Golden Gate Park (6/19/2022)

Today I got to go Naturing with Brian! I had just this one day left before the official start of Summer on Tuesday to fill in gaps I had for The Book. So, we visited North Lake, Mallard Lake, The Oasis, and Elk Glen Lake.

First of all, I admit that these two primary photos aren’t very complementary. Both are creatures. Both are even looking in the same direction. I APOLOGIZE. I don’t care for it either. But, I don’t see these two creatures that often AND get decent photos of them. So, that’s why they get to be front and center this time.

It’s late, so this will be RELATIVELY brief, for me.

North Lake had some unexpected surprises, like bunches of Blue-eyed Darner dragonflies and a couple Wilson’s Warblers and Black Locust flowers and two juvenile Black-crowned Night-Herons and gorgeous Butterfly Bush and Seep Monkeyflower. Oh, and a crycrycrying Red-shouldered Hawk.

We stopped by to see if we could spot any of the Great Horned Owlets, but nope. They don’t appear to be in the nest tree anymore! As I suspected would be the case. But! After Brian admired the Bison for a bit, a Botta’s Pocket Gopher popped out right as he was like a couple feet from it! He just stayed there, seemingly looking up at Brian. Who was still and quiet. I think a moment was happening. I think the Gopher was taken by Brian. And couldn’t help it!

Over at Mallard Lake, it was a bit quiet. But, lovely Deutzia pulchra was in bloom. Even California Buckeye were still out. And, more Wilson’s Warblers were there.

At The Oasis, things are so lively! TONS of Himalayan Balsam all over, in a variety of colors. We even got to watch a Yellow-faced Bumble Bee walk right into one and back out, just like Angus the Corgi does! Also, a Red Admiral (first time seeing one there) was enjoying the blackberry flowers.

And, at Elk Glen Lake, we got to watch what looked like one or maybe two adult Red-winged Blackbirds corral juveniles on the beach. I think I’ve never seen them on the beach before? Oh, and Broad-leaved Sweet Pea helped brighten up the place. Walking through the Elk Glen Lake garden, we saw a super fuzzy juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk crying up on a euc branch. If there was a mascot for the day, it’d be a juvenile RSH, no question.

At the very end, we made one last and quick stop to the Barn Owl box at the ballfield. The sun was still in our eyes around 7:30pmish! And, we didn’t see anything FOR CERTAIN.

HOWEVER. It did look like some whiteish shape was in the shadows. I took a handful of photos JUST IN CASE. Got home, and brightened them up a bit. And, I’m CERTAIN there’s a Barn Owl in there still. They have long white noses. Or, long white hair above their beaks. And, over the course of my handful of photos, that long white shape MOVES POSITIONS. I gotta figure out when is the best time to catch them coming out to hunt and plant myself at that box!

All in all, a very productive day of research for The Book, a handful of unexpected sightings, and a whole afternoon out Naturing with my partner in crime. Not too shabby.

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