Mid July at Point Reyes

Wonderful time to be outside; here’s the latest from the National Park Service on Point Reyes:

The treasure of the day being turned into Bear Valley Visitor center is shed snake skins, mostly from gopher snakes. Unlike other critters, snakes shed their whole skin in one continuous piece; it helps remove bacteria and parasites. They are temporarily blind and vulnerable afterwards; rattlesnakes get a new rattle piece each time they shed.

The Northern Spotted Owl nesting season is wrapping up; 30 nesting sites were monitored this year; the majority of sites were occupied by adults but only ten of the nest successfully fledged young owls. The late rainy season may have influenced the numbers; one nest may have failed due to interactions with a male barred owl.

Tule elk breeding season ‘the rut’ is warming up! Volunteer docents are at the elk range on weekends with spotting scopes to help find elk and identify behaviors. Early morning visitors may be rewarded with the bugling sound of males through the fog. Coyotes have been ‘singing’ behind Kule Loklo in the mornings recently.

The 30th Annual Big Time Festival will be held Saturday, July 17 at Kule Loklo, the Coast Miwok Exhibit near Bear Valley Visitor Center. Traditional dancers, vendors and a great day in the sun! No dogs or alcohol permitted.