Mendocino County
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Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM

California Fawn Lily brightens brushlands

These beautiful springtime flowers of the northern California Coast Ranges mountains are endemic to Northern California.   Many times these colonies are found in chaparral brushlands where they can easily missed because of the over-story of woody species.  Erythronium californicum Purdy, which is in the family Liliaceae, has sometimes been called the "soul of spring".  It was first described by the famous botanist and plant collector Carl Purdy (the USGS Quad on the north end of HREC is called "Purdy's Garden"). 

Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 7:04 AM
  • Author: Robert J Keiffer

cutleaf eveningprimrose (Oenothera laciniata)

cutleaf eveningprimrose

Today I thought I'd share a few photos of a weed that is becoming more common in orchards in some areas of the Central Valley.  I've gotten a few calls and ran across a few infestations of cutleaf eveningprimrose (Oenothera laciniata).  This photo was...

Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011 at 1:56 PM

HREC archives Mendocino County bird records!

Mendocino County has 409 species of birds that have been documented within its terrestrial and off-shore boundaries.  Bob Keiffer, Supt. and Chuck Vaughn (retired SRA) have diligently archived all historical and current important birds records from Mendocino County for over twenty years.  Hard files are kept with data such as observer notes and descriptions and photographs, and digital files (approximately 7000 entries thus far) are kept on an Avisys database.  Keiffer is the official compiler of the county records, and Vaughn is the "gatekeeper" of all the Mendocino County eBird records.

Here you see a first-year Short-billed Albatross (pink-bill) seen yesterday at 6 miles SW off Noyo Harbor.  Up until now there has been only one accepted county record for this species ... a species thought to be extinct after WWII.  The species was brought to near extinction by the feather trade and war activities, but a few nesting pair were found nesting on the volcanic island of Torishima in the 1950's.   Conservation efforts since that time have rebounded the population to about 2000 birds, and they are once again rarely showing up along the Pacific West Coast of North America where we know they were once common from archeological evidence found at Native American "middens".   

Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011 at 9:33 AM
  • Author: Robert J Keiffer

Rare Flower Blooms at Hopland REC!

A bright yellow aster bloom adorns three small isolated locations at the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center.  Colusa Layia (Layia septentrionalis) is an annual herb that is endemic to California and is only found in 9 counties, with Mendocino County being one of those.  It is included in the California Native Plant Society Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants and is rated as 1B.2 (rare,threatened, or endangered in CA and elsewhere).  This plant qualifies for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) protection.  The plant is currently blooming at HREC, and the blooms are quite thick and robust this year.

Posted on Friday, May 13, 2011 at 9:00 AM
  • Author: Robert J Keiffer

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