Park Wavelengths - September 2006


September 26, 2006

Trail work began yesterday on the Coast Trail at the Palomarin Trailhead to replace a damaged culvert - hikers will be diverted to a shortcut trail. The contractor will then move on to repair the Palomarin Beach trail. It is expected that these projects will be completed by this weekend.

A shark research project is slated to begin it's second year in the park next week. A small boat called the Cape Horn may be seen off Chimney Rock baiting white sharks. The seal meat bait contains tagging information that allows the researchers to understand shark foraging behavior and the travel patterns of older and younger sharks. This process does not injure the animals and continues through December 15.

Forwarded to Park Wavelengths subscribers:

LOCAL ROAD UPDATE: The Caltrans closure(s) of the Point Reyes-Petaluma Road between Highway 1 and Platform Bridge Road (the RED bridge!) is ongoing with traffic lights in place as one lane is closed during the day to repair storm damage. Staff on scene have posted a full closure beginning September 25 - October 9 for evenings between 9:00 pm and 5:00 am - the night closures are Monday-Friday not on weekends.

"Caltrans is now telling us that their series of emergency road repairs along Highway 1 between Mill Valley and Stinson Beach will be delayed. On September 12, I sent a message alerting Park personnel that Caltrans intended to start work at Post Mile 8.3 near Slide Ranch around October 1, 2006, which would cause the road to be closed to through-traffic for an interim period.

"According to more recent information, the estimated timing of the start of the road closures will be delayed about a month because some of the construction materials are in short supply and need to be obtained from new sources. It is likely the work will not be initiated before November 2006.

"We will send out another travel advisory update as new information becomes available."

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September 19, 2006

The autumnal equinox is Friday, September 22 as of 9:03 pm with the new moon; this is the calendar year beginning of autumn for the northern hemisphere. Signs of autumn - the scarlet poison oak leaves and the yellow big leaf maple! Buckeyes are dropping their leaves also.

Large stands of pink lilies are flowering - 'pink' or 'naked' ladies. The softball sized bulb spreads easily and the flowers appear to have no leaves just a tan stalk. They are an ornamental flower related to Amaryllis.

Spring migration is in full feather! Two Northern Parulas were seen at the beginning of the Kule Loklo Trail. Many warblers out on the point - a Lazuli Bunting, Prairie Warbler, and Philadelphia Vireo at the Fish Docks; a Black polled and Yellow Throated warbler at the Nunes Ranch; Blue Gray Gnatcatchers along the trail to the Lightouse. Rare birds are posted on the Audubon telephone line at (415) 681-7422 for immediate updates throughout northern California.

Road closures have been posted for the section of the Point Reyes-Petaluma Road between Highway 1 and Platform Bridge Road (aka the purple bridge) on September 25-26.

The still days of fall are a time for prescribed fires in the area. The Water District and State Parks are conducting prescribed fires on Mount Tamalpais this week.

New artwork at the Bear Valley Visitor Center - color photographs of tule elk by local photographer Jeff Wilson.

A filming permit has been issued for the north area of the park tomorrow, September 20; watch for traffic control by the Highway Patrol for commercial filming at the RCA station, Chimney Rock Road, and at South Beach. On Saturdays, September 23 and September 30 large group permits for picnic have been issued for the Bear Valley area. Expect congestion; arrive early for parking. A permit has also been issued for a college class at Drakes Beach on Saturday evening, September 23; they will be showing slides near the restrooms and cafe.

Drakes Beach cafe is on winter hours; open Friday (11-3)/Saturday-Sunday (11-5).

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September 6, 2006

The full moon rises tonight, Wednesday evening, the 'Cool Moon' to the Cheyenne as autumn approaches. It is full at 11:42 am on Thursday morning! This moon occurs very close to perigee (the moon's closest approach to earth) and thus brings higher tides than usual (5.5 - 6.3).

Chimney Rock Road and the Historic Boathouse area have reopened following repairs to the railway just in time for fall bird migration! A blackpolled warbler at Mendoza/B Ranch; a black and white warbler, clay colored sparrow, and a Magnolia warbler at the Nunes/A Ranch; American redstarts at the Fish Docks! The cypress trees provide a welcome respite to the travelers.

The tule elk rut is on! Regular reports of sightings at Muddy Hollow have been coming in as well as the group above Drakes Beach; these small groups of 8-12 elk are parts of the group reintroduced into the Coast Camp area. Tomales Point provides the full spectacle of the various behaviors - bugling, antler wrestling, thrashing on the ground etc. used by males to attract females and deter other males. Volunteers are out with binoculars and spotting scopes set up on weekends to allow a closer look. Maria Copa, Nicasio Miwok remembered "Deer (kacum) and elk (tante) used to be plentiful in the valley this side of Petaluma. Just like cattle there."

A nature walk "Wildlife of Abbots Lagoon" is slated for Friday, September 15 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm with Marin County Open Space staff on hand. Meet at the Abbots Lagoon trailhead off Pierce Point Road.

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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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