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Spring 2006 Newsletter
Vol 15, No. 2. Apr. 2006

Upcoming Chapter Meetings

Conifers of California
By Dr. Ronald Lanner,
Wednesday May 24, 2006, 7:30 PM
Nevada County Library Community Room

For our May meeting Dr. Ronald Lanner will present a slide program on longevity in trees particularly as it applies to the Bristlecone Pine, Pinus longaeva, a tree that may live as long as 5,000 years! His scientific credentials, lively mind, experience in the field, and this fascinating topic promise to make this a memorable evening.  His major research interests include natural hybridization in pines, effects of aging on trees, bud development in pines, and the ecological and evolutionary effects of mutualism of birds and pines. His books include the outstanding Conifers of California (1999), Made For Each Other: A Symbiosis of Birds and Pines (1996), A Guide to the Fall Colors of the Northwoods (1990), Trees of the Great Basin—A Natural History (1984), and The Pinon Pine—A Natural and Cultural History (1981). We’ll have several of these titles for sale at the meeting.  A native of Brooklyn, Dr. Lanner, spent many years as a teacher, forestry researcher, and as the editor of the Western Journal of Applied Forestry. Dr. Lanner is now retired and living in Placerville where he is an emeritus visiting scientist at the Institute of Forest Genetics.

The Alpine Region of the Sierra Nevada
By Roger McGehee
July 27, 2006. 7:30 PM
Nevada County Library Community Room

Join our Redbud Chapter president on an armchair trip into the Alpine Region of the Sierra Nevada! Roger McGehee will show slides  of this region in Yosemite National Park. Included will be slides of the largest alpine meadow in the Sierra Nevada and with slides of both summer and winter at these high altitudes.  Animals as well as plants will be shown. Popcorn and drinks will be provided. Bring the family, as  Roger promises that it will be entertaining as well as informative. 

Directions: The library is located at 980 Helling Way, Nevada City. At the intersection of Hwy 49 and 20 in Nevada City, turn west toward Downieville on Hwy 49.  At about 1 mile, turn right at the Nevada County Government Center and follow signs to the library.

Spring Wildflower Show & Native Plant Sale

Saturday, April 29, 2006  • 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM

Sierra College, Rocklin Campus


•Wildflower show—spectacular native plants in bloom
•Wildflower walk with botany instructor Shawna Martinez
•Children’s Discovery Zone
•Native plant gardening advice
•California native trees, shrubs, perennials, and seeds
•Books, posters, and note cards of native plants
•Beautiful color botanical image T-shirts and sweat shirts by Delo Rio
• Great Mother’s Day gifts

For more information, call Frances at 530-265-4838
or online at

To get there: Take the Rocklin Road exit off I-80 to the west entrance of Sierra College. Go to parking lot S and building S (first turn on left). Follow the signs.

Sponsored by the Sierra College Natural History Museum and by and a benefit for the Redbud Chapter California Native Plant Society of Nevada & Placer Counties.

Prepublication sale  Wildflowers of Placer and Nevada Counties
A forthcoming field guide by members of the Redbud Chapter of CNPS
Target publication date, late 2006

Presentation at 10:30 AM
Restoration with Native Plants

Special Program: Nevada County Fire Plan
Thursday, April 20, at 7:30 PM
Nevada County Library Community Room

Steven L. DeCamp, Director, Community Development Agency, County of Nevada, and Virginia Moran, Biologist, Citizens for Fire Safety Sanity, will give a presentation on regulations and ecological issues related to brush clearing.
Topics will include:
•An overview of sensitive plant and animal species of Nevada County
•Current county regulations regarding brushing
•Pertinent state and federal regulations on same Representatives from the county and CDF will be present. Questions and discussion will follow.
For more information call: 530-272-7132.

Activities of Other Organizations

Save Clair Tappaan Lodge

The next time you plan a visit to the Donner Pass area, consider staying at the Sierra Club’s Clair Tappaan Lodge. To stay in business, the historic Lodge especially needs mid-week guests. The Lodge’s prices for meals and lodging are very reasonable. The Lodge is located on old Highway 40 near dozens of wild flower and hiking areas. For more information go to or phone 1-800-679-6775.

Meadow Restoration Initiated by the Yuba Watershed Institute
By Daniel Nicholson

Inside of the ’inimum forest on the San Juan Ridge lies a sweet little meadow. This meadow is being threatened by tree encroachment due to fire suppression and by nonnative plant invasion. Our goals are to reestablish the natural state of the meadow by removal of encroaching trees and invasive plants, and to provide an opportunity for the community to participate in local land issues. Work parties and a Meadow Ecology and Plant Workshop are planned. For more information call Wendy Bose at 292-3772 or Daniel Nicholson at 288-3304.

Lush New Book
Is a California Gardener’s Delight

Review by Bobbi Wilkes

California Native Plants for the Garden by Carol Bornstein, David Fross, and Bart O’Brien (2005,
$27.95, Cachuma Press, Los Olivos, California)
For more than 25 years, the go-to book on growing California native plants has been Growing California Native Plants by Marjorie G. Schmidt. This practical guide, which was the first comprehensive book on cultivating California natives, has proven to be over and over again an essential vade mecum for venturing into the world of native gardening. It is a sensible shoes book, primarily illustrated with simple line drawings, and deserving to be in the library of anyone who is seriously interested in growing California natives. But, I must confess, my head had been turned
by the entrance of a new and much showier book.
Illustrated with 450 color photos, the recently published California Native Plants for the Garden
has coffee table book appeal, while still serving up extensive and germane gardening information. Many of the photos show inviting gardens that have incorporated native plants, showcasing how stunning native plants can be in our own yards. Authored by three prominent horticulturists, this well-written book covers more than 200 featured native plants, as well as more briefly describes another 300 species, cultivars, and hybrids. The primary criteria used in determining which plants to include in the book were reliability, availability, aesthetic value, and resistance to insect and
pest problems. The book covers everything from grasses and sedges to bushes and trees, with ample treatment of my beloved perennials. It also has separate smaller sections on annuals and
on bulbs. Many of the plants covered in the book have been for sale over the years at the Redbud Chapter plant sale, and have been successfully grown in our area. Some of the familiar native plants described in this book are penstemons, Oregon grape, spicebush, ceanothus, coral bells, buckwheats, snowberry, and salvias.
In addition to the plant profiles, the book has a number of other valuable sections. The chapter on designing native gardens nicely lays out the considerations that should go into planning a garden that incorporates native plants. A chapter on native plant care contains vital general information on planting, watering, fertilizing, mulching, and pruning. In the spirit of “right plant for the right place,” the authors have compiled 30 different plant selection lists that provide recommendations of species and cultivars for a variety of landscape conditions or plant attributes. There are lists for under oak trees, groundcovers, meadows, attracting hummingbirds, deer-resistant plants, and
even one for plants with aromatic foliage. The book also contains appendices on both places to see and to buy California native plants.
The authors admit that buying native plants can be an adventure and require a bit of research because some native plants are not widely grown. Of course, an excellent and convenient place
to find a good selection of native plants is at the Redbud Chapter’s semi-annual plant sales. The next one is Saturday, April 29 at Sierra College in Rocklin. Julie Carville, our book chairperson,
will have a supply of California Native Plants for the Garden at the book and poster tent. This will provide you a good chance to look over the book yourself, and gain a little inspiration. With the caveat that I have a particular weakness for books that celebrate nature, I give this book the
highest rating. It is well worth the price.

Thank you, Suzanne!

Thank you to Suzanne Olive for the use of her artwork for our plant sale flyer. Suzanne is a botanist, artist, and long-time CNPS member. Her botanical graphite pencil drawings reveal her deep appreciation of our Sierra environment and have been included in several national exhibits.

Let’s Take our Children “to the Woods”!!
By Julie Carville

I just finished reading a book called, Last Child in the Woods; Saving our Children from Nature- deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. It confirms what my heart has always told me: that a deep connection with nature is vital for the mental and emotional health of our children—and for us adults as well.
I have experienced the healing and revitalizing power of nature in my own life and with the students in my wildflower classes for over 30 years. I have had adults in high-powered city jobs come to the mountains and, for the first time, write poetry about what the flowers taught them in a weekend class. I have seen “healings” in children, like the little second grader who told me that he was “hyper” and had trouble being quiet, but that now she knew that there was a place where she belonged, where she could go to be quiet—in nature and with the wildflowers.
Running outdoors (without adult supervision!!) to explore and play in a vacant lot, to wander in the woods or to build a fort was taken for granted when I was a kid. Now too many children lack free access to nature, and instead spend long hours indoors in front of the tv or with video games and are so overscheduled that there is no time after school to just play outdoors.
This lack of free play in nature is a concern because something has changed in our children. We’re seeing children now that are generally more stressed, who have more difficulty focusing on tasks and who experience greater performance anxiety than previous generations. Children with extreme problems in these areas are diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This condition was virtually unknown when I was raising my children, but we now accept drugging these children, without knowing what long-term health problems they may suffer in the future.
The hopeful news is that researchers are now finding that children with ADHD improve after being in nature and that many are able to give up their dependence on drugs entirely. They have found that children in general who develop a nature connection are better able to focus, to be relaxed, and more easily make friends. They find that they do better in school and are just plain happier. Studies show that even organized sports do not have as positive an effect on a child as does time spent in nature.
Edith Cobb who studied and wrote about the effect of nature on children found that most of the great contributors to society had spent time in nature as children. These contributors had transcendent experiences, in nature, that gave them the confidence to be different from the crowd, to ask questions, to create in new ways and to feel a deep sense of belonging that carried them through life. So how can we as parents and grandparents help our children develop these qualities? With the natural environment we have here in Nevada County all we need to do is to set time in nature as a priority for our children and us.
Many parents tell me that they take their kids on hikes, but feel inadequate to “teach their children” about nature. Let’s not forget that kids teach themselves if given the chance to explore on their own. Can you remember back when you were a kid, when nature showed you something that awakened your senses and made you feel alive and excited about life. Nature was all the “teacher” that was needed. A loving parent or friend just adds to the fun.

•It is important that children feel safe and at home in nature. Children will feel safe if you feel safe when you share time with them. Take your child out under a full moon on a summer night and snuggle in a blanket under the stars as you listen to the night sounds or head out together, all bundled up, in a snowstorm to a safe area to feel the wildness of the wind, the snow, and the cold.

•Go to Bridgeport on the South Yuba River or to the Spenceville Wildlife Area in April with a magnifying glass to experience the exquisite detail in a flower or to view “cool” things that you and your child find.

•Lie on your backs together in a wild place, watching birds flying overhead and cloud formations moving across the sky—with no agenda.

•Do as Rachael Carson did with her young nephew—go into the garden at night with a flashlight (covered with red cellophane to dim the light) to look for little insects in the grass and to find the little crickets that make music at night.

•Let your children name the flowers that they find and learn about the plants later to discover how the Nisenan ”Indians,” who lived in our area, gathered them for medicine, weapons, or food.

•Find a special place together and return to it again and again; get to know it in all its different seasons, in the flowers that bloom and set seed, in the animals that live there or pass through, in the power of the trees—so that it becomes a place that will always be in your child’s heart.

•Make sure your child has safe areas where he or she can go to play with friends, without adults, to develop friendships, imagination, self-confidence, and creativity.

Expose your children to nature and the rest will unfold. They will discover that we all belong to something much bigger and wiser than ourselves and that no matter where we are, we are home. Just take your children out and Nature will do its magic!
P.S. Learn what poison oak looks like and, after you get home from a day of play, check for ticks!

A Restoration Work Party
By Frances Jorgenson

Friends of Deer Creek had a restoration work party in Pioneer Park, Nevada City, on Saturday, February 11. I brought 13 trees that were donated by Redbud Chapter. About a dozen members of the high school environment club showed up. They were awesome and mostly girls. Julie Becker removed blackberry vines— roots and all! Others planted trees—all of them—and others worked on willow waddles. The project is looking good, especially considering that this wetlands area has been confined to one little corner of the ball field!
Go to Pioneer Park and see what we have done. It is at the far end of the park along the creek and near the parking lot and ball fields. I’ve requested more donations of plant material from Redbud Chapter for several other exciting restoration projects by South Yuba River Citizens League, Wolf Creek Alliance, and Friends of Deer Creek. Contact me if you’d like to help at

Chapter Field Trips:
Late Spring and Summer 2006

All field trips are open to the public and free of charge. CNPS insurance rules prevent us from assigning car pools, but we do suggest ride sharing. Parking space at most trailheads is limited. Field trips will “go” unless it is pouring rain. Bring water, lunch, hand lens, and sun protection or raingear, as needed.For more information, call Frances Jorgensen, Field Trip Chair, at 530-265-4838 or e-mail her at or check our web pages for updates at

Bear Valley in Colusa County
This is essentially a car trip with frequent stops involving very little hiking other than wandering around at the stops.
Saturday, May 6, 9:00 AM
parking lot at Granzella’s Restaurant in Williams
Leader: Chet Blackburn

Nestled between hills in the inner Coast Range, Bear Valley in Colusa County is home to one of the most spectacular displays of wildflowers in the state. It provides a little touch of what California was like before before settlement. In good years, a sea of blues, yellows, and whites roll across the expansive valley floor. Mass displays of Douglas Lupine, Cream Cups, Woodland Layia, Tidy Tips, and Owl’s Clover make up most of the floral carpet, but there are literally hundreds of species to be found there and on nearby Walker Ridge. The peak of the bloom is generally in late April, but there will still be plenty to see on our early May trip. After passing through the valley, we will drive up to Walker Ridge for a completely different type of floral experience. A number of rare plants occur in the serpentine soils of the ridge, which separates Colusa and Lake Counties.
Directions: Bear Valley is a two-hour drive from theAuburn Area, a little less from the Grass Valley area. Granzella’s is approximately 11⁄2 hours from Auburn and Williams is the last stop for gas and supplies on our trip. Granzella’s is located at 451 Sixth Street in Williams (where
Hwy. 20 crosses I-5) and is a rather unique place to spend some time beforehand if you have not been there. If you would like to share rides from the Auburn area, contact Chet Blackburn at 530-885-0201. If you would like to share rides from the Grass Valley/ Nevada City area, contact Frances at 530-265-4838.

Vegetation Workshop at Hells Half Acre
Saturday, May 13, 8:45 AM Rood Center parking lot

Please pre-register for the workshop: 916-327-8454 or Josie will send you more complete information on this workshop.
Leader: Josie Crawford

As part of a large-scale effort to define the vegetation types in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Josie Crawford from the Vegetation Program of CNPS will be teaching a free workshop on the Rapid Assessment method for surveying plant communities from 9:00 AM–4:30 PM at Hell’s Half Acre near Grass Valley. We will begin the day with a tour lead by Josie and Karen Callahan of the unique wildflower habitat on ancient volcanic mud flows that form the 25 acres known as Hells Half Acre.  The Sierra Nevada foothills project is in its second year of data collection. We are sampling vegetation types from Shasta county to Mariposa county with the goal of collecting enough information to represent the range of plant communities that occur across the Foothills landscape. We cannot do this without the help of chapter members who know their habitats better than we do. You know the unique habitats of your foothill land. As 85% of land in the foothills is private land, we need your help gaining access to some of these lands. If you would like to participate in this project in any way—sampling, locations for unique plant communities, or access to private land, please call Josie at 916-327-8454 or e-mail at

Cottonwood Ecological, Wildflower, and Bird Walk
Saturday, June 10, 8:30 AM

Rood Center parking lot, return by 4:00 PM
Leader: Don Rivenes

We will be observing conditions twelve years after the Cottonwood fire that burned 46,000 acres near the Little Truckee summit near Loyalton, Sierra County. The U.S. Forest Service is currently being challenged in court over plans to spray 13,500 acres in Cottonwood with herbicides. Steve Benner, forest ecologist with the Forest Issues Group, will be pointing out conifer growth conditions since the fire, and discuss effects of shrub competition on growth. Vivian Parker of CNPS and California Indian Basketweavers Association will help with plant identification and talk about impacts of herbicide use on biota. Don Harkin will provide his usual insightful analysis of ecological conditions for the area, and Don Rivenes of Audubon will divert wildflower enthusiasts by calling attention to local bird songs.

Sugar Pine Point Research Natural Area
Saturday, June 17, 10:00 AM

Rood Center parking lot, return by 6:00 PM
or meet at the Yuba Gap Exit from I-80 at 11:00 AM
Leader: Russell Towle

The Sugar Pine Point Natural Research Area of the Tahoe National Forest overlooks the North Fork American River canyon. This south-facing, old-growth mixed conifer forest at about 6,000 feet elevation is bounded on three sides by cliffs. On these rocky cliffs may be found the Wooly Violet, the Common Juniper, and Kellogg’s Lewisia, in association with storm-blasted Douglas Fir. The walking involves a round trip distance of about 5 miles with some climbing on gentle grades of about a thousand feet in total. We’ll look for bear trails and other wildlife of this unusual forest of towering Sugar Pines. Be prepared for some cross country walking in areas without maintained trails. Russell has lived near and hiked the North Fork Canyon for many years. He maintains a website about the Canyon—be sure to browse the wildflower gallery:

Directions: From Yuba Gap we will ride together, using high clearance vehicles, on Forest Road 19 several miles past Lake Valley Reservoir.

An Afternoon With Leaves of Grass in the Bear Valley, Nevada County
Picnic and Walk

Saturday, June 24, 10:30 AM Rood Center parking lot
Leader: Virginia Moran

First we will spend time looking at the grasses. Hike will be off-trail sometimes and bumpyish through a grass-dominated meadow with at least 10 different native and nonnative grass species growing in it, including some only typical of wetlands. General anatomy of the grasses necessary for keying and categorizing them into various groups and families will be covered. A list of the grasses we identify will be provided. A fish habitat restoration project is in progress on certain portions of the Bear River and a speaker to address this topic will also (hopefully) be supplied. A reading from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass will take place as we picnic in the shade of the pines on the edges of the meadow. Bring a lunch, snacks, and maybe even a blanket because we will picnic in the shade while Walt Whitman is read aloud. (He would approve of this I think.) The area we’ll visit is a meadow with trees on the edges, but little to no cover. It could be hot. Dress sensibly for the weather including plenty of water, hat, sunscreen, long sleeves, and definitely wear hiking boots, not tennis shoes. Bring bug stuff just to be on the safe side. Virginia is a professional botanist and local activist on matters effecting the environment.

Directions: From the Rood Center we will caravan to Bear Valley on Highway 20. We will make one stop on the way at the Omega Rest Area, about 14 miles out of Nevada City on the left, which is the last rest area before we start the walk. People can also leave their cars and share rides from here if they so desire. From the Omega Rest Area we will take the road to the Boy Scout camp and park along and off this road.

Donner Peak Wildflower Hike

Saturday, July 15, 8:30 AM Rood Center parking lot
Leader: Julie Carville

The Donner Peak hike starts near Lake Mary at Donner Summit on the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail begins in a forested seep garden of pink and yellow monkey flowers, orange alpine lilies, crimson columbines, and lush ferns. It soon opens to a sunlit, rocky trail that winds its way up the mountain on gradual switch-backs through hillsides of rock garden flowers. If we hit peak bloom, we’ll see penstemons, sedums, mallows, violets, lilies, and other beauties in a vibrant display of color. We’ll talk about Native American uses of plants and view the delicate beauty of flowers through hand lenses. In about a mile, the trail levels out and continues on through wet gardens of lupines and other flowers until we arrive at a notch in windswept, craggy Donner Peak. We’ll have lunch near the top of the peak with stunning views of Donner Lake and the mountains beyond. Boots are recommended for the rocky trail. Distance is about 4 miles round trip, but the uphill climb may make it seem longer! Bring hand lenses. Julie will have 10-power Bausch & Lomb lenses for sale for $30. Contact Julie for any questions at

Squaw Peak and Shirley Canyon

Saturday, July 29, 7:45 AM Rood Center parking lot
$20.00 per person for the cost of the tram ride
Leaders: Sue Graf and Bobbi Wilkes

We will need to leave the Rood Center promptly at 8:00 AM to catch the first tram in Squaw Valley to ride to the top. After leaving the spectacular tram ride, we will walk about a mile to the peak and see masses of wildflowers including Lewis’ Monkeyflower, White-veined Mallow, Showy Penstemons, and Lavender Gilia. We’ll explore around the top peak at 8,000 feet, enjoy the views of Lake Tahoe in the distance, then drop down to Shirley Canyon and Shirley Lake. After lunch and a swim, we’ll hike the three miles down to the bottom along the creek.  The tram leaves every 20 minutes from the Squaw Valley parking lot and costs $20 (senior discount available). That’s one way or round trip, in case you don’t want to walk back down to the Squaw Valley parking lot. This field trip involves some elevation gain and climbing. It’s a moderately difficult walk over rocky terrain at times.

Wildflower Posters

We have an overstock of the following posters:

Redwood Wildflowers, Coastal Wildflowers, and Coastal Shrubs, so we will be offering them at the plant sale or through Julie Carville (265-4741) at our cost of $6.00 for laminated posters and $4.00 for unlaminated, plus tax. The regular retail price is $15.00 for laminated and $12 for unlaminated. This is a real bargain for schools, organizations, and others.

Sierra Wildflower CD

500 Sierra Wildflowers is the title of a new CD with photography by Larry Norris, Jim Shevock, and Karen Callahan. Editor Steve Hartman of NatureBase has added a wealth of information to the photographs. Multiple photos can be displayed side-by-side on your computer screen. With audio turned on, you’ll even learn how to pronounce plant names. Copies will be available at our plant sale’s book table on April 29.

Calendar of Upcoming Events

April 20  7:30 PM    Special Program by Redbud Chapter and Citizens for Fire Safety Sanity:
                                 Nevada County Fire Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nevada Co. Library Community Room
April 26  7:30 PM    Redbud BOD Meeting: All members are index . . . . . . .
April 29  9:30 AM    Spring Native Plant Sale and Wildflower Show . . Sierra College, Rocklin Campus
May 6     9:00 AM    Field Trip-Bear Valley in Colusa County . . . . Granzella’s Restaurant in Williams
May 13   8:45 AM    Field Trip-Vegetation Workshop at Hells Half Acre . . . . . Rood Center parking lot
May 24   7:30 PM    Redbud Chapter Meeting:
                                 Conifers of California  . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nevada Co. Library Comm. Rm
June 10  8:30 AM    Field Trip-Cottonwood Ecological, Wildflower, and Bird Walk  . . Rood Center lot
June 11  9:00 AM    The American River Confluence Festival
                                 Sponsored by Protect American River Canyons . . . . . . . . .
June 17  10:00 AM  Field Trip-Sugar Pine Point Research Natural Area . . . . . . . . . . Rood Center lot
June 24  10:30 AM  Field Trip-An Afternoon With Leaves of Grass in the Bear Valley, Nevada County
                                  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rood Center parking lot
July 15    8:30 AM   Field Trip-Donner Peak Wildflower Hike . . . . . . ,. . . . . Rood Center parking lot
July 27    7:30 PM   Redbud Chapter Meeting:
                                 The Alpine Region of the Sierra Nevada . . . . . .Nevada Co. Library Comm. Rm
July 29    7:45 AM   Field Trip-Squaw Peak and Shirley Canyon . . . . . . . . . Rood Center parking lot
Sept. 27  7:30 PM    Redbud Chapter Meeting:
                                 Landscaping with California Native Plants . . . .Nevada Co. Library Comm. Rm
Oct. 25    7:30 PM   Redbud Chapter Meeting: Introducing the Wildflower Book  . . . . . . . . . Auburn
Nov. 16   7:30 PM   Redbud Chapter Meeting: Members’ Night  . . .Nevada Co. Library Comm. Rm



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Last updated
May 24, 2006