Park Wavelengths - October 2012


Thursday, October 18, 2012

All Hallows Eve approaches with a full moon. It is traditionally known as the Hunters Moon, which is the first full moon after the harvest moon! As noted in the last Park Wavelengths, the Orionid meteor showers peak on October 20 and have already made a brilliant display of "fireballs" in recent evenings in West Marin!

No, local black-tailed deer are not growing beards (in sympathy with local sports figures?!!). They have been seen eating swathes of pale green lichen from trees. Recent winds have dropped the lichen to the forest floor where it is accessible.

Eggplant purple bay nuts are also falling as the autumn acorn crop continues to ripen. Bigleaf maple adds some golden touches through Sir Francis Drake Boulevard's evergreen forest.

Sprays of white berries are found on poison oak plants as well as snowberry plants. Above Bear Valley Road, sprays of toyon berries are also ripening.

Park fire and Northbay Conservation crews are thinning Bishop pine along Limantour Road.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Forwarded to Wavelengths: Next burn in Olema Valley, Thurs, October 11, 2012

San Francisco Bay Area National Parks
Fire Management News

October 9, 2012


Strain Hill Prescribed Fire (part 1) planned for this Thursday, October 11

The 115-acre Strain Hill Prescribed Fire in the Olema Valley is scheduled to take place over the next two weeks.

The first 85 acres will be burned this Thursday, October 11, if weather conditions allow, between the hours of approximately 10 am to 4 pm.

The Strain Hill burn unit is located approximately 7 miles south of Olema and 4 miles north of Bolinas in the same general vicinity as the Dogtown Prescribed Fire which was completed last week.

No road or trail closures are anticipated, but there may be short traffic delays along Highway One in the project area.

Short term smoke impacts are expected in the Olema Valley, and may also affect Bolinas, Stinson Beach or the San Geronimo Valley. During last week's prescribed fire, some smoke was detected in Novato as well.

Drivers and hikers are urged to use extra caution if smoke is present.

The Strain Hill Prescribed Fire is part of an ongoing effort to create and maintain a strategic fuel break along Highway One where a wildfire would be easier to control.

See also flyer with map (236 KB PDF) and previous news release:
Sept 19 - "More Prescribed Burns Planned for the Next Few Weeks in the Olema Valley"

Jennifer Chapman
Fire Communication and Education Specialist
S.F. Bay Area National Parks
415-464-5133 TEL / 415-663-8132 FAX

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

As the harvest moon moves behind us, meteor showers will put on a show: the Draconid showers peak on Sunday, October 7, followed by the Orionid showers on Friday through Sunday, October 19-21. The Draconids are less showy; the Orionids faster moving and more plentiful!

Quite a year for the larvae (aka caterpillars) of the California Oak Moth, which are dripping off live oak trees in front of the Bear Valley Visitor Center leaving grey-brown piles of effluvia! They are about 2 inches of black, green, brown, and white striped eating machines--soon they will make cocoons and hatch as a light brown moth. As they defoliate the live oaks (which survive), you can see the green acorns ripening.

Apple trees are dropping fruit along Bear Valley Road and bringing in those opportunistic coyotes to fill up on windfalls, especially during early morning hours.

Work on the Bear Valley Trail fish passage/culvert project has moved along and the trail is scheduled to open Friday, October 5. Check the park website for updates on an earlier opening.

Tomales Bay State Park goes to winter hours: closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays until spring.

Prescribed fires are planned for the Olema Valley on Thursday, October 4. No road closures are anticipated at this time, but watch for safety personnel if you are using Highway 1 in that area.

The Bear Valley and Lighthouse Visitor Centers will be open on Monday, October 8 (a Federal Holiday), as will park roads and trails.

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Last updated: February 28, 2015

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1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


(415) 464-5100
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