The Presidio (10/12/2022)

Today I managed to squeeze in a bit of Naturing.

GAWD, does it feel like it’s been FOREVER. It really does. Been taking care of some things that had been neglected for some time. Had friends over a couple times. Did a show. All important things. And now I feel so dang rusty. I plan to change that ASAP.

After enjoying the new skulls display and new taxidermied Red-shouldered Hawk in the Field Station at Tunnel Tops during my volunteer shift, I had about an hour between my shift ending and needing to get home. So, I maximized my outdoor time and visited the very nearby Crissy Lagoon and Quartermaster Reach Marsh.

As they did for so much of my intern time there, Brown Pelicans continue to rule the lagoon. No American White Pelicans. No Caspian Terns. Brown Pelicans and an assortment of Gulls and a handful of Snowy Egrets. Oh, and a couple Double-crested Cormorants.

Not only were the Pelicans doing that wingflappything on the lagoon surface, but a Cormorant also did that! Don’t think I’ve ever seen that before… Can’t help but laugh when they do it. Like they’re a petulant child having NONE OF IT.

I didn’t do my usual clockwise loop around the lagoon for some reason. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to fit in QRM. Other things noted at the lagoon were MANY a Trash Spider, Lupine still going to seed, Deerweed and Coast Paintbrush, and one very deceased Common Raccoon. It was lying next to the small wood ramp boardwalk on the Southeast side of the lagoon.

Turned out not a whole lot was happening at QRM, but Killdeer and Sandpipers were across the way. Too far and too dark for any decent photos to ID the Sandpipers. But some Beach Suncup cheered me up as I was making my way out.

On the approach to my car, I saw some Common Ravens divebombing a raptor high up on top of a tree. A Red-tailed Hawk was easily ignoring it all, and the divebombing almost immediately came to an end.

Had a bit of time left, so I stopped over at Barnard Avenue. Now, I know the Great Horned Owlets have left the Barnard Nursery. But I’ve seen an iNat observation here and there that some are nearby… Did I see any? Nope.

HOWEVER, I spotted what I think is Western Hardwood Sulphur Shelf inbetween the Ecology Trail and Barnard Avenue. This thing was HUGE. Perhaps bigger than the GINORMOUS pumpkin we currently have on our coffee table. And what’s truly bizarre is that this thing was simply growing out of the ground. On a pile of leaves. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen WHSS not growing on wood somehow. Now I gotta read up more on that wacky Shelf business!

On my walk back, I saw a Red-shouldered Hawk swoop down from the eucs and into a tall perch overlooking that flat open space that is essentially a dog play area. And soon after, another raptor flew in to tease it or something. And then there were TWO Red-tailed Hawks playing or chasing a DIFFERENT Red-shouldered Hawk. Something was about to GO DOWN.

It made me wonder if these were juveniles? The Red-shouldered Hawk started crying after I started walking away. What’s the story with the parents vs. the children? Is it like owls? Do the parents chase out the children when it’s time? Gotta look that up.

Today felt like a taste of Naturing. Sounds like a movie title. The Taste of Naturing. Not a good one. I don’t know where I’m going with this. Anyhoo, looking forward to getting back to my old self and Naturing a helluva lot more in days to come.

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