Park Wavelengths - November 2006
November 25, 2006
The full moon rises Monday, December 4 bringing a few daylight late afternoon low tides for exploring:
As usual, Agate Beach County Park at the end of Overlook and Elm in Bolinas; Sculptured Beach on the south of Limantour and Chimney Rock are good place for tidepooling.
Tule elk counts are being completed on Tomales Point over the past few weeks as the rut has ended. A healthy population of 500+ has been noted and will be verified in continuing counts this month. No fish reports for Olema or Redwood Creek yet but we will post them as received.
Park scientists are beginning surveys for overwintering monarch butterflies; checking trees in the Bolinas-Palomarin areas. Fire protection plans include thinning and clearing some of the Australian eucalyptus in summer 2007 - that the monarchs have adapted to rest upon in winter. Scientists are mapping the 'butterfly trees' to insure that the butterflies will be able to return next year.
The rains are bringing out the first mushrooms - puffballs (creamy white spheres - they do release a puff of spores later after they have dried out). Marin County Open Space naturalists will be leading a mushroom hike on Thursday, November 30 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Tomales Bay State Park. Meet at the Jepson Trailhead off Pierce Point Road. Mark your calendars for other upcoming opportunities to learn about fungi are coming on December 9th with the county naturalist at Roy's Redwoods and also at Point Reyes; more info in the next edition. Members of the public are permitted to collect 2 gallons of mushrooms and one large one for personal use.
Reminder - a wood fire was left burning in a charcoal grill at Bear Valley Visitor Center this holiday weekend. A cozy fire may only be made on the beaches; never in a grill and always put your fire out with water. Even with damp conditions, afternoon winds can spread coals and ignite fires.
Neighbor park Golden Gate NRA is sponsoring an open house on Tuesday, November 28 from 4:00 - 7:00 pm at park headquarters, Bay and Franklin Street in San Francisco. Upcoming plans for West Marin projects such as the Redwood Creek restoration at Muir Beach will be discussed.
November 11, 2006
More meteors coming our way on Saturday and Sunday evening, November 18-19 - the Leonid meteor showers peak in the midnight to dawn hours. The waning moon cooperates by not shedding additional light! The showers also usher in a few good daylight low tides:
All construction work on Bear Valley Trail has been completed and equipment moved out - the trail is open! Construction continues in two other areas:
1) D Ranch, you may see a small excavator and bulldozer working on restoring ponds for red legged frogs; it's part of the big picture project slated for next year where dams and culverts at nine locations will be taken out around Drakes and Limantour Esteros to restore fish habitat.
2) Giacomini Wetlands - Contractors are expanding an existing freshwater marsh in the northeast corner of the 'western' pasture right off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to improve red legged frog habitat. They will also widen part of a levee to enhance high tide refugia for rails. Park biologists are on hand to radio collar any frogs disturbed by the project and relocate them.
Neither project should affect any visitor parking or trail use. Both projects are slated to be completed by November 17 but may be delayed by rain. Official totals on the first storm are 1.7" at Bear Valley!
Unusual plant sightings - visitors have been bringing California Honeysuckle berries - the bright red jelly like berries are along the Muddy Hollow areas. Honeysuckle has opposing leaves - one on each side of the stem mirrors the other leaf. The Coast Live Oaks did not produce a very large crop of acorns this year; deer are trying to eat as many acorns as possible to fatten before winter. The poor crop may affect the health of next year fawns.
Park Visitor centers are open throughout the Thanksgiving holidays: Bear valley and the Lighthouse will close at 2:00 pm on Thursday, November 23 and be open regular hours on the weekend; Ken Patrick VC will be closed that day and open on Saturday and Sunday.
Last updated: February 28, 2015