Articles about Beauty and the Beast

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2 Million Blossoms Magazine cover

Ryan Burnett's engaging story Chasing Spring: Timing is Everything, written for our book, was reprinted in the recent April 2020 issue of 2 Million Blossoms, a beautiful new magazine dedicated to protecting pollinators.  Ryan describes his research in mountain meadows on how climate change is affecting the rufous hummingbird during its epic migration from Mexico to Alaska. The article is illustrated with images of mountain wildflowers by Rob Badger and Nita Winter.



Reprint of the article in the California Native Plant Society magazine Flora, Winter 2019

The beauty of a wildflower is ephemeral, and much more so when viewed in the shadow of climate change. Will the same species of flower bloom in the same spot next year, next decade, next century? If not, will future generations know what has been lost? 

Photographers Rob Badger and Nita Winter have made California wildflowers their cause and their rallying point in the fight against “the beast” — human behavior that threatens native landscapes. Their photographs are collected in a magnificent book, Beauty and the Beast: California’s Wildflowers and Climate Change, to be published at the end of the year in partnership with the California Native Plant Society. The book also features essays by 16 noted environmental scientists, activists, and writers including Peter H. Raven, Mary Ellen Hannibal, Gordon Lepig, and Robin Wall Kimmerer. CNPS Executive Director Dan Gluesenkemp wrote the opening note to the reader. 

Badger and Winter, who are partners in life as well as business, have been photographing wildflowers in nature for more than 20 years. Working only on public lands, they lug pounds of photo equipment into the desert or up mountain trails so they can capture the serene glory of a sacred datura (Datura wrightii), or the fiery red and yellow blooms of Franciscan paintbrush (Castilleja subinclusa). Astonishing photographs of common harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) — the blooms glowing as if illuminated by blacklight — and translucent petals of checkerbloom (Sidalcea malviflora) demonstrate the breathtaking beauty of our native plants........  

Our 16 Passionate Authors 

portraits of 16 diverse and passionate authors for Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change stories

Ileene Anderson, senior scientist at Center for Biological Diversity

Genevieve Arnold, seed program manager at Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants 

Ryan Burnett,  sierra Nevada director with Point Blue Conservation Science

Kitty Connolly,  director of Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants

José González, founder and director emeritus of Latino Outdoors

Mary Ellen Hannibal, author of 5 books and many articles focused on nature and conservation

Kenna Kuhn, student of environmental science and sustainability at the University of Denver

Margaret Leinen, director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Gordon Leppig, senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife 

Amber Pairis, director of the Climate Science Alliance and Climate Kids

Peter L. Raven, author, world renowned botanist, president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Gardens

Will Rogers, former president and CEO of the Trust for Public Lands

Erin Schrode, activist, social entrepreneur, and innovative community organizer.

Wendy Tokuda, retired award-winning journalist, environmental restoration volunteer

Susan J. Tweit, author of numerous books and articles focused on nature and conservation

Robin Wall Kimmerer, mother, writer, scientist, distinguished professor and founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment

Reprint of the article in the California Native Plant Society magazine Flora, Winter 2019



California’s wildflower blooms: 27 years of photos track the changing climate

Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle   March 25, 2019

field of wildflowers, orange California poppies, purple and white bird's-eye-gilia in Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
California poppies and gilia in the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve during Rob Badger and Nita Winter’s first trip, in 1992.Photo: © Rob Badger Photography, 2009 

The first time landscape photographer Rob Badger saw the wildflowers bloom in the Mojave Desert, he drove directly to a grocery store pay phone and put in a collect call to his partner, Nita Winter. She accepted the call in Marin City, and when his verbal description proved insufficient, he jumped in his car, drove six hours home to pick her up and then six hours back to the desert to prove it to her.

It was 1992, the first rainy season after seven years of drought, and “there was no way in hell that she was going to miss this,” recalls Badger. “There was this contrast of purple and white mixed in with orange. I’d never seen anything like it.”....

A voice for wildflowers

Marin City photographers see their work as ‘art to action’ on climate change

By VICKI LARSON | Marin Independent Journal


Orange rufous hummingbird visits red and yellow checkered scarlet Fritillaries wildfowers 

Photo by Rob Badger

Melting ice caps, drought, rising sea levels and wildfires are what usually come to mind when we hear about climate change.

Photographers Nita Winter and Rob Badger would like you to think about wildflowers instead.

Not because they’re beautiful to look at, but because climate change is changing their habitat and that has huge consequences for all sorts of wildlife that depend on them.... 


California Wildflowers and Climate Change

Bay Nature Magazine  03/25/19

by Matthew Harrison Tedford

field of wildflowers at top of Ring Mountain Nature Preserve in Corte Madera, California

Rob Badger began photographing nature and the California desert when he was 18, having moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles for college. Eventually what was a passion and a hobby turned into a career documenting environmental destruction, from clear-cutting to mining. Roughly 25 years after those first.....


Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change

Pacific Horticulture Magazine Spring 2018 

By Jennifer Jewell 

wildflower field filled with yellow desert candles, Carrizo Plain National Monument

A dazzling carpet of desert candle (Caulanthus inflatus), lacy phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia), and hillside 
daisy (Monolopia lanceolata) carpeted Carrizo Plain National Monument in San Luis Obispo County in a wildflower 
“Super Bloom” following winter rains in 2017. Photo: Rob Badger & Nita Winter


In 1992, conservation photographer Rob Badger first experienced a rare and spectacular display of California wildflowers in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, a state park in the Mojave Desert. Not wanting his partner and fellow photographer, Nita Winter, to miss what he was seeing, he returned to San Francisco to get her. They quickly drove back to the desert to enjoy and photograph this beauty together....

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