• Naturalists' Hike: Pomo Canyon Trail, Sonoma Coast State Park

    Join us on a local favorite hike that goes up a lovely trail to wide open grassland with vistas of the coast and Russian River. The path is reported to date back to a trading route of the native Pomo and Miwok. If still in bloom, we will search for mid-summer bloomers including the Pleated Gentian (Gentiana affinis var. ovata). The hike is fairly strenuous, 4-6 miles out and back. We will hike to the top of Red Hill at 1000 feet if time and energy permit. Kate Symonds will be our organizer, but all are encouraged to contribute their knowledge of the flora, fauna, soils, geology and more that we encounter. Bring field guides and we’ll collectively try to identify what we find. Plan to bring lunch, water, sunblock, hat and wear hiking shoes. Carpool spots (you organize with each other): Forestville, at parking area at River Rd. and Mirabel at 8:15. Otherwise meet at the Shell Beach Parking lot at 9 am. *** Please RSVP, as group attendance is set at 15 ***

  • Light-trapping Insects

    Sonoma Developmental Center

    What: Sonoma County Naturalists are invited to join Dan Levitis for a short hike and light-trapping insects on the evening of July 2nd on the lands of Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC). A nearly moonless night, it should be excellent for attracting phototactic insects. Most of the land we will be passing through is slated to become part of Jack London State Park within the next few years, and so State Parks is interested in what we observe. Dan Levitis is organizing an iNaturalist project of SDC lands (partly for State Parks use). use of iNaturalist is entirely optional. When: Meet at 7:30 p.m. to hike up to Fern Lake along Orchard Rd. Sundown is at 8:40, and we will aim to hike back down about 10:30-11 p.m. Where: 15000 Arnold Dr. Eldridge, CA 95431 There is parking behind (to the west of) the main brick building. We will meet near the SDC main building at 7:30 p.m. and hike up to Fern Lake along Orchard Rd. Bring: Whatever you need for safely hiking back in the dark (sturdy foot-wear, head-lamp/flashlight, walking sticks, etc.).

  • Revive this group--meet, discuss direction/goals for group, + nature walk.

    Revive this group--meet, discuss direction/goals for group, + nature walk. Let's meet-up! What were you seeking when you joined this group? Are you looking for formally led walks by a few individuals, or fellowship with other naturalists and a venue for finding each other, scheduling walks, and sharing our knowledge and skills with each other? Is our goal to organize and serve professional and amateur naturalists, or to lead nature walks for the public? What kind of ground-rules (if any) do we want for our walks? For example, for people who are interested in observing birds during nature walks (in addition to plants, insects, geology, etc.), the group needs to be fairly quiet except when sharing/discussing/rejoicing in observations--that is, saving most of the "socializing" for after the walk. Please join us for a group discussion, followed by an informal nature walk (no designated agenda for the walk . . . just to share the joy of whatever observations we happen upon). Date: Monday, 01 July 2019 Time: 0800 Place: Shiloh Ranch Regional Park (group picnic area, to start) 5750 Faught Road Windsor, CA 95492 Note: If you're able to, please support our Sonoma County regional parks system by paying the $7 fee and parking within the park's designated parking area. In addition to your input for this group, please bring plenty of water, snack/lunch according to your food needs, and sufficient protection from the sun. https://parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Visit/Shiloh-Ranch-Regional-Park/

  • The Trees We See + Optional Sugarloaf "Sleep-Over"­

    Location visible to members

    JULY 7 UPDATE 1A.... I will bring a 2-burner stove to heat water. Don't forget flashlight, insect repellant, eating utensils, etc. Food to share for happy hour would be welcome, too. BYOB. My cell/text is[masked] for last minute calls. JULY 7 UPDATE: Last call....attending, + staying for dinner and overnight: Carolyn, Bill, Erin, Melinda, Sabrina, Linda, Tisha and John. IF YOUR PLANS HAVE CHANGED AND YOU ARE NOT ATTENDING - let me know today. If you don't have a state park or Jack London/Sugarloaf pass, you will need to pay $8 parking fee to enter the park. There may be an additional small charge for parking extra cars at the campsite. Bring dinner/bkfst food (incl some to share, if you like), camping equip and camp chair. I'll post our campsite # at the Visitor Center. Canyon should be cooler later in the afternoon Sunday - we'll hike/meander till about 7 and return for dinner, campfire, etc. Break camp by 9am Monday (tho you can leave earlier or later). See you Sunday afternoon by the white barn! JULY 5 UPDATE: even though I didn't hear a confirmation from everyone who had RSVP'd "yes!", we're going ahead with the 4pm hike, dinner and overnight Sunday. If you RSVP'd yes and you are not coming, please let me know ASAP. No potluck - just bring your own dinner and camping gear. I'll post here and at the Visitor Center which campsite we'll be using. If at the last minute you can attend after not RSVPing, please just come and join us! Bring your "tree info" to share too. We'll probably hike several miles - not very fast or steep - and then return to camp for dinner. Bring firewood, guitars, campfire stories, etc Let's still meet at the white barn and perhaps we can drop off camping gear at our site before going for the hike. Original post: With the heat and busy schedules, we thought it would be fun to have a Sunday afternoon meeting/hike with the possibility of a sleep-over at Sugarloaf! Our loose focus will be on TREES - pick a tree you'd like to get to know better - SRSP has possibility of buckeye, oak, willow, tanoak, walnut, madrone, cypress, nutmeg, pine, maple, bay, alder, ash, & coast redwood. Find out some interesting things to share with us about "your" tree or trees. Or plan to talk about trees in general - how they work, what they do, etc. You don't need to decide/share "your tree" in advance - this is very informal. Co-creator BillMiller also reminds me that we can include shrubs - which he calls "often little trees". Touché, Bill! Assuming heat will be less in later afternoon, we'll wander around for a couple of hours - enjoying the still longer daylight - and then have dinner we plan to reserve a campsite to stay overnight in that beautiful canyon! Some of you come from a distance, so you wouldn't have to drive home in the dark. We'll break camp and leave by 9am Monday morning (earlier/later are fine, too). Parking is $8 unless you have a CA State Park or SRSP/Jack London SP Annual Pass There might be a small fee for camping, and I'll let you know.

  • Laguna de Santa Rosa Evening Walk

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    Join fellow Sonoma County naturalists next Monday, May 1, as we explore the Laguna's Discovery Trail with its Executive Director and Naturalist Kevin Munroe. Normally, there is a charge for Laguna walks (they are a local non-profit that depends on donations) - please consider a donation of at least $10 to the Laguna Foundation for all the great programs they sponsor; you may give it directly to Kevin that evening (cash or check). Wear shoes that can get muddy/possibly wet; binoculars and mosquito repellant might be good to bring. From Highway 101, take Rohnert Park Expressway west and turn left onto Stony Point Rd. Park before or after the bridge, over the Laguna, on the west (right) side of Stony Pt. This is roadside/gravel shoulder parking on a very busy road so be CAREFUL parking, exiting your car and walking. Kevin will meet us next to his teal Prius and he'll be carrying a big butterfly net! No bathrooms or water on site. Limit of 20 TWENTY people so sign up ASAP. Here's info on the Laguna Foundation - http://www.lagunafoundation.org See you next Monday!

  • Fairfield Osborn Naturalists Hike

    Location visible to members

    Our hike at SSU's Fairfield - Osborn Preserve is ON for this Saturday. YAY!!! MEET in the parking lot at the Wolf Den Plaza, 1722 E Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park at 8:45am; We will LEAVE at 9am & carpool 15 min to the preserve. Bring sufficient water, snacks, lunch (we'll eat back at the cars), sun protection, binocs, and usual hiking gear. No water but there is an outhouse near the entrance. No picnic tables so bring folding chair/blanket if you plan to stay for lunch (we hope you do join us). Naturalist Kate Symonds and Preserve staff Suzanne DeCoursey will be our guides (thank you Kate and Suzanne!!!); expect about 4 miles up/down & possibly wet trails. Ticks are out, so take precautions. Maximum - 20 - so be sure to RSVP if you can join us AND AND AND please let me know via this website if you cannot attend, even at the last minute. No shows w/o notice are bad karma. My cell/text[masked]. Check out the website: https://www.sonoma.edu/cei/osborn/ More information about the Preserve is available at http://www.sonoma.edu/cei . Click on "Info Hub" (left navigation menu) and scroll down to find maps, species lists and other information Hope to see you Saturday morning! Next outing - May 1, 5pm (approx) - Discovery Trail at Laguna de Santa Rosa, led by Kevin Munroe, Exec Director.

  • Naturalists Hike

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    Our walk is ON for Sunday! Thank you all for your anti-rain dances, or whatever. It will be great to see you all and get out on the trails. Note 10AM start time. We will hike 4+ miles or so in the lovely Sonoma Valley Regional Park (SVRP), near Glen Ellen ( http://parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Get_Outdoors/Parks/Sonoma_Valley_Regional_Park.aspx) . Meet in main parking lot adjacent to dog park. BE CAREFUL turning off Highway 12 into the park. Allow 30 minutes' travel time from downtown Santa Rosa. Bring binoculars; trails will be wet so wear shoes that can get wet/muddy, as we want to avoid "walk arounds" that make trails wider. Bring an extra pair of shoes/socks for after. Download and print a trail map from park website (above). We should be back to the cars around noon. Brown bag lunch after. This park has a marvelous blue oak forest (+ other oak species), variety of terrain, Lake Suttonfield, some paved trails and great views of the Valley of the Moon. The general theme will be "winter into spring" - we'll look for signs of spring so please be prepared to offer what you know/notice about this magical annual process. $7/parking fee unless you have a County Regional Parks pass. We would like a maximum of 20 so PLEASE be sure to RSVP AND to cancel if you have RSVPd and cannot attend, even at the last minute. Remember - these are not "led" nature walks - we want everyone to contribute - add their knowledge and most importantly, their observations and questions. If you cannot attend Sunday but still want to be involved, please email me with preferred days for future hikes/programs. Weekdays OK? Weekends? Afternoons/evenings when days are longer? Please save Monday, May 1, 5-7:30pm for a hike on the Discovery Trail at the Laguna, led by Laguna Foundation President Kevin Monroe. More on this later. ALSO, we will probably CLOSE this meet-up at the end of February - thought our group/hikes will continue, so if you are interested in future activities, make sure I have your contact info - email and cell/text. Send to me at [masked] before the end of February. Hope to see you on the trail soon. First Hike Report: We had a WONDERFUL first meeting/hike at Sugarloaf in January. Thank you to those who came and offered so much energy and shared information with us all. There were so many high points - hearing your stories, of course, John's Madrone temperature experiment, and the discussion about burls and galls - now who else could we talk about these things with? One of the best parts of our recent walk was our small group and we want to keep the hikes to 15 people or less. Again, this group is for folks who have some experience with natural history study and are interested in sharing it with others, by volunteering as hike leaders/assistants, trail patrols, visitor centers, etc.

  • Sugarloaf Ridge Naturalist Organizational Meeting/Hike

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    We are SET for our first meet-up Monday, Jan 16, meeting at the Sugarloaf Ridge State Park Visitor Center at 9:30am. We'll hike for a couple of hours; bring water and lunch, backpack and binoculars if you have them. Plan on a 30 min drive from downtown Santa Rosa. State Park parking fee is $8 or free with a state park or Sugarloaf/Jack London pass. Park in main lot beyond the entry kiosk and walk back to the Visitor Center. We plan to explore wet areas, so wear shoes/socks that can get wet, and bring extras. We'll also explore the purpose and potential of the group; please plan share your particular interests and expectations. Come with questions and ideas! Please see Bill M's post below. NOTE: It is possible that we will disband this group as a Meet-Up around the end of January. However, we do want your contact information for future events. If you cannot attend Monday but want to stay in touch, please indicate this on this site before the end of January. If you have responded but cannot attend, please revise your RSVP so we know how many to expect. Looking forward to meeting you Monday! Group Description: We love to hike but also are curious about the natural world along our favorite trails. Who made that hole? What's that flower? Do lichens harm trees? Is that a red-tailed or red-shouldered hawk calling? This new group is for those who want to help assist or lead nature walks in our local parks to promote conservation. Many of us are California Naturalist program "grads" and have expertise in one or more areas of natural history or have been trained as local nature docents, and are looking for like-minded curious outdoor friends to hike with. At our first "meeting", we'll hike a couple of miles, talk about what we'd like our group to be, and plan future dates - probably every 4-6 weeks at Santa Rosa-area wild parks. Everyone shares/contributes! Come with questions and ideas! Bring lunch to enjoy after the walk. Heavy rain may change location; alternate plan will be posted on this site Jan 14. Please chip in (green button upper left of this page) to cover monthly MeetUp fees. Jan 16 RSVP required - maximum of 22. See you then!