Point Lobos to Partner with Big Sur International Marathon

As you may have heard the fifty foot section of Highway 1 that collapsed on March 16th has necessitated the creation of an alternate "out and back" course for the Big Sur Marathon on Sunday, May 1st. The new course will begin just before the Carmel River Bridge (just south of Rio Road) and head south on Highway 1. The turnaround will be in the vicinity of Rocky Creek Bridge. On the return trip the marathoners will take an approximate 1.7 mile detour through Point Lobos before returning to Highway 1. California State Parks and the Point Lobos Foundation is happy to partner with the Big Sur Marathon to permit the use of the park for this important event. Volunteer docents will be spread out along the paved road inside the park helping to direct runners, keeping them on the road and helping pick up trash. During the marathon Hwy 1 will be closed to vehicle traffic south of Rio Road. This will prevent vehicle traffic from entering Point Lobos until the road reopens at approximately 1:00 PM. Foot traffic will still be allowed into the reserve during the road closure. For more information on the Big Sur International Marathon and course

Orca pod attack: Scribbles from Cypress Grove Trail

April 1, 2011 - I love joining other Docent's public walks.  I always learn something new and see Point Lobos afresh through more experienced eyes.  It was a "twofer" day today, as Jonathan Briggs led a walk before lunch and Spenser Myers led an afternoon walk.  The weather was slightly different each time, with varying light and shadows coloring the landscape, cooler afternoon breezes, and a diversity of plants and animals.  Jonathan and Spenser kept walk participants involved and interested, and did a fantastic job highlighting the sights of Cypress Grove Tra

Memorable school walk: Scribbles from Whalers Cove

October 5, 2010 - Now retired, Jerry Loomis still finds ways to contribute to the enjoyment of the Point Lobos experience.  On this particular day, he kicked off a school walk for 20+ junior high school students in the Whalers Cove parking lot.  While presenting an overview of the natural and cultural history of Point Lobos, he noticed 2 dolphin fins inside the Cove.  It appeared a mother Common Dolphin had brought a juvenile into the Cove for some reason.

Rescue at Weston Beach - deja vu ... again

Elephant Seal RescueMarch 30, 2001.  Back to back rescues.  A second juvenile Elephant Seal was found in distress at Weston Beach. 
And this time Ranger Chuck was able to lend a hand - even if it was for the somewhat less taxing transport from Weston Beach.  As with the Gibson Beach rescue, this female "weaner" appeared to have been born in January, though it did not appear to be as malnourished.  And wouldn't you know it, this one didn't want to go; something about the transport carrier (or the Ranger uniform?) made for an interesting, bite avoidance time! Or maybe it had something to do with Ranger Chuck's bull kelp "prod" that spooked our seal - enquiring minds are still debating this interesting technique.  Eventually, Elephant Seal insertion was complete, and a few Weston Beach steps later, another weaner was on the way to Moss Landing for medical attention.
As of April 5, the Marine Mammal Center's web site shows the male Elephant Seal, nicknamed Gibby, and the female, nicknamed Roark, are both being treated for malnutrition.  Here's hoping for successful outcomes.

Rescue at Gibson Beach

March 29, 2011. 
Rescue teamAt 4:00pm, a visitor called the Entrance Kiosk, concerned about a five foot Elephant Seal hauled out on Gibson Beach.  Less than an hour later, the rescue volunteers from the Moss Landing Marine Mammal Center arrived.  Using a "toe test," the veterinarian determined a rescue was needed - the 45 pound male "weaner" was in distress and badly malnourished.  A rising tide could have complicated things, so a sigh of relief was heard when the youngster was expertly coaxed into the carrier. 
Long Haul up the StairsThe long haul up the Gibson Beach stairs generated other types of sighs!  Many hands did not necessarily make light work, but all were needed for the narrow, steep ascent.  Very commited volunteers, all.

Earth Day Celebration

Earth Day at Point Lobos for the Entire Weekend:

All walk information written and submitted by: Carol Marquart, Point Lobos Docent.

Enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of Point Lobos on Earth Day weekend, Friday, April 22 - Sunday, April 24. In honor of Earth Day, we have scheduled some unique, docent led walks in the Reserve.

Friday, April 22, 11:00 AM. Information Station:
Join Sharon as we explore Ohlone people who lived and honored Mother Earth. We will learn about the uses of plants and animals and understand how the native people reserved the natural resources they depended on.

Saturday, April 23, 9:00 AM., Weston Beach:
Venture into tidepools at low tide and enjoy colorful creatures that live underwater. We will look for limpets, green anemones, bat stars and hermit crabs. Knee-high boots helpful but not necessary.

Saturday, April 23, 11:00 AM., Whaler's Cove parking lot: Geology Walk: What is plate tectonics and how does it relate to earthquakes? Ed will introduce you to a rock that is 100 million years old.

Rainbow serendipity: Scribbles from Monastery Beach

March 26, 2011. 
Driving to the Reserve, looking forward to Ed Clifton's trace fossils walk, an email lets me know the walk must be re-scheduled.  Rain is imminent.  Disappointment lasts but a moment ... to my right, a rainbow frames Ichxenta Point.  The next few hours on the Reserve trails and in the Museum are soggy, no doubt, but "tinted" by yet another Point Lobos memory.  Such memories must stretch the world over, as numerous as the rocks and sand in the Carmelo Formation conglomerate.

January Day

It was sunny and clear and already getting warm at 8:30, and the ocean off Sea Lion Point was calm. Perfect whale-watching conditions. The pods of grays worked their way down the coast, periodically surfacing to do their group breathing, eventually sliding into their dives, flukes slicing the surface. Above Sand Hill Cove a juvenile red-shouldered hawk stood on the trailside fence, and after glaring at the intruder for a moment, scornfully headed off to the top of a cypress tree. A sudden burst of chatter from the scrub ended with a brief view of a Bewick's wren on top of a clump of sage. Out on the verge of the road, a towhee worked the leaf litter in his both-feet-scrabbling-at-once style. A companionable California thrasher labored nearby, his tool-of-choice his large curved bill. And over the parking lot, warmed by the winter sun, brilliant monarchs zigged and zagged.

Kites and Kestrels

As you approach the Reserve from the north watch the Hudson Meadows closely.  The White-tailed kites and American ketrels are back!  The low lying pine trees are the staging areas for these magnificent birds looking for lunch.

Birds, Birds, Birds

A late December walk at Point Lobos left us with some bright images to take home in our mind's eye. While gazing at China Cove we noticed something soaring over, and when we got the binocs on it, found it was a peregrine falcon. We just had time to admire its distinctive markings and its powerful flight before it headed off north and out of sight. Then, on the South Plateau Trail, a sharp call swivelled our heads around, and there it was, on a Monterey pine: a hairy woodpecker, hammering a promising branch with its large bill. And later, on the Pine Ridge Trail, in the quiet of a still winter afternoon, we spied a...