Archivos de diario de junio 2023

09 de junio de 2023

Theme of the day yesterday: Yellow Mariposa Lily

Theme of the day yesterday: Yellow Mariposa Lily
(Calochortus luteus)

I call this a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious bloom. I have been traversing Annadel since the mid-1970's and have never seen such a display of Gold Nuggets! They are everywhere! A particularly nice display and view is at the top of North Burma Trail among the medium boulders looking down over Coyote Meadow AKA The Serengeti, towards Lake Ilsanjo below and dead-center.

In years past, I recall enjoying Gold Nuggets here and there, a few stalks at a time, generally ooohing-and-ahhhing over single plants. They remind me of California poppies, only with a touch of flamboyance in the dots and spots and bi-colored edges. Bright flashes of sunshine in otherwise golden grasses.
Also known as Golden Orb, this California endemic is a perennial herb grown from a bulb, but available from native plant nurseries in seed form. It requires good drainage where it is mostly dry all summer. The plant is a host to the White-lined Sphinx and Orange Tortrix Moth. Goldenrod Crab Spiders use the blossom as a hiding place to catch unwary prey. The plant and bulb were traditional food for Indigenous Peoples

Want to see this display while it lasts? Visit Annadel State Park and hike up from the North Burma Trailhead on Channel Drive ($7 day-use fee or use your California State Park pass). At the junction with Live Oak Trail, stay left on North Burma and continue to the top where you burst out of mixed woodland and manzanitas to open grasslands looking over meadows towards Bennett Mountain to the south. When you continue on North Burma back into the forest cover, keep watch on both sides of the trail for other treasures such as Golden Fairy Lantern, Pink Honeysuckle, Rein Orchid, Cliffbrake Fern, Chamise blossoms masquerading as Leather Oak, Orange-bush Monkeyflower, Wood Rat Condos to the left of the trail and about 20-feet out on the forest floor, St. John's Wort, and more!

The piles of basalt rock chips are left-over from the quarrying era of about 1875-1913-ish. Italian laborers chipped quarried basalt blocks into large "bricks" or paving blocks in a prescribed size. It is said that each man averaged 500 blocks a day, chipping away with hand-tools, and leaving these huge piles of "tailings." The blocks were hauled down to Annadel (AKA Melita) Station and taken by train to Hayfork Landing in Petaluma, then transported over to the ever-growing city of San Francisco. The blocks paved the streets here, Sacramento, and shipped to Paris as ballast in ships and to pave the streets there. When automobiles came on the scene, the paving blocks were too rough, and someone discovered macadam (or asphalt) which made for a smooth ride. So ended the quarrying era in Annadel.

Author Sarah Reid, California Naturalist and Annadel Addict
June 6, 2023

Publicado el junio 9, 2023 02:52 TARDE por wildmare64 wildmare64 | 11 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de junio de 2023

Sonoma Baylands with SLV

June 14, 2023
Back out on trails again today. This was a much easier day for me compared to the 1,300+foot elevation gain of Hood Mtn yesterday. And equally fulfilling. It continues to amaze me how fortunate we are to live here, "the chosen spot of all this earth" (Luther Burbank, 1875 referring to Sonoma County). Yesterday I was in a forest and scenes indicative of Tahoe National Forest. Today I was walking along the very edges of San Francisco Bay -- really, within inches of the high tide line!
I love guiding this wonderful amazing group of women from Spring Lake Village. They have been hiking together for many years, usually a total group of 10 (no more, only two car-loads) and over the course of this long wet winter they only missed two Wednesdays due to the weather! I think they are all over 83, two are 90 years old. They are all very determined and strong hikers, and they all love being out on trails and in nature. They are inspiration to us all, to continue moving, being outdoors, supporting nature.
This is the third outing I have guided them on so far. They appreciate finding new places to explore (a difficult task because they have hiked almost everything there is in Sonoma County, at least twice). Only two of them had been to Sonoma Baylands before, and it had been many years. So this was a grand adventure for us all!
We made it all the way out Dickson Ranch Trail to where the levee was breached in 2015 -- a celebration two of us had been to. We enthusiastically talked about this project of returning tidal marshland to what has been drained ag land for many years. We gloried in the renewed habitats and the tremendous views.
When we arrived at the free parking area, the fog was just lifting off Mt Tam, we could barely see the bridges. By the time we took this group-photo out on the levee, we could clearly see the San Rafael-Richmond Bridge, the Bay Bridge over to Treasure Island, the Carquinaz Bridge in the East Bay, Mt Diablo, Sacramento River Delta, Cougar Mountain, Petaluma River and more! We met a team from Point Blue doing restoration work -- pulling wild radish to uncover native plantings they had provided earlier this year.
Thanks to Sonoma Land Trust and all the partners that created this wonderful restoration project and allow public access. To learn more about Sonoma Baylands, and In this YouTube webinar, join Peter Baye as he explains this project and why it is important to you and me. There are wonderful interpretive panels along the trails.

Publicado el junio 15, 2023 02:26 TARDE por wildmare64 wildmare64 | 8 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Hood Mountain: re-visiting post 2017 wildfires

June 13, 2023
Hood Mountain Regional Park, Santa Rosa
The weather was perfect: fog, about 57 degrees at the start. About 65 and blue skies by mid-way. My two hiking buddies were perfect. The lingering wildflowers were amazing, especially the Orange-bush Monkeyflower!
Route from Pythian Road Day-use: Lower Johnson Ridge--Pond to Merganser Pond--Valley View--Pond to Blue Heron Pond for lunch--Orchard Meadow--back down Lower Johnson Ridge. Great conditioning hike. You can't beat going out to parks on weekdays! We are so fortunate we can. I haven't been up Valley View and Orchard Meadow since about 2013, way before the 2017 Nun's Fire. Another park I know so very well from many many hours on these trails.
Saw lots of butterflies but didn't take the time to try to get photos. Also saw and heard more birds than ever before the fires. At Blue Heron Pond, watched multiple Western Tanager feeding in the conifers.

Sarah Reid
California Naturalist & SCRP Trail Patrol

Publicado el junio 15, 2023 02:31 TARDE por wildmare64 wildmare64 | 26 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

24 de junio de 2023

Watching Activity of Fellow Naturalists

Every day I am greeted with an email from iNaturalist. Some days I see what others have confirmed on my most recent observations. I hope they have enjoyed my journey in nature vicariously with me.

Some days I see a group of entries that a fellow naturalist has recorded, someone I "follow." I like to see where my friends have been, what they have seen, what's happening where. Wherever that friend is -- local or traveling. It's my own little vicarious virtual journey.

Then there are the times I scroll through and notice that someone somewhere has taken an interest in a species that I have documented. Cool! What is this person studying? Where? Why? How can I help? These are questions I look into by searching the person on iNaturalist, at times personal-messaging to ask questions or offer further information. At the least, I get to celebrate the joy in participatory science -- some of my observations might help make a difference in a study, a project little or large, formal scientific research, global initiative, someone's personal nature-nerding, or a park bio blitz.

I love learning from anyone who responds on my observations -- whether to "simply" confirm an ID, to correct me if I am mistaken, provide subspecies detail, answer my questions about how I decipher what I am observing, what details to include next time I see this species/individual, and what their project is.

This week, I was curious to see that someone confirmed ID's on all the Bigleaf Maples I had recorded. Huh. Several months ago I saw someone had been including my observations on his project documenting plants in serpentine habitats in WA, OR and CA. I have been able to help expand his mapping of serpentine in my local area, and contribute to the species lists and observations. A few days ago a university entomologist professor confirmed ID on a beetle I saw: I first met him via iNaturalist about 6 years ago when we documented a particular beetle in the park I worked at, and he flew down the next day to come see it. I hadn't seen his name pop up in several years -- it was like seeing an old friend.

Every day I learn something new about nature. The past three years that I have been expanding my observations on iNaturalist by tens of thousands of entries, my brain has grown over and over and over with new information and new discoveries in our local environs. I thought I knew this place where I have lived since 1967. I am still only scratching the surface of knowing Nature.

Even here, with a sense of place.

Publicado el junio 24, 2023 04:24 MAÑANA por wildmare64 wildmare64 | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario