California's drought officially ended in the winter of 2016-2017.
It's possible that access to the high quality Paleo-Indian sticks and wooden pieces in this collection may have been a once in a lifetime event. The unusually long drought period followed by torrential rains may have freed/unearthed them. The majority of wooden pieces on this website were collected in just a few days during two specific time periods. The first time was during a full moon at the beginning of the winter of 2015-2016 and the other was during the full moon at the end of the 2016-2017 rainy season.
These conditions may not occur again for many years and FUTURE AVAILABILITY MAY BE LIMITED!
During the drought years, soil dried out and contracted significantly leaving many sticks exposed, but trapped in the canyons, arroyos (gulleys) and dry creeks that would normally have carried them downstream and into San Francisco Bay.
The height of the tide (the water level) in San Francisco Bay is significantly impacted every month as we approach a full moon and the greatest impact occurs during the winter months. High tides during the winter, during the full moon are extremely high (more than 3 feet above normal. This allows pieces tangled in the marsh, or stuck in mud to float freely and make their way to the shoreline.
When heavy rainfall occurs in the days/weeks prior to a full moon, the high water level in the bay acts like a dam which significantly slows the flow of water rushing out of the canyons the creeks and arroyos. The dam effect causes the water in these creeks to backup and the rising water erodes the soil along the banks of the creek. Artifacts that have been buried for long periods of time are freed by erosion. Then, as the moon wanes, everything that's been trapped upstream by the high tide. flows into the bay and makes its way to the shoreline.
The majority of the Paleoindian sticks and Paleoindian wood pieces on this website were collected during two specific time periods. The first was during a full moon at the beginning of the winter of 2015-2016 and the other was during the full moon at the end of the 2016-2017 season.
During the 2015-2016 season we had over 10 inches of rain in late December and January. This allowed everything that had been freed by the contraction of the soil to reach the Shoreline of San Francisco Bay between the full moons on December 25 and January 24.
In February 2017 it rained nearly 16 inches in the seven days prior to the February 12 full moon high tide. Everything that had been waiting since the heavy rains in December 2015 flowed into the bay as the full moon high tides receded.
There is no way to tell how long it will be before the forces of nature combine in just the right way once again to move the Paleoindian treasures hidden in the hills, creeks and arroyos to a place where they can be collected!