Black Point Historic Gardens (3/31/2022)

Today I volunteered at Black Point. And, I made a quick stop at the Palace of Fine Arts on the way home.

I’m volunteering at Black Point every other week. And, with Spring’s arrival, it’s amazing how much has happened while I’m away. Today, it was all about the California Poppy. They are SO OUT IT’S NUTSO. And, the bumblebees were all over it. I even got to see them hang onto the center and scooch (that can’t be how you spell that, right?) around it while on their side. Like, Donald O’Connor in Singin’ in the Rain, when he’s on the floor and on his side and running in a circle. That’s what they do. I LOVE IT.

Ok, but I’m totally getting ahead of myself. The ground level area at Van Ness Avenue level is drastically empty. There used to be large containers and construction whatnots there. They are GONE. The space, apparently owned by the Maritime folks, is entirely open now. Just a couple metal storage bins the GGNPC owns. The place looks huge now. And, a couple intriguing finds right there…

One, LUPINE! Arroyo Lupine and Miniature Lupine! Right out in the open, among random weeds and whatnots. Delightful. Though, as they’re not sheltered or anything now, I’m concerned they’ll get stepped on or run over by a dog or something. Let’s hope for the best.

And, two, dead animal! Natalie thinks it must have been under one of the containers or construction whatnots. So hard to tell what it is, but she thinks Raccoon. Like, it crawled under something to die. Or, something. So bizarre to see a creature like that. Made me think about all the creatures that just die out in a park or public space. Hope they get someone to ID it. Would love to know what it is.

While I surveyed how things were looking in the gardens (Mica Cap village explosion and newtome Purple Chinese Houses and Tidy Tips and tons more California Poppies), I noticed a Red-tailed Hawk high up in a pine tree. That same tree I’ve seen several Great Blue Herons in before. It was exactly at the top, just like a Xmas Tree star or something. Soon after I noticed it, a Common Raven started dive-bombing it. Like they do. And, the hawk could not have cared less. It stayed there during most of my time there.

A couple Mockingbirds serenaded us while we worked. One really had every single car alarm THAT EVER WAS down pat. And, a hummingbird flew right into where we were working, zoomed into a California Bee Plant, then immediately got chased off by another hummingbird! It was terribly exciting. But, a hummingbird drinking from a super teeny tiny California Bee Plant flower?? C’est incroyable!

After pulling ALL THE WEEDS, I headed out. Caught sight of a Five Spot flower! Love those and had no idea they were planted here. And, the California Buckeye tree is starting to flower…

It was still light out when I left, so I made a quick stop at the Palace of Fine Arts. I’ve been curious if any Black-crowned Night-Herons are still there, like the last time we went so long ago and saw A TON. There were just two. Sleeping. And, a swan was curled up sleeping on the same island. Walked around to the other side, and a Greater White-fronted Goose was in the water! That was unexpected! Such a handsome goose.

So, this whole crappy Daylight Savings Time has one benefit. I can stop for some quick Naturing after I’m done volunteering at Black Point. That’s it!

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