Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 20, 2015

Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers 3/20/15

Joshua Tree National Park has a new wildflower report for March 20, 2015

Black Rock Canyon’s Hi-View Nature Trail has thus far stolen the show for colorful annual flowers. However, annuals are starting to show up in other park areas as well. Joshua Trees are blooming at Black Rock as well as Key’s View Road, and sporadically elsewhere. Hi-View is a moderate 1.3 mile roundtrip hike where you can see Joshua Tree Poppies (Escholiza androuxii), Rock Cress (Arabis boechera), Forget- Me-Nots (Cryptantha barbigera), (C. pterocarya), (C. micrantha lipida), (C. circumcissa), Baby Blue-Eyes (Nemophilia menziesii), Tansy Mustard (Descurainia pinnata), Desert Parsley (Lomatium mohavensa), Fileree (Erodium cicutarium), Tidy- Tips (Layia glandulosa), Stiff-Haired Lotus (Acmispon strigosus), Woolly Daisy (Eriophyllum wallacei), Fiddleneck (Amsinckia tessellata), Chia (Salvia columbariae), Pale Primrose (Camissoniopsis pallida), Scale-bud (Anisocoma acaulis), Wild Cucumber (Marah macrocarpus), Rosy Gilia (Gilia sinuata), White Fiesta-Flower (Pholistoma membranaceum), and Jones’ Blazingstar (Mentzelia jonesii).

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 20, 2015

Southern California Wildflower Reports 3/20/15

The Wild Flower Hotline | Theodore Payne Foundation  has its weekly wildflower report for March 20, 2015. It includes wildflower updates for:

Elizabeth Learning Center
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Figueroa Mountain
Santa Monica Mountains
Descanso Garden
Angeles National Forest
Placerita Canyon Nature Center
Antelope Valley
Joshua Tree
Diamond Valley Lake
Santa Rosa Plateau Reserve
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Environmental Nature Center

See report at Wild Flower Hotline | Theodore Payne Foundation 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 20, 2015

Marin County Wildflower Report 3/19/15

Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups has a wildflower report for Loma Alto Open Space Preserve in Marin County. It is located on Lucas Valley Road across from Big Rock.

California Poppy, Buttercups, Red Maids, Seep Spring Monkeyflower, Field Owls Clover, Blue Eyed grass, Blue Dicks, Linanthus, Cream Cups, Cream Sacs, Blue Iris, Light Yellow Iris, Miners Lettuce, Goldfields etc….at peak right now

See more reports at Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups. (must register to use)


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 20, 2015

Desert Biodiversity

Conservation Magazine has an article on desert biodiversity

California, or rather the California Floristic Province, is a global biodiversity hotspot. That means it hosts an incredibly large number of species of plants and animals found nowhere else on the planet. It is also threatened by environmental degradation. The same is true of the Tropical Andes, Brazil’s Cerrado, the island of Madagascar, and the mountains of Central Asia, a range the early Persians referred to as the “roof of the world.” Notably absent from most lists of biodiversity hotspots? Deserts.

At first, that is perhaps understandable. Deserts are typically thought of as lifeless wastelands, low in diversity both of plants and of animals. Life requires water, and deserts don’t have much. But the truth is that deserts teem with life, if you know where to look, and, critically, when to look. The problem with most common approaches to identifying biodiversity hotspots is that they are defined at the global or continental levels. While deserts can be home to a tremendous amount of endemic species, they’re usually clustered in very small localities, often around ephemeral sources of water.

Read story at Deserts teem with biodiversity, if you know where to look – Conservation.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 19, 2015

Central Texas Wildflower Reports 3/20/15

Gary Regner Photography reports

March 20, 2015 – Today is the vernal equinox, the first day of spring on which daylight and night are of equal length. In Texas spring brings pleasant temperatures and world famous displays of wildflowers. This year should be exceptional with ample rainfall for much of the state since fall. Already wildflowers are blooming in abundance, with displays of Big Bend bluebonnets in far west Texas, to multicolored annuals in south central Texas. Trees too are puting on a show with redbuds and purple mountain laurels in full bloom. Stay tuned for continued wildflower sighting reports throughout the spring.

>March 19, 2015 – South Central Texas Scouting Trip I drove 352 miles on Wednesday scouting locations in south central Texas east and south of San Antonio. Long story short, this looks to be an excellent wildflower season. Best areas right now are in the Floresville area and the Devine, Natalia, Lytle area.

> Hwy 183/Tx 130 from Austin south to Lockhart – lots of bluebonnets in early bloom along the highway, but way more invasive mustard, choking out the bluebonnets completely in some areas

> Hwy 183 from Lockhart to Luling – flowers in very early bloom, not worth seeing yet

> Tx 80 from Luling to Alt 90 W to Seguin – flowers early in bloom, hard to tell how good this area will be, not worth seeing yet

> FM 467 from Seguin to New Berlin – some lots already are covered with phlox and paintbrush, but still early

> New Berlin – the Lutheran Church on Church Rd and the big field at Church Rd and Single Oak Rd have very few wildflowers at this time, likely just too early

> FM 467 east to FM 539 south to US 87 – some large fields of paintbrush, and fields of mixed groundsel, paintbrush, phlox and Sandyland bluebonnets

> US 87 south to Tx 97 west to Floresville- some very nice fields already of mixed wildflowers (phlox, bluebonnets, groundsel), should be spectacular in another week or two

> Tx 97 from La Vernia to Pleasanton – not much to see at this time

> Tx 173 north from Pleasanton to Devine – some very promising fields along this route, but early, including groundsel, phlox, bluebonnets, paintbrush, prickly poppies

> IH 35 from Devine to Lytle – it was getting dark, but I spotted many fields already covered with wildflowers, including groundsel, phlox, bluebonnets, paintbrush, prickly poppies, bladderpod, and primrose. This area should really be worth seeing in a week or two. The downside was the amount of development in the last several years has destroyed many good wildflower fields.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 19, 2015

Oregon Wildflower Report 3/19/15

Oregon Wildflowers reports wildflowers on the Salmon River trail, Mount Hood, OR on 03/19/2015

Hiked 4.5 miles of the upper trail to the viewpoint. The big show is the fawn lillies and trillium. 17 flowers total. Some calipso orchids.



Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 19, 2015

Death Valley Wildflowers 3/19/15

DesertUSA reports

Wildflower bloom in Death Valley continues to move uphill. On Tuesday, we drove CA 190 east and uphill of Furnace Creek, and found a spectacular bloom of Beavertail Cactus around Mile Marker 119, above the exit of Twenty Mule Team Canyon. Dozens of cacti are in full bloom in the boulder-strewn wash just north of the highway. Downhill around Mile Marker 118, there are huge bushes of blooming Rock Nettle in the channel of Furnace Creek Wash, alongside some large mounds of Velvet Turtleback.

So far this season, I have cataloged 60 species of wildflowers, including 30 species alone in one day last week along the southern Greenwater Valley down to Ashford Mills. The valley floor may be burning out, but the park is still blooming big!

See photos at Death Valley Wildflower Report – DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 19, 2015

Arizona Wildflower Reports 3/18/15

DesertUSA reports in Arizona

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.

See photos at  Desert Wildflower reports for Phoenix and Northern Arizona Area – DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 19, 2015

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 3/19/15

The Pine Ridge Association has a new wildflower update for 3/19/15 at Henry Coe Wildflowers


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 19, 2015

Marin Wildflower Report 3/13/15

Marin CNPS has a new report for a trip out to West Marin and back on March 13

A variety of species in flower including, Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary) at Nicasio Reservoir, Ranunculus lobbii (Lobb’s aquatic buttercup) near Hicks Valley School, Iris longipetala (long-petaled iris) along Wilson Hill Rd., Lasthenia californica ssp. californica (California goldfields), Sidalcea malviflora (checkerbloom), and Triphysaria eriantha ssp. rosea (Pelican flower) at the Elephant Rocks on the Tomales – Dillon Beach Rd, and an unusually-dark color form of Delphinium nudicaule (red larkspur), Lithophragma affine (common woodland-star), and Romanzoffia californica (California mist-maiden) on the bluffs along Highway 1 south of Tomales.

See older reports at Recent Wildflower Reports – CNPS Marin.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 19, 2015

Altamonte Pass Wind Turbine Threats To Birds

Golden Gate Audubon reports on threats to raptors in the Altamont Pass area from a possible extension to  to run some of the most dangerous, old-generation turbines.

The Altamont Pass is a problem for birds that just won’t go away. So that makes it a problem for Audubon too – a problem that will come to a head next Tuesday March 24.

While significant progress has been made in reducing bird deaths in the Altamont Pass, one company, Altamont Winds, Inc. (AWI), is trying to extend its current permits to run some of the most dangerous, old-generation turbines for another three years until 2018. If approved, the project would kill approximately 1,900 birds, including 280 to 400 raptors and at least 11 to 16 Golden Eagles, 82 to 139 Burrowing Owls, 86 to 96 American Kestrels, and 55 to 87 Red-tailed Hawks.

Read full article and learn what you can do at Speak out to protect Altamont raptors | Golden Gate Audubon Society.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 19, 2015

Pythons Devouring Rabbits & Other Mammals In Everglades

Here are two recent stories on how the invasive introduced Burmese Pythons are creating a devastating  decline in the populations of marsh rabbits, raccoons, muskrats, and bobcats in the Florida Everglades.

Who is to blame for mammal declines in the Everglades? – Conservation.

Hungry giant pythons are gobbling up rabbits in the Florida Everglades – LA Times.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 19, 2015

Anza Borrego Wildflowers 3/18/15

Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association reports on 3/18/15

Still wildflowers in the Borrego Valley, particularly the northern park of the valley but fading.  As that area fades out the best places to see annual wildflowers will be in the washes and canyons and higher elevations. Ocotillo are spectacular in Coyote Canyon right now.  Montezuma Grade below Culp Valley is on the verge of a magnificent bloom of brittlebush.  The rock formations are just beautiful with all those yellow flowers.  Brittlebush are just magnificent, perfect little domes that look like they have been groomed, with grey-green leaves and bright yellow flower stalks rising six to eight inches above the plant.  They do really well in the rocky formations that rise out of Borrego Springs.

March 18, 2015  Cool Canyon: Chia, Tobacco plant, Checker Fiddleneck, Wishbone, Whispering Bells, lots of Canterbury bluebells, lots of Vetch’s blazing star, lots of Palmer’s Milkvetch, ground cherry, desert rock pea, Ephedra/desert tea, and at least 1 larger display of wooly indian paintbrush.

March 18, 2015  Butler Canyon Hidden Spring Rockhouse Canyon  Hiking Details  We went up Rockhouse Cayon first and then back into Butler Canyon.  That is indeed a recommended loop for those without a GPS. And with the flowers right now it was a real treat, a repeat from most places: we have never seen so many flowers on this hike.

Desert lily, Hesperocallis undulata were here, as you can see the seed pods right now. White-lined Sphinx Moth Catepillar have arrived, but Brown-eyed primrose, Camissonia claviformis ssp. peirsonii are still plentiful. Desert chicory, Rafinesquia neomexicana , very common right now. Desert dandelion, Malacothrix glabrata are in huge fields especially on the mesa at the end of Butler canyon.

On our way from the Mesa into Butler canyon we started counting and checking Threadplants, we found two kinds in abundance. Tiny but once you know what to look for rather easy to spot. Purple mat, Nama demissa var. demissa are doing great in Butler canyon, a lot of larger plants. My favorite Desert Bluebells, Phacelia campanularia var. campanularia, we found only one.

It took us 50 minutes more than usual taking pictures, so it turned out another long 5 hour hike. The road up to the trailhead is rocky with deep soft sand, a high clearance 4×4 is essential. And so many I didn’t mention

March 17, 2015 Coyote Canyon We have several reports that the Ocotillos in Coyote Canyon are just spectacular right now.  It’s a sea of bright red flowers.  Just south of town, and on the west side of Borrego Springs Road, the “ocotillo forest” is getting ready to pop.

March 17, 2015  Little Blair Valley loop We went up where I found a small dry lake on the satellite pictures. And we found Narrow-leaved Globemallow, Sphaeralcea angustifolia right in the middle of that dry pond, hundreds of them, still rather small for now. Another plant that Carla had been trying to find and now we know why we didn’t find them. The seem to like more alkaline soil as we found lots more in Little Blair Valley Dry lake.

Not so long ago I thought Goldfields, Lasthenia gracilis where rather rare in the park. We found them all over the place including the Pictogram trail up to the Smugglers drop. Along the boulders we found one of the biggest California fish-hook cactus, Mammillaria dioica we’ve ever seen, huge but in a hard spot to get my camera in. Pringle’s Woollysunflower, Eriophyllum pringlei we where missing in our photo collection.
And Carla was probably most pleased with a couple of rather rare Lemmon’s Linanthus, Leptosiphon lemmonii, nice flowers for such a small plant. A honorary plant that is rather faithfull blooming when we check at the pictograph parking Cleveland’s beardtongue, Penstemon clevelandii var. clevelandii.  I don’t think nobody even notices it but it’s a rather nice bunch of them.

Se photos at  Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 18, 2015

Spring 2015 Figueroa Wildflower Tour

Los Padres National Forest presents….

Spring 2015 Figueroa Wildflower Tour

March 28th, 2015 Meet at the Figueroa Ranger Station at 9:00 am. The duration of the tour is approximately 3 to 4 hours.

This is mostly a “drive and stroll” tour, but please
wear comfortable shoes for short walks and a jacket in the event of cool weather. Bring sunscreen, a hat, lunch and plenty of water.

For more information, call Helen Tarbet at (805) 925-9538 ext. 246 or email at


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 18, 2015

Carrizo Plain 3/17/15 updated

Carrizo Plain National Monument reports on March 17, 2015 –

We are past the peak for wildflowers.  With the higher temperatures and lack of rain, things are starting to dry out and we have seen a decline in the flowers.  You can still see some flowers on the monument, however there are not fields/carpets of flowers this year.  Flowers we have seen include: fiddleneck, hillside daisy, filaree, coreopsis, poppies, goldfields, desert candle and phacelia.

DesertUSA Report for Soda Lake Road in Carrizo Plain National Monument on Saturday, 3-14-2015.

Bloom not as prolific as 2008, but still very lovely. Fiddlenecks have taken over! They cover about 80% of the flowering land area. But there were some beautiful isolated color patches, with coreopsis, acton daisies, and a beautiful patch of wild heliptrope right next to the road, about 8 miles in.

See photo at Desert Wildflower Reports for Southern California by DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 18, 2015

Big Bend Nat. Park Wildflowers 3/18/15

DesertUSA reports for Big Bend

Mar 18, 2015 Big Bend National Park‬ Reports: Blooming now! Phacelia (Phacelia congesta) lines roadways in both the state and national park. The pale purple flowers bloom on curled stalks — the botanical term for this is “scorpiod,” reminiscent of a scorpion’s tail. Photo taken 3/13/15 on Hwy 170. Mar 17, 2015 Big Bend National Park‬ Reports: The purple of Desert Verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida, previously Verbena wrightii) is surrounded by the cheery yellow of Fendler’s bladderpod (Lesquerella fendleri). Both of these blooms can now be seen growing predominantly in rocky, dry soils at mid and lower elevations in the Park.

See photos at Desert Wildflower Reports for Texas.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 18, 2015

Mt. Diablo Globe Lilies 3/17/15

There was a report on the Yahoo East Bay Birding site on 3/17/15 that the Mt. Diablo Globe Lilies are starting to bloom in Mitchell Canyon on Mt. Diablo.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 18, 2015

Texas Wildflower Report 3/18/15

Press Release Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Fall, Winter Rains Will Bring Great Wildflower Displays in Much of Texas

AUSTIN, Texas — While cool weather is delaying the wildflower season in parts of Texas, most areas should have great blooms, and some areas already have a great show started for spring.

“We’re on track for a great year based on the soaking rains that have occurred in many places every two to four weeks,” said Dr. Mark Simmons, a restoration ecologist and program director at The University of Texas at Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. “I suspect early spring bloomers like Texas bluebonnets and pink evening primrose are going to be stunning.”

Fall and winter moisture are important as many popular wildflowers—including Texas bluebonnetsIndian blanket and Texas star — get a jumpstart on spring growth by germinating during the winter and establishing themselves as rosettes. These low clusters of leaves help the plants retain heat in the winter and prep to grow rapidly once temperatures climb.

Temperature swings since January shouldn’t hamper the show much. “Texas bluebonnets and other early spring wildflowers such as plains coreopsis have evolved in the state’s weather extremes and can bounce back from intermittent frost,” Simmons noted.

Now it’s just a matter of north Texans and some other areas waiting for warmer weather to encourage wildflowers to begin blooming in earnest. In the meantime, here are Texas sightings from recent days.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 18, 2015

Anza-Borrego and Joshua Tree Desert Photos

Slideshows of high-resolution photos of Anza-Borrego and Joshua Tree from earlier this month.  Click full screen icon in bottom right corner of Flickr screen for best viewing.
Joshua Tree
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2015

Death Valley Wildflowers 3/17/15

DesertUSA  has a report for 3/17/15 for Death Valley

We rented a Jeep & went down the Green water Rd & up into Gold Valley. The road wasn’t too bad but definitely requires high clearance. The wildflower displays were incredible. Thick yellow carpets of Bigelow’s Coreopsis, lots of 5 Spot at the top of Willow Canyon, some paintbrush, and numerous pink, blue & white flowers I haven’t looked up yet. I’ve been coming to DV almost every year since 1983, and is the best I’ve seen (including 2005) not throughout the park, but Definitely on the east side of the Black mountains… Lots of green buds too – I’d guess the peak is a week or two away.

See more reports at Desert Wildflower Reports – DesertUSA

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2015

Olompali State Park Wildflowers 3/15/15

The Marin CNPS Facebook page reports at Olompali State Park 3/15/15.

 Lots of buttercups, blue dicks and ground iris. Also Amsinckia menziesii, Nemophila heterophylla, and Lithophragma affine.

See more reports and photos at Marin Native Plants.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2015

Big Basin Wildflowers 3/15/15

Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups has a wildflower report for Big Basin State Park

Conditions are drier than usual for mid March.  Still enough water to make the fall nice. Found good numbers of usual redwood forest wildflowers with my main interest with trillium and sorrel that will peak in about a week.   Good numbers of western trillium, trillium ovatum, two-eyed violet, viola oceollata, star flower, trientalis latifolia, milkmaids,  cardamine californica,  evergreen violet, viola sempervirens, and redwood sorrel, oxalis oregana, to make good choices for most aesthetic specimens.  Best areas from a bit down trail from the Kelly Creek crossing to Berry Creek which nicely is shadowed mornings so light isn’t harsh for fill flash work and many easy to photo specimens are right along the often mossy up slope side of the trail.  Also good up first half mile of spur Timms Creek Trail.  And even imaged a couple of several scarlet cap mushrooms plus always amusing banana slugs.

See more reports at Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups. (must register to use)

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2015

Arvin, Carrizo Plains, Antelope Valley Wildflowers 3/14-15/15

Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups has the following new report

ARVIN: 3/14 – Still dominated by fields of fiddlenecks. Other wildflowers starting to form (e.g. poppies and lupines) appear small and stunted.

CARRIZO PLAINS: 3/14 – I concur with David’s assessment from 3/11. Areas that showed some promise a week ago have now mostly begun to dry up as the hot temperatures with no rain, have taken its toll. Isolated patches along Simmler (San Diego Creek) Road, early part of the road leading to Selby Campground and the fields of Phacelias (mixed with some Fiddlenecks) as you head north on Soda Lake Road just before you hit Hwy 58, may be worth a stop. Hwy 58 east of Carrizo Plains also has a number of spots worth a stop.

ANTELOPE VALLEY 3/15: The promising southern faces of the Poppy Reserve have pretty much dried up due to the heat. The reserve reports that some wildflowers can be found on the northern slopes, but I didn’t check them out. The good news is that there are a number of spots around the reserve that makes this a ‘GO NOW’. A visit to the dirt road off W Ave L just south of the 80th St W junction (thanks to David and Jodice for your recommendation) was very fruitful. An abundance of wildflowers (including Poppies, Fiddlenecks, Gilia Tricolor and Filarees) can be found here and if you continue further south on the dirt road away from the maddening crowd, you will be rewarded with dense fields of Poppies (some yellow) and Gilia Tricolor.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2015

Table Mountain Wildflowers 3/10/15 has an article and photos on Table Mt. wildflowers. They reported on 3/10/15

The wildflower bloom atop Table Mountain is spectacular now, a bit ahead of what is normal.

The top of the volcanic bluff north of Oroville is a riot of colors each spring, from purple lupine to golden California poppies, and the show is on.

See photos and read full article at Table Mountain wildflower show is spectacular now.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2015

Anza-Borrego Wildflower Updates 3/17/15

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association has new wildflower updates today

Still lots of wildflowers in the Borrego Valley, particularly the northern park of the valley.  As that area fades out the best places to see annual wildflowers will be in the washes and canyons.Ocotillo are now blooming around town and the PaloVerdes are starting as well.

At the north side of Henderson Canyon Road the flowers in this location are fading away now but the Ocotillo are reported to be magnificent going into Coyote Canyon.

 Grapevine area: The area burned down in 2012. What you see right now is that grasses and the invasive Filaree have taken over the area. But some sandy washes remain.
The lovely less common Fremont’sMonkeyflower, Mimulusfremontii var.fremontii And the fire follower Wide-throated yellowmonkeyflower, Mimulusbrevipes. White sage, Salviaapiana are blooming or are starting to bloom all over. Favorite of the day Cream cups,Platystemoncalifornicus a couple of small fields of them. And the white variation Wallace’s woolly daisy,Eriophyllumwallacei var.rubellum Often mistaken for Emory’srockdaisy,Perityleemoryi.

 Pena Springs – Hellhole RIdge:While driving along theMontazuma grade you notice whole fields of the invasiveRedstemfilaree,Erodiumcicutarium. Driving up to the Pena Springs you see nice fields of Goldfields,Lasthenia gracilis mixed withNarrowleafgoldenbush,Ericamerialinearifolia. Notice the yellow Yellow pincushion,Chaenactisglabriuscula var.glabriuscula. You will see plenty of Chia, Salviacolumbariae. And Commonfiddleneck,Amsinckia intermedia and the similar looking Bristlyfiddleneck,Amsinckiatessellata var.tessellata Carla’s favorite  Hairy bushmonkeyflower, Mimulusaurantiacus var.pubescens, look for them around boulders.And as everything is early so are the Blue dicks, Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum Pleased to see yet another poppy, the prettiest one of them all California poppy, Eschscholzia californica Whole fields of Narrowleaf goldenbush, Ericameria linearifolia At the end of the trip my camera turned a shade of yellow from all the flowers.

See photos and older reports at Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2015

Voting For Britain’s First National Bird

The BBC reports

Votes can now be cast in an online poll to choose what could become Britain’s first national bird.

Currently Britain does not have a national bird, but ornithologist David Lindo believes that should change.

A shortlist of 10 birds has been chosen by online voters on his campaign’s website from an original list of 60.

Read full article at  BBC News – Poll to find first national bird for Britain.

The ten birds that are finalists are

  • Barn Owl
  • Blackbird
  • Blue Tit
  • Hen Harrier
  • Kingfisher
  • Mute Swan
  • Puffin
  • Red Kite
  • Robin
  • Wren

My personal favorite is the Kingfisher. However, as an American I don’t get to vote.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 16, 2015

DesertUSA Desert Wildflower Updates 3/16/15

DesertUSA has numerous wildflower updates and photos today for California, Arizona, and Nevada at Desert Wildflower Reports – DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 16, 2015

Table Mt. Wildflowers 3/14/15 – Updated Twice

The blackoaknaturalist blog has several posts with describing flowers and waterfalls at Table Mt. at:

Also at the Bloom Blog: Bloom Blog Wildflowers in Plumas County Northern California

And DesertUSA has photos at Desert Wildflower reports for Northern California by DesertUSA.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 16, 2015

Hungry Valley Wildflowers 3/15/15

Wildflowers at Hungry Valley reports

Warm weather has brought the wildflowers out early this year at Hungry Valley SVRA. We are already experiencing splashes of color in the park and on the surrounding hillsides. Entering the park at the north entrance off of Peace Valley Road will take you past slopes of golden yarrow. A short way into the park the lupines begin to dot the hills with purple, and baby blue-eyes can be spotted along the roadside. The coreopsis, fiddleneck, bladderpods, and  goldfields add more yellow to the mix as you drive farther into the park. If you look closely, you may be able to spot some Indian paintbrush and scarlet bugler for a few touches of red, but they are few and far between right now. Turning left onto Hungry Valley Road from Gold Hill Road will take you past the Practice Track, which is surrounded by goldfields. Continuing toward the south entrance of the park, the blue dicks are blooming near Aliklik Campground.

If you exit the south entrance to the park and turn north on the frontage road and parallel Interstate 5, you will be able to see the Joshua trees blooming in its most westerly range. Further north, the fields have large patches of purple from the phacelia. More lupine are on the slopes and poppies are showing up on both sides of the freeway. Many flowers are just starting, so there should be a lot more to report next week. If the weather continues to be warm, it may be a short season, so come out soon and enjoy the wildflowers!

see photos at  Wildflowers at Hungry Valley.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 16, 2015

Arizona Wildflower Report 3/16/15

Wild in Arizona reports

I had heard mixed feedback on what was happening out at Bartlett Lake for wildflowers, so I decided to take a quick spin up there yesterday morning to see for myself and to form my own.

Along Bartlett Dam Road, keep your eyes open for nice patches of smaller Mexican gold poppies dotting the hillsides starting around milepost 8 to milepost 11 on the north side of the street.  After milepost 10 (but before milepost 11, near the Tonto National Forest sign), a vibrant patch of sizable poppies is already peaking.  In this same area, the flanks of the cliffs are starting to show blankets of yellow.How good the bloom is up there depends on your perspective.  If you’ve never seen wildflowers before in the desert, you’ll likely be impressed. If you experience the 2005 or the 2009 bloom you might be slightly underwhelmed.  Regardless, enough flowers are blooming to make it worth a visit now and within the next two weeks.

Because a fair number of these poppy fields face east, you might not spot them as you drive in (but will be blatantly obvious on the drive out).  So either bring a driver to free you up to scout or glance over your shoulder occasionally as you come into this area so as to not miss some great photographic opportunities.

Perennials like brittlebush, chuparosa, and fairy duster are out in force, but it looks as if there’s even more to come in the weeks ahead.  A nice patch of lupine appears along Bartlett Dam Road near the turnoff for Forest Service Road 459 on the shoulder as well as along FSR 459 near the Rattlesnake Cove turnoff.  A handful of chia, cream cups, filaree, and desert marigolds round out the showing.

If poppies are what you seek, I’d recommend heading that way within the next week. Perennials making a good start and will look great (if not better) over the next two weeks. For more information about Bartlett Lake, check out page 96 in our first edition of the“Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildflowers” book (the second edition should start shipping on Monday, March 23!).

I also hiked the Telegraph Pass Trail in South Mountain Park and Preserve on Sunday afternoon.  Overall the desert landscape presented few flowers on the ground, but on the lower elevations of this trail, the strawberry hedgehog and cholla cacti displayed impressive color.  Some strawberry hedgehog cacti showcased 8-12 beautiful blooms!  Probably have about a week left to see these splashes of color there.

See photos at: Arizona Wildflower Field Report: 3/16/15 » Wild in Arizona


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