Golden Gate Park (1/10/2022)

Today I was able to get about an hour and a half in of Naturing today. Not too shabby. After visiting my mother’s grave in Los Altos and doing an informational interview with my GGNPC Volunteer Leader, I wasn’t in my normal headspace for Naturing. But, unsurprisingly, I found it very healing and restorative.

I finished my interview at the Music Concourse (which went great, by the way), so I wandered in the area after. I WAS tempted to jet over to the Bison Paddock, as the Great Horned Owl pair over there have been spotted in their usual nest tree. Will head out there tomorrow to see!

So, today I had only one true mission, to see if I could find any of the Common Bird’s Nest Fungus that I was first told about by Octodrone / Logan recently. I started a notification for any iNat observation of it in the Bay Area, and a sighting was recorded at the AIDS Memorial Grove a couple days ago…

First, I needed to check on that Red-cage Fungus in the CAS Botanical Garden. YES! It is totally that!! I could see the red lattice breaking out of its mushroom egg shell so clearly. GAH, THEY’RE SO WEIRD!

Before I got to the Secret Gardens, I spotted an Anna’s Hummingbird chilling on an empty branch end. This was right near where blossom trees were, and I noticed some tiny yellow cherry fruit on it. WHA? Fruit before blossoms? Need to revisit what I IDed these as previously. Don’t recall seeing yellow fruit on it before…

In the Secret Gardens, Myrtle was also fruiting. Never seen that fruit before! Looks like currants, huh. Nearby, a still gloriously bright yellow Ginkgo tree was still under the impression it was Fall.

Nothing exciting was going at the Slime Mold Lab, but those community of mushrooms I saw near there that iNat thought might be Flocculose Inkcaps now look like Mica Caps. Gotta update my iNat observation and hope someone confirms. I love being able to check up on fungi IN PROGRESS. So much changes so quickly!

No sign of Ma Owl up in the tree on the Secret Gardens hill. BUT, I did see A NEST up there. Maybe she’s in it? Need to keep checking up there.

On my way to the AIDS Memorial Grove, a Northern Flicker was making noises. So happy I can so much more easily ID their sound. Also, a Brown Creeper creeped up a eucalyptus near the owl nursery. Haven’t seen them in a while.

At the AIDS Memorial Grove, New Zealand Hebe was blooming its pretty purple colors. I got to about halfway along the meadow when I felt a significant drop in temperature. I am always so fascinated when that happens. And, usually, so thrilled to feel the sudden chill. Maybe because I’m almost always dehydrated or too hot that such things are so pleasing to me?? At that spot, I spotted a Fox Sparrow stomping on the ground with fervor. Haven’t seen them here before!

In the redwood grove, I finally saw mushrooms. No sign of them in the winter previously, so this was great news for The Book. My goal is to show as many mushrooms as I can in the Fall and Winter sections. And, now, I have some for the AIDSMG. Were they Cabbage Parachutes?

North of the grove, I watched a Ruby-crowned Kinglet dotting through an Ironwood tree. And, seeing Ironwood leaves on the ground, I thought how they look so much like American Coot feet! No wonder I’m so enamoured of those leaves!

The Common Manzanita (?) in the northeast corner are blooming their little white bells. I want to include them in The Book, too.

But, the exciting moment came when I started hunting along the sidewalk for any sign of tiny bird nests. And, I FOUND THEM. If you weren’t scouring the area looking for mushrooms, you’d likely think they were just seeds or something. SO TINY. And, thankfully, I had my macro lens on me to get nice close-ups. So neato.

Headed back to the Secret Gardens by way of the back trail along the Lily Pond. And, after noticing some stunning False Turkey-Tail, I heard A HOOT. I’m going to have to revisit my naming of the pair as the Great Horned Owls of the Lily Pond. The Great Horned Owls of the Lily Pond and Secret Gardens? Yeah, it’s a little long.

I took a chance and started looking in one of the super tall pine trees I’ve seen them in before. I got super lucky and just HAPPENED to catch Pa Owl moving from one branch to another. It was also lucky to see him so unobstructed in the otherwise very obstructing tree branches. He was pretty high up, so my pics aren’t great. But, they’re below for the owl fans.

He continued hooting. And, I continued watching him. Along with one bat flitting overhead the entire time. Haven’t seen a bat in a while! But, it was a warmish day compared to recent weeks. And, I saw more of them out and about on my way home.

Eventually, Pa Owl flew to another super tall pine at the east end of the Secret Gardens. He didn’t stay there long. He quickly disappeared into the eucs east of the owl nursery. And, I never heard Ma Owl…

I thought I definitely had a satisfying hour and a half of Naturing. But, walking in the last hints of twilight towards the ballfield, I saw A COYOTE ahead that had just crossed Pelosi Drive from the CAS side and was heading into Monarch Bear Grove. I watched it trot casually and into the darkness. It’s funny how I still become so mesmerized by them, as if I just saw a unicorn, given how often I’ve seen them lately. But, they are still magical to me. Fancy that.

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: