July 31st, 2007

Return to Glen Canyon

Return to Glen Canyon

On Sunday D. and I had a mini-meet-up with A.  We met at Cafe Gratitude for a raw-food lunch.

I took this around the corner from Cafe Gratitude.  Mural or graffiti? Art or eyesore? You decide.

The Mission District, where we had lunch, was nice and sunny by early afternoon, but we could see the fog still clinging thickly around Twin Peaks to the west, so we decided not to try looking at sights along the fogged-in coastline and instead went on a short hike in Glen Canyon Park. D. and I went there for the first time last September, and ever since I've wanted to walk again in its cool, quiet, peaceful woods.

The path takes us deeper into the canyon alongside Islais Creek, one of the last free-flowing creeks in the City.

A friendly little pup we met along the trail, going walkies with his people.

Some huge ferns growing on the banks of Islais Creek.

The blackberries were in blossom.  You can see the berry-to-be in the flower structure already.

I was startled to find a California vole (Microtus californicus) sitting on a log on a side path.  It just sat there 2 feet from me as I fumbled getting my camera out, then scurried off just as I tried to shoot the pic. Its natural camouflage serves it well among the leaf litter.

Beetles on poison hemlock stems (Conium maculatum).  This is the same species of hemlock that killed Socrates. It is poisonous to touch (in large-enough quantities) as well as to ingest. I guess the beetles are immune. (It is targeted for removal as it is not a native species.)

Flowers of Powdery Dudleya Dudleya farinosa (a relative of the familiar jade plant), a native plant considered sensitive in Glen Canyon.

Brilliant pink lilies light up a drab hillside as we come back out of the canyon.

The sky over the canyon was busy with hawks.

An adult red-tailed hawk takes flight.  The stands of huge blue gum eucalyptus in Glen Canyon provide one of the few known nesting locations in San Francisco of red-tails.

A couple of juvenile red-tails squabble on the hillside near the top of the canyon.  We could hear their shrill cries echoing all over the park.

One of the juveniles either got lucky and caught a snake, or is just really excited to be carrying around a stick in its talons.

 D. and I find ourselves in a film noir world in the canyon.

Since the fog and wind were starting to become unpleasant (typical San Francisco July weather ), we went to the Crepevine for hot tea and cider and to discuss politics.

It was fun meeting with A. and spending some time together in one of the most beautiful places in San Francisco. We look forward to seeing her again during her stay in Northern California.

All pics by D. unless otherwise noted.