Park Wavelengths - June 2007
June 19, 2007
Summer Solstice arrives on Thursday, June 21, at 11:11 am when the sun is it's farthest north of the equator for this year, the longest day of the year. It is a wonderful time to see Venus in the evening sky sparkling next to the moon. The full moon follows on Saturday, June 30 sailing in a low arc across the sky bringing some good early morning low tides:
Bass Lake is currently closed to all activity due to the continuing search for a young man who was last seen in this area on Saturday. Helicopters; search dogs, and teams scoured the area and are continuing to look as of this week. Hikers may use the Coast Trail from Palomarin.
Recent birding excitement at the Point Reyes Headlands includes the presence of horned puffins which are normally an Arctic bird. They have lingered off the Chimney Rock for a couple of weeks now. Grey whales have become a more regular site this summer in Tomales Bay with various reports over the past month. Typically, breeding adults move directly between Baja and Alaska but non-breeding younger gray whales may linger around bays and coastal areas where food is present. This phenomenon has been occurring as the eastern population of Pacific gray whales continues to rise; more summer sightings.
Blue elderberry is the pale yellow blooming shrub along roadsides (cup shaped clusters of small flowers) while red elderberry is the distinctive red cluster of small poisonous berries along trails in the seashore.
Marin County Open Space rangers will be leading a hike on Wednesday, June 27 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Bull Point off Sir Francis Drake Road going towards the Lighthouse. They'll be looking for late season wildflowers also a good spot for burrowing owls.
Reminder: Fireworks are not permitted in Marin County including national park beaches at Point Reyes and Stinson Beach. Legal fireworks may be viewed at the Marin County Fair in San Rafael. Bear Valley and Drakes Beach Visitor Centers will be open on Wednesday, July 4th, the Lighthouse is always closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
A permit has been issued for a wedding at Drakes Beach on June 30th. No congestion expected.
June 8, 2007
The new moon rises on Thursday, June 14 with very early morning low tides:
The Chimney Rock area remains off limits with a construction program to replace windows in the Historic Boathouse and a late group of elephant seals hanging out on the ramp. These are non-breeding youngsters, practicing their vocalizations and wrestling for future seasons!
Early excitement over snowy plovers 2007 nesting season - 14 chicks have hatched this year with one fledged chick bravely taking on the uncertain world of raven predators.
Acorn woodpeckers have been swooping through Bear Valley; their food at this time of year is the myriad of hatching insects. Look for 'spit bugs' white frothy masses on brush - the 'spit' protects the tiny nymph phase of the bug from hot weather and allows it to develop. Many caterpillars are reported feeding on lupine at Tomales Point; these are Ranchland Tiger Moths that will eventually make a cocoon.
Attention Boaters: Miller County Park aka 'Nicks Cove' is closed for a major face lift until December 2007. The county has established an update phone number at (415) 499-7079. The only other cement boat ramp is located at the Golden Hinde Boatel in Inverness and a sand boat access at Lawsons Landing. There will some limited kayak/canoe access.
Permits have been issued for a large group picnic at Bear valley on June 16th for the Marin Conservation Corps and a Limantour Beach picnic; expect congestion in these parking areas. A parade in Fairfax may affect morning traffic on Saturday June 9 for those arriving via Sir Francis Drake into the park.
Mark your calendars: Annual West Marin brush disposal days coming up June 23-24 at Nicasio, the county corporation yard on Nicasio Valley Road.
Last updated: February 28, 2015