Park Wavelengths - June 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The new moon on July 11 continues the annual pattern of bringing daylight extreme low tides in the mornings:
The last of the wildflowers may be viewed with Marin County Open Space Rangers. Meet at the Bull Point Trailhead on Friday, July 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to hike the flat terrain and see the last of the seasonal displays (and maybe a burrowing owl or two!)
Plastic marshmallows sprouting on hillsides? The white covered rolls are hay which will begin to pickle or ferment in the plastic and will eventually be used as food for cows.
Seal protection measures lift on Thursday, July 1st; Drakes Estero reopens to non-motorized boating. South Blue Gums Beach will also reopen. Also, Thursday, the 8th annual North American Butterfly Association count will be held in the park!
All park visitor centers are open on the 4th of July weekend. Fireworks are not permitted in Marin County or in the national seashore; legal fireworks may be viewed at the Marin County Fair.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
The solstice on June 21 officially starts the summer season—if the spell of warm weather and high fire danger hasn't already clued us! The full moon rises on June 26 and there is a partial eclipse of the moon. Fog permitting, we may see it around 3:16 a.m.
Daylight low tides follow the full moon:
Happy Fathers Day to those valiant Snowy Plover dads. They are incubating 4 nests with 12 eggs; they've had 1 nest hatched with one chick on the beach. They've been spotted foraging in the restored beach dunes along the Great Beach.
Fire safety reminders with the extra growth this year: If you are parking a car with a catalytic converter near grass, watch to be sure it doesn't ignite the grass. Be cautious with equipment, be sure spark arresters are installed. If you do start coals or fires, be sure they are completely out with water—drown, stir, feel. Clear off roofs and rain gutters. 30 feet of defensible space around structures is recommended. Free Marin County brush drop-offs are scheduled June 19–20 (this weekend) and June 25–26 in Nicasio across from the county corp yard, moving to Olema and Beebe Ranch in July.
The tule elk "rut" or breeding season is just around the corner. Volunteer docents are needed to walk the Tomales Point trail and provide information on elk activities. Doug Hee is coordinating the upcoming training; contact him at 415-464-5145.
Lots of gatherings: June 26 "Changes in Fish Use in the Giacomini Wetlands" meets at 4th and B Street at 10:00 a.m. for a walk along the creek. Marin County Open Space rangers lead a hike on June 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the southern area of the park; meet at Five Brooks parking lot for a 7.5 mile hike roundtrip to view Mud Lake.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
A whole week of daylight low tides accompany the new moon rise on June 12th:
During the peak of the harbor seal pupping season, 220 seal pups were counted at Drakes Estero and 240 at the Double Point colony. The overall Marin County count was 800—down from 1100 last year. It is possible that the 2009–2010 El Niño year affected the food supply and thus this year's numbers. As always, if you find a pup alone on the beach, leave it to rest and notify park staff so they can monitor the animal. An elephant seal pup tagged green from the Año Nuevo colony dropped by the Boathouse last week, mixing with some orange-tagged sea lion pups from a local rehabilitation facility and some pink-tagged Point Reyes pups. All enjoyed the late afternoon sun!
Tule elk calves and Black-tailed deer fawns are being born into these lush green hillsides of grass and brush, plenty of food for nursing mothers! Typically, the mother leaves the young ones alone and forages nearby. The calves and fawns rest quietly, camouflaged by their coloring. A single animal is not a cause for concern and should be left alone.
Spotted owls are nesting with owlets close to fledging. Noisy great blue herons are in the trees above the Kule Loklo Trail.
Last updated: February 28, 2015