Park Wavelengths - June 2004
June 30, 2004
Full moon rising at 4:09 am on Friday, July 2nd. Good morning low tides coming up:
An hour before and after is a good window for exploring!
The results of the sixth annual Rare Plant-a-thon are in! Seventy-two volunteers were able to explore the park to find new populations of plants and to monitor known populations. 8 unrecorded rare plant occurrences were located and one population of Point Reyes ceanothus was rediscovered after being 'missing' since 1991. The only known population of Coast Lily in Marin County was monitored.
Summer is breeding season! Visitors have been noting the 'pointy' shaped Common Murre eggs (cautiously) from Arch Rock! The unusual shape of these eggs helps the eggs roll in a circular motion on the bare rocks where they are typically laid - instead of off the rocks into the ocean. The eggs are greenish, tan to greyish with speckles. Snowy plovers have been having a challenging year while 50 chicks were hatched only 8 chicks have survived. A better year for spotted owls - 76 pairs are being monitored in the Point Reyes -Golden Gate area, 7% of the California breeding population.
Nuts are appearing on the California Bay Laurel trees - they appear a light greenish yellow and when peeled open reveal a small brown nut, sometimes called a pepper nut. Kashaya Pomo and Coast Miwok people roasted the nuts as a food source.
REMINDER: Fireworks are not legal in Marin County - no fireworks are permitted on park beaches. Point Reyes National Seashore beaches close at midnight as usual. All park visitor centers are open on Monday. Fire permits are needed for beach fires and must be obtained at park visitor centers on the day of the planned fire.
The Ken Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach returns to summer operation this week - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Friday through Tuesdays.
Harbor seal protection closures end today for this year - boaters may return to Drakes Estero and South Blue Gums.
A permit has been issued for a wedding at Pierce Point Ranch on July 7th for 12 noon - parking may be affected by this event.
Saturday at 2:00 pm at the Bear Valley Visitor Center - Earthquake Walk; 1/2 mile loop on the paved trail for one hour.
Sunday at 1:00 pm at the Bear Valley Visitor Center - Kule Loklo Walk; 1/2 mile walk for about one hour on the first people of Point Reyes.
Lighthouse - Thursday through Monday 2:30-4:00 the second floor lens room is open; weather permitting!
June 16, 2004
A small grass fire was suppressed today through interagency efforts on the Bolinas Ridge Trail - approximately 3 acres. Reminder - it is fire season. The last three days has been high fire danger, dry, windy conditions (no wood fires or smoking on trails). The park is offering a free fire safety inspection - SCA volunteers will come and perform a one hour analysis to assist in making homes as fire safe as possible. Call 464-5254/663-8522 ext. 5254.
Naturalist Notebook: June 20 is the Summer Solstice at 5:58 pm, the longest day of the year, the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. Good morning low tides:
Good places are Agate Beach County Park near Bolinas, Sculptured Beach and Chimney Rock.
Birders Delight! The Bear Valley Visitor Center area has been providing excellent bird watching recently. A Northern Parula may be seen along the Earthquake Trail and also along Bear Valley Road near milepost 1.11. In the Douglas Fir trees just on the east side of the parking lot two Great Blue heron nests each have 3 fledglings who are busily squawking it up. Some of the adults may be seen hunting gophers in the horse pastures. Close by are two fledgling Kestrels - they have come out of the nest hole and may be seen perching on the branches. They are "in flight training" - the parent kestrels just push them off to develop flying skills. Marin County Open Space is sponsoring a bird walk with Rich Stallcup on June 23rd - meet promptly at Drakes Beach 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
A wayward coyote has been approaching people near RCA Beach - do not feed animals or leave out extra foods; do not approach animals. Rangers are monitoring the situation.
Aerial harbor seal surveys will be conducted the week of June 22-25, weather permitting. Aircraft will be flying at 700 feet to census the harbor seal population as the breeding season for 2004 winds down.
Permits have been issued for a wedding at Limantour Beach (20+ people) on June 20 and a picnic at Bear Valley Visitor Center on June 24 (25+ people) There may be some traffic congestion due to those events.
Upcoming Meetings: Giacomini Wetlands restoration on June 22 from 6:30pm - 8:00 pm at the Red Barn at Park Headquarters. Five proposed actions (one no action; four ranked from least action to most action) will be presented for public review and feedback.
Tule Elk docent training is being held at the park on June 27th in preparation for the rutting season in late summer. Volunteers may sign up with Doug Hee at 663-8522, ext. 5145 or (415) 464-5145.
Last updated: February 28, 2015