Category Archives: Nature

The Geminids Meteor Shower

palomar cabin

Geminid Meteor Shower

One of the better winter star shows. This well known meteor shower peaks in mid December, right in the middle of Christmas Rush. It’s a nice time to plan a desert camping trip around or a weekend away in the mountains. Look in the southern part of the nights sky these shootings stars.

The meteors from this shower are slow moving, can be seen in December and usually peak around the 13th – 14th of the month, with the date of highest intensity being the morning of the 14th. The shower is thought to be intensifying every year and recent showers have seen 120–160 meteors per hour under optimal conditions, generally around 02:00 to 03:00 local time.

The meteors in this shower appear to come from a radiant in the constellation Gemini (hence the shower’s name). However, they can appear almost anywhere in the night sky, and often appear yellowish in hue. Well north of the equator, the radiant rises about sunset, reaching a usable elevation from the local evening hours onwards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geminids

Annual event; December

xmascabins

How to best view a Meteor Shower

California Deserts

California Christmas Cabins

Leonid Meteor Shower

Death Valley 4x4

This autumn meteor shower peaks in mid November & a great weekend for planning a desert camping trip around. Look in the eastern part of the nights sky these shootings stars, up to 10 per hour. Pre-dawn viewing is always best for meteor showers.

California Deserts are wonderful at this time of year. Many folks plan Thanksgiving celebration around this outdoorsy celestial event.

Annual event; November

How to best view a Meteor Shower

California Deserts

Orionid Meteor Shower

June Lake Autumn

An autumn meteor shower peaks in late October & perfect for planning a camping trip, cabin weekend or fishing trip around it. Eastern Sierra Nevada destinations are wonderful at this time of year, as fall colors w/ aspens peak as well. Look in the southeastern part of the nights sky these shootings stars, up to 12 per hour. Pre-dawn viewing is always best for meteor showers.

Annual event; October

How to best view a Meteor Shower

Sierra Nevada Destinations

CA Desert Destinations

Snow Goose Festival

BIRDERS unite under the Pacific Flyway

spillwaycrews

19 years running, the Snow Goose Festival’s mission is to increase public awareness, understanding, appreciation and conservation of the diverse wildlife and unique habitats of the northern Sacramento Valley.

Workshops and field trips; advanced reservations online

Annual event; January
530-592-9092

CHICO CA

snowgoosefestival.org

California Wildflower Blooms

Lupine Oroville
Wildflowers in California 

Wildflowers bloom all over California – from the desert in winter months, to the High Sierra in mid summer.  Remember that the timing is everything, since most of these precious, delicate beauties only last a week or so. Out there alone, all day in the bright sunshine, whipping in the seasons strongest breezes. Flora!Ocotillo Joshua Tree

The higher the elevation, the later the bloom.
Lower elevation deserts begin to show as early as February and higher elevation peaks thaw in May. Wilderness meadows and flowers can be found in the mountains in summer. Generally in California, Springtime – between MARCH and JUNE is the best viewing time.

Places to find Wildflowers in California

West coast wildflower blooms in relation to elevation; Order of bloom is typically

  • low deserts (FEB)
  • high deserts (APRIL)
  • river canyons
  • central valley
  • mountain foothills (MAY)
  • coastal foothills
  • mountain forests (JUNE)
  • high altitude meadows
  • mountain lakes
  • mountain peaks (JULY)

some recent finds:

Carrizo Plain Super Bloom – W of Taft, CA

Klipstein Canyon, Kern County @ Hwy 166Gorman Post Road

Cottonwood Canyon
W of New Cuyama, CA

School House Canyon
W of New Cuyama, CA

Figueroa Mountain Rd – Los Padres NF @ Santa Ynez, CA

Table Mountain – Cherokee Road, N Oroville, CA

 

Box Canyon @ Mecca, California

Turtle Mountain Road, Needles, CA

Mill Creek, Lassen NF

Lassen Peak Lupine Way HikeNPS
Lassen NP (mid-to-late summer)

Lassen Peak Lupine Summer Hikes

more pages on wildflowers –

California Wildflowers

California Golden Poppies

Poppy Reserve Antelope Valley, LA Co.

Poppy Stompers

popstrollin

Anza Borrego Desert Wildflowers

Mojave Desert

Monterey Bay Birding Festival

Merlin (Falco columbarius)

Monterey Bay Birding Festival

Experienced guides lead participants to their favorite bird watching spots on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with special outings, workshops and presentations. Come witness this fall gathering of locals and visitors.

Annual event; September

WATSONVILLE CA

montereybaybirding.org

Egret with Fish, Whalers Cove

Startled

Phoenix Fire

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Phoenix Fire Gathering

2014: LINKS & INFO on this once popular drum circle event in the Santa Cruz mountains is no longer happening.

Fire gathering & drum circle in the Santa Cruz Redwoods. Annual gathering in the coastal mountains. The heart center of the gathering is the all-night fire circles where people of many paths join together in Sacred Space. With ash on our skin, smoke in our hair, and flames in our eyes, our rhythms, songs and chants ring from the redwoods.

Annual event; August

BOULDERCREEK CA

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20100813_1890

Perseid Meteor Shower

Sierra Nevada Mountains

This Summertime meteor shower is usually the best show of the year, if the new moon is near. High Sierra destinations are wonderful. Especially Eastern Sierra destinations, well away from the big city lights & urbanization of California.

Summer mild temperatures make higher altitude & mountain destinations favorable. The air is thinner, the sky clearer and the stars are closer at high elevations.

Perseids peaks in mid-August every summer. Perfect timing for planning a summer vacation or camping trip around this annual anticipated event. Look in the northeast part of the nights sky for grazers & numerous shootings stars, up to 60 per hour. Pre-dawn viewing is always best for meteor showers.

Annual event; August

How to best view a Meteor Shower

High Sierra Destinations

Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower

Sequoia Dome Rock

Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower

This annual meteor shower peaks in late July, close to the infamous summer show of the Perseids. Higher elevations w. clear skies are favored. Granite domes such as this one called “DomeRock” are common in the granite range of the Sierra Nevada. Dome Rock is near the infamous climbing spot, the Needles & near the small, cabin community of Ponderosa, CA in the Giant Sequoia region.

Look in the southern part of the nights sky for these shootings stars, up to 20 per hour. Pre-dawn viewing is always best for meteor showers.

Annual event; July

How to best view a Meteor Shower

Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

What in the hell is an “Eta Aquarid”? It’s a meteor shower in the Springtime; This annual meteor shower peaks in early May. Look in the northeast part of the nights sky for these shootings stars, up to 20 per hour – if you can handle the chilly nights. Most California deserts are prime star gazing spots. Pre-dawn viewing is always best for meteor showers.

Annual event; May

How to best view a Meteor Shower

Anza Borrego Stargazing
This is one of Jan Alexander’s photos from the Hollywood & Vine of Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Lyrid Meteor Shower

Anza Borrego DesertsThis annual meteor shower peaks in late April, one of the few shooting star shows in the Springtime. Look in the east part of the nights sky for the grazers or shootings stars, up to 12 per hour. Pre-dawn viewing is always best for meteor showers. Most deserts are prime star gazing spots. Spring blooms wildflowers in the California deserts at this time of year.

This photos is taken at the heights of Mortero Canyon Wash in the southern portion of Anza Borrego Desert State Park. County Road S2 leads out to some great back road camping options. Morterro Wash has big boulder campsites – back behind the abandon rail road tracks. These desert dirt roads are not recommended for RV or motorhome travel. Deep sand is common. Passenger cars can make it – if they do not slow or stop in the soft sandy spots.

Annual event; April

How to best view a Meteor Shower

California Desert Destinations
California Desert Camping
California Hot Springs Resorts

CURRENT MOON

Quadrantid Meteor Shower

Anza Borrego Desert State ParkThis annual meteor shower peaks in early January, right after the New Years celebrations. Look in the northeast part of the nights sky for these shootings stars, up to 40 per hour – if you can handle the chilly nights. Pre-dawn viewing is always best for meteor showers.

Most California deserts are prime star gazing spots. This photo is open camping on back roads, in Coyote Canyon, Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Plenty hiking near here; Desert wildflowers start as early as February, depending (of course) on the seasonal rains.

Annual event; January

How to best view a Meteor Shower

California Desert Destinations
California Desert Camping
California Hot Springs Resorts

CURRENT MOON