Tomales Bay, California

Pt. Reyes from Tomales Point Trail

Pt. Reyes from Tomales Point Trail

A long, narrow inlet along the coast of northern California, Tomales Bay is 15 miles long and one mile wide.  On the west side of the bay is Point Reyes Peninsula, on the east side is the mainland.

 

Lesser Goldfinch, Pt. Reyes

Lesser Goldfinch, Pt. Reyes

The two land areas flanking the bay lie on different tectonic plates.  Over millenium they have been separated by the frictional movement of the Pacific Plate and North American Plate.

 

After the big earthquake that destroyed San Francisco in 1906, Point Reyes moved 21 feet north (Wikipedia).

 

Point Reyes. Courtesy Nat’l Park Service, Wikipedia

See map below.   More Point Reyes info here.

 

Original Coast Miwok inhabitants  hunted and lived here; eating seaweed and acorns, hunting rabbit, deer, and seasonal salmon.

 

Thousands of years later, after European seafarers, Russian fur traders, and settlers of all kinds have come through, the area is now a compatible combination of residents, visitors, and ranchers.

Pt. Reyes Tule elk, cow and calf

Pt. Reyes Tule elk, cow and calf

 

Bobcat, Point Reyes

Bobcat, Point Reyes

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a national park there is no hunting, but visitors still enjoy observing deer, rabbit and small game like the Miwok did, as well as 490 species of birds.

 

As featured in my previous post, tule elk live in large herds on a protected landscape.

 

Pt. Reyes, doe and fawn

Pt. Reyes, doe and fawn

Seasonal migration of whale can be spotted at certain times of the year, and northern elephant seals and other marine mammals live here too.

 

In addition, the Tomales Bay waters are home to small bioluminescent organisms called dinoflagellates.  Info on bioluminescence here.

 

Wild Amaryllis, aka Naked Ladies

Wild Amaryllis, aka Naked Ladies

The Tomales Bay area has public beaches, numerous trails, kayaking, and many other opportunities for outdoor adventures.

 

Click here for National Park Service trail guide.

 

Barn swallow nestlings, Pierce Point Ranch, Pt. Reyes

Barn swallow nestlings, Pierce Point Ranch, Pt. Reyes

Bugling elk, sparkling waters, and the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean…can’t beat that.

 

Towns of rural western Marin County. Inverness Park is in violet.

Point Reyes Peninsula, California. Courtesy Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander unless otherwise noted