Park Wavelengths - May 2007
May 25, 2007
The full moon rises on Friday, June 1st with early morning low tides:
Look for Venus, the low bright, reddish, planet in the early evening sky at this time of year. Very bright at this time of year also are the male red winged blackbirds who are quite ferocious for their size. They are seeking mates this time of year, so their red 'epaulets' or shoulder patches are fluffed up and glowing! Each establishes a territory and begins singing to attract a mate, should another bird even a larger raven approach; they will attempt to defend the space and attack the intruder. Eventually a mate will build a cup shaped nest in tall grass or reeds for pale blue eggs with dark markings.
Yellow bush lupine are the last flowers of spring though a lot of iris, the rare yellow paintbrush, poppies and pink sea thrift remain at the Lighthouse. Large white 'Cow parsnip' (looks like cauliflower on a stem!) are blooming along roadsides.
Fire season has officially begun; as usual watch vehicles while parking in tall grass to make sure sparks do not ignite; extinguish all fires with water drown-stir and feel before you leave the beach fire.
The Seashore is hosting officials this week from the Republic of Georgia, the park has a sister park relationship with Kolkheti National Park in this east European country.
Permits have been issued for a group of 60 at Bear Valley Visitor Picnic area on June 1st and for 300/school field trip day at Drakes Beach on June 7. Expect some congestion in those areas.
All park visitor centers will be open on Monday, Memorial Day - Bear Valley from 8-5; the Lighthouse from 10-4:30 and Drakes beach from 10-5.
May 8, 2007
The new moon on May 16 brings some great early morning daylight low tides:
Bats at the Randall House are in good shape; the recent bat count was 244; one less than last years 20 year high record! In China bats appear in artwork as a sign of family happiness. Among Coast Miwok, Bat got his wings from his grandma - first she tried to make them from her tule skirt but he kept falling - then she made them from her skin skirt and he was able to fly off with Woodpecker and eat clover.
Other good news, rare plant surveys were done in the area near Abbots Lagoon where European beach grass was removed - large numbers of beach layia and Tidestrom's lupine were recorded. Spotted owl surveys have begun but only one nest has been noted in Marin County so far. Surveys will continue throughout May and June.
On Wednesday, May 9th, a Toyota commercial will be filming in the park. A crew of 70 will be on location at North and South Beach from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm with Highway Patrol officers and rangers on duty. Limited traffic control will be in place with delays no more than 5 minutes.
Park rangers from Chilean national parks were escorted through the park last week and discussed parks on the local community radio station highlighting an organic honey operation in one of the national parks.
On May 10th a free lecture at the Red Barn Classroom from 12:00 noon to 12:45 "Fossil Whale Baleen at Point Reyes National Seashore".
Marin County Open Space naturalists will be West Marin on Saturday, May 12th between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm walking the Bolinas Ridge Trail. The hike involves a car shuttle so please meet at Randall Trailhead on Highway one promptly.
Last updated: February 28, 2015