Park Wavelengths - October 2004


October 20, 2004

Naturalist Notebook: Tonight is the Orionid meteor showers caused by 'dust' from Haley's Comet. They originate in the constellation of Orion, the hunter, usually viewed looking south towards Bolinas, They are quite faint and run about 25 per hour, look to the left of the constellation.

Next Wednesday, October 27th is the full moon at 8:07 pm, the Hunters Moon which also brings a total lunar eclipse, the only one visible from the continental United States this year. The moon will disappear at 6:14 pm and by 7:23 pm - it is in total eclipse until it emerges from the earth's shadow at 8:44 pm. If it's clear, Chimney Rock, Mount Vision, Tomales Point can be good places for viewing without reflected light.

Drive Carefully! It is the rut season for native black tailed deer and the introduced fallow deer. The black tailed deer, in the rush of hormones and haste to find partners, run across roads. Be alert while driving, if you see one deer, there are usually more behind. Fallow deer, particularly around Bear Valley Visitor Center make barking sounds - sometimes described as pig or dog like. They rarely rush onto roads.

Unusual birding activity this week included a report of brown pelicans at White House Pool! They were possibly thrown off course by the storm and wind. Marin County Open Space is sponsoring a bird walk on Saturday, October 23rd, Birds of the Palomarin area. Meet at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory 8:00 am - 2:00pm.

Muir Woods reports annual fall color among the redwoods, big leaf maples turning golden, buckeyes dropping leaves and their big grey-green seeds becoming visible. They park moves to winter hours November 7th and close at 5:00 pm.

A predicted mild El Nino year brought some of the first heavy rain this past week. The trail crew has issued it's annual request for assistance with downed tree reports. They like to know: the kind of tree, the diameter of the trunk; whether a horse or hiker can get around it. A good description of the location is also helpful. If you are carrying a map, please mark on the map. Report at park visitor centers.

Rangers are working to remove a shipwreck on Drakes Beach. Equipment will be used to drain fuel tanks and then by next week most of the boat will be removed. No injuries reported. It is the second one on Drakes Beach this year.

A new website from NOAA allows visitors to check on forecasts and weather:
The park webcam may be down temporarily as the equipment located inside the Lighthouse Visitor center may have been removed when the roof leaked during the last rain storm.

Permits have been issued for 250+ school children to attend a performance on Drakes Beach on October 21st. A permit for a picnic of 50+ people at Limantour Beach and a labyrinth at Bear Valley Picnic Area are issued for Saturday, October 23rd. There may be parking congestion in these areas.

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October 7, 2004

THURSDAY, October 7! Cross Country meet at Bear Valley Visitor Center. West Marin School hosts 150+ runners on the trail around Kule Loklo and the Morgan Horse ranch approximately 3:00 - 5:00 pm. There may be traffic delays.

Naturalist Notebook: Friday, October 8th, a small meteor shower may be seen in the constellation of Draco; the Draconid meteor shower, roughly above Black Mountain, looking east, south east.

Birding reports from the cypress trees along Sir Francis Drake Road include a Ferruginous Hawk, a yellow bellied flycatcher, least flycatcher, magnolia warbler, indigo bunting were reported at Chimney Rock as well as a burrowing owl along the Chimney Rock Road; an ovenbird at Drakes Beach. The Marin County Parks department sponsors a birding walk with Rich Stallcup on Wednesday, October 13, 9:00 am-3:00 pm. Meet at Bear Valley Visitor Center at 9:00 am sharp for carpooling.

The Horse Trail has been closed since Monday, October 4th and will continue to be closed through the winter as trail crews work on rehabilitation, re routing the steeper grades and removing the old road bed. Heavy equipment is being used and then the trail closure will remain so vegetation can recover and stabilize.

Crews have been removing cape ivy infestations along the Coast Trail this week. Next week October 12-15, crews will be encamped at Wildcat Campground, continuing the project to remove pampas grass from the cliffside.

A GPS contractor with a black Toyota truck and wearing a yellow Trimble backpack will be in the Inverness - Inverness park area surveying park boundaries as part of mapping and studies for fire protection.

All park visitor centers are open Monday, Columbus Day holiday - Bear Valley 8:00 -5:00 pm; Lighthouse 10:00 am - 4:30 pm; and Ken Patrick and Drakes Beach 10:00 am-5:00 pm .

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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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