Park Wavelengths, 2008-07-29

The National Park Service publishes a newsletter about events, closures, natural history, and cultural history at Point Reyes.

Early morning low tides accompany the new moon’s rise on Friday, August 1st

Saturday, August 2nd -0.9 feet   6:23 am
Sunday, August 3rd -0.5 feet 7:01 am

The annual Perseid meteor shower approaches with showers to be seen throughout the week of August 10, peaking on Tuesday night, August 12th.  They appear to radiate from the northeastern sky and the constellation of Perseus, named for the son of Zeus who rescued wife Andromeda from a sea monster!  A bright waxing moon may interfere with viewing but early risers should be able to catch the show of falling stars.

The peak harbor seal molting season is now when they are particularly social, massing in large groups on shores and sand bars such as the Bolinas Lagoon.  While molting they look brighter as they lose their old fur which comes off in large patches. In the autumn they will return to their more solitary life at sea.

Flags are half staff in the park to honor Olympic National Park firefighter Andrew Palmer (18 years old) who died in the line of duty this week at Shasta Trinity National Forest.  Park staff have been sent to assist at Yosemite National Park; if you are heading that way, check the park website at nps.gov/yose or (209) 372-0200 for an update on travel conditions.

Exotic color along Bear Valley Trail are the brilliant orange-red Crocosmia sp./Montbretia or South African Lily, a colorful migrant from South Africa.  Huckleberries are abundant this year; larger than usual it seems.  Lots to be found along Old Pine Trails and in Tomales Bay State Park.

A special booksigning is coming up for the new edition of “The Natural History of Point Reyes Peninsula”; author Jules Evens will be signing copies on August 2nd at the Red Barn Classroom at Bear Valley at 2:30 pm.

Thanks to the NPS Park Service.