Muir Woods (8/3/2022)

Today I finally got to visit Muir Woods as part of my internship!

I’d been hoping to visit while an intern and get some insight into the programming there. And today I supported a short program with my favorite Park Ranger, Jackson. I got to walk into the offices and in “Authorized Personnel only” places! And, when I could, I fit in some Naturing time. You know me!

Spotted what looked like a Stubble Rosegill amongst the Redwood Sorrel, but Alan on iNat quickly stated, “NOT SO FAST.” OK, ALAN! I truly wanted to pluck it out to see underneath, but it was off trail!

I then got to watch Jackson in action, and he even let me take his photo with your typical lovely Muir Woodsy background behind him.

On the way back from the program, I spotted a medium-sized orange butterfly and got lucky that it landed! A newtome butterfly, the Satyr Comma! My second Comma butterfly sighting, woo!

I had a little time to explore, so I DID. And I found a gorgeous Nordmann’s Orbweaver (?), just perfectly situated for me to take photos and admire it.

Close-by, some unusually beautiful fungi were on the edge of a log. Complex Pleurotus ostreatus, says Alan on iNat! They deserve a really cool name given their unique beauty…

After getting a Muir Woods pin (with my sweet intern discount!), I headed up to Jackson’s Ranger house for a 4pmish hangout with drinks and snacks on his patio. This quaint and charming red cabin he and others live in is quite adorable. The patio, overlooking the Muir Woods park below is also very lovely. We sat outside on it, enjoying cold drinks, snacks, chatting, watching a fellow intern give his talk that he’d be doing for the public tomorrow, and GET THIS. CHERRY PIE WITH ICE CREAM.

Jackson offered it to all of us (myself, two Muir Woods interns, a volunteer, and Jackson’s SO), and ONLY I WAS INTERESTED, FOLKS. It was bewildering. I am still BEWILDERED. He then handed it to me, and I couldn’t help but document the moment. A Park Ranger handing me cherry pie with ice cream on his patio overlooking Muir Woods. Now, THAT’s an intern perk if I ever knew one!!

While on the patio, a California Sister butterfly fluttered about. And a Merriam’s (?) Chipmunk popped out of a hole in the deck with a nut larger than its head before darting back down.

After saying my goodbyes, I made one stop on the way back to Fort Mason. I’d been told a Spotted Owl was near and was shown on the map where. I went, but I didn’t spot it. Just some Wild Turkeys and a Wild Turkey feather of enormous size on the trail. So, no owl sighting. But, a fantastic time out in Muir Woods, intern-style.

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