Category Archives: Spring 2015

Presidio Trails with Michael – 8 June 2015

The Spanish established many presidios around the world in their quest for empire. The Presidio of San Francisco, one of these, came to life on the sand dunes of the San Francisco Bay. Started along with this military presence was Mission Dolores founded by Father Francisco Palou, a companion of Father Junipero Serra, and Lt. Jose Joaquin Moraga both members of the de Anza Expedition. The Presidio was put in place to protect the entrance to Yerba Buena (San Francisco Bay) and the Mission was “charged with bringing Spanish settlers to Alta (Upper) California and evangelizing the local natives, the Ohlone.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidio http://www.presidio.gov/about/Pages/history.aspx https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_San_Francisco_de_Asís

http://www.californiamissionstudies.com/Research/Articles/The_Presidios.html

We came across some special murals in a chapel next to the National Cemetery which reminded us of the ones we’d seen at Coit Tower. Rod checks out one of the art works celebrating the original Ohlone and Costanoan people who lived here at least as early as A.D. 740 along with the arriving Spanish military and a missionary padre of the 1770s.

Were are walking by some of the oldest wood-frame buildings on the Presidio refurbished and some, like this one, ready for occupancy. The Presidio is a unique National Park not to be ultimately supported by any tax dollars but rather must according to the Congressional mandate become a self-supporting enterprise. Directed by the Presidio Trust “In 2013, it reached a crucial milestone by becoming financially self-sufficient.”

http://www.presidio.gov/about/Pages/mission-history.aspx http://www.presidio.gov/lease/Commercial/Pages/16-Funston-Avenue-Suite-B.aspx

http://sf.curbed.com/archives/2012/07/18/so_you_want_to_live_in_the_presidio.php

Restoration of an “ancient stream ecosystem” at “YMCA Reach of the Presidio’s Tennessee Hollow watershed” with ”planting of native San Francisco grassland, bushes and riparian habitat.” http://www.sfchronicle.com/science/article/Restoring-Presidio-watershed-hits-final-phase-6068685.php#photo-7494957

Michael plucks a poison hemlock stalk – an exotic, member of the carrot family growing in profusion in our hiking areas. It was brought to the United States as a garden plant sometime in the 1800s and has spread throughout the western hemisphere and beyond. http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=10652 http://www.cal-ipc.org/ip/management/ipcw/pages/detailreport.cfm@usernumber=32&surveynumber=182.php
Most famous, perhaps, for ending Socrates life it poses a major danger to many foraging animals as well as humans. Michael mentioned that he’d read a fascinating book on Socrates and pointed out that Socrates had chosen to take the hemlock rather than go into exile, a fate worse than death?

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/oct/17/socrates-philosopher-man-for-our-times

Michael walks the line, that is Andy Goldsworthy’s “Wood Line” with maybe just a dash of Johnny Cash. Andy Goldsworthy has a special and continuing relationship with the Presidio returning year after year to create other unique sculptures. http://www.for-site.org/project/goldsworthy-in-the-presidio-wood-line/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_opAMkK95gE

El Polin Spring area has been the focus of much rehabilitation work by many volunteers. http://www.presidio.gov/explore/Pages/el-polin-spring.aspx

https://baynature.org/articles/whispers-in-the-water/ This is a well researched article from BAY NATURE in 2007, much work has been done on the area since.

Larry mentioned that this was where a remarkable feminist pioneer San Franciscan, Juana Briones, lived and worked. The section later on in this piece entitled, “A Woman Ahead of Her Time” tells her amazing story.

A number of summer camps were going on as we passed by on these trails, here pre-schoolers are enjoying some nature-made play equipment. Note the sand of the original dunes still underpinning the area.

Michael ponders a question – “And, as in uffish thought he stood, The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, came whiffling through the tulgey wood, and burbled as it came!” http://www.jabberwocky.com/carroll/jabber/jabberwocky.html

Nancy checks out some narrow leaf plantain. While Michael talked about this ubiquitous plant, he showed us how to make the tops into missiles for a small aerial bombardments. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago_lanceolata This just for your back pocket since I haven’t tried it and can’t vouch for it: http://www.susunweed.com/herbal_ezine/July05/healingwise.htm

Rare Presidio Clarkia (Clarkia franciscana) as the following description relates, “found on serpentine bluffs and serpentine grasslands in open sunlit areas” – exactly where Michael spotted these. He mentioned that they are popularly called “Farewell to Spring” or for those more sanguine “Summer’s Darling”.
http://www.nps.gov/prsf/learn/nature/presidio-clarkia.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarkia_franciscana

We’re approaching another of Andy Goldsworthy’s sculptures, this one is SPIRE. http://www.for-site.org/project/goldsworthy-in-the-presidio-spire/
The video of the construction process is a lot more involved than I had thought – fascinating.

Taking a break on the logs not needed

Michael mentioned that the identification of the Alcatraz (Island of the Pelicans) had not always been attached to this island in the Bay. Juan Manuel de Ayala named one of three islands “La Isla de lose Alcatraces”. Armando mentioned on an earlier hike that originally it had been Yerba Buena Island further in the Bay. Perhaps mapmakers made the move but now and probably forever, THE ROCK in the middle of San Francisco will always be Alcatraz.

http://www.bop.gov/about/history/alcatraz.jsp

Hoping this is the MARTHA which will be taking part in the famous Transpacific Race from Long Beach to Hawaii – built just 108 years ago on San Francisco Bay.
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Sailing-schooner-Martha-to-compete-in-6324558.php

Spires

Lunch amid the Eucalyptus, a quiet spot overlooking the San Francisco National Cemetery.

Fog begins to tongue into the Gate. http://www.nps.gov/prsf/learn/historyculture/san-francisco-national-cemetery.htm

As the fog rolls in, the fog horns on the Golden Gate Bridge add their music to the scene. http://goldengatebridge.org/research/factsGGBFogHorn.php

https://jazzcubednature.bandcamp.com/track/foghorns-of-the-golden-gate I included these links in an earlier hike-log but they continue to be part of our soundscape and added some especially timely “music” to our view on Monday.

The back of the soldier’s gravestones honors their wives.

Archibald MacLeish poem, “The Young Dead Soldiers” inscribed on the stones of a memorial walk. It is also used in the new memorial sculpture downtown in the garden between the Opera House and the Veteran’s Building. “After WW 2, MacLeish became the first American member of the governing body of UNESCO, and chaired the first UNESCO conference in Paris.” http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/archibald-macleish http://sfwmpac.org/veterans-memorial

http://webtv.un.org/news-features/audiovisual-library-of-international-law-avl/watch/charter-of-the-united-nations-san-francisco-conference/2581408824001

Incoming shipping with Angel Island as the backdrop to a crowd of witnesses – that it would be Isle of the Angels across the way seems full circle.

Some people enjoy following the “shipping news”: http://www.damicoship.com/en-gb/business-area/tanker/damico-international-shipping

http://www.presidio.gov/explore/Pages/Officers-Club.aspx Here’s a site rich with information and great vintage photos collected at the time of the re-opening last October.

On the wall in Moraga Hall, a “freeze-frame” from the 40s or 50s. I need to check on the uniforms. It forms a succinct contrast to the guys in cowboy hats at the bar during a celebration of Frontier Night – one of the photos in the previous link.

Approaching the Officer’s Club across a lawn that is doing its part during the drought.

http://www.presidio.gov/about/archaeology/Pages/Archaeology.aspx This is a new, commencing dig at the top of the parade ground near the Officer’s Club.

Even though the Officer’s Club is closed on Monday, we’re able to enter a patio area of the new Arguello Restaurant. http://www.presidioofficersclub.com/dining/ And there we find the latest sculpture by our frequent “companion”, Andy Goldsworthy.

Earth Wall was completed in 2014. http://blog.sfgate.com/artsandnot/2014/08/22/sneak-peek-at-new-andy-goldsworthy-in-the-presidio/
Last year on a Presidio hike with Michael we visited Goldsworthy’s “Tree Fall”: http://www.for-site.org/project/goldsworthy-in-the-presidio-tree-fall/

Rolling out the red carpet at one of the many organizations that call the Presidio home, “Futures Without Violence”: http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/ http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/about-us/our-mission/ This includes the Ted Talk by the founder, Esta Soler.
We may be familiar with Lucas Film at the Presidio or The Disney Family Museum but there are many more organizations and businesses that call the Presidio home. http://lucasfilm.com/letterman-digital-arts-center-san-francisco http://www.waltdisney.org/
http://www.presidio.gov/about/Pages/Tenant-Directory.aspx?View={7349EE11-5810-4D96-AA86-AF72F5318E9F}&FilterClear=1

Wrapping up on the veranda of the Inn at the Presidio, Harriet and Kit rock on.

http://www.presidio.gov/lodging/Pages/inn-at-the-presidio.aspxhttp://www.presidio.gov/about/press/Pages/presidio-trust-expands-inn-at-the-presidio.aspx

P.S. Many thanks to Carol and Harriet who worked hard on the logistics of this hike, what a team!

San Bruno Mountain with Michael — 1 June 2015

San Bruno Mountain has a remarkable support group in SAN BRUNO MOUNTAIN WATCH: https://vimeo.com/26404002 With the vision of David Schooley and many others this group developed starting in 1969. It is dedicated to the preservation of this unique and irreplaceable open space. It’s a mountain but also very much an island of natural life going back to the Ohlone Indians and beyond – in the midst of ongoing and surrounding urban development. By attendance at San Mateo County Supervisors’ Meetings, distributing leaflets, bulletins, press releases and more they rallied the people who lived on the mountain’s edges to the cause. With the discovery of the rare and endangered Mission Blue Butterfly on one area of the mountain by Dick Arnold from UC Berkeley and Larry Orzak residential development was halted. But developers found a “compromise” workaround to the Endangered Species Act with the benignly named Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). Schooley writes, “It is not surprising, but a bitter irony that across the valley on the Northeast Ridge, where rare and endangered habitat on the Mountain has been destroyed, streets within the new subdivision carved out of the mountain’s flanks now bear names like, “Mission Blue Drive” and “Silverspot Lane.” Like the road, the fight goes ever on.
http://www.mountainwatch.org/schooleys-history-story/ This is Schooley’s account of the history behind San Bruno Mountain Watch
http://www.mountainwatch.org/ Their active website has a number of enjoyable videos as well as blogs, posts, poetry and art.

Saving San Bruno Mountain might have been a different story. Fortune shone on the mountain in the form of some strange bedfellows. Perhaps if not for the San Francisco Dump in Brisbane and the cemeteries of Colma both at the base of San Bruno Mountain, the “little boxes made of ticky-tacky” might have powered on and covered the mountain. Odd sentinels but sometimes the nemesis can become the gate keeper. Colma has been there since the 1880’s as an accessible final destination with trains of the time stopping at most of the cemeteries. Then in 1914 with land becoming too valuable for the living, eviction notices were sent out to San Francisco cemeteries and many of their occupants found themselves on a second final trip this time to Colma. In response to these evictions, cemetery operators in 1924 founded Colma as a necropolis to protect it from “capricious acts of government”. Dedicated to the memory of those passed on, it remains a solid bastion for its “residents” and a protective barrier for the living on the ocean side of the mountain. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/09/us/09cemetery.html

If you were driving to SFO in the 1960s you may have driven down the Bayshore Freeway and on the way gone through distinctive smells, plumes of smoke and blowing debris across your path. You were passing Brisbane, a town that a company called Sanitary Fill helped to incorporate in 1961. The dump had its origins in 1932 as a “fill-and-cover” dumping ground for San Francisco. But it was not to be a company town and the residents formed Brisbane Citizens for Civic Progress (BCCP) and won an election on the dump when the people of Brisbane voted to stop the influx of garbage immediately. But there was the contract with Sanitary Fill like some kind of noxious necklace still round the town’s neck. Happily Brisbane hired a lawyer, Caspar Weinberger, and won the contest and was able to as Marijke Rijsberman writes in her fascinating blog, “to turn the garbage tide.”
http://www.interfacility.com/personalpages/landfill/brisbane/brisbane.html Who thought that landfill could be so interesting?

http://foundsf.org/index.php?title=San_Bruno_Mountain This site is a treasure trove of San Francisco history.

Parking area interpretive shelter near the trailheads.

Arrival under some foggy skies

Michael talks about his first times here on San Bruno Mountain in the 1970s after his arrival in California and still on his motorcycle.

He shared David Schooley’s remarkable dedication to saving this Mountain, a man so dedicated to preserving nature that he did not own or drive a car.

We took the Summit Loop Trail.

Getting into the chaparral with the Bay below and the East Bay almost imagination

https://flowersofmarin.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/plant-of-the-day-lizard-tail/

http://www.fybush.com/sites/2011/site-110916.html Always amazing to find specialist blogs on exotic subjects.

Gaining some altitude, we begin to feast on the views which were remarkable. Here the San Francisco skyline with the Bay bridge leading to the Yerba Buena Island anchorage. That’s Mt. Tamalpais’ profile on the left horizon where we hiked last Monday.

A bouquet of Indian or Wight’s Paintbrush (Castilleja wightii) which has a long blooming season to be enjoyed through spring and summer. It was moved like some of the San Francisco “residents” not to Colma but to the Figwort family.

https://baynature.org/articles/indian-paintbrush/

More of the San Francisco skyline away from downtown

Native bunch grasses and SF skyline. The ID was?

Getting swallowed in the landscape

Higher vantage point showing more of the surrounding developments, ships perhaps waiting on the tide.

We passed a number of mounds of the Mound Harvester Ant with great activity going on in each. In looking for more information, there were a lot of references to pest removal (Orkin etc.) but not too much about the ants’ natural history. http://ipm.ncsu.edu/AG268/html/harvester_ants.htm

http://www.myrmecos.net/north-american-ants/

Moving smartly beyond the ant mound, Michael finds a lunch spot with a view.

Looking down on Colma

Serpentine of another sort as we look toward (towards in Britain) the Pacific, shopping available.

http://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/which-should-you-use-toward-or-towards

And with Lake Merced in the next quadrant looking almost like an indentation of the Pacific Ocean.

http://science.kqed.org/quest/2013/01/24/geological-outings-around-the-bay-san-bruno-mountain/ There is a cool map in this link showing San Francisco as an island 125,000 years ago separated from the Peninsula by the Colma Strait.

At least Armand is paying attention. We noted some maintenance going on in one of the towers as well.

http://fieldservice.com/2012/11/29/field-service-at-1700-feet-radio-tower-repair/ The narrator seems unusually calm. These workers aren’t quite at the 1768 foot level, today anyway.

Look up, look down, look all around. A lovely stand of Dudleyas. We found some Dudleya cymosa on our Deer Park hike and D. farinosa on the Ring Mt. expedition.
http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/2318#b

Harriet wore her Baltimore Ravens Cap and it was an amazing draw. At lunch we were treated to a large flock of soaring ravens in what seemed to be a spring meet-up doing some lyrical acrobatics, maybe teenagers on the dating scene. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/common_raven/lifehistory

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/top10-amazing-facts-about-ravens.html

Red Elderberry was along the trail, think “Red Pyramids”. We saw the Blue Ederberries on our Mt. Diablo, Mitchell Canyon hike.

http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/detail.asp?recNum=TS0426

The Mt. Sutro Tower constructed in 1973 helped eliminate the line-of-sight television signal problems in an area with many hills and many of the TV towers used on Mt. San Bruno. https://sutrotower.org/#history

On the downhill loop

We’ve worked back around to the City skyline.

The popcorn flower, Western Pearly Everlasting, Anaphalis margaritacea. http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/anaphalis_margaritacea.shtml

The return continues across a small bridge. It would work even better if there was a stream flowing beneath.

Also crossing the bridge – it’s the little things, where are you going and with what wings will you fly?

San Bruno Mountain with fog moving in.

P.S. Larry spotted some Salvia spathacea, hummingbird sage, which I missed along the way. But it is not to be missed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_spathacea http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/617–salvia-spathacea

Rock Springs with Michael – 25 May 2015

Last week we got to see Mt. Tamalpais from Ring Mountain and this week it was the other way round. As we drove up Mount Tam Monday morning, the fog played tag with us. Ah, we’re out of it and into the sunshine. Whoops, we’re back in the fog. Keep the lights on, I think we’re almost there. Ah, there it is, Rock Springs. There was a special freshness in the air as we stretched into the day.

Sunlight begins to share the air with the receding fog. As we began our hike, Michael observed an area beneath a fir tree showing very wet footprint. “Fog Drip”, he said. This fog moisture collection by trees provides a substantial amount of water for their growth and health. Coastal Redwoods are able to capture significant amounts of water from the fog with their needles (like catcher’s mitts) and remarkably, move it both up and down their majestic lengths. http://articles.latimes.com/2002/sep/01/news/adme-redwoods1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fog_drip
https://baynature.org/articles/fog-and-redwoods-demystifying-the-mist/

Looking out from Bolinas Ridge toward the Pacific. On some Saturday evenings this parking lot comes alive and turns into a cool observatory when the fog is quite willing. Scott in our group is a member of the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers. He comes up here to share the stars with all comers.

http://www.friendsofmttam.org/astronomy.html http://www.friendsofmttam.org/astronomy/schedule http://www.sidewalkastronomers.us/id1.html

http://www.aavso.org/sidewalk-astronomy-evangelist-john-dobson-dies-age-98

Gorgeous rock bearing gifts, Michael spots a resident. Can you see him? Left side on the edge of the lower part just before El Cap but maybe a closer view.

A Blue Belly with a soft blue lichen surround is warming up for the day. https://localwiki.org/davis/Western_Fence_Lizards

Meditative moment for this runner who had just come up by us on a nearby trail, love that posture.

Graceful Pacific Madrones (Arbutus menziesii) marching up a hill by the trail to the Mountain Theater. http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_arme.pdf

http://www.arbutusarts.com/madrone-tree.html

Huge Serpentine blocks quarried on the mountain were wrestled into place in 1936 by CCC workers to make an amphitheater reminiscent of Greece and Rome. https://baynature.org/articles/forgotten-foundation/ http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24889
http://www.marinij.com/general-news/20080412/veterans-of-75-year-old-civilian-conservation-corps-honored-at-mountain-theater

This year’s production is PETER PAN, you can see there’s plenty of space for flying. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_Play_Association

http://www.marinij.com/arts-and-entertainment/20150521/marin-native-flying-high-directing-peter-pan-the-102nd-mountain-play

Poison Oak variations along the trail, Michael pointed out that the Latin name is Toxicodendron diversilobum, diverse indeed. Perhaps we’re clear that the bottom photo shows our nemesis but the top, just an oak tree sprouting? Nope, that’s poison oak as well. We’ve seen it recently diminutive in the ground hugging chaparral out on Chimney Rock and earlier at Annadel Park in Santa Rosa winding up Douglas Fir trees with massive vines.

http://www.poisonoakandpoisonivy.com/poisonivypoison.html

Coming out of a forest we’re now in chaparral, these edges are rich with plants and animals, an “ecotone” as Michael pointed out. Things quiet down as you go into the forest or out into the grassland but it’s these edges where you find the action. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecotone

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/178617/ecotone

Not much growing on this serpentine outcrop. Michael relates that it is composed of potentially toxic materials: magnesium, chromium and nickel – low in the plant nutrients, potassium and calcium. But surprisingly many plants have adapted to this unusual environment.

http://www.nps.gov/prsf/learn/nature/serpentinite.htm http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/beauty/serpentines/communities/rock_outcrops.shtm

Manzanita berries (Arctostaphylos hookeri ssp. montana) which the Miwok crushed for a sweet, unfermented cider. McHoul in “Wildflowers of Marin” identifies an Arctostaphylos cushingiana named for Sidney B. Cushing, builder of the Mt. Tamalpais railroad. There are many identified in the Arctostaphylos group and apparently the Miwok used at least four varieties in their ciders, you can imagine tastings under the Redwoods.

http://www.suncrestnurseries.com/californianatives.php?page=2&Letter=A , An Indian Paintbrush ablaze in a dry patch of coyote bush, Michael mentioned the third one was a Calochortus bloom, not the one we sought at Ring Mountain (Calochortus tiburonensis), maybe Calochortus minimum, just flying by tsomp here. http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/CalochortusSpeciesFour and finally the fourth, perhaps Goldwire (Hypericum concinnum) in the St. John’s Wort Family, http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/img_query?rel-taxon=begins+with&where-taxon=Hypericum+concinnum

Michael spotted an Ash-throated flycatcher at the top of the middle tree and an Acorn woodpecker along for company in the skeletal tree on the left. Just scroll down in this link: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/species/birds/flycatchers_larks.asp http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Ash-throated_Flycatcher/id

We stop to enjoy some Elk Clover along the trail, the nearest elk are over at Pt. Reyes National Seashore. It is in the Araliaceae – Ginseng family.

http://www.nwplants.com/business/catalog/ara_cal.html

Lunch at the picnic tables of the West Point Inn and Barb takes a photo of three passing Memorial Day hikers. http://westpointinn.com/history/

The after dinner conversation was partly about the new California Common Core State Content Standards with a number of our teacher-hikers.

http://www.scoe.net/news/library/2013/october/02common_core.html

Passing plane reflecting bright white in the sunshine.

Going back on the same trail is always different.

Michael stops to share this California “Rhodi” with us, our one and only, Rhododendron occidentale. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=448

http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-taxon=Rhododendron+occidentale In the past, he has sent us remarkable photos of the gorgeous plethora of Rhododendrons blooming in Bhutan. http://www.nyrhododendron.org/pages/faqs/6azalea.html

Michael points out a flower from the Rhodi’s bloom

Returning to our starting point, we are welcomed by this faithful hound, a quite dignified tri-color beagle – the fog remains on the horizon.

You may recall the remarkable Gary Yost, his superb films. His videos of the fire lookout on Mt. Tamalpais and restoration of the West Peak of Mt. Tam in “The Invisible Peak” were beautifully done. Here is one devoted just to the ocean of the Bay fog from the vantage of the mountain, “Full Moon Pacific Blanket.” https://vimeo.com/103249543

Ring Mt. rings with Jim – 11 May 2015

We’ve made a few pilgrimages to Ring Mountain on the Tiburon Peninsula with our hike leaders Michael Ellis, Armando Quintero and most recently Jim Coleman. Each time has opened new vistas, some familiar views and a sense of privilege to be able to hike in this place remarkable both for its natural treasures and human history. Thoughts swirl about – the “precious” ring from Tolkein’s writings, maybe Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelungen, perhaps even the brass ring on some almost forgotten amusement park ride. Though as you’ll recall, the mountain was named for George E. Ring, Marin County Supervisor from 1895 to 1903. But be undaunted, there is much to see and feel in this magical landscape carved & heaved by thundering geology and visited by native Americans for thousands of years.

Ring Mountain has many descriptions in books and on the web, this is one of the richest and most poetic I’ve read. The author is Geoffrey Coffey, a San Francisco landscape architect who wrote this in another May, 22 May 2004. He relates at the end how Dr. Robert West in June of 1970 discovered a most unusual flower on Ring Mountain, a “previously unknown species of the mariposa lily, and named Calochortus tiburonensis in 1973. It has not been found to occur anywhere else in the world.” And later muses, “The more we learn, the more we realize how much more there is to learn. Despite all our vast advances of science and technology in recent centuries, we never noticed Calochortus tiburonensis until a few years ago . . . What other clues have we missed?”

http://www.madrono.org/san-francisco-landscape/journalism/mariposa-lilies-and-monoliths-on-ring-mountain.html#.VVpKjWBJyl4

Treking toward Turtle Rock and on the horizon the profile Mt. Tamalpais with the glint of the radar bubble on the West Peak. Mt. Tam has its own dark magic in the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan who in ‘90s taught middle school in San Francisco. http://www.rickriordan.co.uk/fun-stuff/percy-jackson/maps/mount-tamalpais

Arriving at Turtle Rock I’m reminded of the “selfie” photos the moon explorers took standing in front of the black obelisk in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, minus space suits.

Detail from Turtle Rock with lichens, perhaps a messenger from Middle Earth? https://baynature.org/articles/ring-mountain-rocks/

Ancient Coast Miwok (or forbears) grinding bowl (mortar) with an added pestle, the mortar being the bowl which is adjacent to a seasonal stream and the glittering remains of a shell midden. “Mortar holes and other artifacts found (on Ring Mountain) have been dated at nearly 2,400 years old.” https://baynature.org/articles/ring-mountain-rocks/ and for context http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/400_BC One of the “events” of 400 BC: “London has its origins on a rise above marshy waters at the point where the Walbrook joins the River Thames.” Is that a newt on the upper left edge?

Who is that man in the dark hat? Jim shares some moments on the grasses growing on this serpentine soil and what attracted our attention was a nice yellow bloom of Coastal Tarweed (Deinandra corumbosa) or is it Coast Tarweed (Media sativa)?

Some class room: a view of the Corte Madera Channel in northern San Francisco Bay, Point San Quentin at the west end of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge – the large building is San Quentin Prison, California’s oldest from 1852, beyond are the Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuge and Point San Pedro.

Going clockwise starting with the purple Ithuriel’s Spear (Brodiaea laxa) much deeper color than the ones we saw on Mt. Diablo, Tidy Tips (Layia platyglossa) named for G.T. Lay a botanist who visited California in 1827 sailing on the “Blossom”, Hairy Cat’s Ear (Hypochaeris radicata) – the generic name means “little pig” and pigs are said to like the roots (Lilian McHoul in Wild Flowers of Marin p.32) http://identifythatplant.com/dandelion-and-cats-ear/ and False Lupine (Thermopsis macrophyllia – the Pea Family) not seen so often on our hikes. For a nice sequence of California Coastal Prairie Wildflowers a site from Sonoma State University is most helpful: http://www.sonoma.edu/cei/prairie/prairie_desc/wildlfowers.shtml#viad

Jeannie illustrates the stickiness of Serpentine, a tradition that Armando started on one of our Mt. Tam hikes.

View of the east side of the Tiburon peninsula with lots of green cover and the straight line of the Golden Gate Ferry to or from Larkspur Landing. You can imagine these hillsides “developed” and covered with houses and say a silent thank you to Phyllis Ellman and the many others who saved Ring Mountain.

http://www.marincountyparks.org/depts/pk/divisions/open-space/ring-mountain

http://egret.org/pdfs/ACRBulletinF09.pdf Phyllis Ellman moved to Glen Ellen in 1980 and was a dedicated supporter of The Bouverie Preserve and Audubon Canyon Ranch. This appreciation has a last interview with her before her death in in 2009.

A boulder with curious sculpted marking as we walk down to Turtle Rock

Another of those picnic spots to remember with the hill (or was it the 602 ft. mountain) sweeping down to Richardson Bay. Belvedere Island is at the center and beyond the gray outline of San Francisco or more poetically by George Sterling in 1920, “The Cool, Grey City of Love”. To realize how fortunate we are that many fought to save and conserve this land and . . . water, you may recall that the Reber Plan in the late 1940s designed to fill in great swaths of San Francisco Bay including part of Richardson Bay. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy16vKonJUM
http://www.boomcalifornia.com/2015/04/the-man-who-helped-save-san-francisco-bay-by-trying-to-destroy-it/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reber_Plan

http://www.savesfbay.org/history http://alangullette.com/lit/sterling/coolgrey.htm

A mushroom cloud in a good way – part of our picnic antipasto.

The Turtle welcomes some climbing explorers on its back after all in other incarnations it’s holding up the world.

Jim talked about grasses after lunch, here he’s comparing the skinny one a native meadow barley, Hordeum brachyantherum, with the larger one, Hordeum murinum, false barley.

The green grass lecture table – Jim shared a wealth of information about a number of grasses that he collected on the hike. Excellent site from Sonoma State University’s Center for Environmental Inquiry on California’s Coastal Prairies http://www.sonoma.edu/cei/prairie/prairie_desc/grasses_rushes_sedges.shtml Jim has some photo credits in these articles including some frolicking Sonoma County cattle in a prairie pasture.

Rattlesnake Grass mini (Briza minima) and maxi (Briza maxima), invasive non-natives and very familiar on our trails.

http://www.sonoma.edu/cei/prairie/prairie_desc/invasives.shtml#brma Sonoma State University continues to cover the invasives that concludes with one of our favorite non-natives, the Red-Stem Filaree with its corkscrew seeds.

And so we leave Turtle Rock until our next visit – the blue-green Serpentine rocks glowing in the sunshine.
http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/symbol-official-item/california/state-rock-mineral/serpentine
Great commentary about the 2010 effort to de-list Serpentine as the California state rock:
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/27/opinion/la-oe-ropeik-risk-20100727

Barb heads down the hill with a pole and a smile.

The Petroglyph Boulder now fenced and somewhat protected. You need to be on a special hike to observe it these days. We were able in the past to see it up close.
The carvings date back 5000 to 8000 years and were made by the Hokan or Penutian speaking peoples. cf. http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=19244

From our hike with Armando on 19 May 2008, we get an idea of the sculpting from pre-history.
http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=19244

Marin dwarf flax, Hesperolinon congestum: “Occurrence limited to one or a few highly restricted populations or present in such small numbers that it is seldom reported, endemic to California and endangered throughout its range.” http://www.nps.gov/prsf/learn/nature/marin-dwarf-flax.htm

Tiburon buckwheat, Erigonum luteolum var. caninum which was in a number of places during our hike i.e. mostly the Phyllis Ellman Trail. http://www.marin.edu/~jim/ring/rplant.html

A Seep Monkey flower, Mimulus gutatus, blooming happily in a small remnant stream, http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/1000–mimulus-guttatus, a Royal Larkspur, Delphinium variegated, surprises in the dry grasses, a wheel of Sky (?) Lupine reminds of a great spinning galaxy, the foreground grass Jim describes as a “special” one, our native Melica californica.

Like the tops of some Bavarian churches these await identification, a beetle proves that California poppies are not just for looking, succulent Dudleya farinosa enjoying the Serpentine locations,
and a Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia http://www.sfbaywildlife.info/species/butterflies.htm

The Tiburon Mariposa Lily, Calochortus tiburonensis, enjoying its only location on earth amid the Serpentine on Ring Mountain. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calochortus_tiburonensis
Because we didn’t spot them on our hike, I returned yesterday (22 May 2015) and was able to locate them next to an upper trail. CNPS indicates a brief window from mid-May into the beginning of June.

A California native Bumble Bee (Bombus californicus) enjoys brunch in a recently opened Tiburon Mariposa Lily.

https://hoarybat.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/calochortus-tiburonensis-tiburon-mariposa-lily/

And a P. S. – a photo from our 2008 Ring Mountain hike with Armando

Deer Park Hike – 4 May 2015

Our hike started at the end of Porteous Street near the Fairfax – San Anselmo Children’s Center. The Center has been here since the school district moved from the buildings in the 1970’s and at times has been threatened with sale and closure. But it has grown and thrived since its founding by Ethel Seidermann in 1973 serving the low income community working with the children and their families. “In order for a child to thrive, the family needs to thrive.” The infant-toddler, preschool and after school programs provide a safe and welcoming environment for 140 children from the community from 3 months to 10 years of age. Our hike begins and ends with a walk right by the Center.

http://fsacc.org/who-are-we/our-history http://www.marinij.com/general-news/20150101/editorial-deer-park-proceed-with-caution

Kids at play under the Redwoods and a beautiful tribute to Hokusai’s “Under the Wave off Kanagawa” with an added blazing sun.

Harriet checks out the hike, she’s a most reliable navigator and keeper of the maps. John has his poles at the ready.

Judy had gone on a wildflower hike with Bob Stewart here recently and made the great suggestion of doing our previous trail loop in reverse giving the hike a freshness and new focus. It was a cool choice as well because we were able to hike up the hill on the more open part of the trail in the morning overcast and enjoy the shade on Six Points Trail returning after the sun had come out.
We went up the Deer Park Trail, took a right on the Worn Springs Fire Road, another right on the Yolanda Trail, a sharp right down the Six Points Trail and then right again on the Deer Park Fire Road back to the school – a perfect circle.

http://www.marinbike.org/Campaigns/MTB/Maps/BaldHill.pdf

Rock lettuce, (Dudleya cymosa) https://flowersofmarin.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/plant-of-the-day-rock-lettuce/ Many lovely entries in this blog that seems on a break at the moment. Doreen Smith comments on this entry adding that they are called Dudleya farinosa on the Tiburon Peninsula.

Flowers about to burst forth – wonderful yellow lichens adorn the serpentine rocks framing this beautiful “Liveforever”. https://baynature.org/articles/lichens/

http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/253–dudleya-cymosa http://online.sfsu.edu/bholzman/courses/Fall99Projects/dudleya.htm

A number of runners and local dog owners were on the trail as well, “woman, man and beast”.

Kit spotted these miniatures growing on the rocky hill side, looks kind of orchidy, what are they, hmm? They do match her sleeves quite nicely.

Armand points to a serpentine rock with a distinct band in trail step stone, our state rock. Hurrah!
http://geology.about.com/od/rocks/ig/metrockindex/rocpicserpentinite.htm

https://baynature.org/articles/should-we-be-worried-about-asbestos-in-serpentine-rock/

http://www.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/information/publications/cgs_notes/note_14/Documents/note_14.pdf Note the governor as well just for a bit of time travel.

Our path takes us by a blooming California buckeye, the sweet perfume from the blooms was just beginning to permeate the air.

http://www.pacifichorticulture.org/articles/california-buckeye-a-tree-for-all-seasons/

Looking west with the morning fog hanging in on Bolinas Ridge, this natural amphitheater echoed with bird songs & calls – intermingled came the calls of the kids drifting up from the playgrounds at Deer Park School.

An oak that hung a left awhile ago while going on a wild cantilever journey. Is there a proportionate root system in the hillside? Some native bunch grasses are in the foreground.

Western Morning Glory (Calystegia occidentalis): The Morning-glory Family is Convolvulaceae which means “to entwine” in Latin. Lilian McHoul writes in her book
‘Wild Flowers of Marin’, “The stems are several feet long, twining over other plants; herbage smooth. Stalked leaves, variably shaped but often triangular, and cordate at the base. There are two to three large pinkish-to-white flowers to a stem.” P. 119 http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cordate

Topping the Deer Park Trail with a spray of Sticky Monkey Flowers to greet us. http://www.nps.gov/prsf/learn/nature/sticky-monkey-flower.htm

Water break and then up the hill followed by a reconnoiter and it’s . . . right on the Yolanda Trail

We revisit the “tiny teacup” hole in the oak” (Holyoke?) that we enjoyed on our previous hike. Now the tea cup is gone but there’s a new, odd collection with a turquoise pot, a miniature plastic cupcake, a plastic bag with what looked like fortune cookie fortunes and some kind of a leather pouch overhead. Someone suggested that this may be a point for Geocaching. Previously, I thought it might be a family destination with mementoes that intrigue the kids. Probably not part of a wood rat midden . . . but then again?

Lunch at Bistro de Jim with Mt. Tamalpais just coming out of fog.

Margie invited a friend, Beth Prentice, visiting from Ithaca, N.Y. to join us on our hike today. Beth is a former Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Nepal in the 1960’s who has continued her commitment to the Nepalese working with EDUCATE THE CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL, an NGO founded in 1990 by Pamela Carson and several close friends. http://www.etc-nepal.org/history.php Beth gave us a brief idea of their remarkable work in Nepal which focuses on Children’s Education,
Women’s Empowerment and Agricultural Development. ETC has a sustained commitment in their areas of service lasting six years or more teaching women basic literacy, community development programs, working with the public schools and providing women farmers with skills and resources. http://www.etc-nepal.org/icd.php

http://www.ithacajournal.com/story/news/local/2015/04/27/nepal-earthquake-relief/26441681/

http://www.brown.edu/academics/contemplative-studies/home/response-disaster-nepal

The fog has burned off after lunch and we’ve clear views.

Bolinas Ridge and (Now for a bit of free association: Marin Bikes has a Bolinas Ridge Line and a video that seems quite timely: http://www.marinbikes.com/us)

the East Peak of Mt. Tamalpais are coming clear. I’ve linked Gary Yost’s “A Day in the Life of a Fire Lookout” before but wanted to add it again because it’s so memorable. https://vimeo.com/48169212

Harvest Brodiaea, Brodiaea elegans, Lily Family, Liliaceae. Similar to Ithuriel’s Spear which we saw in Mitchell Canyon but Harvest Brodiaea has shiny petals and a shorter stem. http://coepark.net/pineridgeassociation/plants-animals-geology/wildflowers?sobi2Task=sobi2Details&catid=6&sobi2Id=15
Reny Parker writes in her “Wildflowers of Northern Calfornia’s Wine Country and North Coast Ranges, “Dressed in royal purple petals, this is truly a most elegant, though common Brodiaea. Six shiny lavender petals form a funnel shaped flower. Each petal has prominent mid-rib and shades from pale green at the base to white to deep purple at the tip. . . . California Indians baked the bulbs in fire pits and ate them as a vegetable.” P. 166 The plant was named after J.J. Brodie, a Scottish botanist, 1744 – 1824.

Lots of trail choices here at “6 Points”, luckily we have our navigators.

Western Fence Lizard with his original tail “hiding” in plain sight. http://izismile.com/2015/05/06/only_animals_in_nature_know_how_to_hide_14_pics.html
https://baynature.org/articles/male-vs-female-lizards/

Matt makes way for a mountain biker who joined us on the Deer Park Fire Road, “On your right!

On the far edge of the old Deer Park playing fields is a California Bay Tree that reminds of a Dr. Seuss illustration. A year ago when we did the trail the other way we spotted a sitting Turkey Vulture who didn’t move in spite of our interest. Jim suggested that she might be in a nesting mode.

Almost one year ago, certainly the lichens must be soft and comfortable. http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=16362

No need for a finale as we pass by Hokusai’s wave. http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20150409-the-wave-that-swept-the-world

And then again?

P.S. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKKBMlOQ2m4 Engaging video showing a horse and rider in the Deer Park area that had slipped off the trail into a ravine.

Zulu Thoughts | I sure like nature.

Hello Everyone, Here is the hike log from our Footloose hike last Monday in wordpress. You can view the latest write-up or go to the “INDEX OF HIKE LOGS” for some of the previous hikes that are now both happy memories and a small part of history. I wanted to send it out in wordpress as well as in the original email format this time to see which works best for you. Thanks for any comments, preferences, corrections and thoughts. Best, Lew

https://zulupeacekeeper.wordpress.com/

Lyric Chimney Rock with Michael – 27 April 2015

Many of our visits to Chimney Rock at Pt. Reyes National Seashore have been chilly to down right freezing. But last Monday was a Goldilocks kind of day with that cerulean sky overhead, fog laved green grasses, vivid colors of a host of wildflowers and an afternoon fog kissing the hills. Michael rose to the occasion by first describing the process of pollination and fertilization in the angiosperms using his now famous magically deconstructing flower for a visual aid. It was also amazing to see how many Northern Elephant Seal pups were still on the beaches along with many returning female seals back for their annual molt. Michael commented that he’d never seen these numbers of seals so late in the year and felt is might be an indicator of climate change. The huge male seals were feeding well off in the mid-Pacific at this time as he mentioned, “ . . . halfway to Korea.” The day was wonderfully bookended with a rare sighting of a busy badger on the hillside above the favorite Northern Elephant Seal beach and finaled by spotting a couple of handsome great horned owls in the Monterey Cypress trees that shelter a park service housing area.

Diana had a splendid Facebook entry that captured the day with her wonderful enthusiasm:

I had a pretty extraordinary day today. We saw a pair of enormous and perfectly camouflaged great horned owls, a badger peeking out of his den, a beautiful grey whale and her calf leisurely meandering up the coast, a magnificent caspian tern diving for its lunch alongside a loon and two western grebes and a whole beach packed with elephant seals and their pups. Plus sun, wind, fog and a host of wild flowers. Have I forgotten anything? oh yes – a canada goose, of course, sitting on a large rock in the middle of the ocean.

http://janemerryman.com/hiking-descriptions/chimney-rock-point-reyes-national-seashore/ Very well written, beautiful descriptions. A few dated bits – i. e. no oyster farm now. Many intriguing subjects by this remarkable editor-writer who is a retired librarian. A blog that beckons.

http://sciencelearn.org.nz/Contexts/Pollination/Sci-Media/Video/Plant-pollination Engaging brief video with a New Zealand twist.

Where all good Pt. Reyes hikes begin

We get together at the Chimney Rock parking area with the long view of the ‘white cliffs’ of Drake’s Beach which some have said attracted Francis Drake, the pirate.

Sharing the day with us, taking the high ground

Michael describes the Elephant Seal life cycles and is about to discover a rare badger walking about and peeking from her burrow on the hill just above the beach. With patience you can find a number of actual badger sites on the web along with the “dominant” badgers of the University of Wisconsin. But first to the Elephant Seals: http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/education/marine-mammal-information/pinnipeds/northern-elephant-seal/

http://www.paulalaneactionnetwork.org/StateOf.html This remarkable group monitors the badger populations in Sonoma and Marin Counties.

http://www.wildlifist.com/?tag=pt-reyes Just scroll down for some terrific badger pictures (as well as many fellow or sister travelers).

A flight of Brown Pelicans with some background cloud language across Drake’s Bay

https://baynature.org/articles/endangerbus-feature-brown-pelicans/

https://baykeeper.org/news/column/pelicans-san-francisco-bay

http://sfbaywatertrail.org/discover-the-bay/about-bay-species/california-brown-pelican/

Location, location. After some earlier resettlement attempts on the outer beaches of Chimney Rock (and other areas) in the 1970’s, the N. Elephant Seals found this sheltered location in Drake’s Bay that was just perfect and they’ve been returning ever since.
http://www.nps.gov/pore/learn/nature/elephant_seals.htm

http://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/wildlife_viewing_elephantseals.htm

Here is a video from earlier in the calendar year that I shot in January of 2014. It shows the mixed beach with massive males, females and pups which are born black and molt to silver gray in about a month. The enormous young male later in the video was quite a performer and seemed to be scouting for a pull out area, some beach front property, a place to call his own.

Elephants in Marin?.m4v
https://vimeo.com/126559495

Scouting an oceanside beach shows a mix of molting females and pups enjoying less crowding and in April, not the dangers of winter storms. The pups just born and for the first month are called weeners. Early attempts to use this beach and others facing the ocean waves ended disastrously with the young swept out to sea.

Molting females of April https://sites.google.com/site/elephantsealnotes/events-on-land/molting

Molting and many other E. Elephant Seal questions answered: http://www.elephantseal.org/E-Seals/seal_faq.htm

The loneliness of leadership

The fog begins to soften the landscape bringing some cooling breezes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX0BcgoGJq8&feature=youtu.be
Additional at no extra cost: The blog of which this video is a part has many fascinating entries done by interns at the Pacific Coast Science and Learning Center at Point Reyes National Seashore, a place we pass just before going south past Dogtown on the way to Bolinas.

https://pointreyesscience.wordpress.com/

Clockwise around starting with the prickly wild cucumber which we seem to be seeing on all of our hikes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marah_(plant),
Narrow-leaf Mule-ears, Wyethis angustifolia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyethia_angustifolia, Sky lupine, Lupinus nanus, or maybe polyphyllus (that purple color?) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupinus_nanus, and Seaside daisy, Erigeron glaucus, http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/839–erigeron-glaucus

Looking south toward San Francisco, “The mesa-like top of Chimney Rock Point is capped by a marine terrace. Granitic cobbles from the Point Reyes Conglomerate are reworked into the marine terrace deposits. The terrace gravel is locally overlain by sand with a thin organic-rich soil horizon on top . . . The cliffs and sea stacks along the coast consist of granitic rocks. Chimney Rock is a prominent sea stack at the south end of the point.” This is from a clearly written and well-done geology tour of Point Reyes by the U.S. Geological Survey, Stop 4: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1127/chapter9.pdf Substantial and informative, maybe want a copy for future reference?

Often traveling in bonded pairs, ravens are frequent in the skies over our hikes – Corvid companions. This one was having a walk about perusing the ground perhaps for lunch. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Raven/id The incandescent Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana) were much in evidence along our way. But the Hairy Pussy-Ears (Calochortus Tolmiei) of the Lily Family is a less common sighting. The Indian Paintbrush, Sastilleja Wightii, was just ablaze.

Lunch with a view, as Armando suggested one time, there’s nothing like sitting down and letting nature pass you by. We weren’t disappointed because we got to see a mother Gray Whale and her calf chugging along to the point. http://www.marinebio.net/marinescience/05nekton/GWmigration.htm

Michael said that he hadn’t seen a Canada goose out here before but this one was to muse about. It reminded me of the rare sighting of a male sea otter which we spotted on an earlier hike here with Armando. You’ll recall that he looked lonely and tired out there in Drake’s Bay until he finally joined some elephant seals on a beach for some companionship and relaxation in the sun. Projecting right?

Trails

The beginnings of California’s only native thistle, the cobweb http://www.pacifichorticulture.org/articles/thistle-lovers-all-the-cobwebby-thistle-as-habitat/ ,
Owl’s Clover presages our coming sightings of two Great Horned Owls. The familiar, ubiquitous, exotic and under the radar Scarlet pimpernel which makes the weed gallery at UC Davis: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/WEEDS/scarlet_pimpernel.html but not so fast: http://www.csmonitor.com/1987/1104/upim.html ,
and an old favorite, Cow Parsnips, http://www.parksconservancy.org/conservation/plants-animals/native-plant-information/cow-parsnip.htm

Great Horned Owl spotting in the Monterey Cypress surround of this park building.

Checking out the owl scat for the many tiny bones of lunches past.

This hike is a feather in your cap, Michael! (Since you’re off to Turkey, maybe the Turkey Vulture feather is just right.)

P.S. An email from Susan Kirks of the Paula Lane Action Network: Michael mentioned her as we were leaving in the parking lot on Monday. “Susan Kirks is the naturalist with American Badger expertise with our organization, dedicating a significant portion of her life to living among badgers, observing badger behavior, and working to educate and protect the American Badger.” From their 2014 Annual Report info

Hi Lew,
Thanks so much for your message and the photo. As natural harmonies would coincide, I’m just now beginning to devote more time out at Pt. Reyes National Seashore in badger habitat observation, etc., so the timing for your message and the sighting by Michael and you all is most helpful.

I also liked that you described the badger as “she.” During this time of year, female adult badgers are often out during daytime hours hunting, so they can stay with their young at night. This usually occurs April through June before the young disperse. Could have been an adult male badger, though. The sightings out at Pt. Reyes have been more frequent during daytime in the last year and a half.

Again, thanks so much. I was not aware of this location out at Pt. Reyes. I’m especially grateful for the clear deference and respect of the badger shown by your group – I respect Michael immensely.

Please let us know if you ever are graced with any other sightings and the location.

Susan for Paula Lane Action Network
707-241-5548

On Friday, May 1, 2015 4:21 PM, Lew Z <l.zuelow> wrote:

Hello,

I hike with Michael Ellis’ Footloose Forays group on Mondays. On last Monday’s hike (April 27), he spotted a badger moving about on a hillside above the main Elephant Seal beach and a number in the group were thrilled to share his sighting. Perhaps you know about this location already. We spotted her walking about and then peeking out of her den hole.

Thanks for your dedication to this remarkable creature in our midst.

Best thoughts, Lew Zuelow