Chapter Field Trip on April 13 at 9 am

Wishon Fork out of Springville

This field trip will be a 4.5 mile round trip, with an elevation gain of 1000 ft, moderately strenuous four hour wildflower hike on a dirt road up to the forebay of the Tule River at the Hydroelectric Complex at the junction of Hwy 190 & 208. We expect to see a great wildflower display, and an opportunity to view the regrowth of a recently burned area.

Meet at Springville Community Park in Springville on Hwy 190 at 9:00 am. Bring at least two liters of water and a bag lunch. Chapter field trips are open to everyone.

For more information, contact Cathy Capone 559 361 9164 or cathycaponemail@gmail.com

Upper Tule River, photo from Cathy Capone

Citizen Science Field Workshop—March 23

Saturday March 23, 2019 from 9am-12
Tule River Parkway in Porterville

Enjoy the native vegetation along the Tule River and learn how to use Observer Pro, a smart phone app, which provides a platform in which to upload plant observations to CalFlora. The group will meet in the Jaye Street parking lot just south of the Jaye Street Tule River bridge. Cathy Capone will give a brief presentation on CalFlora, the website where the Observer Pro observation data is stored. She will then take the group on a walk in the riparian forest, while demonstrating and coaching participants to input their observations.

To find the location, enter the parking lot while traveling south on Jaye Street immediately after you pass the bridge railing. Bring water and wear sturdy shoes. Event will be held rain or shine. There are no bathrooms available at the event. The walk will be on a paved path with the option to walk into the natural areas for close observations. The walk is under a mile in length and includes an elevation gain of less than 50 feet.

To make full use of the training, log in to calflora.org and register as a contributor. Then download the Observer Pro app to your phone. There is no charge for the workshop or the app. Cathy Capone is an officer of both the Tule River Parkway Association and the Alta Peak Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

For more information, contact her at 559 361 9164 or tulerivergarden@gmail.com

Tule River Parkway Walk in Porterville — January 19 from 9-11 am

Alta Peak Chapter Horticulture Chair, Cathy Capone, will lead this walk, designed to highlight the native vegetation along the Tule River and to discuss plans to enhance the area. The walk will be on an easy, flat, paved trail that is wheelchair accessible. The walk is free and open to the public.

The Tule River Parkway Association, in cooperation with the City of Porterville, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, and the Alta Peak Chapter are working to preserve and restore the Tule River riparian corridor in Porterville. The plan is to develop the Tule River Parkway path for public use and to install eighteen native plant landscape gardens. Alta Peak Chapter has pledged to adopt one of these gardens and looks forward to participating in the restoration of the natural riparian landscape.

Wear closed-toed shoes, bring water, and make not that no restrooms are available. Meet at the Tule River Parkway in Porterville on Jaye Street, just south of the bridge over the river. Access is from the south bound lane only- no left turns are allowed at that location, so north bound traffic should make the first available U-turn on Jaye Stree.

Call Cathy Capone at 559-361-9164 or email at tulerivergarden@gmail.com for more information.

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]