The days are getting longer and I’m slowly coming out of my winter slumber. As much as I’ve loved the recent rain, I’m looking forward to warmer weather and I’m excited to get back outside and enjoy the wonders of spring! Springtime brings so much life to the region. It’s inspiring to take it all in! Our golden rolling hills turn a brilliant green and are scattered with orange, yellow and purple wildflowers. The plants begin to put out new growth and the birds chirp with excitement for the fresh abundance of food.
Getting outside doesn’t have to be about breaking a sweat or logging a certain number of steps. It can also be about marveling, learning and taking stock of the amazing species in our midst. The activities we’ve gathered here are especially designed for those of us who want to stop and smell the Rosa californica. They’re also fun for nature fans of all ages! You can enjoy them on your own, with a friend or with the whole family.
I wanted to put together a list of all the amazing local flora and fauna and go out searching for it with you. So I made this little scavenger hunt of 12 different things — from lady bugs to Brussels sprouts — you can find outside in our area! Be forewarned, you’d have to be pretty lucky to find all of these items in a single day! Instead, we encourage you to take your time.
This spring, when you’re out on a neighborhood walk or exploring the trails, pull out this scavenger hunt and see what you can find.
What do two-eyed violets, sticky monkey flower and crimson columbine have in common? They’re a few of the stunning local wildflowers you can see at open spaces in our area. If you’re wondering where to locate these and other beauties, you should definitely check out our wildflower guide.
This guide takes you to the best locations in the Bay Area to find all kinds of wildflowers. My brain is happiest on hikes when I can learn facts about native species along the way. This guide is a great resource for that. It features the photos and names of a few of the blossoms you might see at each site. Remember, don’t pick the flowers and stay on the trail!
A newer hobby of mine is birding! After attending an LGBTQ+ birding event with POST I found an amazing new hobby and community. I have been excited to learn about the importance of my local habitats, as well as the winged creatures that live in them. The Bay Area has so much to offer and birding is another way we can get to know this land that we call home. If you decide to go out birding, you should definitely check out some free apps to help you identify different species. My favorites are the Sibley app and the Merlin app. Both of these apps help you identify birds by physical features, location and even sound! And if you’re like me and also want to photograph them, check out this blog post for other tips on bird and insect photography.
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more