March 23, 2015
I took a trip to California last week, and was blown away by the beauty, flora, and fauna of the San Francisco Bay Area and the nearby coastline.
As part of my visit, my brother and I visited Golden Gate Park. From the map the park looked large, but we had a whole new sense of scale when we actually began walking within its boundaries. Though we were there for hours there was still so much left to be seen, and I am definitely planning a return trip if I visit San Francisco again.
We began by circling Stow Lake, the biggest body of water in the park and a magnet for geese, coots, and other waterfowl. Great Blue Heron nest in the trees above the water, Stellar’s Jays look for food near the trails, and songbirds of many species call the island in the center of the lake their winter home. We saw many of them when we hiked to the top of the hill on the island, which offered beautiful views of the bay.
From Stow Lake we headed to the edge of the park, bordering a wide, sandy beach. Dutch windmills broke the skyline, with tulips and poppies dotting the green ground beneath their stony exteriors. Red-tailed Hawks perched on lampposts near the road, while Common Ravens croaked their deep calls on railings or cement fences. The sun was just setting as we arrived, casting a beautiful glow on the hills and peaks that sloped into the water.
The park hosts so many opportunities for kids and adults alike to connect with nature, complete with multiple habitats and easy wildlife viewing opportunities. San Francisco, you have captured my heart!
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Hi! I was in San Fran for the first time (for work) the week after you and also spent a chunk of time in Golden Gate Park. Loved the bird life and fell in love with the hummingbirds. If you are interested in reading about my GG Park experience my start-up blog (1 week old!) is incidentalnaturalist.com
Thanks for sharing!