Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Last of the winter sparklers is the Quadrantid meteor shower (the next shower will be the Lyrids in April). They radiate from [near] the constellation Bootes (the herdsman) [located] in the eastern sky [after midnight]. Approximately 40 per hour were visible on the morning of January 4.
Tolay, the wayward northern elephant seal gave birth to a pup over the holiday weekend. She sports a snappy pink and orange tag on her back flipper which can be spotted with binoculars. Tolay takes her name from the tidal channel where she attempted to come ashore which in turn takes its name from Tolay Lake. Spanish priests recorded the name Tolay [as that of] a local "chief of the Indians."
Tolay's new companions, the "North Drakes" colony, may be viewed from Chimney Rock. [The colony’s size] is growing each day. The road down to the Fish Docks and the docks are temporarily closed during the pupping season to protect nursing mothers.
Whale watching is also in full swing, with sightings of seven to eight per hour on clear days over last weekend.
Local children from San Geronimo and Dance Palace summer camp, as well as Bolinas School students, collected plastic debris on Drakes Beach and their artwork is on display inside the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center, which is open on weekends during the shuttle season [on days on which the park operates the Winter Shuttle Bus System]. The project was sponsored by the Marin MPA Watch.