I received a report that Monarch Butterflies marked here at Big Creek in December have been sighted at Esalen (4mi north) and at Plaskett Creek (15mi south). These sightings suggest that central California Monarchs move up and down the coast in the winter, much like their southern California cousins.The spring bloom (what there is of it) is very late this year, probably because of the drought and the cold winter weather. In early April the most common flower on the Gamboa ridge was the shooting star, normally a February/March bloomer. It will be very interesting to see how the spring progresses. The perennial bunchgrasses seem to be doing very well on the ridges. The drought and the elimination of cattle grazing (in early 1980’s) may be favoring their spread.
A second reminder: We are planning our annual open house for Saturday May 11, between 9 and 4. We will have displays about the reserve, including our facilities planning efforts, and I invite you to come and see what we are up to. Like last year, we will lead hikes on the trails, so bring your lunch and plan to spend all day if you can. Unlike last year, we don’t expect to discover a dead mountain lion in the trail, but who knows? (4/x/91)