CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY
Channel Islands Chapter
Calendar of Events
Last updated: 15 July 2014
Upcoming Events

Thursday
17 July 2014
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Talk
Santa Barbara County
Fog and Shrubland Plants
Speaker: Nate Emery.   Join CNPS and Nate Emery, UCSB graduate student, to learn about Fog and scrubland plants.   Plants along the coast actually receive quite a bit of the water they need from fog drip, not just rain.   All ages welcome to this free meeting.   Refreshments, sharing home grown native plants, and plant id after the talk.   Call 684-8077 for more info.

Venue: Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Library.   1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara.

Directions:   From Ventura, take U.S. 101 north to the Mission Street exit in Santa Barbara.   Take Mission to State Route 192/Foothill Road and turn Right.   At the stop sign, turn Left onto Mission Canyon Road then bear Right at the split.   The garden parkling lot will be about half a mile further on the Left.



Regularly Scheduled Events

1st Saturday
Monthly
10:00 AM - Noon
Restoration Day, Carpinteria
Habitat Restoration at Carpinteria Salt Marsh, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County.
Leader: Andrea Adams-Morden, Naturalist/Weed Specialist
Andrea leads a late morning, just 2 hours, of eradicating invasive exotics on the beautiful and interesting Carpinteria Salt Marsh.   The weather should be nice.   When is ever not nice in Carpinteria?   Join CNPS members and other community enthusiests in improving habitat conditions of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh.   It is a good idea to contact Andrea before heading out to make sure there haven't been any changes to the plan, like the place or date.

Directions:   Meet at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park on Ash Avenue half way between Third Street and Sandyland, in the City of Carpinteria.

View Larger Map
Contact Andrea Adams-Morden [aadamsmorden@yahoo.com or 684-8077] for more information.   Bring water and sun protection, and gloves are a good idea too.


1st Saturday
Monthly
1:00 - 3:00 PM
Restoration Day, Carpinteria
Habitat Restoration at Carpinteria Bluffs, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County.
Leader: Andrea Adams-Morden, Naturalist/Weed Specialist
Andrea leads an afternoon, just 2 hours, of eradicating invasive exotics on the beautiful Carpinteria Bluffs, overlooking the Santa Barbara Channel near the boundary of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.   Join CNPS members and other community enthusiests in improving habitat conditions of the Carpinteria Bluffs.   It is a good idea to contact Andrea before heading out to make sure there haven't been any changes to the plan, like the place or date.

Directions:   Meet at the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve at the Bailard Parking Lot, on the west side of the City of Carpinteria, at Bailard and Carpinteria Avenue.   From the south (Ventura and points south), take U.S. 101 North to the Bailard Exit, turn left over the freeway, and park at the end (ocean side) of the road.   From the north (such as from Santa Barbara and points north, take US 101 South through Carpinteria, taking the Bailard exit, and turning right towards the ocean.

View Larger Map
Contact Andrea Adams-Morden [aadamsmorden@yahoo.com or 684-8077] for more information.   Bring water and sun protection, and gloves are a good idea too.


Second
Tuesday
6:30 PM
Chapter Board Meetings
Ojai or Ventura
Chapter board meetings are usually held monthly, customarily on the second Tuesday of each month.   They are held at a private residence in Ojai or at an office in mid-town Ventura.   If you want to get further involved in your local CNPS chapter, come to a meeting - there are always plenty of volunteer opportunities.   Call 805/646-6045 for more information.

Third
Wednesday or Thursday
6:30 PM
Evening Programs
Evening programs are customarily held the third Wednesday of the month, but sometimes on other evenings.   We have them at least quarterly, but try to hold them monthly, alternating between Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties (that is our hope).   They are scheduled for either in the Topping Room of the E.P. Foster Library in downtown Ventura or in Santa Barbara at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.   Presently, the only programs occurring in Ventura County are associated with our twice annual native plant sales.

Last Tuesday
Monthly
10:00 AM - Noon
Weed Day, Carpinteria
Weeding at Tar Pits Park, Higgins Springs, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County.
Leader: Andrea Adams-Morden, Naturalist/Weed Specialist
Andrea will lead a late morning, just 2 hours, of weeding on the interesting Tar Pits Park, overlooking the Santa Barbara Channel near the boundary of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.   Join the Friends of Tar Pits Park for a earth-tending exercise with like-minded folks.   It is a good idea to contact Andrea before heading out to make sure there haven't been any changes to the plan, like the place or date.

Directions:   Meet at the Carpinteria Bluffs Bailard Parking Lot, on the west side of the City of Carpinteria.   From the south (Ventura and points south), take U.S. 101 North to the Bailard Exit, turn left over the freeway, and park at the end (ocean side) of the road.   From the north (such as from Santa Barbara and points north, take US 101 South through Carpinteria, taking the Bailard exit, and turning right towards the ocean.

View Larger Map
Contact Andrea Adams-Morden [aadamsmorden@yahoo.com or 684-8077] for more information.   Bring water and sun protection, and gloves are a good idea too.


Saturday and/or Sunday
8:00 or 9:00 AM
Weekend Hike
and/or Activity
Saturday/Sunday activities are offered once or twice per month.   They rotate between botanizing walks and work parties to eradicate non-native invasives.   Call 805/646-6045 or email the chapter president at president(at)cnpsci(dot)org to volunteer to lead a hike or activity, or check back here to see what is scheduled.

Semi-annually
Spring & Fall
9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Plant Sale The Chapter holds two plant sales each year: one in spring and one in fall.   Contact your chapter vice president, Lynne Kada, at 805/642-4348 to volunteer, or just to attend and purchase native plants for your garden.   The Spring Native Plant Sale was on Sunday, 19 April 2008, at the City of Ventura's San Jon facilities in conjunction with the Midtown Community Council Green Home and Garden event, in downtown Ventura.   There with a nice selection of local native plants to choose from.   The Fall sale date is usually held in late October or early November.

Annually Annual Dinner The Chapter tries to hold a dinner for all members each year, usually in late summer or early fall.   It is an opportunity to review the successes of the past year and to socialize with other members.   Social hour includes wine tasting, silent auction, appetizers, and other activities.   Contact Cher Batchelor, chapter secretary at secretary@cnpsci.org for more information. Click here to see photos from past annual dinners.

Review of Past Chapter Events

Saturday
28 June 2014
9:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Hike
Ventura County
Rose Valley Plant and Bird Hike
Leader: David Torfeh.   Join CNPS and David on an easy to moderate hike to see the early summer wildflowers and birds of the Rose Valley area of northern Ventura County in the Los Padres National Forest, 15 miles north of Ojai.   Begin summer with an introduction to the botany of the Rose Valley area.   We will start at the Lower Lake in Rose Valley, hike to the Upper Lake area, then hike to Rose Valley Falls south of the campground.   .

Bring your camera, water, lunch, sturdy hiking boots/shoes, and hat, and you never know, it could be hot (most likely), we just can't tell anymore.   RSVP to David at 805/794-5334.

Venue: Rose Valley, Los Padres National Forest.   Meet at the parking area of Ojai Rotary Park or at the Lower Rose Lake in Rose Valley.

Directions:   From Ventura, take State Route 33 north from the 101 Frwy.   Meet at Ojai Rotary Park located just east of the signalized Y intersection in Ojai, on the right side of SR 150/Ojai Ave. at 9:00 a.m. to carpool.   Otherwise, meet at Rose Valley, by taking SR 33 about 15 miles north from the Y in Ojai, turning right on Rose Valley Rd., going 3.1 miles, and turning left to the Lower Lake.   We will park in the Lower Lake parking area on the west side of the Lower Lake.   No Adventure Pass is needed at the Lower Lake because there are no recreational facilities there.   From Santa Barbara, take the 101 Frwy to SR 150 to Ojai (or all the way to the SR 33 in Ventura) then follow the directions above.



Saturday
3 May 2014
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Hard Hike
Ventura County
Dry Lakes Ridge Botanical Area Native Plant Hike
Leader: David Magney.   Over a dozen hikers joined David on an difficult but rewarding hike up to the top of Dry Lakes Ridge, which is a U.S. Forest Service Botanical Area.   We explored this nearly 5,000-foot-high mountain in the middle of northern Ventura County with the author of the Flora of Dry Lakes Ridge.   There are four large depression ("lakes") on the very top, which contain a relictual stand of Ponderosa Pine, left behind from the Pleistocene.   A good number of plants were blooming, and we saw lots of evidence of the resident Black Bear.   We actually found a few plants that had not previously been documented on the ridge top before.

Bring your camera, water, lunch, sturdy hiking boots/shoes, and hat, and you never know, it may be cold, so bring warm cloths, or it could be hot (most likely), we just can't tell anymore.   The first (and last) part of the hike goes straight up(down) an old fire break, which serves as the only trail to the top.   We will go up, very slowly, to the spine of the ridge, then hike up the spine (easy walking) through Eastwood Manzanita Chaparral until we reach the easternmost "dry lake" where we will find the Ponderosa Pines and Great Basin Sagebrush.   RSVP to David at david@magney.org or 805/646-6045.

Dry Lakes Ridge trail near SR33 in 2005 Dry Lakes Ridge ridgetop looking down the Sespe in 2001 Dry Lakes Ridge Basin 1 in 2001 Dry Lakes Ridge Basin 1 in 2005 Dry Lakes Ridge Basin 21 in 2005 Dry Lakes Ridge Basin 2B in 2005 Dry Lakes Ridge Basin 3 in 2001 Dry Lakes Ridge Basin 3 in 2005


Sunday
9 March 2014
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Walk
Ventura County
Santa Clara River Native Plant Hike
Leader: David Torfeh.   David lead an easy walk around The Nature Conservancy's Hanson Property on the Santa Clara River near Santa Paula.   They explored the broad river floodplain riparian and riverine habitats.   The recent rains brought out many plants.   A number of plants were blooming, and there was a good assortment of late-winter birds.


Saturday
8 February 2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Walk
Ventura County
Foster Park Native Plant and Bird Walk
Leader: David Torfeh.   David lead an easy to moderate walk around Foster Park, most of the time in the Ventura River bed.   Sixty-six plant species were found and 20 different birds observed.  
Venue: Foster County Park, near Castias Springs (mouth of the Ojai Valley.   Drive into the park ($4 parking fee) before crossing over the Ventura River.


Saturday
25 January 2014
10:00 AM to about Noon
Walk
Santa Barbara County
Botanic Tour of Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park
Leader: Allen Braithwaite lead an easy walk around the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park.   A number of plants were blooming.


Thursday
16 January 2014
6:30 to 8:30 PM
Talk
Santa Barbara County
Plant Communities of the Channel Islands
Speaker: Ken Owen.   talked about the Plant Communities of the California Channel Islands.   Ken Owen, Executive Director of Channel Islands Restoration (a nonprofit corporation dedicated to habitat restoration), spoke on the plant communities of 8 channel islands.   He has been exploring them since he was a young boy and later started restoring these islands.


Sunday
15 December 2013
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Walk
Ventura County
Plants and Birds of Matilija Creek, Los Padres National Forest
Leader: David Torfeh lead an easy to moderate hike along Matilija Creek in Matilija Canyon in the Ojai District of the Los Padres National Forest to see the fall color of the cottonwood and willow trees, and birds of the canyon.   A good number of members and the public had a great time in nature on a crisp December day to see the plants and birds of the Matilija Creek area at the west end of Matilija Canyon north of Ojai.   A number of plants were blooming or in fruit.   A checklist of all the plants known to occur in Matilija Canyon, developed by botanist David Magney, can be downloaded from the "Plant Checklists" webpage.   Over 250 taxa of plants have been inventoried for the canyon.


Sunday
17 November 2013
9:00 AM to 2:30 PM
Walk
Ventura County
Fall Colors of Lion Canyon, Los Padres National Forest
Leader: Andrea Adams-Morden lead an easy to moderate hike up Lion Canyon out of Middle Lion Camp in the Ojai District of the Los Padres National Forest to see the fall color of the cottonwood and willow trees.   A number of plants were blooming, and more were in fruit, on this informative hike along a nice mountain riparian forest, surrounded by chaparral communities.   A checklist of all the plants known to occur along this trail, developed by botanist David Magney, can be downloaded from the "Plant Checklists" webpage.


Thursday
21 November 2013
6:30 to 8:30 PM
Talk
Santa Barbara County
About Dudleyas
Speaker: Tom Mulroy, PhD.   CNPS members enjoyed Tom's talk: Interesting Things I Have Learned From Dudleyas. Dudleya is the genus for the small succulents from mostly California. There are a number of Dudleya species that are quite rare, and some that are common. The common name for the genus is Live-forever.

Saturday
28 September 2013
9:00 to 11:30 AM
Walk
Ventura County
Plants and Birds of Emma Wood State Beach
Leader: David Torfeh.   Ten people joined CNPS and David in the exploration of the plants and birds of Emma Wood State Beach and the Ventura River mouth/estuary.   57 taxa of plants, some flowering, were seen on this informative tour of riparian forest, coastal salt marsh, and coastal scrub communities.   When hike leader David Torfeh was not certain of some plants' identities, very knowledgeable participant Jay Sullivan (who may lead a spring 2014 fire-following plant hike at La Jolla Canyon) helped with identification.   Chapter Treasurer, Stuart Bloom, read the hikers descriptions of each plant's characteristics and uses.   We noticed sensitive salt marsh species Fleshy Jaumea (Jaumea carnosa), with attractive yellow flowers, Marsh Cinquefoil (Argentina egedii ssp. egedii), with serrate-edged leaves, and Pacific Pickleweed (Salicornia virginica) along the trail from the campgrounds to the Ventura River.   Arroyo Willow (Salix lasiolepis) and highly invasive Cape Ivy (Delairea odorata) mostly populated the riparian forest portions of Emma Wood.   Coastal scrub areas were dominated by Coyote Brush (Baccharis pilularis ssp. consanguinea).

Some uncommon bird species were spotted along the way.   A Sharp-shinned Hawk (a small, long-tailed raptor) flew over the forested area.   Nearby, a White-tailed Kite (a small white and gray raptor that hovers to forage) was being repeatedly harassed by an American Crow in the air.   Finally, along the beach, an Osprey (a large raptor that feeds on fish) coasted eastward as we looked on.   Not uncommon was a boldly patterned slate blue Belted Kingfisher which caught everyone's attention at the estuary.

Venue: Mother Nature's creation, Emma Wood State Beach, West Main Street, Ventura, CA 93001.

Directions: From points South of Ventura:   Take U.S. Highway 101 N to the California Street exit.   From California Street, turn left onto Thompson Boulevard and take it to its end as it turns into Garden Street.   Turn left onto W. Main Street, and head west under the freeway (SR33) and across the river bridge.   Park along Main Street or go into Emma Wood State Beach (parking fee required - but for a worthy cause).
From point North, take U.S. 101 S and take the Main Street exit, which will take you right to Emma Wood State Beach after you cross under the freeway (U.S. 101).
From the Ojai Valley, take SR33 South to the Main Street exit and turn right at the Garden Street stopsign, and right again on W. Main Street.

Saturday
25 May 2013
9:00 AM to ~2:00 PM
Nature Hike
Ventura County
Nature Hike on Circle X Ranch, Santa Monica Mountains
Leader: Tony Valois.   Tony, author of the online guide to the flora of the Santa Monica Mountains, lead a hike to look at the botanic beauty of Circle X Ranch.   Circle X Ranch has trails through chaparral, coastal sage scrub, and riparian habitats, with high species richness and diversity.   Tony is a vegetation ecologist with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.   The hike lead by Tony was a real treat!   Tony led six participants on the scenic, partially shaded Grotto Trail through chaparral and riparian zones.   We saw about 135 taxa of plants, of which 55 were flowering.   Three Dudleya species, including the CNPS 1B listed Dudleya cymosa ssp. marescens, grow there.   Madia gracilis, Polygala cornuta var. fishae, Allium haematochitom, and Clarkia unguiculata made pretty displays.   We also saw two Side-blotched Lizards, a Western Whiptail [lizard], and a Variable Checkerspot [butterfly].   Surprisingly, this area just east of Yerba Buena Road in the western Santa Monica Mountains did not burn in the Springs Fire of April 2013.   Furthermore, there was water flowing from springs into the rocky "grotto" riparian area, a rare occurence for this time of year in other parts of the Santa Monica Mountains.


Saturday & Sunday
18-19 May 2013
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Rare Plant Hunt
Santa Barbara County
Rare Plant Treasure Hunt for Ribes amarum var. hoffmannii
Leader: David Magney.   David led a hunt to track down the rare Hoffmann's Gooseberry, Ribes amarum var. hoffmannii, a shrub that flowers in the late spring that is quite rare.   It is endemic to westernmost Ventura County and Santa Barbara County.   The taxonomy of Ribes amarum var. hoffmannii has been questioned, so we will examine as many plants as we can and gather data on each one.   Phillip Munz formally described this variety in 1932 based on a collection from Gaviota Canyon by M.E. Jones.   It was named in honor of Ralph Hoffmann, a botanist from Santa Barbara that collected extensively.   The formal description, in Latin, is "Bacca manifesta pubescens, cum spinis non confertis, inaequalibus, 1-3.5 mm. longis", which basically means that the spines on the fruit are unequal in length, 1-3.5 millimeters long.   This variety, as reported by Munz, ranges from Gaviota to Carpinteria. Clif Smith collected it from along Rincon Creek in Ventura County as well (which is close to Carpinteria).   Historical occurrences include: Gaviota Canyon, Santa Barbara, Mountain Drive (Santa Barbara), and Carpinteria.   We found a large population of a natural occurrence at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, then headed out to five other reported sites (Rattlesnake Canyon, Cold Spring Canyon, north edge of Carpinteria Salt Marsh, along Carpinteria Creek, Franklin Canyon Creek, Rincon Creek, and Casitas Creek.   We found it at all but the salt marsh, Franklin Canyon, and Rincon Creek areas.   We formally documented our findings, and turned in our reports to the CNPS Rare Plant Program and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Natural Diversity Database.   It had been many years since anyone has reported on this variety, and there is a good likelihood that there are more, we just need to keep looking.   It appears that it favors shaded sites, usually under Coast Live Oak and California Bay, so keep your eye out for it.

Ribes amarum var. hoffmannii fruit


Thursday
16 May 2013
6:30 to 9:00 PM
Talk
Santa Barbara County
Management Considerations for Protecting and Enhancing Populations of Annual Species: The Southern Tarplant Case Study
Speaker: David Harris, with UCSB.   David discussed details on of how to protect and manage a rare annual wildlflower.   It was a fascinating discussion as all kinds o f interesting things we learned about California native plants when we try to grow them in the wild and "manage" them.   The wildflower that was the focus of this talk is Centromadia parryi ssp. australis (Keck) B.G. Baldwin, the Southern Tarplant, an annual wildflower in the Sunflower family with yellow flowers and sharp, needle-like leaves.

Centromadia pungens


Saturday
20 April 2013
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Plant Sale
Thousand Oaks
SPRING PLANT SALE
The Chapter held its regular Spring Plant Sale again in eastern Ventura County, at the Calleguas Municipal Water District headquarters between Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, and Simi Valley.   The plants for the Spring Native Plant Sale was provided by Matilija Nursery and El Nativo Growers.   There was a nice selection of local native plants to choose from.   Calleguas Municipal Water District really helped out tremendously with both the venue and publicity.   CNPS members received a 10 percent discount on all items for sale.   See a flyer/brochure here.   We had two presentations by landscape designers for some great ideas on using natives in your landscaping.


Saturday & Sunday
6-7 April 2013
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Rare Plant Hunt
Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties
Rare Plant Treasure Hunt for Fritillaria ojaiensis
Leader: David Magney.   David tried to track down the elusive Ojai Fritillary, Fritillaria ojaiensis, a spring-flowering wildflower that is quite rare at two locations.   It is endemic to Ventura, Santa Barbara, and possibly San Luis Obispo County.   A long and hard hike up Kennedy Ridge to East Camino Cielo in the Santa Ynez Mountains of Ventura County on Saturday did not find the target.   Suitable habitat was examined, but the historic population was likely another mile west up the mountain.   However, several occurrences of the rare plants, Catalina Mariposa Lily (Calochortus catalinae) and one new occurrence of Plummer's Baccharis (Baccharis plummerae) were documents, along with the locally rare Globose Sedge (Carex globosa).   On Sunday, a drive up Tequepis Canyon from State Route 154 and Lake Cachuma found suitable habitat and an overgrown Forest Service road, preventing a drive further up the canyon to the known population.   Again, suitable habitat was observed, but no plants found.   However, one small population of Plummer's Bacchris was found, along with a nice garden of flowering wildflowers, such as Fairly Lantern, Hummingbird Sage, and Fiesta Flower.

Fritillaria ojaiensis
Photo by David Magney

We last revisited Ventura County occurrences of this bulb plant in 2010.


Saturday
30 March 2013
9:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Nature Hike
Ventura County
Native Plant Hike up Sulphur Mountain
Leader: David Torfeh.   A good group of CNPS members and others joined David on a hike to see Spring wildflowers and be shown common native plants on this easy to moderate hike up Sulphur Mountain Road from near Rancho Arnaz in the Ojai Valley.   They hiked up a wide, often shaded dirt road through Coast Live Oak Woodland, chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub, and grassland habitats.   There were views of San Antonio Creek, Oak View, Canada Larga, and Lake Casitas, not to mention all.  . The hike had 16 participants and it was a very pleasant day with sun and moderate temperatures.  . The group saw 67 plant taxa, and 36 were flowering, nearly 54 percent.  . All the wildflowers Torfeh predicted to be in bloom were, except Calandrinia ciliata, Redmaids.  . People were really pleased to learn what's out there.  . Attendees were so interested they took copious notes on Magney's plant checklist that was provided and/or on notepads.  . Early bloomers will include: California Buttercup, California Poppy, Fiesta Flower, several species of lupine, larkspur, Redmaids, amount many others.   Rare plants along the hike include: Plummer's Baccharis, Fish's Milkwort, Catalina and Mariposa Lily.   Please contact David Torfeh at 805/794-5334 for further information or if you have any questions.   David Magney previously prepared a detailed list of all plants known to grow on Sulphur Mountain.   A copy is available on this website (cnpsci.org) under "Checklists" or Magney's "Flora of Ventura County" website under "Checklists".

David Torfeh identifying plant

Thursday
21 March 2013
6:30 to 9:00 PM
Talk
Santa Barbara County
What's Blooming
Speaker: Lynn Watson.   A nice group of CNPS members joined renowned photographer Lynn Watson at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden on an informative presentation on her on-line website that describes and shows What's Blooming, When, and Where along Figueroa Mountain Road.   Figueroa Mountain is very interesting botanically and geologically, and the geology and geographic location of the mountain, located in the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County, provides wonderful botanical displays and interesting plants.   See the Figueroa Mountains plants on Watson's Plant Blog/Website.



Saturday & Sunday
23-24 March 2013
8:45 AM to 5:00 PM (2 PM on Sunday)
Vegetation Mapping Training
Santa Barbara County
Rare Vegetation Sampling/Mapping Workshop at Carpinteria Salt Marsh
Leaders: CNPS Vegetation Program Staff Deborah Stout & David Magney.   About 8 people, mostly CNPS members, signed up for this CNPS Chapter-based workshop to learn how to sample and map rare vegetation communities.   We conducted a field-based sampling/mapping workshop at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve in southeastern Santa Barbara County.   This workshop focused on techniques to identify and survey rare natural communities using our combined CNPS/Calif. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife protocols.   The overall goals of the workshop was to learn about the diversity of salt marsh vegetation, learn to identify discrete stands of vegetation and estimate percent covers, and become familiar with the Rapid Assessment method for sampling vegetation.   We also discussed low-tech options for contributing to vegetation mapping efforts.

While the Reserve is diverse, each of our sample plots, 10 x 10 m, had low species richness.   This was a function of purposefully choosing one plant association to fill the plot and the fact that low areas of a saltmarsh have only a few species that can survive in a saline/tidally flooded habitat.   We sampled in Pickleweed/Saltgrass, Pickleweed-Glasswort/Jaumea-Saltgrass, and other vegetation alliances.   For more information on the Reserve visit Reserve Website.

Participants learned quickly and obtained a useful skill, how to conduct a releve survey as well as a Rapid Assessment.   Visit the chapter's Facebook page to see some photos from the workshop.


Sunday
24 Febranuary 2013
9:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Nature Hike
Ventura County
Nature Hike to La Jolla Canyon and Mugu Peak
Leader: David Torfeh.   David led a hike to see pre-Spring wildflowers and be shown common native plants on this moderate difficulty hike from the mouth of La Jolla Canyon to Mugu Peak in Point Mugu State Park, Santa Monica Mountains.   The La Jolla Canyon to Mugu Peak botany hike on February 24, 2013 was enjoyed by all 10 people who attended, except for the strong winds at the Peak that made us limit our time spent at that upper elevation.   Fortunately the Canyon (where we did most of our stopping and looking) was sheltered from the wind.   Eighty-five taxa of plants were found, and about 30 taxa were flowering.   Most conspicuous were Giant Coreopsis (Leptosyne gigantea) and two species of Ceanothus (spinosus with prolific light blue blossoms, and megacarpus with white blossoms) growing on the hillsides of the Canyon.   Scattered populations of eye-catching Ground Pink (Linanthus dianthiflorus), California Poppies (Eschsholzia californica var. californica) and Southern Padre Shooting Star (Dodecatheon clevelandii ssp. sanctarum) were observed at the 900 to 1250 foot elevation range.   At the top, we had a mostly clear 270 degree panoramic view of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Catalina Island to the southeast, Santa Barbara Island and Mugu Naval Base to the south, Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands to the southwest, the checkerboard of the Oxnard Plain to the west, the Santa Ynez Range to the northwest, and the prominent Topa Topas and Thousand Oaks to the north.   Along the way, hike leader David Torfeh familiarized participants with the recent changes in botanical [scientific] names brought about by the second edition of the Jepson Manual, which was published in 2012, and hiker Jay Sullivan helped quite a bit.   Some recurring examples were Bladder Pod (from Isomeris arborea to Peritoma arborea) and Deerweed (Lotus scoparius to Acmispon glaber).   Most of us agreed that we are having a little difficulty getting used to these changes.

Directions: From Ventura, take the 101 freeway to the Las Posas Road exit.   Turn right and drive about 7 miles to State Route 1 (PCH).   Get on PCH heading south toward Los Angeles and proceed 4.2 miles.   La Jolla Canyon will be on the left.   From Malibu, start at Kanan/Dume Road's intersection with PCH and head north toward Oxnard.   Proceed 15 miles to La Jolla Canyon, which will be on the right.   It is about 1.6 miles north of the more well-known Sycamore Canyon.

Saturday
20 October 2012
9:00 AM to Noon
Nature Hike
Santa Barbara County
Nature Hike up Hot Springs Trail
Leader: Wayne Ferren, Jr., an extremely knowledgable botanist, led a hike up Hot Springs Trail in Montecito, through private property that has been closed for years.   It was an extraordinary walk.

Directions to Trailhead:   From points North, take U.S. Highway 101 S to the Hot Springs exit.   Follow it to the juction with Olive Mill Road where it makes a hard left toward the mountains.   Go to Mountain Drive.   Turn left and go 0.2 mile to the trailhead on the right.     From points south of Santa Barbara, take U.S. Highway 101 N to the Olive Mill Road exit.   Turn right up Olive Mill Road and stay on this road until you get to Mountain Drive, then follow the directions for the North.

Tuesday
16 October 2012
9:00 AM to Noon
Public Hearing
Santa Barbara County
Public Hearing of CNPS Appeal of Planning Commission Decision
California Native Plant Society, Channel Islands Chapter and the San Antonio Creek Homeowners Association filed an appeal of the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission's decision to allow destruction of native grassland habitat at the Park Hill Estates site in the Goleta Valley.   CNPS and the neighbors have been trying very hard over the last couple of years to get the County of Santa Barbara comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to be sure that all the environmental issues are properly addressed, and that project-related impacts are actually, first, identified, then avoided, and if not avoided, then feasibly mitigated (onsite first, offsite second).   Chapter President was previously hired by the neighbors to critically review the Negative Declaration CEQA document the County prepared, and found it severly wanting.   Now we have to convince the County Board of Supervisors that we are correctly, that an EIR is needed for this destructive project.   The BOS "heard" our arguments but they fell on deaf ears, except for Supervisor Carbihol, the vote was 3:1 against our appeal.   Please contact David Magney, president@cnpsci.org or call 805/646-6045 for further information.


Go to CNPSCI Park Hill Estates Appeal webpage for details and links to downloadable documents on the project.


Sunday
19 August 2012
9:00 AM to Noon
Native Plant Hike
Santa Barbara County
San Ysidro Trail Hike, Santa Ynez Mountains
Leaders: Andrea Adams-Morden and David Torfeh.   Andrea and David lead an enjoyable hike along the creek to a waterfall, mostly in the shade, with about 15 people attending.   Interesting wetland plants to see will included Lobelia dunnii var. serrata (Ojai Lobelia) and Mimulus cardinalis (Scarlet Monkeyflower).

Directions to trailhead:   Take U.S. Highway 101 to the San Ysidro offramp in Montecito.   Head northward (towards the mountains) on San Ysidro for 1.1 miles.   Turn right on East Valley Road/State Route 192 and go 0.9 mile, and turn Left on Park Lane.   On Park Lane drive 0.4 mile and bear left on East Mountain Drive.   Bear left to the end of the block and park wherever there is space off the road and not blocking someone's driveway.

Thursday
20 September 2012
6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Native Plant Talk
Santa Barbara County
Planting the Right Natives
Presenter: Greg Richardson, Plant Right Program.   Mr. Richardson talked about their spring nursery survey of invasive plants.   He discussed the importance of removing these plants from the market to prevent their intrusion into the native environment.   Many of us like to include native plants in our gardens for a variety of reasons.   However, some plant species available at our local nursery may not be suitable do to their invasive nature, particularily if they are not native to the area in which you live.   These "invasive exotics" are troublesome because they have been escaping the garden landscapes and invading the natural enirons and outcompeting the native species.   This can be a problem because many wildlife species are dependent on the native species and can't survive on the nonnatives, as just one example as to why we need to be very careful with planting nonnatives.

Venue: Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, 1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105.

Directions:   Take U.S. Highway 101 to the Mission Street exit.   Head northward (towards the mountains) on Mission Street to Laguna Street.   Turn left on Laguna, then turn right at the stop sign (just below the Santa Barbara Mission) onto E. Los Olivos Street.   Take E. Los Olivos Street north for about a half mile to Foothill Road/State Route 192.   Turn right onto Foothill Road, then turn left onto Mission Canyon Road.   Stay right (on Mission Canyon Road) at the Y intersection and head up the hill to the botanic garden parking lot.   The talk was in the garden library.

Sunday
25 September 2011
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Native Plant Hike - Wildwood Mesa
Thousand Oaks
Ventura County
Hike to see native plants at Wildwood Mesa, Thousand Oaks, California.
David Torfeh and Debbie Prince led a hike at Wildwood Mesa (Wildwood Regional Park) for a small group of members (including Jay Sullivan who helped with plant ID) and nonmembers.   They saw 96 species of plants, with roughly 35 actually in bloom, most of which were in the Sunflower family (Asteraceae). The rocky hillsides had Coastal Prickly Pear (Opuntia littoralis) to the north, flatter open areas with scattered brush, and a stream canyon (Arroyo Conejo) with lush riparian vegetation.   There are 3 species of cactus on the mesa.   Debbie gave tips on nature photography as well (see some of her work from the last hike she and David T. led).

Wildwood Mesa Coastal Prickly Pear at Wildwood Mesa
Beavertail Cactus at Wildwood Mesa Cholla at Wildwood Mesa
Photos by David Magney


Saturday
24 September 2011
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Garden Tours - Theodore Payne Foundation and Descanso Gardens
Sunland/La Canada
Los Angeles County
Tour Native Plant Landsaping at the Theodore Payne Foundation and Descanso Gardens, eastern San Fernando Valley, California.
Spencer Westbrook will led an expedition to tour two famous gardens focused on native plants: Theodore Payne Foundation gardens in Sunland, and the Descanso Gardens in La Canada.   The Theadore Payne Foundation gardens are dedicated solely to California native plants, of course, focusing on those plants from southern California that are well-suited for home landscaping.   We were given a guided tour of the Foundation gardens and had time to wander around the gardens, nursery, and visitor's center before heading over to the Descanso Gardens for lunch and tour there.   The guided tour of Descanso Gardens lasted for an hour and a half.   There was an entrance fee for Descanso Gardens.   There was a good turnout, about 20, mostly members of the Ventura Master Gardeners.


Mon-Wed
11-13 July 2011
4:30-6:00 PM
Movie Screening
Ojai Playhouse
Queen of the Sun, Ojai, California.
CNPS sponsored the documentary film "Queen of the Sun", focusing on the importance of bees, including native bees.

QUEEN OF THE SUN: What are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel, acclaimed director of the grass-roots hit THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN.   Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk, and Vandana Shiva.   Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.   The film was full of fascinating and troubling facts, viewpoints, and considerations.   It should be available through Netflix in the near future if you missed it.

It has been reviewed as: The new Critic's Choice documentary the New York Times calls "Revelatory!"   “Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us?”
QUEEN OF THE SUN:   What are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel, acclaimed director of the grass-roots hit THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN. FOR MORE INFORMATION WWW.QUEENOFTHESUN.COM

"Revelatory...honey has never looked so delicious.   Or so precious."   New York Times- Critics Choice
"A remarkable documentary that's also one of the most beautiful nature films I've seen."   -Roger Ebert
“The feel-good advocacy movie of the year.”   -Box Office Magazine
"A hymn to nature's under-appreciated pollinators."   - NPR.org


Sunday
26 June 2011
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Native Plant Hike
Ventura County
Hike to see native plants at Los Robles Open Space, Thousand Oaks, California.
David Torfeh and Debbie Prince lead a hike at Los Robles Open Space.   A nice group of about 15 showed up and a good time was had by all, and a number of native plants were in full bloom.   If you missed this one, watch for the next opportunity and have some fun.

Torfeh teaching botany Torfeh teaching botany Sacapelote flower head Prickly Phlox flowers Heartleaf Penstemon flower Beetle on Eriogonum Checkerspot butterfly on Tocalote Sulphur butterfly on Tocalote
Photography by Debbie Prince of Imageprince.com

Directions:   From Ventura, take the US101 Freeway to Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks.   Turn right (toward the Santa Monica Mountains).   Continue to Greenmeadow Avenue and turn right.   Go all the way to the end of the paved road and meet in the parking lot near the restrooms.   There are at least three trails here.   We will select at least one trail.   Carpoolers can meet at the Park & Ride parking lot on the southeast corner of the 101 Freeway and Las Posas Road in Camarillo at 8:30 a.m. (for those coming from points North, that is).

Tuesday & Wednesday
3-4 May 2011
8:30 AM - 4:45 PM
Wetland Plant ID Class
Casitas Springs Community Center
Casitas Springs, California
Riparian and Wetland Plant Identification Class
The CNPS Education Program put on a second class/workshop focusing on identification and ecology of riparian wetland plants, focusing on species in the Southwest Region of California.   The course was taught by local botanist David L. Magney, assisted by Cher Batchelor and David M. Brown, focusing on plants native to Santa Barbara, Ventura, and western Los Angeles Counties.   The class was full, mostly with local County staff and environmental consultants, with one fellow coming all the way from Illinois.   Emphasis was placed on the common trees and shrubs that form the riparian canopy.

Magney identifying Aralia californica Populus fremontii

Cost: $295 for CNPS members, $320 for General Public/non-members.   Registration open until first day; however, it is filling, so register now.   Print out the Riparian/Wetland Plant ID Class flyer.


Saturday
26 March 2010
9:00 AM - Noon, 1:00 - 4:00 PM
Rare Plant Search/Treasure Hunt
Ventura County
Search/Hike for Fritillaria ojaiensis and other Rare Plants
David Magney and David Brown lead another expedition to document/monitor known populations of the endangered lily, Fritillaria ojaiensis (Ojai Fritillary), and hunted for new ones.   It is known to occur in Santa Paula Canyon, upper Sisar Canyon, Horn Canyon, Senior Canyon, Gridley Canyon, Stewart Canyon, Wheeler Gorge, the Rincon Creek watershed and on the Ocean View Trail on the top of the Santa Ynez Mountains on the Ventura-Santa Barbara County line, a couple of canyons in the Santa Barbara County portion of the Santa Ynez Mountains, Los Osos Canyon (on Little Pine Mountain), and possibly in San Luis Obispo Canyon.   As part of the chapter's new Biodiversity Hotspot program and CNPS' Rare Plant Treasure Hunt program, this expedition was the first this year to research, document, monitor, and report on the unique plants of this region.   Hiking was easy to moderate.   The search/survey was split into morning and afternnoon sessions with the morning spent hiking up the Gridley Canyon Trail to the first of 2 populations.   The afternoon session found us monitoring one of the Wheeler Gorge populations along SR33.   We searched on the west side of Wheeler Gorge Campground; however, we didn't find any more there.   This year we found hundreds of the broad basal/seed leaves (one per plant) and many in full bloom as well.

Fritillaria ojaiensis
Photo by David Magney

In 2010 we visited and monitored four populations in upper Sisar Canyon, two of which are on Boyd and Karin Dron's property below Topatopa Bluffs.   Each population had over 200 plants, and each seems very healthy and robust.   Many other plants were in bloom as well, and the weather was perfect.   We expect that things will be just as good this year, but will visit different populations.   25-Mar-2011: the plants in Wheeler Gorge are in full bloom!


Saturday
16 April 2011
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Garden Tour
Santa Barbara and
Ventura Counties
Native Plant Home Garden Tour
The Channel Islands Chapter, in coordination with the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, put on its first tour of home gardens landscaped exclusively, or mostly, with California native plants.   The self-guided tour allowed access to see beautiful native plant gardens from Goleta , Santa Barbara, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura , Thousand Oaks , and more.   Experiencing these beautiful native gardens first hand was a great opportunity to gain inspiration and learn about these amazing plants for all who participated.   Andrea Adams-Morden coordinated the tour in coordination with the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, who handled the registration.   Thank you Heather Wehnau at the Garden, and Andrea, for more making the tour a great success.   Cost: $15 for CNPS members, $25 for non-members.


Sunday
17 April 2011
1:00 - 4:00 PM
Plant Walk
Santa Barbara County
Rattlesnake Canyon Native Plant Walk
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Channel Islands Chapter sponsoring a walk up Rattlesnake Canyon in Santa Barbara.   Andrea Adams-Morden lead the walk in coordination with the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.


Wednesday
20 April 2011
7:30-9:00 PM
Program
E.P. Foster Library
Ventura
Chasing California's Wild Flowers
To help celebrate Native Plant Week, we had Spencer Westbrook, an expert photographer, show the best photographs of the best wildflowers of southern California.   He took us on a spectacular journey through our native wildflowers through his spectacular photography, and shared with us many of his techniques.   A nice crowd of members and nonmembers had a nice evening with Spencer.

Wildflower Field at Fairmont Eschscholzia californica
Photos by Spencer Westbrook


Saturday
23 April 2011
10:00 AM - Noonish
Botanic Tour
Santa Barbara County
Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park Tour
Allen Braithewaite gave a botanic tour of the Salt Marsh Nature Park at Carpinteria Salt Marsh.


Saturday
23 April 2011
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Plant Sale
Thousand Oaks
SPRING PLANT SALE
The Chapter held its Spring Plant Sale for the first time in eastern Ventura County, at the Calleguas Municipal Water District headquarters between Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, and Simi Valley.   We had a great turnout and sold most of the plants, and helped get natives planted in the yards of East County residents.   The plants for the Spring Native Plant Sale were provided by Matilija Nursery.   There was a nice selection of local native plants to choose from.   Calleguas Municipal Water District really helped out tremendously with both the venue and publicity.   Thank you very much.


Saturday
19 March 2011
9:00-11:30 AM
Botany Hike
Point Mugu State Park
Ventura County
Beginner's Botany/Wildflower Hike/Nature Walk, La Jolla Canyon, Point Mugu State Park, Santa Monica Mountains
David Torfeh lead a spring-time beginner's hike along the lower portion of La Jolla Valley at Point Mugu State Park.   La Jolla Canyon, below La Jolla Valley is about 3 miles long, stretching between the Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1) to a nice waterfall, where the trail passes through a narrow canyon of Conejo Volcanics outcrops dominated by chaparral vegetation.   La Jolla Valley opens up a short distance beyond, which is dominated by Purple Needlegrass (Stipa pulchra) grasslands.   This hike is easy.   A list of the plants known to grow in La Jolla Valley/Mugu Peak is available on the Plant Checklists page on this website, prepared by botanist David Magney.   So far, 174 different plant species have been identified as growing in the Park.   See if you can find a plant species that hasn't been reported from there before.

Padres Shooting Star
Photo by David Magney

An intimate group of 7 joined David on this easy hike up the lower part of La Jolla Canyon, just in time too since now PCH is closed due the heavy rains, causing landslides, at Point Mugu.   In bloom was the Giant Coreopsis, Ceanothus, Fuchsia-flowered Gooseberry, Chaparral Currant, and many others.

Directions: From points north of Point Mugu, go south on PCH (Las Posas Road south to PCH since the Rice Road offramps are closed at US101) past Mugu Rock and turn left into La Jolla Valley in the Park and park in the parking lot at the end of the road.   The beach campground of Thornhill Broome is on the ocean side and a bit south of the entrance to La Jolla Canyon/Valley.


Thursday
17 March 2011
8:30-10:30 AM
Botany Hike
Ojai
Ventura County
Local Botany/Wildflower Hike/Nature Walk, Shelf Road, Ojai Valley
Pat Jump and Nancy Eldblom lead a spring-time hike along the nearly level Shelf Road/Valley View Trail in Ojai, for the first time this spring.   Shelf Road is about 3 miles long, stretching between Signal Street and Gridley Road, with great views of the Ojai Valley.   The road is cut into the south base of Nordhoff Ridge, through Ceanothus Chaparral and California Coastal Sage.   This hike is easy.   A list of the plants known to grow along Shelf Road is available on the Plant Checklists page on this website, or, the same list organized by flower color is available by clicking here.   So far, 141 different plant species have been identified as growing along Shelf Road.   See if you can find a plant species that hasn't been reported from there before.   Those on the walk in January saw California Peony in full bloom, amoung others, and the lupines where just starting to bloom in mid-February.   The white-flowered Ceanothus should be if full bloom, and the blue-flowered Ceanothus should be as well.

Shelf Road Ceanothus spinosus flowers
Photos by David Magney

A nice group of 6 joined Nancy and Pat.   Found still in bloom was a California Peony, which has gone to fruit in most places in the Ojai Valley.   As expected, the Ceanothus was in full bloom.

Directions: Go north onto Signal Street in downtown Ojai (Ojai Avenue/State Route 150) at the Post Office.   Drive all the way to the very end (up a steep hill) and park.   You will make a little jog on Signal Street when it intersects with Grand Avenue, but just keep going up hill.   The trailhead is at the end (top) of N. Signal St.


Saturday
12 February 2011
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Landscape Symposium
Camarillo Ranch Barn
Camarillo, California
Native Plant Landscape Symposium
The Channel Islands Chapter held its second annual workshop on the use of native plants in the landscape.   We had new great speakers that provided guidance and ideas about plant selection, care, and maintenance all focusing on plants native to Santa Barbara, Ventura, and western Los Angeles Counties.   Lili Singer, Horticulturist, garden consultant and freelance garden writer for the Los Angeles Times, Special Projects Coordinator for the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants, and one of the best known speakers on gardening with natives, talked about a wide variety of written resources available on the use of native plants in the landscape.

John Greenlee, Horticulturalist, author, and garden designer specializing in meadows and grass ecologies, talked about the sins of the traditional lawn and gave lots of examples of alternatives to the traditional lawn that all require far less irrigation, all using native species.

Pamela Berstler, an award-winning sustainable exterior designer and landscape water management expert, has collaborated closely with Surfrider Foundation, developing homeowner classes for its Ocean Friendly Gardens Program.   Berstler brought to us innovative techniques for water conservation, permeability, and retention to integrate with native landscapes.

Bob Perry, Professor Emeritus Cal Poly Pomona, Landscape Architect, and author, talked about the Alchemy of native plants; source of life and sustainability.

David Magney, Botanist and Certified Arborist, talked about using trees that are native to southern California, discussing 12 of the 77 native trees found in this part of the state.

Over 100 people attended the symposium and seemed to enjoy it very much.   Thank you all that attended, and we hope to you, including those that didn't make it, at our next symposium, most likely in February 2012.   Contact Janet Takara at jntakara@yahoo.com or 909/815-2519 for more information.

Lunch delectably designed by Chef Carrie Clough, from 90% locally-grown organic produce, was enjoyed by all.

Late Registration (after 2/5) Cost $50 for CNPS members and $65 for General Public/non-members.

Thursday
20 January 2011
9:00-11:00 AM
Botany Hike
Ojai
Ventura County
Local Botany/Wildflower Hike/Nature Walk, Shelf Road, Ojai Valley
Pat Jump lead a hike along the nearly level Shelf Road/Valley View Trail in Ojai, for the first time this winter, and about 8 people joined her.   Shelf Road is about 3 miles long, stretching between Signal Street and Gridley Road, with great views of the Ojai Valley.   The road is cut into the south base of Nordhoff Ridge, through Ceanothus Chaparral and California Coastal Sage.   This hike is easy.   A list of the plants known to grow along Shelf Road is available on the Plant Checklists page on this website, or, the same list organized by flower color is available by clicking here.   So far, 141 different plant species have been identified as growing along Shelf Road.   See if you can find a plant species that hasn't been reported from there before.   Those on the walk saw California Peony in full bloom, amoung others.

Directions: Go north onto Signal Street in downtown Ojai (Ojai Avenue/State Route 150) at the Post Office.   Drive all the way to the very end (up a steep hill) and park.   You will make a little jog on Signal Street when it intersects with Grand Avenue, but just keep going up hill.   The trailhead is at the end (top) of N. Signal St.


Wednesday
19 January 2011
7:30-9:00 PM
Program
E.P. Foster Library
Ventura
Earthquakes and Plants
Dieter Wilken, Ph.D., of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, will explain the relationships and patterns of plants and earthquakes.   Earthquakes and the distribution of some plants are related to each other by the occurrence of geological faults.   However, the science of seismology, especially in California, has also benefitted from work conducted by geologists using plants, in very different ways, to confirm the history, location, and points of propagation of earthquakes.   Have plants assisted seismologists in determining where and when the next great California earthquake?   Attend and decide for yourself.   Who would have thought that the two are related, but they are.

Location: Topping Room of the E.P. Foster Library in downtown Ventura.   Address: 651 East Main Street, Ventura, between Fir and Chestnut Streets.   The Topping Room is on the left side of the library building (when looking at the building from Main Street), with its own entrance.

Saturday
18 December 2010
9:00 AM-3:00 PM
Botany Hike
Montecito
Santa Barbara County
Local Botany/Wildflower Hike/Nature Walk, Romero Canyon, Santa Ynez Mountains
Leader: Frank Sovich.   Enjoy a six-mile loop through chaparral and riparian communities.   It is most easterly of the trails of the Santa Ynez Mountains, behind Montecito.   Enjoy the fresh and clear are of the late fall, maybe so fall color on the deciduous trees and shrubs, and possible late-flowering Asteraceae plants.   Plants that have been reported from Romero Canyon include: Ageratina adenophora, Apiastrum angustifolium, Brickellia nevinii, Cardamine californica, Geranium carolinianum, and Senecio mikanioides (a nasty invasive exotic).   You will also see Quercus agrifolia, Platanus racemosa, Umbellularia californica, and one or more species of Salix, not to mention many species of chaparral shrubs.   A good description of the trail is found at the VC Trails website, where you can also download a GPS track for the trail.

Directions: Go north or south on U.S. 101 to Montecito.   Take the Sheffield Drive off-ramp.   Turn right onto Sheffield then follow it sharply left for 1.5 miles East Valley Road.   Turn left, go 50 yards/meters then turn right on Romero Canyon Road.   In a half mile, veer right and continue another mile to Bella Vista Road.   Continue right a quarter mile until you see a steel gate on the left side of the road.   Park in a safe manner along Bella Vista.   Meet at the gate.   Contact Frank at 684-8822 if you have any questions.


Saturday
13 November 2010
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Nature Plant Sale
Nopalito Nursery
Ventura, California
Native Plant Sale
Nopalito Nursery will host a benefit plant sale for the Channel Islands Chapter, assisted by knowledgeable members of the chapter.   A majority of the proceeds from all plant sales during the day will go to the Channel Islands Chapter.   Nopalito Nursery specialized in California natives, and cutivars of them, and has a wide selection of locally grown natives.   Instead of having Nopalito Nursery truck their plants to our usual plant sale site at Plaza Park, we are going to their retail location next to Lassen's on E. Main Street.   Contact Lynne Kada at lynnekada@gmail.com for more information.

Click Here for a great looking flyer about the plant sale and talk.

Location:   Meet at Nopalito Nursery at 4701 E. Main Street in Ventura.   Directions: From Santa Barbara, get off US101 at the Main Street exit (Exit 65) and turn Right, then Right at the driveway to Lassen's and Nopalito's, and drive to the back, to the nursery.   From Oxnard get off US101 at Telephone Road.   Turn Left onto Telephone and then Right onto E. Main Street, then Right into the driveway just past the fire station.


Saturday
13 November 2010
10:00 - 11:00 AM
Program
Calvary Christian Fellowship Church
Ventura, California
Creating a Sustainable Garden with Native Plants - $10 entrance fee
For just $10, you will be able to hear Professional garden designer Lisa Burton's 12-Step Program for a Sustainable Garden that she incorporates in all the garden designs she creates for her clients.   Her program includes considerations for being climate-appropriate, ocean-friendly, and supportive of our local wildlife including birds, butterflies, beneficial insects, and bees.   She will talk about the important role native plants play in accomplishing her goals and will share with us some of her favorite natives she utilizes in the gardens she creates.

As a professional garden designer for the last 10 years, Lisa Burton is the owner of Nature by Design.   In that capacity, she is committed to creating gardens that contribute to a healthy environment and being responsible stewards of the earth.   This year Lisa was recognized by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors for her commitment to "Think Global, Act Local" during their Climate Change Action Awards ceremony.   She is also a former Master Gardener. For more information visit her website at www.nbdgardens.com.

Location:   Calvary Christian Fellowship Church, 4221 East Main Street, next to Nopalito Nursery, in Ventura.


Saturday
24 April 2010
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Island Excursion
Santa Cruz Island
Santa Barbara County
Sail over to and Hike around Santa Cruz Island

Steve Junak led an expedition to explore the botany of Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the eight Channel Islands.   Steve is THE expert on the flora of Santa Cruz Island, he wrote the flora for the island.   The boat put in at Prisoner's Harbor and Steve led the hike to Pelican Bay.   There were opportunities to see many marine mammals, in particular dolphins and whales, while sailing to/from the island.   Hiking was easy to moderate.

Santa Cruz Island sea cliff Giant Coreopsis Locoweed Island Pacific Peavine Seaside Daisy Island Cliff-aster Island Packers boat Humpback Whale


Saturday
17 April 2010
9:00 AM - 3 PM
Earthday Event/Wildflower Walk
Figueroa Mountain
Santa Barbara County
CNPS and Los Padres National Forest Earthday Event and Wildflower Walk
CNPS members led a walk through the wildflower fields of Figueroa Mountain, which contains serpentinite rock.   This means that there are lots of unique plants, and few invasive exotics to see, and the spring wildflowers of this unique plant community/mountain should be great.   This was the 7th annual wildflower weekend event on Figueroa Mountain.   This was a "drive and stroll" tour of this year’s spectacular display.

Directions:   Meet at 9 AM at the Fire Station on Figueroa Mountain Road.   Turn left at the SR 154-Figueroa Mountain Road intersection near Los Olivos, and proceed to the Fire Station parking lot at 9 AM.   Call Helen Tarbet at 925-9538 ext. 246 or Charles Blair 733-3189 for details.


Thursday
8 April 2010
8:30-11:00 AM
Botany Hike
Ojai
Ventura County
Local Botany/Wildflower Hike/Nature Walk, Shelf Road, Ojai Valley
Nancy Eldblom led hikes along the nearly level Shelf Road in Ojai, for the fourth time this spring.   Shelf Road is about 3 miles long, stretching between Signal Street and Gridley Road, with great views of the Ojai Valley.   The road is cut into the south base of Nordhoff Ridge, through Ceanothus Chaparral and California Coastal Sage.   This hike is easy.   A list of the plants known to grow along Shelf Road is available on the Plant Checklists page on this website, or, the same list organized by flower color is available by clicking here.   So far, 141 different plant species have been identified as growing along Shelf Road.   See if you can find a plant species that hasn't been reported from there before.

Directions: Go north onto Signal Street in downtown Ojai (Ojai Avenue/State Route 150) at the Post Office.   Drive all the way to the very end and park.   You will make a little jog on Signal Street when it intersects with Grand Avenue, but just keep going up hill.   Meet at the top end of N. Signal Street.


Saturday
20 March, 3 & 10 April 2010
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Rare Plant Search
Ventura County
Search/Hike for Fritillaria ojaiensis and other Rare Plants
David Magney and David Brown led a expeditions to document/monitor four known populations of the endangered lily, Fritillaria ojaiensis (Ojai Fritillary).   It has been reported as occurring in Santa Paula Canyon, upper Sisar Canyon, Horn Canyon, Senior Canyon, Gridley Canyon, Stewart Canyon, Wheeler Gorge, the Rincon Creek watershed and on the Ocean View Trail on the top of the Santa Ynez Mountains on the Ventura-Santa Barbara County line, a couple of canyons in the Santa Barbara County portion of the Santa Ynez Mountains, Los Osos Canyon (on Little Pine Mountain), and possibly in San Luis Obispo Canyon.   As part of the chapter's new Biodiversity Hotspot program, this expedition was the first of many events to research, document, monitor, and report on the unique plants of this region.   Hiking will be easy to strenous (due to elevation gains), and we are working on obtaining vehicle access as far in as we can, to reduce the time spent just hiking up the mountain.   Call 805/646-6045 or email the chapter president (David Magney) at president(at)cnpsci(dot)org or conservation chair (David Brown) at conservation(at)cnpsci.org for more information.

We had four CNPS members join us (Stuart Bloom, Andrea Adams-Morden, Jay Sullivan, and David Torfeh).   The Ojai Fritillary was blooming at each of the four populations we examined in upper Sisar Canyon, two of which are on Boyd and Karin Dron's property below Topatopa Bluffs.   Each population had over 200 plants, and each seems very healthy and robust.   Many other plants were in bloom as well, and the weather was perfect.

Saturday
13 March 2010
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Botany Hike
Pt. Sal
Santa Barbara County
Beach Botany & Geology Hike at Pt. Sal
Leaders: Elihu Givertz and William Abbott led a hike to Pt Sal -- one of the most rugged and picturesque stretches of coastline in Santa Barbara County.   A nice group of half a dozen enthusists trekked to one of the least visited State Parks in California, exploring the geologically unusual corner of Santa Barbara County, and caught glimpses of many rare plants known from the site, possibly even a new population of Castilleja.

A review of the rare plants we saw:
  • Ceanothus impressus -- Santa Barbara Ceanothus -- endemic, no other status (Not to be confused with C. thyrsiflorus, or "blueblossom," which has larger, flatter leaves and glandular leaf edges)
  • Ceanothus cuneatus var. fascicularis (syn. C. ramulosus var. fascicularis) -- Lompoc Ceanothus/ Sand Buck Brush -- CNPS 4.2
  • Castilleja lananta ssp. hololeuca -- Island Paintbrush, CNPS 1B.2.   It appears to me that this WAS the Indian paintbrush we saw associated with the Chamise at the top of the ridge (on private property), NOT Castilleja mollis as was listed on the flora, which has much wider leaves (Castilleja mollis is endangered (as Ken said) and is known from Pt. Sal, Nipomo Dunes, Jalama, Pt Conception and Pt Arguello, in addition to Sta Rosa).   We need to go back, collect, and positively ID -- as this would be the FIRST mainland occurrence of this plant.
  • Monardella crispa -- Crisped Monardella -- CNPS list 1B.2, growing just at dune/upland edge.   (We had tentatively thought that this was Monardella frutescens -- listed as Monardella undulata fructescens [sic] on the rare plant map -- but that Monardella has linear leaves. Both are 1B.2's)
  • Senecio blochmaniae -- Dune Ragwort, not blooming, w/linear leaves -- CNPS list 4.2 (we also saw Senecio californicus, in flower, no status)
  • Erysimum insulare ssp. suffrutescens (listed as ssp. grandifolium on the map) -- Island Wallflower, not blooming, w/lanceolate leaves -- CNPS 4.2
  • Amsinckia spectabilis var. microcarpa -- Seaside Fiddleneck -- endemic, no other status
Unfortunately, the seaside daisy we saw was not the rare one -- Erigeron folisus ssp. blochmaniae -- as that sp has much more linear leaves.   Next time!

Also, the Phacelia growing in the dunes had to be the common P. ramosissima, but how differently is grows there!

Due to the closure of the access parking lot at the top of Pt. Sal Road, pedestrian access now begins at the bottom of Brown Road, making for a long hike with variable topography; roundtrip to the beach and back is 12 miles.   Anticipate being gone all day, and bring water and lunch.   An exhaustive plant list will be provided.   Bring water and lunch, and warm clothing, in layers.

Level: strenuous, due to distance only.

Check out access issues here in case of last-minute closure.

Thursday
February, early March, and 1 April 2010
9:30-11:30 AM
Botany Hike
Ojai
Ventura County
Local Botany/Wildflower Hike/Nature Walk, Shelf Road, Ojai Valley
Nancy Eldblom led hikes along the nearly level Shelf Road in Ojai.   Shelf Road is about 3 miles long, stretching between Signal Street and Gridley Road, with great views of the Ojai Valley.   The road is cut into the south base of Nordhoff Ridge, through Ceanothus Chaparral and California Coastal Sage.   This hike is easy.   A list of the plants known to grow along Shelf Road is available on the Plant Checklists page on this website, or, the same list organized by flower color is available by clicking here.

Directions: Go north onto Signal Street in downtown Ojai (Ojai Avenue/State Route 150) at the Post Office.   Drive all the way to the very end and park.   You will make a little jog on Signal Street when it intersects with Grand Avenue, but just keep going up hill.   Meet at the top end of N. Signal Street.


Sunday
7 March 2010
9:00 AM - Noon
Botany Walk
Carpinteria Bluffs
Santa Barbara County
Beach Botany Walk
Leaders: William Abbott and Andrea Adams-Morden led a beach walk at low tide, from the Carpinteria Bluffs to Rincon Creek and back.   Those attending learned the names of native halophytic (salt-loving) plants and others that love to cling to the beach bluffs.   A plant list was provided.

Saturday
20 February 2010
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Landscape Symposium
Camarillo Ranch House
Camarillo
Native Plant Landscape Symposium: Sustainability Through Nature

Generously Sponsored by: The Channel Islands Chapter held its first California native plant landscape symposium with several different topic sessions and outstanding speakers, including:
  • Owen E. Dell, ASLA, landscape architect, educator, and author, County Landscape & Design, Santa Barbara since 1971
  • Richard Halsey, chaparral/fire ecologist, founder of The California Chaparral Institute, author
  • Greg Rubin, professional native plant landscaper, California's Own Native Landscape Design, Inc.
  • Carol Bornstein, Horticulturalist and garden designer and coauthor of California Native Plants for the Garden
  • Michael Inaba, Arborist specializing in oaks, Inaba Horticulture
  • Barbara Eisenstein, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Research Associate, founder So. Pasadena Friends of the Nature Park
  • Bart O'Brien, Horticulturalist and Senior Research Associate (and author), Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Cost: $45 for CNPS members; $60 for general public.

Topics discussed included: plant choices for the home landscape, watering, wildland interface, designing for wildlife, landscape design for fire resistance, landscape maintenance, integrating natives with ornamental nonnative plants, cultural uses, landscaping under oak trees, lawn replacements, and permaculture.   As you can see, there was something for everyone.

Owen Dell spoke on "Sustainable Landscaping: A Visionary Look at the Future of Gardens".   Owen is a licensed landscape contractor and landscape architect specializing in sustainable landscapes, firescaping, and native landscaping.   Owen's book was availabe for purchase and signing.

Richard Halsey spoke on living in the urban/wildlands interface and how to live safely next to and within fire prone natural vegetation.

Greg Rubin spoke on "Landscaping Secrets for the Native Garden", bringing practical experience and understading to basic design principles for creating yearround interest, minimizing maintenance, fire resistance, irrigation, and success.

Carol Bornstein, one of southern California's most respected native plant horticulture specialists, spoke on the appropriate plants to use in your garden, with landscape design in mind.   We had Carol's book (California Native Plants for the Garden) for sale.

Michael Inaba, ISA Certified Arborist, spoke on the care of mature trees, in particular native oak trees, and planting/landscaping around and under them.   He provided a better understanding of sun/shade requirements, plant growth, and soils.

Barbara Eisenstein, blogger, writer, and speaker on gardening with natives talked about "Creating a Wild Suburbia with California Native Plants".   She works with gardeners, landscape professionals, and horticulturalists to advance the use of native plants and sustainable gardening practices in homes and parks.

Bart O'Brien, editor and horticulturalist, talked about the care and maintenance of native plants in your garden, and he shared a variety of species, and his favorite cultivars, for use in a landscape situation.   We had Bart's book (Care and Maintenance of Southern California Native Plant Gardens) for sale, which he gladly autographed.

Lunch and snacks were catered by Carrie Clough, of Manzanita Chef, as well as coffee, tea, and good tasting water (imported from the private reserve in northern Sierra Nevada by David Magney).

Nopalito Nursery had a nice selection of native plants for sale.

The Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture approved two (2) CEUs for Arborist certification and Treeworker certification for those attending this symposium (Course Code: WE-10-099).

Venue: Camarillo Ranch House Barn (newly restored and now hi-tech), 201 Camarillo Ranch Road, Camarillo, CA. 93012.

Contact/More Information: chapter horticulture chair, Patt McDaniel, at 805/646-9948.   We had over 200 people from all over attending.   NEXT YEAR for those who missed this one.


Wednesday
2 December 2009
7:00 PM - Plant ID
7:30 PM - Talk
Presentation
E.P. Foster Library,
Topping Room
Ventura
Exploring Our California Biodiversity Hotspot
Speaker:   David Brown, Biologist
Did you know that you live in one of the richest areas of biological diversity on Earth?   California is considered to be a Biodiversity Hotspot, one of the Top 25 richest areas of biological diversity on Earth; however, much of this biological diversity is potentially imperiled if we do not make an effort to appreciate, understand, and take appropriate actions to conserve it.   The CNPS Channel Islands Chapter is undertaking an initiative to inform the public about the globally significant hotspot of biodiversity that we all live in right here in the Ventura/Santa Barbara County Area, develop opportunities for people to directly contribute to the conservation of this hotspot, and provide local planning authorities and decision makers with data necessary to conserve overlooked but biologically important elements of the California Biodiversity Hotspot.   David Brown described the proposed initiative and the opportunities for exploration, celebration, and conservation of our local part of the California Biodiversity Hotspot that it will hopefully provide.

David Brown, a California native and biologist with David Magney Environmental Consulting, has been examining and exploring our own local biodiversity, which is in the center of the California Biodiversity Hotspot.   He is spearheading a local effort to gather, explore, and teach others about the amazing biodiversity right here in the Ventura/Santa Barbara County area, focusing on native plants and wildlife.   David is setting up a program to provide learning and exloring opportunities to the public and children that will result in valuable scientific data that can be used by conservation biologists to help protect our own local biodiversity.   He described the program and identify some of the many exploration and learning opportinites that will make a difference.   David is also actively working to conserve giraffe species in Africa, and studying their genetics.


Saturday
30 May 2009
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Pratt/Foothill Trails
Ojai
Post-hike Review:   Hike/Hunt for Ojai Navarretia, Pratt and Foothill Trails, Ojai Valley, Ventura County.
Leader: David Magney, Botanist
David led an easy hike to see a population of the newly described species, Navarretia ojaiensis, which was only formally described in 2007.   David rediscovered some populations of this small annual in the Phlox family first found by Henry M. Pollard (1886-1973) in 1948 (though called Navarretia jaredii then.   Of course, we saw many, many other common and beautiful wildflowers along the way.   At the end of the day, we fanned out and found three additional subpopulations along the Foothill Trail west of Stewart Canyon, on the Cozy Dell drainage side of the ridge.   This species is basically restricted to Ventura County, an endemic species, with only about eleven populations remaining in the world.   David identified plants and wildlife observed along the way, and discussed the ecology of the plant communities occurring on Nordhoff Ridge along the Foothill Trail.   A checklist of plants documented as present along the Pratt Trail and Stewart Canyon by botanist David Magney is available on his Ventura County Flora, Pratt Trail webpages.
Contact David Magney at 805/646-6045 for more information.


Wednesday
18 March 2009
7:30 PM - Talk
Evening Program
E.P. Foster Library,
Topping Room
Ventura
Post-talk Review:   Using Native Plants in Your Garden
Speaker:   Bob Sussman, Nurseryman & Owner of Matilija Nursery
Matilija Bob will told about 40 attendees all about the best places to plant natives in your garden, including his favorite, native Iris.   He has many years of experience cultivating plants native to Ventura County and southern California, and has been the supplier of plants for the chapter's plant sales for many years.   He is very knowledgable and those of you attending benefited from his experience.


Saturday
21 March 2009, Saturday
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Hide, Howard Trail
Nordhoff Ridge/Rose Valley
Post-hike Review:   Hike, Howard Creek Trail, Los Padres National Forest, Rose Valley, Ventura County.
Leader: Lloyd Simpson, Forest Botanist
The Los Padres National Forest botanist led a hike up the Howard Creek Trail along an old Forest Service road (lower part) to the tope of Nordhoff Ridge.   Lloyd said the views from the trail would be outstanding; however, the weather didn't cooperate and the ridgetop was shrouded in clouds, and the Hoary Ceanothus (Ceanothus oliganthus var. oliganthus), Snowball Ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius), Eastwood Manzanita (Arctostaphylos glandulosa), and Chaparral Currant (Ribes malvaceum) were blooming, but not too much else.   Exciting to see was the only occurrence in Ventura County of Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum).   Lloyd pointed out the many native shrubs and wildflowers seen along the trail.   Those that made it all the way to the top were rewarded with special commemorative lapel pins from the Forest Service.   A list of all the plants observed by David Magney is posted on the "Plant Checklists" page found on this website.

Thank you Lloyd for a nice interpretive hike.


Wednesday
21 January 2009
7:00 PM - Plant ID
7:30 PM - Talk
Evening Program
E.P. Foster Library,
Topping Room
Ventura
Wildflower Trails of the Los Padres National Forest
Speaker:   Llyod Simpson, Forest Botanist
Lloyd told us all about the best places to see wildflowers on local Forest Service trails.   We heard about the well-known and little-known trails in the Los Padres National Forest that offer great opportunities to see a wide variety of native wildflowers.


Saturday-Monday
17-19 January 2009
8 AM to 6 PM
CNPS Conservation Conference
Sacramento, CA
CNPS Conservation Conference 2009: Strategies and Solutions
If you didn't go, you missed CNPS' second statewide conservation conference held in January at the Sacramento Convention Center.   The last Conservation Conference was way back in 1986.   There were many interesting, invigorating, and informative presenations and posters, all about the California flora and how to conserve it.   This was a great way to see and learn what is happening in CNPS, conservation botany, and meet lots of professional and amateur botanists from all over California and other states too.   Visit the CNPS State website for details.   This conference was very exciting.

Wednesday
23 January 2008
Evening Program
E.P. Foster Library, Topping Room
Ventura
Landscape and Flora of Chile
Speaker:   David Magney
Finally, we will actually get an opportunity to see the landscape and flora of central Chile, based on Mr. Magney's visit to the Santiago and Patagonia areas of Chile in December 2004.   Magney explored a preserve east of Santiago and the Lake District of southern central Chile, visiting parks and glaciated canyons lush with exotic plants.   Take a whirlwind tour of this interesting part of South America with Mr. Magney.   You can get a preview by visiting Mr. Magney's Chile website

Review: The pictures were beautiful, of lush rainforests, waterfalls, subalpine scrub of the Andes, and even a smoggy city.   You missed it, too bad.

Saturday
17 November 2007
9:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Botany Hike
Fall Color Hike, Lion Canyon, Ventura County Backcountry
Leader: David Magney, Botanist
Review: Chapter president and botanist David Magney led a leiserly hike up Lion Canyon starting at Middle Lion Campground to see the Fremont and Black Cottonwoods and willows in fall color.   The trailhead is at Middle Lion Camp in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County.   David met 5 members at 9:30 AM at the Los Padres National Forest Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, on State Route 33 north of Ojai and carpooled, in two Honda Civic Hybrids, both light blue in color.   This was an easy to moderate hike up a beautiful canyon with a perennial stream and mature Fremont and Black Cottonwoods and White Alder trees growing in Lion Creek.   The canyon walls contain mixed chaparral and Bigcone Spruce, and are quite picturesque.   We had lunch under the White Alder trees next to a nice, clear-water pool with fall-color leaves floating on the water, and Carex senta growing along the edge of the creek.   Heather brought fresh brownies for desert, and were they ever delicious.   Richard saw a young Bobcat, and we flushed a covey of California Quail as we passed through a grove of Bigcone Spruce (Pseudotsuga macrocarpa).   Over the years, I have now documented a total of 232 vascular plant taxa in Lion Canyon, almost all native species.   Visit the Plant Checklists page on this website for the most current checklist of plants in Lion Canyon, which is titled "Lion Creek-Spruce Falls".   On our way driving back to the Visitor's Center, we had to stop to investigate the colony of shrubs with bright red leaves in a small drainage to the northwest of Middle Lion Campground.   And it was a good thing too, it was a population of Brown Dogwood (Cornus glabrata), representing a new population for the Ventura County flora (I did notice the red bushes last year but didn't have time to investigate).   Well, guess what was growing on both sides of Piedra Blanca-Rose Valley Road west of Rose Valley?   More Brown Dogwood.
Lion Canyon Fall Color photo
Brown Dogwood bushes photo
Brown Dogwood leaf photo
Directions:   From the south (Ventura and points south), take US 101 North to SR 33 North, past Ojai to Wheeler Gorge.   From the north (such as from Santa Barbara and points north, take US 101 South through Carpinteria, taking US 101 to Ventura and SR33 or SR 150 over Casitas Pass to SR33 south of Ojai, then stay on SR 33 North to Wheeler Gorge.   From Wheeler Gorge, take SR33 North to the Rose Valley/Piedra Blanca Recreation Area turnoff, and drive to the end to Middle Lion Campground and the Lion Canyon Trailhead.


Saturday
14 July 2007
Hike trough Ventura River Preserve, Ojai Valley
Botany Hike through Ojai Land Conservancy's Ventura River-El Nido Preserve, Ojai Valley, Ventura County.
Leaders: Ken Niessen and William Abbott, botanists and active Channel Islands Chapter members
Ken and William lead a hike through riparian and wetland habitats, and Coast Live Oak Woodland on the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy's Ventura River-Rancho El Nido Preserve, which was purchase a few years ago.   The preserve is located within and west of the Ventura River, near Meiners Oaks, within the Ojai Valley.   This preserve has a wide range of natural habitats and many native plants, and a few invasive species too.   Ken and William identified plants and wildlife observed along the way, and discussed the ecology of the plant communities occurring on the preserve.   A checklist of plants documented as present at the preserve by botanist David Magney is available on the Plant Checklists webpage. Look for Rancho Matilija-Wills Canyon.
Hike level:   Easy hiking with minor elevation gains (gentle ups and downs).

Directions:   Meet at the Preserve Riverview trailhead parking area along Rice Road between El Roblar and Lomita Avenue, Meiners Oaks, CA 93023.   From the south, take U.S. 101 to State Route 33 (Ojai Freeway), take SR 33 to Baldwin Road/SR 150 towards Carpinteria, then turn Right on Rice Road (northward).   After the third stop sign at Lomita, and going up a small hill, turn Left into the parking area.


Saturday
23 June 2007
Horn Canyon Hike, Ojai Valley
Botany Hike Up Horn Canyon, Ojai Valley/Nordhoff Ridge, Ventura County.
Leaders: Cher Batchelor and William Abbott, botanists with David Magney Environmental Consulting (and Channel Islands Chapter Secretary and Newsletter Editor, respectively)
Cher and William will lead a hike through Coastal Sage Scrub, Ceanothus Chaparral, riparian and wetland habitats, and Coast Live Oak Woodland, up Horn Canyon.   Horn Canyon is located behind Thacher School, at the northeast end of the Ojai Valley and south slope of Nordhoff Ridge.   The canyon is rich with wildflowers and flowers shrubs, all along a perennial stream with cool fresh water.   Cher and William will identify plants and wildlife observed along the way, and discus the ecology of the plant communities occurring on the canyon.
Hike level:   Easy hiking with minor elevation gains (gentle ups and downs).

Directions:   Meet at the Horn Canyon Trailhead behind Thacher School, east of Ojai.   From the south, take U.S. 101 to State Route 33 (Ojai Freeway), take SR 33 to SR 150 through downtown Ojai and continue east to Reeves Road and turn left at Boccalli's (do not go up Denison Grade to the right).   Take Reeves Road to McAndrew and turn Left.   Take McAndrew to its end at Thacher School and stay to the Right, through a parking lot to a dirt road, cross a little creek, and park at the trailhead (there is a sign).   If you find yourself at the horse pastures, you have gone too far.

Post-hike Review:   A nice group of members joined Cher and William for the botany hike along the Morgan Barnes Trail in Horn Canyon.   Hiking was relatively easy but it was quite hot.   A few new plants were found for Horn Canyon, including:   Delphinium cardinale, Monardella hypoleuca ssp. hypoleuca, M. lanceolata (which has such a strong and refreshing mint fragrance), Brickellia nevinii, Allophyllum gilioides ssp. violaceum.   Some of these are rare in Ventura County, but none are "unexpected" for the canyon.   Regardless, finding them in a new location is exciting!


Wednesday
20 June 2007
Evening Program
E.P. Foster Library, Topping Room
Ventura
Los Padres National Forest Flora
Speaker:   Lloyd Simpson, Botanist, Los Padres National Forest
Lloyd told us about interesting things are happing in the Los Padres National Forest, the largest one in California.


Post-talk Review:   A nice group showed up to listen to botanist Lloyd Simpson talk about the goings on, botanically, on the Los Padres National Forest.   Lloyd gave a "formal" presentation and program focusing on the native trees of the Los Padres, some very rare, like the Abies bracteata (Santa Lucia Fir), and some very common, like the Quercus agrifolia (Coast Live Oak).   He also showed photographs of the Day Fire burn, and some of the plants that sprouted after the fire, even though there was basically no rain this last winter and spring.   Thank you, Lloyd, for your interesting talk.

Saturday
19 May 2007
Botany Expedition
Ladybug Creek Canyon, Upper Sespe Creek, Ventura County
Leader: David L. Magney, Botanist
Intermediate to difficult level hike, with cross-country travel up and down some steep slopes.   This is a challenging hike/botanizing expedition into areas of Ventura County that have never been botanized before (at least I have seen no collections from this canyon at any California herbarium).   We will be searching for and cataloguing all the plants we find.   Ladybug Creek Canyon is a small northward-oriented canyon draining the north slope of Ortega Hill, and a tributary to Sespe Creek.   We will meet at the Los Padres National Forest Wheeler Gorge Visitor's Center along State Route 33 across from the Wheeler Gorge Campground entrance.   We will then drive out to the Chorro Grande Canyon trailhead along SR33 and hike cross-country to the mouth of Ladybug Creek Canyon to the south.   Wear sturdy walking shoes or boots, a hat, and layered clothing that you don't mind getting dirty from some bushwacking, and bring lunch and water.   Remember to bring your camera and your Jepson Manual.   Click here for a map of Ladybug Creek Canyon.   Click here for an aerial photo of Ladybug Creek Canyon.

Post-hike Review:   Stephen Hoskinson and Richard Sweet joined me in this little botany expedition.   Hiking was relatively easy but some scrambling and climbing over boulders was required in some places.   The temperature was perfect, and fresh, clean water was flowing in the lower half of the canyon, going underground at the mouth.   The perennial portions of the stream supported Alnus rhombifolia-Acer macrophyllum (White Alder-Bigleaf Maple) Riparian Forest, and several small Rainbow Trout were seen in some of the deeper pools.   Pseudotsuga macrocarpa (Bigcone Spruce) and Quercus chrysolepis (Canyon Live Oak) Forest occur on the steep slopes and along much of canyon walls, with Ceanothus leucodermis (Whitethorn Ceanothus), Cercocarpus betuloides (Birchleaf Mountain Mahogany), and Rhamnus tomentella (Hoary Coffeeberry) are the chaparral dominants covering the slopes of the canyon.   Of particular interest were the following botanical prizes we found: Aralia californica (California Spikenard), Cardamine pachystigma (Toothwort), Osmorhiza chilensis (Mountain Sweetroot), Clarkia rhomboidea (Rhomboid Clarkia), Prunus virginiana var. demissa (Western Choke Cherry), and Ceanothus palmeri.   About half way up the canyon, there is a very large boulder, which split into two pieces hundreds of years ago, that sits on top of a perennial spring.   This rock I have dubbed Saxum Fissum.   I took a short video of the twin waterfalls through and around Saxum Fissum.
Split Rock-Saxum Fissum Twin Waterfalls video

Sunday
6 May 2007
Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve 1/2-day hike
Natural History Hike Through Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve, Western Santa Barbara County.
Leader: Elihu Gevirtz, Condor Environmental Planning Services, Inc.
Elihu will lead a hike through Burton Mesa Chaparral, and visiting some local wetlands and other plant communities along the way.   Burton Mesa is a special place just north of Lompoc, in western Santa Barbara County. Elihu will identify plants and wildlife observed along the way.
Hike level:   Relatively easy to moderately difficult hiking with minimal elevation gains.

Post-hike Review:   Our hike on Burton Mesa was fun on a beautiful sunny day with encounters of Burton Mesa endemics: Purisima Manzanita and Shagbark Manzanita (Arctostaphylos purissima and A. rudis), Santa Barbara Ceanothus and Lompoc Ceanothus (Ceanothus impressus and C. cuneatus var. fascicularis), as well as Santa Cruz Island Shrub Oak (Quercus parvula ssp. parvula).   We were also delighted to come upon a California Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma coronatum) and a barking Coyote (Canis latrans).   The hike took us through one of the stands of Burton Mesa Chaparral that hasn't burned in more than 70 years with tall shrubs towering over our heads, multi-trunked oak trees, a grassy meadow containing a small wetland, a fern grotto (Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens), and a freshwater marsh with Red-winged Blackbirds singing.   Our thanks to Elihu for his time and knowledge.

Saturday
21 April 2007
Old Creek Ranch, Ojai Valley
Botany Hike of Old Creek Ranch, west slope of Sulphur Mountain, Ojai Valley, Ventura County.
Leaders: Cher Batchelor and William Abbott, botanists with David Magney Environmental Consulting (and Channel Islands Chapter Secretary and Newsletter Editor, respectively)
Cher and William will lead a hike through grasslands, coastal sage scrub, riparian and wetland habitats, and Coast Live Oak Woodland on the Old Creek Ranch property.   The ranch is located on the east side of San Antonio Creek and the northwest edge of Sulphur Mountain, with in the Ojai Valley.   This ranch has never really been botanized before, except for along the creek for activities occuring within the creek.   Cher and William will identify plants and wildlife observed along the way, and discus the ecology of the plant communities occurring on the ranch.   The ranch is the site of the Old Creek Ranch Winery, which will be open for wine tasting (after) the hike.
Hike level:   Easy hiking with minor elevation gains (gentle ups and downs).   Bring comfortable but sturdy shoes, layers of clothing, water, snacks, and lunch if you like.

Post-hike Review:   The weather was perfect.   A nice group had a good time with Cher and William, seeing what plants were in bloom (not very many) and what birds were out.   The ranch is at the west end of Sulphur Mountain, with grassland and Coast Live Oak Forest, and riparian vegetation in San Antonio Creek.   David Magney found a new record for Ventura County, the diminuative plant in the Rose family, Aphanes occidentalis (Dew Cup or Western Lady's Mantle), growing with the Ranunculus californicus (California Buttercup) under the Quercus agrifolia (Coast Live Oak) trees.   In the creek, we saw a Green-backed Heron and a Southwestern Pond Turtle sunning itself on a boulder in the middle of the creek.   Thanks to Cher and William for a very nice outing.



CHANNEL ISLANDS CHAPTER, CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY, P.O. Box 6, Ojai, CA 93024-0006
Special thanks to Carlin Moyer for the beautiful illustrations on our site.

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