• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

Park Wavelengths

Park Wavelengths is a bi-weekly email informing subscribers about events, closures, natural history, and cultural history at Point Reyes. If you would like to subscribe to Park Wavelengths, please email us. Please include "Would like to subscribe to Park Wavelengths" in the subject field and include your email address in the message. Or...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Labor Day weekend approaches and we'd like to remind folks to plan for a safe visit to the park. Pack water, sunscreen, and hats, as well as layers of clothes for the variety of weather you may encounter. Beach goers keep an eye on the water and do not turn your back on the waves. Use caution with beach fires; pick up a free fire permit at a visitor center and bring your water buckets to make sure fires are completely out. All park visitor centers are open throughout the weekend for maps, information, and camping and beach fire permits.

Interested in laboring for the park? Enrollment is open for the annual elephant seal and whale watching docent program; volunteers attend training and are scheduled at the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock on winter weekends to help visitors learn more about these winter mammals. Want to get your hands dirty? Help is needed on alternate Sundays with habitat restoration. Details available at www.nps,gov/pore/supportyourpark/volunteer.htm . Volunteers are needed for the annual fundraising dinner for the non-profit association PRNSA. Details at www.ptreyes.org .

Top of Page

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The new moon rises on August 25 and the skies are "quiet" until the lunar eclipse of October 8 and the Draconid meteor showers.

As summer slides away - late flowers, the exotic and bright orange Crocosmia sp. or South African lily brightens dusty trailsides. [sic - The extremely invasive Crocosmia, introduced from South Africa, is an iris, not a lily. - Ed.] Blackberries and huckleberries ripen while bay and buckeye trees are dropping their leaves - a slight dab of autumny [sic] color.

All park visitor centers are open for the Labor Day weekend and Sunday, August 31, is the annual Sand Sculpture Contest at Drakes Beach; local celebrity judges are Rob, Sue and Catherine Janes! Registration starts at 9 am and winners are announced at 3 pm at Drakes Beach.

All campgrounds are full for the holiday weekend. An annual sailing regatta will create additional activity in the Marshall Beach area.

New at the Bear Valley Visitor Center are 3 electric vehicle charging stations powered from solar panels on the roof of the visitor center. They are in the main area just past the information kiosk. Please arrive early on weekends for maximum access as the parking lots fill up, especially between 11 am and 2 pm. Overnight campers are asked not to park overnight in the charging station spots.

Top of Page

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

FYI, it looks like the Lighthouse Visitor Center webcam is working again!

Top of Page

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The full moon on August 10 will make viewing the annual Perseid meteor shower more difficult. The peak of the Perseids this year is August 9 through August 14. On a fogless night, up to 60 meteors per hour may be seen, one of the most active of the year!

A return sighting: by-the-wind sailors (Vellela vellela) washing up on park beaches. An oval disk with a crescent sail; they look like crumpled cellophane. The living animal is a bright blue. Typically, they are drifting on the surface of the ocean and when winds change, masses are driven up onto beaches in the tide line.

Tule Elk Docents return to Tomales Point as the tule elk breeding season—or rut—begins. They will have binoculars and spotting scopes to point out behaviors and answer questions. The rut begins in August and lasts through the fall into October.

Top of Page

Tottori University drift transponder.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Researchers from Tottori University in Japan are tracking tsunami debris by releasing brightly colored drift bottles (see photo to the right). If you come across one on local beaches, please follow instructions on how to contact the researchers.


Top of Page

2014 Archives
January February March April May June
July August September October November December

Did You Know?

Bull elephant seal with harbor seals

Elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris)are the largest pinniped with males reaching a maximum of about 5,000 lbs. Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are much smaller with both males and females reaching a maximum weight of around 250 lbs. More...