Park Wavelengths - December 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The daylight hours stop losing minutes as the Winter Solstice arrives on December 22 with Miwok gatherings at Kule Loklo to celebrate the end of fall and the beginning of winter.
Mushrooms may be found by looking for "shrumps"--that's the term for the bump made by the fungi pushing up through leaf debris upward. A host of Amanita sp. may be seen to the right along Bear Valley Trail under the oaks before the Mt. Wittenberg trailhead.
A landslide has closed the Rift Zone Trail to through traffic between Bear Valley and Five Brooks.
Happy Trails to long-time local park employees Bobbie Belvel and Gail Partee, who retire at the end of the year. Bobbie was a mainstay in the Maintenance Division and recruited for the YCC program. Other retirees include Roger Wong in Fire Management, sign maker Deb Lusk, and Kris Swofford in Contracting. Long time ranger Angelina Gregorio retired recently and we welcome new ranger Sarah Cowell to the park.
The annual weekend and federal holiday bus service starts on December 29 with road closures of Sir Francis Drake at South Beach beginning at 9:00 am and busses departing for the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock throughout the day.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
The Geminids are the last meteor shower of 2012, peaking during the daylight hours (PST) of Thursday, December 13. If the weather is clear, early risers may see them before sunrise.
Extreme tides of approximately 7 feet coincide with the new moon:
Morning high tides in excess of 6 feet will continue through December 16 with low tides occurring after dark.
Northern Elephant seals usher in the holiday season with males returning to Chimney Rock with plenty of noise and splashing! More will continue to arrive over the next couple of months with the height of activity in February. No pups at the Drakes Beach colony have been reported so far.
News from the Fish crew: "The Olema rain gauge recorded 7.9 inches of rain between Thursday and Sunday, so the creeks have all come way up and with the rise in water, we expect to see more adult spawners coming in. Unfortunately, we're going to have to wait for the creeks to come down a bit before we can safely get in and see the fish. Due to the rain forecast for the middle of the week, we don't anticipate being able to conduct any surveys on the mainstem creeks until the beginning of next week. We will keep everyone posted and hope that the creeks come down and clear up enough for us to perform surveys next week."
Did You Know?
Four species of pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) rest onshore or breed at Point Reyes: the Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), and the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus). More...