gate, Marin Headland are beginning to bloom. Blue Iris in woods and Zigadene from the woods to the hillsides. Toothwort in the shaded hills and poppies popping sporadically most everywhere. Evening Primrose from the hills to sea cliffs. Yellow Sorrel is most common everywhere.

See photos  Desert Wildflower reports for Northern California by DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Oregon: Cottonwood Canyon State Park Report 2/22/15

Pacific Northwest Wildflowers has a detailed plant, Bloom and animal list for Cottonwood Canyon State Park at Wildflower Bloom in Cottonwood Canyon State Park: February 22, 2015.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Mt. Burdell Wildflowers 2/22/15

CNPS Marin has a report on Mt. Burdell.

Although there were a few of the rare Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary), they were not at their best, but other flowers were in bloom including Taraxia ovata (Sun-cups), Collinsia sparsiflora var. collina (hillside collinsia), Cardamine californica (milk-maids), Lomatium macrocarpum (glabrous-petal hog-fennel), and Sidalcea malviflora (checker-bloom)

See photos and older reports at  Recent Wildflower Reports – CNPS Marin

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Antelope Valley Wildflower Update 2/23/15

 Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve SNR reports:

Current Bloom Status: 2/23/15

The hills are still mostly green with small patches of scattered poppies beginning to bloom on some of the south-facing slopes.  The early-season grape soda lupine is in full bloom at the top of Tehachapi Vista Point, and lacy Phacelia is also carpeting the top of Kitanemuk Vista Point.  Filaree and loco week have also begun blooming, and some other small flowered species.

The rain we’ve had this winter has resulted in a tremendous number of poppy plants germinating across the reserve, but most only have buds forming at this time.  We expect a fantastic bloom this year from mid-March through April.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2015

Asian Songbird Migrants In Trouble

from Birdlife International

Asian songbird migrants in trouble

songbirds in East Asia are in trouble, according to new research. The study calls for national action and international cooperation to deal with threats, as well as more monitoring and research to help understand and protect this unique migration system.

The East Asian-Australasian Flyway, running from Siberia and Alaska down to South-East Asia and Australia, supports the greatest diversity of migratory birds on the planet, with 170 long distance migrant songbirds and over 80 short distance migrants. However, it is also one of most poorly studied of the world’s major migration routes. Remarkably little is known about the populations and ecology of many of its songbird migrants, which rely on habitats along the migratory route for their survival.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 22, 2015

Detailed Anza-Borrego Wildflower Update 2/21/15

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association has a very detailed wildflower report for 2/21/15. Go to website for photos.

General Wildflower Update  Feb 21
• Hike up Henderson Canyon: You can drive about a mile up the dirt road, park and walk for as long as you desire. Over 30 wildflower species are in bloom, including California Barrel Cactus.
• Purple Phacelia and yellow Desert Dandelion are blooming at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center, the western canyons, and on roads throughout Borrego Valley.
• In Borrego Palm Canyon and Little Surprise Canyon,  shrubs such as Brittlebush, Chuparosa, and Desert Lavender are making a beautiful showing as well, especially in western canyons.
• Brown-eyed Evening Primrose and Sand Verbena can be found in the fields along DiGiorgio Road and alongside many of the roads throughout the Borrego Valley.
• A drive to the end of the pavement at the north end of DiGiorgio Road yields a variety of annuals, including spectacle-pod, brown-eyed evening primrose, sand verbena, desert dandelion, sunflowers, and even a few desert lilies coming into bloom.
• Lupine plants are widespread, and will soon be blooming in abundance along DiGiorgio Road north of Palm Canyon Drive and south of Henderson Canyon Road
• Desert Sunflowers and Dune Evening Primrose are present in the sandy fields north and south of Henderson Canyon Road between Borrego Valley Road and Pegleg Monument Yellow-flowering Creosote is in full bloom on S22  as you drive east of Pegleg Monument
• Desert lilies are blooming among a variety of annual plants along Henderson Canyon Road, just east of its intersection with Highway S-22.

Click Read more for extensive details about locations, blooms and links

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 22, 2015

Texas Wildflower Update 2/22/15

Photographer Gary Regner reports on February 22, 2015

Early Signs of Spring

We’ve had a roller coaster ride of temperatures over the last several weeks that included many days of above normal spring-like weather. That has come to an abrupt end with colder than normal temperatures forecast for the next 7-10 days at least. The warmer weather did, however, cause some trees to start blooming and put on new leaves. The only native tree spotted in the Austin area that has begun to bloom is the redbud. Invasive weeds are blooming already including invasive mustard and pin clover. The landscape is becoming much greener as well with grasses waking from their winter slumber. Native annuals should be starting to bloom soon, but it is unclear how the recent temperature extremes will impact the bloom. I will begin scouting trips the first weekend of March.

via Texas Wildflower and Bluebonnet Sightings Report : Texas Wildflower Hot Spots and Pictures by Gary Regner Photography.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 22, 2015

Mojave National Preserve Wildflowers 2/22/15

Mojave National Preserve Reports on Feb 22, 2015:

Looking for desert flowers? Some of our Joshua Trees have started blooming! Well-timed winter rains and a crisp winter freeze can bring out clusters of white-green flowers on Joshua Trees.

These flowers attract Yucca Moths who pollinate the plants and lay their eggs inside of the flowers. When the seed pods emerge, the eggs hatch and the larvae feed on some of the Joshua Tree seeds, leaving plenty to grow into new Joshua Trees. This is a perfect example of a symbiotic relationship because everyone benefits.

via Desert Wildflower report Mojave National Preserve by DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 22, 2015

Carrizo Plain Wildflower Update 2/22/15

Carrizo Plain National Monument Reports on Feb 22, 2015:

The are some flowers, mostly on the south end of the monument. They include; fiddleneck, hillside daisy, filaree, coreopsis, poppies, goldfields, desert candle and phacelia. There are no fields/carpets of flowers, but you can find some of the above listed ones as you drive around.

via Desert Wildflower Reports for Southern California by DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 22, 2015

Climate Change Linked Habitat Loss For Pikas

ScienceDaily reports on yet another study that documents how climate change is linked to the loss of habitat for the American Pika

The American pika, a small animal with a big personality that has long delighted hikers and backpackers, is disappearing from low-elevation sites in California mountains, and the cause appears to be climate change, according to a new study. Pika populations were most likely to go locally extinct at sites with high summer temperatures and low habitat area.

Read article at Shrinking range of pikas in California mountains linked to climate change — ScienceDaily.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 21, 2015

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Photos 2/21/15

Early spring flowers continue to bloom at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden. Some of the Fritillaries including the Adobe Lily Fritillaria pluriflora are down blooming. Some of plants in flower now are Ribes (currants and gooseberries), Shooting Stars, Western Coltsfoot, Oregon Grape, Pipevine, and Agave. I wasn’t paying much attention to the birds but did see Varied Thrush, American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco, and Lesser Goldfinch.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 21, 2015

Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update 2/21/15

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association posted a Wildflower Update for 2/21/15:

 A mix of unseasonably warm temperatures over the past couple of weeks and ground moisture from light winter rains have created a real spurt in plant growth and flowers are now blooming in many locations.  There is a nice bloom at the north end of DiGiorgio Road in the Borrego Valley within easy walking distance from the end of the paved road.  This location is the best place right now to see widespread flowers in the Borrego Valley; photos of this area can be seen below.  Those with 4WD can expect to see more flowers along the jeep road going into Coyote Canyon.  A good bloom is also reported just off of the Visitor Center – Campground Trail, an easy walk on a paved trail that can be started either from the Palm Canyon Campground or State Park Visitor Center.  Henderson Canyon is another place with flowers in bloom, many species and scattered individual plants.  This also appears to be a good year for desert lilies.  See photos below.  These intricate and beautiful plants are can be found in the DiGiorgio area as well as to the east, along Henderson Canyon Road.  They can be hard to spot but once you have found your first one you will be successful in finding more.  They are mixed it with other plants and flowers.   There is a nice bloom of Sand Verbena getting started and steadily spreading off to the sides of Henderson Canyon Road as well, in the same areas as the lilies, between Pegleg on the east and the intersection with DiGiorgio road.  Localized areas along the roadsides in Borrego Springs are also beginning to display flowers.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 21, 2015

Tourist Pollution Changed Color Yellowstone’s Pools

ZME Science reported on how tourist pollution has changed the color of ponds at Yellowstone. They found that

tourists threw make-a-wish coins, thrash and rocks into the pond, its chemistry changed, allowing the bacteria to thrive and leading to the colors we see today.

Read full story at Tourist pollution is changing the colors of Yellowstone’s pools.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 21, 2015

Joshua Tree National Park Wildflower Report Feb. 20

Joshua Tree National Park reports on Feb. 20

Weekly wildflower reports are posted on the park website,http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/blooms.htm, throughout the peak season (typically mid-February through early May).

Wilson Canyon Dominant flowers are yellow Bladderpod bushes

Black Rock Campground and Keys View have budding Joshua tree flowers!

Cottonwood Canyon Dominant shrubs are yellow Bladderpod & red Chuparosa bushes

The dominant species visible in the park are the Bladderpod bushes (Cleome isomeris). Within Wilson Canyon, other flowers are Desert Starvine (Brandegea bigelovii), Desert Globe-Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua), Brittlebush (Encelia farinose), Turpentine broom (Thamnosma montana), Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata), Thick-Leaf Ground-Cherry (Physalis crassifolia), Desert-Lavender (Hyptis emoryi), Coyote Tobacco (Nicotiana obtusifolia), and Wolfberry (Lycium schweinfurthii).

Desert Rock Pea  is becoming more obvious along the road of Cottonwood Canyon. Canterbury Bells (Phacelia campanularia) are reported along Cottonwood Wash. More common are Bladderpod (Cleome isomeris), Chuparosa (Justicia californica), Desert Lavender (Hyptis emoryi), and Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum). Less abundant are Sweetbush (Bebbia juncea), Starvine (Brandegea bigelovii), Coyote Tobacco (Nicotiana obtusifolia),

Thick-Leaf Ground-Cherry (Physalis crassifolia), Trixis (T. californica), Bush Peppergrass (Lepidium fremontii), Climbing Milkweed (Sarcostemma cyanchoides), and Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua).

Cholla Cactus Garden Though no cacti are blooming, there are a few perennial flowers in the area, like Coyote Tobacco (Nicotiana obtusifolia, shown). Others include Thick-Leaf Ground-Cherry (Physalis crassifolia). At the Ocotillo Patch (Fouquieria splendens) blossoms are very few at this time.

Porcupine Wash Emory’s Rock-Daisy and Bladderpod (Cleome isomeris). The walk toward Ruby Lee Mine is showing more variety, yet low abundance of Desert Lavender (Hyptis emoryi), Starvine (Brandegea bigelovii), and Desert Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum). Others include Creosote (Larrea tridentata), Viguiera (Bahiopsis parishii), Spanish Needles (Palafoxia arida), Bush Perppergrass (Lepidium fremontii), Canterbury Bells (Phacelia campanularia), California Buckwheat Eriogonum fasciculatum), Desert Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua), and Paperbag Bush (Scutellaria Mexicana).

Rattlesnake Canyon Reported blooms are of Bladderpods (Cleome isomeris), Desert Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum), and Desert Almond (Prunus fasciculata).

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 21, 2015

Santa Monica Mountains Wildflower Reports 2/18/15

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area reports via What’s Blooming.

Topanga Canyon State Park  Nature Trail 2/18/15

The grassy areas are filled with red maids, small highlights of bright color. Entering the woodland portion of the trail there are encrypt, snake root, wild cucumber, purple nightshade and wild sweet pea. Entering the chaparral portion you can enjoy the views of the mountainside cloaked in both blue and white ceanothus. Closer to hand there are succulent lupine, wishbone flower, popcorn flower, wild morning glory, California everlasting, bush sunflower and a few parry’s phacelia. On this hike I also saw my first rattlesnake of 2015.

Malibu Creek State Park Talepop Trail 2/16/15

On 2/16/15 , I hiked the Talepop Trail from the De Anza Park Trailhead. About 1/8 of a mile from the trailhead is a very nice display of California Golden Poppies. On the section of the Talepop Trail that goes down to Liberty Canyon there are nice displays of Blue Dicks and Lupine. I also saw Indian Paintbrush, Canterpillar Phacelia, Wild Cucumber, and one Mariposa Lily.

Topanga Canyon State Park Santa Ynez Canyon 2/15/14

I entered from the Pacific Palisades end of this trail and walked through the riparian section. The creek is almost entirely dry but the flowers are starting. The wild sweet pea is the most prevalent flower in the riparian area. There are also purple nightshade, big pod ceanothus, wild cucumber, California bay and fuchsia flowering gooseberry. At the base of the “waterfall” (no water falling) there were milkmaids in bloom. Climbing up into the chaparral portion of this trail there were blue dicks, wishbone flower, fiddle neck, popcorn flower, twining snapdragon, eucrypta, owl’s clover and California everlasting.

via What’s Blooming.

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 21, 2015

Death Valley Wildflower Reports 2/21/15 Updated

Death Valley National Park reports

The best areas are still Jubilee Pass and Badwater Road south of Mormon Point with carpets of brown-eyed primrose leading the way. The Wildrose area is still pretty dormant, but I expect good globemallow up there next month. Panamint Valley looks to be about a week behind us, and less coverage. Brittlebush is very good at Darwin Falls.

Death Valley Wildflower Report – DesertUSA has a number of new wildflower reports

 The best areas are still Jubilee Pass and Badwater Road south of Mormon Point with carpets of brown-eyed primrose leading the way. The Wildrose area is still pretty dormant, but I expect good globemallow up there next month. Panamint Valley looks to be about a week behind us, and less coverage. Brittlebush is very good at Darwin Falls.

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I mentioned there were a lot of ifs that could happen to affect the bloom? Well, I have good news and bad news. The bloom is on, with carpets of brown-eyed evening primrose along the roads in lower elevations, and patches of notchleaf phacelia and sand verbena. Desert Gold and a few belly flowers are starting to bloom, and a visitor reports a desert five-spot in bloom near the Grapevine Ranger Station.

The bad news is that the weather has been very hot for the entire month of February, with temperatures in the 80s every day for the last 2 weeks. A lot of the smaller seedlings are shriveling up and dying. Many of the plants that are blooming are stunted, smaller than usual, bolting. If the weather does not change soon, the season will be short but sweet, as there will be no followup to the well established plants not being affected so much by the hot weather.

Feb 20, 2015 EM Reports: As of Thursday, February 19th, there is a nice carpet bloom of Little Golden Poppies just east of Jubilee Pass between Mile Markers 54 and 56 on the Badwater Road. The gold flowers cover several acres of the desert floor on the north side of road, and have Fremont Phacelia and Golden Evening Primoses scattered around them. This is the biggest bloom I have seen in many years, having visited the park in March for the last ten years. With nearly three weeks of much hotter than normal temperatures, the bloom may not last too long, unless we get more moisture and cooler temperatures.

Just returned from our first Death Valley trip of the year (20 Feb) There was a nice roadside show of purple and yellow along mud canyon (

daylight pass road just east of the North Highway). Flowers in the dunes area 2 miles east of Stovepipe are just beginning to pop – there are two varieties making their appearance: One, single stalk generally 2-4 inches with very narrow (almost thread like) leaves and tiny white flowers, the other was forming a beautiful basal rosette of heart-leafs but had not yet bloomed. The Creosote along Hwy 190 near sea level is blooming.

Feb 20, 2015 Ed the Camp Host Reports: On Sunday, February 15th, I drove up to Daylight Pass north of Furnace Creek and saw a very small micro-bloom of desert annuals. The excessive heat here on the valley floor with highs in the 80s for the last two weeks is burning out many of the tinier plants. These small wildflowers were along the road just uphill from Mud Canyon.

Click read more to see Death Valley National Park Bloom Charts. If difficult to read go to Death Valley National Park and click on the charts there.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 20, 2015

Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers 2/20/15 Updated

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association has the following General Wildflower Update 2/20/15:

 A mix of unseasonably warm temperatures over the past couple of weeks and ground moisture from light winter rains have created a real spurt in plant growth and flowers are now blooming in many locations.  There is a nice bloom at the north end of DiGiorgio Road in the Borrego Valley within easy walking distance from the end of the paved road.  This location is the best place right now to see widespread flowers in the Borrego Valley; photos of this area can be seen below.  Those with 4WD can expect to see more flowers along the jeep road going into Coyote Canyon.  A good bloom is also reported just off of the Visitor Center – Campground Trail, an easy walk on a paved trail that can be started either from the Palm Canyon Campground or State Park Visitor Center.  Henderson Canyon is another place with flowers in bloom, many species and scattered individual plants, but not the groundcover that can be seen in the DiGiorgio area.  This also appears to be a good year for desert lilies.  See photos below.  These intricate and beautiful plants are can be found in the DiGiorgio area as well as to the east, along Henderson Canyon Road.  They can be hard to spot but once you have found your first one you will be successful in finding more.  They are mixed it with other plants and flowers.   There is a nice bloom of Sand Verbena getting started and steadily spreading off to the sides of Henderson Canyon Road as well, in the same areas as the lilies, between Pegleg on the east and the intersection with DiGiorgio road.  Localized areas along the roadsides in Borrego Springs are also beginning to display flowers.

Weather is still very much the critical factor in determining how the bloom progresses from here.  Cooler temperatures, no significant wind, and overcast skies forecast for the week ahead offer good conditions for the bloom to expand.

See additional reports Henderson Canyon,Rainbow Canyon, Ocotillo  Flat  many photos and older reports at  Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update.

See additional photos at Borregohiking.com.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 20, 2015

Cedar Mts. Utah Wildflower Report

DesertUSA reports for Cedar Mountains in Utah

Cedar Mountains (which is the next range west of the Stansbury Range across from Skull Valley. We hiked from the west side up one ridge and did not see a single flower in bloom. I kept telling my friend that there should be flowers – milkvetch, lomatium, oenothera, something. But we didn’t see a single flower. I made sure we came down a different ridge to cover more ground and about 3/4 of the way down we ran into a huge patch of Anderson’s buttercup. My friend couldn’t believe it after all the fuss i was making about not seeing anything.

The Cedar mountains can easily be accessed via a BLM Dirt road heading south at the Aragonite Exit of I-80 (exit 55?). The road is paved for 2 miles to the Araganite plant – you then head a mile or so to a BLM Register. The dirt road heads to the south and parallels the entire range.

See photos at  Desert Wildflowers Reports for Nevada and Utah – DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 20, 2015

Pt. Reyes Birding Festival Registration Starts Today at 8 AM

Registration for the Pt. Reyes Birding Festival starts at 8AM today. Many of the field trips and programs fill up quickly so register right away.

This year, the Festival is pleased to announce Steve Howell as our keynote speaker for our Saturday Night Banquet. You won’t want to miss his presentation, “SHIFT HAPPENS: Rare (Vagrant) Birds in North America – Why, Where and Whence?”   Steve is one of North America’s premiere birders and bird scientists.  He is a senior international bird tour leader for WINGS, and author of several books, including A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and North Central America, Gulls of the Americas (with John Dunn), and recently released Petrels, Shearwaters, and Albatrosses of North America.  We hope you will join us for our Saturday Night dinner and keynote!  The banquet sells out every year, so be sure to purchase your tickets in advance!

We are also offering a limited number of tickets to bird for half-day on the Point Reyes Pennisual with Steve Howell!  Join Steve for a morning birding adventure chasing vagrants at Point Reyes.  This event is a limited and arare opportunity to bird with a premier birder during the height of the Spring Migration!

For more information go to Registration Location: Point Reyes Birding and Nature Festival Website, Select Festival Schedule to view events

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 20, 2015

Michigan Bald Eagles Full Of Flame Retardants

Environmental Health News reports

Michigan’s bald eagles are among the most contaminated birds on the planet when it comes to phased-out flame retardant chemicals in their livers, according to new research.

It is unclear what, if anything, the flame retardants contaminating Michigan’s bald eagles might mean for their health.

The study, published last month in the Journal of Great Lakes Research, found that the top predators in the Great Lakes are highly exposed to banned flame retardants, still widespread in the environment.

Michigan’s population of bald eagles is stable, but the compounds have been linked in other birds to impaired reproduction, weird behavior and development, and hormone disruption.

Read full story at Michigan’s bald eagles full of flame retardants. — Environmental Health News.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 19, 2015

Pacheco Pass State Park Wildflowers 2/16/15

Desert USA has the following wildflower report for Pacheco Pass State Park

The area received much rain in December that started clocks of all the early blooming species. Then the two big warm storms of early February dropped a full 4 inches in the park’s rain gauges according to a park worker I spoke with.

Padres shooting stars and blue dicks have suddenly come out in dense local zones. Wildflowers in this park are never everywhere but rather patchy. Even in the wettest years there are considerable areas with just green grass. But that grass makes its landscapes magical in midday light glowing intensely green. And there are good numbers of California buttercup, miner’s lettuce, and johnny-jump-ups. Also other scattered species as California poppies, purple sanicle, lomatium, mosquito bills, fiddleneck, gooseberry, and popcorn flower plus several others. Vast numbers of stunted filaree plants are yet to flower and it is still a month too early for goldfields.

The shooting stars form primarily in dense patches near the top of northern aspects of ridges and bloom, pollinate, and then fade quickly in just a matter of days. Areas of blue dicks dominate sunny south facing slopes and one will also see poppies there near sandstone outcrops. As those 2 species fade others will increase though for photographers the shooting stars are most showy.

see photo at  Desert Wildflower reports for Northern California by DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 19, 2015

Arizona Wildflower Reports 2/19/15

DesertUSA has the following wildflower reports for Arizona

  • Feb. 19 The poppies are starting at Bartlett lake in AZ
  • February 15  along Ajo Highway between Ryan Field and Robles Junction. These poppies stretched for several miles along the south side of the road.
  •  Feb. 16 Saw Blue Dicks (Desert Hyacinth) blooming in Catalina State Park.
  • Feb. 17 Mexican Goldpoppy that is starting to emerge in Catalina State Park near Tucson. This is at the beginning of the Romero Ruins Trail in the park.

see photos and older reports at DesertUSA

 

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 19, 2015

Mt. Tamalpais Wildflowers 2/13/15

Marin CNPS just posted a report from 2/13/15 for Mt. Tamalpais

The following species, among others, in bloom at various locations.

In the vicinity of Throckmorton Fire Station and the start of the Gravity Car Road, there were Toxicoscordion fremontii (FreŽmont’s zigadene or death-camas), Ceanothus cuneatus var. cuneatus (Buck Brush), Ceanothus foliosus var. foliosus (Indigo Bush), Cynoglossum grande (Hound’s Tongue), Lomatium dasycarpum (Hairy-petal Hog-fennel), and Pedicularis densiflora (Indian warrior).

Along the Verna Dunshee trail near the West Peak, there were Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. cushingiana (Eastwood’s manzanita – non-glandular form), and Castilleja foliolosa (Chaparral Paintbrush).

Along the Fairfax-Bolinas Road, on the grade down to Bolinas Lagoon, there was a fine stand of Iris douglasiana (Douglas iris).

see photos at  Recent Wildflower Reports – CNPS Marin.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 19, 2015

Antelope Valley Wildflower Update 2/18/15

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve SNR reports the Current Bloom Status as of  2/18/15:

The hills are covered with green, and a handful of poppies have already started blooming along the edge of the parking lot and along Lancaster Road.  Filaree and loco week have also begun blooming, and some other small flowered species. We’re expecting a very good to excellent bloom this year; our peak is typically mid-April but it may be earlier this year if we don’t receive more rain to sustain the bloom.

The Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center will be opening March 7th

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 19, 2015

New Mexico Senate Passes Bill to Ban Coyote Killing Contests

Press Release WildEarth Guardians

New Mexico Senate Passes Bill to Ban Coyote Killing Contests WildEarth Guardians

Wildlife advocates are celebrating the passage today by the New Mexico Senate of a bill to ban coyote killing contests. The measure, sponsored by Senator Mark Moores (R-Albuquerque) and Representative Jeff Steinborn (D-Las Cruces) was approved on a bipartisan 27-13 vote.

“I am tremendously proud of my colleagues for passing this bill,” said Senator Moores. “SB 253 is carefully focused on ending coyote killing contests without restricting the ability of farmers and ranchers to protect their livestock.”

“New Mexico has laws against cockfighting, dog fighting and other cruel practices,” said Representative Steinborn. “I hope my colleagues in the House will support this effort to add coyote killing contests to that list.”

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 18, 2015

Central Texas Wildflower Update 2/18/15

Photographer Gary Regner reports on February 18, 2015 –

Spring Right Around the Corner

Trees are starting to bud in central Texas to the dismay of allergy sufferers, but that means spring wildflowers are only weeks away. Good fall and winter rainfall should mean an average to above average season. Long term forecast is for colder than normal temperatures next week, however, by the first couple weeks of March, we should start to see wildflowers blooming. The spring bloom starts south and heads north through April. Regular reports will start in March.

via Texas Wildflower and Bluebonnet Sightings Report : Texas Wildflower Hot Spots and Pictures by Gary Regner Photography.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 18, 2015

Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers 2/17/15

Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update reports on 2/17/15

  •  DeGiorgio Road  Desert lilies in the area north of DeGiorgio Road
  • Little Surprise Canyon – lots of interesting flowers to be found and it is an easy walk, right off of the Hellhole parking area. This area has individual  plants, no widespread blooms such as found at the entrance to Coyote Canyon.  Nevertheless, Fred sends some very nice closeups, and they are displayed in the collage below.Flower in bloom include Trailing Windmills, Allionia incarnata var. incarnata , Yellow blazing star, Mentzelia affinis, Desert chicory, Rafinesquia neomexicana, California fish-hook cactus, Mammillaria dioica, California fagonia, Fagonia laevis, Parish’s poppy, Eschscholzia parishii.
  • See photos and older reports at Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update

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