Golden Gate Park (5/31/2022)

First off, I was told by Brian that the email that went out with my blog post yesterday didn’t contain any text. Sorry bout that! I swear I don’t recall messing that up, but if that happened to you, as well, then that sucks. But, I don’t think you missed much that the photos didn’t convey, so it’s all good?

Today I walked around Stow Lake. I haven’t done a complete loop in some time. And, I was reminded how much I enjoy doing it. Even on a day like today, when it was almost entirely empty except for A TON of Canada Geese. Guess most of the goslings are full size now! Saw a couple awkward teenagers, but I think most others are about adult size. SO FAST.

But, back to the beginning. Himalayan Jewel Orchid has taken over. I’m still not tired of seeing it. I always seen a face in them. And, I love those spots on the tongue! Just like Seep Monkeyflower.

All the turtles were still floating in Turtle Cove, with just Canada Geese about. Gorgeous Douglas Irises were also in newtome places along the lake. Is it possible they weren’t blooming in the past two years?? And, that alienfromAlien-looking Balm of Gilead is in bloom. If you tell me that Giger guy didn’t get inspired from this exact flower, I will not believe you.

Got to the South side of the Great Blue Heron rookery (where a juvenile GBH was perched above the water, debating…), and I spotted an unusual-looking duck. Huh! SO PRETTY, like someone drew it out of their imagination. IDed it once I got home. Northern Pintail! Never seen it in GGPark or SF before. Apparently, I have it noted as having seen it at Don Edwards, but this was absolutely my best looks at it. Just LOVELY. It soon hid under tree branches near the rookery, so I continued on and hoped it’d still be around when I came back around the other side.

Hardly any birds on the Southwest side. And, THAT IS ODD when they weren’t on the East side either! A gull. Couple Mallards. That intriguing threesome of one male Mallard and two Domestic Mallards. They must be the cool kids.

Walked past the pretty bridge, and I heard cheeps coming from across the lake. From that bird box I’ve never seen used before. Tree Swallows! Three babies in there with their faces crammed into the hole to see out. A parent came by pretty frequently, and each time they’d all open their mouths wide with hope! Never seen that before, wow!

More Canada Geese were grazing on the West side. And, as I approached the Northwest corner, I saw a large bird box on the island there that I don’t remember being there previously. HM! It even has a deck in front of the open door hole. Watched for a little bit and saw and heard nothing. Will have to always look over there now, JUST IN CASE.

Common Hawthorn berries were out past the boathouse. I admired them and thought how tasty they looked when a Steller’s Jay flew into it and started feasting on them!

Arrived at the ugly bridge, and I went straight up to see about the Great Horned Owl family up there. No sign of any of them in the nest tree. Maybe they’re in a different tree already? Looked but didn’t see anything. Absolutely need to come back near sunset if I’m going to find them again.

But at the reservoir level, blooming Mexican Mock Orange made me happy. The new plantings up there are thriving. Saw some Seaside Daisies and Yellow Bush Lupine and Hooker’s Evening Primrose all enjoying the end of Spring. And, I don’t remember seeing them there before, but Oriental Poppies (I think? With some AudreyIIfromLittleShopofHorrors buds here and there!) are showing off near the picnic bench.

On my way back, I found that Northern Pintail again near the rookery and got some decent photos! Dang, that duck is handsome. The awkward GBH teens appear to be so close to leaving their nests. And then, it’ll be Summer. Feels like Spring has flown by.

Grateful to get out today after my first orientation day for my GGNPC internship. My Naturing outings during the week/end can no longer be Thursday – Saturday until early August! So, I’ll be cherishing my Naturing time even more than usual this Summer. And, maybe you’ll see less posts from me during that time? We shall see!

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