Bear Valley Visitor Center Lighting Retrofit:
Due to safety concerns during the installation of new LED lights, sections of the Bear Valley Visitor Center's exhibit area may be closed through the end of July. More »
The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center will be closed on Saturday, July 16.
We are sorry for any inconvenience, but the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach will be closed on Saturday, July 16. It will open at 10 am on Sunday, July 17.
Park Wavelengths - July 2006
July 26, 2006
The new moon rose Monday with an early morning daylight low tides:
The annual butterfly count yield a total of 24 species of butterflies - 332 individuals and about 20% of those counted were Echo Blues or Spring Azures - a small less than 2 inch butterfly that is a very pale blue with grayish spots. They are among the first butterflies to emerge from their chrysalis in the western states. They are found in deciduous woods such as the local oak woodlands and edges of the fir forest where big leaf maples flourish.
Annual 'Aralia'/California Ginseng/ Elk Clover questions are coming in! It has large green leaves (1-3 feet) and is found along the Bear Valley Trail with small inedible dark blue berries in clusters. Proper name Aralia Californica, Ginseng Family - common name is Elk Clover or California Spikenard.
Lake Drake returns! This body of water appears in late summer each year with high tides, especially the extreme tides of July. It means a bit of wading between the parking lot at Drakes and the beach. High waters come up to the parking area and are trapped by the sand which is built up each summer. (Sand is scoured off the beach in winter exposing rock formations and deposited into offshore bars - the opposite process occurs in summer when sand is redeposited onto the beach).
Fire danger season has begun in earnest - the first high fire danger day was recorded this past weekend in the park. Check at 464-5137 for daily ratings - in high fire danger no beach fires are permitted and in extreme fire danger Mt. Vision Road is closed.
Repairs on the McClures Beach Trail continue - watch for closures signs or check in with the visitor center for updates.
Saturday, August 5th, a book signing at Bear Valley Visitor Center between 12- 2 for the new Amy Meyer book - the history of the conservation movement in Marin County and creating Golden Gate NRA. New artwork on display at BVVC - the forest and fire poetry from Artists in the Schools has migrated from Toby's into the park.
July 14, 2006
Please note: the MALT Book signing is scheduled from NOON to 2:00 pm on Saturday July 15 at Bear Valley Visitor Center.
Big Time at Kule Loklo is scheduled for SATURDAY, July 22 from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.
July 11, 2006
The full moon tonight brings some daylight low tides:
The first edible berries are ripening in shaded areas - Thimbleberries; which look like bright scarlet red blackberries and have a large maple shaped leaf are ripening along the Bear Valley Trail and local roads. Blackberries are still green and no reports of huckleberries yet.
Park botanists report an unusual display of orange 'Coast Lily' along the Bull Point Trail. It looks similar to the aptly named 'Turk's Cap Lily' seen along roads in coast redwood forests; the petals of maroon spots on them.
Chimney Rock Road and the Boathouse area are closed to vehicles as of Monday July 10 for a two month period while construction begins again at the marine railway next to the Historic Boathouse. Contractors are moving large amounts of material up and down the road. You may park at Sunset Beach Overlook and walk down the road to access the Elephant Seal Overlook Trail or the Chimney Rock Trail.
Lots of special events in the park, free and open to the public, coming up:
Wednesday, July 12 the Marconi Radio Station building at RCA Ranch off Sir Francis Drake Highway in the north area of the park will be open at 3:00 pm and transmitting around the globe begins at 5:00 pm. "veteran Morse operators will be on duty at the receiving station in Point Reyes listening for calls from ships and sending messages just as they did for many years". www.radiomarine.org for more information.
Saturday, July 15, Marin Agricultural Land Trust will be hosting a book signing at the Bear Valley Visitor Center of the new cookbook containing recipes and history of local farming families. 10;00 am to 2:00 pm [Editor's note: should read "noon to 2:00 pm"].
Sunday [Editor's note: should read "Saturday"], July 22 Big Time: The annual Native American celebration at Kule Loklo, the Coast Miwok Exhibit from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm; Traditional dancers; demonstrators; crafts on sale; Bring a picnic lunch; no alcohol or pets permitted.
Did You Know?
According to a 2009 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, climate change will likely lead to an increase in extreme weather in the USA. Fortunately, there is still time to limit climate change by reducing emissions of heat-trapping pollution and taking other actions. More...