Golden Gate Park (5/18/2023)

Today I was able to spend some time in my backyard before and after volunteering at the CAS.

I have missed it so. It has been incredible to indulge in all my wildflower chasing day trips lately. And to immerse myself in the Sierras this past week. But I have truly missed my backyard.

Though, things are a bit out of control there right now. I cannot believe just how many weeds there are AND how flippin’ TALL they all are. While I did see evidence of some cutting back, it was seemingly everywhere I looked. Bring on THE GOATS!

As is becoming my custom, I did my usual walk-thru of the CAS Botanical Garden before my shift started. And I FINALLY remembered to ask the folks in the Botany department if the garden had a name. To their knowledge, it doesn’t! So I’ll continue to call it what I call it.

And I found some nice surprises! Like MORE RED-CAGE FUNGUS!! Last I was there, there were many under the Twinberry Honeysuckle (which is already showing fruit). And many eggs. But I honestly didn’t think there’d still be so many. And MORE EGGS. After two weeks! Delightful surprise. Especially love seeing the baby emerge from the egg!!

Other surprises include a good number of flowers I haven’t seen yet blooming there this year. Like Purple Sage, Seep Monkeyflower (which, have I ever seen there??), California Sweetshrub, Pacific Ninebark, Hooker’s Evening Primrose, Yellow Bush Lupine, and California Buckeye. Also saw continuing blooms of California Bee Plant, Fringe Cups, one determined Douglas Iris, and California Flannelbush (whose eternal fall colors I always enjoy seeing).

Even spotted a Red-cage Fungus in a new place, near the West end!

Oh, and a couple of Annual Toadflax. A handful. Near the West end. That didn’t look like a sincere planting. Had they travelled from Anne’s Garden??

After my volunteer shift, I ventured out to find the Great Horned Owls of the East. I had intel from iNat that an owlet had been spotted. Just one. Third only child in a year for my favorite pair.

My intel pointed to Eucalyptus trees. And I knew where they were often hanging out in such trees over the Winter, so I went straight there. And that’s where I found them. Well, after I did some initial scanning, I stopped to turn around. As I had some feeling like I might see them if I did. AND I DID.

There was the new fuzzball. Junior ’23. In the crook of a euc. With Ma Owl supercloseby. SO EXCITING!!!

And it’s like half the size of the owlets I saw over in Twin Peaks a bit ago. Late bloomer?

Junior noticed me first. Watched it stretch out its fuzzy and awkward wings. Doesn’t look like it’s got much room in that crook! Then Ma Owl saw me. And the two of them looking at me. It’s a special feeling, I tell ya. I always wonder if Ma or Pa Owl recognize me at all. But Junior really stared at me. I kept sending it my thoughts, “I mean you no harm. I mean you no harm.” Hope it received that. More owl photos below for the owl fans.

Ma Owl then flew off to a nearby tree and started to preen. ALWAYS immediately snapping her head back to keep an eye on Junior between each and every preening move. No sign of Pa Owl. But I cannot express what a joy it was to find them and to see them. After wondering all this time where they were.

Best Welcome Home gift. EVER.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: