Archive for September, 2008
You Mon Tsang September 23rd, 2008
The National Park Service publishes a newsletter about events, closures, natural history, and cultural history at Point Reyes.
Riots of fall colors with the autumnal equinox this week – check out brilliant red poison oak along Limantour Road. The new moon rises Monday, September 29 with higher than usual daylight tides 5.4 – 5.9 feet in the afternoons. Other fall delights – the continuing presence of humpback whales off the Great Beach, splashing and breaching; the fall bird migration is underway – blackpoll warbler at the Lighthouse and some redstarts.
A young bat has been stopping in at the Lighthouse over the past few weeks, lingering in the fog signal building, an unusual siting for this spot.. The overall bat population in the park remains healthy, 325 Townsend’s Big eared bats were counted in the annual survey last week at their roost in Olema Valley. Traditionally, roosts were inside cavities of old growth redwoods and hillside caves; as these roosts disappeared they have moved into old barns and attics.
Large fish observed under the green bridge in Point Reyes are not early salmonids – they are carp; look for the noticeable scales and the fact they are ‘out in the open’ not seeking deep cool waters to hide. They are native to Eurasia and like slow moving shallow streams with lots of organic matter to root around in.
Marin County Open Space rangers will be exploring the “Pond Life of the Palomarin Area” on Sunday, September 28th between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm; meet at the Palomarin Trailhead off Mesa Road near Bolinas.
A planned closure of the Olema Marsh Trail is now posted for October 6th (originally slated for September 22) as part of the Giacomini Restoration. Trail staff are working with Marin Conservation Corps groups on reconstructing the Abbotts Lagoon Trail; the reroute of Greenpicker, Rift Zone and Estero Trails. These are not closed but you may see the crews at work.
Prescribed burns may occur this week on Wednesday (24) and Friday (26), off Limantour Road west of the Hostel and off Highway 1 near the Randall Trail to manage fuel loads and reduce exotic plants.
You Mon Tsang September 11th, 2008
At the Point Reyes Farmers Market, I’ve been too busy looking at produce and cheese to try out the grilled cheese sandwich vendor. Strange since I love grilled cheese sandwiches!
Luckily, the folks at Sunset gave it a try and declared the “best grilled cheese on the planet.” Here’s what’s in it:
Two slices of locally-baked Brickmaiden wholewheat bread slathered with Straus sweet butter and pressed with Bravo Farm cheddar (available from Cowgirl Creamery), and, this is the best part, one Point Reyes Station egg, fried.
Next time I am at the market, you can be sure I will be on line.
UPDATE: Well, I tasted the three types: just cheese, with egg, and with caramelized onions. They were very decadent and delicious.
You Mon Tsang September 9th, 2008
The 9/9/2008 Park Wavelengths newsletter points out that the recent warm weather means you may be able to catch breaching minke and humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises from Limantour Beach. Get out there! Here is the rest of the newsletter:
The full moon rises on September 15 at 2:13 am. This moon brings some very high afternoon daylight tides between 5.7 and 6.3 feet so plan beach excursions early in the day. The autumnal equinox follows on the next Monday, August 22nd as we begin to lose a few moments of daylight each day.
Warm weather had created excellent marine mammal viewing from Limantour Beach. Breaching minke and humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises were observed across the weekend from the beach along with many loons and common murres. It is possible some type of ‘bloom’ of food associated with warmer water temperatures is drawing in the feasting crowds although we often see humpbacks and blues at this time of year. Large numbers of Sooty Shearwaters are feeding off Abbots Lagoon. On Tomales Bay, a die off of moon jellies has washed in many blobs of clear jelly with the trademark white crescents. These are a favorite food for sea turtles. Unfortunately, plastic bags in the water can mimic the drifting jellies and are eaten by turtles. The indigestible bags block absorption of nutrients and food and can cause malnutrition and death for the turtles. A reminder, the brown colored Lions Mane jellies can cause an allergic reaction if you brush against; a sting was reported from Drakes Beach last Saturday. Avoid them on the beach!
Snowy Plovers hung in there this year, final numbers approximately 16% survival rate; 33 birds hatched and five fledged. Some of the nesting area was disturbed by clean up for a shipwreck that washed ashore at Kehoe Beach; cautious Dad Plover managed to shield the last three from this disturbance.
Excellent year for berries all round, the latest fruit is Blue Elderberry, large dusky dark purple-blue clusters are draped over Bear Valley Road and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard especially in the San Geronimo Valley. Buckeye nut pods are appearing as the leaves are dropped, the green balls can be seen on the trees.
Coastal Clean Up Day is coming up on Saturday, September 20th. Meet at Limantour Beach at 9:30 am to clean up trash and enjoy the day.
A permit has been issued for September 14th for the annual “Piper On the Ridge” event on Mount Vision Road; The annual event features a bagpiper greeting the rising full moon and begins approximately 7:00 pm. Free, but no dogs permitted: check on whether extreme fire danger may close the road.
PG + E will be working in the pastures off North Beach for the next few weeks, restringing lines over the fields; no affect on services or traffic is expected.
You Mon Tsang September 5th, 2008
I love visiting Point Reyes and Tomales Bay (as well as most of Northern California) in September. The crowds are thinner and the weather is warmer as the fog doesn’t dominate nearly as much as in the early summer.
Check out our weather page and plan to come out!