The Presidio (6/22/2022)

Today I had about twentyish minutes of Naturing before my internship day!

I’m honestly not sure who I am right now. I am regularly arriving early enough to squeeze in a small dose of Naturing time before my internship day gets started. I mean, I am the AFTERNOON Naturalist. And, I must admit, it’s SO FLIPPIN’ NICE to start my day outside and Naturing. I’ll enjoy this odd version of myself while it lasts!

The first half of my internship day was at Crissy Field today (where I picked up trash and got to do my first seed collection – Coastal Bush Lupine and Common Yarrow, on the shellmound that I didn’t even know was there!). So, I strolled Crissy Lagoon right before. Nothing unusual, but that was a-ok by me! Chamisso Bush Lupine greeted me first, and that’s never a bad thing.

Tiny fish were jumping out of the lagoon, making silvery shiny glints on the water. Snowy Egrets and Great Blue Herons and American White Pelicans and some gulls were out on and in the lagoon. I even saw TWO Great Blue Herons wading together. Which I’ve maybe never seen before??

So fun to see coastal flora in bloom! Beach Knotweed and Beach Suncup and Silver Beachweed were on the beach. And, flowering Toyon and newtome (maybe?) Velvety Goldenrod lined the coastal scrub.

The Pelicans were especially nice to see. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them. And, two Caspian Terns showed up to take baths nearby. So cute!

I started to make my way back toward our meeting point for the morning, and I noticed one of the Snowy Egrets in Ultra Hunt Mode. Then it allofasudden snatched a large crab out of the lagoon! I totally lucked out getting a shot of it. Swallowed it whole, like it does.

When I got to the bridge, I took a look below just in case there was anything there. And, there WAS. A handful of newtome Striped Shore Crabs were out on the rocks! Guess that’s what the Snowy Egret just gulped down? One was even eating a seaweed-looking thing??

My Naturing time was up, but there was one last bit I unexpectedly got while on our break. I happened to spot a small blue fairy butterfly that landed on some Seaside Buckwheat. I slowly made my way over and got CLOSE and got TONS OF PHOTOS, AND I even got a special surprise.

Ok, I’ve seen the Acmon Blue butterfly a number of times now. HOWEVER, aside from seeing it flying (where it looks like a small fairy blue light) and landed with its wings together, I’ve never seen it still with its wings open. NEVER. And, today that all changed.

While taking photos of it in its usual wings-together stance (and admiring the genius camouflage of it in that pose on Seaside Buckwheat right then!), it allofasudden opened its wings a little. And, I think I gasped from the incredible beauty of that ethereal blue on its back wings. What a treat. Never thought I’d see it!!

That I’m managing to find any Naturing time before / during my internship days is so awesome. Helps to spend so much time outside while I’m interning. And, in an incredible place. Feeling so appreciative these days, I can’t even tell you.

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