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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2014

Oakland Camp, Plumas County 4/14/14

blackoaknaturalist posted a report on Oakland Camp in Plumas County

For the first time this season, I took a hike out past Oakland Camp to Gilson Creek. There's a little slope between the dirt road to the creek and the railroad track where I usually find Blue-eyed Mary around this time. But, the slope was so dry, there were hardly any flowers at all. But, growing out of the creek as usual there were a few Indian Rhubarb blooming.

The blackoaknaturalist writes about all aspects of nature in Plumas County.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2014

Texas Wildflower Reports 4/14/14

Wildflower Haven has the following updates

Image of March RD.  It clearly shows the field is still in early bloom and will likely not peak until after Easter weekend.see photo at:  March RD – 4/12/2014 Image – Ennis and DFW.

Took a drive Sunday April 13 to check out the big bluebonnet field at the corner of Watterson Rd and FM535 between Rosanky and Rockne.  It is definitely at peak.  One of the locals drove down Watterson Rd warning those taking pictures that rattlesnakes have been seen in the dtiches so beware!!   Well worth the drive to see this field.   Then I  took 535 to 21 back to Bastrop, then headed down 71 to LaGrange where I picked up 77 toward Schulenberg.   Fields and fields of bluebonnets from LaGrange south on 77 all the way to Int. 10.   The picture of the cows in the field of bluebonnets was amazing.  Had to make a stop at Franks restaurant, then went back up 77 to pick up FM 159 East from LaGrange.   The bluebonnet field with the longhorns was not far out of LaGrange and was absolutely gorgeous !!!   Then not far down from it was a beautiful mix of bluebonnets and paint brush in a field with hay bales.  FM159 has been hit and miss some years, but this year is a good one !   Basically flowers most of the way to Bellville.   Old Nelsonville Rd off of Shupak Rd      ( east of Industry) was a gorgeous drive with a pond surrounded by paintbrush and bluebonnets and another large field further down the rd.  All and all a beautiful wildflower day in spite of overcast skies and off and on rain. see Rosanky, LaGrange, Nelsonville area – Brenham Area.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2014

Amador County Wildflower Report 4/13/14

Calphoto has the following report for Amador County

My best find was the previous afternoon on the drive to Sonora on Hwy 49.  A little ways north of Jackson, there were lots of poppies on the hills on the east side of the road.  When I got to the Mukelumne River, I took the road on the north side of the river going east (I think it is Electra Rd., or something similar).  It is a narrow paved road that follows the river for about 3 miles, the river on one side and hills on the other.  The hills were covered with poppies, lupines and oaks from bottom to top.  I was able to get some wonderful photos.  I think that there are probably a few good days left before the flowers dry out.

see more reports at Calphoto (must register to use site)

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2014

BirdTape To Prevent Bird Crashes Into Buildings & Create Art

Birds crashing into buildings is a serious problem that may kill as many as a billion birds a year. To learn more about this threat read the article Bird friendly buildings could save millions in Conservation Magazine. To learn what about something simple you can do at home to help birds read this media release from American Bird Conservancy about BirdTape.

Stunning Creativity by Virginia Artists Saving Birds at  the Virginia Zoo
Collisions Prevented by Innovative Use of ABC BirdTape

Three artists from Virginia have taken a very practical product called ABC BirdTape, which is designed to prevent birds from fatally crashing into buildings or home windows, and turned it into spectacular artwork at the Virginia Zoo that maintains its functionality but brings breathtaking imagery to the task.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Lancaster/Antelope Valley Wildflower Update 4/14/14

Wildflower report for Lancaster/Antelope Valley area submitted by Son Nguyen

In Lancaster on Avenue I from 110 West to Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is blazing with flowers. Carpet and carpet of flowers, with many different colors. The poppy is not big, but it’s a good thing because they blend really well with other flowers to create wonderful field of color.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Yosemite Valley & Merced River Canyon Updates 4/14/14

Yosemite Nature Notes Blog has a report on what is happening in Yosemite Valley and the Merced River Canyon. Here are the flower and bird highlights.

The Merced River canyon below Yosemite Valley is ablaze with poppies and dozens of other flower species just now. The color of millions of petals is dazzling even from miles away on the Glacier Point Road. Clarkia is already in bloom in the very lowest foothills.

Snowplants have been emerging for about 3 weeks already. Miner’s Lettuce and Gooseberry are blooming in Yosemite Valley. What we call ‘the first dogwood’ located along Hwy. 140 above Cascades is officially in bloom now; Valley trees will be lit up shortly. Orioles have been in the Valley since the end of March, with black-throated gray warblers right behind. Black-headed grosbeaks arrived in the Valley a week ago. Vireos and tanagers are on their way. Conservancy naturalists have started springtime birdwalks and botany walks from the Art Center and there are some really great natural history field seminars coming up.

See full post and photo at  Yosemite Nature Notes Blog.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Bear Valley & Walker Ridge Wildflower Report 4/11/14

The Calphoto Yahoo Group has the following report for Bear Valley and Walker Ridge from April 11, 2014:

The valley is barren. However, there are some nice hillsides with poppies, lupines, and birds-eye gillas along the road before the bridge to the resort. There is also a new beaver dam just before you rise up and bend right for the valley floor overview. On Walker Ridge Road the best spots are those burned out manzanitas, they have a variety of onions and lots of yellow fairy lanterns. Many in bud. Moreover, there are some good stands of shooting stars. All Adobe lilies are past prime, but still good subjects as seed pods

See more reports at Calphoto. (must register to use site)

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Washington State Wildflower Reports

Washington Trails Association has many new hike reports. Here are some wildflower excerpts from recent hikes:

North Cascades — West Slope
Wildflowers are just starting and should be in full swing in the next few weeks.
Central Cascades — Stevens Pass – East
Flowers were abundant. Beautiful fields of Glacier Lillies, and large numbers of Balsamroot.
South Cascades — Columbia Gorge
Arrow-leaf Balsamroot carpeted the rolling hills of the Columbia Hills Preserve today. Next week the Lupin that is mostly in bud will start opening and turn the hillside into a blue and yellow show. As you traverse up to Stackers Butte and back you can enjoy an exhibit of wildflowers; red indian paintbrush, white and purple phlox, purple larkspur, yellow desert parsley and white blooming Milk-vetch, along with views that burst out in every direction. We enjoyed seeing a Golden Eagle and numerous hawks flying overhead, to the songs of the Meadowlark and Magpies below.
Eastern Washington — Yakima
 Wildflowers were in bloom. Mt Adams and Mt Rainier were visible most of the time. I guess now is the best time of the year to visit this part of Eastern Washington. It is not too cold, not too hot, wildflowers are in bloom.
Central Cascades — Stevens Pass – West
The trail had a few little wildflowers here and there (not as many as we were hoping but still lovely)
Issaquah Alps — Tiger Mountain
 There were a few wildflowers along the path.
Eastern Washington — Spokane Area
Wildflowers were blooming and birds were singing in the clear skies.

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Anza-Borrego Wildflower Updates 4/13/14

Two more reports from  Borregohiking.com for Anza-Borrego

Bittercreek 4/13/14:The terrain in the Bittercreek area is growing back after the 2012 fire, still easy to hike.
The wide-throated yellow monkeyflowers are still there, but no longer in the hundreds.
Hike description:  http://www.borregohiking.com/hiking/2014_bittercreek_loop_2.html
Photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/eFMerTrail/BittercreekLoop2

Cool Canyon 4/11/14:  We did see more lizards on this hike that all the 5 previous months combined.
The canon is filled with dry falls, most of them are relatively easy.
Still a great variety of flowers.
Hike Description: http://borregohiking.com/hiking/2014_cool_canyon_loop.html
Photos:  https://picasaweb.google.com/eFMerTrail/CoolCanyonLoop

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Great Smoky Wildflower Update 4/11/14

 Great Smoky Mountains Association has the following report for April 11

Porter Creek  -  Yellow Trillium, Common Blue Violet, Trillium Erect,Trout Lily, Squirrel Corn, Rue Anemone, Wild Phlox   and Dutchmen’s Breeches. Many Blooms:  Large Flowered Trillium, Long Spurred Violet, Frazer Sedge, White Fringed Phacelia, Wood anemone, Spring Beauty and Dwarf Ginseng. Few Blooms:  Creamy Yellow Violet,  Sweet White Violet, Common Cinquefoil, Little Brown Jugs, Wild Ginger, Star Chickweed and Hepatica. Just Starting to Bloom:  Foam Flower, Blue Cohosh, Daisy Fleabane, Wild Geranium, Solomon’s Seal, Meadow Parsnip, Bishop Caps and Yellow Mandarin. Past Peak Blooming:  Seersucker Sedge and Toothwort.

Note:  The White Fringed Phacelia is at peak.  The blooms between the long foot log bridge and Fern Falls are fantastic.  Probably a hard rain would greatly reduce the quality of the blooms on many of the plants. Now is an excellent time to view the flowers on this trail.

Follow reports at:  Wildflower Updates | Great Smoky Mountains Association.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

Oregon Wildflower Report 4/14/14 – updated

Oregon Wildflowers just posted new wildflower report:

Catherine Creek  Eastern Washington (4/13/14)  The camas lilies are in full bloom. Also saw plenty rosy plectritis and buckwheat (I think that is the name), a few bi-colored lilies, prairie stars, a very few shooting stars on lower trail, desert parsley, hound’s tongue and blanketflower. The grass widows are all gone, but it looks like it was a good year. Lupine look like they will bloom in about two weeks. I looked for chocolate lilies and couldn’t tell if what I saw had already bloomed or has a bit to go. Too much poison oak to get too close. Oh and the larkspur are also at their end. A couple told us they saw dutchman’s breeches but we couldn’t find them. Again, too much poison oak. Great hike, thoug

the Cove Palisades State Park  at Lake Billy Chinook (4/14/14) is slowly waking up from winter. The balsam root (Balsamorhiza) is blooming and is adding a beautiful hint of gold to the hills.

Eagle Creek 4/13/14) It’s prime wildflower time on Eagle Creek. Flowers seen: glacier lily (most I’ve ever seen on the trail), Calypso Orchid, Larkspur, Shooting Star, monkey flowers (the tiny ones), Chocolate Lily.

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 14, 2014

U.S. National Park Week April 19 to 27

Free Admission To U.S. National Parks during National Park Week

During National Park Week, April 19 to 27 , ALL 7 U.S.  national parks offer free admission, all week long! Many parks are also having special events in honor of National Park Week.

For more information go to:  U.S. National Park Service National Park Week.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 13, 2014

A Few Photos From My Garden Today

Sedum

Sedum

Geranium

Geranium

Douglas Iris

Douglas Iris

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 13, 2014

Texas Wildflower Updates 4/12/14 -updated 4/13/14

Rob Greebon Photography reports on 4/13/14:

This bluebonnet panorama comes from a dirt road outside of Shiner, Texas. I drove a long way this past Saturday, covering the areas between Gonzalez, Yoakum, Shiner, and Luling. I didn’t find as much as I had hoped, but there were some fields of blue on some of of the Farm to Market Roads between Shiner and Yoakum.

Wildflower Haven has the following new wildflower reports:

Ennis – some areas nice but not much in others 4/12/14

I went to Ennis today and started off along FM 85. There were some areas along the roadsides that looked very full. Most of the fields that had bluebonnets weren’t very full, either there’s not many blooms or it’s just starting to bloom. There were a few fields that had nice blooms. One was east of Mach Rd. The field on Mach Rd doesn’t look as good as 2012 but looks a lot better than last year. Creechville Rd didn’t look as nice as last year. Fields were people were stopping in last year, had only a few blooms this year. The field by the Texas flag gate looked nice. Hornik Rd had very few blooms. I took Hwy 34 to FM 660 then Union Hill to Andrews Rd to Slate Rock Rd back to FM 660. I went up FM 660 and then drove west along Sugar Ridge Rd. Union Hill had a few places along the road where people would stop and take pictures but not much else. The house that looks like a barn didn’t have much in the yard either. Along Andrews Rd, there were some fields on the south side that had nice blooms. On the north side of Andrews Rd, close to the intersection with Union Hill, there is good bloom coverage farther back on the top of the hill. Sugar Ridge Rd is very disappointing. I think this year is the least amount of blooms I’ve seen along there. At the intersection of Old Gin Rd, fields along the north side that have typically had good coverage have almost nothing. Even the open field that the Ennis Garden Club owns is only partly covered. There are some places along Andrews Rd and Sugar Ridge Rd that have quite a bit of Paintbrushes in the field but nothing that makes me go “wow”. There are some areas along FM 813, west of Sugar Ridge, that have nice spots but again, not a “wow”.

Unfortunately, a lot of the pictures didn’t come out good in the color of the bluebonnets. Maybe it was the light filter I had on it or trying to lighten it so they weren’t as dark. Guess I might have to learn how to play with raw (took the pictures in both raw and jpg today).  https://texasbluebonnet.shutterfly.com/pictures/1673

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 13, 2014

Joshua Tree Wildflower Report 4/11/14

Joshua Tree National Park has posted a new wildflower report of for 4/11/14. They report:

There has not been much change from last week’s report. The west entrance still has the showiest colors with the yellow flowers of the desert dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata), desert marigold (Phoradendron californicum), and white blooms of the tufted evening primrose (Oeothera californica ssp californica). Many shrubs, including desert senna (Senna armata), honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana) and paper bag bush (Scutellaria Mexicana) are in bloom. The yellow flowers of the palo verde (Parkinsonia florida) are starting to bloom south of the Cottonwood Visitor Center.

Watch for snakes and tortoises on park roads and trails. Please do not touch or disturb animals in the park.

Weekly reports are posted on our website at: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/blooms.htm 

See the full detailed report for 4/11/14 which includes what plants are in bloom, locations and abundance at:  Blooming Wildflowers 2014_4-11

Related articles

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 13, 2014

Figueroa Mountain Wildflower Update 4/13/14

submitted by
Helen Tarbet, Adventure Pass Field Ranger

Los Padres National Forest Figueroa Mountain Wildflower Update

I realize that you have all been waiting for a Figueroa Wildflower Update; however, I hate to report that there really isn’t much to write about this season. Due to the drought that we are experiencing, the wildflowers are few and far between. I was holding off writing this hoping that the minimal amount of rain we received a month ago might bring us some wildflowers, unfortunately, the wildflowers that we did get are few and nothing compared to years with more rain. The lush, beautiful carpets of poppies and lupine are non-existent this year (see picture above). These spectacular displays need rain in December and January, as well as snow/frost in order for the seeds to germinate and create the gorgeous, colorful carpets that we so much enjoy. This year, we had none.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 13, 2014

Oregon Wildflower Reports 4/12/14 – updated

Oregon Wildflowers just posted new wildflower reports for

The Dales Mountain Ranch 4/11/14

the famous DMR balsamroot display is starting, and should improve within the next 2-3 weeks. Several photos can be found at http://www.portlandhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=18582

Eagle Creek 4/12/14

Chocolate lily, trillium on way to Punchbowl Falls, larkspur, shooting star just starting, many others making nice hillside displays in moist areas.

Latourell Falls 4/12/14 in Oregon

Western corydalis was running riot! One delphinium spotted.

Angle’s Rest 4/9/14 in Oregon

Trillium at full bloom and phasing out, delphinium just beginning to bloom, bleeding heart

Coyote Wall in Columbia Gorge 4/6/14 in Eastern Washington

The predominate flowers are currently Western saxifrage , (Saxifraga occidentalis) Pungent Desert Parsley (Lomatium grayii), Rusty Popcorn Flower (Plagiobothrys nothofulvus), and Slender Popcorn Flower (Plagiobothrys tenellus).

Also blooming: Smooth Prairie Star (Lithophragma glabrum), Gold star (Crocidium multicaule), Upland Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum var. nuttallianum), Naked Broomrape (Orobanche uniflora var. purpurea), Big Root (Marah oreganus), Rigid Fiddleneck (Amsinckia retrorsa), Baby Stars (Linanthus bicolor), Chickweed Monkey Flower (Mimulus alsinoides) in some moist areas, Northwest Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea), Western Buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis var. occidentalis), Bighead Clover (Trifolium macrocephalum), and assorted Desert Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon conjugens).

At higher elevations, there were still a few Grass Widows (Olsynium douglasii) hanging on.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 13, 2014

California Native Plant Sale 4/19/13

Regional Parks Botanic Garden California Native PLANT SALE 

Saturday, April 19, 2014 10:00am-3:00pm

(admission is free) on Wildcat Canyon Road (between Anza View Road and South Park Drive) near the Brazil Building

Whether you’re an amateur gardener or a pro, please support the garden on April 19th. California shrubs, trees, perennials. Find many plants that are not available in a commercial nursery. Horticultural advice gladly given! Organized by the Staff & Volunteers of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden Buy some plants to take home. Proceeds directly benefit the Garden. Please bring boxes to carry home your treasures and an umbrella if it rains. Refreshments available.bgarden@ebparks.org510-544-3169http://nativeplants.org

 
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 12, 2014

Southern California Wildflower Updates 4/12/14

Theodore Payne has a new wildflower post for Southern California

Received several short posts about California poppies covering the hillsides along the I-5 Grapevine, Gorman (Tejon Pass) region. Look for the golden hillsides. If you haven’t seen reports yet this year from your favorite places (like Carrizo Plain or Anza Borrego), it’s because there are few if any wild flower blooms due to continued drought. The few exceptions are the areas we’ve been reporting on recently, especially in the Mojave Desert. That doesn’t however, mean that you shouldn’t visit these glorious sites, because they are natural treasures with or without wildflowers.

We like to give annual tribute to Prisk Native Garden, a long established school garden in Long Beach. Visit the garden at their 19th Annual Open House on Sunday, April 13, 1:00 – 4:00 pm for blooming spring beauties. This is a MUST visit if you are in town on Sunday (See directions to Prisk in the events section below.) Admire the swaths of tidy tips (Layia platyglossa), colorful penstemons (Penstemon centrathifolius, Penstemon pseudospectabilis, Penstemon eatonii, etc.), clarkias (Clarkia unguiculata, Clarkia bottae), apricot mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua), three colors beavertail cactus (Opuntia basillaris) blazing star (Mentzelia lindleyi), absolutely gorgeous Mariposa lily (Calochortus catalinae, Calochortus splendens), wild hyacinth (Dichelostemma capitatum) wind poppy (Papaver heterophyllum) several colors of monkey flower (Mimulus spp. and cultivars), globe gilia (Gilia capitata), meadowfoam (Limnanthes douglasii), several shades of pink, white and red coral bells (Heuchera spp. and cultivars), thistle (Circium occidentalis) and many, many more. Come out and celebrate the effort to maintain this beautiful native garden for so many years.

Click read more for many more reports

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 12, 2014

Richmond Bay Trail: Birds and Flowers 4/12/14

Today we went for a walk along the Richmond part of the Bay trail from Pt. Isabel to Meeker Slough, along Meeker Slough to Marina and back to Pt. Isabel along the bay. We were able to identify 42 different birds. The most unusual sighting was a Cinnamon Teal, which is the first time I have seen one on the Richmond Bay Trail. Also seen were a Harbor Seal and Anise Swallowtail butterfly.

The flowers were looking good today. It was especially nice to see how well some of the native plantings were doing that volunteers have put in as part of the restoration efforts. Native plants seen included California Poppies, Phacelia, Flax, Yarrow, Bush Monkeyflower, Lizard Tail, Sage (Salvia) and Ceanothus. Most impressive were the California Poppies and the non-native Echiums.

To see today’s Bird List go to: Bay Trail Bird List 4/12/14

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 12, 2014

Texas Wildflower Updates 4/11/14

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 12, 2014

Glacer Point Rd., Yosemite Opens 4/14/14

News Releases – Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park to Open Monday, April 14 at Noon

Road now open for bicyclists

The Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park is open to bicyclists. Vault toilets are available; however, there is no running water. Visitors are urged to bike with caution while in the park. The roadway may be wet due to melting snow and wildlife may be present on or near the road.

The Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park will open for the season for automobile traffic on Monday, April 14, 2014, at 12:00 p.m. There will be limited visitor services available at Glacier Point. There is no projected opening date for the Bridalveil Creek Campground.

National Park Service crews are currently working on clearing the Tioga Road. There is no anticipated opening date for the Tioga Road.

For up to date, 24 hour road and weather information, please call 209-372-0200.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 12, 2014

Total Lunar Eclipse April 14-15

There will be a total eclipse of the moon April 14 to 15. EarthSky reports:

The April 2014 full moon will pass directly through Earth’s dark (umbral) shadow, to stage a total eclipse of the moon for nearly 1 and 1/3 hours, during the nighttime hours on April 14 or 15 (depending upon time zone). A partial umbral eclipse precedes totality by over an hour, and follows totality by over an hour, so the moon takes a little more than 3 and ½ hours to completely sweep through the Earth’s dark shadow.

Eclipse calculators give eclipse times for your time zone

via Total lunar eclipse for the Americas on night of April 14-15 | Tonight | EarthSky.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 11, 2014

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Photos 4/11/14

I spend a few hours photographing at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park in Berkeley.  Of special interest today was to see the rare Yellow Meadow blooming profusely. There were also many of the rare Yellow Larkspur in bloom with an Anna’s Hummingbird feeding on them.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 11, 2014

Santa Monica Mts. Wildflower Update 4/11/14

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation are just posted a new set of wildflower reports:

  I  hiked up the Old Boney Trail from Sycamore Canyon Road over into Serrano Valley yesterday and was surprised by how green some parts of it were. It reminded me of January in a more typical year: a lot of small green plants and a scattering of a flowers here and there. Unfortunately there were also signs of things drying up as well. It was probably the most flowers I’d seen so far this year but I must admit it was a lot of hiking to accumulate a pretty short list of plants. Some of the lushness was probably a result of post-burn green-up after last year’s Springs Fire. The bulbs seem to be up in force this year even if the annuals are largely missing in action. Not that most of the bulbs are flowering, but they are up. I was on business so I couldn’t stop and dawdle but it reminded me that there are alway trails worth looking at even in the midst of a historic drought. My guess is that most of what I saw will be gone in a few weeks but it was invigorating to see this modest display in an otherwise poor year. 
         The rain a month ago eased the drought a bit but it is still a long way from being over. Only a week after that rain the winds were picking up huge clouds of dust from the dirt parking lot here, something you would never see in a more typical March. The ground was dry as a bone and most of the water has disappeared into that vacuum literally without a trace. Similarly, the creeks are still not running, another sign that a mere 6″ of rain does end a severe drought. People are reporting that the rain has triggered some of the perennials into flower. For example, the wild cucumber is beginning to look pretty good but it is late in the season for that plant. You might check the coast for the giant coreopsis, and some of the ground flowers in the meadows have picked up as well, but nothing spectacular. It looks like we can’t expect much from the annuals this year. The saddest thing is seeing how many large old trees have died. If we have to cut down many more trees I’m afraid the campground here at CXR is going to look pretty barren by the end of the year. There is still a possibility of rain but the weather people are calling it “late season” when they talk about it.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 11, 2014

Marin County Wildflower Report 4/11/14

Recent Wildflower Reports – CNPS Marin reports:

The Douglas iris were impressive today on Mt. Tamalpais at Rock Spring and along Ridgecrest Blvd.

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 11, 2014

Death Valley Wildflower Update 4/11/14

Death Valley National Park has a new wildflower report today

Towne Pass & Emigrant Canyon have the most easily accessible wildflowers in the park right now. The bloom is now up to the top of Towne Pass and getting stronger. Besides fields of white Pincushion and yellow Blazing Star thick among the black lava talus, watch for Mojave Aster, Globemallow, Death Valley Phacelia, pink Hop-sage and Indigo Bush. Soon the tall spikes of yellow Prince’s Plume will be putting on a grand display.

You will be amazed at the diversity of flowers if you stop for a closer look. Just be sure to use a safe pull-out and park off the busy road.

Greenwater Valley is very nice with flowers now. If you visit in midday you will see the Desert Dandelion and Gold Poppy covering the desert floor, but as the long shadows of afternoon slide across the valley those flowers will close and the fragrant white Evening Snow will open to continue the show. This mid-elevation valley is Desert Tortoise habitat and they are most active when springtime vegetation provides abundant food. Watch carefully as you travel this graded dirt road and be sure to check under your car before driving off. A tortoise may be there seeking shelter from the sun.

Saline Valley has been nearly inaccessible to most visitors due to road damage from rainstorms, but the road was recently graded just in time to enjoy rain-triggered wildflowers. On the South Pass entrance to the valley the bloom is getting nice around the 3000 feet level with bright orange Desert Mariposa Lily popping open here and there.

See photos and follow Reports at:  Wildflower Update 2014 – Death Valley National Park (U.S. National Park Service).

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 11, 2014

Great Smoky Wildflower Update 4/9/14

 Great Smoky Mountains Association has the following report for April 9,2014

Metcalf Bottoms Trail (B-E) – Yellow Trillium, Wood Anemone, Rue Anemone and Carolina Vetch.   Decent number of Yellow Trillium and Wood Anemone in bloom.

Walker Sisters Cabin Trail (B-E) – Plantain Leaf Pussy Toe, Common Blue Violet, Rue Anemone, Wood Anemone, Carolina Vetch,  Sweet White Violet, Halberd Leaf Violet and Star Chickweed. Good number of Rue Anemone  and Star Chickweed in bloom.

Little Brier Gap Trail (B-E) – Star Chickweed, Halberd Leaf Violet, Yellow Trillium and Trailing Arbutus.  Not many blooms.

Little Greenbrier Trail (From Little Weir Gap to Wear Gap Road) – Common Blue Violet, Trailing Arbutus, Wild Oats (1), Birdfoot Violet, Plantain Leaf Pussy Toe and Common Cinquefoil. Not many blooms.

Wear Gap Road (From Park Boundary to Metcalf Bottoms) – Carolina Vetch, Yellow Trillium, Plantain Leaf Pussy Toe, Common Blue Violets,  Rue Anemone and Hepatica.   Good number of Rue Anemone and Common Blue Violets in bloom.

Follow reports at:  Wildflower Updates | Great Smoky Mountains Association.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 11, 2014

Antelope Valley 4/11/14

Submitted by Spencer Westbrook  author of A Guide to Wildflower Locations of Central and Southern California

I travelled to the Antelope Valley/ Gorman area yesterday, about a 90 minute drive from my Ventura home, here is what I found.
Gorman. at 3800-4000+ elevation, is showing a bit of color , a few poppies on the hillsides with lots of inmature plants growing among the bloomers. Perhaps in a week-10 days there may be a bit more of a bloom but don’t expect much in the way of an OMG bloom.
Antelope Valley: There are poppies around, especially in the west end off 300th/290th Ave areas. It appears there may be a large field developing along the 290th Ave toward the top of the road near the gate to Tejon property. Also along the base of the Quail lake hills off 300th ave there appears to be a thicjk bloom of flowers.
The west end of the Poppy Reserve on Lancaster Rd had a nice display of poppies
Perhaps the best displays I found were on the corner of Munz Ranch Rd/Elizabeth Lake Rd, west of the Poppy Reserve. A very nice display of many type of flowers mixed together including poppies and chia, lupine, goldfields, blazing star, primrose.
About a 1/4 mile before the interesction of Munz Ranch Rd/ Elizabeth Lake Rd at mile marker 4.03 (on Munz Ranch Rd) there are very nice displays of baby blue eyes, chia, forget-me-nots, pincushion, and lots of jewel flower, (among the most I have ever seen in one location) among the hills.
This area made the days drive well worth the time.
Pics attached are of this area from yesterday

Antelope Valley by Spencer Westbrook

Antelope Valley by Spencer Westbrook

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 11, 2014

Bill Banning Sea World Orca Shows Table

The Sacramento Bee reported that a California State Assembly committed tabled until next year a bill that would have banned the captive orca breeding and shows involving the whales at SeaWorld. Concerns about the treatment of orca were raised in the  documentary “Blackfish”. Read more at: Bill to ban California SeaWorld orca shows sidetracked – Environment – The Sacramento Bee.

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