Park Wavelengths - October 2005


October 20, 2005

Today and tomorrow - a permit has been issued for filming to Clark's for catalogue shots in the north area of the park. No delays or congestion expected as this crew moves around.

Also, today, Thursday, a 20 acre prescribed fire is planned in the Limantour Beach area. No delays are expected!

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October 19, 2005

Naturalist Notebook: A bright, gibbous moon flares across the sky and washes out the Orionid meteor showers on Friday. Kashaya Pomo call this week's moon Kalemkayo - when 'trees are felled by fires at the base.'

The winter beaches are appearing - steep shelves down to the water. At Drakes Beach, the sand is being pulled off to reveal the rock formations seen only in winter.

Rare birds continue in the area with recent low pressure systems: A bright Philadelphia vireo at Stinson Beach parking lot in the willows north of the lifeguard tower; a yellow crowned night heron north of the Inverness store near the 35 mph speed sign!

The pink lilies blooming furiously at Divide Meadow mark the site of the old Pacific Union Club. They have tiny leaves at the base and a huge bulb sp. Amaryllis - common name 'naked ladies.'

Some delays may be expected along Limantour Road this week as a chip sealing project continues - watch for signs and construction crews guiding traffic.

Permits coming up in the park are for a play at Drakes Beach on October 21 for Miller Creek School and a picnic at Bear Valley on October 30 (60+ people).

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October 4, 2005

A partial lunar eclipse is coming with the next full moon on Monday October 17 most of the shadowing occurs at 3:00 am through 5:00 am for light sleepers! This moon is called the Hunters Moon, traditionally giving hunters one last night of light before winters darker and smaller full moons; it is the first full moon after the Harvest Moon which is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox! (this will not be on the test!). Sunday night, October 16th, a permit has been issued for 'Piper on the Ridge' event held on Mt. Vision Road, expect congestion that evening on the road. (Note: if there is a spell of hot dry weather and high fire danger - Mt. Vision Road closes.)

Fall scenes in the park -the shrubbery covered with fine yellow down is the flowering of coyote brush or bacharis, it has a light powdery scent on warm days. Bay and oak trees are dropping their nuts and deer, squirrels and acorn woodpeckers are feasting away. Bay tree (sawlas in Coast Miwok or Umbellaria californica) nuts and foliage are a useful plant - Coast Miwok inserted a leaf of bay in their nostrils or bound wreathes of leaves to their foreheads to ward off headaches. The nuts can be roasted and eaten. Bay leaves were also considered a cure for rheumatism - added to hot water in the sweat lodge.

Rare birds reported throughout the area - at Muir Beach a clay colored sparrow; a tropical kingbird at Pierce Point Ranch. Careful inspection of the cypress trees throughout the ranch areas at this time of year may reward birders with unusual vagrants blown in by last weekends low pressure system. Another unusual sighting was a Northern elephant seal deep in Tomales Bay on the state park beaches. Usually, they are along the more remote Headlands beaches.

Final bat counts for this year revealed the highest number of female and juvenile big eared bats since the counts have been taken in 1987. Bats appear in many images in China as a sign of family happiness - they consume hundreds of insects in their nocturnal flights!

Watch for the Bear Valley resident coyote napping under the oak tree in front of the visitor center! He napped away through school groups much of last Friday!

A permit has been issued for a crosscountry meet hosted by West Marin School on Thursday, October 6th in the afternoon at Bear Valley. Watch out for traffic control and young runners 6-7-8 graders around the Morgan Horse ranch. A permit for a wedding has been issued for Limantour Beach on October 8 between 4:30 pm-6:00pm 30+ people. Also, a large group picnic (100+) for Drakes Beach on October 8 to the Master Mariners.

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Last updated: February 28, 2015

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