The Presidio and Golden Gate Park (7/18/2022)

Today I did another Presidio + GGPark combo. Maybe I should call these days PGGP?

Earlier in the day I met with the Presidio Trust Site Manager of the Quartermaster Reach Marsh (among other sites) to chat about the place for my upcoming intern project. I knew him from past volunteer gigs at QRM, so it was nice to see him outside of that and get some intel on the place. While there, before and after, I squeezed in some Naturing, like I do.

Caught just enough decent photos of a small yellow butterfly enjoying the Oregon Gumplant flowers, Orange Sulphur! Fairly certain I’ve never seen one in SF before, wow!

After the chat, I walked over to Tunnel Tops for my third and final orientation for my volunteer gig there. On the way, I admired some lovely Beach Suncup flowers and a Great Blue Heron having a quiet moment in the shade of a HUGE Oregon Gumplant on the West side of QRM. Aw.

Approaching Tunnel Tops from the East, I spotted some plants I hadn’t seen there before. Newtome Pink Alumroot and one of my faves, Seep Monkeyflower. The native plants at TT may be small, but they are starting to flower already!

After my orientation, I wanted to check in on the GGPark owl nursery. I figured it’d be helpful to see it the next day for any changes. And, NOPE. One GHO sitting in the owl nursery. Just like yesterday. Facing away from me. As if it were contemplating the Big Questions of Life in a tucked away place where it wouldn’t be disturbed. Again, couldn’t tell if it was Junior or Ma Owl.

No sign of Pa Owl at the fake nest tree. So I headed to the Lily Pond just to visit since it’s been a while. Steller’s Jays and California Scrub-Jays and a woodpecker I couldn’t quite ID and Pygmy Nuthatches and Song Sparrows and American Robins were all present. Montbretia was showing its gorgeous colors in the Tree Fern Dell. Bear’s Breeches are still blooming there, too. Pretty quiet, otherwise.

Over at the pond, the Great Blue Heron of the Lily Pond was there! Along with some female Mallards. And a Black Phoebe. The pond was covered in algae. But Rose Spirea brightened up the place. And Bushtits were chattering in a Red-flowering Currant bush, seemingly disappointed at the lack of berries.

After noting the blooming Santa Cruz Island Wild Buckwheat at the South entrance, I decided to walk the back way to get return to the owl nursery, which I haven’t done in forever as I was previously concerned I might be disturbing the Coyotes. But their den seems to be along the Slime Mold Lab Trail, per the posted A-Frame signs and my encounters with them there lately. So I took a chance. No encounters, HOWEVER.

I did notice something new over there. A LARGE HOLE. For a notsosmall creature! That’s new! It was about a foot and a half tall and had a pile of sand in front of it for its front walkway. WHO LIVES IN THERE?? If the Coyote den is further West, who is in here?? Google Photos wasn’t much help. Anyone have an idea??

Back at the owl nursery, the GHO had moved to the favored euc. I’m leaning toward it being Ma Owl. And, if that’s the case, why is she over there? Might she be there to keep Junior out?? Still theorizing… Owl pics below for the owl fans. Are the owl fans tiring of them?

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