There is a good chance that you may visit the
Point Reyes Lighthouse on a wet day,
with water dripping from the cypresses that you are passing on your
way to the visitor center—before walking down all the stairs
to the historic landmark.
Despite drip water, freshwater is scarce around the lighthouse.
In the past, lighthouse keepers
collected rainwater. Since the average annual rainfall
is less than farther inland, water shortage on this ocean-surrounded
rock peninsula was common and lightkeepers had to buy water from nearby
ranchers. Survival on the windblown rocks
is a challenge, which not only was experienced by lightkeepers, but still
is by plants. Look around and you will see some plant species withstanding
the dry condition caused by salt spray, strong winds and unstable soil.