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

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

Park Wavelengths - February 2008

 

February 28, 2008

The rising new moon on March 7th brings a few afternoon low tides:

Tuesday, March 4 3:05 pm -0.2 feet
Wednesday, March 5 3:38 pm -0.2 feet
Thursday, March 6 4:11 pm -0.2 feet

Peregrine falcons have been seen in aerial mating displays over the Lighthouse Visitor center. The population of peregrines in the park is another hopeful sign of the possibility of recovery - they join the tule elk and northern elephant seals as species who suffered drastic population damage and now appear to be healthy. Not so hopeful at this time is the coho salmon. Park biologists believe that poor ocean conditions have affected the coho salmon population which showed a decline of 80% in most creeks in this area. Coho smolts migrating out to the ocean in 2006 faced a famine. They rely on coastal upwelling during late spring to bring cool nutrient rich water to the surface; when this did not occur, many could not find food and did not survive to make their return home in 2008.

Wildflowers continue to bloom in the park especially on the outer point - bog lilies at Abbots Lagoon, the rare yellow Point Reyes Castilleja (sp.) Paintbrush at Chimney Rock; the exotic heather farm above Muir Beach has caught the eye of many northbound travelers. Exotic daffodils, left from the bulb farm at the Hostel area, are in lovely shape this year.

Annual seal protection closures begin on Saturday March 1st - Drakes Estero and South Blue Gums Beach in Tomales Bay are closed until June 30th as harbor seals return to give birth to their pups. These are the smaller seals in the neighborhood who are here year round, commonly seen in Bolinas Lagoon and swimming offshore. It is typical for a pup to be left unattended while the parent searches for food in the water so a reminder, do not approach marine mammals and attempt to pick them up or feed them etc. Notify park visitor centers and staff who will check on the animals.

Over the past two months there have been 4 car break ins at North Beach parking lot. The hours vary but a reminder to leave valuables at home or carry them with you. Don't leave anything in sight that may tempt a break in - cameras, backpacks wallets should be completely out of sight.

New permanent exhibits on Sir Francis Drakes voyage around the world and his respite at Point Reyes have been installed in the courtyard at the Ken Patrick Visitor Center.

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February 22, 2008

Forwarded to Park Wavelengths - Sorry about the very late notice

Subject: Pierce Point Road Closure Friday 2/22 8:00-4:30

Marin County Roads will be out repairing a large sink hole on Pierce Point Road Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm. The road will be closed to all traffic except for residents and emergency vehicles.

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February 20, 2008

Forwarded to Park Wavelengths - regret the late notice.

Subject: National Invasive Weed Awareness Week- PORE Events!

Hello HRP members,

Ellen Hamingson and I want to kick off National Invasive Awareness Week with a bang this upcoming Sunday at Abbott's Lagoon, as Mark mentioned in his latest update. (Thanks Mark!) We also wanted to make sure everyone knows about our volunteer projects have planned later that week and would like to invite all of you to come join our efforts. Here is a link to the website: http://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/events_niwaw.htm
Please RSVP! Kevin-415.464.5223, email

Text from website:

February 24 to February 29, 2008

Invasive plants are one of the greatest threats to the integrity of native habitats and ecosystems. National Invasive Weed Awareness Week was established to educate the public about invasive weeds and to encourage citizens to help preserve their National Parks and public lands by removing invasive weeds. The Ninth Annual National Invasive Weeds Awareness Week (NIWAW 9) will be held the week of February 24 to February 29, 2008, to bring people and groups from across the country together to focus national attention on the severe impacts caused by invasive weeds. In support of NIWAW, volunteers are welcome to join Point Reyes staff in local invasive plant removal workdays to protect native plant communities. Tools and work gloves are provided. Please bring water and lunch and dress warmly. Sunday is a drop-in event but we always appreciate advance notice of newcomers, especially for groups of 4 or more. RSVP to Kevin Sherrill at 415-464-5223 or by email for Monday and Wednesday. The Monday event will occur only if at least 6 people confirm attendance by Sunday morning.

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Join members of Point Reyes' Habitat Restoration Program (HRP) to dig out European beachgrass, helping to restore open dune systems for the benefit of endangered Western snowy plovers , Tidestrom's lupine, beach layia, and a number of other rare dune annual plants. We'll meet in front of the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 9 a.m., carpool and hike to the Abbott's Lagoon dunes, work until 1 p.m., and have lunch on the dunes. HRP meets on this same schedule on the second and last Sunday of every month.

Monday, February 25, 2008
Join Point Reyes restoration staff to remove vinca, thistles, and Monterey cypress near the Muddy Hollow trailhead. Meet at the trailhead (across Limantour Road from the Point Reyes hostel turn-off) at 9:15 a.m. We'll work until early afternoon with a lunch break in the field; work for just the morning or for the full day. Please RSVP as soon as possible as we will hold this event only if 6 or more people sign up.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Join the Point Reyes restoration staff along with San Jose Middle School (led by Youth in Service of the Environment) for a fun day at Limantour Beach removing iceplant and learning invasive species ecology. Meet at the main parking lot on the right at Limantour Beach at 10:00 a.m. Work until lunch (or longer) and then enjoy a nice stroll on the beach. Please call with the number of volunteers in your group to confirm your attendance.

Best Regards,
Kevin P Sherrill
Volunteer Coordinator
Point Reyes National Seashore
415.464.5223

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February 11, 2008

The full moon, the Budding or Ripening Moon among the Nez Perce, rises next week in total eclipse which will be visible from all over the country and can be viewed in West Marin early on Wednesday evening, February 20th. If it is clear, we should be able to see it approximately 7:00 pm ish. Some daylight afternoon low tides accompany the full moon:

Friday, February 15 12:38 pm -0.2 feet
Saturday, February 16 1:43 pm -0.5 feet
Sunday, February 17 2:41 pm -0.7 feet
Monday, February 18 3:23 pm -0.8 feet
Tuesday, February 19 4:04 pm -0.7 feet

Northern Elephant seal numbers continue to be healthy with just over 250 visible from the Chimney Rock Overlook; pups are easy to spot and there has been lot's of mating activity for viewing. A number of minke whales have been spotted from the Lighthouse, these are the smallest and most abundant of the rorqual whales (coming from the Norwegian word "rorhval" for "furrow") which all have pleats or folds of skin under their jaws which allow them to expand their mouths. Minkes have a small fin on their back which makes them easy to pick out from gray whales who have "knuckles" or ridges on their back and no fins.

Touches of spring everywhere; the small pinkish white Milkmaids in shady areas along Sir Francis Drake Highway have been joined by pink Checkerbloom or Mallow and one Chocolate Lily, Fritillaria, glimpsed at Chimney Rock!

Winter storms have exposed the engine block of the 1913 shipwreck Pomo on Limantour Beach; sand will recover it by summer.

The Tour of California bike race traverses Highway 1 in West Marin on Monday February 18 and there may be some traffic delays. It is scheduled to enter Stinson Beach approximately 11:45 am and then Point Reyes Station approximately 12:15 depending on the speed of the riders. In past years, parking areas have been closed off along Highway 1 with rolling intersection closures by Highway Patrol. Travel early or late, find a nice picnic spot for midday!

All park visitor centers will be open Monday, February 18, Presidents Holiday weekend and if the weather is clear, shuttles will be operating.

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