With the April showers we had this spring, the Earth is definitely displaying her May flowers. While we may not be able to get out to our favorite Park to see wildflowers this month, I want to bring a bouquet of Point Reyes to you. Today is May Day . May Day signifies spring in many cultures. It also signifies growth and renewal. With all of us doing our part, sheltering at home, how you are noticing spring where you live?
"Earth Laughs in Flowers"
This is a line from a Ralph Waldo Emerson poem called Hamatreya . While the entirety of the poem may be Emerson's reflection on humankind's relationship to nature, this particular line makes me smile. Each year, as the comfrey blooms in our yard (photo at right), I think of the Earth being tickled and enjoying a massage. We planted comfrey several years ago as we learned of it from a permaculture teacher. Not only is it good for the bees, but it acts as a soil conditioner, weed barrier, and increases the health of your compost. So many benefits to the soil... the earth truly must be laughing each spring.
Native Wildflowers
Our habitat restoration team is excited to highlight a special species that is flowering in the Seashore this month - Douglas' meadowfoam. According to Vanessa Macias, PRNSA's newest habitat restoration intern, Douglas' meadowfoam ( Limnanthes douglasii  ssp.  douglasii ) is a unique member of the Limnanthaceae family.

"This lovely meadowfoam is also commonly known as the Poached egg plant because it blooms white flowers with yellow centers, while other subspecies of meadowfoam only bloom flowers that are usually completely white or yellow. So you might see some 'egg whites' or 'egg yolks' sprinkled in the grassland habitats of Point Reyes!" Here is a comprehensive species list .
Coming Up...

Below are a few fun programs are happy to share...

Friday, May 1 from 6pm - 9pm (tonight!) - please join our community partners, Every Folk as they offer a series of free online workshops. What better way to celebrate May Day than to gather together for music making, storytelling, and herbalism?

Thursday, May 7 from 12pm - 1pm - please join us for another Virtual Brown Bag Lunch Science Talk. We welcome Gabe Reyes, with the US Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center , to learn all about bats in and around Point Reyes. Registration details below.

Thursday, May 7 from 6pm - 7pm - Gina Tanner, one of our community supporters, is offering to donate all proceeds from her upcoming Zumba class to PRNSA! Thank you, Gina! More details HERE .

Last, but not least, we are all so grateful to everyone who has donated to our Bridge the Gap, Shelter-in-Place Fund so far. Your support will help us make it to the other side of this pandemic, and right back to delivering our education and conservation programming. All donations continue to be matched through May 15. We currently have raised $29,000 to meet our $50,000 match. Thank you for sticking with us.

We look forward to the time when we can see you back in the Park.

Happy May Day!
Heather sig 1
Heather Clapp
Director of Development and
Community Engagement
Seeds of Change
I went to visit with my friend, Judith Lowry, at her native plant garden last week. Judith is the owner of Larner Seeds . It is their goal to help supply people with California's native seeds.

Judith says one of the best things you can do right now is to help native flora find its way back into the land surrounding our homes by planting natives. Planting California native plants can help save water and invite beneficial pollinators.
If you don't have a yard or garden, that's okay! Here are a few simple activities you can do from home:
  • Get to know your spice drawer! Walk over to your spice drawer and look at all of the choices you are faced with to season your meals: salt, pepper, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, etc. Now, try to figure out where these came from. You'll be amazed at how far you travel, right from your own kitchen.
  • Choose a plant or flower either from your neighborhood or from a picture in a book. Start drawing it. When you observe a plant closely, you will notice certain patterns and might be amazed at what you find. If you want to go further, try to label the parts of the plant or flower (hint: there are many more parts than stem, leaf, and petal!).
  • When you walk around your neighborhood, get to know the native plants. Ask yourself "which plants would the Native Americans have used as a food source in my neighborhood?" Everything they needed could be found right where they were. Are there oak or bay trees near you? Indigenous people of CA knew the regional flora so well that they were able to make their living from the land without going to a grocery store or importing agricultural crops from other regions. There is much to learn from our local plant community.
  • Enjoy some plant-themed activities that we shared last week as part of our Earth Week and Environmental Education Week. Let's celebrate the Earth every day.
Bear Valley Blooms
photo taken by Donna Faure on April 30, 2020
Virtual Brown Bag Science Lecture
Bats of Point Reyes and Marin County: Studying Secretive and Nocturnal Mammals of the Night Sky
Thursday, May 7 - 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Join Gabe Reyes, from US Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center , to learn about bat research being conducted in Point Reyes and across Marin County. We will hear how we eavesdrop on bats to learn where they forage, and the technology we use to track bats to where they roost. Find out what species occurs in Point Reyes, and what role they play in the ecosystem.

REGISTER HERE for this webinar. Instructions and link will be provided upon registration.
We hope you’ll share what you’re up to with us through this new #ParkInPlace campaign! 

Stay tuned on social media and don’t forget to tag us in your posts and stories on Facebook and Instagram .
#ParkInPlace and #PointReyes_PRNSA

If you do not use these platforms, please email me your ideas, stories,
and photos at [email protected].
Point Reyes National Seashore | (415) 663-1200 x 310 | [email protected] |