Point Pedro (09/14/2021)

today i unintentionally climbed up and down a mountain! ok, it’s just headlands, but it felt like a flippin’ MOUNTAIN MY GAWD. i gotta really get better at checking elevation gains instead of just difficulty levels for trails going forward. because i hate steep inclines going up. and my knees hate steep declines (?) going down. all that bitching aside, i ventured to a new place outside city limits for my monthly day trip. and, i’d been curious about this place. as i started my Naturing time there, i came to recognize familiar plants by just their leaves. wow! hello Toyon and Ocean Spray and Monkeyflower and Coyote Brush! so nice to know you even without your flowers! a handful of my ever faithful companions, my Dark-eyed Juncos, kept me company at the start. and, as i made my way through, i realized i was in part of “the forest” that as a kid we’d drive through when going from san jose to SF and were about to enter Pacifica on Highway 1. no idea why we always took that way, but as a kid i always thought, “Oooh! It’s THE FOREST!!” a 2 minute drive through eucalyptus trees was A FOREST to me. that’s how infrequently i spent time outdoors in my adolescence. weird! anyhoo, it was tough getting to the top as it was a warm and sunny 70 degrees in Pacifica, WHUT. but i found glorious shade here and there, thanks to some kind Monterey Pines. i stood in their blessed shadows, so happy and grateful to feel the strong ocean breeze on me after what felt like walking hours uphill in the blazing sun. thank gawd for those pines. or i’d still be a puddle up there. the views of the ocean were lovely. every time i see the Pacific on a sunny day, it looks so inviting that i feel like jumping right in. San Pedro Rock was also a sight to behold, with its slanted slabs of rock. on my way back down THE MOUNTAIN, i heard a Northern Flicker. couldn’t find it, and as i stood there looking for it, a couple (two of maybe eight total people i encountered out there) walked past. the guy said, “See something?” “Heard a Northern Flicker, but I’m trying to find it,” i replied. he then said, “Wow! Good ears!”
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AFAIK, this Northern Flicker call is VERY COMMON. so common, in fact, that even i know it. so, i was left thinking this guy doesn’t know what he’s commenting on. AS USUAL. i chuckled and said, “Thanks.” my consolation prize was getting to watch two Woodland Skippers twirling about over Pacific Asters and Coffeeberry. all in all, really a treat to be around natural coastal flora, after seeing it mostly planted in city parks. and, i was reminded today how much i love living on the coast. can’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else.

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