Park Wavelengths - September 2008
September 27, 2008
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September 24, 2008
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September 23, 2008
Riots of fall colors with the autumnal equinox this week - check out brilliant red poison oak along Limantour Road. The new moon rises Monday, September 29 with higher than usual daylight tides 5.4 - 5.9 feet in the afternoons. Other fall delights - the continuing presence of humpback whales off the Great Beach, splashing and breaching; the fall bird migration is underway - blackpoll warbler at the Lighthouse and some redstarts.
A young bat has been stopping in at the Lighthouse over the past few weeks, lingering in the fog signal building, an unusual sighting for this spot.. The overall bat population in the park remains healthy, 325 Townsend's Big eared bats were counted in the annual survey last week at their roost in Olema Valley. Traditionally, roosts were inside cavities of old growth redwoods and hillside caves; as these roosts disappeared they have moved into old barns and attics.
Large fish observed under the green bridge in Point Reyes are not early salmonids - they are carp; look for the noticeable scales and the fact they are 'out in the open' not seeking deep cool waters to hide. They are native to Eurasia and like slow moving shallow streams with lots of organic matter to root around in.
Marin County Open Space rangers will be exploring the "Pond Life of the Palomarin Area" on Sunday, September 28th between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm; meet at the Palomarin Trailhead off Mesa Road near Bolinas.
A planned closure of the Olema Marsh Trail is now posted for October 6th (originally slated for September 22) as part of the Giacomini Restoration. Trail staff are working with Marin Conservation Corps groups on reconstructing the Abbotts Lagoon Trail; the reroute of Greenpicker, Rift Zone and Estero Trails. These are not closed but you may see the crews at work.
Prescribed burns may occur this week on Wednesday (24) and Friday (26), off Limantour Road west of the Hostel and off Highway 1 near the Randall Trail to manage fuel loads and reduce exotic plants.
September 23, 2008
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September 10, 2008
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September 9, 2008
The full moon rises on September 15 at 2:13 a.m. This moon brings some very high afternoon daylight tides between 5.7 and 6.3 feet, so plan beach excursions early in the day. The autumnal equinox follows on the next Monday, August 22nd as we begin to lose a few moments of daylight each day.
Warm weather has created excellent marine mammal viewing from Limantour Beach. Breaching minke and humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises were observed across the weekend from the beach along with many loons and common murres. It is possible some type of "bloom" of food associated with warmer water temperatures is drawing in the feasting crowds although we often see humpbacks and blues at this time of year. Large numbers of Sooty Shearwaters are feeding off Abbots Lagoon. On Tomales Bay, a die off of moon jellies has washed in many blobs of clear jelly with the trademark white crescents. These are a favorite food for sea turtles. Unfortunately, plastic bags in the water can mimic the drifting jellies and are eaten by turtles. The indigestible bags block absorption of nutrients and food and can cause malnutrition and death for the turtles. A reminder, the brown colored Lions Mane jellies can cause an allergic reaction if you brush against; a sting was reported from Drakes Beach last Saturday. Avoid them on the beach!
Snowy Plovers hung in there this year, final numbers approximately 16% survival rate; 33 birds hatched and five fledged. Some of the nesting area was disturbed by clean up for a shipwreck that washed ashore at Kehoe Beach; cautious Dad Plover managed to shield the last three from this disturbance.
Excellent year for berries all round, the latest fruit is Blue Elderberry, large dusky dark purple-blue clusters are draped over Bear Valley Road and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard especially in the San Geronimo Valley. Buckeye nut pods are appearing as the leaves are dropped, the green balls can be seen on the trees.
Coastal Clean Up Day is coming up on Saturday, September 20th. Meet at Limantour Beach at 9:30 a.m. to clean up trash and enjoy the day.
A permit has been issued for September 14th for the annual "Piper On the Ridge" event on Mount Vision Road. The annual event features a bagpiper greeting the rising full moon and begins approximately 7:00 p.m. Free, but no dogs permitted. Check on whether extreme fire danger may close the road.
PG&E will be working in the pastures off North Beach for the next few weeks, restringing lines over the fields; no effect on services or traffic is expected.
September 4, 2008
Park rangers were called to car break-ins at the Lighthouse parking lot and Chicken Ranch beach yesterday afternoon. These were 'smash and grabs' where items like backpacks, wallets, cameras etc. were left in view and a quick smash of a window and grab of the item was made. Please leave valuables at home or secure out-of-sight. Unfortunately, watch for broken glass along the roadway entrance for Chicken Ranch—they are not sure they got it all cleaned up yet.
Last updated: February 28, 2015