Today D. and I went to Muir Woods. We drove through thick fog over the Golden Gate Bridge (which burned off about 5 minutes after crossing into Marin County) and around the winding side of Mt Tamalpais.
The enormous redwoods were magnificent. There were lots of ferns, mosses, horsetails and redwood sorrel carpeting the ground in the deep shade cast by the huge trees. Sadly, all the tanoak trees were dead or dying from sudden oak death, but the redwoods seem to be immune. The air was cool and still, the forest being thick and down in a valley; spider webs spanned every other set of branches, it seemed, glinting in the dim light.
We heard a couple of rival birds singing territorially back and forth between the trees, but we never caught sight of them, and I didn't recognize the song. We did see a turkey vulture overhead, and a little winter wren darting about in the underbrush. We also saw a small banana slug and a Sonoma chipmunk, as well as a blacktail deer only 20 feet from the trail, grazing unconcernedly as if the dozen or so tourists clustered on the other side of the railing were only images on TV.
Since no picnicking is allowed in the park (Aramark owns the concession; can you say "privatization"?), we drove down the road a bit to Muir Beach to have lunch. We tried to stroll along the beach but the wind was fierce, so back to the truck we went (spying another blacktailed deer ambling nonchalantly along the road), and back to a brilliantly sunny afternoon in the City.