Point Reyes Headlands Winter Shuttle Bus System
On weekends & holidays, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is closed beyond the South Beach Road junction from 9 am to 5:30 pm during favorable weather conditions. Bus service to the Lighthouse & Chimney Rock is provided from Drakes Beach. More »
2014 Harbor Seal Pupping Season Closures
From March 1 through June 30, the park implements closures of certain Tomales Bay beaches and Drakes Estero to water-based recreation to protect harbor seals during the pupping season. Please avoid disturbing seals to ensure a successful pupping season. More »
Operational Changes Took Effect on May 1, 2013
The Lighthouse Visitor Center is now only open Fridays through Mondays; closed Tuesdays through Thursdays, including Thanksgiving. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center is open on weekends and holidays when shuttles are operating. More »
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...
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Wet weather brings out newts with pumpkin colored bellies and reddish purple backs. They love the damp forest floor along the Woodpecker Trail.
Rainfall has broken open the sandbar at Redwood Creek and opened the spawning grounds of Muir Woods! Initial reports found three coho redds and five steelhead redds with 12 live coho! Olema Creek had 19 coho redds and 17 steelehead redds with 50 live coho and 38 live steelhead. Pine Gulch was the "winner" with 27 steelhead redds and 11 live steelhead!
Early winter elk counts suggest that 2013, one of the driest calendar years on record, had an impact on the herds. At Tomales Point, the estimate for the total number of animals stands at 357, a decline of 34% from the 2012 count of 540 (the ten year average is 450 animals). Elk in the Limantour/Muddy Hollow area declined by 25% from 94 to 71 elk, while the Drakes Beach group increased from 66 to 76. Speculation that a lack of forage and water contributed to these changes.
New artwork at Bear Valley Visitor Center by Marien Lovett and Judy Arndt, a collection of prints featuring trees of Marin and the Sierra.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The new moon of March 1 ushers in a week of 6-foot-plus high tides in the mornings with afternoon minus tides.
Spring is peeking out everywhere with the first of the blooms. Pinkish white milkmaids are thriving at the Elephant Seal Overlook and in some full sun areas. Visitors may even see a Douglas iris or two. Bay trees are also in bud and willows are fuzzy with catkins.
Whales are few and far between, but the elephant seal colony at North [sic] Drakes Beach is full of activity. Weaner pods of pups are forming and males are swimming about blowing bubbles and sneaking up on the beaches. [The colony is located at the southwest end of Drakes Beach. - Ed.]
A rare image of a Northern Spotted Owl feasting on a California Quail has been posted to the park Facebook page. Typically, they feed on rodents and rabbits, so the quail image was an unusual sighting in the park forest.
Annual seal protection measures begin March 1 with Drakes Estero [and Estero de Limantour] closed to boating. South Blue Gum Beach in Tomales Bay and the very tip of Limantour Spit are also closed. Harbor seals will be pupping on park beaches and need time to rest ashore as they raise their young.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Forwarded to Park Wavelengths Subscribers
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.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Beginning May 1, the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach will be closed except during the shuttle bus season. The Lighthouse Visitor Center and the stairs leading down to the Lighthouse will be open Friday through Monday; closed Tuesdays through Thursdays (the parking area and observation deck are open Tuesdays through Thursdays). The Bear Valley Visitor Center will be open 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 5 pm on weekends.
Did You Know?
Historically, the Humboldt squid were seldom found further north than Baja California. The squid then came north en masse during the 1997/98 El Nino and have maintained a fairly regular presence in the waters off of northern and central California--including Point Reyes--ever since. More...