February 4th, 2020

San Francisco: Land's End & Golden Gate Park

San Francisco: Land's End & Golden Gate Park

On Saturday, after doing an errand in San Francisco, D. and I wandered around Land's End (including the grounds of the Palace of the Legion of Honor) and Golden Gate Park's casting pools and Middle Lake.  Here are some of the pics I took.

On the Coastal Trail at Land's End, we see flowering plum in blossom.

Arroyo willow catkins are about to blossom as well.

Steps on the way toward the Palace of the Legion of Honor, which is on a hilltop.

The fog is blowing in so thickly that the Marin Headlands are completely invisible.  It all but obscures the Golden Gate Bridge and views of downtown.

Pax Jeruslemme is a huge steel sculpture by Mark di Suvero in the Palace of the Legion of Honor parking lot.  Its red-orange color echoes the "international orange" hue of the nearby Golden Gate Bridge.

Looking along a colonnade at the Palace of the Legion of Honor courtyard.

Retracing our steps down the trail, we see a spider web catch a ray of sunlight.

The fog is thick in the woods.

Before we go grab some dinner, we head to Golden Gate Park to see the casting pools, where anglers can practice their casting skills.  Built by the Works Progress Administration in 1938, they are revered to this day as some of the best casting pools in the world.   The reddish building is the Angler's Lodge, home to the Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club.

On a trail to nearby Middle Lake we see a calla lily that almost glows in the deepening forest gloom.

At Middle Lake (part of Golden Gate Park's Chain of Lakes), a great egret finds things to eat among the reeds.

The trail around Middle Lake.

As we head back to the car we are utterly surprised to see a red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) on the pathway.  Native to the Gulf Coast, it has established populations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including, apparently, Middle Lake.

Just as our previous encounter with a crayfish on a trail, this one decides to approach my point-and-shoot, which is taking video of the encounter.  (Video of previous encounter here.)

"You wanna piece o' me? Huh buddy? C'mon, let's mix it up."

One of its antennae is truncated, and it is covered in sand.  We suspect an egret caught in the lake and then it fell out of the egret's beak as the bird tried to fly off with it.  It is likely trying to get back to the lake, so we gently move it off the path and point it toward the water, then we head on over to get dinner (which did not include crayfish!).