Park Wavelengths - June 2011

 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The summer solstice—the calendar beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere—is right around the corner on June 21. The week before brings some early morning daylight low tides with the full moon of June 16.

Thursday, June 16 6:09 a.m. -1.6 feet
Friday, June 17 6:52 a.m. -1.4 feet
Saturday, June 18 7:34 a.m. -1.1 feet
Sunday, June 19 8:15 a.m. -0.7 feet

Many first Americans from the Algonquin to the Dakota Sioux call this moon "Ripening Berries." In West Marin, thimbleberries are pale salmon, almost to the bright scarlet when they are ripe to eat. Blackberries are in pinkish white flower. Clusters of red elderberries (poisonous to humans) are out on shrubs while Blue Elderberry is the yellow shrub flowering along roadsides.

The flat shale reef at Agate Beach County Park is a good spot for tidepool explorations. Northern elephant seals are on the beach at Chimney Rock so the tidepool areas are often inaccessible until the last of the seals leave by late summer.

Coyote brush outside the visitor center looks like it is covered with spit! Careful exploration of the white blobs reveals the lime green, pinhead-sized nymph, or young, of the spittle bug family or Planthopper. The bubbly mass protects them from drying out as well as from being preyed upon.

Sign of summer in the bird world: Olema Marsh is ringing with calls of male Red-winged Blackbirds trying to defend territories and attract females with their red shoulder feathers!

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Last updated: February 28, 2015

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