Nature Notebook, July 1, 2019


The full moon earlier this week continues a pattern of extra-low morning tides, most occurring just before dawn. The corresponding high tides in the five-foot range come in the afternoons, leaving plenty of beach. 

Summer meteor showers began on July 12 with the Delta Aquarids on the eastern horizon. They will peak July 20 with a modest 20 or so shooting stars. The next showers will be the more prolific Perseids, in mid-August.

As July seems to speed past, nature’s “market” is filled with fresh fruit. Clusters of scarlet berries on red elderberry shrubs have appeared along with singular red thimbleberries, while the dark-purple starburst clusters of elk clover berries are drawing attention along Bear Valley Trail. Another splash of fiery orange in the deep green woodlands is the South African lily (Croscosmia sp.), an exotic introduced by nurseries.

I have stocked my day pack with odd jars to be ready for blackberries, the first of which I harvested from Inverness Park over the weekend. It is looking like a stellar year, thanks to the rains. I hope to search for huckleberries soon! 

A change in regulations in the national seashore: no glass bottles on park beaches. The park released site-specific regulations with this new protective measure; for more information, visit