Park Wavelengths - September 2007
September 25, 2007
Dramatic high tides are expected with the Harvest moon on September 27th afternoon highs from 6-6.5 feet. Typically this makes it difficult to walk on Drakes and McClures Beaches, the beaches grow smaller in winter as the waves pull sand off the beaches.
Lot's of bugling amongst the elk on Tomales Point this weekend; the harems keep moving around and lots of rut activity is ongoing. It is a good time to find a spot to sit and watch, perhaps for an hour or so, to observe the various male and female interactions. The fall bird migration is in-flight, last week's storms brought some unusual birds off course into the cypress trees on the point, a palm warbler at the Lighthouse. A quick source on unusual birds in the area is the rare bird alert (415) 681-7422.
Black Angus cows have their calves with them along the Bolinas Ridge trail. They have been known (rarely) to charge hikers if you are between them and the calf. The trail has been posted to warn folks.
Point Reyes is hosting a Student Conservation Association Native Plant Corps team in training this week. They are learning to operate a variety of tools to remove exotic plants and as part of their training will be working throughout the park:
They plan to have a flagger along the trails to alert hikers.
A new artist work on display at the Bear Valley Visitor Center is David Wilson with various images of Yosemite and other nature studies.
Large scale construction projects remain underway in the park as Mount Vision, Estero, and Muddy Hollow areas remain closed for watershed restoration efforts. In addition, next week begins the first phase of the Giacomini Wetlands plan, affecting the town of Point Reyes as trucks will begin moving in and out of the area. They will be removing the pole barn and then moving fill.
September 20, 2007
An Evening with Bats
Because of their nocturnal habits, bats are creatures of myth and mystery. Many people are surprised to learn that 13 different species of bats have been recorded in Marin County! Dr. Fellers will show us how bats are studied in the field, including methods of capture and the use of specialized recording devices that allow us to identify passing bats based on their ultrasonic calls.
Directions: Take Hwy 1 3.5 miles south from Olema. Take the entrance road to Five Brooks Pond. Park in the lot at the end of the road and walk about 50 yards west to the pond. Bring a light and dress warm.
September 11, 2007
Fall equinox on September 22 signals the beginning of autumn this year. Autumn sign are the crimson poison oak winding up telephone poles and the yellowing Big Leaf maples dropping leaves. The full Harvest Moon arriving on September 27th brings some extreme tides; 6 foot + in the afternoons. Check tides before heading out on the beaches so that you don't get stranded!
Leaves on the California live oaks are being eaten by the caterpillars of California Oak Worm (Phryganidia californica), tiny, about a 1/2 inch, black with thin yellow stripe. These critters are having a banner year with two hatches and are now chowing down, dropping out of trees onto people. Healthy oaks will grow a new set of leaves but for now, many are defoliated. The last time this phenomenon was reported in our area was 1992. Oaks in the Santa Cruz area are also being eaten.
Under the oaks, the native Coffeeberry (Rhamnus Californica) is ripening, an evergreen shrub with oval leaves. These small dark berries look like coffee beans; they are first green, then red and then a deep dark reddish black. Traditional Coast Miwok use is as digestive aid; however, they are not considered edible. They are another fall treat for birds to fatten on before winter.
Point Reyes celebrates its 45th anniversary this week! Congress approved the park legislation and it was signed into law on September 13, 1962 by President Kennedy.
Repair construction on the park pier in Tomales Bay at Sacramento Landing/Spengers has begun with a pile driver removing rotten pilings and placing new ones this week.
Saturday, September 15 is Coastal Clean Up Day throughout the bay area. At Point Reyes, meet at the Bear Valley Visitor Center to pick up supplies between 9:00 am and 12 noon before heading out to your favorite beach!
Permits have been issued for the Traditional Smallcraft Association regatta on Marshall Beach on September 14-15. A large picnic permit for 80 people has been issued for Marshall Beach on September 23.
Last updated: February 28, 2015