Joe Browns

21 Feb 19
Chamber Chat

209 E Main #104, Beloit, KS 67420 • 785-738-2717 • beloitchamber@nckcn.com Your #1 source for High School Sports in North Central Kansas! Thursday, February 21st 1A Regional Girls Semifinals at Hill City 6 p.m. Osborne vs Lakeside  7:30 p.m. Thunder Ridge at Stockton KD Country 94 & www.kdcountry94.com KD Country 94 Free App on smart phones Friday, […]

21 Feb 19
Positively Tennis

USPTA gets accreditation from USTA! What does this mean to teaching pros? “The USTA’s announcement of its accreditation program states ‘The extent to which an organization accepts and fulfills the responsibilities inherent in the accreditation process is a measure of its commitment to achieving excellence’. As a USPTA member, I am proud that we embraced […]

21 Feb 19
Kyle-O Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl wide-receiver Antonio Brown met with ownership on Monday to discuss his future with the organization. Both parties cleared the air with each other, but Brown’s decision to move-on from the Steelers is for certain despite the meeting. Antonio Brown demanded a trade from the Steelers after his season ended this year. […]

21 Feb 19
Isabella Romance Novels

After much debate about the categories that will be aired, the songs that will be sung, and the hosts that won’t be hosting, the 2019 Academy Awards are finally here. You’re only job on Sunday, Feb. 24 is to watch the festivities go down and this…

21 Feb 19
Archy Worldys

Nick Saban blames himself. In the moments following his biggest loss as coach of Alabama last month, he said so too – a touchdown four times defeated by Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship. The result and the response seemed to signal something more urgent than the typical "We will get it next […]

21 Feb 19
Packers Wire

Reviewing the rookie season of Packers cornerback Tony Brown, an undrafted free agent from Alabama.

21 Feb 19
The Sports Wave

The NFL is by far the easiest major sport to go from worst to first in a season (or vice versa). Many teams receive media speculation about a turnaround (like the Browns), but many teams are ready for big years in 2019 that aren’t being talked about. Let’s take a look at the 5 teams […]

21 Feb 19
ThinkProgress
Retired coal miners stand to lose their benefits following a company’s bankruptcy, leaving the future of union contracts at other mines across the country in doubt as the industry continues to falter. One of the oldest coal mine operators in the United States, Westmoreland Coal Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last October, and in the process has sought to terminate medical benefits for retirees in addition to walking away from union contracts with United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). On Tuesday, a judge allowed Westmoreland to move forward with its plans. Texas Judge David R. Jones granted the long-struggling coal company a victory last Friday, allowing it to end retiree benefits along with union contracts at two of its mines in Wyoming and North Dakota. Representatives of both Westmoreland and the UMWA were given until Feb. 19 before Jones’ ruling went into effect, in order to give both parties time to negotiate. The blow to benefits and pensions comes amid a growing push to decarbonize the economy and shift away from fossil fuels, a goal espoused by backers of the Green New Deal — a plan to rapidly decarbonize the U.S. economy within 10 years. Environmental justice advocates have called for any final legislation on such a plan to include a “just transition” for communities like former and current coal miners. And Westmoreland’s bankruptcy highlights why such conversations are likely to continue. More coal plants shut down during President Donald Trump’s first two years in office than in the entire first term of the Obama administration. As that trend continues, questions about the fate of workers are mounting. The UMWA’s director of communications and governmental affairs, Phil Smith, told ThinkProgress that discussions are still ongoing between UMWA and Westmoreland until the end of the month as the union fights to protect members. But morale is running low and the union is worried for its members, many of whom are sick and unable to work, leaving them largely reliant on benefits. “They’re scared [and] they can’t go back to work,” Smith said. “After you work in the coal industry for 30, 40 years, you’re pretty beat up.” Prior to Jones’ ruling, Westmoreland was obligated under the union contract to pay several million dollars in post-retirement medical benefits, pension obligations, and payments relating to black lung, a disease caused by long-term exposure to coal dust. According to the Sierra Club, more than 250 active Westmoreland employees will be impacted by the Feb. 15 bankruptcy ruling, along with more than a thousand retirees and the spouses of deceased miners. The total retiree benefits scrapped come to around $329 million. “The decision itself is not hard for me. The impact of what my decision does is what’s hard for me,” Jones said of his ruling, which largely allowed bankruptcy law to trump labor law. When the company filed for bankruptcy, Westmoreland notably asked that managerial and executive staff still be allowed bonuses totaling up to $1.5 million a quarter, a move UMWA slammed as “appalling” at the time. Meanwhile, former miners with black lung in particular have expressed concern about the bankruptcy’s impacts. Westmoreland largely operates in Wyoming and North Dakota, but the company historically had a sizable presence in Appalachia and the South and many retirees still live in Virginia and the wider area. Bethel Brock, a former Westmoreland employee and UMWA member who has black lung, wrote a letter to Jones expressing concern about the company’s ability to pay for his health needs. “It is a shame these corporate executives are still expecting large paychecks in this bankruptcy while miners with black lung will…potentially lose their benefits,” Brock said, according to Appalachian Voices. “This is how corporate greed works.” https://thinkprogress.org/experts-green-new-deal-resolution-ocasio-cortez-infrastructure-85ff057dd235/ Some politicians, however, are trying to find solutions and provide protections for coal miners. Under the proposed American Miners Act of 2019, black lung benefits would be extended, and both pension funds and health care benefits would be expanded. That bill is backed by Virginia Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, along with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Bob Casey (D-PA). But the act isn’t a reality yet and advocates are looking to longer-term solutions regardless. Protections for coal miners as the world transitions away from fossil fuels also features in the Green New Deal, introduced two weeks ago by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). “We must be as ambitious and innovative in our solution as possible,” said Ocasio-Cortez at the time, arguing that “frontline communities, coal communities” would be major players in any final pieces of legislation associated with the Green New Deal. Still, it’s unclear what that prioritization actually means. Those who have worked closely on such issues for years say any effort will be incredibly complicated and will need input from impacted communities. And situations like Westmoreland’s clash with UMWA are only one small component of the larger issue. “One thing that people don’t understand about Wyoming coal is that it’s largely non-union,” said Shannon Anderson, who works with the Powder River Basin Resource Council (PRBRC), a Wyoming-based community-driven nonprofit promoting sustainable practices in the state. Anderson told ThinkProgress that the union presence in Wyoming coal is only likely to shrink after Westmoreland’s bankruptcy. All the while, coal companies are continuing to shutter across the country as the industry declines. The closure of coal companies ultimately means more positive things for efforts to fight climate change and protect the health of miners, but, Anderson emphasized, “those decisions… do impact workers.” Organizations like the BlueGreen Alliance (BGA), a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations, have pushed for creating jobs through infrastructure projects, something the Green New Deal aims to do. But protecting retired coal miners and others is critical for many communities and their support for any final legislation likely hinges on that. “This has been happening in the coal industry [for years],” said Smith of UMWA, referring to mass-closures of coal companies. Westmoreland, he says, marks the “continuation of a trend” that has seen many sick and elderly former miners left without support. Alpha Natural Resources, Peabody Energy, and Arch Coal are among other companies that have filed for bankruptcy over the past few years. Anderson noted that solutions are available for those looking to both encourage a transition away from fossil fuels and protect workers at the same time. She referenced efforts by the Obama administration to convert money for cleaning up abandoned coal mines to promoting other business sectors and retraining current miners. Coupled with legislation like the proposed American Miners Act, such efforts could make the Green New Deal’s “just transition” a reality. Ultimately, the question remains the same for communities at the mercy of the coal industry but interested in decarbonization, Anderson said: “How do you responsibly get coal mines reclaimed… but don’t leave communities high and dry?”
21 Feb 19
Welcome to the MNRC Blog!

Congratulations to our new 2018 Hall of Fame Master National Retrievers!  These retrievers have successfully Qualified at three Master National events.   New Hall of Fame retrievers will have their names added to the MNRC Hall of Fame banner at this year’s event. And just a reminder, if you would like to be included in our […]

21 Feb 19
College Football News

[jwplayer PkCtjTd4-boEY74VG] Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews Below are all the participants for the 2019 NFL Combine, broken down by position and with the rough pre-combine draft projections in parentheses. 2019 NFL Scouting Combine  Friday, March 1: Offensive Linemen, Placekicker, Running Backs Saturday, March 2: Quarterbacks, Tight Ends, Wide Receivers Sunday, March 3: Defensive Linemen, Linebackers Monday, March 4: Defensive […]

21 Feb 19
court traveler sports

Connersville’s Noah Belt has been recognized by the basketball coaches in the district the Spartans play in. The 6-1 senior was named to the All-District 3 Team, according to the Hoosier Basketball Coaches Association (HBCA). “The top 10 vote-getters (including ties) in each District are recognized for their excellent team contributions this season,” a release […]

16 Feb 19
onehundreddaysoftravel

Today we met Patty and Joe for breakfast in Avon Park. I neglected to take a pic of us, but I did take a pic of my breakfast. I had smoked sausage with my eggs. I’ve only seen this option in the south, particularly Florida. Not sure why, but I do order it pretty much […]

21 Feb 19
The Mercury News
Click here if you’re having trouble viewing these videos on a mobile device. That sound you hear from Southern California in the coming days and weeks could be the deserts exploding in Technicolor. Desert-watchers say the Golden State is likely in for another ”super bloom” of wildflowers like the one we experienced in 2017. All the ingredients for the colorful cocktail are in place: Deserts parched by recent years of drought. An uncharacteristically rainy fall and winter season that have effectively put the kibosh on that drought. And a cold winter, like the one at that wildflower ground zero called Anza-Borrego, to further lock more moisture into the ground.[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”curated” curated_ids=”4520862,4465610,34084″] The timing for super bloom is perfect, with annuals normally blooming in mid-March. These flowers leaves seeds each spring that lie dormant all winter. And then — just add water! — the desert’s floors and hillsides go into full Carmen Miranda mode. Consider yourselves warned: With a super bloom expected in the coming weeks, many campsites at prime wildflower spots already are booked. There are a ton of places online you for to do research and get ready to head for deserts spots such as Anza-Borrego, Death Valley, Coachella Valley Preserve, Palm Desert, Indio Hills, Joshua Tree National Park and many, many more. Here are some of our favorite online resources for schooling yourself on all things blooming. But first, a quick refresher course from National Geographic: The San Diego Union-Tribune Think of this as the local newspaper for the super bloom. Located within a fairly easy drive of many of the desert hot spots, San Diego residents know all about the color fest that goes on most springtimes in their surround desert lands. So does Joshua Emerson Smith, a reporter who compiled a smart and entertaining guide to the 2017 super bloom. That same report could have been written this week, in anticipation of the 2019 super bloom. Here are some of Smith’s bon mots on Anza-Borrego: “If you’re planning to drive two hours east from San Diego into the desert park, you’ll probably want to head out early. … (It’s essential to bring sunscreen and lots of water.) Getting a prompt start could also help you beat the crowds. Anza-Borrego is California’s biggest state park at 630,000 acres, stretching from the Riverside County line to the Mexican border in eastern San Diego County. But most people pack into the most accessible parts of the desert. … ”A good place to start, especially if you’ve never been to the park before, is the visitors center at the Borrego Palm Canyon Campground. You can pick up a free wildflower guide at this unique gift shop and information center, which also offers an outdoor garden with many of the region’s plants marked with placards. “Also located at the park’s main campground is the Borrego Palm Canyon trail, which offers a roughly 45-minute hike to an oasis.” Anza-Borrego Desert State Park This state parks website is chock full of flower-viewing tips, including directions, hours of operation and the most current road closures throughout the park. One of the site’s most charming features is its Wildflower Update. As of Feb. 19, the summary had Borrego Badlands weighing in already with “Sand Verbena between Mile Markers 30 and 31; a variety of blooms, including Desert Lilies, at entrances to Coachwhip Canyon and Arroyo Salado Primitive Camp.” Caution: Four-wheel drive is required for dirt roads into the badlands. Borrego Blooms at the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association The flower-loving posse that maintains this labor of love features all kinds of bloom-related information, including “flower maps” and activities you can take part in during your visit to the park. “There is still a beautiful bloom taking place east of Borrego Springs, in the Borrego Badlands,” the site says this week. “The easiest place to see the flowers is along S22, roughly between mile marker 31 and 38. See our Borrego Badlands map for the best spots to visit. Highway S22 is paved and there are pull-offs for parking and nearby washes to explore. There is also a fantastic display of dune evening primrose and other species not far from the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area’s Discovery Center, along Shell Reef. The trail around the Discovery Center also has many different desert species in bloom. This area is also on the map.” More good news: You still have plenty of time to get down to the Borrego Valley, the site says: “A major bloom has not yet started, but recent rain increases the likelihood of an excellent bloom in this area, most likely starting in early to mid March, depending on weather. One area that is worth exploring at this time is the end of DiGiorgio Road, at the entrance to Coyote Canyon, where a localized bloom is steadily expanding. Coyote Canyon Road is currently closed to vehicles and foot traffic due to flood damage but people can park on DiGiorgio Road and walk into the flower fields.” Here’s an example of a wildflower update on Thursday from flower-peeper Marcy Yates, who “reports more colors are starting to pop at the end of the pavement at (DiGiorgio Road). Due to flooding, the road to Coyote Canyon is closed at the end of the pavement. Park and walk east on the dirt road. The farther east you go, the more colors you will see. Verbena, brown-eyed primroses, dune evening primroses and desert sunflowers are scattered. At least one desert lily was blooming.” News from Palm Springs and Coachella Valley Maureen Gilmer, a horticultural journalist who regularly contributes to DESERT magazine and The Desert Sun newspaper, told the newspaper this week that “the recent cold snap is slowing the super bloom in the Coachella Valley. Many existing wildflower blossoms froze or went on hold this frosty week except the desert verbena.” The paper points out that Palm Springs is currently experiencing a record cold streak. “The city, famed as a warm-weather winter getaway, hasn’t experienced 80-degree weather since before Thanksgiving. It hasn’t seen 90-degree weather since before Halloween,” according to the report. And in terms of that weather’s impact on the super bloom, Gilmer said it will most likely “take a week of hot days to really make it pop.” She said the first week in March “might be optimal,” and you can “add a month to that in the high desert due to snow and frozen ground.” Totally Instagrammable Back when the super bloom of 2017 was underway, amateur photographers took to Instagram to share their wildflower images. One well-used backdrop, of course, was Death Valley, leading to the #deathvalleywildflowers. Check out the images and add your own. View this post on Instagram #sidewinderhike #wildflowers #DeathValleywildflowers #desertwildflowers A post shared by Emily Silverman (@sfswim) on Apr 14, 2017 at 8:39pm PDT Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve Does that roll off the tongue, or what? A lovely place dedicated to California’s lovely state flower, also known by its Latin tongue-twisting name of Eschscholzia Californica. Since 1903, this butter-colored sweetie pie has been celebrated up and down the Golden State. At the reserve, folks are settling in for the Big Show. “As of February 20th, poppy plants are still small and tiny first buds have been spotted,” the website says. “We expect the first poppies will bloom in time for our visitor center opening on March 1st, and last through April. Some small ‘belly flowers’ such as filaree, slender keel fruit and forget-me-nots have started blooming on the east side of the park. The Joshua trees in front of the visitor center have large buds on them.” Check out the site. And remember, the poppy is California’s highly protected poster child. So no picking and no photo-taking while standing amidst the poppery! “Please remember, visitors must stay on OFFICIAL TRAILS only; photos in the flowers are not allowed in the park. Walking in the poppies creates dirt patches and may result in a ticket. DO NOT walk where others have already damaged the habitat; it will compound the damage and leave a scar for years to come. Commercial and student filming/photography requires a permit. No dogs, bikes on trails, drones, or picking flowers.” Finally, this clarification from the state Department of Fish & Wildlife: “It is often believed that there are laws prohibiting the cutting or damaging of the California poppy because it is the state flower. While there is no law protecting the California poppy specifically, California Penal Code Section 384a requires written landowner permission to remove and sell plant material from land that a person does not own, and removing or damaging plants from property that a person does not own without permission may constitute trespass and/or petty theft. However, these laws do not prevent the collection of California poppies on private land by the landowner. California poppies are a beautiful and easy-to-grow addition to your garden, and although you may choose to pick them from your property, they last much longer in the ground!” Rising from the ashes Timeout Los Angeles has just published a handy guide to places around LA to take in the super bloom, assuming it comes off as planned. One place mentioned of particular note is Malibu Creek State Park. Why? Because, as Timeout points out, this park is “a completely changed landscape in the wake of the devastating Woolsey Fire. As hikers returned to the area in December 2018, they found formerly lush hillsides turned to black. But this winter’s rain has already brought patches of green to the area, and according to reports from both Curbed and Atlas Obscura, a miracle superbloom could blanket the region. Stay tuned: This could be one of the closest-to-home spots among this year’s blooms.” This group is dedicated to the preservation of wildflowers — how’s that for a life mission! Ask any wildflower fan worth his or her salt and they’ll know all about the Theodore Payne Wild Flower Hotline. Founded in 1983, the service offers free weekly online and recorded updates; the first one for this spring season will be up and running March 1. Until then, check out the group’s website, and hear last year’s final recording that describes the best locations for viewing spring wildflowers in Southern and Central California. The service runs through May, and it can be reached at 818-768-1802, ext. 7 each Friday to hear the most up-to-date report. Each is recorded by Emmy Award winner Joe Spano, the “voice of the wild flower hotline.” Spano was originally best known for his role as Lt. Henry Goldblume on “Hill Street Blues” and more recently has claimed fame for his role on “NCIS” as FBI Special Agent Tobias C. Fornell. You can take part in the wildflower-preservation movement by sending in your own viewing tips to flowerhotline@theodorepayne.org. And you can explore a whole slew of features on wildflowers in California, including a native plan database, a seed shop and even a primer on planting your own wildflowers. Now go out there and be fruitful!
21 Feb 19
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Click here if you’re having trouble viewing these videos on a mobile device. That sound you hear from Southern California in the coming days and weeks could be the deserts exploding in Technicolor. Desert-watchers say the Golden State is likely in for another ”super bloom” of wildflowers like the one we experienced in 2017. All the ingredients for the colorful cocktail are in place: Deserts parched by recent years of drought. An uncharacteristically rainy fall and winter season that have effectively put the kibosh on that drought. And a cold winter, like the one at that wildflower ground zero called Anza-Borrego, to further lock more moisture into the ground.[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”curated” curated_ids=”4520862,4465610,34084″] The timing for super bloom is perfect, with annuals normally blooming in mid-March. These flowers leaves seeds each spring that lie dormant all winter. And then — just add water! — the desert’s floors and hillsides go into full Carmen Miranda mode. Consider yourselves warned: With a super bloom expected in the coming weeks, many campsites at prime wildflower spots already are booked. There are a ton of places online you for to do research and get ready to head for deserts spots such as Anza-Borrego, Death Valley, Coachella Valley Preserve, Palm Desert, Indio Hills, Joshua Tree National Park and many, many more. Here are some of our favorite online resources for schooling yourself on all things blooming. But first, a quick refresher course from National Geographic: The San Diego Union-Tribune Think of this as the local newspaper for the super bloom. Located within a fairly easy drive of many of the desert hot spots, San Diego residents know all about the color fest that goes on most springtimes in their surround desert lands. So does Joshua Emerson Smith, a reporter who compiled a smart and entertaining guide to the 2017 super bloom. That same report could have been written this week, in anticipation of the 2019 super bloom. Here are some of Smith’s bon mots on Anza-Borrego: “If you’re planning to drive two hours east from San Diego into the desert park, you’ll probably want to head out early. … (It’s essential to bring sunscreen and lots of water.) Getting a prompt start could also help you beat the crowds. Anza-Borrego is California’s biggest state park at 630,000 acres, stretching from the Riverside County line to the Mexican border in eastern San Diego County. But most people pack into the most accessible parts of the desert. … ”A good place to start, especially if you’ve never been to the park before, is the visitors center at the Borrego Palm Canyon Campground. You can pick up a free wildflower guide at this unique gift shop and information center, which also offers an outdoor garden with many of the region’s plants marked with placards. “Also located at the park’s main campground is the Borrego Palm Canyon trail, which offers a roughly 45-minute hike to an oasis.” Anza-Borrego Desert State Park This state parks website is chock full of flower-viewing tips, including directions, hours of operation and the most current road closures throughout the park. One of the site’s most charming features is its Wildflower Update. As of Feb. 19, the summary had Borrego Badlands weighing in already with “Sand Verbena between Mile Markers 30 and 31; a variety of blooms, including Desert Lilies, at entrances to Coachwhip Canyon and Arroyo Salado Primitive Camp.” Caution: Four-wheel drive is required for dirt roads into the badlands. Borrego Blooms at the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association The flower-loving posse that maintains this labor of love features all kinds of bloom-related information, including “flower maps” and activities you can take part in during your visit to the park. “There is still a beautiful bloom taking place east of Borrego Springs, in the Borrego Badlands,” the site says this week. “The easiest place to see the flowers is along S22, roughly between mile marker 31 and 38. See our Borrego Badlands map for the best spots to visit. Highway S22 is paved and there are pull-offs for parking and nearby washes to explore. There is also a fantastic display of dune evening primrose and other species not far from the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area’s Discovery Center, along Shell Reef. The trail around the Discovery Center also has many different desert species in bloom. This area is also on the map.” More good news: You still have plenty of time to get down to the Borrego Valley, the site says: “A major bloom has not yet started, but recent rain increases the likelihood of an excellent bloom in this area, most likely starting in early to mid March, depending on weather. One area that is worth exploring at this time is the end of DiGiorgio Road, at the entrance to Coyote Canyon, where a localized bloom is steadily expanding. Coyote Canyon Road is currently closed to vehicles and foot traffic due to flood damage but people can park on DiGiorgio Road and walk into the flower fields.” Here’s an example of a wildflower update on Thursday from flower-peeper Marcy Yates, who “reports more colors are starting to pop at the end of the pavement at (DiGiorgio Road). Due to flooding, the road to Coyote Canyon is closed at the end of the pavement. Park and walk east on the dirt road. The farther east you go, the more colors you will see. Verbena, brown-eyed primroses, dune evening primroses and desert sunflowers are scattered. At least one desert lily was blooming.” News from Palm Springs and Coachella Valley Maureen Gilmer, a horticultural journalist who regularly contributes to DESERT magazine and The Desert Sun newspaper, told the newspaper this week that “the recent cold snap is slowing the super bloom in the Coachella Valley. Many existing wildflower blossoms froze or went on hold this frosty week except the desert verbena.” The paper points out that Palm Springs is currently experiencing a record cold streak. “The city, famed as a warm-weather winter getaway, hasn’t experienced 80-degree weather since before Thanksgiving. It hasn’t seen 90-degree weather since before Halloween,” according to the report. And in terms of that weather’s impact on the super bloom, Gilmer said it will most likely “take a week of hot days to really make it pop.” She said the first week in March “might be optimal,” and you can “add a month to that in the high desert due to snow and frozen ground.” Totally Instagrammable Back when the super bloom of 2017 was underway, amateur photographers took to Instagram to share their wildflower images. One well-used backdrop, of course, was Death Valley, leading to the #deathvalleywildflowers. Check out the images and add your own. View this post on Instagram #sidewinderhike #wildflowers #DeathValleywildflowers #desertwildflowers A post shared by Emily Silverman (@sfswim) on Apr 14, 2017 at 8:39pm PDT Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve Does that roll off the tongue, or what? A lovely place dedicated to California’s lovely state flower, also known by its Latin tongue-twisting name of Eschscholzia Californica. Since 1903, this butter-colored sweetie pie has been celebrated up and down the Golden State. At the reserve, folks are settling in for the Big Show. “As of February 20th, poppy plants are still small and tiny first buds have been spotted,” the website says. “We expect the first poppies will bloom in time for our visitor center opening on March 1st, and last through April. Some small ‘belly flowers’ such as filaree, slender keel fruit and forget-me-nots have started blooming on the east side of the park. The Joshua trees in front of the visitor center have large buds on them.” Check out the site. And remember, the poppy is California’s highly protected poster child. So no picking and no photo-taking while standing amidst the poppery! “Please remember, visitors must stay on OFFICIAL TRAILS only; photos in the flowers are not allowed in the park. Walking in the poppies creates dirt patches and may result in a ticket. DO NOT walk where others have already damaged the habitat; it will compound the damage and leave a scar for years to come. Commercial and student filming/photography requires a permit. No dogs, bikes on trails, drones, or picking flowers.” Finally, this clarification from the state Department of Fish & Wildlife: “It is often believed that there are laws prohibiting the cutting or damaging of the California poppy because it is the state flower. While there is no law protecting the California poppy specifically, California Penal Code Section 384a requires written landowner permission to remove and sell plant material from land that a person does not own, and removing or damaging plants from property that a person does not own without permission may constitute trespass and/or petty theft. However, these laws do not prevent the collection of California poppies on private land by the landowner. California poppies are a beautiful and easy-to-grow addition to your garden, and although you may choose to pick them from your property, they last much longer in the ground!” Rising from the ashes Timeout Los Angeles has just published a handy guide to places around LA to take in the super bloom, assuming it comes off as planned. One place mentioned of particular note is Malibu Creek State Park. Why? Because, as Timeout points out, this park is “a completely changed landscape in the wake of the devastating Woolsey Fire. As hikers returned to the area in December 2018, they found formerly lush hillsides turned to black. But this winter’s rain has already brought patches of green to the area, and according to reports from both Curbed and Atlas Obscura, a miracle superbloom could blanket the region. Stay tuned: This could be one of the closest-to-home spots among this year’s blooms.” This group is dedicated to the preservation of wildflowers — how’s that for a life mission! Ask any wildflower fan worth his or her salt and they’ll know all about the Theodore Payne Wild Flower Hotline. Founded in 1983, the service offers free weekly online and recorded updates; the first one for this spring season will be up and running March 1. Until then, check out the group’s website, and hear last year’s final recording that describes the best locations for viewing spring wildflowers in Southern and Central California. The service runs through May, and it can be reached at 818-768-1802, ext. 7 each Friday to hear the most up-to-date report. Each is recorded by Emmy Award winner Joe Spano, the “voice of the wild flower hotline.” Spano was originally best known for his role as Lt. Henry Goldblume on “Hill Street Blues” and more recently has claimed fame for his role on “NCIS” as FBI Special Agent Tobias C. Fornell. You can take part in the wildflower-preservation movement by sending in your own viewing tips to flowerhotline@theodorepayne.org. And you can explore a whole slew of features on wildflowers in California, including a native plan database, a seed shop and even a primer on planting your own wildflowers. Now go out there and be fruitful!
21 Feb 19
East Bay Times
Click here if you’re having trouble viewing these videos on a mobile device. That sound you hear from Southern California in the coming days and weeks could be the deserts exploding in Technicolor. Desert-watchers say the Golden State is likely in for another ”super bloom” of wildflowers like the one we experienced in 2017. All the ingredients for the colorful cocktail are in place: Deserts parched by recent years of drought. An uncharacteristically rainy fall and winter season that have effectively put the kibosh on that drought. And a cold winter, like the one at that wildflower ground zero called Anza-Borrego, to further lock more moisture into the ground.[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”curated” curated_ids=”4520862,4465610,34084″] The timing for super bloom is perfect, with annuals normally blooming in mid-March. These flowers leaves seeds each spring that lie dormant all winter. And then — just add water! — the desert’s floors and hillsides go into full Carmen Miranda mode. Consider yourselves warned: With a super bloom expected in the coming weeks, many campsites at prime wildflower spots already are booked. There are a ton of places online you for to do research and get ready to head for deserts spots such as Anza-Borrego, Death Valley, Coachella Valley Preserve, Palm Desert, Indio Hills, Joshua Tree National Park and many, many more. Here are some of our favorite online resources for schooling yourself on all things blooming. But first, a quick refresher course from National Geographic: The San Diego Union-Tribune Think of this as the local newspaper for the super bloom. Located within a fairly easy drive of many of the desert hot spots, San Diego residents know all about the color fest that goes on most springtimes in their surround desert lands. So does Joshua Emerson Smith, a reporter who compiled a smart and entertaining guide to the 2017 super bloom. That same report could have been written this week, in anticipation of the 2019 super bloom. Here are some of Smith’s bon mots on Anza-Borrego: “If you’re planning to drive two hours east from San Diego into the desert park, you’ll probably want to head out early. … (It’s essential to bring sunscreen and lots of water.) Getting a prompt start could also help you beat the crowds. Anza-Borrego is California’s biggest state park at 630,000 acres, stretching from the Riverside County line to the Mexican border in eastern San Diego County. But most people pack into the most accessible parts of the desert. … ”A good place to start, especially if you’ve never been to the park before, is the visitors center at the Borrego Palm Canyon Campground. You can pick up a free wildflower guide at this unique gift shop and information center, which also offers an outdoor garden with many of the region’s plants marked with placards. “Also located at the park’s main campground is the Borrego Palm Canyon trail, which offers a roughly 45-minute hike to an oasis.” Anza-Borrego Desert State Park This state parks website is chock full of flower-viewing tips, including directions, hours of operation and the most current road closures throughout the park. One of the site’s most charming features is its Wildflower Update. As of Feb. 19, the summary had Borrego Badlands weighing in already with “Sand Verbena between Mile Markers 30 and 31; a variety of blooms, including Desert Lilies, at entrances to Coachwhip Canyon and Arroyo Salado Primitive Camp.” Caution: Four-wheel drive is required for dirt roads into the badlands. Borrego Blooms at the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association The flower-loving posse that maintains this labor of love features all kinds of bloom-related information, including “flower maps” and activities you can take part in during your visit to the park. “There is still a beautiful bloom taking place east of Borrego Springs, in the Borrego Badlands,” the site says this week. “The easiest place to see the flowers is along S22, roughly between mile marker 31 and 38. See our Borrego Badlands map for the best spots to visit. Highway S22 is paved and there are pull-offs for parking and nearby washes to explore. There is also a fantastic display of dune evening primrose and other species not far from the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area’s Discovery Center, along Shell Reef. The trail around the Discovery Center also has many different desert species in bloom. This area is also on the map.” More good news: You still have plenty of time to get down to the Borrego Valley, the site says: “A major bloom has not yet started, but recent rain increases the likelihood of an excellent bloom in this area, most likely starting in early to mid March, depending on weather. One area that is worth exploring at this time is the end of DiGiorgio Road, at the entrance to Coyote Canyon, where a localized bloom is steadily expanding. Coyote Canyon Road is currently closed to vehicles and foot traffic due to flood damage but people can park on DiGiorgio Road and walk into the flower fields.” Here’s an example of a wildflower update on Thursday from flower-peeper Marcy Yates, who “reports more colors are starting to pop at the end of the pavement at (DiGiorgio Road). Due to flooding, the road to Coyote Canyon is closed at the end of the pavement. Park and walk east on the dirt road. The farther east you go, the more colors you will see. Verbena, brown-eyed primroses, dune evening primroses and desert sunflowers are scattered. At least one desert lily was blooming.” News from Palm Springs and Coachella Valley Maureen Gilmer, a horticultural journalist who regularly contributes to DESERT magazine and The Desert Sun newspaper, told the newspaper this week that “the recent cold snap is slowing the super bloom in the Coachella Valley. Many existing wildflower blossoms froze or went on hold this frosty week except the desert verbena.” The paper points out that Palm Springs is currently experiencing a record cold streak. “The city, famed as a warm-weather winter getaway, hasn’t experienced 80-degree weather since before Thanksgiving. It hasn’t seen 90-degree weather since before Halloween,” according to the report. And in terms of that weather’s impact on the super bloom, Gilmer said it will most likely “take a week of hot days to really make it pop.” She said the first week in March “might be optimal,” and you can “add a month to that in the high desert due to snow and frozen ground.” Totally Instagrammable Back when the super bloom of 2017 was underway, amateur photographers took to Instagram to share their wildflower images. One well-used backdrop, of course, was Death Valley, leading to the #deathvalleywildflowers. Check out the images and add your own. View this post on Instagram #sidewinderhike #wildflowers #DeathValleywildflowers #desertwildflowers A post shared by Emily Silverman (@sfswim) on Apr 14, 2017 at 8:39pm PDT Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve Does that roll off the tongue, or what? A lovely place dedicated to California’s lovely state flower, also known by its Latin tongue-twisting name of Eschscholzia Californica. Since 1903, this butter-colored sweetie pie has been celebrated up and down the Golden State. At the reserve, folks are settling in for the Big Show. “As of February 20th, poppy plants are still small and tiny first buds have been spotted,” the website says. “We expect the first poppies will bloom in time for our visitor center opening on March 1st, and last through April. Some small ‘belly flowers’ such as filaree, slender keel fruit and forget-me-nots have started blooming on the east side of the park. The Joshua trees in front of the visitor center have large buds on them.” Check out the site. And remember, the poppy is California’s highly protected poster child. So no picking and no photo-taking while standing amidst the poppery! “Please remember, visitors must stay on OFFICIAL TRAILS only; photos in the flowers are not allowed in the park. Walking in the poppies creates dirt patches and may result in a ticket. DO NOT walk where others have already damaged the habitat; it will compound the damage and leave a scar for years to come. Commercial and student filming/photography requires a permit. No dogs, bikes on trails, drones, or picking flowers.” Finally, this clarification from the state Department of Fish & Wildlife: “It is often believed that there are laws prohibiting the cutting or damaging of the California poppy because it is the state flower. While there is no law protecting the California poppy specifically, California Penal Code Section 384a requires written landowner permission to remove and sell plant material from land that a person does not own, and removing or damaging plants from property that a person does not own without permission may constitute trespass and/or petty theft. However, these laws do not prevent the collection of California poppies on private land by the landowner. California poppies are a beautiful and easy-to-grow addition to your garden, and although you may choose to pick them from your property, they last much longer in the ground!” Rising from the ashes Timeout Los Angeles has just published a handy guide to places around LA to take in the super bloom, assuming it comes off as planned. One place mentioned of particular note is Malibu Creek State Park. Why? Because, as Timeout points out, this park is “a completely changed landscape in the wake of the devastating Woolsey Fire. As hikers returned to the area in December 2018, they found formerly lush hillsides turned to black. But this winter’s rain has already brought patches of green to the area, and according to reports from both Curbed and Atlas Obscura, a miracle superbloom could blanket the region. Stay tuned: This could be one of the closest-to-home spots among this year’s blooms.” This group is dedicated to the preservation of wildflowers — how’s that for a life mission! Ask any wildflower fan worth his or her salt and they’ll know all about the Theodore Payne Wild Flower Hotline. Founded in 1983, the service offers free weekly online and recorded updates; the first one for this spring season will be up and running March 1. Until then, check out the group’s website, and hear last year’s final recording that describes the best locations for viewing spring wildflowers in Southern and Central California. The service runs through May, and it can be reached at 818-768-1802, ext. 7 each Friday to hear the most up-to-date report. Each is recorded by Emmy Award winner Joe Spano, the “voice of the wild flower hotline.” Spano was originally best known for his role as Lt. Henry Goldblume on “Hill Street Blues” and more recently has claimed fame for his role on “NCIS” as FBI Special Agent Tobias C. Fornell. You can take part in the wildflower-preservation movement by sending in your own viewing tips to flowerhotline@theodorepayne.org. And you can explore a whole slew of features on wildflowers in California, including a native plan database, a seed shop and even a primer on planting your own wildflowers. Now go out there and be fruitful!