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.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Forwarded to Wavelengths: Next burn in Olema Valley, Thurs, October 11, 2012
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.