Park Wavelengths - October 2014
Thursday, October 16, 2014
More sparklers in the sky as the Orionid meteor showers appear in a dark sky under the waning moon next week, peaking on October 21-22. Orion the Hunter is a familiar constellation with three stars in his belt as you look south towards the Olema Valley. A partial solar eclipse also may be seen Thursday, October 23; however, do not look at the sun without eye protection!
Rain and warm air? Fungus is among us. Already white puff balls have appeared; they look like golf balls on the ground.
As weather changes, the park trail crew asks for help in clearing down trees. Please contact the park with a good description of: the location; the kind of tree; how wide across the tree is; and whether walkers or equestrians can make it around the fallen tree. Reporting this information will help them respond to downed trees more efficiently. (Extra points for cell phone snapshots!)
Recruitment is underway for the winter Northern Elephant seal docent season at Chimney Rock. Training is coming up November 15–16 with a commitment on 2–3 weekends in the winter. Contact coordinator Anela Ramos at 415-464-5146.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Lots happening in the sky as a lunar eclipse appears along the west coast early October 8, Wednesday morning (3:54 am is best viewing). The Draconid meteors—about 10 per hour—are due also, but the full moon of October 8 (the Harvest Moon) will be too bright for good viewing in this area. October has a second meteor shower, the Orionids, due October 21–22. These later meteors are caused by the earth moving through the dust from Haley's Comet.
Coast live oak acorns are dropping, providing a feast for black-tailed deer. Bay nuts are ripening, bright globes of green and yellow as they age into a deep purple when ripe. Acorn woodpeckers have been busy pounding holes into fence posts, preparing to store acorns as a source of insects to eat in winter.
A yellowjacket ground nest in the Bear Valley horse parking area near the fence is marked with a folding sign. Please use caution if parking or walking through the area.
Warm dry weather is predicted over the next few days, which raises the fire danger. Fire danger is provided each morning. Check park social media and websites for updates. Under high fire danger, wood and charcoal fires are prohibited, as well as smoking on trails. Mount Vision Road may be closed under very high and extreme fire danger conditions.
Last updated: January 25, 2016