Park Wavelengths - July 2005
July 27, 2005
Naturalist Notebook: The new moon arrives August 4th with some before dawn low tides. There is a good early morning low tide on Saturday, August 6th at 6:41 am -0.2 feet.
Mark your calendars for August 12th - the annual Perseid meteor showers. That Friday and Saturday have good cooperation from the moon for viewing what is considered the largest display of 'falling stars' - 50 -100 per hour radiating out of the constellation Perseus in the northeast sky.
Lots of annual counts and studies reporting in during the summer months: the brown bat colony in the Olema Valley is now at 329; a healthy colony.
The third annual butterfly count reports 612 individual butterflies with 28 different species noted in the national seashore.
Huckleberries are ripe! The Tomales Bay State Park patches are loaded; Old Pine Trail is a little later. The first Himalaya berries are reported in the Inverness area. A quart of berries for personal use may be picked in the national seashore.
The hills are golden with a display of Sticky Monkey flower which apparently were assisted this year by the late rains in June. These are small, melon colored flowers with a sticky stem, part of the coast chaparral plant community.
Two press reports on Bass Lake as a swimming area in the last two weeks - have unfortunately been matched by two separate accidents at Bass Lake in the last two weeks. Rangers and helicopters were able to evacuate the injured parties who suffered head lacerations and injured ankles. Note: the National Park Service does not recommend swimming in Bass Lake and regularly removes the rope swing that has been placed in the area.
A car burglary occurred at Sky Trailhead this week; broken window to reach for wallets in the car. Carry valuables with you; secure out of sight; be sure no one is watching you if you are placing purses under the seat etc.
Fire Safety - the first two high fire danger days were recorded last week. On "high" fire danger days no beach fires may be built, no smoking on trails and only gas stoves are permitted. In extreme conditions, Mt. Vision Road is also closed. Fire danger is calculated from temperatures, fuel moisture (how dry is leaf litter and ground materials) and predicted weather patterns. To check fire danger, call the park visitor center at (415) 663-8522 ext. 5100 x2 x1 or (415) 464-5100 x2 x1, seven days a week 9-5 weekdays, 8-5 weekends. Fire danger ratings are posted daily through October.
If you are clearing defensible space - Brush/green waste drop off - Beebe Ranch on August 6-7; green signs are posted at the turnoff in Olema.
Permits have been issued for a picnic at Bear Valley Visitor center on July 30 40+ people and for a small memorial service at Chimney Rock on August 6.
July 19, 2005
Special Events on July 23, 2005
National Marine Sanctuary
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey and field representative to Senator Barbara Boxer Michele Moss will unveil new exhibits focusing on the Sanctuaries at Point Reyes National Seashore. The Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries received NOAA funds to help raise public awareness of Sanctuary resources. The exhibits highlight the marine resources in the Sanctuaries and Point Reyes National Seashore. Visitors can experience the depths of Cordell Bank through the eyes of a deep sea submersible by watching a video that reveals mysterious creatures like the giant pacific octopus and six gill shark that dwell among the jeweled pinnacles of the Sanctuary. Point Reyes National Seashore is a partner to the Sanctuaries in achieving the goals of ecosystem protection in the marine environment in the waters surrounding and adjacent to Point Reyes, in Marin County, CA.
July 23, Saturday
Come before going to Big Time at Kule Loklo and learn about yournational marine sanctuaries
July 12, 2005
"There was a special bond between us...., a group of people who still believed in making beautiful music, using international Morse code. We continued in the spirit of service to the customer and of helping safeguard souls at sea."
Naturalist Notebook: The approaching full moon on July 21st brings some of the highest 'high' tides of the year up to 7.1 feet on Wednesday, July 20 in the evening. The moon is making it's closest approach to earth or perigee. It is the Thunder Moon among many east coast native people - characterized by summer thunderstorms.
This evening, July 12, beginning at 3:00 pm - station KPH will be on the air, broadcasting in Morse Code from the RCA site along Sir Francis Drake Highway. It is a great opportunity to see inside the structure built in 1929 - the first trans-Pacific transmitting station. News of Pearl Harbor was received here first and transmitted across the country. Volunteers from the Maritime Radio Historical Society will be on hand - they have restored and maintained the equipment since it was retired from use. http://www.radiomarine.org
Also, on Tuesday, July 12, a filming permit has been issued for the RCA site; no delays are anticipated as the cars will be on the access road to the RCA building.
Snowy plover populations have yielded some hopeful signs this year. The large area of coastal dunes behind Abbots Lagoon where non-native grass was removed with heavy equipment has repopulated with native plants and three plover nests have been reported with 3 fledglings. Researchers are optimistic that as the park restores more dune areas - more plovers will be able to use these areas and the populations will recover.
On Saturday, July 23rd is the 25th annual Native American trade celebration or "Big Time" at the Coast Miwok exhibit, Kule Loklo, near the Bear Valley Visitor center. Demonstrators will be on hand showing basketry, flintknapping and other traditional skills between 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Gifford James dance group will perform at approximately 12 noon.
Permits have also been issued for a bike staging area at Bear Valley Visitor Center on July 16-17; a picnic for 30+ people on July 17. There may be congestion in this area especially on Saturday the 17th so arrive early for better parking.
Brush Drop-off dates are July 23-24 at the Olema site - Beebe Ranch - between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.
New artwork on display at the Bear Valley Visitor center is photographs of Lagunitas Creek by Todd Pickering. The acclaimed children's art show from 'California Current' moves from Toby's to the Ken Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach.
Did You Know?
In the mid-1800s, the tule elk was hunted to the brink of extinction. The last surviving tule elk were discovered and protected in the southern San Joaquin Valley in 1874. In 1978, ten tule elk were reintroduced to Point Reyes, which now has one of California's largest populations, numbering ~500. More...