Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 18, 2016

New England Fall Foliage 10/18 /16

The New England Today fall color map shows views of live foliage reports from across New England. The higher elevations in the White and Green Mts. are now starting to show past peak. Lower elevations are still showing peak.  See map at Live Fall Foliage Map for the most up to date reports. You can click on each county to see reports and photos.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 18, 2016

The Disappearing Caribou

The New York Times reports

A herd in the Selkirk Mountains near the Canadian border is down to about a dozen, threatened by wolves and a larger problem: development.

The only caribou left in the contiguous United States are here in northern Idaho where they number about a dozen and live deep in the forests of the jagged Selkirk Mountains, near the Canadian border. Because they are so rarely seen, the caribou — America’s version of reindeer — are known as gray ghosts.

They may very soon become real ghosts: These animals are among the most endangered species in the lower 48 states.

Read full story at America’s Gray Ghosts: The Disappearing Caribou – The New York Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 17, 2016

Birding Emeryville Shoreline 10/17/16

Today we went birding at high tide along the Emeryville Shoreline and Marina. The high tide results in many shorebirds roosting on the rocks just south of the road and sidewalk. My guesses of about 100 Willets and 15o Godwits are probably much too conservative . There were also about ten Whimbrel and three Black Turnstone seen along the rocks along with one Spotted Sandpiper. We identified 23 species. Also seen were five butterfly species: Monarch, Orange Sulfur, West Coast Lady, Fiery Skipper and Cabbage White.

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click see more to see bird list

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 17, 2016

California Fall Color Updates 10/17/16

California Fall Color has several new updates today. See photos at California Fall Color

Post Storm Reports so far have been that the color is holding firm on most trees, despite gusting winds. So, we’re hopeful that, come Monday, there’ll still be lots of peak color to enjoy in the Eastern and Northern Sierra and Shasta Cascade.

Lake Camanche should peak in two to three weeks, in time with peaks in these other locations, making Lake Camanche a central and inexpensive place to base when exploring autumn scenes throughout the region.
Lake Camanche – Patchy (10-50%)

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in San Diego County,-black oak and shrubs are peaking. With high winds predicted this week, he’s concerned that the color won’t survive for long.
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 17, 2016

Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks October 21

Earth Sky reports

In 2016, the annual Orionid meteor shower is expected to rain down the greatest number of meteors before dawn on October 21 – though, unfortunately, under the light of the waning gibbous moon. On a dark, moonless night, 10 to 20 meteors per hour can be seen at this shower’s peak.

What are the prospects for the 2015 Orionid shower?

Where do I look in the sky to see the Orionids?

How many Orionid meteors will I see?

What are meteors, anyway?

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 16, 2016

Coconino National Forest Fall Color 10/16/16

 Coconino National Forest  reports

The best bets for fall color viewing opportunities over the next week is around the Snowbowl, Hart Prairie, and western slopes of the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, and upper Oak Creek Canyon.

Flagstaff Ranger District Fall Color Update: October 16, 2016

The fall color season for the Flagstaff is in full swing around Mt. Elden and the San Francisco Peaks. There is strong color in Lockett Meadow, Hart Prarie, Schultz Pass, Snowbowl Road, and around the north side of the Peaks in the area of Bear Jaw, Reese, and Abineau canyons. Color is starting to fade in the Inner Basin. Trees are beginning to turn around the Snowbowl.

Sunday observations of Mount Elden show the color is all but gone on the eastern slopes.

Schultz Pass and the southern face of the San Francisco Peaks facing Flagstaff show fantastic fall color. Aspens near the road are at peak color or starting to drop leaves. Sunday observations of the pass show groups of aspens in the upper portions of Weatherford Canyon have dropped their leaves.  Recommended Schultz Pass area trails:

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 16, 2016

Solving The Salton Sea Crisis

The San Diego Union- Tribune reports

The Obama administration and the state of California recently announced an agreement to stop the Salton Sea’s looming collapse. Building on California’s $80 million commitment in its 2016-2017 budget and the groundwork laid by the Imperial Irrigation District, President Obama committed $30 million to accelerating habitat and dust suppression projects across 25,000 acres, improving air and water quality, and restoring fish and wildlife habitat.

Read story at Solving the Salton Sea crisis – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 15, 2016

Great Smoky Fall Color 10/14/16

Great Smokey National Park has the following newFall Color Report  for  October 14, 2016 on its Facebook page

Green is now very sparse among the deciduous trees at high elevations. The mountains are awash with yellow and gold. While the majority of colors are more subdued now that the trees have passed their peak at the highest elevations, the mountain ash berries along Clingmans Dome Road still offer glimpses of bright red and maroon.
The maples are stealing the show with their vibrant reds and oranges at the middle elevations. A drive along Newfound Gap Road makes that abundantly clear as they stand out against the mix of green and yellow. The mid-level mountain ridges are ablaze with color as seen from the roadside overlooks.
While the lower elevations are still dominated by green, the dogwoods continue to delight with their deepening reds and brightening oranges. A drive along Little River Road and Lakeview Drive gives a hint on what is to come as the maples have begun to turn.

See photos at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 15, 2016

Impact Of Human Activities On Marine Mammals

ScienceDaily reports

Rising levels of noise in the ocean have been identified as a growing concern for the well-being of marine mammals, but other threats such as pollution, climate change, and prey depletion by fisheries may also harm marine mammals and influence their response to additional noise. Current knowledge and data are insufficient to determine what combination of factors cause the greatest concern, says a new report.

Read full story at Assessing the effects of human-caused activities on marine mammals — ScienceDaily

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 14, 2016

Superior National Forest Fall Color 10/14/16

Superior National Forest has a new fall color report

Fall color is a bit past peak, but aspen and birch are brilliant yellow and tamaracks are golden.  There are even a few spots with maples still.  Please drive respectfully on the narrow Forest roads!

For downloadable maps of the fall color tours, choose from the options below:

Our nationally designated Scenic Byways and Scenic Drives are also good locations for fall colors:

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 14, 2016

Climate Change Causing Earlier Springs In National Parks

National  Geographic reports

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced a new report revealing that three-quarters of 276 national parks are experiencing an earlier onset of spring. Half of the parks studied are experiencing “extreme” early springs.

Read story at Climate Change Is Causing Earlier Springs in National Parks

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 13, 2016

California Fall Color 10/13/16

California Fall Color  has three new reports


willows around Manzanita Lake near the northwest entrance are “mostly golden, some still holding light green.”
She doesn’t expect many leaves to remain after this storm. In its defense, our experience is that leaves that have not yet turned are still sturdy enough to stay on branches, but those at peak fly away to parts unknown.
A cottonwood beside the Ranger Station is peaking and the short walk around Manzanita Lake is not only a delight, but splattered with color there.
Modoc County Courthouse – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
Lassen Volcanic National Park – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!
See photos at Lassen Volcanic National Park

June Lake

photos from today before the storm arrives One Last Look

Hope Valley

Though higher areas of the Hope Valley are past peak, she sends these shots, taken today at Not Giving Up Hope
Hope Valley – Peak to Past Peak – YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 13, 2016

Southern Utah Fall Color 10/13/16

Cedar City • Brian Head Tourism Bureau has a new fall color report for 10/13/16

High Elevation – Alpine
Brian Head, Cedar Breaks and Panguitch Lake

Percent of Change: PAST PEAK

Color Report: Current leaf reports are coming in that the majority of the leaves in the high elevation have been blown away. Please be sure to comeback next year on September 1st for another spectacular fall in beautiful southern Utah.

Mid Elevation – Sub-Alpine
Parowan Canyon and Cedar Canyon Area

Percent of Change: PEAK

Color Report: Locals are saying that with the colder temperatures have really helped change the leaves in the mid-elevation. Some of the highlighted areas for fiery reds, beautiful yellows and bright oranges is along Right Hand Canyon / Kolob Reservoir Rd and Yankee Meadow Road (off Hwy-143). Continue checking back for updates and changing leaves in the mid elevation.

Low Elevation – High Valley, Cedar City and Kolob Canyons Area

Percent of Change: MODERATE

Color Report: The cooler weather along with rain and wind has really helping the leaves in the lower elevations start to change. Small glimmers of color are starting to appear with some reds and oranges as well as yellows sprinkled throughout. More color can be expected mid to late October. Be sure to check in often to check the status of our golden yellows, bright oranges and fiery reds as the temperatures cool and the leaves change.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 13, 2016

Asheville NC Fall Foliage Color 10/13/16

Asheville NC Fall Foliage Color 2016 reports

What a great week for a gorgeous drive in the North Carolina Mountains! Leaves are still mostly green with some bright colors evolving, mostly in higher elevations. The best color now is along the Cherohala Skyway (see photos we took on Oct 12). Overall, fall color is running about a week later than usual due to the warm weather. Along the Parkway, find the best color above 4,000 feet elevation, especially near Grandfather Mountain, Linville Falls, Craggy Gardens and Graveyard Fields. See more recent photos at our fall photo reports!


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 13, 2016

Northern Owens Valley Fall Color 10/12/16

California Fall Color reports

 A smattering of yellow decorates the Bishop Country Club which is otherwise “still beautifully green” and is likely a “late starter.” She predicts it will approach peak in a few days to a week, depending on how much wind lashes the East Side, this week. 

There are large and small cottonwood trees dotted all across the northern Owens Valley floor. Some are loners, others in groves. The smaller trees range from fully yellow with burnished orange tips to an overall bronzed orange. 

“The larger trees are just beginning to turn yellow on the tops and edges. Deep red leaves on creeping vines appear as if on fire as they curl around gnarled old wood of dead trees alongside the creeks. 

“A high point along Eastside road that runs along the base of the White mountains provides a panoramic view of the Owens River valley and the Sierra Nevada beyond. Early morning and sunset are always beautiful out here. 

“The creek, marshes and ponds along Buckley Ponds road have abundant birdlife and the reeds are a shimmering copper color. 

“There are large individual trees in many spots in and around Bishop that are almost iridescent yellow.

Owens Valley – Patchy (10-50%)

See Photos at Northern Owens Valley Burnished With Orange

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 13, 2016

When Planting Milkweed Doesn’t Help Monarchs

Doesn’t planting milkweed help Monarch Butterflies? The answer is not that simple. Experts are reporting that milkweed should only be planted in areas where it occurs naturally and we should only be planting milkweeds that are native locally.

Here is a brief excerpt from an article in Bay Nature

Turns out there is strong evidence that planting milkweed (Aesclepis sp.) in places it never was (San Francisco and other California counties) might not be the best idea. If they never bred somewhere, making them breed is not helping them. They should move along, or nectar, or overwinter in their South/Southwesterly Migration. Milkweed that never was is not missing. Get it?

So, this is what I would advise: a) Find out the local, native Milkweed endemic to your area. (Do not proceed to Home Depot because tropical milkweed is easier to buy. Do your research: call your local California Native Plant Society Chapter) b) If you live in Northern San Mateo County or San Francisco County, DO NOT PLANT MILKWEED.

Read Full Story at Should I Plant Milkweed to Save the Monarchs?

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 12, 2016

New York Fall Color 10/12/16

New York Fall Foliage reports

Bright, beautiful peak colors spread across New York State this wee

Week of Oct. 13-19, 2016

9 regions will see peak or near peak leaves this weekend 

This is the fifth 2016 Fall Foliage Report for New York State. Reports are obtained from field observers and reflect expected color conditions for the coming weekend. Fall Foliage Reports are issued every Wednesday afternoon. Follow I Love New York on Instagram to see amazing fall foliage photos, and be sure to tag your own images with #NYLovesFall for a chance to be featured.

Spectacular vibrant peak and near peak colors are making their way across New York State, creating another excellent week of leaf peeping, according to observers for Empire State Development’s I Love New York program. Nine of the state’s 11 regions will see peak or near peak colors.

In the Adirondacks, peak conditions with bright leaves and near complete color change await travelers to Saranac Lake in Franklin County this weekend, according to spotters in Malone. Look for reds in full blaze and lots of yellow deepened to gold.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 12, 2016

San Juan National Forest 10/12/16

San Juan National Forest  reports

Estimated Percentage of Current Fall Foliage:
Durango to Purgatory – past peak
Molas Pass – past peak
Silverton/Red Mtn Pass – past peak
Pagosa – past peak
Dolores to Lizard Head Pass – past peak
Mancos/La Platas – past peak
San Juan Skyway- past peak

Areas with Greatest Amount of Color / Recommended Viewing Areas:
There are still some great photos in the patches that still have leaves.

Estimated Peak Viewing Period:
Most places are past peak and losing leaves.

Viewing Suggestions / Tips:
Past peak doesn’t mean bad.  Just harder to find great pictures.
Weather should be clear later in the week for the last bit of colo

Trees That Are Currently Turning Color: Oak Brush, then Aspen, then Cottonwoods.

For More Information on Fall Colors Please Contact: San Juan Public Lands Center, Durango (970) 247-4874

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 12, 2016

Trinity Alps Fall Color 10/11/16

California Fall Color reports

Pacific dogwood are blessing the forest with a mix of rose, ruby and lime leaves in the Trinity Alps along CA-3.

Mixed in the forest are the bright yellow leaves of Locust trees and speckles of gold and yellow willow along the trail to Caribou Lakes in the Trinity Wilderness.

Trinity Alps – Patchy (10-50%)

See photos at Trinity Dogwood and Locusts a Blessing

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 12, 2016

Lake Almanor Fall Color 10/11/16

California Fall Color reports

“a rainbow of colors” in the neighborhoods of Chester at Lake Almanor with bigleaf and rocky mountain maples – as well as some exotics in gardens – showing, “everything from lime green to lemon, gold, umber, and cranberry.”

Lake Almanor is located along the Feather River in northern California, where the northern Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade ranges meet.

Three ecosystems overlap there, the two mountain ranges and the high deserts of northern California and Nevada.  This results in a mix of plant and animal life that makes it one of the most fascinating corners of California, and provides for a vibrant mix of fall colors.

Lake Almanor – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

See photos at Rainbow of Colors at Lake Almanor

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 12, 2016

 Great Smoky Mountains Fall Colors 10/4/16

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (U.S. National Park Service) reports

October 11,2016

Low elevations are still predominantly green but the progression of fall color from the highest peaks is quickly moving down the mountainsides. Color can now be seen along ridges throughout the park in the mid to high elevation zones. Patches of vibrant reds have developed on black gums, dogwoods, sourwoods, and maples in these areas along with golden yellows from the birches and beech.

Beautiful vistas with fall color can still be seen from Clingmans Dome Road, the higher reaches of Newfound Gap Road, and Balsam Mountain Road. And, be sure to take note of the fall wildflower displays which continue to be especially colorful. Flowers such as purple asters, white asters, pale jewelweed, great blue lobelia, stiff gentian, and golden rod are blooming profusely along roads and trails in the park.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 12, 2016

Should We Be Worried About North American Moose?

National Geographic reports

Predators and parasites have taken their toll on the iconic animal, but in many areas they are thriving.

Read story at Should We Be Worried About North American Moose?

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 11, 2016

Eastern Sierra Fall Color 10/11/16

California Fall Color reports

Mammoth Creek Road – Near Peak (50-75%) Go Now! – This spot sure turned on, quick. The dazzling display of aspen closely grouped together and hugging Mammoth Creek can easily be seen from US-395. From the right vantage point, one can even capture Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in the background. 

Lundy Canyon – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – This hotspot never disappoints. You’ll get a fantastic show of fall color along the entire road up to Lundy Canyon. Nearly every grove before Lundy Lake is at peak while some trees at the lake level are now past peak. Take a little extra time to drive back to the beaver ponds for an excellent view of the canyon reflected in the water.

June Lake Loop -Near Peak (50-75%) Go Now! – From June Lake to Grant Lake you can’t lose. It seems that just around every corner on the loop there’s another grove starting to peak. It’s hard not to stop at every turn off making the loop more of a full day drive than just a quick alternate route. The Loop typically starts to peak around  this time every year and colors tend to last for about 2 weeks (weather dependent). With the possibility of snow this weekend, you might want to make the drive up and experience the fall colors with a fresh dusting of snow on the ground. Nothing compares to the beauty that happens when fall colors and snow battle for all of the attention.

See photos at  All Eyes on the Eastern Sierra

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 11, 2016

New England Fall Foliage 10/11 /16

The New England Today fall color map’s view of live foliage reports from across New England. Most of  Maine and Northern New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts are peaking  or very close. Other areas are showing moderate fall colors or are just starting.  A few spots in Maine may even be just past peak. If you want to see New England Fall Color GO NOW. See map at Live Fall Foliage Map for the most up to date reports. You can click on each county to see reports and photos.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 11, 2016

Coconino National Forest Fall Color 10/11/16

 Coconino National Forest  reports

Flagstaff Ranger Distict Fall Color Update: October 11, 2016

The fall color season for the Flagstaff is in full swing around Mt. Elden and the San Francisco Peaks. There is strong color in Lockett Meadow, Hart Prarie, Schultz Pass, Snowbowl Road, and around the north side of the Peaks in the area of Bear Jaw, Reese, and Abineau canyons. Color is starting to fade in the Inner Basin. Trees are beginning to turn around the Snowbowl.


Tuesday observations of Mount Elden show that color at the top is beginning to fade or drop as color moves downslope, but there is still some color for all the east slope trails. There are great views along Elden Lookout Road and the slopes below the lookout tower. The eastern ridgeline is colorful along Sunset Trail. Color progress is approximately a week earlier than last year. Recommended trails for viewing fall color on Mount Elden:

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 11, 2016

Fall Colors in Mono County 10/11/16

Fall Colors in Mono County – Mono County Tourism and Film Commission report for 10/11/16 below. See photos at California’s Eastern Sierra

The majority of Mono County locations are at FULL PEAK! The next 5-7 days will be the best time to see the fall colors in the Eastern Sierra. Iconic locations like the June Lake Loop, Convict lake, Conway Summit, Walker Canyon, McGee Canyon, Twin Lakes and Summers Meadow are gleaming with color right now and have the “GO NOW” designation. Other locations like Monitor Pass, Sonora Pass, Lobdell Lake and Parker Lake still have plenty of color but will soon be past peak. Now is the time to come see the brilliant autumn foliage in Mono County! *A storm is expected to move into Mono County this weekend. High elevation passes like Sonora Pass, Monitor Pass and Tioga Pass are subject to close. Always check Caltrans road conditions before traveling on their website at: or by calling 1-800-427-7623


Monitor Pass – 75-100% GO NOW! You’ll see color from top to bottom right now. The pass might close later on this week from an incoming storm. Always check road conditions before leaving on the Caltrans website here:
Lobdell Lake 75-100% GO NOW! Still some brilliant colors hanging around but most leaves will be blown off by the end of the weekend. For 4WD high clearance vehicles only.
Walker Canyon – 50-75% Go Now! Lots of yellows around every bend working all the way up to Sonora Pass. Still a few days short of full peak.
Towns of Walker & Coleville – 10-50% – Just getting started but those iconic cottonwood trees will be perfect next weekend.
Sonora Pass – 75-100% GO NOW! An incoming storm this weekend may close the pass and the fall color door on this location. High elevation passes are subject to close during incoming weather. Always check Caltrans road conditions before traveling on their website:

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 11, 2016

Appalachian Fall Color 10/9/16

Appalachian State University reports

It’s rainy and dreary in the mountains today, as we’re getting some light rain bands from Hurricane Matthew. The wind has been gusty also, but lucky for us, the trees are holding on to most of their leaves. Some of the yellow leaves and early turning maple leaves have been lost due to the wind, but the winds weren’t too strong and most leaves are still on the trees.

The colors have started to jump out now – they are mostly the yellows and oranges of the birches, poplars, magnolias, and maples, but a few bright red maples, sourwoods, and black gums can be spotted on the hillsides now. The best weekends for viewing fall color this year in the Boone/Blowing Rock area down to Grandfather Mountain will be next weekend (Oct 14-16) and the one following (Oct 21-23), while the week in between should be good if you can get up during the work week.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 11, 2016

San Bernardino Mountains Fall Color 10/9/16

California Fall Color reports

Wonderful color is appearing among the black oak, maple and aspen of the San Bernardino Mountains.

Alena Nicholas traveled the Rim of the World highway, scouting each of the Bernardinos’ popular lakes, finding lots of bright color and predicting that peak color should continue for two weeks (CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE).

San Bernardino Mountains – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!


See photos at San Bernardino Reaching Peak

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 11, 2016

McGee Creek Fall Color 10/10/16

California Fall Color reports

 This area of the Eastern Sierra will likely drop it’s leaves by the weekend, should strong winds blow through on Thursday. It’s why the season is called Fall.

McGee Creek – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

See photos at Why It’s Called Fall

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 11, 2016

The Last Known Rabb’s Fringe-Limbed Tree Frog Dies

Smithsonian Magazine reported on the death of Toughie the last know Ragg’s Fringe-limbed Tree Frog

By some estimates, dozens of species go extinct on planet Earth each day. That means there are likely hundreds or thousands of animals living out their last days as the only surviving member of their species. But few of them have a name, or even a Wikipedia page like Toughie, the last known Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog, who passed away at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens late last week.

Read full story at  Adiós, Toughie: The Last Known Rabb’s Fringe-Limbed Tree Frog Dies in Atlanta | Smart News | Smithsonian

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