The Presidio (10/11/2021)

Here goes something!

Today I needed to go somewhere different from Golden Gate Park. I recently drove by Lobos Valley in The Presidio and realized I’d only ever been there once. So, today I returned.

I probably didn’t pick the best time of year or time of day, as much of the coastal scrub has died off. But upon arriving, I was greeted by a California Scrub-Jay chasing off a Steller’s Jay. So, that was a nice welcome. After starting on the boardwalk, I saw tons of Ren’s Trash Spiders (aka Metepeira), straddled between Coyote Brush and Lupine bushes. So much blooming Coyote Brush! Which I love, because if there’s any wind, those fluffy flower pieces get carried away and look like huge snowflakes.

I heard Bushtits everywhere. And, I got to see blooming Coast Indian Paintbrush, just like I think I saw there for the first time about a year ago! I love Paintbrush. And wonder if it used to be more prevalent in those natural habitats.

Upon leaving the valley, I spotted a Fox Squirrel hanging out in a tree, wondering if I’d feed it. Nope! And, my first Fox Squirrel sighting in SF! I thought maybe they weren’t in the city? Nope!

I decided to check out a trail/path/thing along the West edge of The Presidio that I’ve driven past many times. I had assumed it just went to the beach, and I hate the beach. So, I haven’t been curious. But, I have wondered if you can see Lobos Creek at all from there. And, you can! There’s a couple spots where you can get close enough to see it and even touch it. The path runs alongside it (apparently adjacent to Seacliff mansion property) all the way to where it dumps into the ocean at Baker Beach! Along the way, I got to see a little Bushtit community, where a Ruby-crowned Kinglet was hanging out nearby. And, a Red Admiral butterfly stopped to let me look at it, too.

The winds were kicking the sand into my face and eyes (fun!), so I left pretty quickly. But, I had thought how nice it’d be to see the ocean on such a sunny day. So, I was able to do that! And, I got to see beach flora I’ve never seen in SF: Silver Beachweed, Sea Rocket, Beach Suncup, and Dune Tansy.

All in all, a nice return visit to the Lobos Valley boardwalk and a satisyfing exploration of Lobos Creek. Now I know where it begins AND have seen where it ends.

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