Park Wavelengths - April 2014
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Just as the Lyrids clear from the skies this week on April 22, the next meteor shower flies in. The Eta Aquarid shower peaks on May 5–6, with a small crescent moon making the sky dark enough to view the shower.
Yellow bush lupine have begun to flower on Tomales Point. Summer is sliding in with the blooming of these late season flowers. Poppies enliven Bear Valley throughout the Morgan Horse pastures.
Bolinas Lagoon and the lighthouse area both report large schools of leaping sea lions—up and out of the surf line. Harbor seal pups may be seen along Highway 1 in Bolinas Lagoon.
Many baby animals are being born at this time of year when food supplies are plentiful in California habitats. Reminder: leave baby animals alone; usually, parents are nearby foraging and feeding and will return to their offspring.
The ranch planning process gets underway with public scoping meetings scheduled for May 6 from 5 pm to 7 pm at the Dance Palace in Point Reyes and May 7 in Sausalito at the Bay Model. The scoping process runs from April 21 through June 2, inviting the public to comment "so concerns are identified early and the analysis is focused on the issues raised.” Comments may also be submitted via the Planning, Environment & Public Comment website at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ranchcmp.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Forwarded to Park Wavelengths Subscribers
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
April brings some wonderful skywatching, beginning with a full moon and lunar eclipse on April 14, mostly visible around 12:42 am. The Lyrid meteor shower peaks following Easter on April 21 and 22 with a projected 20 meteors per hour with long bright tails. It is the oldest recorded shower, first noted by Chinese astronomers in 687 BCE.
Shade-loving wildflowers along the Bear Valley Trail include "Dutchman's breeches," lavender pink heart shaped flowers, also called "bleeding hearts." The elusive creek dogwood is in bloom along the trail, planted near the site of an old weekend cabin. [Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches) is native to eastern North America and is not known to occur naturally at Point Reyes. Dicentra formosa (western, wild, or Pacific bleeding heart) is native to Point Reyes and does occur along Bear Valley Trail. The non-native dogwood that was planted on the east side of Bear Valley Creek and is located about a quarter-mile south of the Bear Valley Trailhead is a Cornus nuttallii (mountain, Pacific, or western dogwood). Cornus sericea (American dogwood, creek dogwood, redosier dogwood, red osier dogwood, red willow, redstem dogwood, redtwig dogwood, red-rood, or western dogwood) is native to Point Reyes, may be seen in many locations throughout the park along creeks and marshes, and has clusters of small white flowers and red-colored twigs. Cornus nuttallii is more conspicuous than Cornus sericea when in bloom, with relatively large, showy white bracts, which many mistake for the petals of the dogwood flower. The flowers, as opposed to the bracts, are small and inconspicuous—2–3 mm across—and produced in a dense, rounded, greenish-white flowerhead that is 2 cm in diameter.- Ed.]
Mark your calendars for an e-waste drive at Bear Valley on Tuesday, April 22.
Last updated: April 24, 2016