The Press Democrat  reports on how the plant theft in Northern California is even greater than originally thought

Investigators now believe several hundred thousands plants worth tens of millions of dollars on the Asian black market have been torn illegally from bluffs along the Northern California coast over the past several years, in some cases stripping whole areas of the plant species, said Adrian Foss, a captain with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Read story at Plant smugglers take ‘massive’ toll on California’s Dudleya farinosa succulent species

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 15, 2019

Carrizo Plain Wildflower Photos 3/14/19

See a Flickr album of wildflower photos Carrizo Plain National Monument by dmollinedo at Carizzo Plain 2019

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 15, 2019

Walker Canyon & Lake Elsinore Wildflower Photos 3/15/19

See photos and video for Walker Canyon, Lake Street & I-15, Lake Elsinore by Rick Crippen

Anza- Borrego Desert Natural History Association reports

Borrego’s Spring Bloom is happening now!
The flower bloom is holding steady and this year’s spring bloom is now well underway, The next couple of weeks will be prime time.

All of the areas highlighted on our maps continue to be great places to experience this year’s bloom.  The newest addition to the bloom are the cacti, and we expect more species and more locations in the weeks ahead.  At this time, Texas Dip (# 5 on our Borrego Springs map) is an excellent place to see barrel cactus in bloom right now.
The ocotillo are just about ready for full bloom, and the best place to see them is the area know as the “Ocotillo Forest”, off of Borrego Springs Road, shown as # 4 on our Borrego Springs Map.

See photos and older posts at Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 15, 2019

Antelope Valley Wildflowers 3/15/19

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve Bloom update as of March 15, 2019:

There are nice displays of poppies and other wildflowers, especially on the east side of the park and on south-facing slopes. Poppies, forget-me-nots, slender keel fruits, goldfields, filarees, pygme lupins, fiddlenecks, and Joshua trees are blooming. The lacy phacelias are starting to bloom, and many painted ladies (butterflies) are enjoying the feast.

See photos at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 15, 2019

North Table Mt. Wildflowers 3/14/19

Chico Hiking Association reports

Northern California’s Superbloom is beginning on North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve. Here’s what we found on the 14th Mar. See video slideshow at Chico Hiking Association
Download your flower guide, and the maps and get there.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 15, 2019

California Wildflower News Stories

A collection of wildflower stories from a Goggle Alert

Where to see California’s wildflower super blooms — from SLO County to San Diego San Luis Obispo Tribune
Carpets of colorful wildflowers are beginning to blossom across California as hopes grow for a spring full of super blooms. From San Diego County to …

Super bloom comes to Carrizo Plain, wildflowers pop in Griffith Park and on Catalina Los Angeles Times

The super bloom is unfolding in Carrizo Plain National Monument in Central California and wildflowers are covering some slopes closer to home.
KTLA 360 Video: The California Desert Super Bloom KTLA

The super bloom has arrived in the California desert, and there are hundreds of varieties of wildflowers carpeting the landscape right now. Have you …
California’s wildflower super bloom attracts swarms of migrating butterflies

This year’s wildflower super bloom is not only filling California deserts with eye-popping displays of color — it’s also providing a feast for swarms of …
Sightseers headed to the Carrizo Plain super bloom are getting stuck in the mud instead San Luis Obispo Tribune

The blooms are popular photo destinations across the state, with thousands of pictures of poppies, daisies and other wildflowers popping up on …
Wildflowers in bloom at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Wildflowers are attracting more than bees at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. People are flocking to see California …
Wet Winter Weather Brings ‘Super Bloom’ Of Wildflowers To California Arab News

Heavier than normal winter rains in California have caused a super bloom of wildflowers in various locales of the state.
‘Super Bloom’ erupts in Southern California WTOC

‘Super Bloom’ erupts in Southern California. The wet winter in California has produced wildflowers so vivid they can be seen from thousands of feet …
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 15, 2019

Anza-Borrego Wildflowers 3/12/19

The Anza-Borrego Foundation reports

Thousands of visitors come to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® each year to enjoy the beauty of unique and captivating desert wildflowers in bloom. With 92 different plant families, 346 genera and hundreds of flowering species, there is quite the variety of flora to discover! There are many factors that determine when, how many and which blooms will appear in any given season. A combination of sun, rain, temperature and wind set the stage for the springtime arrival of wildflowers. So, when is the best time to experience this phenomenon? That is one of the most frequently asked questions at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park! It is very difficult to answer, as each year’s conditions can vary greatly. However, the second week of March is often the peak of the wildflower bloom.  When all conditions are perfect you will see the carpets of flowers you often see in the media.

Click here for a downloadable Wildflower Location Map

Wildflower Update: 3/12/19

Visitor Center area: Visitor Center garden, along paved trail to campground, and in Hellhole and Little Surprise Canyons.

Coyote Canyon : The dirt road into Lower Coyote Canyon (high-clearance 4WD vehicles only), but remains rough beyond Desert Gardens due to recent flooding. You can park at the end of DiGiorgio Rd. then walk a short distance up the dirt trail to fields of flowers to the east. Please avoid private dirt road.

S-22 Roadsides: Purple sand verbena is blooming north of Highway S-22, near Mile Marker 31.

Borrego Badlands: Park off Highway S-22 (just west of mm 35) and walk in to Coachwhip Canyon or Arroyo Salado Primitive Camp. Vehicles with good clearance can drive 1/8 mile to restroom.

Texas Dip: Great display of poppies on south-facing hillsides above San Felipe Wash (just north of Hwy 78).

Ocotillo Wells SVRA: Bloomed early in the season. Start at their Discovery Center, near mm 91 on Hwy 78.

Blair Valley: Mile marker 33 on highway S2 and various pullouts along the highway. Little Blair Valley and dry lake bed are blooming.

June Wash: Park near mile marker 42 on highway S-2 and walk up the wash. Try also Carrizo Badlands Overlook at mm 52.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 15, 2019

Joshua Tree and Anza-Borrego Wildflowers 3/14/19

submitted by Spencer Westbrook
Photo by Spencer Westbrook
I returned home yesterday after a multi-day outing to Joshua Tree National Park and Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
Joshua Tree southern entrance, Cottonwood Springs Road off the I-10, at lower elevation, was one of the best displays of low desert wildflowers I have seen in my 35 years of photography. The variety, quality, and quantity of the bloom is amazing and I recommend wildflower enthusiasts take advantage of the display. I did rain overnight on Monday, 3/11-3/12 so the bloom should be at peak for another week unless temperatures soar.
Anza Borrego was good. I had been there two weeks previously and the bloom had improved somewhat but given a choice, Joshua Tree is THE place to go.
I’ll plan to return in 3 weeks or so to photograph cactus blooms, probably in Blair Valley in Anza Borrego.
Regarding the spectacular poppy display along the I-15 at Lake Elsinore, the hot spot is the Lake Street exit however, there was a line of cars on the shoulder of the highway perhaps 1/4-3/8 miles long waiting to exit and the hills were swarming with people. I traveled north to the next exit, Indian Truck Trail then backtracked on the frontage road to a spot where there were plenty of poppies, perhaps 15-20 cars and maybe 30-40 people.
Photo by Spencer Westbrook
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 14, 2019

Anza-Borrego Wildflowers 3/14/19

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
has 35 photos from around Glorietta Canyon.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 14, 2019

Borrego Wildflowers Reports 3/13/19  has two new reports

Mar/13/2019 Glorietta Canyon Loop 4

We’ve seen it raining numerous times over Glorietta canyon, time to check out what the rain produced.
Vast number of Emmenanthe penduliflora penduliflora | Whispering bells, Phacelia distans | Common phacelia, Eschscholzia parishii | Parish’s poppy and Mentzelia involucrata | Sand blazing star at the canyon entrance.
The Eschscholzia parishii | Parish’s poppy will only pop open later in the day.
Fields of Nama demissa demissa | Purplemat in the canyon Close to the entrance yes a big unmistakable Plagiobothrys jonesii | Mojave popcornflower and probably over a hundred more into the canyon.
Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 14, 2019

Painted Lady Butterfly Swarm Approaching N. Calif

The San Francisco Chronicle reports

The butterfly species, which migrates from the Mojave desert to Oregon every spring, are experiencing a population explosion this year, and their fast-moving and massive swarm is expected to reach Northern California any day now.

Read full story at  ‘They’re everywhere’: Butterflies swarming SoCal expected to reach NorCal any day – SFGate

Pasadena Star News reports why are there so many butterflies in Southern California right now?

Swarms of butterflies are invading inland sections of Southern California as a result of an unusually heavy migration of a common species making its way from Mexico to the Pacific Northwest to breed, experts say.

About 1 billion butterflies, known as Painted Ladies, are flying at speeds of 20 miles per hour in a northerly direction from the deserts of Mexico to reach breeding grounds in Oregon

Read story at Why are there so many butterflies in Southern California right now? – Pasadena Star News

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 14, 2019

Figueroa Mountain Wildflowers 3/14/19

KETY reports

On Figueroa Mountain in the Los Padres National Forest, known for its vibrant wildflower blooms, chocolate lilies are begin to blossom. Poppies have yet to arrive but should be just around the corner.

Read article and see photos at Rainy season likely to produce rare super blooms across California – KEYT

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 14, 2019

Yosemite Roads & Facilities Opening Later Than Usual 

The San Francisco Chronicle reports

The national park announced Wednesday roads and facilities closed for winter will open later than usual as the park wakes from a winter marked by relentless storms.

Plowing will begin on Glacier Point and Tioga roads in April, but neither road is expected to be open before Memorial Day. Last year Tioga Road opened on May 21.

Read full story at Yosemite announces slow start to spring with roads and facilities opening later than usual – SFGate

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 13, 2019

Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve Wildflowers 3/13/19

Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve reports

As of March 13th, poppies are blooming on the east side of the park. The Joshua trees and tiny forget-me-nots, slender keeled fruit and filaree flowers are blooming. We are expecting the bloom to be best through April.

Please remember, visitors must stay on OFFICIAL TRAILS only; photos in the flowers are not allowed in the park. Walking in the poppies creates dirt patches and may result in a ticket. DO NOT walk where others have already damaged the habitat; it will compound the damage and leave a scar for years to come.

Commercial and student filming/photography requires a permit. No dogs, bikes on trails, drones, or picking flowers.

Poppies open up in mid morning, and curl up in the late afternoon/evening or if it’s cold, so check the weather forecast before arriving.  The weather can change suddenly and it is frequently windy here during the spring.  This is a DESERT grassland, so drink water often.  Note that it can be very windy here in the spring.

Current Photos

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 13, 2019

Sonoma Count Wildflowers 3/12/19

Botanical Wanderings – California has 14 new photos for  Pine Flat Rd in the mountains of n.e. SonomaCounty above the JimtownStore

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 13, 2019

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 3/15/19

5Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom report  for March 15, 2019 at the Pine Ridge Association website with photos and a list of flowers now in bloom at: Henry W. Coe – Wildflower Guide.

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

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 13, 2019

Borrego Wildflowers Report 3/12/19  reports

Bloom prediction for the Anza-Borrego Desert:

Will we get a Super Bloom this season? We think not, all indications point to a normal bloom or slightly better. Some isolated areas may have a significantly better bloom.
The amount of relevant rain is now a least equal to the good spring of 2017, what some called a Super Bloom.

The great winter bloom (first bloom cycle) from the October 2018 rain, sometimes surpassing the 2017 Super bloom is beginning to wind down, as most annuals have a finite lifetime, no matter how much water, sun and nutrients you give them.

The second bloom cycle from the December 2018 rain is growing and there are new plants from the February 2019 rain.
March and April bloom will be more wide spread and probably cover most of the park.

Very warm weather might spoil things.
Don’t forget the caterpillars, when they show up in force, whole areas may be DOOMED.

When will the bloom peak? Most likely by the end of March – beginning of April, depending on temperature and rain.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 13, 2019

Trump Slashes Funds for Endangered Species, Environmental Programs

Center for Biological Diversity News Release

Budget Proposes $8.6 Billion to Build Ecologically Devastating Border Wall

WASHINGTON— The Trump administration’s 2019 budget proposal contains an unprecedented $2 billion (14 percent) cut for the Department of the Interior and a $2.8 billion (31 percent) cut for the Environmental Protection Agency, while adding $8.6 billion for border-wall construction.

“Trump’s budget is a heartless, disgusting joke,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This environmentally devastating proposal shows Trump’s government is composed only of special interests, run by special interests, for the benefit of special interests. It would allow imperiled animals to go extinct and ram a massive border wall through some of America’s most beautiful wild places.”

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 12, 2019

Chino Hills Wildflowers 3/10/19

California Wildflower Report has a video by Zhiying Wu showing wildflowers for Chino Hill SP Mar 9 & 10


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 12, 2019

Anza-Borrego State Park Wildflowers 3/12/19

Anza Borrego State Park reports on

With almost 8 inches of rain since July, we are experiencing a widespread bloom of flowers, which may well last through mid-March. Click the links below for specific tips and locations.

Some flowers are blooming along S22 east of mile marker 30, in response to heavy fall rains in that area. The fields at the mouth of Coyote Canyon have a wide variety of wildflowers blooming right now, but the “Wildflower Fields” along Henderson Canyon Road have not yet come into full bloom. Flowers are starting to bloom in the southern part of the Park, with June Wash a highlight (park near mile marker 42 on Highway S-2 and walk up the wash), and Carrizo Badlands Overlook worth checking out, too.



Anza- Borrego Desert Natural History Association reports

This year’s spring bloom is now well underway, The next couple of weeks will be prime time.

The big development that is taking place right now is a massive bloom of desert sunflowers that stretches from just north of Ocotillo Wells clear to the north side of Highway S-22 and then east towards Clark Dry Lake.  We are also getting more reports of flowers in the south end of the park; That area gets far few visitors so we are always happy to get reports and photos from the south.

View our flower maps for the best areas to visit at this time and check out the reports and photos below in our reports section to help plan your trip.

March 11: For those who want some desert solitude with their flowers, Judy sends a report for two spots in the south end of the park.
Thanks, Judy.  Two spots:   #1  Driving south on S-2, stop at the overlooks south of Canyon Sin Nombre. 
Stop #2 is not far away, Carizzo wash.  She says you can park on the side of the road and you only have to walk in a little ways.

See photos and older posts at Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 12, 2019

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Wildflowers 3/12/19

California Wildflower Report  says

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is abloom now with California native plants.

See photos from the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and older posts at California Wildflower Report

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 12, 2019

International Garden Photographer of the Year 2019 Winners

See the winners of the International Garden Photographer of the Year 2019 – The Winners in Pictures – Photography Now

See the photos of some of the other top photographers from the contest: Competition 12 results – International Garden Photographer of the Year

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 11, 2019

East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden Photos

Photos from today at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park in Berkeley California.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 11, 2019

Brief Carrizo Plain Wildflower Update 3/11/19

Friends of the Carrizo Plain reports

Current wildflower status at Carrizo Plain – ready to pop once it warms up

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 11, 2019

Fresno Blossom Trail 3/11/19

Fresno County Office of Tourism – Blossom Trail reports on March 11, 2019

The 2019 Blossom Trail season is winding down, blooms are starting to fall. Sunshine in the forecast all week, hurry if you want to view the remaining blossoms before the season ends.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 11, 2019

PInnacles Wildflowers 3/10/19

Rusty Scalf reports at the PInnacles

  • Lots of Popcorn flowers (a little white Borage)
  • a very few yellow Fiddleneck that were small (yet a couple blooming)
  • Lots of Milk Maids
  • Wonderful displays of Shooting Stars.
  • In damp places the ground is carpeted with Miner’s Lettuce.  The moss is lush and the lichen are vibrant.
  • Many of other plants like Clematis are beginning vegetative growth. Others like Black Sage and Eriogonum still look wintery and quite dormant. It is very green overall.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 11, 2019

World’s Only Tool-using Vulture Risks Being Lost Forever

Birdlife Magazine reports

Hailed for its intelligence and majesty, the Egyptian Vulture was admired and worshipped throughout history. But decimated by poisoning, electrocution and illegal trophy hunting, the bird that was once an Ancient Egyptian hieroglyph is now Endangered. Can we save it before it’s too late?

Read story at  World’s only tool-using vulture risks being lost forever | BirdLife

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