Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 22, 2020

Today is World Water Day

World Water Day reports

“The cost of our success is the exhaustion of natural resources, leading to energy crises, climate change, pollution, and the destruction of our habitat. If you exhaust natural resources, there will be nothing left for your children. If we continue in the same direction, humankind is headed for some frightful ordeals, if not extinction.”

Read more at: 2020 Home – World Water Day

Audubon is celebrating World Water Day with the following post

7 Baby Waterbirds to Make You Squeal
It’s World Water Day, when we celebrate this essential resource. It’s also a moment to celebrate the birds it sustains. That’s a pleasure—especially when they’re so ridiculously cute.

Check out this collection by photographer William Burt, whose images speak of the love he has for wetland birds and their young. We share that love, so we’re happy to share his extraordinary work. We hope you enjoy it and share it, too, to mark World Water Day.

View the Photos
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 22, 2020

Partial Closures at Pt. Reyes

Pt. Reyes National Seashore Press Release

Point Reyes National Seashore Is Modifying Operations To Implement Local Health Guidance 

Point Reyes Station, CA – Point Reyes National Seashore, in response to the March 19, 2020 California State Shelter in Place order issued by the Governor of the State of California, as well as the March 16, 2020 County of Marin Order to Shelter in Place, is announcing additional modifications to operations to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

As of March 22, 2020, at Point Reyes National Seashore is closing until further notice: the Limantour access road, Drakes Beach, Drakes Estero, and Mt. Vision Road gates, in addition to the park Visitor Centers. Limited access will be allowed to Palomarin Trailhead area beyond Commonweal entrance, Pierce Point Road, Lighthouse and Chimney Rock parking lots. The park is operating under an Incident Command System, in response to the Governor’s Shelter in Place order, and therefore have reduced staff presence in the park at this time. Consistent with local guidance, the park asks residents to please consider staying local when enjoying the outdoors. Services within the park and local communities are limited at this time. 

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 22, 2020

European Tree of the Year 

The Guardian reports

A lonely pine tree believed by superstitious locals to act as sentinel over a flooded Czech village has been chosen as Europe’s tree of the year, beating stiff competition from a Croatian gingko tree, a Portuguese chestnut and an English oak.

Read story and see photos at  Pine tree near flooded Czech village voted European tree of the year | Environment | The Guardian

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 21, 2020

7 Live Wildlife Camera Feeds

Here is more wildlife watching you can do while “Sheltering in Place at 7 Live Wildlife Camera Feeds You Can Watch Now

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 20, 2020

Yosemite National Park Closed As Of Today – Updated

Starting Friday, March 20, 2020 at 3 pm, Yosemite National Park is closed to the public. Read more at Closures – Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Learn more in the Mercury New article Coronavirus: Why Yosemite National Park closed

Yosemite National Park is announcing modifications to operations at the request of the local health department,” park officials said in a statement. “As of 3:00 pm today, Friday, March 20, 2020, Yosemite National Park is closed to all park visitors until further notice. This closure will be enforced 24-hours a day/7-days a week and there will be no access permitted to Yosemite National Park.”

Read more at  Coronavirus: Yosemite National Park closes


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 20, 2020

Sierra Nevada Wildflower Photos: Bishop Creek

Photos taken along  Bishop Creek Road in the Eastern Sierra on July 10, 2019

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 20, 2020

Virtual Wildlife Watching

The Colossal has a  video where you can watch wildlife while “Sheltering in Place

A log in Pennsylvania has gotten a lot of foot—and talon and paw—traffic during the last year. In trail camera footage captured by photographer Robert Bush Sr., local wildlife is shown crossing the downed tree throughout 2018 and 2019. A black bear frequents the location, in addition to grouse, bobcats, deer, squirrels, and beavers, which all are caught scurrying over the log or wading through the water. Despite their regular visits, though, none of the species seem to run into each other.

See video at  An Almost Comically Diverse Parade of Wildlife Crosses a Log Bridge in Pennsylvania | Colossal

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 19, 2020

California State Park Campgrounds Closed

California State Parks Temporarily Closes All Campgrounds in the State Park System

The Berkeleyside reports

Wild animals are blissfully unaware of the public health crisis engulfing the globe. Which is one reason watching birds of prey go about their ordinary lives via webcam can be both therapeutic and mesmerizing. The peregrine falcons that have made their nest atop UC Berkeley’s Campanile for the past three years are back.

Read more and see webcam Peregrine falcon watching in Berkeley — the perfect shelter-in-place activity? — Berkeleyside

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 18, 2020

Redwood Parks Status Updates

Redwood National and State Parks News Release

Redwood National and State Parks remains open to visitors with the exceptions to some facilities as listed below. This park’s campgrounds (all are run by California State Parks) will be temporarily closed by March 19.

Updates will be posted to this Redwood National and State Parks website and to our social media channels. If you have any additional questions about the status of park facilities, operations or programs you can call the park information line at: (707) 464-6101.

The health and safety of staff and visitors in our park’s facilities is our number one priority. We are working with the NPS Office of Public Health, California State Parks safety officials, and the US Public Health Service to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. In the meantime, we continue to remind our visitors to follow the US Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including maintaining social distancing, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and staying home if you feel sick.

Visitors may continue to enjoy over a hundred miles trails and open space throughout our 130,000 acre partnership of redwood parks. Even with some facilities being temporarily closed, there are plenty of things to do in the redwoods.

At this stage however, we will not be able to issue any backcountry permits, nor will we be issuing any “Tall Trees Trail” permits.

We recommend that people who rely on visitor centers for park information and trip planning ideas to download and read the parks’ official visitor guide. This publication has been designed to answer most of the questions people ask on arrival at any Redwood National and State Parks visitor center. There is limited cell service and data coverage in our area, so please keep that in mind if you rely on websites for trip planning information once you arrive here.

The NPS Public Health Update page will provide information and how the National Park Service is responding to COVID-19. You can read the March 17th NPS News Release about how the NPS is modifying operations across the country.

Facility Closures as of March 17th

  • Prairie Creek Visitor Center closed until at least April 15th.
  • Kuchel Visitor Center closed until further notice.
  • Hiouchi Visitor Center closed until further notice.
  • Crescent City Information Center closed until further notice.
  • Freshwater Beach Day Use restrooms closed until further notice.
  • Lagoon Creek Day Use restrooms closed until futher notice.

Event Cancellations

  • All ranger-led programs cancelled until further notice.
  • March 21st: “Redwood Wild River Run” at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. CA State Parks will be working with the coordinators to reschedule the event for a later date.
  • March 28th: “Blackberry Bash and Native Planting” at Redwood National Park.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 18, 2020

Wildflowers around California 3/18/20

Recent postings for wildflower sighting in California. Go to each site to see photos and older postings.

California Wildflower Report has new photos from

  • Borrego Springs
  • Kern River
  • Antelope Valley
  • Rancho Palos Verdes, California

California Wildflower Tipline has new photos from

  • Henry Cowell Redwood State Park
  • Lancaster
  • Pacifica – Milagra Ridge
  • Antelope Valley
  • Cloverdale
  • Matt Davis trail on Mount Tamalpais.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 18, 2020

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve Updates 3/17/20

Update as of March 17, 2020 TEMPORARY CLOSURES — California State Parks temporarily closed all campgrounds in the state park system to support state and local efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Camping reservation holders will be contacted via email for refunds.

As of today, non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails and beaches, remain open. Visitors are reminded to practice social distancing and maintain at least six feet between other visitors and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Restrooms also remain open, and visitors are advised to take soap for hand washing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers when water is not available.

State Parks previously announced the closure of high public use indoor facilities including visitor centers, museums and cafes.

Source: Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve SNR

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 18, 2020

Detailed Anza- Borrego Wildflower Report 3/18/20


2020-March-18 We had significant rain in 2019

But after that everything stopped, essentially for months
Yes on 2020-March-10 a uniform high amount of rain in the 1″” – 3″” range, followed by rain on 2020-March-18.

This season we have an above average bloom and good to very good around Fish Creek and South of Bow Willow, that includes Carrizo Canyon and the Sweeney Pass area.
The mid March rain will result in widespread bloom that will extend far into April.
Some badlands areas are lost to millions of Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard, mainly south of Borrego Springs up to the Palo Verde Wash.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 18, 2020

Marin County Parks Updates 

While sheltering in place take some time each day to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you. View the list of county open space preserves and pathways that are currently open. Please practice social distancing whenever you leave your home.

For visitor health and safety, regional parks and community parks managed by the county are temporarily closed. View a list of closures.

Parks events have also been canceled. See the calendar for information about event cancelations.

Marin County Parks will continue to support efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) as needed, based on public health guidance. Visit for updates.

Stay safe, and be well.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 18, 2020

How quickly do flower strips in cities help the local bees?

ScienceDaily reports

Many cities are introducing green areas to protect their fauna. Amongst such measures are flower strips, which provide support to flower-visiting insects, insect- and seed-eating birds. According to the first quantitative assessment of the speed and distance over which urban flower strips attract wild bees, one-year-old flower strips attract 1/3 of the 232 species recorded from Munich since 1997.

Read story at  How quickly do flower strips in cities help the local bees? — ScienceDaily

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2020

Bay Area Park Closures

from Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

Here are the area and park closures as a result of county “shelter in place” orders, effective March 16-April 7:

San Francisco County:

  • Alcatraz Island
  • Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center
  • Lands End Lookout Welcome Center
  • Presidio Visitor Center
  • Fort Point National Historic Site

Marin County:

  • Muir Woods National Monument entire park and parking are closed
  • Marin Headlands Visitor Center
  • Nike Missile site; Point Bonita Lighthouse
  • All park campgrounds (Kirby Cove, Bicentennial)
  • Stinson Beach
  • Muir Beach and Muir Beach Overlook
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2020

Photos from the UC – Berkeley Botanical Garden

Here are some photos from yesterday’s visit to UC- Berkeley Botanical Garden. Unfortunately as of today until further notice the garden is closed  due to the Alameda County Public Health Department order to shelter in place.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2020

Wildflower Reports Around California 3/16/20

California Wildflower Report – Home has new posts with photos for Antelope Valley, North Table Mt., and Mojave Desert.

California Wildflower Tipline also has photos for Antelope Valley

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2020

Fresno Blossom Trail 3/16/20

Fresno County Office of Tourism – Blossom Trail reports on March 16, 2020

The 2020 Fresno County Blossom Trail season is now over. We hope you enjoyed your visit and will see you again in 2021

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2020

Bay Area Botanic Garden and Park Closures – updated


The East Bay Regional Park District and the Botanic Garden are closed March 17 through April 7, 2020.
The gates of the Botanic Garden will be locked during this time. Staff will be isolating at home.

The Berkeleyside reports “East Bay parks will stay open, despite confusion and citations Tuesday in Berkeley. ” Read article at East Bay parks will stay open, despite confusion and citations Tuesday in Berkeley — Berkeleyside

UC- Berkeley Botanical Garden Closed -In observance of the Alameda County Public Health Department order to shelter in place, UCBG is closed – and all programs suspended – until further notice. We will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) situation and follow updated recommendations as they become available. Please check our website and calendar for the status of future scheduled events. We look forward to welcoming you back when we reopen.

San Francisco Botanical Garden will be closed and all programs cancelled  effective as of close of business Monday, March 16 and in effect through Tuesday, April 7

Marin County Parks is canceling all events through Sunday, April 5, including all ranger, naturalist, and volunteer programs. This is part of the county-wide initiative to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). View the Parks calendar for individual event updates.

All Marin County parks and preserves are open and operating on a normal schedule. People who are healthy are encouraged to get outside for exercise, fresh air, and stress relief. Updates are available at the Parks website.

As a precaution, Parks has reassigned staff to increase capacity for cleaning park bathrooms, play equipment, water fountains, and other facilities. This additional sanitation work is based on public health guidance. Visitors should also follow public health guidance regarding personal hygiene.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2020

Homestead Valley Land Trust Wildflowers 3/16/2020

A recent wildflower hike at Homestead Valley, in Marin county. An interesting hike with lots of wildflowers!

Also Homestead Valley has a new wildflower update. See photos and maps at March 16, 2020

– Big leaf maple is blooming in forests, at Stolte Grove and along the Homestead Trail.
– Blackwood acacia*, native of Australia, is blooming below Pixie Trail at forest edges.
– Miner’s lettuce, a favorite edible, is blooming in wet places with a small white flower in the middle of a fleshy disk.
– Primrose jasmine*, native of China, is blooming below the bench on Kerouac Hill.
– Purple cestrum*, native of Mexico, is blooming with red flowers next to the bridge at Stolte Grove.
– Sky lupin is blooming in the meadow on Pixie Trail.
– White ramping fumitory*, an invasive native of Europe, is blooming below Cowboy Rock.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2020

National Park Service Operation Modifications

Most National Parks are remaining open but visitor centers and programs are mainly closed. Updates about the NPS response to the coronavirus will be posted on Please check with individual parks for specific details about park operations.   

Here it the National Park Statement

The National Park Service (NPS) is taking extraordinary steps to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing. The NPS is modifying operations until further notice for facilities and programs that cannot adhere to this guidance. Where it is possible to adhere to this guidance, outdoor spaces will remain open to the public.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 17, 2020

Study Finds Staggering Economic Benefit From Protecting Wetlands

The Revelator reports

Study Finds Staggering Economic Benefit From Protecting Wetlands

For example, in Florida, the loss of just 3% of wetland coverage resulted in $480 million in property damage during just one hurricane.

Mangrove forests, marshes, and seagrass beds protect inland areas from storm surges and strong winds. Over long periods, coastal wetlands like these build up sediment that mitigates sea level rise and local land subsidence.

Read more at Study Finds Staggering Economic Benefit From Protecting Wetlands • The Revelator

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 16, 2020

Cactus theft is ravaging the American desert 

The Guardian reports on the theft of cactus in American deserts

Across the south-west, cacti are being stolen from public lands in increasing numbers. From soaring saguaros to tiny, rare species favored as indoor house plants, the booming global demand for cacti is driving a shadowy, underground trade that’s difficult to police. Moreover, experts say, such trends risk destroying sensitive species forever.

Read full story ‘Yanked from the ground’: cactus theft is ravaging the American desert | Environment | The Guardian

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 15, 2020

Scenic beach on San Mateo County coast to become new park

The Mercury News reports

A breathtaking, mile-long stretch of sandy beach on the remote San Mateo County coast, flanked by towering cliffs and once owned by rock singer Chris Isaak, will become a new public park — the first of its kind in 51 years.

Read full article at  Scenic beach on San Mateo County coast to become new park

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 14, 2020

Birding Emeryville Shoreline 3/14/20

Today I did a brief birdwalk in the rain at the Emeryville Shoreline, Park and Marina.  Less species and total birds than last time I was here as the high tide wasn’t very high (4.6 feet) and it was rainy and some birds were no doubt hunkered down. Here are a few photos and a bird list.

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Click Read more for bird list.

Read More…

Center for Biological Diversity News Release

Federal Court Rules Against Massive Old-Growth Rainforest Logging Plan in Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska― A federal judge today rejected the Trump administration’s enormous commercial timber harvest and road-building plan for Prince of Wales Island in the Tongass National Forest of southeast Alaska.

The judge ruled that the project’s approval violated the National Environmental Policy Act, which sets standards for public engagement on federal projects that will alter the environment, and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, which requires federal agencies to evaluate how federal use of public lands will affect subsistence uses and needs.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 13, 2020

Antelope Valley Visitor Updates

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve  announced

In response to the continuous spread of COVID-19, Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is taking measures to protect the public, park staff, and volunteers. Social distancing measures are being implemented effective immediately. While the park will remain open for visitation, the following actions are effective immediately:

-Closure of the Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center until further notice
-Cancellation of all interpretive programs until further notice.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 13, 2020

Clover Springs Wildflowers

 Botanical Wanderings – California has a posting of photos for Clover Springs. Go to  Botanical Wanderings – California to see photos and older posts and photos.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 13, 2020

Homestead Valley Land Trust Wildflowers 3/12/2020

Homestead Valley has a new wildflower update. See photos and maps at March 12 2020

– California goldfields usually grows in dense patches of small gold ray flowers but only a few are blooming now on the rock on the trail above 10a.
– Red maids is blooming with its shiny rich pink flowers on Homestead Hill.
– Rosy sandcrocus*, native of South Africa, is blooming pink with yellow centers in meadows.
– Silver lupine with its clusters of purple pea flowers is blooming on Homestead Hill.

Read More…

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