Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 2, 2017

Great Lakes Gray Wolves Retain Protected Status

NPR reports

Gray wolves in the Great Lakes region should keep their spot on the endangered species list, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., ruled Tuesday.

The ruling upholds a 2014 federal judge’s decision that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was wrong to have taken the gray wolf off the list in 2011, citing its rebounding population.

Read full story at Great Lakes Gray Wolves’ Spot Safe On Endangered Species List — For Now : The Two-Way : NPR

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 2, 2017

 ‘An Inconvenient Sequel,’ With Al Gore

The New York Times  has an informative  review of Al Gore’s new movie about the environment

“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” a follow-up to “An Inconvenient Truth,” Davis Guggenheim’s Oscar-winning documentary from 2006, is a reboot that justifies its existence — and not just because Mr. Gore has fresh news to report on climate change since his previous multimedia presentation played in multiplexes.

If there is a thesis in this new documentary, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk (“Audrie & Daisy”), it’s that a rise in extreme weather is making the impact of climate change harder to deny.

Read review at “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 1, 2017

Edgewood Park August Wildflowers

Friends of Edgewood Park have updated its website to show what plants are typically blooming in August. There are  photos of plants you might see. Explore plant locations, plant species, which plant blooms when, and answers to a host of other questions at What’s Blooming This Month.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 1, 2017

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 7/31/17

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom report  for July 31, 2017 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 | August 1, 2017

First Border Wall Segment To Go Through Wildlife Preserve

Texas Tribune reports

Construction of first border wall segment to begin sooner than expected along Rio Grande

Federal officials plan to start construction this fall on 3 miles of border barrier through a South Texas wildlife refuge.

 U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin constructing the first segment of President Trump’s border wall in November through a national wildlife refuge, using money it’s already received from Congress.

Read full story at  Construction of first border wall segment to begin sooner than expected along Rio Grande | The Texas Tribune

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 31, 2017

Today Is World Ranger Day


World Ranger Day both commemorates Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and celebrates the critical work Rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural treasures.

World Ranger Day is observed annually on the 31st of July and is celebrated by the International Ranger Federation’s (IRF’s) member Associations, The Thin Green Line Foundation, and by organisations, schools and individuals who support the work of Rangers and the IRF worldwide.

The first World Ranger Day was observed in 2007 on the 15th anniversary of the founding of the IRF.

Let’s pause for a moment to reflect on the sacrifice that these Rangers make; to honour the fallen Rangers and their colleagues who still bravely undertake their role in the field.

more at IRF | World Ranger Day

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 31, 2017

August 2017 Golden Gate Audubon Birding Field Trips

Golden Gate Audubon Society Field Trips

  • Tilden Nature Area, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley Friday, August 4, 8:30 — 11:30 a.m. (First Friday bird walk)
  • Albany Mudflats Saturday, August 5, 9:30 — 11:30 a.m.
  • Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, Oakland
    Saturday, August 5, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. (due to tides)
  • San Francisco Botanical Garden Sunday, August 6, 8:00 —10:30 a.m. (First Sunday bird walk)
  • Hilltop Lake Park, Richmond Wednesday, August 9,  9:00 — 10:45 a.m.
  • Valle Vista Staging Area, Upper San Leandro Reservoir, Moraga
    Friday, August 11, 8:30 — 11:30 a.m. (Second Friday bird walk; leaders vary by month)
  • Farallon Islands Pelagic Trip with Alvaro’s Adventures – Half Moon Bay (GGAS Centennial Field Trip) Friday, August 11 — 6:30 a.m. check-in for 7 a.m. departure, with return between 5 and 5:30 p.m.
  • Corona Heights, San Francisco Friday, August 18, 8 — 10 a.m.
    (Third Friday bird walk)
  • Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco Sunday, August 20, 8:00 — 10:00 a.m. (Third Sunday bird walk)
  • Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland Wednesday, August 23, 9:30 a.m. – noon (Fourth Wednesday bird walk
  • Snag Lake Backpack Trip, Lassen Volcanic National Park Friday – Monday, August 25-28
  • Las Gallinas Storage Pond, San Rafael
    Saturday, August 26, 8:00 — 11:00 a.m.

for more information on above walks go to Upcoming Field Trips | Golden Gate Audubon Society



Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 30, 2017

Pt. Reyes Birds and Wildflowers Abbott’s Lagoon 7/29 & 30/17

Yesterday and today I was at Abbott’s Lagoon at Pt. Reyes for field trips with Golden Gate and Marin Audubon to see birds and wildflowers.

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Click read more to see my plant list from both days and today’s eBird list from one of the participants

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 30, 2017

CNPS Field Trips July 2017

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)

  • August 19, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Glass Meadow.

East Bay CNPS

  • Saturday, August 5, 10:00 am, Fort Cronkhite Beach, Fort Cronkhite, Marin Headlands

Marin CNPS

  • Late Summer Coastal Wildflowers  along Kehoe Beach Trail  Point Reyes National Seashore Sunday,  August 6th  10AM to 1PM

Milo Baker (Sonoma county)

  • Wildlife Photography at Pepperwood Thursday August 10, 2017 Carpool 8:30 at Hwy 12 Park & Ride (between Vet’s Hall and Fairgrounds), east end. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. meet at Dwight Center for Conservation Science, Pepperwood Preserve, 2130 Pepperwood Preserve Rd. SR.

Napa Valley

North Coast

  • Aug. 5, Sat. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Orchids in the Dunes in the Lanphere Dune
  • Aug. 12, Sat. Point St. George Day Hike, Crescent City.

Santa Clara Valley

Santa Cruz

Yerba Buena (San Francisco/Northern San Mateo)

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

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 29, 2017

Mt. Rainier Wildflowers 7/27/17

Mt. Rainier National Park reports

Currently BloomingJuly 27, 2017
Wildflowers are at peak bloom in certain areas of the park! Berkeley Park has been reported to be particularly nice right now, with many favorites like lupine and magenta paintbrush blooming. Now is a great time to get away from your car and explore Mount Rainier’s wildflowers meadows – there are lots of trails to choose from!

Wildflower Reports

  • Sunrise (7/26): fanleaf cinquefoil, subalpine daisy, magneta paintbrush, sitka valerian, arrowleaf groundsel (early), rainiera stricta (early). Good trails for wildflower viewing: Silver Forest and Shadow Lake along Sunrise Rim trail.
  • Berkeley Park (7/25): lupine, magenta paintbrush, sitka valerian, bistort, pasqueflower seedheads, bracted lousewort, elephanthead, tall bluebells, arnica, subalpine daisy
  • Paradise (7/22): fanleaf cinquefoil, subalpine buttercup, avalanche lily, glacier lily, magenta paintbrush, scarlet paintbrush, sitka valerian, pasqueflower, springbeauty, Jeffrey’s shooting star, marsh marigold, pink and white mountain heather, Cascade huckleberry, rosy spirea, alpine arnica, bear grass, broadleaf arnica, subalpine daisy, American bistort. Good trails for wildflower viewing: Myrtle Falls and up Golden Gate before switchbacks, Alta Vista, Avalanche Lily, and Nisqually Vista trails.
  • Shriner Peak Trail (7/19): beargrass (lots, and at peak bloom!), lupine
  • Longmire (7/19): pinesap, coral root, pipsissewa, foam flower, twin flower, rattlesnake plaintain, agoseris, Lewis monkeyflower, pink monkeyflower

Plan Your Visit
Sunrise are two of the main visitor center areas at Mount Rainier National Park. Both areas are well known for their impressive wildflower meadows. The park also maintains dozens of trails perfect for wildflower viewing.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 29, 2017

Trump Plan Could Open Giant Sequoia Monument To Logging 

The Guardian reports

As part of the Trump administration’s determination to roll back regulation and open public land to private industry, the interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, is currently undertaking a review of more than two dozen national monuments declared since the 1990s. The stated goal of the review is to reboot extractive industries such as mining and logging. Supporters of the Giant Sequoia monument fear a unique ecosystem is at risk from timber industry advocates who would peel back protections.

Read full story at Trump plan could open Giant Sequoia monument to logging | Environment | The Guardian

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 28, 2017

Oregon Wildflowers 7/24/2017

Oregon Wildflowers reports on Umbrella Falls to Elk Meadows in the Mt. Hood area

Calochortus subalpinus in numbers I`ve never seen before, tons of lupines, Lilium columbianum, Spiraea subalpinus. Indian paintbrushes, Mimulus lewisii, Dodecatheon (subalpinus?), Achillea millefolium, Lilium washintonianum, Valeriana sitchensis, Polemonium californicum, Pedicularus groelandica, mountain ash, asters.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 28, 2017

Warming Climate Is Quieting Kauai’s Colorful Forest Birds 

NPR reports

In Hawaii’s Kauai island, the native forest birds are in peril. Once considered a paradise for the colorful songbirds, the island has lost more than half of those native species.

What’s happening on Kauai could be an early warning for the other Hawaiian islands.

Read full story at Warming Climate Is Quieting Kauai’s Colorful Forest Birds : NPR

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 27, 2017

Lassen National Park Highway Now Open

Lassen Volcanic National Park  reports

The Lassen National Park Highway (the main road that travels north/south through the park) is now open to through vehicle traffic. Trails at high elevations of the park are still snow covered. #FindYourPark

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 27, 2017

California’s Most Ambitious Climate Plan

The New York Times reports on “How California Plans to Go Far Beyond Any Other State on Climate ”

Over the past decade, California has passed a sweeping set of climate laws to test a contentious theory: that it’s possible to cut greenhouse gas emissions far beyond what any other state has done and still enjoy robust economic growth.

If California prevails, it could provide a model for other policy makers, even as President Trump scales back the federal government’s efforts on climate change. The state may also develop new technologies that the rest of the world can use to cut emissions.

Read full story at  How California Plans to Go Far Beyond Any Other State on Climate – The New York Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 26, 2017

Tahoe/Carson Pass Wildflowers 7/26/17

Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups  (Calphoto) has a new report for the Tahoe/Carson Pass Area

just returned from a 6-day roadtrip checking out blooms around the Tahoe-Truckee area. Things are looking good around there, and in general, I’d say that the 7000-8000 ft elevation range is the sweet spot. Here are some specifics.

Meiss trail: Gorgeous with snowmelt, views, lupine, Monardella, sulfur buckwheat, mule’s ears, Calochortus, Castilleja, irises and more in the drylands, so very many things blooming in the meadows. The corn lilies on the way to Showers aren’t going off yet, but it will be stunning when they do.
Carson pass toward Winnemucca: Also lovely, with great views and some excellent patches of bloom, but earlier than Meiss and there’s still a fair amount of snow on the trail to navigate (not bad, but as the snow increased and flowers decreased I turned back, but do pay attention to the snow melt line, interesting things may be found.) The rangers estimate that the peak bloom around Carson pass will be in around 3 weeks. Also, do go to the Carson information station and ask for recommendations, they’re really nice and try to keep up with where the bloom is now.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 26, 2017

World Shorebirds Day 2017 Is Approaching

The Global Shorebird Counting Program is one of the key events of the World Shorebirds Day, an effort to raise awareness about the importance of regular bird monitoring/counting as the core element of protection of bird populations and habitat conservation.

Global Shorebird Counting will take place between 1-7 September 2017

Why counting shorebirds is so important?

Saving birds without knowing the actual number of individuals of a bird species living in the world is impossible. Population figures should not be guesses! Those are the facts, based on countings carried out by thousands of volunteers and professionals worldwide. The result is an exact population figure and trend, which is one of the fundamental elements to assess the legal protection status of any species. Still, the importance of bird monitoring (regular counting) is underrated and often ignored by many.

This program aims to give a picture of the power of field work, to help non-counters to improve their counting skills, and to increase the number of counters worldwide.

How to be a part of this popular program of the World Shorebirds Day?

  1. Think about where will you be on the Global Shorebird Counting weekend (dates in our blog);
  2. Add your location(s) on the Google Map, where you most probably would do counting and make your registration;
  3. Follow our blog to get notified about new announcements;
  4. Go counting shorebirds on the weekend of Global Shorebird Counting weekend;
  5. Submit your data to eBird (find related technical details here) or send directly us (this is a less preferred way).

Learn more at  World Shorebirds Day 2017 is approaching

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 25, 2017

New Wildflower Book for Nevada and Placer County

The second edition of WILDFLOWERS OF NEVADA AND PLACER COUNTIES, CALIFORNIA published by Redbud Chapter, California Native Plant Society is now out

The second edition of this versatile guide describes over 500 species of wildflowers found in Nevada and Placer Counties, a richly diverse region home to 38 percent of all plants known to grow wild in California—rendering the book useful well beyond county lines. The new edition includes an easy-to-use plant identification key, along with drawings of plant anatomy and icons for each plant family. Illustrated with over 600 color photographs, close-ups and landscapes, the book features habitat descriptions and tips on places to see bountiful wildflower displays. Useful to casual hikers and avid botanists alike. It is available at the CNPS store at



Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 24, 2017

Why Woodpeckers Don’t Get Headaches

National Geographic has an article explaining Why Woodpeckers Don’t Get Headaches. Read about the physiological adaptations Woodpeckers have that allow them to peck without harming their brains or get headaches at Why Woodpeckers Don’t Get Headaches

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 23, 2017

Carson Pass Wildflowers 7/23/17

Carson Pass Information Station reports

After a slow start, now is the time to visit Carson Pass. No more snow on the trail issues, flowers are jumping out daily. It’s all good and ready to make your day better. See photo at Carson Pass Information Station.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 23, 2017

Chickens Smarter Than You Think

ScienceDaily reports on a review of studies on chicken intelligence, social development and emotions.

Chickens are not as clueless or ‘bird-brained’ as people believe them to be. They have distinct personalities and can outmaneuver one another. They know their place in the pecking order, and can reason by deduction, which is an ability that humans develop by the age of seven. Chicken intelligence is therefore unnecessarily underestimated and overshadowed by other avian groups.

Read article at  Think chicken: Think intelligent, caring and complex: Review looks at studies on chicken intelligence, social development and emotions — ScienceDaily

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 22, 2017

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 7/21/17

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom report  for July 21, 2017 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 | July 22, 2017

Santa Monica Mts. Wildflowers 7/19/17

Santa Monica Mts. National Recreation Area has  a new wildflower report

Topanga Canyon State Park – Condo Canyon Trail

This is a portion of The Backbone Trail that begins at Old Topanga Rd. and climbs to the radio towers off Piuma Rd. We went very early in the morning to beat the heat but it was still fairly intense and we only climbed a mile or so.
The hike starts by crossing a nearly dry creek bed. We walked upstream and did find a few pools that were teeming with tadpoles. The areas around those pools are alive with multitudes of tiny hopping juvenile toads.
But back to the trail. It goes ever upwards through patches of forest and swathes of meadow. The good thing is that when you have had enough it is all downhill. Most flowers are finished blooming but there was still a fair amount of sticky madia, slender tarweed and cliff aster. There were a few purple clarkia, honeysuckle and wild roses. There was one patch of blooming narrow leaf milkweed.

See photos and older posts at What’s Blooming

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 22, 2017

World’s Tallest Tropical Trees Discovered In Borneo

National Geographic reports the discovery of the World’s Tallest Tropical Trees

Laser scanning in Borneo has revealed 50 trees that break previous records.

Read story at World’s Tallest Tropical Trees Discovered in Borneo

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 21, 2017

Highway 140 Has Reopened

Yosemite National Park  just announced

Highway 140 is now open from Merced to Yosemite.–Yosemite is open and all facilities and services that have opened for the season are operating, including all park entrances. People who are sensitive to smoke or suffer from respiratory problems are encouraged to minimize outdoor activities, as we are still receiving smoke from the fire.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 21, 2017

Sonora Pass Wildflowers 7/21/17

We drove over Sonora Pass as we were told Yosemite and Groveland were both very smokey.


The drive over Sonora Pass is very scenic. It included snowy mountain landscapes and many species of wildflowers in bloom. The best blooms were in the higher elevations over 8000 feet. Today’s iPhone photos

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Click read more to see today’s plant list

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 21, 2017

Eastern Sierra Wildflowers: McGee Creek 7/20/17

McGee Creek is a scenic high desert landscape. The area was very dry and most flowers are past peak.  The most dominant plant was Sulphur Buckwheat. There are still some late bloomers as well as the remains of a few early blooming plants. We still managed to find a good number of species. Today’s short iPhone slideshow.

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click read more to see plant list

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 21, 2017

Eastern Sierra Wildflowers: Rock Creek Trails 7/18/17

Rock Creek Trails and a bit of Rock Creek road

We hiked along Little Lakes Valley Trail and got as far as the end of Heart Lake. It was wetter than I have seen it on previous visits. The highlight was several meadows with displays of Shooting Star. Many flowers are in bloom. Some flowers seemed  to be blooming a little later than usual, while others were right on time.   The Rock Creek Wildflowers book by Cathy Rose and Stephen Ingram was very helpful.

On the way down we stopped at areas between 9500 and 9700 feet elevation on the north side of the road.  There were many Kelley’s Lilies and Rein Orchids. Also Lupine, Paintbrush, Western Columbine, Richardson’s Geranium.

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Click Read More for Detailed Plan List

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 21, 2017

Did You Know That Snakes Hunt In Groups?

We often think of animals like wolves hunting as a group but did you know snakes also can hunt in a pack. Read story at National Geographic  Snakes Gang Up to Hunt Prey—a First

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 20, 2017

 Cockroaches As Pollinators?

National Geographic reports on the surprising discovery (at least to most humans) that cockroaches may be pollinators

The cockroach Moluchia brevipennis, native to central Chile‘s scrublands, feeds on flower pollen—and may even pollinate plants.

Read article at This Cockroach May Pollinate Flowers—Extremely Rare Find

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