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Today's field trip: Strawberry Hill - Pahavit's Universe — LiveJournal

pahavit
Date: 5-27-2006 3:15 PM
Subject: Today's field trip: Strawberry Hill
Security: Public
Tags:field trip, golden gate park, strawberry hill
Today's field trip: Strawberry Hill

Today D. and I visited Strawberry Hill, an island in the middle of Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. Strawberry Hill is an artificial hill, complete with artificial waterfall. Stow Lake surrounding it is artificial too (no lake occurs there naturally). Well, actually, the whole Park is artificial, in the sense that its natural state would be sand dunes if John McLaren hadn't decided the City needed a park back in the early 1870s.

Anyway, people were enjoying the lake in rented rowboats and paddleboats. We crossed over to Strawberry Hill on a rustic stone bridge built in 1893 and found a path going up to the summit. Originally there was an observatory up there, but it got ruined in the 1906 earthquake. It wasn't an astronomic observatory, but rather a nice place to see the panoramic city views. Parts of its foundation are still visible. There were lovely view of the city here and there along the path, but the summit itself is below the treetops.

We sat for a while at the side of the waterfall and watched an Anna's hummingbird zooming around one of the trees. Soon it landed on the lip of a rock in the middle of the waterfall to take a drink with its needle-thin bill and plash its tiny wings having a little bath in the stream. Its red throat was brilliant in the afternoon sun. Then after a moment it was off like a jeweled bullet to other blossoms elsewhere.

On the lakeshore was the elaborate Chinese Pavilion, presented in 1981 as a gift from SF's sister city of Taipei.

Then we were both tired, so we came home.


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