Park Wavelengths - April 2003


April 23, 2003

We regret to announce the loss of former park ranger Lanny Pinola, who passed away on April 21. Lanny served as a Park Ranger for over 15 years and was scheduled to be master of ceremonies at the Strawberry Festival. In memory of Lanny, this year’s annual festival slated for Saturday, April 26th has been cancelled and will not be held this year.

Naturalist Notebook:

Bird Sightings: Two Baird Sandpipers were seen at the bridge at lower Abbots Lagoon yesterday. Nesting egrets continue at Audubon Canyon Ranch off Highway 1 near Stinson Beach, the ranch is open to the public weekends from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.

As noted, storms have washed up heaps of 'By the Wind Sailors" (Velella velella) on park beaches. These relations of the jellyfish are stranded on beaches in spring and summer when prevailing winds shift and blow them on shore. They appear as bits of plastic with blue tentacles, they are not harmful to humans. The sails are cartilage, the living portion is the blue tentacles which surround a feeding tube, they do inject small amounts of toxin into prey.

It is harbor seal pupping season, remember not to approach seals on the beach. Females often leave their pups on the beach while they are in the water feeding. Hauling out or resting on the beach is an important part of the lifestyle of seals who need to warm up. It's best to leave seals where they are, even pups, most will return to the water as long as they are not harassed by humans or dogs. A safe area to observe is walking on the Estero Trail, after the first mile, past the bridge where you can watch with binoculars and little impact.

Coming up next week: the Aquarid meteor showers which last about a week, beginning around May 1st, peaking on Tuesday, May 6th. They "fall" out of the Aquarius constellation in the east north eastern sky. They are best seen in the pre-dawn hours, weather permitting.

From the Maritime Radio Historical Society:
"K6KPH will be on the air on April 26, 2003 to participate in the annual International Marconi Day commemoration. It is held every year on a weekend near the birthday of radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi. Amateur radio enthusiasts will be broadcasting from the old station in the park located on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard (signed 'north district operations center') past the Oyster Farm. Broadcasting on KPH begins at 10:00 am and visitors may drop in at the site to observe the mechanics and watch the radio operators."

Park Programs:

Saturday: 1:00pm - Whales and Wildflowers - Meet at the Chimney Rock parking lot for a 1.2 mile roundtrip walk, wear layered clothing.

Saturday: 2:00 pm - Earthquake Talk - Meet at the Bear Valley Visitor Center for a one hour .6 mile walk on the paved earthquake trail.

Sunday: 2:00 pm - Kule Loklo Walk - Meet at Bear Valley Visitor Center for a one mile roundtrip walk to the Coast Miwok Exhibit

Coming Up: May 3rd Evening Lighthouse Tour at 8:00 pm. Make reservations the day of by calling (415) 669-1534. High winds will cancel program.

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Last updated: February 28, 2015

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Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


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