The Orionids, which began on Oct. 2 and last through Nov. 7, peak on Oct. 21. These bright, fast bits of Halley’s Comet will be hard to spot due to the full moon that evening. Orion, the hunter, is an easy constellation to spot, with three stars lined up in his belt. He is visible in the southeast sky at this time of year.
Park researchers report a host of Northern elephant seals at the Chimney Rock Overlook, where 169 seals, mostly young males, are hauled out. Some are molting while they rest on the beach. Their height of activity typically comes in February and the large males usually arrive around the winter holidays.
The acorn harvest is on: Most of the acorns are from coast live oaks with their prickly, holly-like leaves and a smooth cap, though fuzzy, capped tanoak acorns are also being gathered. Grey squirrels are busily stashing hoards in the ground while acorn woodpeckers are pushing them under the shingles at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. The woodpeckers also create granary trees for their colonies by drilling holes in bark to store acorns as an important winter food.
On the Monday, Oct. 11 holiday, the Bear Valley Visitor Center and the lighthouse stairs will be open, along with park roads and trails other than those in the Woodward fire areas.