Park Wavelengths, 2008-08-12

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

The full moon rises on Saturday, August 16 – the “Collect Food for Winter Moon” for the Haida of the Pacific north coast.  A few daylight low tides arrive just before sunrise:

Saturday, August 16  5:21 am -0.3  (sunrise at 6:27 am)
Sunday, August 17 6:06 am  -0.2 (sunrise 6:28 am)
Monday, August 18 6:23 am  0.1 (sunrise 6:28 am)

The best window for tidepooling is an hour before and an hour after the low.

It is a great time for all species to be collecting berries for immediate consumption, jams and pies etc.  Berries of all colors sizes and shapes are ripe!  Not for humans – Snowberries (solid white) and clear pink jelly berries from the Honeysuckle vine are excellent bird snacks. Humans have huckleberries and various blackberries to pick – the tiny native California Blackberry; the larger Cut leaf and Armenian (formerly called the Himalaya berry) blackberries are all ripening along trails and roadsides.

The first signs of seasonal changes are here- brilliant splashes of scarlet Poison Oak vines along roadsides and the beginning of the Tule Elk rut at Tomales Point – bulls bugling and thrashing vegetation; large groups of females – harems have formed.

Activity continues in the Muddy Hollow Trail area; biologists are netting fish from the ponds in anticipation of the dam removal; historically these ponds were maintained as animal watering holes and stocked with bass

A busy calendar of free events in the park over the next few weeks:

Curious about the Giacomini wetlands project?  The contractor from Hanford will be on hand at 5th and C streets at 10:00 am on August 23rd to answer questions and lead a short walk through the site to explain the current state of the project.  This talk is the first in a series that will continue in the fall covering birds, fish, wetlands ecology, etc. Large amounts of levee removal debris is stockpiled off Sir Francis Drake Highway on the west side of the marsh; awaiting removal to quarry sites in the park.

A special booksigning and lecture on marine photography is scheduled for Saturday, August 16th at 12:30 pm at Bear Valley Visitor Center by Marc Shargel who will showing slides and signing copies of his new book “Wonders of the Sea, North Central California’s Living Marine Riches”

Also on tap the Fall 2008 Ocean Film and Lecture Series begins on Thursday, August 21st with “Papa Tortuga” a film about one persons efforts in Veracruz Mexico to help save endangered Lora Sea turtles.  It will be shown between 7:00-8:00 pm in the Red Barn Classroom at park headquarters.

Permits have been issued for a wedding at Limantour Beach on August 20th between 9:30am – 11:30 am and also on August 23 between 1:30pm and 3:30 pm.  Both are 50 or less people so no parking congestion is anticipated.