Saturday, May 2, 2015, 9:45 am to 3:45 pm, Briones, Blue Oak and Spengler Trails
Native plant expert Gregg Weber will lead on this trail that includes views of some unusual plants, such as wax myrtle and chapparal pea (think pink), and Mount Diablo fairy lantern and pygmy leptosiphon all in bloom. We will see a lot of diversity in grasslands, oak woods of several species, chemise/black sage chaparral, with pipevine swallowtail caterpillars. The Blue Oak loop has a 700 foot elevation change and quite a few ups and downs. The round trip is about 5 miles.

Dogs: Our apologies, but please don’t bring a dog along.

Safety: Outdoor activities are inherently risky. On hiking trips, grave injury and death are not out of the realm of possibility. By coming on this trip, you agree to be 100% responsible for your own health, safety and well-being. If you bring a guest(s), that guest(s) will be 100% responsible for his/her own health, safety and well-being.

Sunday, May 17, 10 am, Hillside Natural Area in El Cerrito
Form up next to the Schmidt Lane trailhead, by the El Cerrito Recycling Area. We will traverse the hillside uphill, with a slight detour to look for Oakland star tulip.

Join friends of the Hillside Natural Area in El Cerrito to view the plants in this remnant oak woodland/savanna area. Janet Gawthrop will lead this trip in conjunction with the Hillside Festival, which aims to raise awareness of this woodland, with the goal of expanding and protecting it. We will focus on plants but we can also talk conservation of the area in general.
Meet us at the Schmidt Lane trailhead, also the festival location and near one of the most complete recycling centers in the Bay Area. From I-80, you can exit at either Central Avenue
and go north on San Pablo Avenue to Schmidt, or exit at Potrero and go south on San Pablo to Schmidt. If you don’t mind a short walk on city streets, you can take BART to El Cerrito Plaza, transfer to AC Transit # 72 northbound. Get off the # 72 bus at San Pablo and Schmidt and walk east (uphill) to the Schmidt Lane entrance. We will repeat the walk at 1:30 pm.

Click on the following link for a map with the Hillside Natural Area outlined: http://tinyurl.com/q3feyyz .

Sunday, May 17, 2:30 pm, David Margolies will lead a field trip to Los Trancos Open Space Preserve.
Los Trancos contains coralroot orchids and many other flowering plants native to the Mid-Peninsula Open Space Preserve system. After taking the Los Trancos trail for about one mile, participants may also visit some other parks in the area.

How to get there: Take 280 south to its junction with 84/Woodside Road. Take Woodside Road west (up the hill) through Woodside to Skyline Boulevard. Turn left (south) on Skyline and go to Page Mill Road. Turn left (east) on Page Mill, and the park is about a ½ mile further on the left, before a steep downhill area. Notice the columbines on the right where the side of the road is wooded. You can also take 280 to Page Mill Road and come up to the park via Page Mill. If you reach Skyline Boulevard, you have gone about one ½ mile too far.

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White fairy lanterns (Calochortus albus), left, and gum plant (Grindelia camporum), below.
These plants are in bloom now 
and are often seen at Los Trancos Preserve,
where David Margolies is leading a field trip on Sunday, May 17. The photos

 are by Janet Bray from the East Bay Native Plants CD, for sale at Native Here Nursery.