Park Wavelengths - June 2005
June 29, 2005
The new moon brings a few morning low tides:
Berries are beginning! Look for ripe scarlet thimbleberries along damp hillsides. They peel off into a cup shape or 'thimble', they have large pale green leaves. The tiny native California blackberry is ripening along the Bayview Trail and Inverness Ridge - none of the larger Himalaya berries have been seen ripening yet.
Questions coming in about white plastic bags 'sprouting' around the ranch areas. Grass is cut and chopped, then stored in plastic bags - sometimes long tubes or small piles. The hay is fermenting and turning into 'sileage' part of a balanced diet for dairy cows - they eat alfalfa, sileage, oats, and grazed grass.
Marin County Open Space and Parks Dept. hosts a hike on Thursday, July 7 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm "Tomales Bay State Park", meet at the Jepson Trailhead off Pierce Point Road to hike through the Bishop Pine forest for an early look at the huckleberries and spotted owl territory!
Park scientists have posted reminder signs about fawn season. Typically, a deer mother nurses their young but leave them for extended periods of time while mom forages in the area. If the mother perceives danger to the fawn - she may attempt to give chase - as some of you may remember from recent Park Wavelengths where a deer was observed chasing a coyote at Bear Valley OR abandon the fawn However, usually the mother will return to the fawn to nurse. Do not attempt to approach a fawn or any wildlife.
On Friday, July 1st Drakes Estero and South Blue Gums beach reopen for boating following the annual spring closures for harbor seal protection.
The 4th of July Holiday weekend is coming! All park visitor centers are open on Monday, July 4th and regular protection patrols continue. A reminder that fireworks are not permitted anywhere in Marin County or in the national seashore. The only legal fireworks in Marin County may be viewed above the Marin County Fair.
Golden Gate NRA announces a "Notice of Intent to establish a Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee for Dog Management". The park is beginning the planning process to review pet use in Golden Gate NRA including Muir Beach and Stinson Beach: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/goga (415) 561-4728. Note: the Olema Valley area is managed by Point Reyes and the same regulations apply as for Point Reyes - pets on leash for Bolinas Ridge Trail/MCurdy/Randall Trail.
June 13, 2005
Naturalist Notebook: Summer Solstice arrives next Monday, June 20th, the longest day of the year (the sun rises and sets at its most northerly points on the horizon) and the full moon. This full moon is known by the Lakota Sioux as the "moon of making fat", the abundance of seasonal fruits and foods is at it's best!
Some great early morning low tides also arrive:
Other summer season signs: You may notice the bright evening star, Venus glowing in the western sky. Brown pelicans are splashing in the Drakes Bay. Drive and hike carefully! A mother mallard was guiding her ducklings across Levee Road this morning and a Virginia Rail was noted guiding 8 chicks across Abbots Lagoon Trail!
Swarms of ladybugs have been noted by visitors and park biologists at MClure's Beach in the seaweed. To quote park staff "it makes no sense" and they are researching what the bugs are up to. The ladybugs migrate in large swarms out of the Central Valley back to coastal areas in spring and may have been blown off course. The salts and the minerals on the seaweed may also be attracting them? One other possible theory is that they were a garden release - introduced by a gardener to manage pests and have gone astray! Stay tuned!
Late wildflowers are the Monkey-Flowers - both the bright yellow with red dots "Seep Spring Monkey Flowers" and the orange "Common or Sticky Monkey flowers". Seep Spring is found in wet areas; the red dots are actually small bumps that guide pollinators into the flower. The orange monkey flowers are found in the drier open hillsides of Inverness Ridge, part of the coast chaparral community.
On Saturday, June 25, Marin County Open Space and Parks offers a guided walk at the Five Brooks Trailhead from 9:00- 3:00 pm around the pond and adjoining woods. It is a noted area for warblers and hummingbirds.
A permit has been issued for a wedding at Limantour Beach on June 17 (20+ people). There may be some parking congestion.
Ken Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach is open for the summer - Friday through Tuesday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Cafe is open weekends Sat-Sun from 11:00 - 5:00 pm and may be expanding their hours as the summer continues.
Construction on the new water pipes and upgraded restroom facilities is ongoing at Drakes Beach. Construction at Kule Loklo with Marin Conservation Corps crews continues this week until June 16. Watch for heavy equipment.
Brush disposal this Saturday-Sunday /June 25-25 at the Marin County Corporation yard in Nicasio.
Mark Your Calendars: July 23 is the annual 'Big Time' Festival at Kule Loklo, the Coast Miwok Exhibit, near Bear Valley Visitor Center. Coming up in September and October - lectures, hikes, and seminars on the 10th Anniversary of the Vision Fire.
June 2, 2005
Naturalist Notebook: The new moon rises Monday, June 6 but will be most visible the following day. Some good daylight morning low tides:
It is officially fire season! If you are planning on a beach fire, pick up your fire permit on the day you plan to go out - but fire danger does change from day to day depending on air temperatures and wind conditions.
A Ranger First! A black tailed doe chased the resident Bear Valley coyote around the Morgan Horse pastures. Biologists suggest that the deer had a fawn hidden nearby and was aggressively pursuing the coyote to protect it.
Warm temperatures are heating the earth and many snakes are coming out of the winter hibernation. They are found in open pastures where gophers and mice are abundant. Gopher snakes are perhaps the most commonly seen; they will make a hissing sound and coil up if threatened. They have a brown and black diamond pattern on their backs. Snakes rarely threaten humans and will move away if approached. The flicking tongue is actually 'tasting' molecules of air to determine the presence of prey. Rangers have been shooing them off roadways and out of the visitor centers!
Permits have been issued for a picnic 100+ people at Drakes Beach on June 3.
A construction project begins June 6-9 and June 13-17 at Kule Loklo, the Coast Miwok exhibit. Marin Conservation Corps crews will be working on fixing the roof of the roundhouse. The area will have a small tractor operating, watch out for the crews if you are using the area between 9:00 am-3:00 pm.
This weekend, the Point Reyes community hosts "Western Weekend" with a number of events in the town of Point Reyes - On Sunday, June 5 - Highway 1 will be closed from 12 noon to approximately 1:00 pm for a local parade. Traffic will be directed on side streets through town by county sheriff and Highway patrol. Please use caution, horses and people will be walking through the area.
Last updated: February 28, 2015