Nature Notebook, November 30, 2017


This weekend, a “super moon” shines over local festivities!  As the moon makes its orbit, it will be slightly closer to the earth and thus appear bigger and brighter in clear skies.  It will also bring very high tides in the 6-7 foot range peaking just around 10:15 a.m. on Monday, December 4 with a 7.0 foot tide.

Rain means the beginning of the seasonal winter run of coho salmon and steelhead trout with scientists noting the egg laying sites or redds as well as the spawning fish.  Unusual this year are some wanderers in Lagunitas Creek, pink salmon (also known as humpies or humpback salmon) and chum salmon, usually found in Oregon and Washington waterways.  At Muir Beach, hopefully with the high tide and rain this weekend, the sand bar at the mouth of Redwood Creek will wash away and allow fish to enter.

Some surprising appearances coinciding with the recent combinations of warm weather and rain, lavender iris blooming in front of the community center and pink currant shrubs blooming along the Levee Road.  Mushrooms are also making their appearance.

And a little early, the first male Northern Elephant seal pulled ashore on Drakes Beach for a winter rest before the busy mating season gets underway.  Several sub adults have been at Chimney Rock throughout past months.