Park Wavelengths - November 2003


November 18, 2003

Naturalist Notebook:

The solar eclipse on Sunday, November 23 is centered over Antarctica and will not be seen in the northern hemisphere. It does bring some daylight low tides:

Friday, November 21 2:54 pm -0.2 feet
Saturday, November 22 3:40 pm -0.9 feet
Sunday, November 23 4:26 pm -1.5 feet

The hour before and after the low are safe times times for exploring tidepools at Agate Beach County Park near Bolinas (Duxbury Reef) or walking down to Sculptured Beach.

In the sky, the Leonid meteor shower is visible, peaking around Monday, November 25th. These 'falling stars' appear to drop out of the sky from the constellation called Leo. Weather permitting, Chimney Rock parking lot, Mt. Vision, Tomales Point are some areas of darkness where they may be watched.

The park is completing fall intertidal monitoring this week and is looking for assistance - park scientists will train volunteers to complete the tidepool surveys which are scheduled for Coast Camp/Santa Maria Beach on Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm and 3:45 pm at Bolinas Point. Contact Dawn Adams at 464-5202 to sign up and for more information.

A number of fulmars, sea birds, have been washing up on park beaches, the south end of Limantour Beach for example. Early analysis indicates they are undernourished; the park is working with scientists from Monterey to determine what is going on.

Winter storms last year damaged a levee and culverts on Fish Hatchery Creek where it flows from the west pasture of the Giacomini Ranch. The park is repairing the levee (visible from Sir Francis Drake Highway) so that this winters storms and tides do not damage residences and roads in the area. This action is to maintain the levees and is not part of the restoration plan which is still in the planning stages.

Park visitor centers will be open Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, Bear Valley from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm, the Lighthouse and Drakes Beach Visitor Centers from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Roads and trails remain open and law enforcement staff on duty. The visitor centers return to regular hours for the holiday weekend.

As the winter season approaches, the trail crew requests assistance in reports of downed trees. They need to know the diameter of the tree; type of tree; location; whether a horse can get around it or not. Stop by park visitor centers to report.

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November 7, 2003

Naturalist Notebook:

Saturday Evening - A total lunar eclipse may be seen; the earth's shadow begins to fall across the moon at 3:32 pm Pacific Time and will be totally eclipsed at 5:07 pm (sunset is at 5:03 pm). The moon will rise in near total eclipse and then 'grow' from a thin crescent to full circle as the earth's shadow slides away. Weather permitting, Chimney Rock parking lot, Drakes Beach, Vision Road are good viewing places. Mark your calendars for the Leonid meteor showers coming up the week of Thanksgiving!

Another bear sighting has been reported - just before Halloween on Mount Tamalpais! No information on whether it is the same animal from Memorial Day or possibly a new animal. DNA from hair samples was collected from the bear sighted Memorial Day so if any samples can be collected from other bears a match might be made.

Keith Hansen from Bolinas reports a Western Tanager behind the library in Bolinas earlier this week. No other unusual birds though Abbots Lagoon has been exciting for visitors.

At the Lighthouse, crews removing non-native iceplant observed a sea lion eating an octopus! The crew members at first believed the animals were eating ice plant that slipped into the water but determined it was actually an octopus. A small, but vocal group of sea lions remains on the rocks on the north side of the point.

The fallow deer rut is on! Their particular mating call sounds like a dog barking or perhaps "someone with a bad chest cold!" Visitors have been hearing the call behind the Morgan Horse Ranch and at 5 Brooks trailhead.

Moss Landing Marine Lab has just completed a subtidal mapping project - creating a habitat map of the nearshore ocean floor.

A wedding is permitted at North Beach on Saturday, November 8th, approximately 35 people, which may affect parking. The following weekend, November 15 - a 1/2 marathon is permitted in the Muddy Hollow, Limantour Beach area with 200 people expected - parking may be affected throughout the morning hours. Also, at Limantour Beach, a group picnic is under permit on that Saturday for 50+ people.

Bear Valley and Drakes Beach Visitor Center will be open on Tuesday, November 11th, Veteran's Day holiday. Bear Valley is holiday hours 8 am to 5 pm and Drakes Beach is 10 am - 5 pm. The Lighthouse will be closed per its regular hours - closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

All park visitor centers and the park will be open on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, November 27th.

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Last updated: February 28, 2015

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Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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