Park Wavelengths - April 2007
April 24, 2007
The full moon rises ('Summer Begins Moon' to the Ponca) Wednesday, May 2 at 3:09 am with some daylight low tides in the early mornings:
The bright moon will make it difficult to see the Eta Aquarid meteor showers which peak on Sunday, May 6; about 20 meteors per hour may be seen after midnight.
These low tides begin the annual cycle of many daylight low tides in May, June, July as well as the beginning of the abalone season. Divers are reminded that they must punch their annual license/card immediately after they exit the water with their abalone.
Tule elk calves are being born; three joined the small herd that may be seen at the Drakes Beach turn off and were radio collared shortly after birth. Park staff are monitoring the group which 'broke away' from the transplanted herd near Coast Camp; the collars help establish how far they are moving throughout the north area.
Wildflowers are on full throttle! Blue blossoms (Ceanothus) shrubs are blooming along Limantour Road; Sky Lupine and poppies are all over the fields at Bear Valley Visitor Center; clouds of yellow bush lupine are all over Tomales Point. Chimney Rock has good variety and you may catch the peregrine feeding or the last of the gray whale migration.
Public transportation to the park has recently increased; 'The Stage;' (415) 526-3239 www.marintransit.org/stage.html now has four trips a day to Bear Valley Visitor Center; Monday through Saturday. It connects to Golden Gate Transit at San Rafael and San Anselmo.
On Thursday, April 26, a free lecture at the Red Barn Classroom 'White Shark Ecology at the Point Reyes Headlands' between 12:00 and 12:45! The lecture details the recent shark tagging studies done off the point.
April 10, 2007
The new moon aligns with the 101st anniversary of the 1906 earthquake on April 18 bringing some early morning daylight low tides:
Local tidepooling is easiest at Agate Beach County Park, at the end of Elm and Overlook Roads in Bolinas or hiking down to Sculptured Beach. The Chimney Rock area is still gated and posted closed as the last elephant seal pups linger in the area.
The annual shuttle bus/road closure season is over as the last of the gray whales continue north. Mother and calf pairs who nurse a little longer in Mexico are the last to travel; the calves have more weight to survive the migration. They are at risk from sharks and orcas in deep waters and tend to move slowly north, very close to shore; a particularly dangerous area is the offshore canyons in Monterey Bay. Orcas often chase the pairs trying to separate the two whales and attack the calf though whale mothers aggressively defend their young from the orcas with head buts and fluke blows.
The first snowy plover nest has been noted on the Great Beach. Watch for the string enclosures and signage; as each nest is noted; it is surrounded with the string to prevent ravens from preying on the eggs or the young birds. Volunteers are needed to monitor the birds and educate visitors about the plovers. Call Kristen Truchinski 415-464-5210 to sign up; a one day training is slated for May 20.
Wildflowers continue to appear each day - the usual spots Douglas iris at the Estero trailhead, poppies at Abbots Lagoon. Early bloomers like the Mission bells and Mallow are on their way out; Douglas Iris and poppies are in full display; later bloomers like the yarrow are appearing now. Very little lupine has been noted yet. New art in the Bear Valley Visitor Center is wildflower photography by Joan Lynn Bekins; beautiful color images of flowers currently in bloom in the park.
Upcoming free lecture on April 26 "White Shark Ecology at the Point Reyes Headlands" between 12:00 and 12:45 at the Red Barn Classroom.
Last updated: February 28, 2015