Last updated: March 15, 2015
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
The new moon rises on the vernal equinox (day and night are equal length) of Saturday, March 20, the first official day of spring. It combines with a solar eclipse which will not be visible from most of North America. A partial eclipse will be visible at locations from the north Atlantic Ocean, northern Africa, and Greenland north and east to Siberia. Mark the calendar as a total lunar eclipse will color the full moon on April 4.
More flowers appearing on south facing sunny slopes include fiery orange Indian paintbrush and lavender Douglas iris. Blue-flowering California lilac (Ceanothus sp.) shrubs may be seen along roadsides.
Springlike weather with calm seas is ideal for whale watching, but northbound whale sightings have been few and far between, with only four seen this past Monday.
New displays at the Bear Valley Visitor Center include knit-crafted nudibranchs by local resident Celeste Woo. These colorful "seas slugs" live in the intertidal wilderness—tidepools—feeding on microscopic algae. Quilts from the traveling national park show "Piecing Together Climate Change" also go on display this week.
Bear Valley Visitor Center closing time was extended to 5 pm with daylight saving time changes.