Park Wavelengths - November 2009


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The full moon rises Tuesday, December 1 with extreme high morning tides (9:30-ish-10:00-ish) peaking at 6.8 feet on December 2 & 3, Wednesday and Thursday. Afternoon daylight tidepooling opportunities at Agate Beach County park present themselves:

Monday, November 30 3:34 p.m. -0.8 feet
Tuesday, December 1 4:16 p.m. -1.3 feet
Wednesday, December 2 5:00 p.m. (sunset 4:51 pm) -1.5 feet

We have another full moon on December 31—two full moons in one month name the second one "A Blue Moon."

The Thanksgiving feast was served early for the local scavengers—turkey vultures, etc.—a dead 30-foot whale washed up on South Beach. It may be pulled out to sea again and reappear further north at Abbotts or Kehoe Beach. It has aged well and quite ripe!

It has been a great early season for mushrooms of all kinds between the wet and the sun! Ever so pale green (and poisonous) amanitas are amongst the evergreen roots on the Woodpecker Trail along with fairy cups (tiny scarlet cups) and witches butter (gooey yellow stuff on tree trunks). Mushroom picking is permitted for personal use limited to two gallons and one large one per person.

The return of Northern elephant seals to the Headlands continues. A young female seal was seen with a tag from the Guadalupe Island colony!

Park visitor centers and the Lighthouse steps will be open on Thursday, November 26, Thanksgiving, but will be closing early at 2:00 pm. Roads and trials remain open and patrol staff will be on duty.

Mark your calendars for December 11, the park's Holiday Open House at Bear Valley Visitor Center; 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Stop by to visit with park staff and have a snack!

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another meteor shower drops by this week, the Leonids. It may be difficult to view due to the bright new moon rising on Monday, November 16. They will continue throughout the week, and are described as "fast, bright, showy, meteors."

Popping sounds over Tomales Bay on Sunday morning were the sound of duck hunting season—scaups—in particular. An area of the bay, roughly north of Drakes View Drive and south of Inverness is state hunting land, accessed only by boat, where duck hunting occurs.

Freshwater otters have gradually been moving back into historic territories along Lagunitas Creek. Boaters enjoying the exceptionally high tides at White House Pool were startled by a group of three! They are regularly seen at Abbotts Lagoon in the sand dunes.

A permit has been issued for a commercial film shoot for children's clothing at Drake Beach for this Tuesday and Wednesday. No parking congestion anticipated.

CORRECTION: Bear Valley Visitor Center will be open holiday hours 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on this Wednesday, November 11th, Veterans Day—both the Lighthouse and Drakes Beach Visitor Centers will be closed. There will be a local observance of Veterans Day at the Olema Cemetery on Highway 1 at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

New artwork at the Bear Valley Visitor Center is black and white national park photographs by Perry Scholnick.

Brown Bag Luncheon series on November 19 at 12 noon is "Differing roles of invaders within introduced and native communities" with staff from the Bodega Marine Lab; free and open to the public at the Red Barn Classroom at park headquarters.

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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
This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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