Just say, “Hell, no.”

Pampas grass invades Encinas Creek in San Diego County. Source: California Invasive Plant Council. Click on the image to the taken to Cal IPC's "Don't Plant a Pest" site.

The environment writer’s environment writer, Ilsa Setziol, has this piece on invasive plants in the new edition of High Country News.

To everyone who ever admired Mexican feather grass, read it.

To Ilsa, who in addition to producing Rambling LA also contributes to this site, the Los Angeles Times, KQED’s Climate Watch and public radio, how nice to see you in HCN.

Rambling LA: The Chumash Trail

Environment reporter Ilsa Setziol recently left the San Gabriel foothill haunts often covered by her blog Rambling LA for a hike on the Chumash trail in Point Mugu State Park. This photo essay captures glimpses of coastal sage scrub in spring, including the toyon, sages and artemisia pictured above. Click here for more images from Ilsa’s foray, including close-ups of mariposa lilies, buckwheat, prickly pears, golden stars, monkey flowers and yucca spires. For background on the trail, click here for a piece by John McKinney from the Los Angeles Times. Or for regional Southern California listings of hikes, restoration projects and dry garden events, click here. If you have an event that you would like listed, please send details to emily.green [@] mac.com or provide a link in the comment box.

The future of forests


Giant Sequoias at Redwood Mountain, Kings Canyon National Park, CA, in the largest grove of this species. Photo courtesy of John Evarts, Cachuma Press

Ronald M. Lanner has explored the forests of the Western United States for 50 years. In the course of this, and in devoting five of his six books to the region’s trees, he has revealed that no where else on the planet has the same diversity of conifers, be it the oldest (bristlecone pines) or the tallest (redwoods) or the biggest (sequoias).

So Chance of Rain asked environment reporter Ilsa Setziol to interview Lanner on the future of the region’s timbered ranges in the face of climate change. Her discussion with the author of “The Pinon Pine,” “Trees of the Great Basin,”The Conifers of California,” “Made for Each Other: A Symbiosis of Birds and Pines,” and “The Bristlecone Book

Rambling LA: From fire, flowers

Detail from the cover of "California's Fading Wildflowers" by Richard A. Minnich, UC Press. For more information, click on the hillsides.

By Ilsa Setziol

“WE GET excited after fires,” admits Ileene Anderson, a Los Angeles-based public lands director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “In the chaparral in Southern California, fires burn down all that thick impenetrable shrubbiness. With that over-story cleared out, it allows for terrific blooms of annuals or short-lived perennials that only show up after fires.”

Rambling LA: To take a backward look

These are the days when Birds come back —

A very few — a Bird or two —

To take a backward look.

Emily Dickinson

HOPE  is indeed a thing with feathers, writes Ilsa Setziol. In a landscape entombed in cement, the sight of a wild bird soaring — circling over the freeway, alighting on the towers of high-tension power liness — offers a sudden thrill.

If it’s a majestic bird, it’s probably a hawk.

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