Park Wavelengths - October 2011


Saturday, October 29, 2011

A waxing moon is a thin crescent in the sky leaving little light this weekend--so good conditions for bioluminescence to appear in the sea waters. Dinoflagellates (tiny critters!) create a sparkling light flash best seen in dark clear evening conditions. A small meteor shower, the Taurids, is due in next week; not a lot of them, but they move slowly and have fiery trains which makes them easier to spot.

Warm fall days sparked a hatching of California Oak Moths around live oak trees. These small, creamy grey-brown moths flutter about oaks at Bear Valley, especially in the afternoons. They hatch about three generations per year and can defoliate an entire oak tree. They are thought to be distasteful to birds, but are eaten by bats.

Unusual fall bird migrants are beginning to make their appearance around the outer point. A Prairie Warbler delighted local birders at the Fish Docks near Chimney Rock. The cypress trees are a welcome respite for these feathered travelers.

The annual tule elk census is taking place at Tomales Point. A large staff presence on horseback and foot were counting throughout the past week.

All park visitor centers will be open on Friday, November 11, Veterans Day. Rangers will be on duty and roads and trails will be open.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Forwarded to Park Wavelengths Subscribers

Subject: Point Reyes National Seashore Red Barn History Talks, Nov 10-11, Dec 9

Three History Talks - Guest Lecturers in Red Barn Classroom at Point Reyes NS - Open to the public and free

Thursday, November 10, 2011, 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Point Reyes and Marconi's Dream Around-the-World Wireless Network

Guest speaker, Cam Trowbridge
Author of Marconi: Father of Wireless, Grandfather of Radio, Great-Grandfather of the Cell Phone, The Story of the Race to Control Long-Distance Wireless, BookSurge Publishing, 2010

The talk will focus on Marconi's ambitions in California constructing two stations in West Marin between 1912 and 1919. Marconi's ambition and determination to build a world encompassing Imperial Wireless Network, the topic of his 2010 book, will be explained in relation to Point Reyes sites connecting Hawaii from Bolinas and Marshall.

Calvin (Cam) D. Trowbridge Jr. has spent forty years in the corporate field observing, analyzing, managing, and writing about international, legal, and financial affairs. Trowbridge is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale University, and Harvard Law School. He has lived in England and the northeast coast of the United States and, like Marconi, has a deep love for the sea. To prepare for writing the in-depth biography, Trowbridge studied Marconi's texts, historical events of the time, biographies of scientists and businessmen relevant to Marconi, and financial reports of Marconi companies.

Friday, November 11, 2011, 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
The Smith Brothers - A Native Family's History of Fishing the Tomales and Bodega Bays

Guest Speaker Panel: Gaye LeBaron, acclaimed regional historian; Young Smith, from the Smith Brothers Family; and Kathleen Rose Smith, artist currently showing in the Red Barn and Smith family member.

Gaye LeBaron, well-known regional historian will outline some of the colorful history of the early commercial fishing industry around Tomales and Bodega Bays, an industry which began with William Smith, the son of Yankee sea captain Stephen Smith and Tsupu, a Coast Miwok Indian woman.

Young (Pinkie) Smith, whose relatives ran the Smith Brothers fishing company started by his grandfather William Smith, will share memories and photos of his grandparents, aunts and uncles and their century old family business.

Kathleen Rose Smith, William Smith's great granddaughter, will discuss the influence of her marine-based Coast Miwok heritage and her family's fishing heritage on her artwork.

Gaye LeBaron will moderate a discussion with panelists and audience members following these presentations.

Friday, December 9 , 2011, 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Demonstration and Tasting of California Indian Native Foods

Kathleen Rose Smith will show how Coast Miwok and Pomo Indian peoples prepare several different native plant foods found in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore area. Enjoy tasting the flavorful results and also view her art exhibit "Grounded: A California Indian Life" showcasing paintings created over three decades in the Red Barn Art Gallery.

Contact Carola DeRooy at 415-464-5125 for more information.
Directions to the Red Barn at 1 Bear Valley Rd., Point Reyes at Seashore headquarters near Olema at

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Orionid meteor showers flash through the eastern sky next week, peaking on Friday, October 21. Stay up late to catch the show around midnight.

Stones needed for trail repair will be moved by horsepower on the Horse Trail on Wednesday, October 19. The trail will be open, but watch for some hard working folks and their horses! Also, on Wednesday--if sunny conditions prevail--prescribed fires may be set on October 19 in the Olema Valley; rain cancels.

Sky Campground is closed October 24-25-26 for exotic plant removal; you may hear chainsaws removing eucalyptus. Rain also cancels this project.

The rain and sun have kick-started fungal production. A local visitor reported some early chanterelles in the oak woodlands, while rangers have been seeing golf ball-sized, white "puffballs" popping up around Bear Valley. Acorns are dropping around Bear Valley; one black-tailed deer stood on its back legs, reaching up into the oak to get in on the feast.

New artwork at the Bear Valley Visitor Center is Morgan Horse images painted by volunteer Paul Miller.

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Last updated: February 28, 2015

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Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


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