San Bruno Mountain State Park (12/27/2021)

Today we finally visited The Mountain that is San Bruno! It has been on our list for some time. I was glad for a break in the rain today to get outside. And, with Brian off from work this week, I had a partner in nature today. We weren’t aware the park closes at 5pm, so we ended up doing a very short trail, the Bog Trail! It was full of bog, which was delightful.

As I had hoped, there were many mushrooms to be seen. Nitrous Bonnets greeted us first. Along our way, we also saw Coprinopsis uliginicola, Deceiver, Golden Milkcap (? newtome mushroom, if so!), Layered Cup, Scurfy Twiglet, and Chip Cherries.

First flora I recognized was Beach Strawberry. How fun to come back when there are actual strawberries there. Late Cotoneaster, Coffeeberry, and California Bee Plant were abundant. We even spotted Willow Apple Gall Sawfly galls on the few remaining willow tree leaves.

As for fauna, we watched two Red-tailed Hawks circling each other, with one landing high up in a eucalyptus tree right over us. We also saw a gorgeous Townsend’s Warbler, Pygmy Nuthatches, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Golden-crowned Sparrows (one even hung out on a branch about 3 feet from me for a bit!), a couple American Robins, a Spotted Towhee, and a Northern Flicker.

But, halfway through our trail, we saw a BANANA SLUG right in the middle! This is the second time I’ve seen one so close to home. And, to think I previously thought they only lived in Santa Cruz and on Kings Mountain. Guess I don’t go out in the rain enough. Brian moved him to the other side of the trail it was heading toward. Unlike the banana slugs we’ve done that to in Woodside, this one just stayed incredibly still, rather than immediately resuming its activity. Hopefully, it can forgive our good intentions.

Oh! And, we also saw Coyote scat on the side of the trail. Exciting. Oh! And, we watched a raptor we couldn’t ID soaring over us. It dove over the road and disappeared into the trees. Not a Red-tailed Hawk, we think.

Near the end of the trail, nightshade and Red Osier Dogwood and Red-berried Elder (starting to bloom!) popped up. And, a single blooming Western Columbine and some blooming Red-flowering Currant shrubs rounded out our time there.

So, we saw a very tiny bit of San Bruno Mountain today. But, despite the chilly wind and temperatures, we are looking forward to exploring more next time. Hope you caught some of the gloriously pink skies after sunset, too.

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