Park Wavelengths - August 2009


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A full moon shines on Labor Day Weekend, full on September 4 at 9:03 a.m., with mid-day high tides and moderate lows; good beach walking in the early morning or late afternoon.

A bobcat has been regularly sunning itself at Kule Loklo near Bear Valley over the past week. The elk continue to be active at Tomales Point. Fall often brings humpback whale sightings along the Great Beach; a couple were seen last week, so keep an eye out.

Fire crews are working along the Bolinas Ridge Trail for the next month, clearing debris; the trail remains open and no delays are expected. Prescribed burning is planned for the Marin Headlands to remove exotic grasses; alerts will be sent when the dates are confirmed; smoke may come north.

Brown Bag Lunch series continues this week at 12 noon on August 27 with "Opening The Black Box: Post fledgling survival of juvenile Song Sparrows." It is free at the Red Barn Classroom.

It's back! The annual Sand Sculpture Contest washes up on Sunday, September 6 at Drakes Beach. Contestants should register before noon. Celebrity judges will be out around 12:30 p.m. to make the call with prizes awarded at 3:00 p.m. This event is free and HUGE; come early for better parking. Bring a picnic but leave the pets at home.

All park visitor centers are open throughout the three day holiday weekend. All seashore backcountry and boat sites are full. A permit has been issued for an annual sailing regatta (100+) at Marshall Beach for September 4-5-6. Descendants of Coast Miwok Maria Copa gather at Kule Loklo over the weekend.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

A new moon rises on Thursday, August 20 with early morning pre-dawn low tides at 5:30 a.m. (-0.8 ft.) and 6:19 a.m. (-0.4 ft.) on Friday for early risers.

Some touches of early fall color: poison oak is turning red; wild cucumber vines are dying back in yellow brown clumps. Big leaf maples along Limantour are turning yellow and dropping leaves already.

Back to those berries. Ripe thimbleberries ("tol-pah" in Coast Miwok) along Bear Valley Trail are brilliant red and have large, maple shaped leaves. Huckleberries ("holane" in Coast Miwok) are short shrubs with sprays of small glossy oval leaves that have tiny dark purple berries and are found more along Inverness Ridge and Old Pine Trail.

A record number of bats was recorded in Olema Valley: 445 total females and flying young! Much of their habitat—large hollow tree trunks—was lost at the beginning of the 20th century, so they began to use barns and other human structures as new maternal colonies.

Ringside seats are available for the annual tule elk rut, with bugling, wrestling, boxing occurring all throughout the Tomales Point Tule Elk Reserve. There have been occasional sightings among the smaller herd at Drakes Beach of boxing behavior with young males rising on their hind legs and batting with their front legs.

On Thursday, August 20, "Brown Bag" lunch talks return with a presentation at 12:15 p.m. "Whither The Water? The Exposure of Point Reyes shorelines to San Francisco Bay outflow." The 45-minute presentation is held at the Red Barn Conference Room and is free and open to the public.

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Last updated: February 28, 2015

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Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


(415) 464-5100
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