Park Wavelengths - January 2010


Friday, January 29, 2010

Forwarded to Park Wavelengths Subscribers

Searchers were on the ground yesterday, Thursday, Jan. 28, and any information may be forwarded to Park Dispatch (415) 464-5170.
Missing Person Poster: Sylvia Lange (50 KB PDF)

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The full moon on Saturday is the closest to the earth this year (the farthest-away moon will be in August), and if skies are clear, it will really be bright! Afternoon daylight low tides accompany this Choctaw "Cooking Moon"—the mother moon spent the time preserving foods for her children, the stars, to eat during the lingering winter. The afternoon lows are balanced with 7 foot morning highs—watch for water on local roads if heavy rains continue!

Wednesday, January 27 2:58 p.m. -1.0 feet
Thursday, January 28 3:43 p.m. -1.3 feet

High surf has been pounding the beaches, which appear much smaller in winter as sand is carried to offshore bars. Safety first: do not turn your back on the waves, and walk halfway up the beach, not near the water.

A pair of coyotes was spotted at South Beach approaching the small colony of elephant seals below the Lighthouse cliffs, perhaps to scavenge some dead pups. As the population of coyotes increases in West Marin, they have been taking advantage of seal pups on the beaches as an easy meal. These two were deflected by the size of the male seals in the area and decided to dine elsewhere. The seal colonies are flourishing with some loss of pups due to the high surf.

Lovely weather last Saturday reassured us that gray whales are passing by. Over 20 were seen under the clear skies at the Point—the highest count for any day this season. They return in a month or so. More sightings are likely in March with February being the lull in sightings.

Marin County Open Space rangers will be leading a walk at Abbotts Lagoon on Sunday, January 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Lots of resting birds and a possibility to see the freshwater otters who have a den there.

This weekend is the Fifth Annual Fungus Fair with walks beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 30 at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. On Sunday, January 31, a display of fungi may be viewed at the Visitor Center.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A new moon rises on Thursday, January 14 with high mid-morning tides (6-foot plus), beach walking will be much better after noon. Another set of extreme high tides in to 6.5- to 7-foot range will return with the full moon on January 30.

Winter is full of action on the coast! Gray whales have been seen from the Lighthouse, but in fairly low numbers, with the numbers of whales seen averaging about a dozen per day. Northern elephant seals are on the beaches at Chimney Rock, with some males resting here and there on the Great Beach.

Rain has allowed the return of salmon to Olema Creek and Pine Gulch Creeks. Twenty live fish, six carcasses, and twelve redds (nests) have been observed in the main stem of Olema Creek. At Muir Woods in Redwood Creek, 12 live fish, 7 carcasses, and 13 redds have been observed. More studies are being conducted this Friday as the sediment settles. Hopefully, more rain to come!

The annual tule elk count has been completed for the Tomales Point range with a 2009 count of 441 elk. The ten year average is 445—good numbers for a species that once dwindled to just 14 individuals!

Amazing but the first wildflowers appeared in the warm spell last Sunday—Milkmaids of the shady oak woodlands!

All park visitor centers are open on Monday, Martin Luther King holiday. Shuttles will be operating if the weather is clear with road closures at South Beach.

Note: Wavelengths went on a brief hiatus due to technical difficulties.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Special Events: Celebrating Life on the Edge

Point Reyes National Seashore is partnering with the West Marin Chamber of Commerce, West Marin Visitors Bureau, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Point Reyes National Seashore Association to bring to you the first of our Special Events Weeks in the winter of 2010. We invite you to come visit Point Reyes National Seashore this winter to see and experience our majestic winter wildlife and maritime heritage! Winter Special Events: Life on the Edge has a special seasonal focus on our marine wildlife and other ocean topics. Activities include field trips, slideshows, films, talks, volunteer field events, and much more! The special events hosted by local businesses include special dinners paired with discussions and films by local experts, as well as a kayak tour of the Giacomini Wetlands.

For questions, contact:
Jessica Luo, Ocean Education and Outreach Coordinator, 415-464-5132, email
Melanie Gunn, Volunteer Program Manager, 415-464-5131, email
Leslie Adkins, Inverness Valley Inn, 415-669-7250, email

Events denoted by an asterix (*) are hosted by local businesses and need additional reservation or payment. Space is limited. See the Special Events Hosted by Local Businesses RSVP and Contact information below for more details.

Saturday, January 16
*9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
PRNSA Field Seminar, Drawing Nature's Contours with Joan Hoffmann

Sunday, January 17
1:30 p.m., Gray whale interpretive talk & viewing at Point Reyes Lighthouse with rangers

Monday, January 18
*11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., Naturalist led kayak tour of Giacomini Wetlands, Blue Waters Kayak
4:00 p.m., Slideshow on marine protected areas and film: A Sheltered Sea (23 min) at Bear Valley Visitor Center

Tuesday, January 19
11:00 a.m., Films: Acid Test (15 min) and Our Synthetic Sea (22 min) at Bear Valley Visitor Center
2:00 p.m., Volunteer Event: Beach Cleanup at Drakes Beach
*5:00 p.m., Plate of Brass historical controversy talk with Edward Von der Porten and Dinner at Drakes Beach Café

Wednesday, January 20
11:00 a.m., Slideshow on the history of the Point Reyes Peninsula with historic photos at Bear Valley Visitor Center
2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m., Maritime Radio Historical Society open house at North District Operations Center
7:30 p.m., Talk on using underwater technology to explore Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary at the Red Barn Classroom; coffee and dessert provided

Thursday, January 21
1:00 p.m., Talk by Ralph Shanks on Life-Saving Service at Historic Lifeboat Station
2:00 p.m., Field trip, guided walk by marine mammal biologist to Elephant Seal viewing sites at Chimney Rock
*6:00 p.m., David McGuire's shark films and discussion with dinner at the Farm House Restaurant

Friday, January 22
9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Hike to Abbotts Lagoon & Habitat Restoration. RSVP to Theo Michaels, 415-464-5223 or by email
3:30–5:00 p.m., Talk and Film, Setting aside the Marin coast: Amy Meyer, conservationist & Nancy Kelly, documentary filmmaker, with showing of Moments in Time at Bear Valley Visitor Center
*5:30 p.m., Reception with Amy Meyer and Nancy Kelly at the Station House Café

Saturday, January 23
10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., Stream Team volunteer opportunity with coho salmon and steelhead trout program

Friday–Sunday, January 22–24
*7:00 p.m. Friday–4:00 p.m. Sunday, PRNSA Field Seminar, Photographing Birds with Oliver Klink


Special Events Hosted by Local Businesses RSVP and Contact information

Saturday, January 16
9 a.m.–4 p.m.
PRNSA Field Seminars
Drawing Nature’s Contours with Joan Hoffman
Price: $95 ($90 for PRNSA members)
To register, call: 415-663-1200 ext. 373

Monday, January 18
11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Blue Waters Kayak
Naturalist-led Tomales Bay Giacomini Wetlands Tour
Price: $88 (10% of proceeds will benefit the Point Reyes National Seashore Association)
To sign-up, call: 415-669-2600 or (888) 5GO-BAJA

Tuesday, January 19
5 p.m.
Drakes Beach Café
"Plate of Brass" historical controversy with speaker Edward Von der Porten and prix fixe dinner
Price: $50
To RSVP (capacity: 35), leave a message at: 415-669-1297

Thursday, January 21
6 p.m.
Farm House Restaurant
Shark films and discussion with documentary filmmaker David McGuire and prix fixe dinner
To RSVP (capacity: 48), call: 415-663-1264

Friday, January 22
5:30 p.m.–6:15 p.m.
The Station House Café
Join acclaimed author and conservationist Amy Meyer and award-winning filmmaker Nancy Kelly for discussion, drinks & hors d’oeuvres following the Bear Valley Visitor Center "Moments in Time" event. Hors d’oeuvres & soft drinks from 5:30–6:15 p.m.
Price: $7.50 per person
No-host cocktails.
To RSVP, call: 415-663-1515
Dinner reservations recommended starting at 6:30 p.m. Group seating available.
To RSVP, call: 415-663-1515 or make online via OpenTable at

Friday–Sunday, January 22–24
7 p.m. Friday through 4 p.m. Sunday
PRNSA Field Seminars
Photographing Birds with Oliver Klink
Price: $240 ($220 members for PRNSA members)
To register, call: 415-663-1200 ext. 373

Mark your calendars for our upcoming Spring Special Events April 17–25, 2010


Last updated: March 27, 2020

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Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


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