Park Wavelengths, 2008-08-26

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

Very High FIRE Danger for Marin County through Friday, August 29th.  Double check on whether Mount Vision Road will be open and if beach fires are permitted. Fire danger rating is calculated from air temperature, projected wind, and fuel moisture (dryness of grass and ground vegetation).  Stinson Beach continues closed through August 29 due to a reported shark sighting Monday.

A new moon rises on Saturday August 30, with higher than usual tides from 5.4-5.7 feet high, the beaches will seem smaller in mid day!
A very high tide mid-day (5.7 at 1:05 pm) will make visiting the annual Sand Sculpture contest on Sunday, August 31st best early in the day.  Registration for this event begins at 9:00 am and judges will be on Drakes Beach at 12:30 sharp.

The berry season is being followed by the development of tree nuts – look for bright yellow-green ‘mini-lemons’ on the California Bay Trees; the outer covering will dry off to reveal a brown shelled round edible nut.  Coast Miwok fire roast and eat the nuts.  Buckeye trees are dropping their leaves along with brilliant yellow Big Leaf maples; gray squirrels are chewing up fir and pine cones to get at the seeds – all signs of the approaching autumn.

The tule elk rut continues – volunteer docents are on hand weekends with spotting scopes and have reported watching a dominant male with a 30 cow harem under his care; bachelor herds lingering around!  Sparring and boxing elk may be seen during this busy time.

Permits have been issued for picnics at Bear Valley on Saturday, August 30; parking congestion expected. All park visitor centers are open on Monday, September 1st, Labor Day holiday. Coast and Sky Camps close September 2-11 for rehabilitation.

The ocean film series continues with a double feature on Thursday, August 28 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm  – Restoring Balance (Removing the Black Rat from Anacapa island and Returning Home (Bringing the Common Murre back to Devils Slide Rock)  Free and open to the public, bring your own popcorn.

Photographer Robert Campbell will be showing slides of his new book of aerial photographs on Saturday, August 30th at 12:30 pm at Bear Valley Visitor Center. Free!