Park Wavelengths - March 2010


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Early morning low tides return with the rise of the full moon on March 30:

Wednesday, March 31 6:30 a.m. -0.7 feet
Thursday, April 1 7:23 a.m. -0.7 feet
Friday, April 2 8:22 a.m. -0.6 feet
Saturday, April 3 9:25 a.m. -0.4 feet
Sunday, April 4 10:04 a.m. -0.4 feet

The truest sign of spring at Bear Valley is the return of the gopher-eating Great Blue Heron wandering the fields behind the visitor center! It was deterred from its usual front pasture by a trenching activity for a new fiber optic line so it is mostly in the back fields snacking away!

Wildflowers are here—you name it! Fields of deep purple blue iris at Chimney Rock and the Estero Trail; yellow bush lupine beginning at the Lighthouse and Chimney rock! Poppies at Abbotts Lagoon. The spell of warm weather kickstarted the bloom this past week. A favorite flowering shrub found along the Estero Trail and Levee Road is Twinberry. Right now it has two/twin tubular scarlet flowers tipped with lemon yellow that will become two dark berries with scarlet fringes.

At last! Regular whale sightings from the Headlands. Five to six per hour over the weekend before high winds returned on Monday. They appear to be the second "pulse" of travelers, adults and juveniles without calves. The third pulse of mothers and calves have not been seen yet. Northern elephant seals continue to withdraw as males and juveniles head north; the females have mostly gone south.

The large metal crane/ship seen about a week ago in Drakes Bay was awaiting a low tide to pass under the Golden Gate. It managed to slide under with 14 feet to spare last Tuesday.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The new moon on March 15 and the vernal equinox on March 20 arrive next weekend; on the equinox, day and night are exactly equal in length as the sun rises due east and sets due west.

Tree work on the cypress trees at the Chimney Rock housing area may delay wildflower watchers and birders today through Friday, March 12. This species of tree, so tolerant of salt and wind, unfortunately drop many limbs and the work will assist in keeping the area safe. Mowing work in the Giacomini wetlands across from Inverness Park has been going on to remove exotic plants.

Where are the Whales? Speculation continues that whales stayed feeding longer in the Arctic seas and delayed the annual migration south, delaying the return north. Sightings at the lighthouse continue to be sparse. High spring winds also contribute to limited opportunities to view whales.

Wildflowers are blooming—plenty of fragrant creamy yellow wallflowers along the Lighthouse and daffodils at the old Glen Ranch/Hostel area. Brilliant Douglas irises are appearing in patches along Sir Francis Drake Highway. Other signs of spring include male deer sprouting velvet-covered antlers.

Mark your calendars: on Thursday, March 11 at noon, park intern from Point Reyes National Seashore’s sister park Kolkheti National Park in the Republic of Georgia will present a show on this beautiful sea coast area. Free and open to the public.

Lovely new watercolors of park landscapes by Ayris Hatton are on display at the Bear Valley Visitor center through March and April.

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Last updated: February 28, 2015

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1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


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