Musings of an Old-timer (in Native Plant Gardening), by
The Paintbrush, Summer 2015, San Gabriel Mountains Chapter, California Native Plant Society.
When you put a new plant in the ground, have you ever wondered how it will do, how it will look in six weeks, next season, two years from now, five years from now? Whenever you plant a seedling or a one gallon pot, whenever you sow those wildflower seeds, have you always been confident that they will grow and develop just beautifully as promised?... (more...)
Now Is the Time . . ., by
Naturalist Notes, Jan-Feb 2015, Sierra Club, Angeles Chapter, Natural Science Section.
Have you ever missed the opportunity to enjoy nature, because you are short on time rushing to work every day, or short on money for gas driving to the coveted mountains, foothills, and canyons of Southern California?... (more...)
The Amazing Story of Fire Recovery, by
Cliff and Gabi McLean
Watershed Wise, March, 2011, The Los Angeles & San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council.
Since the Altadena fire in 1993, we have been intrigued by fire recovery, and have followed and documented it by photographing the recovering vegetation over the years. We observed recovery after several fires, in particular the Curve/Williams fire, other smaller fire in the San Gabriel Mountains, and then the recent Station fire... (more...)
Station Fire Burn Areas Begin Their Own Recovery, by
Cliff and Gabi McLean
Southern Sierran, December, 2009, Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club.
All of us who love to spend time in the San Gabriel Mountains were justifiably distressed when 161,000 acres burned in the recent Station Fire. Action-oriented Sierra Clubbers and others are eager to get out and contribute to the recovery of the burned areas of the Angeles National Forest. The mountains, however, have already begun their own recovery... (more...)
Invasive Weed Survey Trip in the Arroyo Seco, by
The Paintbrush, January-February 2009, San Gabriel Mountains Chapter, California Native Plant Society.
On October 25, 2008, six members of the chapter made a 9 mile hike — from the Switzer Picnic Area, along the Angeles Crest Highway, down-canyon to Altadena — to survey the invasive weeds in the Arroyo Seco. This well-known and heavily used canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains has been overtaken ... (more...)
Increase Your Knowledge this June, by
Southern Sierran, September, 2008, Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club.
The moon shone through the pines and cedars, throwing soft shadows across our path. We were following the dirt road along the Santa Ana headwaters, crossing it over a low bridge, where we could hear the water gurgle and tree frogs join the crickets in their chorus. The road then led ... (more...)
Today's Arroyo Seco, by
The Paintbrush, January-February 2008, San Gabriel Mountains Chapter, California Native Plant Society.
The first time I hiked in the Arroyo was in 1989, on one of the many “Naturecize” hikes led by the late Pat Brame, an Eaton Canyon docent and naturalist. We met at the end of Altadena Drive and ventured into the cool canyon with year-round water and many stream crossings, following the water upstream ... (more...)
The Paintbrush, Fall 2007, San Gabriel Mountains Chapter, California Native Plant Society.
As a youngster, I dreamed of adventure in far away places, exploring unknown wild lands. The books I was devouring sparked in me the image of facing exciting great challenges and horrific obstacles that I would overcome and, in the end, make great discoveries. The dreams of a child! ... (more...)
Flora of the Santa Ana River and Environs, book review by
The Paintbrush, May-June 2007, San Gabriel Mountains Chapter, California Native Plant Society.
Ever wondered what that red stuff on Red-stemmed Filaree is? Or when the backside of the banner of Lotus strigosus turns from yellow to red? Did you ever want to see the seeds of Wand Mullein? Or see the detail of the male and female flowers of the California Pepper Tree, which is really from South America? If you love detail, color, pictures, facts, charts, and botanical discussion ... (more...)
The Paintbrush, March-April 2007, San Gabriel Mountains Chapter, California Native Plant Society.
How eagerly had I been waiting for winter, the season of promise and awakening, when the earth soaks in the water and so do the roots and tubers and corms and bulbs and fungi; when tiny cotyledons break through the soil ... (more...)
Connecting with Nature, by
The Paintbrush, January-February 2007, San Gabriel Mountains Chapter, California Native Plant Society.
The end of fall seems dreary – the long weeks without rain reflect on the plants in the wild. Many shrubs and trees lost their leaves, exposing the branches, which in turn have become brittle and dry, having changed color from a warm brown to a dirty gray. While the leaves of our local sycamores ... (more...)
April Field Notes, by
The Paintbrush, May-August 2006, San Gabriel Mountains Chapter, California Native Plant Society.
It was only in mid-February that we treasured the winter storms after weeks without precipitation. Since then though, we have had plenty of water falling from the sky. It seemed to rain mostly on weekends and so we ended up hiking during showers quite a bit in the last eight weeks. I enjoyed ... (more...)
February Field Notes: Trees, by
The Paintbrush, March-April 2006, San Gabriel Mountains Chapter, California Native Plant Society.
On a recent trip after a much appreciated winter storm, we journeyed from the valley into the foothills, watching for signs of spring. We found subtle hues of colors on the hillsides, the smell of damp earth, and the promise of rebirth; we did not find showy annuals, but many, many tiny flowers ... (more...)
Journey to the Top, by
The Paintbrush, Fall 2004, San Gabriel Mountains Chapter, California Native Plant Society.
I love to go up into the mountains, away from the hustle and bustle of the valley. I seek solitude and find solace there. The physical exertion of climbing steep hillsides forces me to stop frequently and rest. I always find some interesting ... (more...)
Where the Funny Plants Grow, by
The Paintbrush, March - April 2004, San Gabriel Mountains Chapter, California Native Plant Society.
A vast expanse between the mountains and the ocean starts where the San Gabriel River empties into the valley. With every winter storm, the old river used to heap more sand and gravel onto the huge alluvium of the Los Angeles basin. Today, the forces of the river... (more...)
"Gabi McLean's San Gabriel Valley Home Native Garden:
Ruminations on the benefits of replacing your lawn with a native landscape"
CNPS Bulletin, October-December 2003, California Native Plant Society.
It's morning. The cool air greets me as I step outside, car keys in hand, purse tucked under my arm, maneuvering carefully so that my business suit won't brush the carport pillar. I catch a glimpse of the poppy blossoms still folded up in the hazy morning light. The soft breeze... (more...)
A New Look at Old Trails, by
Paw Prints, October, 2002, Eaton Canyon Nature Center Associates.
We are nearing the end of summer in one of the driest seasons on record in our area, certainly the driest that I have experienced in the 25 years that I have lived in this county. In previous years, I have not spent much time in Eaton Canyon during the summer, due to the heat, and would rather... (more...)
Birding at Work?, by
Paw Prints, February, 2002, Eaton Canyon Nature Center Associates.
Eaton Canyon is where I love to go on the weekends, but during the week I am at work, in an office building that’s part of a long complex at the edge of Pomona where the 10, 210, 57 and 71 freeways intersect. The area used to be a mixture of coastal and desert scrub, but now it is all... (more...)
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