Wednesday, April 28, 2010

grunion greeting, 2010 #1

unofficial grunion greeting
full moon cycle, 10:30-11:05pm, partly cloudy skies

I am out of my mind! After 8 hours of driving back home, through rain, snow, and hail, I barely finished unpacking when I asked my sniffly hubby (he has a cold in a major way and I haven't seen him in 12 days) if he was up for going grunion greeting. It's not even a Doc Martin-approved outing; she thinks it's too early and too cold for our area this far north. I think she's given up on the Monterey area, but I haven't. I'm determined to report a W-3!!! (I'm thinking my hubby is extremely accommodating to my enthusiasm or is possibly, a teeny bit, interested in nature, too. Haha!)

Sure enough the lighted, squid boats were out in full force. I'm starting to figure their timing has much to do with the tide cycles, but I can't seem to find any confirmation of this online. We hoped to at least see Charlie, our night heron "friend" from last year. No such luck. And, no grunion. Phooey!

The tide was very high compared to any outings last year. It went up to the 2nd parking meter and in some areas right up to the beach house shown above. Despite all the cars on the commercial wharf, we only saw 2 people fishing. One had a huge flood light, powered by his truck, and was looking for striper. He was extremely grumpy, as I've now found most fishermen are.

Since it was windy and starting to rain, we headed home to a warm bed after only a little over half an hour.

ps - As usual, I'll probably edit this post once I look up an e-mail from Dr. Martin a couple months back, asking if anyone here felt a training workshop would be beneficial. Plus, I know y'all have missed my mysterious, fuzzy, nighttime lights pics!

pss 04/29/10 - I heard back from Dr. Martin after I made the first comment below. Here's what she said, "A minor correction, we did have a report even farther north than San Francisco last year, in Tomales Bay. Small, but present. As far as we know they are gone from San Francisco Bay but I'll keep checking from time to time."

And, yes, I officially reported our non-finding to Apparently, not seeing any grunion is acceptable research data. Can you believe they have 560 volunteers this year?!?

For quick links to active grunion nights, versus numerous verbose posts of my fuzzy nighttime pics of lights, click May 24, 2009 and June 7, 2009. You'll notice in my pics that most people have nappy-noggin' warmers and heavy coats in June! Our experience last year was NOT like what they show on t.v. from SoCal, but I'll take it just the same and still hold out hope we'll witness something spectacular. For a great horror B-flick of grunion, check out James Cameron's Piranha II: The Spawning.


Steve Willson said...

I've seen grunion runs on the nature shows. I bet it would be a fascinating event to experience. Sorry you didn't have any luck.

I went back and read your earlier grunion greeting posts. Sounds like a really interesting activity. Good luck with your future greetings.

Nature ID said...

Thanks, Steve. There have been spectacular reports over the past 10 years of grunion runs in our area. We heard they no longer run up near San Francisco, so Monterey Bay is now considered their northernmost point. I hope to convince my hubby to take a trip down south to experience a true W-3 or greater, the kind that inspires wacky 70's B-flicks. Based on my own interviews, most local runs have been witnessed by fisherfolks, who couldn't care less about documenting their observations for science. This is my main complaint about "official" records - it relies entirely on people who give a damn. I'm guessing the June full moon will be the jackpot for us... so stay tuned!

Kelly said...

very interesting. I had to go back and read some of your past posts on grunion runs and look up because I actually didnt have a clue to what you were talking about. I also read another post of yours talking about changing your title. I like Nature ID, if it wasnt for you, I probably never would have known about grunion runs :)

Nature ID said...

Hey, Kelly, thanks to you, I added a couple links in my post above to help explain things a bit better.

Susan said...

I'm with Kelly - never heard of a grunion! thought you were talking about a group of people who gather to talk about onions or something! Seriously. Will now go look it up...

Nature ID said...

ROTFL!!! Oh my, Susan, you just made my afternoon. There are some great YouTube videos of grunion runs, several set to disco music.

Mama Zen said...

Well, at least you got a gorgeous picture!