Monday, April 30, 2012

Discovering Wildflowers in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Discover trails - Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve
The winter season was on the dry side this year, so the wildflowers are blooming several weeks late in spring 2012 and not as abundantly as in wet-warm years. But the time is now - go for a hike and you will still find the beauties scattered about and maybe some surprises.

Here is a list of places I recommend for wildflower viewing in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, primarily in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties with a few farther locations added at the end. Edgewood Park, Coyote Lake, Santa Teresa, and Russian Ridge are particularly recommended through May.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Earth Day Parade

Welcome back.  Ash-throated flycatchers fly up to the Western US to nest in cavities, often in manmade structures like fenceposts and telephone poles.
Saturday morning when I heard a familiar chirp-trill from the maples trees, I popped out of bed and ran around the house announcing, "The ash-throated flycatchers are back! All the way from Costa Rica! Get up, get up! Greet the arrival of spring!" Like a pesky dog, I was sent outside where the flycatchers entertained me by chasing each other at high speeds around the farmyard with loud "weet" calls and flashing of tail feathers.