Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 11, 2016

Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower Starts July 12, peaks July 38

EarthSky reports

Late July, 2016 – around July 28 or 29 – presents the nominal peak of the Delta Aquarid meteor shower, but this rambles along steadily from about July 12 to August 23 each year.

Read more at Delta Aquarid meteor shower ahead | Astronomy Essentials | EarthSky

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 10, 2016

Mt. Tam Wildflowers 7/10/16

See photos of Lilies now in bloom at the junction of Cataract and Mickey O’Brien trail junction on Mt. Tamalpais at Marin Native Plants.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 10, 2016

How Pollution Impacts Bees’ Feeding & Pollinating Abilities

ScienceDaily reports

Air pollutants interact with and break down plant-emitted scent molecules, which insect pollinators use to locate needed food, according to a team of researchers. The pollution-modified plant odors can confuse bees and, as a result, bees' foraging time increases and pollination efficiency decreases. This happens because the chemical interactions decrease both the scent molecules' life spans and the distances they travel.

Read full story at Bees' ability to forage decreases as air pollution increases — ScienceDaily

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 9, 2016

Mount Rainier Wildflowers 7/8/16

Mount Rainier National Park  reports

Currently Blooming – Updated July 8, 2016
At Paradise, early bloomers such as avalanche and glacier lilies are at prime bloom. Many flowers appearing in the lower meadows, which are estimated to be 2-3 weeks from peak bloom. Three or more weeks to reach full bloom for upper and east meadows in the Paradise area. At Sunrise, lilies and marsh marigold are in the meadows near Shadow Lake and the approach to Fremont Lookout is a good spot for blooming wildflowers. Please remember to stay on trails.

Wildflower Reports

  • Sunrise (7/7) – western spring beauty, valerian, magenta paintbrush, harsh paintbrush, glacier lily, avalanche lily, penstemon, speedwell, cinquefoil, buttercup, marsh marrigold, pasqueflower, pink heather, bracted lousewort, American bistort, broadleaf lupine, cascade aster, Lewis monkeyflower (White River), low and elegant jacob’s ladder, tall bluebells, mountain monkeyflower (Fremont), partridge foot, smooth mountain dandelion, spreading phlox, subalpine buckwheat, western columbine

  • Paradise (7/4) – valerian, paintbrush (particularly along roadway), glacier lily, avalanche lily, penstemon, speedwell, cinquefoil (Alta Vista trail), buttercup, marsh marigold, pasqueflower, pink heather, Jeffrey’s shooting star, bracted lousewort, western spring beauty

  • Carbon River (7/5) – foam flower, buttercup, pearly everlasting (early), thimbleberry, slender bog orchid, twin flower

  • Summerland Trail (6/28) – lupine, pussytoes, sandwort, bracted lousewort, penstemon

  • Fremont Trail (6/27) – cascade wallflower, Drummond’s anemone, king’s crown/roseroot, red columbine, small flowered penstemon, tall bluebells, lewis monkeyflower, yellow mountain heather, elegant Jacob’s ladder

  • Longmire to Paradise Road (moving up in elevation) (6/27) – tiger lily, cow parsnip, thimbleberry, goats beard, thistle, bear grass, yarrow, penstemon, rosy spirea, paintbrush, jeffrey’s shooting star, sitka valerian, bluebells, subalpine daisy

  • Longmire (6/22) – bunchberry, pipsissewa, foam flower, pinesap; (6/16) cow parsnip, lupine, coralroot, bog orchid, salal, common speedwell, candyflower, gnomeplant, starwort, curly dock, yarrow, fringecup, buttercup, wood sorrel, twin flower, tiny trumpet

See photos and more information on Mt. Rainier Wildflowers at Discover Wildflowers – Mount Rainier National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 9, 2016

Protection Sought For Rare California Lupine

Center for Biological Diversity News Release

State Protection Sought for Rare Alpine Flower in Northwest California

EUREKA, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity and an independent expert filed a state petition today to protect the Lassics lupine, a rare mountain wildflower that is now restricted to fewer than four acres in Humboldt and Trinity counties. The petition to protect the lupine under the California Endangered Species Act — which follows a January petition seeking U.S. Endangered Species Act protections for the flower — documents alarming population declines due to climate change and other threats, with recent surveys showing the flower is on the brink of extinction.

Lassics lupine
Photo by David Imper. Photos are available for media use.

“The Lassics lupine symbolizes the unique beauty and diversity of the Lassic mountains, but regrettably it is also now the most endangered plant in northwest California,” said David Imper, a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service botanist and leading researcher of the flower.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 8, 2016

Washoe Meadows Park Wildflowers

The Lake Tahoe News reports on wildflowers at Washoe Meadows Park Wildflowers

Wildflowers, some no bigger than a pinky nail, are bringing a seasonal splash of color to Washoe Meadows State Park. washoe meadows wildflower hike“It’s a little past peak season. It changes week by week,” Lisa Berry, California Native Plant Society member, tells the group she is leading on a trek through the park. Even so, she manages to point out 34 flowers in a two-hour outing on the last Sunday of June.

Read full story Wildflowers blanket Washoe Meadows Park – Lake Tahoe NewsLake Tahoe News

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 8, 2016

Carson Pass Interpretive Walks 7/9/16

Carson Pass Information Station has two interpretive walks this Saturday (7/9/16). Walks are free and donations appreciated. Sorry, no dogs.

  • Wildflower walk to meet some of hundreds of flowers on display. 9:30-11:00
  • Walk With The Carson Pass Ranger to learn about Pioneers and all the people that came before us. 10-11:30


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 8, 2016

Lesser Prairie Chicken Numbers Plummet In 2016

WildEarth Guardians New Release

Lesser Prairie Chicken Numbers Plummet in 2016

Declining Populations Demonstrate Clear Need for Federal Protections 

SANTA FE, NM – Populations of the rare lesser prairie chicken declined over the past year, bringing the imperiled birds closer to extinction. The estimated worldwide population dropped by almost 4,000 birds from 29,162 birds in 2015 to 25,261 birds remaining in the wild in 2016, reversing two years of population gains. The decline, documented by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA), comes despite promises by state and local governments and industry to preserve the bird.
Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 7, 2016

Great Basin Wildflowers 7/6/16

DesertUSA reports

Great Basin National Park Reports: Alpine wildflowers are popping up all over the high country. On the rocky slopes of the higher peaks in Great Basin National Park is where some of the best flower displays reside. However, if you are climbing off trail remember that these beautiful alpine flower gardens are very sensitive and if one has pleasure of seing one, please avoid walking on or causing rocks to fall on to these alpine treasures!

See photo and video at Desert Wildflowers Reports for Nevada and Utah – DesertUSA

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 7, 2016

Canyonlands Wildflowers 7/6/16

DesertUSA reports

Canyonlands National Park Reports: Sego lilies are blooming at Canyonlands! Look closely for the beautiful state flower of Utah hiding among the sage brush.

See photo at Desert Wildflowers Reports for Nevada and Utah – DesertUSA

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 7, 2016

Monarch Butterfly Gets Endangered Species Decision by 2019

Center for Biological Diversity News Release

Agreement: Monarch Butterfly to Get Endangered Species Act Protection Decision by 2019

Butterfly Declined by 80 Percent Over Past Decades

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now legally bound to determine whether to protect imperiled monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act, according to the terms of an agreement reached today with conservation groups. The agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety requires the agency to decide by June 2019 whether the butterflies will receive federal protection. The two conservation groups and allies petitioned in 2014 for protection of the species, which has declined by 80 percent over the past two decades.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 6, 2016

Yosemite National Park Wildflowers 7/6/16

Yosemite National Park reports some flowers are starting to bloom in the high country including Mountain Heather, Phlox, Golden Brodeia, Lupine, Wallflower, Pussy Toes, Western Wallflower and Sierra Daisy. See photos at Facebook page

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 6, 2016

Hedgehogs Are Doing Well In The City

ScienceDaily  reports on the surprising discovery that hedgehogs are doing in urban areas

A species that is 15 million years old, hedgehogs have survived all kinds of environmental changes over the years, including urbanisation. Surprisingly, cities have often been found to have higher hedgehog populations than rural areas. Understanding why this is could help us to protect them in the future.

Source: Urban hedgehogs are more at home in the city than you thought — ScienceDaily

Birdwatch Magazine reports

Campgrounds in California's redwood forests alter the behaviour of Steller's Jays and could put threatened nesting Marbled Murrelets at risk.

Read full story at Campgrounds alter jay behaviour | News | Birdwatch Magazine

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 4, 2016

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Classes, Field Trips & Workshops

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Classes and Trips from July to December 2016

  • July 16 & 17 – Native Plants in your Watercolor Nature Journal
  • July 23 & 24 – Botanical Art Miniatures in Watercolor
  • August 28 – Weave a Paiute-style Water-Bottle
  • September 8, 15 & 22 – Designing a Native Garden
  • September 10, 17 & 24 – Botanizing Pt Reyes National Seashore
  • October 16 & 30 – Leaf Designs: Ways of identifying natives when there are no flowers
  • October 15 – Gardening With Natives – A Photographer’s Point of View
  • October 23 – Modern Textile Design with California Native Plant Dyes
  • December 11 – Mushrooms in the Garden

For more information on classes, instructors and to register go to Classes, Field Trips & Workshops | Friends of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 3, 2016

Celebrating Birds Photo Show

The bird photographs of Golden Gate Audubon Society members Diana Rebman and Roseanne Smith are on exhibit through August 17 at the Nielsen Arts gallery – 1537 Solano Avenue in Berkeley, CA. Diana and Roseanne are donating a portion of all sales to GGAS!  Drop by the gallery anytime between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. (closed Sundays).


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 2, 2016

Pt. Reyes Wildflowers: Bull Pt. 7/2/16

The Marin CNPS Facebook page has a new posting today with photos of flowers currently blooming on the Bull Point Trail at Pt. Reyes at  Marin Native Plants.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 2, 2016

Caples Creek Wildflowers 7/1/16

Wildflower Hikes and More! has a detailed description of a hike and wildflowers for Caples Creek Trail in Eldorado National Forest.  Plant sightings included Snow Plant, Harlequin Lupine, and Alpine Lewisia. See the description of the trail, and wildflower photos at Caples Creek Trail – Wildflower Hikes and More

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 2, 2016

Richmond Bay Trail Updates


This 17th Mid Year Report by TRAC, the Trails for Richmond Action Committee, highlights six projects now under construction or being designed to complete six miles of new Bay Trail in Richmond during 2017 …. plus 4.3 miles across the Richmond/San Rafael (RSR) Bridge.

The report also features new attractions along Richmond’s 32 completed miles of Bay Trail. Popularity of the Shipyard 3 Trail has increased due to opening of a winery tasting room with a food truck near the SS Red Oak Victory ship where osprey are tending nestlings on top of the whirley crane towering overhead. Read on to learn about Richmond’s shoreline parks and Bay Trail as an important part of the East Bay health delivery system.

Point Pinole

Extending over a mile into San Pablo Bay, Point Pinole Regional Shoreline (PPRS) is the Bay Area’s largest shoreline park. East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is going all out to connect the regional Bay Trail system with the 4.5 miles of Bay Trail located within the park.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 1, 2016

Record Number Of Whales Off Golden Gate

News Release National Parks Conservancy

Baleen In: Record Number of Whales Spotted This Spring

Below the choppy, cerulean surface of the Golden Gate Strait and the waters off the Golden Gate National Parks, the world’s largest animals are congregating for a buffet of epic proportions.

Whales—humpbacks, grays, and even the massive blue whales—have been gathering in unprecedented numbers off the shores of San Francisco this spring, causing a bonanza of whale watching opportunities for lucky onlookers and park visitors. Whales are typically seen in large numbers along the California coast in July through September, but this year is an outlier, as whales have been observed in droves since May.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 30, 2016

 Mount Rainier Wildflowers 6/29/16

Mount Rainier National Park (U.S. National Park Service) reports

Currently Blooming – Updated June 29, 2016
While visitors often look for the colorful subalpine wildflowers, another wildflower Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) often goes overlooked. Yarrow is a common and versatile, growing widely from low to high elevations and so is often dismissed. However this unobtrusive plant with its tiny white flowers is also know for its medicinal properties. Tribes such as the Squamish used it to cure measles, while the Squaxin liked it as a stomach tonic. It was used for everything from cold medicine to wound poultice.

Many wildflowers are coming out along roadsides and in other areas where snow has melted away. However, subalpine meadows are still covered with patchy snow and wildflowers are just getting started. Look for early season flowers like glacier and avalanche lilies around Paradise, while pasqueflower is starting to bloom around Sunrise.

Wildflower Reports

  • Sunrise Road (6/28) – paintbrush, penstemon, phlox, pasqueflower, sitka mountain ash, glacier lily, tiger lily, mountain dandelion, yarrow, magenta paintbrush
  • White River (6/28) – starflower, vanilla leaf, buttercup, bunchberry, tiger lily, lupine (few)
  • Paradise Valley Road (6/27) – sitka mountain ash (early), sitka valerian, pink mountain heather, avalanche lily, glacier lily
  • Longmire to Paradise Road (moving up in elevation) (6/27) – tiger lily, cow parsnip, thimbleberry, goats beard, thistle, bear grass, yarrow, penstemon, rosy spirea, paintbrush, jeffrey’s shooting star, sitka valerian, bluebells, subalpine daisy
  • Longmire (6/22) – bunchberry, pipsissewa, foam flower, pinesap; (6/16) cow parsnip, lupine, coralroot, bog orchid, salal, common speedwell, candyflower, gnomeplant, starwort, curly dock, yarrow, fringecup, buttercup, wood sorrel, twin flower, tiny trumpet
  • Nisqually Entrance to Longmire (6/22) – columbine, buttercup; (6/16) cow parsnip, goat’s beard, tiger lily, coral root, candy stick
  • Snow Lake Trail (6/4) – avalanche lilies
  • Stevens Canyon (6/4) – cliff penstemon, harsh paintbrush, bear grass, western columbine
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 30, 2016

Carson Pass Wildflower Updates 6/30/16

Carson Pass Information Station reports Blue Flag Iris in Bloom at Frog Lake  (6/28/16) and PCT north towards Meiss …lots of flowers and The Blue Flag Iris is here! (6/30/16)

Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups (Calphoto) reports on 6/30/16

Didn’t see any Blue Flag. The most prominent flower was the spreading phlox — covering everywhere — very beautiful. I primarily went to Frog Lake because I was working on a project, but I did hike past the entrance to PCT in hunt of Iris. I didn’t see any sign of iris. many of the flowers are just starting to bloom. I’d think you could wait at least another week at least.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 30, 2016

CNPS Field Trips July 2016

July Field Trips:

(for more information on trips go to chapter websites; also check out late trip postings at chapter websites)

Bristlecone (Mono, Inyo and NE Kern counties)

  • July 16, Saturday, 9:45- around 2:30, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip:  Valentine Reserve, Old Mammoth, Mono County
  • July 30, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip:  Shepherd Pass trail, Symmes Creek.

East Bay CNPS

Marin CNPS

  • July 9, 10am – 2pm Gary Giacomini Open Space
  • July 23 10 am-3 pm Abbotts Lagoon, Point Reyes National Seashore

Milo Baker (Sonoma county)

  • Tidal Marsh Restoration: What has been learned through 20 year of restoration Thursday, June 9, 2016: 10am – 2pm.
  • Presidio Bluffs: from dump to most spectacular trail on the CA Coast Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 11am – 2pm

Napa Valley

North Coast

  • Jul 9, Sat. Wildflower hike near Orleans with the Mid-Klamath Watershed Council
  • Jul 10, Sun. Champion Incense Cedar Hike with the Salmon River Restoration Council
  • Jul 30, Sat. Rare Plant Treasure Hunt: Wolf’s Evening Primrose around Humboldt Bay and Trinidad.

Santa Clara Valley

  • Sat July 16 – 23,  8 Days Ericaecious Heaven – Duck Lake and Mt. Eddy Backpacking Trip. MEMBERS ONLY AND MUST REGISTER

Santa Cruz

Yerba Buena (San Francisco/Northern San Mateo)

If you are interested in information on other chapters go to:

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 29, 2016

July 2016 Birding Field Trips

July 2016 Golden Gate Audubon Birding Field Trips

For more information on any of the trips below go to

  • Tilden Nature Area, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley Friday, July 1, 8:30 — 11:00 a.m. (First Friday bird walk)
  • Pt Reyes National Seashore Saturday, July 2,  9:30 a.m. — 12:30 pm.
  • Vollmer Peak, Tilden Regional Park Sunday, July 3, 8:00 – around 11:00 a.m.
  • San Francisco Botanical Garden Sunday, July 3, 8:00 — 10:30 a.m.(First Sunday bird walk)
  • Upper San Leandro Reservoir (Valle Vista), near Moraga Friday, July 8, 9:00 a.m. – Noon
  • (Second Friday bird walk; leaders vary by month)
  • Corona Heights, San Francisco Friday, July 15, 8 – 10 a.m. Third Friday bird walk)
  • Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco Sunday, July 17, 8:00 — 10:00 a.m. (Third Sunday bird walk)
  • Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland Wednesday, July 27, 9:30 a.m. – noon (Fourth Wednesday bird walk)
  • Abbott’s Lagoon, Pt Reyes National Seashore Sunday, July 31, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 28, 2016

Feds Spent Millions Killing Over 1.6 Million Native Animals

Wildlife Guardians News Release

Feds Spent Millions of Public Dollars to Kill Over 1.6 Million Native Animals in 2015

Wildlife Services’ War on Wildlife Slaughters Imperiled Species and Dogs 

MISSOULA, MONT. — Today, the federal government’s secretive wildlife killing program released last year’s alarming kill statistics. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Wildlife Services” program within the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, spent millions of taxpayer dollars to kill 1,681,283 million native animals, largely at the behest of the agriculture and livestock industries.

The casualties include 284 cougars, 384 gray wolves, 480 black bears, 731 bobcats, 20,334 black-tailed prairie dogs and the destruction of 36,480 of their burrows. The program killed 1,511 gray foxes, 1,534 red foxes, 21,557 beavers, and one critically endangered Mexican wolf. Coyotes suffered the highest death toll with 69,905 animals killed. The program also admitted to killing 17 domestic dogs. Former Wildlife Services employees estimate that fewer than half of the killings are actually reported, meaning these numbers are likely hugely under-representative of the actual carnage.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 27, 2016

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 6/22/16

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom report  for June 22 at the Pine Ridge Association website with photos and a list of flowers now in bloom at: Henry W. Coe – Wildflower Guide.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 27, 2016

 California Condor Population Reaches New Heights

The Environmental News Network reports

After years of intense — and often controversial — restoration efforts, biologists are finally reporting some good news for the beleaguered California condor: More chicks are surviving in the wild, and the birds are becoming increasingly independent and expanding their range.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced what it called a milestone for the California condor: More chicks had hatched and fledged in the wild during 2015 than the number of condors that had died. In late March, Steve Kirkland, the agency’s condor field coordinator, reported that two more chicks had fledged in 2015 in Baja California, but had only just been discovered, bringing the total in the wild to 270.

Read full story at Wildlife and Habitat Conservation News: California Condor Population Reaches New Heights

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 26, 2016

The National Park Service turns 100 in 2016

The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016, and everyone can take part in the celebration!

The centennial will kick off a second century of stewardship of America’s national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs.

We invite you to find your park and discover the national parks and programs in your own backyard!

Learn more about the various activities and celebrations at Centennial (U.S. National Park Service)

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 26, 2016

Oregon Wildflower Updates 6/21/16

Oregon Wildflowers has two new reports

Iron Mountain in the Western Cascades. Many flowers are blooming at Cone Peak and Iron Mountain. Photos at
(NOTE: You must be a member of the Oregon Wildflowers Facebook group to view these photos)

Lookout Mountain  in the the Northern Oregon Cascades. Wildflowers are now blooming at Lookout Mountain, east of Mount Hood. photos  at
(NOTE: You must be a member of the Oregon Wildflowers Facebook group to view these photos)

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 26, 2016

Pescadero Wildflowers 6/25/16

Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups (Calphoto) has a new post for Pescadero

 Pescadero beach and marsh, which are marvelously (and somewhat surprisingly) yellow right now with lizard tail, yellow bush lupines, Dudleya and what I think is a Grindelia, all in full bloom. Yarrow and coast buckwheat are also blooming prolifically, beach burs are starting, and there are a handful of other species in small numbers like paintbrushes and Astragalus.

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