Park Wavelengths - March 2006


March 21, 2006

The vernal equinox just passed, March 20th at 10:26 am, Osbat and the month of the willow in the ancient Celtic calendar; equal parts of light and dark time in the day. The new moon rises on March 29, also a total solar eclipse. In the US, we will miss it. It will be seen in South America and through north Africa.

Some daylight low tides accompany the seasonal changes towards longer days:

Friday, March 24 1:21 pm -0.4 feet
Saturday, March 25 1:54 pm -0.6 feet
Sunday, March 26 2:41 pm -0.6 feet
Monday, March 27 3:23 pm -0.4 feet
Tuesday, March 28 4:03 pm -0.1 feet

Tidepooling is accessible at Agate Beach County Park at the end of Elm and Overlook Road in Bolinas. Elephant seals are lingering at Chimney Rock so the tidepools there remain closed. Rangers at Muir Woods are sponsoring a tidepool walk at Muir Beach. Meet at the picnic area; the walk is from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sunday, March 26.

As of March 14, rainfall at Bear Valley was 46.171 inches for the year (average is 37 inches). December 2005 alone was 22 inches! The story remains the same, plenty of water but not enough sun and heat to really kick the wildflowers into high gear! Chimney Rock is slowly coming to bloom, a few more iris appeared in the last week, lot's of tiny white field chickweed, a bit of paintbrush around the cliff edges, and literally, a lone pussy ear at the end of the trail.

Gray whales are being seen with counts of 19-20 per day on the weekend. The northern migration is in full swing and if we have some calm weather, we should continue to see more and more in the next two weeks. Minke whales (smaller species with a fin on the back) have been seen rolling around in the surf and feeding off Limantour Beach.

Marin County Open Space is sponsoring a hike on White's Hill on Thursday, March 23; a steep uphill climb with a rewarding view at the top! Meet at the Brown Bridge Trailhead on Sir Francis Drake, just below the top of the hill, west of Fairfax.

Public meetings coming up for our neighbor park Golden Gate NRA (Stinson Beach, Muir Woods, Olema Valley/Bolinas Ridge) on dogs and their general management plan:

General Management Plan: or (415)561-4965

Meetings throughout the Bay Area:
April 19, San Francisco, Fort Mason
April 20, Pacifica, Pacifica Community Center
April 22 San Francisco, Fort Mason
April 26 Marin, Sausalito, Bay Model
April 27, San Mateo, Peninsula Community Foundation

Dog Management Planning: (415) 561-4728
April 4, Sausalito, Bay Model
April 5 San Francisco, Fort Mason Officer's Club

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March 8, 2006

The full moon rises March 15 - Whispering Wind moon for Hopi people or locally in Kashaya Pomo Kadamchido-da 'growth begins'. There is a penumbral lunar eclipse but it is not visible on the west coast only just barely in the eastern states and Canada.

Wildflowers are continuing a slow blooming season this year. Observations at Chimney Rock include goldfields, a few pale yellow wallflowers and yellow footsteps of spring at the far end of the trail. Milkmaids continue in the shade of redwoods along Sir Francis Drake Highway through Camp Taylor. Rangers at Muir Woods sponsor an "Early Spring Wildflower hike on Sunday, March 12 from 10:00 am to 12:30. Meet at the Muir Woods Visitor Center. Information at (415) 388-2595.

Rangers are puzzling over a convention of jackrabbits in the Morgan Horse pasture. 3 or four of the large, long eared rabbits may be seen sitting quietly under a tree at the edge of the pasture over the past week, horses and deer passing them by with no change in behavior. The long ears help them thermo-regulate; in summer they will keep the ears up to release heat and in winter keep them close to the body to retain heat. Generally, they are most active in late afternoons. Males will sometimes box, male to male head butting and paw slapping - when a female rabbit is present. The term 'mad as a march hare' rises from this combat!

The tank has been set up at Bear Valley Visitor Center with steelhead trout eggs. The fertilized eggs are about 3 weeks old when brought to the tank and will hatch in about a week, a close up view of this part of their lifecycle.

New artwork at Bear Valley - Local bird photographs by park volunteer Susan Farrar will be on display beginning this week through April at Bear Valley Visitor Center.

Audubon Canyon Ranch off Highway 1 just north of Stinson Beach is opening on weekends for the annual the egret nesting season beginning March 18 through July. It is a wonderful opportunity to explore these canyons tucked on the back of the Bolinas Ridge and observe the birds peacefully raising their young. For more information, call (415) 868-1221.

Permits have been issued for a bike aid station and training walk on Saturday, March 18 at Bear Valley Visitor Center. The morning training walk is scheduled from 8:30 - 11:30 am along Bear Valley Trail while the bike training is scheduled for the afternoon from 1:30 - 5:30.

The National Seashore is holding a workshop on the Giacomini land exchange proposal on March 16 from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm in the Red Barn Conference room at park headquarters.

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Last updated: February 28, 2015

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1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


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