Nature Notebook, July 2, 2020


The West coast this week will see a lunar eclipse and a full moon over the holiday weekend. On July 4, the penumbral eclipse will be at its maximum for our viewing at 9:30 p.m. and the moon will leave the earth’s shadow by 10:50 p.m. A short span of morning minus tides will accompany the full moon on Sunday, July 5. That day has the lowest tide, at -1.3 feet at 6 a.m.

An exploration along Tomales Bay this past week showed a variety of ice-tea-colored lion’s mane jellies washed ashore, a typical summer event. These open-ocean surface-dwelling creatures are susceptible to temperature fluctuations; after they succumb to warmer waters, their floating portions show up on beaches. Another common jelly, the clear moon jellies, with four half-moon crescents, was not seen.

More berries are ripening, with huckleberries next in line, first appearing on west-side slopes. An unusually early sighting in the Limantour corridor is a madrone tree with clusters of pale pink berries, typically seen later in the fall.

No fireworks are permitted in Marin and Sonoma to protect wildlife and prevent wildfire.