Golden Gate Park (11/19/2021)

Today I was physically worn out. Two back-to-back physical volunteer gigs yesterday, and I am BEAT.

So I just planned to wander and take it easy. Passed through the Monarch Bear Grove, and I noticed blooming blossoms on one of the many blossom trees I haven’t entirely identified. Wild Cherry is my best guess so far, but it is an absolute guess. I’ve seen other blossoms blooming here and there around SF lately. No one knows what season it is. While there, a super bright yellow Townsend’s Warbler hopped into my view, about three feet in front me? Just hopped here and there and then out of sight. I never tire of seeing them.

Thought I’d do a quick check for any slugs in the CAS Botanical Garden, but no luck. Maybe it has to still be raining for them to come out like last time.
Mushrooms are still the best blooming things out there right now.
Nearing the end, I spotted another Townsend’s Warbler, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a Yellow-rumped Warbler (or two), and a hummingbird, all very busy at the end of their day.

Oh, and I finally saw a Botta’s Pocket Gopher! I’ve seen movement from under dirt mounds in recent months. But, I haven’t actually seen a head peeping out in FOREVER. It was at the West end of the CAS Botanical Garden, working on pulling down long leafy bits into its hole. Wish I had more time to have been able to wait and watch it more.

Did a simple loop past the Japanese Tea Garden, where an Asian family were walking toward me. The young boy was whining to his mother, “I don’t WANT to go to Japan. I want to go to Tokyo.” His mother calmly replied, “Tokyo is IN Japan.” Kids love whining about things they know nothing about.

Then, I visited the Fairy Door, walked along JFK (haven’t done that in a while, and it was clear why I avoid it), and strolled through the de Young side garden before making it to the bandshell for the Brassworks Band concert.

While there, a 1.5-2 year old little blond toddler in the row in front of me was very interested in everything except sitting still with her grandparents. I started not being able to take my eyes off her and the other similarly aged children that came into our space. They’d see another kid like them and were instantly mesmerized by something their same size. Like super shy dogs that are hyper aware when they recognize one of their own kind. These kids made me think of how bizarre and unfortunate it must be to grow up in the Time of Covid. At that age, they’d normally be so free to run up and make new acquaintances without concern. All these kids were very shy and skeptical but highly intrigued with each other all at the same time. It was nice to see them eventually let their guard down, see the parents enjoy watching them, and take pleasure in it all.

At some point, she noticed my Totoro backpack on my lap and curiously sauntered over. I smiled at her to let her know it was ok to do so. She walked right up and pointed at my backpack, to which I said, “Totoro” and pointed down at it. She looked back down at it and immediately said, “Totoro” (in the exact Japanese way I had said it) and pointed at it. “Yes! Totoro!” I replied. She repeated it exactly the same. And, I was kind of amazed how well she could say it.

She then pointed at one of the curved lines on its belly and said, “Moon” (which I confirmed) and then “Ears” (which I confirmed) when pointing at its horn. I confess it was all quite adorable. I was pretty fond of her at this point. I then pointed to one of its arms, said, “Arm” which she then repeated. She stood in front of the backpack, looked up at me, and embraced it. And, I started to get worried I’d have to fight her for it. She tried getting up onto the bench next to me like we were brand new besties but gave up after the 2nd time, realizing it so wasn’t going to happen. She made a couple other cute gestures to me/Totoro then wandered away. Her grandmother (watching all of this from the row in front) came and got her before she got far. And said to me, “Thank you for being so patient with her.”

Not a problem, ma’am. I quite enjoy spontaneous interactions with the small wildlife in my park.

One thought on “Golden Gate Park (11/19/2021)

  1. ” I quite enjoy spontaneous interactions with the small wildlife in my park.” – I love this so much! And such a feel-good post. Thank you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: