Park Wavelengths - March 2013
Friday, March 15, 2013
The full moon on March 27 follows the spring equinox on March 20. Nez Perce people call it the "flower moon" after the abundant edible Camas lilies. Spring is blooming throughout the park and, with the recent rains, the wildflower season is beginning.
Observations from this year's northern elephant seal season include fewer females pupping at Drakes Beach "preferring to utilize other less crowded areas...such as new beaches created by landslides." Overall, at the peak of the season, 1,737 seals were counted, up from 1,679 in 2012 and 1,451 in 2011. Sightings of northbound gray whales continue to be elusive due to fog and wind at the coastal viewing areas.
Tule elk are growing new antlers. They are still fairly small and covered in velvet. As the antlers grow larger, the velvet drops away, or the deer sometimes rub against tree trunks to speed up the process.