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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mill Valley in Marin County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Fall in Muir Woods

Muir Woods National Monument

 
 
Fall in Muir Woods Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 11, 2006
1. Fall in Muir Woods Marker
Inscription. Warm days, gold and crimson foliage, and migratory animals mark the season.

Sonoma chipmunks busily prepare for hibernation. They forage through the woods in search of seeds, nuts, and berries. When their cheek pouches are full, they dig a small hole, empty the food into it, and then cover it with dirt and leaves.

Throughout the season, convergent ladybugs cluster on understory plants. They have flown here in early summer to escape inland heat.

They now gather in dense clusters near the creek, conserving body heat and emitting a foul smelling odor to ward off predators while they rest. In early spring they will wake up, mate, and return inland to lay their eggs.

Fall foliage floats to the canyon floor like rain drops. Poison oak’s “leaves of three” are flaming red, the maple leaves change from green to mustard, and the California bay-laurel leaves turn lemon yellow. These colorful leaves are not only a beautiful sight, they also provide nutrients for the forest and its animals. Big-leaf maples nourish black-tailed deer with calcium and potassium. Water striders feed on decomposing leaves in Redwood Creek. Migratory and resident birds fuel up on ripened poison oak, huckleberry fruits, tan oak acorns, and cow parsnip seeds.

October is the end of the dry season when fires are natural occurrence in the

Fall in Muir Woods image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 11, 2006
2. Fall in Muir Woods
forest. Fires release nutrients tied up in the soil, burn weak trees that compete for light in the forest canopy, clear piled up debris in the understory, and kill insects or disease that can potentially harm a forest. Bare mineral soil is necessary for redwood seeds to grow and allows the forest to regenerate with new growth. Sept-Ladybug cluster; Height of fall color; Warmest time of the year. Oct-Berries, buckeyes, and acorns ripen; Fire season. Nov-Migrating birds active; Rainy season begins.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 37° 53.567′ N, 122° 34.345′ W. Marker is in Mill Valley, California, in Marin County. Marker is on Muir Woods Road. Touch for map. The marker is near the Muir Woods National Monument visitor center. Marker is in this post office area: Mill Valley CA 94941, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Preserving the Forest Primeval (here, next to this marker); Redwoods and Their Relatives (approx. ¼ mile away); Reed's Mill (approx. 1.3 miles away); Mill Valley Railroad Depot (approx. 1.6 miles away); Outdoor Art Club
Fall in Muir Woods image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 11, 2006
3. Fall in Muir Woods
(approx. 1.7 miles away); Grist Mill Stones (approx. 1.7 miles away); John Reed's Saw Mill (approx. 3 miles away); Cold War Legacy: Missiles to Marine Mammals (approx. 4.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mill Valley.
 
Categories. EnvironmentHorticulture & Forestry
 
Fall in Muir Woods Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 11, 2006
4. Fall in Muir Woods Marker
Sign at the entrance to Muir Woods National Monument image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 11, 2006
5. Sign at the entrance to Muir Woods National Monument
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 20, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 193 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 20, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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