Golden Gate Park (5/25/2023)

Today I did a wee bit of Naturing before and after my volunteer shift at the CAS. As is my Usual Thursday now!

On my way to the CAS, I found what I’m pretty sure is a Geranium I’ve never seen before. Just one plant with one bloom and one on the way. In the middle of TONS of weeds at the edge of the ballfield. My best guess is an African Geranium. SO RANDOM.

Tree-Anemone is allofasudden blooming in the Monarch Bear Grove. It seemed perfectly happy to occupy the space between the still-blooming Midland Hawthorn and the trail. The little native garden there is doing quite nicely, with the Black Sage still attracting MANY pollinators. And one of those Umber Skippers was still there! The Sulphur Cinquefoil there seem to be dwarfed by the much taller Black Sage, but they’re hanging in there. Tammy, I think THIS is the Cinquefoil on that button of mine!

Got to the CAS Botanical Garden, and those Red-cage Fungus eggs are still there. Waiting TO BURST. Stopped to smell the lovely Common Cowparsnip blooming near the Business Entrance, and it’s so nice! I can’t believe I never smelled it before!! Oh, and I saw a Red-tailed Hawk sitting atop the nest over there. Does that mean babies are in the nest now?

During my shift, Great Horned Owls came up. Specifically, the new owlet. And I let it be known that I knew where it was. And so after my shift was over, two folks from the CAS came with me to see Junior! Unfortunately, it was hard to see Junior. Just a bit of it was showing in the nest. Looked like it was sleeping. HOWEVER, both Ma Owl and Pa Owl were out. Sitting near each other on Ma Owl’s favorite euc to watch over Junior.

Both had to deal with a bit of harrassment from Steller’s Jays for a bit. But after Pa Owl started hooting (at a super early THREE PLUS HOURS before sunset??), the Jays eventually scattered. And Ma Owl preened. For A WHILE.

While waiting it out to see if Junior would move, I happened to notice a newtome SLUG right near where I was standing! A Leopard Slug! OMG, so adorable and curled up. Sleeping? Playing dead? I was so happy to learn that I hadn’t stepped on it and moved it to a safer location. Can’t believe we have another large slug in GGPark!

I was starting to worry about Junior. Not having moved at all since I’d been there. But then, IT MOVED. A touch. And I was relieved and able to head out. Owl photos below for the owl fans.

I walked through the Lily Pond on my way out. And all was quiet there, AGAIN. Absolutely no ducks. Not even the usual Black Phoebe. Just a couple occasional Swallows. So weird. Is everyone busy nesting?? I DID hear then see an Allen’s Hummingbird, though! It was calmly calling in the Sugi tree above me.

Noticed the Bulrush was blooming, and Seek says it’s Panicled Bulrush! Don’t think I’ve ever seen it blooming before? Or maybe I’m always too busy looking for birds when I’m over there? Nice to finally know what it is and that it’s native!

While leaving the Lily Pond via the South entrance, I noticed Tidytips blooming! Just one small plant. Just one small flower. Where all the newish Buckwheat is. Totally surprising and delightful to see it there!

Walked alongside the AIDS Memorial Grove on my way to the Monarch Bear Grove, and I happened to spot an unexpected mushroom in the area where I’ve seen countless Agaricus mushrooms and Common Bird’s Nest Fungus before. The Prince! It was HUGE. I’ve only seen it once or twice before and NEVER this HUGE. So neat to see it in such a mature state. And what a treat to stil find random fungi right now!

Plus, there were even a couple of Douglas Irises nearby. NEVER seen them there before. So many surprises today! Is it because of all the rain?

Such a diversity of things I saw today. In such a short time. Love my backyard. Lovelovelove it.

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