Field Guide field trips, [new series]

Redwood Field Guide News

from Melissa Brooks, 4-1-03

Photos still needed for the redwood forest field guide! Good progress has been made on the redwood forest field guide currently in the works, but there's still much more to do. We completed the Trees section of the guide last fall, and are currently working on the Shrubs.

Thanks to all those CNPS-ers who contributed their fantastic plant slides and photos, we have some superb "field-guide-quality" shots for about half of the total species to be included in the book! Still though, there's many more photos needed. If you are into photography and would like to contribute your photos of redwood forest plants to be included in the field guide, read on!

To find out which species we still need images of, visit the chapter's website at From the home page, click on the DATABASES option and then on the "Redwood Field Guide Photo Acquisition" link. From there, you are able to do a number of queries. If you want to know which species we do NOT yet have images of, type the following query into the search box:

{contributors} eq ""

[i.e., records where the "contributors" field is empty].

What types of photos are we looking for? We need COLOR images (slides or high quality prints) that are sharp, clear, and show diagnostic features of the species. For example, if leaf shape is a critical feature for identifying a particular species, make sure to get a good direct shot that shows the entire leaf. Try to avoid oblique and sideways shots. Also try to get pictures of attractive-looking specimens, avoiding plant parts that are crushed, semi-eaten, discolored, etc. The more diagnostic features shown within a single shot the better. "Artsy" pictures are not necessarily the best. We've had to turn away some truly magnificent, "coffee-table-book-style" shots for lack of capturing diagnostic features necessary for field-guide usefulness. Remember to consider the shot's background, and avoid inclusion of extraneous objects (such as branches or logs) that might distract one's eye from the plant of focus. Ideally, the pictures included in the book should be one of the book's great selling points (in addition to other useful qualities, of course!)

If you have questions about picture-taking tips, reimbursement options (for chapter members only), or any other project-related issues, please feel free to contact Melissa Brooks (707-269-1382 or As with last summer, there will be another round of photo-review sessions where all chapter members will be invited to help pick the best photos to be included in the guide. So get your cameras snapping those beautiful redwood forest plants now!

Tis the Season for Redwood Forest Field Trips

by Melissa Brooks

The North Coast Chapter of CNPS is aiding in the production of A Field Guide to Redwood Forest Vascular Plants, a user-friendly, color-photo, comprehensive field guide that is being developed by the botanists of Natural Resources Management Corp. (NRM). Thanks to the enthusiasm and extraordinary efforts of Jennifer Wheeler of the Bureau of Land Management, BLM is funding our Chapter’s involvement in the guide’s production. Funds are currently available to support participation by ALL CHAPTER MEMBERS in a series of field trips that are scheduled this season (see below). The trips will be to various redwood forests throughout the range of the redwood (from southern Oregon to Big Sur) for the purpose of compiling species lists and photographing taxa. Any chapter member is welcome to participate in these trips, regardless of botanical knowledge.

Come One, Come All!

Whether you’re a novice "non-botanist" or a plant-savvy professional, as long as you have an interest in the flora and a keen eye in the field, your participation on these trips will be valuable. Perhaps you enjoy hiking around in the woods learning about and discussing the myriad of plants around you? Perhaps you enjoy making a list of any and every plant you see in a particular area? Perhaps you enjoy photographing plants and would like to donate your color slides to be published in the book? If you said yes to any of the above, we welcome and encourage you to join us on these FULLY FUNDED field trips!

Free Food and Fun!

The generous funding from BLM will cover gas, camping, camping food, and transportation costs (we may rent passenger vans for the further away trips if enough people are interested). At least partial reimbursement for film and developing costs is also available for those who donate color slides. If you already have color slides for donating or are interested in taking photographs (even if you don’t participate in the field trips), please contact the Project Coordinator, Kim Hayler, for info. on which species we need photographs of and what types of photographs we’re seeking contact Kim Hayler at 707/269-1384.

Fun Field Trips!

Most trips will be to various state parks and will be led by one or more of NRM’s botanists (Kim Hayler, Colette Beaupré, Melissa Brooks, and David Loya). People of all levels of hiking ability are encouraged to attend. Below is the semi-tentative trip schedule. The length of each trip and location of trips on any given weekend may change depending on how much participation we get and where we find we need to focus our "surveys" as the season progresses. If you’d like to join us for ONE OR MORE of these trips, please contact the Field Trip Coordinator, Melissa Brooks at 269-1384.

Note: Dates on any given weekend may change to be longer or shorter if the trip location ends up changing. For some trips it may be possible to attend for only part of the weekend if that’s all your schedule allows.

March 28, Redwood National Park (Melissa Brooks)
March 29, Grizzly Creek State Park (Melissa Brooks)
April 11-13, Bay Area redwoods (Kim Hayler)
May 17-18, inland Mendocino redwoods (Colette Beaupré)
June 7-9, coastal Mendocino redwoods (David Loya)

[what to bring]  [requested photos]

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