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Field Trips

Natural History Field Trip Series with Randall Morgan
April - June 2013

Come with legendary local naturalist Randall Morgan accompanied by renowned weed warrior Ken Moore to selected hot spots in the Santa Cruz area and learn about some of nature's little known wonders. These walks cover all aspects of natural history including botany, birds, bugs, biogeography, general ecology, conservation, habitat restoration, ethnobotany, wild foods, the native/non-native issue, natural succession, land management/ restoration/ enhancement, gardening ideas, how to "read" landscapes, and more!

Beginning with this schedule, reservations will no longer be needed. Ending times for trips are an estimate; they sometimes run longer. Please wear clothing that will not attract stickers, and make sure you are free of any weed seeds before coming.

Reservations are not required. Ending times for trips are an estimate; they may run longer. Please wear clothing that wonít attract stickers so we donít spread weed seeds.
For any questions, contact Randall Morgan or Ken Moore

This series of field trips is being provided at no cost to you. Your donations are needed to continue offering this incomparable opportunity. You can make a cash donation or a check made out to Randall Morgan on the trip. To make a separate contribution for the field trip series by check, make the check payable to CNPS, and specify it is for the "Morgan Field Trip Series". Request a receipt for a tax deduction, and send the check to: Suzanne Schettler, Treasurer, California Native Plant Society P. O. Box 277 Ben Lomond, CA 95061.

Sponsoring Organizations: Wildlands Restoration Team * California Native Plant Society, Santa Cruz Chapter * UCSC Arboretum * Santa Cruz Bird Club * UCSC Natural History Museum * Land Trust of Santa Cruz County * Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History * Sempervirens Fund

Click for more about Randall Morgan

Be sure to periodically check our Santa Cruz chapter website for additional offerings, as trips may be added after the newsletter is printed: For additional field trips and other events, check the websites of our neighboring chapters:

For farther-flung floriferous adventures check out the primarily Southern California and desert flowering hotspots on these websites

Saturday April 20 10AM-12
Slippery Rock, Big Basin with Randall Morgan

Another of our best hidden botanical treasure spots, and right where the founders had their historical rendezvous. A long sandstone slope decorated with pockets of soil and flowers. Like Lucille's Court, this is a promised revisit to see the place closer to its prime, and hopefully see some species we missed before. Meet in Boulder Creek at the parking area in back of Johnnieís Market, on the corner of Hwy. 9 and Hwy 236. We will carpool to the site from there, so vehicles which can take several people will be helpful.

Saturday May 4 10 AM-12
Zayante School Rd with Randall Morgan

One of the best of the smaller Zayante sand deposits, one that yours truly has not visited for many years. Hoping for some pleasant surprises. Only a bit past peak season for most plants (though still too early for some) and nearly peak for insects. A strange disjunct population of gray pine, a possible last holdout for the rare Nemophila humifusa (cross fingers!), and our only locale for Festuca "estwoodae", among much else. This should be a true "treasure hunt". Meet in the lower parking area of the Zayante Fire Station on East Zayante Rd., (directly across from the Trout Farm Inn.) Easy slow walk.

Sunday May 19 10 AM-12
Glenwood Grassland Preserve with Randall Morgan

A fairly new Land Trust acquisition, the outcome of a decades-long conservation struggle begun in 1989. Still not open to the public. Despite the dry winter, this turned out to be quite a good wildflower year, most of the plants still in early stage of bloom by mid-April. One of the highest flower-diversity sites in Santa Cruz County, At least two rare insects and several rare and locally rare plants. Also a nice pond with more dragonflies than any other place I know of. Interesting topography and geography, part of a disjunct "island" of Santa Cruz mudstone about 8 miles inland. Meet in the parking lot on Vine Hill School Rd., opposite from Siltanen Park in SV. From there a short carpool to trailhead.

Saturday June 8 10 AM-1PM
Castle Rock State Park with Randall Morgan

Something of "another world" biologically speaking. As far north and close to as high-elevation as you can get in this county, with a flora and fauna to match. We will traverse several quite different environments, starting with mixed-evergreen woods, then past a waterfall and into a stretch of "northern mixed chaparral" (quite different and more diverse than local maritime chaparral). Shrubs should be aswarm with pollinator insects. Next, into a black-oak (deciduous) woodland, more like places you will see farther "over the hill", then back. On the way, a couple of the most magnificent Canyon oaks you will ever see. Meet at the Castle Rock State Park parking lot on Hwy. 35. You can park along the shoulder of Hwy. 35 if there is room and you don't want to pay the parking fee. Fairly easy hike, a bit rough in places. Bring water and snacks.

Sunday June 23 10 AM-12
Loma Prieta with Randall Morgan

Our largest and most diverse expanse of "northern mixed chaparral.", a community with more shrub species than any other in this area, many in full bloom. Also a completely different assortment of flowering herbs, some that occur nowhere else in this county. We will stray into Santa Clara County for the best highlights, however, choice items like Stream Orchid, Clarkia breweri, a rare Ceanothus, a rare Hoita, etc. This is also a primo area for locally rare birds that like to stick to the high ridges. Should be perfect time of year for just about everything. Mostly easy hike unless you want to continue up to the summit. Meet at the summit of Old San Jose Rd. at the intersection of Hwy. 35. Bring water and layered clothing.

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