Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 21, 2019

Wildflower Viewing Behavior

Picking wildflowers is often illegal. Removing or tramping on them interferes with pollination and reduces their numbers. Transplanting blooming wildflowers is rarely successful.

Please do not trespass on private property to view wildflowers. If you are viewing wildflowers that are on private property please view only from neighboring public areas and respect all signs on accessibility.

National Forest Service on Wildflower Ethics and Native Plants Ethics and Native Plants

Tips and park rules provided by California State Parks designed to make viewing the wildflower blooms more enjoyable:

Respect the Landscapes

• Each park has unique landscapes. Stay on designated trails whenever possible. Tread lightly in the desert. Do not trample flowers.

• When viewing the blooms, take only pictures. Flower picking is prohibited.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 21, 2019

Juvenile Cooper’s Hawks

We still have Juvenile Cooper’s Hawks hanging around out neighborhood.

Photo was taken with a Panasonic-Lumix FZ300 zoomed to 600. Photo is not cropped.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 21, 2019

Wildflowers Around California 7/20/19

Carson Pass Information Station  reports

backside of Frog Lake iris are just past peak and plentiful.Trail to Winnemucca is largely free of snow. All three campsites are free of snow, although the trail marker to #1 is either buried in snow or gone.Flowers along the usual “epic section” where it is wet are just starting to bloom. I predict peak is about two weeks out.Trail from Winnemucca to Woods Lake is snow free. Flowers higher on canyon walls are plentiful, but not yet happening anywhere near the creek.

California Wildflower Tipline has new postings with photos of

  • Tuolumne Meadows and Upper Cathedral Lake Trail  and Tioga Pass in Yosemite
  • west end of Huntington Lake. Shooting Stars and Columbine are fading, but Tiger Lillies and Paintbrush are going strong.
  • Wright’s Lake
  • Monte Bello Open Space Preserves.
  • Mormon Emigrant Trail Rd. off Highway 88 and at least 1.25 miles of Silver Fork Road! Immediately, you see large swathes of Sidalcea reptans, Sierra checker mallow; Eriogonum nudum, Naked buckwheat; and other lovelies including lupine. Then, at the loop right at the beginning of the METrail, turn off and park at the end opposite the toilets. You’ll find wallflowers, pussytoes, pretty face, and a new one for me Astragalus bolanderi Bolander’s milk vetch … though once the pods form it might turn out to be a different variation of Astragalus. Continue on down the road and you’ll be awed by the Ceanothus and all the manner of blue, yellow and red pops. Now turn onto Silver Fork Rd. go just a mile give or take a few hundred feet and pull over when you see the huge field of Wyethia mollis, Woolly mule’s ears on your right … magical. There you’ll also find large amounts of Allium campanulatum, Dusky onion or Sierra onion. You can keep going through the pines to the Silver Fork of the American River or if you turn around and are heading back on METrail keep your eye pealed for a dirt turn out in about a half mile on the left when you see Indian Paint Brush on the right. Stop, park, get out and you’ll see the biggest display of electric blue Hackelia nervosa, Sierra Stickseed; bright red-orange Ipomopsis aggregata, Scarlet Gilia.
  • Sierra Onion near Marlette Lake, Ca. So many flowers in the area that it’s almost overwhelming.
  • Sonora Pass
  • Virginia Lakes

See photos at California Wildflower Tipline

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 21, 2019

The 1,000th California Condor Chick

The Salt Lake Tribune reported

A decades long program to bring back the nearly extinct California condor has hit a milestone: The 1,000th condor chick hatched recently at southern Utah’s Zion National Park.

Read full story at The 1,000th California condor chick in a decadeslong restoration program has hatched at Zion National Park

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 20, 2019

Lassen Wildflowers 7/18/19

Lassen National Park reports

Wooly mule’s ears (wyethia mollis) are in full bloom above the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center! Enjoy the flower-lined path on the beginning of the Ridge Lakes Trail or enjoy the yellow-spotted slopes from the park highway.

See photos at (4) Lassen Volcanic National Park – Home

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 20, 2019

Carson Pass Wildflowers: Meiss Col 7/19/19

Carson Pass Information Station – Home reports on a wildflower hike to Meiss Col

the top to Meiss Col that overlooks the Carson Pass on one side and Tahoe on the other. And the flowers, oh the flowers! Colors galore. There is still some snow and some have not bloomed yet but it’s a pure delight.

See photos at Carson Pass

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 20, 2019

Homestead Valley Land Trust Wildflowers 7/19/19

Homestead Valley has a new wildflower update. See photos Homestead Valley July 19

– Coast tarweed, with its tall stalks of tightly clustered yellow flowers blooms in meadows and has a distinctive ‘tar’ smell when rubbed.
– Queen Anne’s lace*, native of Europe, is blooming with tall white flowers in meadows.
– Toyon, this tree or large shrub is blooming with white clusters throughout the valley.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 20, 2019

Oregon Wildflowers: Iron Mt. 7/19/19

Oregon Wildflowers reports on Iron Mt. Wildflowers

 Among the blooms: aster, bluebells, bunchberry, Cascade lily, columbine, larkspur, lupine, Oregon sunshine, paintbrush, penstemon, queen-cup, scarlet gilia, stonecrop, thimbleberry, tiger lily, vanilla leaf, windflower. Iron Mountain’s meadows continued to be filled with blooms.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 20, 2019

How Climate Change May Affect the Plants in Your Yard

The NY Times reports on How Climate Change May Affect the Plants in Your Yard

As temperatures warm across America, growing zones for flowers, shrubs, and trees are shifting northward.

Read story at How Climate Change May Affect the Plants in Your Yard – The New York Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 19, 2019

Oregon Wildflowers 7/16/19

Oregon Wildflowers reports:

Duffy-Santiam lakes (7/16/19) – Among the blooms were beargrass, bunchberry, lupine, queen-cup, shooting star, windflower and whole meadows of paintbrush. Beargrass blooms were still robust at the higher elevations (Santiam Lake is at 5,100 feet). The Duffy-Santiam lakes trailhead is on Big Meadows Road near Highway 22 milepost 76.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 19, 2019

Carson Pass Wildflowers: Round Top 7/17/19

Carson Pass Information Station – Home reports

Round Top, up by Winnemucca Lake, about 8,500 elev: There’s still lots of snow on the trail and the flowers are just getting started.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 19, 2019

Sequoia National Forest Wildflowers 7/15/19

See photos for  Big Meadows Rd, 14S11, Sequoia National Forest, at (1) California Wildflower Tipline

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 19, 2019

Santa Monica Mountains Wildflowers 7/16/19

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has a new report

Rivas Canyon A trail that connects Temescal Gateway Park and Will Rogers State Park 7/16
         Find this trail by walking into Temescal Gateway Park. At the end of the parking lot take the paved fork to the right and continue on a quarter mile or so until you see a sign on the right indicating the Rivas Canyon Trail. This is a much less traveled trail than the Temescal “Loop”. It is about 2 miles to Will Rogers and then, of course, about 2 miles back. This trail starts and continues with a relentless uphill and you are rewarded with some lovely ocean views. Then it is downhill to Will Rogers and reversed on the return. It is quite an aerobic work out and the trail is mostly exposed chaparral so mornings and evenings are most enjoyable.
I was stunned at the profusion of flowers still in bloom. There was nothing out of the ordinary blooming but there was a tremendous amount of ordinary flowers in bloom. There were great banks of California buckwheat and of cliff aster, laurel sumac bushes and toyon trees were utterly covered in flowers. Heart leaf penstemon, wild morning glory, honeysuckle and black sage either draped over the banks of flowers or poked out through them. All of this is punctuated with some lovely pink bush mallow, purple big flower phacelia and yellow sunflowers. Blooming yucca crowns the hilltops. There are long stretches where the trail is lined with bright yellow slender tarweed. The greenback ceanothus are coming out with a second bloom on twigs that have grown out from the place where they had flowers in March and fruit in May. I don’t ever recall such a flower filled July.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 19, 2019

Mt. Rainier Wildflowers 7/19/19

Mt. Rainier National Park reports

Currently Blooming

July has been unusually mild and wet so far, but the foggy weather has a way of making colors pop. Patches of scarlet paintbrush (Castilleja miniata) are blooming along roadsides in the Paradise area. Scarlet paintbrush can be bright red, but can range in color to orange or even yellow in rare cases! Peak bloom in the meadows is probably still a few weeks off, but a driving tour of the park is a good way to view wildflowers.

Please Note: As snow melts away, it may be tempting to skirt remaining patches of snow that are covering trails. However, by going off trail you are walking on and damaging the wildflowers that you may be coming to see! It is better to stay on trail even if that means crossing snow, particularly in the high-visitation meadows around Paradise and Sunrise.

Wildflower Reports

  • Sunrise (7/17) – magenta paintbrush, phlox, pasqueflower seedheads, cinquefoil, fleeceflower, mountain sandwor
  • Sunrise Road (7/17) – thimbleberry, arnica, sitka mountain ash, sitka valerian, phlox, bear grass, lupine, scarlet paintbrush
  • Stevens Canyon Road (7/17) – thimbleberry, goat’s beard (lots!), bear grass, arnica, lupine, sitka valerian, rosy spirea, subalpine daisy, scarlet paintbrush, avalanche lily, thistle, slender bog orchid, tiger lily
  • Paradise (7/15) – sitka mountain ash (early), scarlet paintbrush, rosy spirea, arnica, subalpine daisy, sitka valerian, oceanspray, avalanche lily (lots!), glacier lily, pasqueflower seedheads, pink mountain heather, Jeffrey’s shooting star, magenta paintbrush, bracted lousewort, tall bluebell, partridgefoot, rock penstemon
  • Reflection Lakes & Lakes Loop Trail (7/14) – heather, Sitka mountain ash, Jeffrey’s shooting star, avalanche lily, lupine, magenta paintbrush, scarlet paintbrush, huckleberries, sitka valerian, bracted lousewort, arnica, fan-leaf cinquefoil, purple violets, slender bog orchid, marsh marigold, glacier lily, mountain dandelion, bistort, showy jacob’s ladder, curlybeak lousewort, spreading phlox, cliff penstemon, elephanthead, bear grass
  • Comet Falls Trail, low to upper (7/14) – bunchberry, sitka mountain ash, columbine, Jeffrey’s shooting star, slender bog orchid, coralroot, bear grass, wild rhododendron, tiger lily, sitka valerian, elderberry, yellow monkeyflower, lupine, tall bluebells, magenta paintbrush, arnica, yellow violets
  • Longmire-Paradise Road (7/11) – lupine, twin flower, pipsissewa, rattlesnake plantain, tiger lily, salal

See photos at Mount Rainier Flickr group!

Plan Your Visit
Sunrise are two of the main visitor center areas at Mount Rainier National Park. Both areas are well known for their impressive wildflower meadows. The park also maintains dozens of trails perfect for wildflower viewing.

ScienceDaily reports

Researchers have shown for the first time the detrimental effect of wildfires on moths and the ecological benefits they provide by transporting pollen, making interacting plant and insect communities more vulnerable to local extinctions.

Read story at Wildfires disrupt important pollination processes by moths and increase extinction risks — ScienceDaily

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 18, 2019

Wildflowers around California 7/17/19

Carson Pass Visitor’s Center has wildflower photos from

Meiss Ridge via Schneider Cow Camp. We hope you try this one soon while the flower display is still emerging. We think the secret is there is a snow melt weep that keeps the flowers moist. At it’s See photos at (1) Carson Pass Information Station – Home

California Wildflower Tipline has photos from General’s Highway (CA 198 between Quail Flat and the Kings Canyon Overlook, and on FS Rd 14S02) at (1) California Wildflower Tipline

The San Francisco Chronicle reports

There are so many mice on the Farallon Islands that sometimes the ground appears to be undulating, a gently rolling tide of rodents.

The mice do not belong on the Farallones, an archipelago 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco. They are tiny interlopers, descended from the escapees off seal-hunting ships in the 1800s. Since then, they have proliferated. There are tens of thousands of them, converging on what scientists say is one of the highest densities of rodents anywhere in the world.

They eat insects, depriving native salamanders of their diet. Owls come to the islands to eat the mice, and then start preying on the Ashy storm petrel, half of whose global population of 8,000 lives in the Farallones. They’re spreading invasive plants on their fur, too.

Read full story at: Is mass poisoning the only way to solve the Farallon Islands’ overwhelming rodent problem? – SFGate

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 17, 2019

Rock Creek Wildflowers 7/16/19

California Wildflower Report has new post with photos for Rock Creek in the Eastern Sierra at: (1) California Wildflower Report – Home

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 17, 2019

Orchids in the Park July 20 & 21

San Francisco County Fair Building (Hall of Flowers)
1199 9th Ave. (9th Ave. & Lincoln Way)
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA 94122

Admission $8/under 16 free
Special advance ticket pricing available for a limited time
Buy Tickets

Learn to grow from the experts

The San Francisco Orchid Society understands that sometimes orchid growing can be challenging. It can even be overwhelming at times. That is why we are offering 2 days of insight, inspiration, and support for you. Each demonstration is free with your admission to the show and you may attend as many as you like. Our seasoned orchid growers will guide you from A to Z. This year we have even included a class on Botanical Illustration for those who are artistically inclined. Join us for Orchids in the Park…It will be fun!

Demonstration Schedule

SATURDAY • JULY 20, 2019

  • 11 AM – Cymbidium Division & Culture by Florence Inserto
  • 1 PM – Media Alert, choosing the best growing materials for your orchids by Jonathan Robbins
  • 2 PM – Drawing Botanicals with Colored Pencil by Victoria Kochergin
  • 3 PM – Keeping Your New Orchid Baby Alive by Bill Weaver

SUNDAY  • JULY 21, 2019

  • 11 AM – Bay Area Orchid Growing by Tanya Lam
  • 1 PM – Growing For Success, secrets from a professional grower by Debra Atwood
  • 3 PM – Orchids 101 by Paul Bourbin
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 16, 2019

Hawks in the Hood

Two nights ago  we had three juvenile Cooper’s Hawks on three different utility poles in our North Berkeley neighborhood.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 16, 2019

Wildflowers Around California 7/15/19

The Marin CNPS has posted wildflower photos from a field trip to Bull Point on Point Reyes National Seashore at (6) Marin Native Plants

Botanical Wanderings has posted wildflower photos from Clover Springs Preserve in Cloverdale in Sonoma County at (6) Botanical Wanderings – California

California Wildflower Report has new posts for Mammoth Lakes, Convict Lake, Lake Sabrina and Tequepis Trail in the Santa Ynez mountains at 6) California Wildflower Report – Home

Mono County Tourism has a post for Poison Lake in the Carson Iceberg Wilderness at  6) Mono County Tourism – California’s Eastern Sierra – Home

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 16, 2019

Yosemite To Restore Historic Names

National Park Service Press Release

Lawsuit Settled Between National Park Service, DNC Parks and Resorts, and Yosemite Hospitality, LLC Over Trademarks and Service Marks

DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. (Delaware North), the United States of America, and Yosemite Hospitality, LLC (Aramark) have settled the lawsuit filed by Delaware North related to Delaware North’s former concession contract at Yosemite with the National Park Service.

The settlement involves the transfer of trademarks and service marks at issue in the lawsuit from Delaware North to Aramark. Under Aramark’s Yosemite concession contract with the National Park Service, those trademarks and service marks will transfer at no cost to the National Park Service upon the expiration or termination of Aramark’s contract. The settlement also involves Delaware North’s transfer of various types of tangible assets (not previously purchased by Aramark) to Aramark and the National Park Service. Finally, the settlement provides for payments to Delaware North from Aramark and the United States to resolve any and all contractual disputes among the three parties arising from Delaware North’s departure as a concessioner at Yosemite, and Aramark’s assumption of its Yosemite concession contract.

The National Park Service looks forward to the restoration of some of the previous names of the properties at Yosemite, including the Ahwahnee hotel, and the resumed use of other trademarks in connection with concessioner activities at Yosemite. Any changes to the current names of properties at Yosemite National Park following this settlement will be based upon a schedule to be determined by Aramark and the National Park Service.

California Native Plant Society (CNPS) News Release

In the wake of May’s alarming United Nations (UN) report on global extinction, California’s new budget provides important funding to protect the state’s biological diversity against loss by extinction. With Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature, the 2019-20 state budget allocates more than $18 million to advance biodiversity-focused projects like seed-banking rare plants and conservation genomics, effective July 1.

“California will not stand by and just watch our world grow more ecologically impoverished by the moment,” said California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot. “California is one of the most diverse places on Earth. We have both the choice and the ability to preserve that legacy.”

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 15, 2019

Daffodil Hill is closed indefinitely

The San Francisco Chronicle reports

Daffodil Hill in Amador County has closed indefinitely because the area’s infrastructure can’t keep up with its overwhelming popularity, the owners announced Monday.

Read full article at Daffodil Hill is closed indefinitely, owners say – SFGate

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 15, 2019

Yosemite’s Shrinking Glacier

The California Sunday Magazine  has a detailed and illustrated article about studying the shrinkage and eventual disappearance of Yosemite’s Lyell Glacier

What the death of Yosemite’s Lyell Glacier can teach us about climate change.

Source: What Remains — The California Sunday Magazine

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 14, 2019

Yosemite High Country Wildflowers 7/13/19

There were many more flowers in bloom than when we drove through Yosemite nine days ago. Heading up towards Tioga Pass from Lee Vining we saw

  • Prickly Poppy/Argemone kunitz
  • Frosted or Sulphur Buckwheat/Eriogonum umbellatum
  • Blazing Star/Mentzelia laevicaulis
  • Desert Evening Primrose/Oenothera caespitosa
  • Mountain Pride / Penstemon newberryi
  • Monkey-flower/Erythranthe guttata
  • Naked Buckwheat/Eriognonum nudum
  • Paintbrush/Castilleja sp.
  • White Rein-orchid/Plantathera dilatata var. leucostachys
  • Jacob’s Ladder/Polemonium californicum
  • a matted roadside Lupine that was very abundant
  • Western Wallflower/Erysimum capitatum var. capitatum (both yellow and orange varieties)
  • Single-Stemmed Butterweed/Senecio integerrimus

There was still plenty of snow in the mountains making for nice landscapes.

Tuolumne Meadows still was wet and didn’t have lots of species but did have some nice Shooting Stars.

  • Alpine Shooting Star/Primula alpinum
  • Pussy-toes/Antennaria corymbosa
  • Meadow or Whorled Penstemon/Penstemon heterodoxus
  • Gayophytum


Mountain Heather/Phyllodoce brewer

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 14, 2019

Lundy Canyon Wildflowers: Lake Trail 7/12/19

Lundy Lake

We walked the Lake Trail about a mile in and saw many species in bloom including three penstemon species, lots of Calochortus bruneaunis, two species of Paintbrush plus many Orthocarpus cuspidatus which is a species of flowering plant in the broomrape family known by the several common names Short-flowered Owl’s Clover, Copeland’s owl’s clover, Siskiyou Mountains orthocarpus, and toothed owl’s-clover.

Coyote Mint and Sulphur Buckwheat


Click Read more to see today’s plant list

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 14, 2019

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 7/12/19

Henry Coe State Park has updated its wildflower bloom report at the Pine Ridge Association website with photos and a list of flowers now in bloom at: Henry W. Coe – Wildflower Guide.

New Website Link: Henry Coe has updated its website and changed the wildflower link. The new link is 


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 14, 2019

How Will These Long-Lived Trees Adapt To Climate Change?

Science Friday  has a great video discussing how Bristlecone Pines and Limber Pines adapt and are impacted by climate change at How Will These Long-Lived Trees Adapt To Climate Change?

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 13, 2019

Why Are There Thousands of Orchids?

The New York Times reports on the great diversity of orchid species

Orchids Bloom in Thousands of Forms. But Why? Each species of orchid is designed to attract a specific pollinator. The genes that make that possible are highly adaptable, scientists say.

Read more at  Orchids Bloom in Thousands of Forms. But Why? – The New York Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 12, 2019

Few of Trump’s environmental claims stand up to scrutiny

The LA Times reports

President Trump boasted Monday of his administration’s environmental achievements, but few of his claims stand up to scrutiny.

Read story at  Few of Trump’s environmental claims stand up to scrutiny

Older Posts »


%d bloggers like this: