Field trips for 2013.

Most field trips are free and most are open to all, but read the trip outlines for parking/entrance fees or pass requirements and be sure they fit your physical abilities. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, appropriate trail shoes, a camera, a notepad and lots of enthusiasm. If you have a future field trip suggestion or would like to lead or assist with a field trip, we would love to hear from you. Please email 

Trips change. Always check www.occnps.org/explore for more current information.

Rain cancels – check the website after 7 pm the evening before the trip for final weather and trip updates.

Upcoming trips (past trips at end of article):

{slide=New Location: Arroyo Trabuco – Fall Foliage and Color Trip – Sun, Nov. 17|green|active}

Platanus racemosa11-16-13, 6 PM UPDATE: The weather should be just right tomorrow for a great fall experience. Might be a little cool at the beginning, so be sure to wear an extra layer or two. See you at the meeting location tomorrow morning at 8 am.

10-29-13 UPDATE: The location of this trip has changed from Silverado Canyon to The Arroyo Trabuco. 

The Arroyo Trabuco is one of Orange County's great natural features. We will explore a few miles of this wide and well-known creekbed that eventually meets San Juan Creek and drains Trabuco Canyon to the ocean. This wide alluvial swath is a beautiful place in the fall and supports perhaps Orange County's most extensive sycamore forest, as well as being home to other characteristic plants of rocky, riparian areas and costal sage scrub habitats. This area is the home to one of only two county populations of cane/valley cholla cactus (Cylindropuntia californica). We are hoping for some cold nights before the trip, but fall colors are already showing in the sycamores, the dry grasses and the many golden and rust colored seedheads. Hiking in the fall is a wonderful experience,

Given the time of the year, this trip is designed as a pleasant nature walk with friends, not a botanical feast. We will enjoy the fall air, fall smells and fall colors. Botanizing will be casual.

This trip is a car shuttle - so if you attend you will be committing to the entire trip. This is a SIX mile walk from the car park at O'Neill Park to the car pick-up spot at Oso Parkway, on mostly level ground. PLEASE BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ABILITY TO WALK THE SIX MILES. The trail is wide and in excellent condition, but is gravelly/rocky in many areas. Hiking shoes with good tread are best. Depending upon rainfall, there are three or four creekcrossing where boulder hopping is required. Your feet will likely get wet if you have light shoes or non-waterproof shoes. Poison oak is present, but can easily be avoided. The first couple of miles will be walking under intermittant sycamores and oak. Then the trail climbs slightly and for about two miles it stays up high on the SE side of the creek, before it returns to the creek bed and finished under more oaks and sycamores. Food, sandwiches, drinks and snacks are available in the shopping center at the end of the trip.

Meet 8 am in front of Taco Bell on Oso Parkway (28532 Oso Parkway), just before Antonio Parkway in Mission Viejo/Las Flores. We will park half the cars here, then drive to O'Niell Regional Park to begin the trip. At the end of the trip, we will drive back to O'Neill Park to pick up their cars, making this a nice one-way trip.

This trip does require a day-use entry feed to O'Niell Regional Park or an OC Parks Pass.

Physical Difficulty: Moderate. This is a six mile hike! Plant Intensity: Light. Time: About 4 hours.

{/slides}

Parking, Passes and Permits

Some trips noted above will require either a US Forest Service Pass or an OC Parks Pass. If you are not familiar with these, please read below.

US Forest Service Pass: This is required of any vehicle that parks within a National Forest (such as our Cleveland National Forest), even for a brief moment. Most people purchase an annual pass, called an Adventure Pass, which is a great value. Currently the cost of a pass is $30. One day passes may also be purchased. These may be purchased most easily at sports and outdoor stores such as Big 5, REI, Sport Chalet and Sports Authority. Please purchase a pass in advance - passes are NOT available on the day of the trip. For more information visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/passes-permits.

OC Parks Wilderness Pass: Several Regional and Wilderness Parks within the county are owned and operated by OC Parks. These locations require payment of either a day-use fee or use of a pass. Day use fees vary by park and can be paid on the day of the trip at the entrance to the park. Many frequent users prefer to purchase an annual Wilderness Parking Pass. Currently the cost is $55 (senior rates also). This pass allows unlimited access to all inland (not beach) parks, such as Caspers, Irvine Regional Park, Aliso/Wood Canyon, O'Neill, Laguna Coast Wilderness, Whiting Ranch and others. Annual passes may be purchased at most OC Parks facilities. For more information visit: http://ocparks.com/about/fees/pass.

Field trips for 2013.

Most field trips are free and most are open to all, but read the trip outlines for parking/entrance fees or pass requirements and be sure they fit your physical abilities. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, appropriate trail shoes, a camera, a notepad and lots of enthusiasm. If you have a future field trip suggestion or would like to lead or assist with a field trip, we would love to hear from you. Please email 

Trips change. Always check www.occnps.org/explore for more current information.

Rain cancels – check the website after 7 pm the evening before the trip for final weather and trip updates.

Upcoming trips (past trips at end of article):

{slide=New Location: Arroyo Trabuco – Fall Foliage and Color Trip – Sun, Nov. 17|green|active}

Platanus racemosa11-16-13, 6 PM UPDATE: The weather should be just right tomorrow for a great fall experience. Might be a little cool at the beginning, so be sure to wear an extra layer or two. See you at the meeting location tomorrow morning at 8 am.

10-29-13 UPDATE: The location of this trip has changed from Silverado Canyon to The Arroyo Trabuco. 

The Arroyo Trabuco is one of Orange County's great natural features. We will explore a few miles of this wide and well-known creekbed that eventually meets San Juan Creek and drains Trabuco Canyon to the ocean. This wide alluvial swath is a beautiful place in the fall and supports perhaps Orange County's most extensive sycamore forest, as well as being home to other characteristic plants of rocky, riparian areas and costal sage scrub habitats. This area is the home to one of only two county populations of cane/valley cholla cactus (Cylindropuntia californica). We are hoping for some cold nights before the trip, but fall colors are already showing in the sycamores, the dry grasses and the many golden and rust colored seedheads. Hiking in the fall is a wonderful experience,

Given the time of the year, this trip is designed as a pleasant nature walk with friends, not a botanical feast. We will enjoy the fall air, fall smells and fall colors. Botanizing will be casual.

This trip is a car shuttle - so if you attend you will be committing to the entire trip. This is a SIX mile walk from the car park at O'Neill Park to the car pick-up spot at Oso Parkway, on mostly level ground. PLEASE BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ABILITY TO WALK THE SIX MILES. The trail is wide and in excellent condition, but is gravelly/rocky in many areas. Hiking shoes with good tread are best. Depending upon rainfall, there are three or four creekcrossing where boulder hopping is required. Your feet will likely get wet if you have light shoes or non-waterproof shoes. Poison oak is present, but can easily be avoided. The first couple of miles will be walking under intermittant sycamores and oak. Then the trail climbs slightly and for about two miles it stays up high on the SE side of the creek, before it returns to the creek bed and finished under more oaks and sycamores. Food, sandwiches, drinks and snacks are available in the shopping center at the end of the trip.

Meet 8 am in front of Taco Bell on Oso Parkway (28532 Oso Parkway), just before Antonio Parkway in Mission Viejo/Las Flores. We will park half the cars here, then drive to O'Niell Regional Park to begin the trip. At the end of the trip, we will drive back to O'Neill Park to pick up their cars, making this a nice one-way trip.

This trip does require a day-use entry feed to O'Niell Regional Park or an OC Parks Pass.

Physical Difficulty: Moderate. This is a six mile hike! Plant Intensity: Light. Time: About 4 hours.

{/slides}

Parking, Passes and Permits

Some trips noted above will require either a US Forest Service Pass or an OC Parks Pass. If you are not familiar with these, please read below.

US Forest Service Pass: This is required of any vehicle that parks within a National Forest (such as our Cleveland National Forest), even for a brief moment. Most people purchase an annual pass, called an Adventure Pass, which is a great value. Currently the cost of a pass is $30. One day passes may also be purchased. These may be purchased most easily at sports and outdoor stores such as Big 5, REI, Sport Chalet and Sports Authority. Please purchase a pass in advance - passes are NOT available on the day of the trip. For more information visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/passes-permits.

OC Parks Wilderness Pass: Several Regional and Wilderness Parks within the county are owned and operated by OC Parks. These locations require payment of either a day-use fee or use of a pass. Day use fees vary by park and can be paid on the day of the trip at the entrance to the park. Many frequent users prefer to purchase an annual Wilderness Parking Pass. Currently the cost is $55 (senior rates also). This pass allows unlimited access to all inland (not beach) parks, such as Caspers, Irvine Regional Park, Aliso/Wood Canyon, O'Neill, Laguna Coast Wilderness, Whiting Ranch and others. Annual passes may be purchased at most OC Parks facilities. For more information visit: http://ocparks.com/about/fees/pass.

Page 2

{slide=El Moro Canyon, Crystal Cove St. Park – Sun., Feb. 17    Complete|green|closed}

Rosa californicaAlong with Laguna Canyon and Aliso Canyon, El Moro Canyon comprises one of the major coastal watersheds of The San Joaquin Hills. Oriented perpendicular to the coast and cutting about three miles into the foothills it offers a range of plants typical of our coastal foothills. In order to avoid too much up and down, we will likely head straight up the canyon, looking at the plants of the coastal sage scrub and grassland areas along the way, while doing our best to avoid the weekend mountain bikers. Small areas of riparian and chaparral will offer some variety. Along the way, we will make a stop to pay our respects to Orange County’s only native Valley Oak tree. Rain cancels – please check website for late updates. Meet 8 am at the day-use lot within the “Moro Canyon” parking area, located on the inland side of PCH, behind El Moro School. Once in the main lot, be sure to proceed to the “day-use” lot, to the right. Drive to the bottom of the hill, then turn left and go all the way to the trailhead at the far East end of the lot.

This trip does require a $15 day use fee per vehicle (carpool if you can) or a State Parks Pass!

Physical Difficulty: About 4 miles and moderate. Plant Intensity: Moderate. Time: Approx. 3 hours.

{/slides}

Field Trip Report: El Moro Canyon, Crystal Cove State Park [2/17/2013]

{slide=Santiago Truck Trail – Sun., Mar. 10    Complete|green|closed}

Phacelia hubbyiWe will walk along a couple of miles of the well maintained Santiago Truck Trail. This is an “in and back” trip on the same trail both ways. There are abundant annuals and plenty of coastal sage scrub and chaparral plants as well. This is popular trail with mountain bikers, but is wide enough to not be a hazard. One difficulty is parking, as there is none at the trailhead (yet - but the County of Orange is working on that). Participants will park on Santiago Canyon Road, at the base of Modjeska Grade Road and we will do a few car shuttles from there to the trailhead. Interesting plants along the trail include Phacelia hubbyi, Nolina cismontana, Ribes malvaceum and possibly Xylococcus bicolor and Comarostaphylis diversifolia. Along the trail we will also have excellent views of the proposed Saddle Crest housing area, a private development opposed by OCCNPS and other environmental and canyon groups. This trip will offer two options. The main trip will venture about 1.5 to 2 miles up the trail and be back to the trailhead by 11 or 11:30 AM for the shuttle pickup. Those that wish to continue will go another couple of miles, probably ending at the small Xylococcus and Comarostaphylis grove.

Park and meet at 8 am along Santiago Canyon Road at the intersection of Modjeska Grade Road, 1.25 miles NW of Cook’s Corner (Live Oak Cyn. Rd.).  Parking is free. From there, we will use a van shuttle to bring attendees the half mile up Modjeska Grade Rd. to the trailhead. No water/restrooms.

Physical Difficulty: The main trip is about 3-4 miles and moderate. The trail is well maintained, but rocky in places. Plant Intensity: Moderate to good. Time: Approx. 3 hours, or 5-6 hours for the extended trip.

{/slides}

Field Trip Report: Santiago Truck Trail [3/10/2013]

{slide=Elsinore Peak and Stops Nearby, Southern Santa Ana Mts.– Sun., Mar. 31   Complete|green|closed}

Fritillaria bifloraElsinore Peak is the southern most of the Santa Ana Mountain peaks and offers an unusual habitat of grasslands with some coastal sage scrub and chaparral. The area near the peak is further unique due to its volcanic history and unusual basalt rock deposits. We will explore the area just below the peak for spring wildflowers (Fritillaria biflora, Ranunculus, Goldfields, Alliums, Calochortus, Clarkia, Collinsia, Popcorn Flowers, Monkeyflowers, Lupines, Peonies, Sanicula and more). Time permitting we may stop along the way back to Hwy 74 and observe plants like Chorizanthe, Delphinium, Penstemons, Caulanthus, Emmenanthe, Arctostaphylos and others. Meet 8 AM at the parking lot at Bravo Burgers, 31722 Rancho Viejo Rd., San Juan Capistrano (just off Hwy 74 near Int. 5). Free and open to all. Bring trail shoes, hat, sunscreen, water and lunch if desired. This trip does require a USFS Adventure Pass (see Parking, Passes and Permits at the end of the trip section for more details)!

Physical Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Short walking distances. Plant Intensity: Moderate to high, especially wildflowers. Time: Approx. 3 hours.

{/slides}

Field Trip Report: Elsinore Peak and vicinity, Southern Santa Ana Mtns [3/31/2013]

{slide=Driving Tour of the Irvine Ranch Conservancy – Sat., Apr. 13. CNPS Members Only   Complete|green|closed}

Calochortus catalinae4-12-13 UPDATE: This trip is full; registration is closed. The weather looks terrific for tomorrow and this always promises to be one of the best trips of the year. All registered attendees should already have their meeting area instructions and times. See you there.

The Irvine Ranch Conservancy is leading its sixth annual CNPS wildflower auto tour into the Limestone Canyon Wilderness Area, some of OC’s best preserved and most important natural resources. Senior Field Ecologist, Dr. Jutta Burger, will lead the trip, assisted by other IRC volunteers and docents. Participants will be able to enjoy the rich native floral diversity of this area, some of its showy bees, butterflies and bugs, and the picturesque Sinks of Agua Chinon. You will also get a first-hand peek at restoration efforts within Bee Flat Canyon. This is a driving tour, on conservancy vehicles, along uneven dirt roads. The exact route and locations will be determined the morning of the trip. Lunch will be provided.

This is a most-of-day trip. Restroom availability at beginning, lunch and end only. Please visit http://www.irlandmarks.org/activities/ to register. On the Public Programs/Activities section of the website, go to April 13 and look for the trip labelled "Citizen Science, CNPS Members Only, Private Auto Tour". Just click "On-line sign up" and follow the easy registration instructions. Enter the CNPS Registration Code "Native". Starting time and meeting location are also on this website.

 Physical Difficulty: Easy, but includes lots of bouncing around on rough dirt roads. Short to moderate walking distances. Includes lunch. Plant Intensity: Moderate to high, especially wildflowers. Time: Approx. 5-6 hours.

{/slides}

Field Trip Report: Driving Tour with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy [4/13/2013]

{slide=Laguna Coast Wilderness – Sun., Apr. 14   Complete|green|closed}

Pentachaeta aurea ssp. allenii4-12-13 UPDATE: Wow, it is dry, but during the pre-trip we managed to find a few flowers and interesting plants, including the rare and elusive Allen's Daisy. Due to the sensitivity of the area and the endangered status of the Laguna Beach Live-forever (Dudleya stolonifera), we will not be able to get close to the plants, but we will be able to see them from about 40-50 feet. Bring binoculars if you can and if you have a spotting scope and tripod that would be terrific and helpful for everyone.

The weather looks perfect. Due to the dry condition, we will not see many annual flowers on this trip, but we will see some perennials, shrubs, vines, trees, etc. And, of course, just being out in nature is reason enough to come along. Plan on a relatively quick trip, with no strenuous hikes or steep climbs. Remember to bring your $3 for parking.

OC Parks manages this excellent wilderness park, a rare jewel set in the rolling foothills and canyons of Orange County. We will begin at the Willow Staging and Parking area (on Lag. Cyn. Rd, just South of El Toro Road). From there, we will walk into Laurel Canyon to see assorted native plants, including a rare opportunity for the group to see Dudleya stolonifera, one of OC’s rarest and most iconic natives. For the second half of the trip we will make a short drive further up Laguna Cyn. Rd. to the Nix Nature Center parking area. From there we will talk a half mile walk and hope to observe Pentachaeta aurea ssp. allenii. With a little luck, in one trip we will see both of OC’s only endemic native plants – a rare thing indeed! Meet 8 AM at the Willow Staging and Parking area (on Lag. Cyn. Rd, just 100 yards South of El Toro Road). Free and open to all. Bring trail shoes, hat, sunscreen, water and lunch if desired.

This trip does require a $3 parking fee per vehicle (the machine accepts cards) or OC Parks pass (see Parking, Passes and Permits at the end of the trip section for more details)! Physical Difficulty: Probably fairly easy to moderate, and on good trails. Plant Intensity: Probably moderate, but with rare specialties. Time: Probably about 3 hours.

{/slides}

Field Trip Report: Laguna Coast Wilderness [4/14/2013]

{slide=Donna & Richard O’Neil Land Conservancy – Sun., Apr. 21; Registration Required. Limited to 20.   Complete|green|closed}

Dedecatheon clevelandii3-1-13 UPDATE: This trip is now full. Registration is closed.

A classic, well-known southern foothill location with a good variety of habitats, including nice grasslands. Spring wildflowers should be good here. Geordie Shaw of the conservancy has invited us to visit and we will tour a portion of the conservancy with docents and staff as we search for plants like Shooting Stars and Engelmann Oaks. This trip does require advance registration. Please visit www.rmvreserve.org to register. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation and exact directions to the event. All entrances/gates will be locked promptly after we enter – don’t be late. Porta-potties are available, but no water – come prepared.

This trip does require an entrance fee ($10/adult, $5 child - must be age 8 and up)! Physical Difficulty: Moderate. Plant Intensity: Moderate to high. Time: About 3 hours.

{/slides}

Field Trip Report: Richard & Donna O'Neill Conservancy [4/21/2013]

{slide=Audubon Starr Ranch – Sun., Apr. 28; Limited to the first 16 CNPS Members Only.   Complete|green|closed}

Muhlenbergia rigens4-19-13 UPDATE: This trip is now full. Registration is closed, although you can be added to the waiting list, in the case of a cancellation. Follow the instructions below.

Starr Ranch Sanctuary is a 4,000 acre preserve nestled in the foothills between Caspers Park and the Cleveland National Forest. We will board sanctuary vehicles and travel with staff to remote areas of the property in search of interesting plants on the grassland, coastal sage scrub, chaparral and other plant communities within the sanctuary. This trip is limited to 16 CNPS members. This is an area that is not generally open to the public and the natural resources here are well preserved and protected. Limited restroom and water availability. Picnic tables are available, so bring a picnic lunch to enjoy following the tour.

We will begin at 9 am.

This trip does require advance registration, To register please send an email to stating your name, telephone number and preferred email address. Within 24 hours I will send you a confirmation, along with directions and map to the ranch. Remember, this trip is limited to the first 16 CNPS members.

Physical Difficulty: Moderate. Plant Intensity: Moderate. Time: Probably about 3-4 hours.

{/slides}

Field Trip Report: Audubon Starr Ranch [4/28/2013]

{slide=Gorman Hills Wildflower Trip – Sun, May 5   Cancelled|green|closed}

Eschscholzia californica4-25-13 UPDATE: Unfortunately, the rains have not cooperated. After discussing the situation with all of the leaders we have decided this just isn't the year for this trip. Maybe next year.

The hills around Gorman are famous for their spring wildflower displays, but are also completely dependent upon winter rainfall and spring temperatures. This will be a longer distance trip and we will be accompanied by our February chapter speaker, Pam DeVries, author of a new field guide to the plants of this area. Christopher Hon, an Environmental Scientist with CA State Parks will also guide us. We will be visiting the Hungry Valley State Recreational Vehicle Area. Yes, it is an ORV park, but there are many off-limits areas of native grasslands and it’s easily accessed. Following a short history of  Hungry Valley, we will head off into the north grasslands wildflower loop and hopefully view a nice bloom. If that area is not doing well, we will head out to the Salt Lick/Wheatfield.  If time permits, we will go to the Schmidt Ranch area on the southwestern area of the park to check out that bloom. The Schmidt Ranch area offers less overall bloom, but great diversity. Another possibility is a visit to the Oak Woodland Natural Preserve, which ends at the “Mother Oak”, a valley oak approximately 700 years old.

 It is about a two hour drive from OC and there will be two meetup locations. For those in South county we will leave promptly at 6:20 am from the Park-and-Ride lot at Jeffrey Road and Walnut Ave. in Irvine. For North county travelers we will leave promptly from the Park-and-Ride lot at the intersection of W. Orangethorpe Ave. and Magnolia Ave. in Fullerton at 6:40 am. We all hope to arrive at the Hungry Valley State Park Visitors Center at 8:30 am (1 mi. W of Gorman, on the S side of Interstate 5). We will probably finish up and begin heading home about 4 pm. Limited restrooms and water available.

Physical Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Plant Intensity: High

{/slides}

{slide=SAMNHA Trip: Driving Tour of Santa Ana Mts. - Sun., May 19 – Non CNPS Trip   Complete|green|closed}

Argemone munitaThis trip and the Upper Newport Bay trip are on the same day. Please read the descriptions and make your choice!

The Santa Ana Mountains Natural History Associations and the Cleveland National Forest, Trabuco District is again sponsoring this unique tour.  The tour, which ranges in elevation from 500 feet to over 3000 feet above sea level, travels through several plant communities. Brief stops will give the participants the chance to enjoy the geology, flora and fauna of our local Mountains.

The planned route is Black Star Canyon to the Main Divide and then down the east side of the Santa Ana Mountains. This annual event will meet at 8:00AM at the US Forest Service lower Silverado Fire Station off Silverado Canyon Road to coordinate vehicle use and ride sharing.  The group will depart at 8:15AM and finish at 5:00PM.

The tour is limited to the first 13 vehicles to commit to participating. Also required is that people who are driving be willing to allow extra passengers to accommodate some who do not have vehicles suitable for dirt road driving, or feel uncomfortable driving on narrow dirt roads. Due to driving logistical and safety concerns as well as to allow for a better experience, all participants must be pre-registered for this event.

All vehicles should be in good working condition and preferably high clearance; 4-wheel trucks are not necessary. Each car or truck must carry a spare tire and tools to change a flat tire. Please make sure you have at least 3/4 of a tank of gas as there are no services on the route of the tour. Tow services are not
cheap.

What to bring: Sunscreen, Hat, Water, Lunch, Natural History Guidebooks, Extra Clothing, 1st Aid Kit, Binoculars, Camera, FRS 2-way Radio, Cell Phone.

To sign up for the car tour or for additional information, please email: Debra Clarke - Wilderness / Trails Manager and District Volunteer Coordinator, Cleveland NF, Trabuco Ranger District. (951) 736-1811 x 3227, (951) 736-3002 fax, email: .

This trip does require advance registration. For additional details please visit http://www.freewebs.com/santaanamountains/newsandevents.htm.

{/slides}

{slide=Upper Newport Bay Ecological Preserve – Sun., May 19   Complete|green|closed}

Upper Newport BayThis trip and the SAMNHA car tour are on the same day. Please read the descriptions and make your choice!

5-17-13 UPDATE: A pre-check of the area revealed a surprising 111 species today. Two of Orange County's most endangered plants were located today and will be seen again during this trip: Cordylanthus maritimus ssp. maritimus - salt marsh bird's beak and Centromadia parryi ssp. australis - Southern tarplant.

This will be a relatively easy trip. We will walk along Back Bay Drive as far as the group desires, then turn into the upland and freshwater areas of Big Canyon. Many halophytes (plants that grow in high salinity) will be seen in the marsh area and discussed). Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars as well, to observe the birdlife of the upper bay.

This is one of Southern California’s largest remaining coastal salt marshes and estuaries and supports a diverse range of native plants and unique plant communities. We will walk along a portion of Back Bay Drive pointing out and discussing many of the salt marsh plants. We will then make a side trip up Big Canyon to see various riparian, freshwater and coastal sage scrub plants. This is an area of specialized coast salt marsh plants and great bird diversity as well. Meet 9 am the parking lot at the intersection of Back Bay Drive at Big Canyon. Directions: From Jamboree Road, go .25 miles on San Joaquin Hills Road and turn right on Back Bay Drive (Back Bay Drive is a one-way road). Go exactly .45 miles to the first parking area on your left. No restrooms or water.

Physical Difficulty: Easy. Plant Intensity: Moderate, with many specialties. Time: Approx. 2-3 hours.

{/slides}

Field Trip Report: Upper Newport Bay Ecological Preserve [5/19/2013]

{slide=James Dilley Preserve & Mariposa Trail – Sun, Jun. 2   Complete|green|closed}

Calochortus weedii var intermedius6-1-13: UPDATE: A check of the site on Thursday was encouraging. Although much drier than normal, we will still see plenty of plants. Yes, I did find a few Weed's mariposa lilies (Calochortus weedii var intermedius) in bloom (photo at right). Also of interest were two species of milkweed (Asclepias) and the closely related vining plant Funastrum cyanchoides. But the best plant of the trip will be a plant called thick-leaved ground cherry or Physalis crassifolia. Bob Allen rediscovered this plant here a year or two ago and guided me to it. We will see it again tomorrow - bring your cameras! In total, in I counted 91 different plant taxa yesterday (yeah, I'm including every grass and weed species as well).

Be sure to bring plenty of water, it might be a warm day. And good shoes with some tread are advised as well, since there are a couple of semi-steep and rocky areas, but nothing extreme. For those that know the area, from the cars I suspect we will head up Canyon Trail. Then we will have to make a decision. We can do a short trip and head back down nearby Mariposa Trail. Or, we can go a short distance down Mariposa Trail (to see the mariposa lilies) and then backtrack and go the longer route down Edison Trail. This will take us by Barbara's Lake, but it will also add another mile to the trip. It will be your call.

See you at 8 AM tomorrow morning in the James Dilley parking lot. Remember, $3 for parking.

Another trip in the Laguna Canyon area. The Dilley Preserve is on the E side of the canyon, just N of Hwy 73. Calochortus weedii var. intermedius is almost guaranteed here at this time of year as well as many other coastal sage scrub plants. We will probably hike up Mariposa Trails, then loop back down Sunflower trail to our cars. Meet 8 am at the James Dilley Preserve parking area, located on Laguna Canyon Road, on the east side of the road approximately 6 miles south of the I-5/405 and just north of the 73 Toll Road. At last check, parking was $3.00 per vehicle (the machine accepts cards) or an OC Parks pass (see Parking, Passes and Permits at the end of the trip section for more details)!

Physical Difficulty: Moderate, with some up and down. Plant Intensity: moderate. Time: Approx. 2-3 hours.

{/slides}

Field Trip Report: Dilley Preserve and Mariposa Trail [6/2/2013]

{slide=Car Trip along Long Canyon Road, Santa Ana Mts. – Sat, Jun. 22    Complete|green|closed}

Delphinium cardinale6-21 UPDATE: All looks good for tomorrow morning. There are still a surprising number of plants in bloom for this time of year and plenty to see and talk about. Remember, this is a car-trip. That means we will be driving - stopping, driving - stopping, etc. The advantage of this is that we can cover a lot more area and see more habitats and plants than at a single stop. It also keeps the physical difficulty at a minimum. Once we drive up Hwy 74, we will collect again at the bottom of Long Canyon Road for a few minutes and make our first plant forays in that area. As we slowly climb up the road, we will stop to see plants in the recently burned areas and also discuss plant successions in burn areas, along with some nice examples of "fire-followers". We will eventually get all the way up the the area around Blue Jay Campground and do a little botanizing in this area. During the trip we will see interesting plants like Calochortus weedii, Frasera parryi, Mimulus pilosus, Wyethia ovata and others.

Remember to bring water and a USFS Pass. See you at Bravo Burger at 8 AM.

This is a fun trip and car-friendly. We will begin at Hwy 74 and Long Canyon Road, then caravan up Long Canyon Road, stopping periodically to view the plants. Then we will drive through Los Pinos Potrero (the area around Blue Jay Campground) and return via the paved portion of Main Divide Road. Lots on ground will be covered. Late bloomers would include Frasera (Swertia), Calochortus weedii, Delphinium cardinalis, Ehrendorferia (Dicentra) chrysantha, Chorizanthe fimbriata, Epipactis gigantea, etc. Meet 8 am in San Juan Capistrano. From I-5, take Hwy 74 east 1/8 mile, turn right on Rancho Viejo Rd, then left into the large parking area next to Bravo Burger, 31722 Rancho Viejo Rd.

This trip does require a USFS Adventure Pass (see Parking, Passes and Permits at the end of the trip section for more details)! Physical Difficulty: Easy. Plant Intensity: Moderate to high. Time: Approx. 4 hours.

{/slides}

Field Trip Report: Long Canyon Road [6/22/2013]

{slide=Irvine Lake – Sun., Jul, 28    Complete|green|closed}

Echinodorus berteroi7-24-13 UPDATE: Although the water level in the lake is quite low, the trip will continue. The edges of the lake are still quite good for some of the specialized species of lake margins, including the remarkable Echinodorus berteroi, Nama stenocarpum, Petunia parviflora and Verbena bracteata - and whatever else we can find. We will invest most of our time not far from the main entrance and boat launch area. We'll also search the water at the end of the boat dock for a couple of uncommon aquatic plants that were found here last summer, but a check last week could not locate any of these.

After the check of the lake margin and dock area we will drive a short distance to the West end of the lake and take a look at a few more plants, including a small colony of the uncommon Pluchea sericea - arrow weed or arrow plant. The trip should be fairly quick.

The weather will likely be warm and humid, so be prepared with hat, suncreen, water, etc. Since we will be checking the damp lake margins PLEASE wear appropriate shoes for MUDDY conditions. My suggestion would be either of two extremes: waterproof hiking boots or old sandals that you can hose off. You WILL have muddy shoes/feet.

Meet just inside the entrance gate, in front of the tackle shop/food store. The best I could do was to negotiate a $10 entrance fee for our group, but this is down from the normal $24 fee. Be sure to bring along your copy of Orange County Wildflowers.

 

Bob Allen and Ron Vanderhoff will co-lead a trip to this well-known but seldom explored area. Bob is the co-author of the just published Orange County Wildflowers, a book ten year in the making). We will check the margins of the lake, where many specialized plants occur, as well as a few of the aquatic plant specialties that are found here. Some of the plants include Echinodorus bertoroi, Petunia parviflora, Pluchea sericea, Potamegeton crispus and P. foliosus, Najas marina, Phyla nodiflora and more. Meet 8 am at the main entrance to Irvine Lake, 4621 Santiago Canyon Rd.

This trip does require a (sort of hefty) parking/entrance fee (still being negotiated)!

Physical Difficulty: Easy. Plant Intensity: Moderate to high, with specialties. Time: Approx. 2 hours.

{/slides}

Field Trip Report: Irvine Lake [7/28/2013]

{slide=Prado Dam and Basin, Corona/Norco area – Sun., Aug. 4    Complete|green|closed}

Prado Basin7-31-13 UPDATE: Hope you can join us for this very special trip to Southern California’s largest riparian forest. The trip is open to all and no RSVP is required.

For those in South Orange County there will be a meetup at 8 AM at the Park-and-Ride lot at the SW intersection of Jeffrey Road and Walnut Ave., in Irvine. Otherwise, see the directions below for the 9 AM start time. Binoculars, camera, durable shoes and a hat are suggested. Participants will be required to agree to and sign a waiver prior to beginning the visit.

Be sure to bring along your copy of the new book Orange County Wildflowers, by Bob Allen and Fred Roberts.

With permission from the OC Water district and with staff biologists as guides we will explore off-limit areas of Southern California's largest riparian wetlands. Pond marginals, woodland plants, riparian plants and many others are present, as well as very rich and diverse bird and insect life. This is a summer trip, when the temperatures and humidity levels will likely be high - be prepared! Water and restroom availability is limited to the beginning and end of the trip. Meet 9 am at the Prado headquarters of the OCWD. Directions: From Hwy 91, exit on Lincoln Ave. and turn left (North). At 1.25 mi. turn left again onto River Road. At 3.5 miles, turn left at the first stop light after crossing the river (also called River Road). At .75 mile turn left onto Hellman Ave. and follow this until it bends right and you see the offices of The OC Water District. Park here.

Physical Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Plant Intensity: Moderate to high. Time: 3-4 hours.

{/slides}

Field Trip Report: Prado Basin [8/4/2013]

{slide=Geology Tour, Part 1 - Silverado Canyon – Sun, Sept. 22|green|active}

9-25-13 UPDATE: All set for Sunday! Remember, this field trip (and next weeks) is limited and does require registration. If you have not completed the registration instructions yet, please email the trip leader Bill Neill at  ASAP for availability and instructions.

This two-part Introduction to the Geology of Orange County will start by looking at older rock exposures in the foothills, then reconvene a week later at the coast to view younger outcrops.  For the first segment, we will meet at Peters Canyon Regional Park and spend the morning near Silverado Canyon, looking at sedimentary rocks formed when Southern California was an eroding volcanic chain.  Our tour will return to Peters Canyon for a picnic lunch and to discuss the geologic history of California.  For more information and to enroll, send email message to trip leader Bill Neill at <>.  This trip requires a County Parks Pass or a parking fee of $3 at Peters Canyon.  Restrooms available at some stops.  >

Physical Difficulty:  About 1 mile hike on level terrain with some rocky areas.  Time:  Approx. 4 hours.

{/slides}

{slide=Geology Tour, Part 2 - Laguna Beach to Dana Point – Sun, Sept. 29|green|active}

9-20-13 UPDATE: We are all ready for the second half of this two-part trip! You do not have to have attended last week's trip to enjoy this one. Remember, this field trip does require registration. If you have not signed up yet, please email the trip leader Bill Neill at  ASAP for further details. This is an afternoon trip.

For the second segment of this two-part Introduction to the Geology of Orange County, we will meet near Crystal Cove State Park and caravan to Laguna Beach to view exposures on beach cliffs, ending at Dana Point. These exposures record the early development of the San Andreas Fault. This is an afternoon tour limited to 8 vehicles. For more information and to enroll, send an email message to the trip leader Bill Neill at <>. This trip requires a State Parks Pass or a parking fee to enter Crystal Cove St. Park, plus several dollars in quarters for parking meters in Laguna Beach. Restrooms available at some stops.>

<>Physical Difficulty:  Short steep slopes and stairs to access beach from coastal bluffs.  Time:  Approx. 4 hours.>

{/slides}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go to top