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Friday, March 25, 2016

Signs of Spring in California

native California holly-leafed cherry
Spring is in full bloom. California's native plants have taken advantage of the late winter rain and are bursting with flowers. The bees are active and the California desert tortoises are grudgingly awake.

mourning cloak chrysalis
An Earth Minute can give you the chance to make discoveries in your own backyard, like the mourning cloak butterflies that have already gone from caterpillar to chrysalis and the Bewick's wrens that are nesting in the lariat bird house.

The ceanothus's blue blooms and the white flowers of the Catalina cherry and holly-leaf cherry are filled with bees. The mallow and sage are bursts of color wooing the desert tortoises to wake up and explore. 

The dudleya is still working on its flower spike, while the various lavenders fill the air with an exotic spice. We've even seen the lesser goldfinches eat the lavender seeds.

This marks our second anniversary of Earth Minutes. Take a moment to discover your own Earth Minute, then come back and explore our 104 one-minute adventures.

Watch the Bewick's wrens build a nest 
Discover California's Dudleya Diversity
More Desert Tortoises - Sleepy Tortoise & Tortoise with a Friend
California Native Plants: under oaks, fighting drought, Pierce College Botanical Garden

See California
Explore Places Across the U.S. and Around the World
Watch Wildlife
Hear the Sounds of Places and Events
Discover Unique Human Culture

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Walking to Ft. Tryon and the Cloisters in the fall New York City

The Earth Minute takes an autumn walk in New York City.
On a drizzly day we walked up the hill to Fort Tryon and the Cloisters Museum.

Red and green foliage is in starkly beautiful contrast 
to the grey weathered Manhattan Schist and biotite cliffs.
The Met Cloisters
99 Margaret Corbin Drive 
Fort Tryon Park
New York, NY 10040

Phone: 212-923-3700
Here is some early history and geology of the park -and on Fort Tryon

For another walk in New York, visit us on
Autumn Walk in New York's Central Park  - (New York City, New York)


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Walking the Los Angeles River Thru Atwater Village

We've left the San Fernando Valley and we're headed toward downtown Los Angeles. Even here, the Los Angeles River continues to surprise us.
Looking up the Los Angeles River from the Los Feliz Blvd. Bridge
At first glance the Los Angeles River's cement sides suggest flood canal, but no one has told the wildlife. Willows, reeds, and palms are establishing themselves and providing habitat.


Art painted on a bridge support.
We continue to see a variety of water fowl and birds (34 species in this section). But for the first time we saw a coyote and Canada geese in the River.

The bridge at Los Feliz Blvd. offers easy viewing of the River. There is close parking at the Community Golf Course and a cute food establishment.

Closed access, due to El Nino flood control measures, caused us to cross the River several times and to reroute through adjacent neighborhoods, but we soon found the river walkway again.

We ended at the Marsh Street Nature Center–a hidden treasure with lovely walkways, native plants, a skate park, and a large mosaic rattlesnake sculpture. Just a quarter of a mile further we stopped in at the local Spoke Bicycle Cafe right off the L.A. River Bikeway at N. Coolridge Ave. More photos by Douglas Welch

This area is dog friendly (on a leash), but be sure to give right of way to bicyclists. 

Discover a section of the Los Angeles River near you.
Discover the Headwaters of the Los Angeles River (least sandpipers, American crows) 
Walking the L.A. River - West San Fernando Valley (killdeer, mallards, American crows)
Discover L.A. River at Sepulveda Basin (red-tailed hawk, Canada geese, American wigeon)
Sepulveda Basin - An Earth Minute in One Spot (American coot, double-crested cormorant, song sparrow)

Wildlife at L.A. River - Glendale Narrows (American wigeon, greater yellowlegs, black-necked stilt)

Where will you find your EARTHMINUTE ?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

California's Liveforevers - Dudleya

California's dudleya, also known as liveforever, are native plants truly adapted for drought. These succulents store water in their fleshy leaves. The plant can dry out, almost completely, and revive when rain finally returns.

While the mainland species has flat gray leaves, numerous leaf shapes, flower color, and foliage color have evolved on California's Channel Islands. Island isolation has led to the evolution of numerous species in niche habitats.


Flowers typically appear on stalks that rise up from the plant's stem or from between leaves. 

Dudleya diversity is inspiring. The shapes and charisma of these plants is the perfect example of survival adaptations and the unique character of California's native plant species.

Go Native. Plant California native plants and create habitat while you save water.

Earth Minutes with California Native Plants
Small Discoveries Under Young Oaks
How Tall Is A Redwood Tree
Leaves that Fight Drought
Yucca Blooms
Pierce College Botanical Garden
Discover Fern Canyon, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Walk Mulholland Hwy, Santa Monica Mts, CA
More on the Channel Islands
Birds & Marine Mammals of CA Channel Islands
Meet the Channel Island Fox
Island of the Blue Dolphin - San Nicolas Island, CA
Discover Santa Cruz Island, CA

Animals Dependent on Native Plants
Watching Valley Carpenter Bees

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