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.
Friday, October 28, 2011
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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.
Last updated: February 28, 2015