The Presidio (1/8/2023)

Today I did not go to GGPark! Brian accompanied me today for a visit to The Presidio. I’m ohsocurious about water places with all the rain, and I thought it’d be nice to see if Dragonfly Creek had any water in it currently.

It did! But, FIRST. We strolled along the lovely stone walkways near the West end of it. This time, we ventured on the opposite end of the tennis court, and I was immediately greeted by a small group of orange fungi. Quite large for Scurfy Twiglets and not large enough a cluster for Honey Mushrooms? I’m sure my guess of Candy Cap will be corrected…

And just past that, we found an abandoned tennis club house building that should really get some love. Though, it appeared that a Hermit Thrush lived just outside it. And perhaps it prefers the club house to itself.

While walking along newtous stone walkways there, we started seeing Banana Slugs. Adults and babies. And one slowly slugging down a short staircase. And, perhaps even two in flagrante delicto?? It was easily our mascot for the afternoon, as we ended up counting a total of TWENTY-EIGHT of them!

Scurfy Twiglets were also in abundance in many spots alongside Dragonfly Creek.

A Ruby-crowned Kinglet showed itself to me for a hot second, right as I was noticing a young Banana Slug that was super still and upside-down on the trail. I used a leaf to get him right-side-up, but he barely moved after that. So Brian moved him to a safer spot, as is his job to do so.

Yes, there was indeed water in Dragonfly Creek! I’ve only ever seen it a couple times before, and never with water in it. There was even a pond of sorts closest to the tennis courts. And catkin buds were starting to show on the Willows there.

We stopped to admire an old open-air waterway (made of stones and concrete?) that emptied into a large pipe and then went underground. They sure don’t make ’em like that anymore.

Past an intriguing group of Chip Cherries (of all sorts of ages), we headed to the Crissy Overlook where Brian enjoyed the views. Not much blooming along the way, but a number of Seaside Daisies brightened spots here and there.

We visited the horse enclosure (South of the Cavalry Stables), where four horses were. Two of them let us pet them even though we had no food to offer. It’s always amazing to be face-to-face with such a huge and beautiful head like they have.

White-crowned Sparrows and California Towhees were on the ground near there. And a couple Townsend’s Warblers caught our eyes. One was enjoying itself in a California Goldenbush when it noticed me photographing it. And perhaps disapproved??

Very close-by, I spotted a large and faintly colored fungi. I thought maybe it was an old and dried out Chip Cherries, but it appears to be a newtome fungi! Blushing Bride Amanita. Knowing that now, I feel bad for having plucked it since it was all alone. Hopefully there are others that will soon make their way above ground.

We headed back, and I spotted a Warbling Vireo eversobriefly in the trees along Dragonfly Creek. Dang, are they shy!

A couple more Banana Slugs and that same Hermit Thrush were seen on our way out.

We had time for one quick stop, so I showed Brian where the Sierran Tree Frogs are behind House of Air. To my shock, all the reeds and Silverweed were GONE. The small stream now looks like a pond, but what happened to all that vegetation? Will need to ask my Wildlife Ecologist contact about that!

I looked and looked but didn’t see any frogs. Just a White-crowned Sparrow and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. But more mature catkins were on a Willow that I got to show Brian as we started heading out. And then, A RIBBIT! We were never able to find the Frog, but we ended up hearing two. And I got a good recording to upload to iNat. Didn’t think we’d see them, but such a treat to at least hear them!

Even though it was a Sunday and a break from the rain, we managed to avoid crowds for a nice afternoon in The Presidio to see a spot we previously knew but in a very different light. And now I know WHERE ALL THE BANANA SLUGS ARE. Good day.

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