Golden Gate Park (5/10/2022)

Today I had very little time because of an afternoon tech rehearsal. So, I thought I’d just visit the Lily Pond and check on my Great Horned Owls of the East.

Walked through Monarch Bear Grove to get to the dirt path toward the owl nursery or the Lily Pond. There’s a verylittleused narrow trail right up from the sidewalk that connects to the back way (South trail) of the Lily Pond. During one of the big storms last Winter, a small tree fell onto that trail and blocked it. It still hasn’t been moved. But, I’ve seen a Coyote go down there, from the back way. So, I’ve avoided it ever since.

I stopped to look at it this time. Saw the tree still blocking the trail. And, I thought maybe I’d try it today. RIGHT THEN, a Coyote sauntered up to cross it and make its way North. Tried to get a decent photo, but meh. Pulled my digital camera down, and then ANOTHER COYOTE (limping on one front leg!) came up the exact same way!! Tried again to get a decent photo, but meh. But, DANG! That area is still very much theirs! I thought I might encounter it if I went up to the back way as I had planned. So I took the sidewalk instead. Coyotes have the right of way, in my opinion.

The newish plantings at the South entrance to the Lily Pond are doing ok. Some weeds are trying to take over. A clump of Buckwheats and Blueblossom are going strong, though. The Redflower Buckwheat, in particular, looked quite charming and happy.

The Lily Pond was low. A bit covered in algae on the West side. And, there were TONS of Violet-green Swallows zooming all over it! Not sure if I’ve seen them there before? Some were even perched high up, preening. It was so fun watching them whiz by and around and over me.

As I had suspected, having seen it recently at Mallard Lake, the Chilean Rhubarb was in its prime and flowering. That one random white Purple Foxglove is in lovely bloom. Some of the Bear’s Breeches are starting to bloom. A non-Red-tailed Hawk raptor flew over. And, I think I saw a male Goldenrod Crab Spider in a Calla Lily?

Made my way up to the owl nursery to check there first. And, there was Junior. Super high up. Sleeping. It woke a little as I approached, but it soon returned to slumber. Ma Owl was just behind and a little lower. What a treat to watch them and not get neck cramps!

Someone with a dog on a leash walked by and told me two Coyotes had approached them a bit West on the trail. They said, “If you sit there, they’ll come right up to you like they did to me, I bet.” But, I don’t want them to come right up to me! Spent a little more time admiring the GHOs, then I heard HOWLING. I turned around to see one of the Coyotes on the Slime Mold Lab Trail, just HOWLING AWAY. A woman and young man walked right near me then and stopped. I told them the Coyote was up ahead.

The woman took some photos with her nice camera and zoom lens. I then asked if she’d seen the owls, thinking maybe she’d be interested. And, she was! She told me that owls are her son’s favorite. And, she took photos, and the two of them enjoyed seeing the owls. So, that was nice to share.

The Coyote that howled moved on Westward. And, the two folks moved on, too. I went back to the owls for a bit before heading home. Another couple came by, looking up in the nursery and asked me if the owls were there. I pointed them to the GHOs. And, we chatted about them for a while. They had seen them last year here. And, I ended up telling them all kinds of things, as I often do when folks are interested. GGPark should really hire me as a docent.

I then looked up at Junior, who was awake. She looked down at her left foot, lifted it, grabbed a small white feather from it, and started eating it! I said, “Don’t eat that! What are you doin??” And, it stopped, with the feather still in its mouth. And, it kept it there. And, then it fell back asleep. With the feather in its mouth. Cuckoo!

So, I definitely got my fill of owls, PLUS some Coyote encounters where I got some good photos to reference for The Book. Productive little bit of Naturing, folks!

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