Park Wavelengths, 2008-06-18

The National Park Service publishes a newsletter about events, closures, natural history, and cultural history at Point Reyes. Here is the issue from 2008-06-18:

Summer solstice is around the corner 4:59 pm on Friday, June 20th but also marked on many calendars for June 21st!  The beginning of summer has been marked by several high fire danger days in the area so be extra careful. Drown all fires with plenty of water, watch car exhaust pipes when parking near dry grass, be sure power equipment has spark arresters on it.

Ladybugs or Ladybird beetles have been observed clumping along Drakes Beach. They do converge as a strategy in winter to conserve heat and may be in seen in large masses such as these as they migrate inland – lowland vegetation begins to dry out and they seek additional food. Unfortunately, they may have been blown off course and ended up on the beach far from their favorite aphid snacks.

A rare double plumed male California Quail was seen crossing the road near the hostel.  They are usually in large coveys of 10-20 birds which pair off in spring to scrape a small ground nest and lay 6-17 brown spotted, cream colored eggs. Many quail families are being observed now, drive carefully! Coast Miwok collected the male plumes to decorate baskets and also held a special dance to honor this bird.

Marin County Parks and Open Space rangers lead a guided walk “Wildflowers and Wildlife of Bull Point on Thursday, June 26 th between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. The trailhead is off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard before the North Beach turnoff. A good place for burrowing owls and rare plants!

A film permit for a car commercial (80 people) has been issued for the north area of the park on Thursday June 19th and 20th. Traffic control with Highway Patrol officers will be in place with short delays not to exceed 5 minutes is expected. Filming areas include Ottingers Hill, South Beach, and near Abbots Lagoon.

Thanks to the NPS Park Service.