Park Wavelengths - October 2003
October 8, 2003
Naturalist Notebook: The Harvest moon or "moon of the ripening acorns" to Coast Miwok rises Friday night and is full at 12:27am. If it is clear, Chimney Rock, Drakes Beach and Mount Vision Road are excellent places. (However, if the weather continues dry and warm and the fire danger changes to extreme, Mr. Vision Road may be closed.)
From Jules Evens Natural History of Point Reyes: "...a Scottish bagpiper and the residents of Inverness gather on Mount Vision to welcome the swollen hunters moon rising over the barren hills. To runic tunes, the fallow moonbeams reflect across a silver finger of night fog pointing up Tomales Bay and backlight the bishop pines, like a Japanese woodcut. The constellations -Orion, Aquila, Andromeda - are vivid against the eastern sky, but they will fade as the big moon rises, commanding attention..." (see permit section for details)
From the past weekend, birders reported a Broad-winged hawk - seen at the Fish Docks near Chimney Rock and also over Drakes Beach, a ferruginous hawk also. Harlequin ducks were seen on Drakes Estero by kayak - and from the end of Bull Point Trail. A magnolia warbler continues at the RCA building cypress trees and a palm warbler in the cypress trees near the ranger residence at Chimney Rock.
Coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) is in full bloom, it is an evergreen shrub with fuzzy yellow blossoms, one bush might have long blossoms, next to it one with round blossoms. These bushes are distinctive because of the buzz of bees collecting pollen in them. Visitors remark they have a sweet powdery smell to them.
The Coast Live Oak (smooth cap acorns) and the Tanbark Oak (fuzzy capped acorns) are ripening - though you must look up to find them. Most of the lower branches are being harvested by deer anxious to put on their winter fat!
Permits have been issued for some events this weekend in the park - they may affect parking:
Saturday, October 11 Bear Valley Trail to Arch Rock - 100 to 150 people projected for a "Volksmarch" hiking event during the day with a registration area at Bear Valley. (Hikers may register throughout the day, it is not expected to have all 100 at the same time!)
Saturday night, October 11th - 7:00 pm 'Piper on the Ridge' Visitors welcome the full moon to the sound of a bagpiper playing, Mt. Vision Road.
Sunday, October 12th - A wedding with 45 people at the Pierce Ranch area.
Pit firing permits have been issued for both weekend days at North Beach.
All park visitor centers will be open Monday, Columbus Day Holiday. (Bear Valley 8-5/Lighthouse 10-4:30/Drakes Beach 10-5.
At Drakes Beach, there is currently no running water. The cafe has limited food service on weekends (sodas, packaged foods, etc). Portable restrooms have been placed in the area. No repair date is projected while the problem is uncovered.
Last updated: February 28, 2015