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

Field Trip to Intermountain Nursery on October 10

Saturday, October 10, 2015
8 am to late afternoon

, meet at Nursery at 9:30 am

Harvest Festival at Intermountain Nursery
30443 Auberry Road
Prather, California

Meet to carpool at 8 am at Mary’s Vineyard Shopping Mall (near the McDonald’s)
at 1447 E. Noble Ave, Visalia at the Ben Maddox exit off Highway 198

In lieu of the annual Alta Peak Chapter’s native plant sale, which will return October, 2016, a special field trip is slated to visit Intermountain Nursery in Prather, one of the best Central Valley located places to find quality California native plants. A vast selection of well grown native plants, naturally adapted for drought-tolerant landscapes, will be available. The field trip coincides with the annual Harvest Arts and Peace Festival at the Nursery and will include music, art, fine crafts and artisan foods.

Alta Peak Chapter members will be with the group to answer questions about growing native plants. The nursery sales staff will also be on hand to answer questions and will help in selecting the right plant for the right place.

The group will carpool  from Visalia to Prather or participants may choose to meet at the  Nursery at about 9:30 am.  Although the Harvest Festival actually starts at 10 am, the Chapter has been invited by the owners, Ray Laclergue and Bonnie Bladen, to arrive any time after 8:30 am. Please allow room in your vehicle for any plants that may be purchased at the nursery.

This Field Trip is free and open to anyone. A map to the Nursery can be found here.  For information about the field trip, call 559-799-7438.

Intermountain Nursery[nursery grounds, photo via intermountainnursery.com]

Intermountain Nursery[herb garden, photo via intermountainnursery.com]

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Other Fall Events with Alta Peak Chapter

September 19: Chapter Fall Program
“Creating Drought-Tolerant, Wildlife-Friendly Native Landscapes”

October 3: Native Plant Landscape Design Clinic