Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 26, 2016

Superior National Forest Fall Color 9/26/16

Superior National Forest has a new fall color report for 9/26/16

Fall sped up considerably over the past few days.  We have advanced from 10% to somewhere between 25% and 40% across the Forest, with some areas reporting 75%.  The North Shore of Lake Superior is still as low as 25%, with the higher percentages in the inland areas.  Rain and wind over the weekend brought some leaves down, but plenty are still up – it should be a great week ahead for fall.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 26, 2016

US Military Stresses Climate Security Risks

The Climate Change Network reports

A group of senior defence experts in the US has warned that climate change is a threat to the country’s security, with the stark message that “the impacts of climate change present significant and direct risks to US military readiness, operations and strategy”.

They say stresses resulting from climate change can increase the likelihood of conflict within and between countries, state failure, mass migration, and the creation of additional ungoverned spaces.

Read their full article on the subject at US Military Stresses Climate Security Risks

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 25, 2016

Fall color at S.F. Botanical Garden today.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 25, 2016

Virginia Lakes Fall Color 9/24/16

California Fall Color reports

The Virginia Lakes near Conway Summit are now ringed with gold and peaking, as captured by color spotter Bob Weaver, yesterday. Virginia Lakes (9,770′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

See photo at  Virginia Lakes Ringed With Gold

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 25, 2016

Why Leaves Change Color

from the USDA Forest Service

If you are lucky, you live in one of those parts of the world where Nature has one last fling before settling down into winter’s sleep. In those lucky places, as days shorten and temperatures become crisp, the quiet green palette of summer foliage is transformed into the vivid autumn palette of reds, oranges, golds, and browns before the leaves fall off the trees. On special years, the colors are truly breathtaking.

How does autumn color happen?

For years, scientists have worked to understand the changes that happen to trees and shrubs in the autumn. Although we don’t know all the details, we do know enough to explain the basics and help you to enjoy more fully Nature’s multicolored autumn farewell. Three factors influence autumn leaf color-leaf pigments, length of night, and weather, but not quite in the way we think. The timing of color change and leaf fall are primarily regulated by the calendar, that is, the increasing length of night. None of the other environmental influences-temperature, rainfall, food supply, and so on-are as unvarying as the steadily increasing length of night during autumn. As days grow shorter, and nights grow longer and cooler, biochemical processes in the leaf begin to paint the landscape with Nature’s autumn palette.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 24, 2016

Birding Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary 9/24/16

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary is at the east end of Marsh Beach in the town of Alameda. It harbors aquatic birds and other salt marsh creatures. There are large numbers of shorebirds  there including Double Crested Cormorants, Willets, Marbled Godwits, Western Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, Dowitchers,  and  3 plover species. Also seen in large numbers were Brown Pelicans. Three species of Terns were also observed.

Elsie Roehmer Bird Sanctuary

Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary

After leaving Elsie Roemer we did a stop at Crown Memorial SB–Crab Cove area, which is also in Alameda. The most interesting sighting there was watching a Snow Egret doing very aggressive and successful fishing and a Forster’s Tern  diving.

Click Read more to see today’s bird lists

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 24, 2016

Coconino National Forest Fall Color 9/23/16

 Coconino National Forest  reports

Flagstaff Ranger District Fall Color Update: September 23, 2016

The fall color season for the Flagstaff is just beginning in the higher elevations around Mt. Elden and the San Francisco Peaks. There are just a few small spots of strong color in Lockett Meadow, Inner Basin, and around the north side of the Peaks in the area of Bear Jaw, Reese, and Abineau canyons. There is nearly no color around Hart Prairie, Snowbowl, and the western slopes of the Peaks.

The best color is on Mount Elden along Elden Lookout Road and the slopes below the lookout tower. Color progress is approximately a week earlier than last year. Recommended trails for viewing fall color on Mount Elden:

 

Lockett Meadow, the Inner Basin and the north side of the San Francisco Peaks are also turning. Some trees are approaching peak color while others are still green. Recommended trails, routes, and areas for viewing fall color on the San Francisco Peaks:

  • Inner Basin Trail moderately strenuous hike into the Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks. High clearance vehicle is recommended on Lockett Meadow Road.
  • Lockett Meadow campground and day use area in a meadow in the interior of the San Francisco Peaks with access to Inner Basin Trail. High clearance vehicle is recommended on Lockett Meadow Road.
  • Abineau-Bear Jaw Trails Loop strenuous hike on the north side of the San Francisco Peaks.
  • Around the Peaks Loop scenic driving loop around the north side of the San Franciso Peaks. High clearance vehicle required to complete the loop due to the rough and rocky nature of the road. Good fall color viewing can be found on the smoother parts of the route accessible to low clearance vehicles at the eastern and western ends of FR 418.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 24, 2016

Eastern National Forest Fall Colors 9/22/16

Eastern Regional National Forests have the following fall color reports for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania,

Illinois

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

Just the tips of some leaves are starting to sprout color at Midewin; however, New England Aster is in bloom this week! When other prairie plants may brown and fade this time of year, New England Aster is full of color and life. The blooming period spans a full two months wowing us with gorgeous lavender blooms well into early fall. With approximately 34 miles of hiking trails, 22 of which make way for bicyclists and equestrians, there are many fun ways to enjoy fall colors on the Midewin!

Indiana

Hoosier National Forest

Though, some subtle changes are occurring with walnut trees and buckeyes beginning to lose leaves, the Hoosier is still very green and will remain so for a few weeks. There may not be substantial change yet, but fall is in the air!

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 24, 2016

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Fall Plant Sale Saturday October 1

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Fall Plant Sale
Saturday, October 1, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Friends members only 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.)

Fall is the best time to plant many California natives. Choose from a huge selection of California native plants at the annual fall sale to benefit the Garden.

The list of plants for sale will be published approximately a week before the sale on the Friends website, www.nativeplants.org; expert advice on plant selection and cultivation will be available from garden staff, docents, and volunteers on the day of the sale. Along with familiar favorites, the RPBG sale offers unusual plants that are not available anywhere else.

For the best selection, arrive early. Join the Friends of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden—membership grants you admission to the sale at 9 a.m., an hour before everyone else. If you don’t have time to join the Friends beforehand, you can join at the sale starting at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the sale, October 1.

The Regional Parks Botanic Garden is located at the intersection of Wildcat Canyon Road and South Park Drive (closed October 31 – March 31 each year) within Tilden Regional Park in the hills above Berkeley, California.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 23, 2016

A Good Day At Pt. Reyes

Actually, I have never had a bad day at Pt. Reyes but today was exceptional. While birding Abbott’s Lagoon we saw a Virginia Rail, American Bittern and Osprey. We also saw two Bobcats, Brush Rabbit, and Deer. The birding consisted of 22 species identified and some unidentified distant gulls and ducks. Most waterbirds are still absent. Flowers in bloom included Seaside Dandelion, Gum Plant, Beach Suncups, Brass Buttons, California Poppies, Sea Rocket, Wild Heliotrope, Yellow Lotus, Hedge Nettle, and Coyote Bush. The only butterflies were an Orange Sulphur and Cabbage White.

As we drove to Tomales Pt. we had good views of Tule Elk and a Coyote.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

To see today’s Bird List click read more

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 23, 2016

Southern Utah Fall Color 9/23/16

Cedar City • Brian Head Tourism Bureau has a new fall color report for 9/23/16

High Elevation – Alpine
Brian Head, Cedar Breaks and Panguitch Lake
Percent of Change:  PEAK

Color Report: Our local leaf peeper, Mike Saemisch, updated us on the effects of the storm that came through the area last night.  The wind had more effect than the snow. The high-elevation is still peaking with color for at least another week. Some of the earliest color has been blown off the trees, however, the trees that had not yet reached peak are still fine and looking better everyday.

Mid Elevation – Sub-Alpine
Parowan Canyon and Cedar Canyon Area
Percent of Change: MODERATE

Color Report:Reports are saying that there is still plenty of green in the mid elevation but there are wonderful pockets of brilliant reds, glowing yellows and stunning oranges, however, there is quite a bit of green waiting to turn. If the weather continues the gradual cooling then we can Be aware that there is still plenty of green left in most of the mid-elevation so continue checking back for updates.

Low Elevation – High Valley
Percent of Change:LOW
Color Report:The leaves in the lower elevations tend to start changing colors around 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 | September 23, 2016

Rio Grande National Forest Fall Color 9/21/16 – updated

Rio Grande National Forest reports

Divide District  Color change is about 80 % in the Creede area 60% in the lower elevations. This coming weekend should be peak for driving the byways.

Saguache District  Color change is about 10% in the Poncha Pass area and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

See photos at http://www.fs.usda.gov/photogallery/riogrande/home/gallery/?cid=4470&position=Not%20Yet%20Determined.Html

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 23, 2016

Superior National Forest Fall Color 9/20/16

Superior National Forest has a new fall color report for 9/23/16

Fall sped up considerably over the past few days.  We have advanced from 10% to somewhere between 25% and 40% across the Forest, with some areas reporting 75%.  The North Shore of Lake Superior is still as low as 10%, with the higher percentages in the inland areas.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 23, 2016

San Juan National Forest 9/22/16

San Juan National Forest  reports

Estimated Percentage of Current Fall Foliage:
Durango to Purgatory – 20%
Molas Pass – 25%
Silverton/Red Mtn Pass – 45%
Pagosa – 20% up high
Dolores to Lizard Head Pass – 30% oak good, aspen starting to show
Mancos/La Platas – 35% starting to show up high
San Jun Skyway- 35% good oakbrush around Ouray

Areas with Greatest Amount of Color / Recommended Viewing Areas: aspens at treeline oakbrush on the hillsides

Estimated Peak Viewing Period: This coming weekend into next week…

Viewing Suggestions / Tips: Oakbrush on the hill sides at lower elevation is turning fast. Plan on higher elevations still this week for aspen.

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 | September 23, 2016

Wildlife Agency Still Killing Millions Of Animals

The New York Times has an opinion piece discussing how the Wildlife Services agency still kills millions of birds based on faulty research. The article states

Of the roughly 100 studies surveyed, only two met the “gold standard” for scientific evidence. That is, they conducted randomized controlled trials and took precautions to avoid bias. Each found that nonlethal methods (like guard dogs, fences and warning flags) could be effective at deterring predators.

Read story at America’s Wildlife Body Count – The New York Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 22, 2016

Hawaiian Honeycreeper Proposed For Endangered Protection

 Center for Biological Diversity New Release

Iconic Hawaiian Bird Proposed for Endangered Species Act Protection

HONOLULU— In response to a 2010 petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed protection for the ‘i‘iwi as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. This bird, a bright-scarlet, nectar-feeding Hawaiian honeycreeper, was once widespread across all of the main Hawaiian Islands, but is now primarily found at higher elevations on East Maui and the island of Hawaii. The number one threat facing the species is climate change, which is driving the spread of highly lethal mosquito-borne diseases.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 21, 2016

Birding Pt. Isabel 9/21/16

I went birding to at Pt. Isabel Regional Shoreline. t was sunny, breezy with temperature in the 60’s.We walked about 5.0 miles during low tide and saw 28 different bird species.

The shorebirds were most dominant. Most have returned. Willets and Marbled Godwits were most abundant. The waterbirds were scarce except for the Mallards. Only a few passerines were around and there was a noticeable absence of sparrows and blackbirds.

bay_trail_muir_woods__abbotts-1090173

A number of Monarchs and Cabbage White Butterflies were seen. Most interesting native flower was the Zauschneria.  Click readmore to see today’s bird list

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 21, 2016

Fall Colors in Mono County 9/21/16

Fall Colors in Mono County – Mono County Tourism and Film Commission report below. See photos at California’s Eastern Sierra. Sagehen Meadow may be the best spot right now.

 This week the fall colors in Mono County are progressing right on schedule! While the majority of areas are still mostly green, patiently waiting their turn, other areas like Sagehen Summit, Virginia Lakes, and Rock Creek have kicked it up a notch and warrant the “Go Now!” alert! Hikers should focus their energy on the Hilton Lakes, Parker Lake, and Virginia Lakes trails.

WALKER / COLEVILLE / TOPAZ

Monitor Pass – 10-50%
Mill Canyon/Golden Gate Mine Road – 0-10%
Walker Canyon – 0-10%
Towns of Walker & Coleville – 0%
Sonora Pass – 10-50%

BRIDGEPORT / VIRGINIA LAKES

Twin Lakes –  0-10%
Virginia Lakes – 50-75% Go Now! These high elevation areas are filling in with brilliant yellows and a few oranges. Take the Dunderberg Meadow Road towards Green Creek for wonderful red groves in Cinnamon Meadow. Swing by the Virginia Lakes Resort for breakfast or lunch after you enjoy the colorful drive.
Conway Summit – 10-50%
Green Creek – 10-50%
Summers Meadow – 0-10%

LEE VINING

Tioga Pass & Lee Vining Canyon – 0-10%
Lundy Lake & Canyon – 0-10%

BENTON & 120 EAST 

Sagehen Meadow – 75-100% GO NOW! If the sprawling groves of brilliant orange aspens weren’t enough reason to go, the views of Banner Peak and the Sierra Nevada, as well as Mono Lake, are well worth the drive! Stop at the Mono Mills Historic Site on the way out or back for a picnic, and, of course, the South Tufa Reserve to walk the out-of-this-world shores of Mono Lake.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 21, 2016

Appalachian Fall Color 9/21/16

Appalachian State University reports

The weather in the mountains has been above normal in temperature and below normal in terms of rainfall. The NC Climate Office predicts drought will develop throughout the mountains this fall, especially near the Georgia border: (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/…/expert_as…/season_drought.png). The higher temperatures could slightly delay the onset of fall colors, but only by a few days, so I don’t think you’ll have to change your plans if you’ve already decided on which weekend or weekday that you’ll be coming up to the mountains. However, the drought could have more dramatic impacts, especially on the quality of the display.

Already, I’m seeing tulip poplars (Liriodendron tulipifera) trees losing massive amounts of their inner leaves, which are turning yellow and are then followed quickly by a blackening (caused most likely by oxidation byproducts, like when an apple turns brown after you bite into it). In years with adequate rainfall, tulip poplars hold on to their leaves later into the season, and near the end of a fall color season, stand as grand, yellow beacons against a gray, leafless hillside. But this year, I’m afraid that display may not come to be.

Read more at Appalachian Fall Color

See photos at  https://drive.google.com/…/fol…/0BxpSVO5IUz-EU1lNUHVzZEdtMDA

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 21, 2016

New York Fall Color 9/22/16

New York Fall Foliage reports

The beautiful colors of autumn continue to gradually emerge across New York State, according to observers for Empire State Development’s I Love New York program.

In the Adirondacks, in the Tupper Lake and Mt. Arab areas, expect just-beginning to near-midpoint conditions with about 30 percent change by the weekend. Spotters there note predominant colors of brass, copper, saffron, maize, goldenrod, burgundy, cranberry and a burst of cerise from the soft maples, and are optimistic that the areas’ warm, sunny days and cool nights will be the prime catalyst for a spectacular, long, foliage season.

 

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 21, 2016

Eastern Sierra Fall Color: Bishop Creek 9/21/16

Parcher’s Resort report below. See photos at http://parchersresort.net/fallcolor.htm

Bishop Creek Canyon Fall Color Report

Overall Conditions Above 8500ft Elevation
Near Peak (50% – 75%)

The color has really come on since last week in the higher elevations with many of the popular fall color areas quickly nearing peak fall color. There are still plenty of areas and groves that are mostly green, but we’re certainly in the “Go Now!” zone with enough spectacular color to keep most photographers entertained. We have a bit of wind forecasted to come through this week but only time will tell if there is any affect on the color.

Overall Conditions Between 7500ft & 8500ft Elevation
Just Starting (0% – 10%)

Slightly more yellow is popping off lower down in the canyon but overall, things are still just starting down there.

Near Peak (50 – 75%) – Weir Pond (9650ft)

The canyon wall above the pond is mostly yellow now and a few of the aspen around the shoreline are now showing excellent color as well. We’re not quite to peak yet as many of the lower lying aspen are still a mix of green and yellow but things are currently gorgeous.

Near Peak (50 – 75%) – Sabrina Campground Area (9000ft)

The aspen along Hwy 168 are going off in a big way right now and are at or near peak. There’s still lots of green within the campground itself and along the stream, hence my “near peak” rating.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 21, 2016

Mammoth Lakes Fall Color Guide

There is a free fall color pocket guide for the Mammoth Lakes area available on line at Mammoth Lakes Fall Color Guide.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 21, 2016

California Sea Otter Population At Record High Number

The Mercury News reports

In a historic rebound, California sea otters, the frolicking ocean ambassadors of Monterey Bay and Big Sur, have reached their highest population level since 1982, when federal and state officials first began keeping track.

Read story at  California sea otter population reaches record high number

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 20, 2016

Middle Martis Creek Fall Color 9/20/16

California Fall Color reports on the way to north Tahoe what he found

the cabin beside Middle Martis Creek along CA-267, between Northstar and Brockway Summit. The aspen here have something for everyone, from deep green, to lime, to yellow to orange, to past peak.

There’s a lot of green in the woods, but also plenty of color to brighten the scene. This location should continue to provide color for at least two weeks.  There’s so much range of change that it’s difficult to rate it.

GO NOW! Near Peak (50-75%) – The Cabin at Middle Martis Creek, Truckee

See photo at Hwy 267 – Something for Everyone

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 20, 2016

Superior National Forest Fall Color 9/20/16

Superior National Forest has a new fall color report for 9/20/16

Fall is creeping forward at about 5% of peak.  Moose maple, hazel, bush honeysuckle, wild sarsaparilla, and large leafed asters are all changing color in the understory.  Most canopy trees are still green, with a few branches or leaves colored.  High winds with a small craft advisory, and a thunderstorm took down many of the colored leaves this past weekend, but there are lots of green leaves left which are starting to change rapidly.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 20, 2016

New England Fall Foliage 9/20/16

The New England Today fall color map’s view  of live foliage reports from across New England currently shows most of Maine and all of New Hampshire and Massachusetts have started to turn as well a about half of Vermont. All are early and pre-peak. See map at Live Fall Foliage Map. You can click on individual counties to see reports and photos.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 20, 2016

Lake Sabrina Fall Color 9/19/16

Lake Sabrina  Boat Landing reports

The trees are turning quick, lots of yellow, oranges and reds showing

See photos at This Week’s Report

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 20, 2016

Humans Have Destroyed A Tenth Of Earth’s Wilderness In 25 years

The Guardian reports

Humans have destroyed a tenth of Earth’s remaining wilderness in the last 25 years and there may be none left within a century if trends continue, according to an authoritative new study.

Researchers found a vast area the size of two Alaskas – 3.3m square kilometres – had been tarnished by human activities between 1993 and today, which experts said was a “shockingly bad” and “profoundly large number”.

Read full story at Humans have destroyed a tenth of Earth’s wilderness in 25 years – study | Environment | The Guardian

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 19, 2016

Virginia Lakes Fall Color 9/19/16

 

Mono County Tourism – California’s Eastern Sierra reports on its Facebook page

GO NOW! Virginia Lakes Road and Dunderberg Meadow Road are approaching peak colors!

See photos at Mono County Tourism – California’s Eastern Sierra

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 19, 2016

Coconino National Forest Fall Color 9/18/16

 Coconino National Forest  reports

The fall color season for the Flagstaff is just beginning in the higher elevations around Mt. Elden and the San Francisco Peaks. There are just a few small spots of strong color in Lockett Meadow, Inner Basin, and around the north side of the Peaks in the area of Bear Jaw, Reese, and Abineau canyons. There is nearly no color around Hart Prairie, Snowbowl, and the western slopes of the Peaks.

The best color is on Mount Elden along Elden Lookout Road and the slopes below the lookout tower. Color progress is approximately a week earlier than last year. Recommended trails for viewing fall color on Mount Elden:

Watch for the latest fall color photos on our Fall Colors album on Flickr and updates @CoconinoNF on Twitter.

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