Chapter Fall Program: “Explore Calflora’s Native Plant Database”

Friday, October 19, 2018 at 7 pm

“Explore Calflora’s Native Plant Database”
presented by Cynthia Powell, Executive Director Calflora

St. Anthony Retreat, Mission Room 
43816 Sierra Dr (Hwy 198), Three Rivers

Learn about new Calflora tools for Calflora users. Calflora’s plant database hosts over two million plant occurrences, some of which have come directly from Alta Peak members. Powell will go over Calflora’s new plant photo project, planting guide, population monitoring tools, email alerts, and speak more generally about the uses of Calflora for CNPS chapters. She would also like to know how Calflora can better serve the Alta Peak Chapter and to answer any of your questions.

After 3 years as Calflora’s GIS Project Manager, Cynthia is now Calflora’s Executive Director. She graduated with her MS in GIS in 2010 forecasting Mokelumne River water supply based on MODIS remote sensing snow pack images. She’s been examining what was under that snow — plants — ever since. She now coordinates all Calflora programs, research, outreach, and advocacy, as well as fundraising and management.

The Calflora Database is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information about California plant biodiversity for use in Education, Research and Conservation.  Calflora is structured as a digital library to fulfill the following objectives:

  1. to serve as a repository for information on California wild plants in electronic formats from diverse sources, including public agencies, academic institutions, private organizations, and individuals;
  2. to provide this information in readily usable electronic formats for scientific, conservation, and educational purposes;
  3. to serve public information needs related to scientific study, land management, environmental analysis, education, and appreciation of California plant life.

Calflora relies on contributors for the information it provides; the website reflects the work of many individuals and institutions.

Field Trip Saturday, October 20, 2018

Join Cynthia Powell for a hands-on plant data collecting field trip for Calflora.
Meet at 8:45 am at Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building on Hwy 198.
Actual field trip location TBA, in the foothills. Field trip will go to around 2 pm.

from Alta Peak Chapter President, Barbara Brydolf: Did you ever go to a place and look around you, wondering what all those plants are? I certainly have. And I have friends who, mistakenly thinking I’m a plant expert, send me photos of plants to identify. Fortunately, there is a great website and app, called Calflora, for finding out exactly that. Calflora is a nonprofit organization that catalogs California plants by location, genus, common name, and a host of other search terms. I use it more than any other resource to anticipate what I will find in a certain place, and to identify a plant I don’t know. Calflora has catalogued thousands of plant records from all over California, and continues to add information through citizen science, which means that anyone can contribute to the knowledge of what grows here. Our own Mary Merriman, with her Rare Plant Surveys, has made contributions to this site. Calflora is a rich tool, and I know that there are many features that I have not used, not to mention the phone app I haven’t even downloaded yet. That’s why I’m excited that Cynthia Powell, is coming here to Tulare County to give a talk about using the website and app, and to lead a hike the following day. I hope you can join us for this unique opportunity to learn more about native plants!

photo: Lewis Hill Preserve near Porterville CA © Sequoia Riverlands Trust

From calflora.org:

What is Calflora?
Calflora is 1. a website you can use to learn about plants that grow wild in California (both native plants and weeds); and 2. a nonprofit organization responsible for providing this service. Calflora is run by the team described below. Information in Calflora comes from many sources: public agencies, non-profits, scientists, private donors, and you!
Find Out About a Plant
You can enter the common or scientific name of a plant to find out about it. Or, use the name wizard to just enter part of a name and have the wizard make suggestions. The result is an illustrated table of plants that match the name you entered. Click one of the plants in the table to learn the details about that plant — in particular, where it’s been observed in California.
Try it out!
Find Out What Plant Observations Have Been Made…
by a certain person, of a certain plant, in a certain area, or during a certain time period. The application that does this is called Observation Hotline. The observations that match your criteria are displayed as colored icons on a Google Map. Click on an observation to see photos and other details.
Try it out!
Find Out What Plants Grow in a Place
You can also choose a place and get an illustrated list of the plants that grow there. The application that does this is called What Grows Here?. You define “here” by picking a place on the map, or by choosing park boundary, place name, etc. Refine “here” by zooming in and out of the map, or drawing a polygon. Then click SEARCH to get an illustrated list of plants known to grow “here.”
Try it out!

There’s a lot more to Calflora than these basic tools — you can learn about Calflora’s more advanced features at the top of this page, where you will find links to many web applications concerning California plants.

Giant Sequoia National Monument Field Trip on July 21

July 21, 2018 from 8 -3 pm

Lead by Barbara Brydolf, Alta Peak Chapter President

Come explore a Giant Sequoia Grove in the Sequoia National Monument above Springville. In the heat of summer, find shelter under the canopy of the giants. We will explore either the Wheel Meadow Grove above Camp Nelson or the Black Mountain Grove near Mountain Aire. We may see mountain misery (Chamaebatia foliolosa), thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus), Hartweg’s wild ginger (Asarum hartwegii), and could see California tiger lily (Lilium pardalinum), stream orchid (Epipactis gigantea), scarlet bugler (Penstemon centranthifolius), and Scouler’s St. John’s wort (Hypericum scouleri).

Meet at the Springville Veterans Memorial Park, on the right side of Hwy 190 between Gifford’s Market and the Fire Station in downtown Springville. We will carpool and caravan up the highway. Expect as much as a five mile hike over varied terrain and elevations around 4500-5500 feet.

Bring lunch and water. Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for sun and mosquitoes.

For more information, contact Barbara Brydolf at bbrydolf@gmail.com or 559-359-2827.

photo via Valley Public Radio
fron an episode of Here and Now with Ezra David Romero,

Big Meadow Wildflower Field Trip on June 23


Saturday, June 23, 2018 from 8:30 am – early afternoon
Lead by Mary Merriman, Alta Peak Chapter Rare Plant Chair
and Denise Griego, Alta Peak Chapter Secretary

Explore the high altitude flora of Sequoia National Forest Hume Lake District, located between Giant Forest and Grant Grove. Big Meadow has the highest altitude with accessible roads in Tulare County. Its subalpine flora is dominated by lodgepole pine, white/red fir forest on exfoliated granite. 
It will still be late spring there! We may find a few relatively rare plants, such as Tulare County buckwheat and Sierra bleeding heart and we may find several kinds of monkey flowers although they are more unpredictable in dryish years. Wet meadows hide many floral treasures throughout the season. Shady stream banks harbor a variety of shrubs.

From Three Rivers area, meet at the Veterans Memorial Building on Hwy 198 at 8:30 am for carpooling. Try to bring the fewest number of cars possible. From Visalia area, we will be taking the shorter route up Hwy 180 through the Kings Canyon entrance. If you are coming from Visalia area, contact Mary Merriman at 559-679-9152 or marymtnspirit@gmail.com for directions up Hwy 180 or for ride-sharing, especially if you do not have a park pass. There is now a $35 entrance fee to the National Parks, so be sure to bring your annual or senior pass.

Meet on the Big Meadow road at 10:30 am at the first parking lot (map link here). There is only one way to turn at the Big Meadow Road but it has a fairly small sign. About 1/4 mile up the Big Meadow road, there is a gate (which will be open) and large parking lot on the right with an outhouse where we will start. We will mostly be driving or walking with no significant hiking but plenty of uneven ground so wear sturdy boots. Bring lunch, water, sunscreen, hat, layered clothing (mornings can be cool), field guides and a lawn chair for lunch.


Big Meadow photo by Denise Griego

 

March 25 Field Trip: Fire Effects in Blue Oak Woodland

Sunday, March 25, 2018 from 9:30 – 12:30 pm at the River Ridge Ranch in Springville

Gary Adest of River Ridge Institute, Alta Peak Chapter President Barbara Brydolf, and forest experts Nina Hemphill and Ernie Garcia will lead this field trip to see how the Pier Fire has changed blue oak (Quercus douglasii) woodland on the lower slopes of Lumreau Mountain. We will explore the effects of the fire on soil, vegetation, and wildlife, and discuss the function of fire in the landscape. Expect to see wildflowers on this walk.

Meet at 9:30 am in the lower parking lot of River Ridge Ranch, located at 37675 Balch Park Rd, on the east side of the road, 1.6 mi. north of the White Barn in Springville. The walk will be moderately strenuous, approximately 5 miles, with a 1000’ elevation gain. Bring lunch and water and dress appropriately.

[photo credit: River Ridge Institute]

Adaptation of Plants, Animals and Humans to Wildfires: What to Expect Following the Pier Fire

Alta Peak Chapter events are free and open to the public.

Saturday, February 24, 2018  at 7pm (social time starts at 6:30)

Chapter Winter Program
“Adaptation of Plants, Animals and Humans to Wildfires:
What to Expect Following the Pier Fire”

with Dr. Jon Keeley, fire ecologist/research scientist for the United States Geological Survey
and adjunct professor UCLA

Springville Veterans’ Memorial Building on Hwy 190

Wildfires are a necessary part of the ecology of many wild landscapes in mediterranean-type climates across the globe, promoting healthy wildlands and biodiversity. After an explosive fire year in California, many questions arise as humans more commonly move into areas that are subject to burning. Dr. Keeley will provide an overview of the fire history of Sierra Nevada forests and shrublands, describing interesting ways plants and animals have adapted to survive wildfires. This talk will touch on important issues related to the wildland-urban interface, as well as the future in an era of global change.

Saturday, February 24, from 1-4 pm
Field Trip: Pier Fire Area

before Winter Program in Springville

Led by Jon Keeley and Barbara Brydolf, this field will be mostly driving along Hwy 190 above Springville with stops at various overlooks, and a short hike on steep terrain (this could be skipped by people who want to go on the excursion, but are unable to do the hike).

Meet at the Springville Veteran’s Memorial Building at 1 pm to caravan and carpool. Carpooling is encouraged, as pull-outs along Hwy 190 are limited.

After the field trip and before the program, join Chapter members for dinner at Nuevo Mexicali III restaurant in Springville, located at: 35258 Hwy 190.

Long Meadow Field Trip in Sequoia National Park

June 25, 2016, at 12 Noon
All Chapter field trips are free and open to everyone.

Long Meadow in Sequoia National Park © Elsah Cort
photo by Elsah Cort

Take a stroll with National Park Service Plant Ecologist, Erik Frenzel around Long Meadow (in the Wolverton area). Long Meadow is at 7,250 ft elevation, two miles north of the General Sherman tree in Giant Forest. This is one of the most gentle and botanically lovely walks in the front country of Sequoia National Park. The trail is flat to moderately sloping for less than two miles, looping around the open Long Meadow, with shaded portions that dip into the surrounding upper mixed conifer forest. Along the way, the group will catalogue the plants that are discovered and learn about the ecology of the meadow.

For directions, it’s best to follow the park map that is given at the Ash Mountain entrance station of Sequoia National  Park. Be prepared to pay $30 entrance fee if you do not have an annual pass. The Wolverton turn off is two miles north of the General Sherman Tree. The drive to Wolverton from then entrance station to Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park takes about 45-60 minutes.

Meet at 12 noon on the deck of the Wolverton snack shop (closed) that overlooks the meadow, where we will gather for lunch (bring your own). The guided walk will begin after lunch, around 12:30 pm.  This is a field trip for all ages and is open to everyone. Bring sack lunch, water, hat and sunscreen.

If possible, please RSVP to Ginger Bradshaw, by email at gingerbradshaw936@gmail.com
or by phone at 559-827-7604.

Field Trip and Rare Plant Treasure Hunt on Lewis Hill Preserve

Saturday, February 27, 2016 from 10 – 1 pm

Co-Sponsored by the Sequoia Riverlands Trust
and the Alta Peak Chapter of the California Native Plant Society

Field Trip Leader: Fletcher Linton, Sequoia National Forest Botanist

Lewis Hill Preserve © Sequoia Riverlands Trust

The open grasslands and blue oak woodlands of the southern Sierra Nevada foothills provide critical habitat for many native plants, along with two exceptional rare wildflowers at Lewis Hill Preserve. In 1994, the Hawkins family donated this property north of Porterville to the Kern River Research Center. Six years later, the title transferred to the Tule Oaks Land Trust, which later merged with Sequoia Riverlands Trust.

Enjoy the rare opportunity to visit this property which is mostly an annual grassland with many varieties of wildflowers that are blooming this time of year including golden stars (Triteleia ixiodes), and Ithuriel’s spear (Triteleia laxa) and two rare plants, the exquisite and fragrant striped adobe lily (Fritillaria striata) and the San Joaquin adobe sunburst (Pseudobahia piersonii). Both of these rare species are very difficult to find anywhere else in Tulare County. On the way up the hill we will put markers down where we find these elusive flowers. Alta Peak Chapter Rare Plant Team leaders, Ann Huber and Mary Merriman, will be on hand to assist in documenting the sighting of these rare plants on the CNPS Rare Plant Treasure Hunt survey forms to be turned into the State Office of CNPS.

The walk is moderate in difficulty due to the rocky ground and steep hill (700 ft), but only about one mile round trip. Bring water, snacks, sun hat and sunscreen as needed. CNPS field trips are free and open to the public.

At the end of the walk Sequoia Riverlands Trust participants can enjoy flying the kites in the breezes found on the top of the hill. Bring your own kite.

Directions: Going South on Highway 65 (towards Porterville), turn left at the Strathmore exit. Travel east several miles and turn right (south) at Avenue 256.  Lewis Hill is near the top of the grade on the right. Park along side of the road.

For more information contact Ann Huber at 559-561-4562.

Wildflowers on Lewis Hill Preserve © Sequoia Riverlands Trust

Lewis Hill Preserve © Sequoia Riverlands Trust

All photographs © Sequoia Riverlands Trust