Field Trips

Filtering by: Field Trips
Noble Canyon Trail - Pictures of Lily
Jun
9
9:00 AM09:00

Noble Canyon Trail - Pictures of Lily

DIFFICULTY: MODERATE to HARD 4 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Novice +, Professionals always welcome!
ACCESS: Open to all, no charge
Cleveland Natl Forest ADVENTURE PASS required if driving
[SEVERE WEATHER CANCELS EVENT - Temps over 95F (35C) or Storm Warnings]

This year has been incredible compared to the last couple of really dry years and the rains keep coming! The mountain trips will likely last into August this year and the first "mountain" trip will be Noble Canyon near Pine Valley. The California Native Plant Society's San Diego Chapter Rare Plant Botanist Fred Roberts found two different species of Lilies here in years past and we're following his lead to find them again. Expect quite a bit of technical botany, but once you get your fill of latin names, the trail is wonderfully challenging and beautiful in early summer.

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Rancho Cuyamaca State Park - Annual Trip
Jun
16
9:00 AM09:00

Rancho Cuyamaca State Park - Annual Trip

DIFFICULTY: MODERATE 4.20 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Novice +, Professionals always welcome!
ACCESS: Open to all, no charge
$5 parking fee if using State Park lots
[SEVERE WEATHER CANCELS EVENT - Temps over 95F (35C) or Storm Warnings]

Every year, CNPS-SD heads up Milk Ranch Rd between Cuyamaca and Middle Peaks from the swampy grasslands at the lake up through Ceanothus chaparral and into the mixed oak / yellow pine forest of the mountain. This year, we'll check the fire recovery growth and methods of restoration used by the State Park again, documenting a bit as we head from the viewpoint saddle to Azalea Springs. Down we'll head to the Western azaleas and shady streamline trail to end up at the State Park facilities. This trip is always a little different with flowers and wildlife along the trail so I can't tell you exactly what to expect except.

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Dictionary Hill w/ Jim Merzbacher
May
18
8:00 AM08:00

Dictionary Hill w/ Jim Merzbacher

DIFFICULTY: EASY to MODERATE 1-2 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Novice +, Professionals always welcome!
ACCESS: Open to all, no charge
[ALL WEATHER EVENT]

This is expected to be a short morning trip with early afternoon options afterwards. We'll be meeting at the surprisingly diverse Dictionary Hill where an uplift of meta volcanics in the area have created a spot where rare plant and animal species hold on while being surrounded by development. Dictionary Hill is a location where the endangered Quino Checkerspot butterfly has been known to fly. We'll follow the lead of the primary docent, Jim Merzbacher and (hopefully) County Parks Ranger Craig Newson. Jim is a co-founder of Dictionary Hills Open Space Advocates (DHOSA) dictionaryhill.info/index.html, an excellent non-profit focusing on this local treasure. Check out their website for more info about their work and the land they act to protect.

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Algodones Dunes Camping or Day Trip - Imperial County
Apr
6
to Apr 7

Algodones Dunes Camping or Day Trip - Imperial County

DIFFICULTY: EASY to MODERATE < 4 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to Any on Saturday, Professionals & CNPS / SD Botanical Society fellows on Sunday
ACCESS: Open to all, no charge
[ALL WEATHER EVENT]

For everyone that missed the Algodones Dunes trip last year, here is your chance to jump in on a great repeat, with the extraordinary additions of Steve Hartman the CNPS Board President and Amy Patten, CNPS Rare Plant Botanist. Early April will hopefully have a great bloom of Algodones Dunes sunflower (Helianthus niveus ssp tephrodes), Giant spanish needle (Palafoxia arida var gigantea), Pierson's milkvetch (Astragalus magdalenae var piersonii), Sand food (Pholisma sonorae), and Fairyduster (Calliandra eriophylla) among other rare species and extreme desert endemic species.

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Top of the Morning - Elsinore Peak - Riverside County with CNPS-Orange County
Mar
31
9:00 AM09:00

Top of the Morning - Elsinore Peak - Riverside County with CNPS-Orange County

DIFFICULTY: EASY to MODERATE ~ 2 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to Novice, Professionals always welcome!
ACCESS: Open to all, no charge
VEHICLES REQUIRE a USFS Adventure Pass [$30 Annual pass or $5 day pass]
[SEVERE WEATHER CANCELS EVENT]

This trip will be set in the backyard of Orange County and San Diego County atop the ridge of the Santa Ana Mtns on the far western edge of Riverside County. We're doing another joint trip with Ron Vanderhoff of Orange County CNPS, a great botanist who will help the group identify some of the extremely rare species we're hoping to find.

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Valley of the Moon - Imperial County
Mar
16
9:00 AM09:00

Valley of the Moon - Imperial County

DIFFICULTY: Easy to Moderate (Rocky Terrain) <2 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to Expert. Professionals always welcome!
ACCESS: Free to All, No charge. 4x4 required unless carpooling.
[EXTREME WEATHER CANCELS THIS EVENT]

Just over the border into SW Imperial County, a small pocket of the California Floristic Province jumps over into the Jacumba Wilderness Area. This heavily rocky area is strewn with granitic boulders and sheer cliffs of stacked rocks, making it a great and relatively discrete location for rock climbing, bouldering, camping, and hiking. Valley of the Moon is also known for its sometimes sordid past (and present) with caves in the rocks called Smugglers Den. We'll be headed out to look for a variety of rare and common native plant species. With the great rains this winter, I expect we'll be in for quite a treat. If you're not excited by that, at least there's the Desert Tower nearby!

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Whale Peak and the Pictograph Trail Falls
Mar
10
8:00 AM08:00

Whale Peak and the Pictograph Trail Falls

DIFFICULTY: EASY 2.5 miles and/or HARD 8.5 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to Novice, Professionals always welcome!
ACCESS: Open to all, no charge
[SEVERE WEATHER CANCELS EVENT (Temps above 95F or storm/flood)]

Last year, we made a great loop about Anza Borrego State Park's Little Blair Valley, also known as the Mohave Pocket for the wide array of Mohavean species that survive there separated from their kin to the far North. Now, we're headed back for a two part trip to the falls on Pictograph Trail to the falls overlook (the Easy part), and then for the adventurous - a strenuous climb up Whale Peak and back (the Hard part).

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BORDER BIO BLITZ! Border Field to Otay Mesa Vernal Pools
Mar
2
8:00 AM08:00

BORDER BIO BLITZ! Border Field to Otay Mesa Vernal Pools

DIFFICULTY: EASY to MODERATE ~ 2+ miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Novice to Professional
ACCESS: Open to all, no charge
[ALL WEATHER EVENT]

This Border Bioblitz is sponsored by Botanical Community Development Initiatives (BCDI)
http://nextgensd.com/border/border-bioblitz-2019/
https://www.facebook.com/events/600536127054300/

In joint coordination with Ron Vanderhoff of California Native Plant Society - Orange County Chapter and Bianca Bonilla, Executive Director of BCDI we'll be headed out for a great opportunity to contribute to science in one of the most imperiled areas in our state, and perhaps even the country. If we're really lucky we'll hear from Dr. Sula Vanderplank and other biologists representing the San Diego Natural History Museum. We're contributing heavily to an exciting citizen science program at one our country's most impacted and controversial development sites. At the Southern US Border with Mexico, the US has erected many different barriers (to variable degrees of intended success), pushing back against a dense crash of civilization from both sides. From the Tijuana River estuary and Border Field State Park south of Imperial Beach to San Ysidro and further east into Otay Mesa, an amazing and unique array of habitat that exist in a constant state of threat.

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Lake Morena - Search for Ribes canthariforme
Feb
24
9:00 AM09:00

Lake Morena - Search for Ribes canthariforme

DIFFICULTY: MODERATE 3-4 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Novice +, Professionals always welcome!
ACCESS: Open to all, no charge
[RAIN CANCELS THIS EVENT!]

This trip will be our first technical event geared towards ID'ing and discovering historical populations of a rare plant. The Moreno Currant (Ribes canthariforme) is listed as a 1B.3 rare plant species by CNPS, partly due to it's narrow distribution (El Cajon Mtn to Lake Morena, and Dulzura to Descanso) and difficulty in distinguishing from more common species like Ribes indecorum and R. malvaceum.

While I've pinned Lake Morena's dam area as the hot spot for historical populations, we may look nearby depending on trail access. Hopefully, we'll be working with the Forest Service on this one, targeting areas that may become developed in the future. If possible, we'll do collections for various herbariums and also placing data on CalFlora and iNaturalist. If the shut down persists that far into the year, we'll stick to environs about the Lake Morena County Park and that portion of the Pacific Crest Trail.

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Painted Gorge &amp; Mountain Palm Springs (ABSP)
Feb
10
9:00 AM09:00

Painted Gorge & Mountain Palm Springs (ABSP)

DIFFICULTY: MODERATE 4 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to Novice, Professionals always welcome!
ACCESS: Open to all, no charge
[ALL WEATHER EVENT]

We'll be doing a two part trip on this winter Sunday, going from an area in Imperial County that is heavily disturbed by different types of human activities to a similar ecosystem that has had the benefit of restricted land use management under the umbrella of the State Park. It'll be a first hand account of both areas to compare and contrast different impacts and the resiliency of the desert ecosystem.

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Escondido Creek - Elfin Forest to Olivenhain Overlook
Jan
19
9:00 AM09:00

Escondido Creek - Elfin Forest to Olivenhain Overlook

DIFFICULTY: Moderate to Hard (Steep Terrain) 4 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to Expert. Professionals always welcome!
ACCESS: Free to All, No charge. Donations to the Escondido Creek Conservancy provide valuable support for local native lands.
[RAIN CANCELS THIS EVENT]

This pocket of San Diego County is known locally for it's extraordinary beauty and history. If the Difficulty didn't already scare you off, the dangers are wildfire, rattlesnakes, falls, the vapors, mountain lions, and definitely poison oak. Only a few of those issues should be any concern this time, since we'll be headed up the trail in the San Diego winter (or summer-lite depending on where you are from). The area has a unique history, from the once thriving Harmony Grove spiritual center not far east to the Olivenhain Dam [built 20 years ago] and the ever expanding footprint of San Marcos and Escondido.

I picked this location because late January is the blooming period for Mission Manzanita (Xylococcus bicolor), White coast ceanothus (Ceanothus veroccosus), Southern mtn misery (Chamaebatia australis) [Keir found one in 2013], and White currant (Ribes indecorum). Comarostaphylis diversifolia is also found along the way if we take a very quick detour off the main trail onto the loop trail. Encinitas baccharis (Baccharis vanessae) has been sighted near the top so we'll look for it if there is enough time.

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Mission Trails - Fortuna Peak Resolutions Hike
Jan
13
7:00 AM07:00

Mission Trails - Fortuna Peak Resolutions Hike

DIFFICULTY: HARD 7 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to Novice, Professionals always welcome!
ACCESS: Open to all, no charge
[RAIN CANCELS THIS EVENT!]

2019 is promising to be one heck of a roller coaster ride and the best way to start that off is to begin hard and fast so the rest of the year doesn't look so bad. For anyone looking to check off one of the Fortuna peaks on the Mission Trails 5 peak challenge, this may be the hike for you. (The hike will probably not last seven hours, but I've provided plenty of buffer in case our pacing slows significantly)

This hike aims to do three things: 1) Help identify and classify native and non-native vegetation communities and their relative sensitivity to urban encroachment, 2) Point out a few of the rare plants found in and around San Diego, even though many will not be in bloom, and 3) Get your new years resolution checked off so that you can get over regretting having made it in the first place. This is a hike with a high difficultly due to the elevation gain and distance we are planning to cover. It is not going be like our normal trips where we stop to identify each native plant that catches our eyes, but I will (try to) answer any questions about those species that interest you along the way.

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Moosa Creek Nursery Tour 2018
Dec
8
10:00 AM10:00

Moosa Creek Nursery Tour 2018

This year, we've got another late fall / early winter tour of Moosa Creek Nursery in Valley Center, where all the magic happens for many of the native plants you can find at many retail nurseries (Walter Andersen, Mission Hills nursery, City Farmers, more) from San Diego to LA. Last year, Owners Su & Hank Kraus showed our group extraordinary access to the grounds-from the seed shed to the greenhouses, potting/cloning areas, soil/mulch mix, and main nursery grounds. Locations and methods to be seen will be up to the tour guide.

Read more and RSVP here...

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Tenaja Trailhead - Fall for Bryophytes &amp; Lichens
Nov
11
10:00 AM10:00

Tenaja Trailhead - Fall for Bryophytes & Lichens

DIFFICULTY: Moderate (2 to 5 miles, some bouldering)
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Novice to Professional

Before I get into the main description, this trip includes driving on Truck Trail dirt roads. Cars can make this trip ok, but bear in mind that mud, rocks, rockslide, and branches are expected hazards on the Truck Trail.

The Santa Ana Mountains will be a new place to pin on our growing list of locations trekked, this one at Tenaja Falls, a Riverside County favorite location to dip in the summer. In the winter, there will (hopefully) be a wide array of lichens, mosses, liverworts, and of course plenty of native vascular plants (ferns included!). Some rare species I hope to encounter are Western spleenwort (Asplenium vespertinum), Rainbow manzanita (Arctostaphylos rainbowiensis), and Fish's milkwort (Polygala cornuta var fishiae). Hopefully the forecast holds and we can get a good early season soaking (maybe not on the plant sale day, but after).

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Rose Canyon From University Village Park
Nov
3
8:00 AM08:00

Rose Canyon From University Village Park

In early November, we'll be headed down a little known goat path into the least traveled portion of Rose Canyon, near the 805. There are many environments and habitats down there seldom walked by hikers or bikers. From urban chaparral canyons to coastal sage scrub bluffs and down into the many stepped riparian environments of Rose Creek, we'll aim for a loop down the canyon and back, stopping on what flora and fauna catch our eyes.

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Mt Laguna in the Fall
Oct
21
9:00 AM09:00

Mt Laguna in the Fall

DIFFICULTY: Easy to Moderate 1-3 miles, min. 2 locations w/ driving
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Any; Experts welcome!

This fall, we're heading up to Mt. Laguna to check out the fall color in the deciduous oaks and other trees and look for late blooming rare species with an emphasis on finding the Laguna Mountain Aster (Dieteria asteriodes var lagunensis), Cliff goldenbush (Ericameria cuneata ssp macrochepala), and the disjunct population of Indian Valley bush mallow (Malacothamnus arboriginum).

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FIELD TRIP: Otay River Valley from Finney Overlook
Sep
22
8:00 AM08:00

FIELD TRIP: Otay River Valley from Finney Overlook

TRAIL Difficulty: EASY +/- 2 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to Intermediate

For late summer this year we'll be headed back to school on a Saturday. Finney Overlook is a very discrete, often... overlooked, trailhead into the Otay River Valley in South Chula Vista / North Otay Mesa where we'll be checking out riparian species and coastal sage scrub, with a small peek into some maritime succulent scrub. When I was last here, there was an interesting array of natives from rare species like Palmers grapplinghook (Harpogonella palmeri), San Diego sagewort (Artemisia palmeri), (Cal. boxthorn) Lycium californicum, and some very out of place Sea dahlia (Leptosyne maritima), to the not so rare Willows (Salix sps), Goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii), buckwheats (Eriogonum sps), Beavertails (Oputnia sps), and others.

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Punta Colonet & San Quintin Bay, Baja California - MEXICO!
Jun
23
to Jun 25

Punta Colonet & San Quintin Bay, Baja California - MEXICO!

Very special destinations on a cross border camping adventure! CNPS San Diego, in coordination with the CNPS Baja California Chapter will be joining for an international field trip on the Colonet Mesa and about the Northern Baja California Coastal Peninsula. With Josue Campos of RECON and Sula Vanderplank as our guides, we'll be taking a look at the maritime succulent scrub, vernal pools, and salt marsh areas around San Quintin, South of Ensenada.

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Palomar Mountain State Park - French Valley
Jun
10
9:00 AM09:00

Palomar Mountain State Park - French Valley

DIFFICULTY: Easy to Moderate 3 to 5 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: All Levels

This is an annual trip, with the path ahead only slightly different from the previous trips. This time, we'll take the path down to the weir once more, but this time we'll focus a little more on French Valley, exploring further in for early summer bloom. The oak woodland path back through the campground to the parking lot won't be the end of this trip. We'll eat lunch at Doane Pond and then decide whether to head for the dogwoods (Cornus sps) up the Doane Valley or go to the rim trail at the upper lot from the Ancient Cypress grove. I expect there will be a lot to see even though Palomar mtn has only gotten less than half the usual rainfall this year (normal is 30+ inches).

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Fire Recovery in Cuyamaca State Park
Jun
2
8:00 AM08:00

Fire Recovery in Cuyamaca State Park

HARD DIFFICULTY +/- 7.0 miles

PLANT KNOWLEDGE: All Levels, many specific terms

For anyone that is unaware of the history of Cuyamaca State Park and the Cleveland Nat'l Forest in San Diego County, the 2003 Cedar Fire devastated the yellow pine forest that covered Middle peak and Cuyamaca Peak. Since then, the park has gone through many phases of renewal and out of balance response cycles. In addition to the many montane and chaparral native plant species we'll find on the long trail, we'll take an in depth look at natural and human-driven methods of recovery. This is an interpretive walk over a great breadth of a place that is very special for many reasons.

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FIELD TRIP: Mt Laguna Calochortus Quest w/Fred Roberts
May
27
9:00 AM09:00

FIELD TRIP: Mt Laguna Calochortus Quest w/Fred Roberts

May is the time to check out Mt. Laguna and its many trails covered in pine forest and high elevation chaparral. This year, we're looking for resilient treasures in bloom like mariposas, cinquefoil, monardellas, meadowfoam, ceanothus, and on and on. For those of you who made it along the Sunrise Hwy with us in June of 2017, we welcome you back to examine a few of the same locations again and another short hike in Filaree Flat that has not been very well documented botanically. With the great knowledge and assistance of Fred Roberts, we'll find any Calochortus species in bloom and check out all the others that might catch our eye.

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FIELD TRIP: Oak Oasis - Bio Walk for Educators
May
20
8:00 AM08:00

FIELD TRIP: Oak Oasis - Bio Walk for Educators

DIFFICULTY: EASY to MODERATE LENGTH: 2.5 to 3 miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: All Levels

Oak Oasis is a little gem in East County that has scrub oak and manzanita chaparral, inland scrub and grassland, and a long stretch of oak woodland. The trail is a fairly easy loop that overlooks San Vicente Reservoir about halfway into the loop. The Preserve is a quiet place that supports multiple habitat types and hundreds of wildlife species

This trip is focused on bringing educators out into the wild to cover a wide variety of contemporary topics like climate change, regional planning, natural resource management, biological diversity, and fire science. Also, we will have an open discussion and short lectures of natural history, genetic drift, and annual to geological changes. If you are an educator in Southern California, join us for a pleasant walk in an area that is perfect for potential field trips. Tailor your questions to how to relate to your students or audience, or just come along to spectate in fresh air.

From the trailhead at Oak Oasis Rd (Large parking lot with restrooms), we'll be heading though the chaparral and discussing drought specialization and fire adaptations. The Chaparral has rare plants, with Oak Oasis being the central core for CNPS 1B.2 Lakeside ceanothus (Ceanothus cyaneus). Hopefully we'll come across blooming mariposa lilies and other flowers. We'll go over the ranking system for rare plants and animals briefly and reference our wildlife agencies and the laws they must abide by.

Carpool will be not available on this trip unless specifically requested.

This venture is tailored for an outing with the Teach For America Program and East County educators. Ten are signed up through a separate program. Apologies for the small sign up list.

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FIELD TRIP: Del Mar Mesa - Tunnels & Pools in Search of Summer Holly
May
6
8:00 AM08:00

FIELD TRIP: Del Mar Mesa - Tunnels & Pools in Search of Summer Holly

Difficulty: MODERATE Length: +/- 4 miles
Plant Knowledge: All levels

Del Mar Mesa is a large Preserve in the exclusive area East of Carmel Valley adjunct to Rancho Penasquitos Canyon Creek. The 900 acre Preserve came out of tough negotiations with the landowners and the governmental agencies and houses dozens of threatened and endangered animal and plant species. The edges of the Preserve are still sought for active development - an issue that threatens the integrity of the habitats therein and the wildlife movement of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and even birds. We'll get a look into a very special area from the vernal pools atop the mesa to the riparian creeks, the coastal sage scrub, and tunnels through the coastal chaparral. Inside the Preserve, the area is popular with mountain bikers and hikers though it often has very few people about given the difficulty in public access points.

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FIELD TRIP: Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary
Apr
29
9:00 AM09:00

FIELD TRIP: Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary

2-4 miles DIFFICULTY: Easy to Moderate
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to Some Experience

Join us at the stunningly beautiful and well-preserved Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary in East San Diego County. The Audubon Society's 785 acre property began 1965 with the donation of 85 acres and continues as a refuge in perpetuity for birds and other wildlife like reptiles, butterflies, pollinators, and mammals. The reserve manager of the Sanctuary, Phil Lambert, will take us briefly through the history and focus of the Sanctuary, and then lead us through riparian woodland and chaparral to view the plants within and the habitat's inhabitants. This is an opportunity to see inside a long standing research area and get as much or as little knowledge from it you want. Phil has a wealth of information and I will also assist in identifying spring plants too, so come curious! Or, if you just want to experience a relaxing shady trail on a warm spring day surrounded by birdsong, you should come as well.

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FIELD TRIP: Algodones Dunes BLM Wilderness Area
Apr
22
9:00 AM09:00

FIELD TRIP: Algodones Dunes BLM Wilderness Area

Imperial County is a large and sparsely explored botanical mystery to most, especially in areas that would appear at first glance to be inhospitable to life. When most people hear of Glamis and the Imperial Sand Dunes, the thoughts of people riding over sand dunes in buggies and ATVs comes to mind, running over the desert at a quick enough pace that the heat is calmed by a breeze of their own making. A deeper look uncovers a place that is very complex and amazing to study. The Dunes are a location set within an environmental duality, where temperatures can vacillate wildly between night and day, where moisture is both absent and surprisingly common, and extreme adaptations are required to survive.

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FIELD TRIP: Santa Rosa Plateau of SW Riverside County
Apr
8
10:00 AM10:00

FIELD TRIP: Santa Rosa Plateau of SW Riverside County

+/-4 miles DIFFICULTY: Easy, but long walks with little shade
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to some Advanced
COST: $4 per adult, $3 for kids under 13

Santa Rosa Plateau is part of the Riverside County parks as a publicly accessible Ecological Reserve that protects over 9,000 acres of grassland and native prairie, oak woodland, riparian wetlands, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and of course the famous and unique basalt flow vernal pools. The Reserve was established as a wildlife refuge and historical timepiece, as the abodes we'll see are the earliest known European structures in Riverside County. The Reserve is managed now by a number of Rangers and biologists - some of whom we might meet at the Visitors Center at the start of the field trip. The Visitors Center has books, art, restrooms, a wonderful garden and possibly an outdoor exhibition on Sundays. For this trip, we'll not be able to get a guided tour, but with some luck, the weather should make up for it.

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FIELD TRIP: Guatay Mtn-Tecate Cypress Grove & Rare Plant List
Apr
1
9:00 AM09:00

FIELD TRIP: Guatay Mtn-Tecate Cypress Grove & Rare Plant List

5+ miles DIFFICULTY: Moderate to Difficult
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Botanical Experience required


Easter is on April Fools Day this year and we're going to head up to Guatay Mountain in the Cleveland National Forest for our very own Easter egg hunt! The April Fool's is that the eggs are rare plants and there's no guarantee they will be in bloom. Jenny Moore, the Forest Botanist for the Forest Service will assist leading us to the top of the mountain for a great view of East County San Diego. This hike is open to any professionals who have collected before and know how to key rares and log them into the SD Plant Atlas / iNaturalist. Apologies to any who are just learning the ropes, this area is very sensitive and a portion of the trip will be off trail in sensitive habitat, so the discussions and rules will be very technical. Experienced California Native Plant Society (CNPS) members and professional biologists are highly encouraged to attend.

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FIELD TRIP: Torrey Pines Extension - Del Mar
Mar
25
8:30 AM08:30

FIELD TRIP: Torrey Pines Extension - Del Mar

torrey extension.jpg

EASY to MODERATE Hiking, No Parking fees or passes required.
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to some Expert Terms

For those you you who went to Torrey Pines Extension last September, we covered the Red Ridge Trail and went down along the Margaret Fleming Nature Trail, finding many late bloomers and rare species along the way. This trip will take the same route to get another look, this time with spring annuals and a lot more blooming perennials. For everyone who might be experiencing this less traveled walk for the first time, this is certainly the best time of year to do it. Along Red Ridge, there's a large patch of Scarlet larkspur (Delphinium cardinale) that should be in wondrous bloom, along with both Ceanothus species (C. tomentosus & c. verrucossus), the Del Mar Manzanita (Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp crassifolia), sages (Salvia sps), monkeyflowers (Diplaucus / Mimulus sps), and Encelia (Encelia californica). Annuals we're hoping to find are the snapdragons (Antirrihinum sps), phacelias, poppies (Eschscholzia californica), hooked pincushion (Navarettia hamata ssp leptantha) and sun cups (Cammissioniopsis bistorta), among many others.

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RECON Native Plants Nursery Tour - IB / San Ysidro
Mar
18
9:00 AM09:00

RECON Native Plants Nursery Tour - IB / San Ysidro

MAIN EVENT: [Guided tour - some areas may not be ADA as location is a non-public access nursery]
This is another nursery tour, this time set within the start of Spring where we'll be treated with an inside look at the commercial operations at RECON native plant nursery. Patrick and the staff of the employee owned company have graciously given us access. For anyone who missed the Moosa Creek tour, this is your chance is see how the professionals get their native plants to grow in pots so well! For everyone that attended the Moosa Creek tour last November, this is a great opportunity to compare and contrast methodologies.

Read more and RSVP here...

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FIELD TRIP: Otay Mountain Truck Trail
Mar
4
9:00 AM09:00

FIELD TRIP: Otay Mountain Truck Trail

• What we'll do
MODERATE hiking, MODERATE to EASY off road driving
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to some expert terms.

In the Southern-most part of our State, so close to Baja, rising above the houses of EastLake and East TJ - lies a bastion of chaparral covered slopes that is home to hundreds of native plant species, over 50 of which in the vicinity have been classified as rare. We'll head up in our trucks to stop at many short hikes into the chaparral to find a motley assortment of native California flora. Otay Mountain doesn't just have it's own rare endemics, but is also within the loop of Northern Baja species that aren't really known to come any further north into the US. I'm excited to see many species for the first time, so if you've been up here before and have special knowledge about the wilderness area, come enlighten everyone! Anyone who has experience with Baja species that occur on both sides of the map is certainly welcome - Baja members of CNPS, perhaps?

Read more and RSVP here...

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FIELD TRIP: Springtime in Anza Borrego - Blair Valley & Pictograph Trail
Feb
25
9:00 AM09:00

FIELD TRIP: Springtime in Anza Borrego - Blair Valley & Pictograph Trail

TRAIL: Approx 2 miles hiking, 11 miles driving loop EASY terrain (sandy, some cactus, few rocks)
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to Expert

In contrast to our Plum Canyon hike in Anza Borrego last month, we are heading now to Blair Valley and Pictograph Trail for (hopefully) some spring bloom. This trail isn't too far away from Plum Canyon, but the flora we'll encounter will be different. Larry Hendrickson has again agreed to grace us with his extraordinary knowledge and wit. While this year won't be an Anza Borrego superbloom, there are always new things to discover. Plus, we won't have to deal with any crowds! Meeting earlier on this meetup to avoid the heat - it's already mid to high 80's in Borrego Springs in early February. We'll congregate near the outhouse by State Route 2 for introductions and head into Blair Valley from there.

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FIELD TRIP: Santa Margarita River Trail
Feb
18
10:00 AM10:00

FIELD TRIP: Santa Margarita River Trail

3 to 5 miles roundtrip

DIFFICULTY: EASY (There are some boulders to traverse but it is flat and well travelled)

Santa Margarita River winds through a very picturesque canyon landscape just North of Fallbrook, fed by perennial waters from as far East as the San Jacinto Mtns. This trail is a beautiful example of oak riparian and Southern cottonwood willow riparian forest with many slow, wide ponding areas with reeds and cattails where birds love to congregate. While we ordinarily focus on plantlife, this area is a perfect example of nesting habitat for many native birds, including the rare Least bells vireo, southwestern flycatcher, and california gnatcatcher (further up the slopes). At 1.5 mile in, the trail heads uphill to dense coastal sage scrub and coastal chaparral so we'll get a great look at vegetation from aquatic environments up to very dry, sunny areas. This will be a great opportunity to see the rare Rainbow manzanita (Arctostaphylos rainbowiensis) in bloom along the trailside further in. It's a California Native Plant Society 1B.1 species and there are very few places to see this species up close on public trails...

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