pahavit (pahavit) wrote,

Inspiration Point and Point Bonita

Today's field trip: Inspiration Point and Point Bonita

Today D. and I first went to Inspiration Point in The Presidio in SF. The view used to be obscured by tall non-native trees, which have been removed. There were lovely views of the Bay, Alcatraz and Angel Island in between the rest of the forest.

Just before we had lunch I got stung by a bee on my finger. Ouch! It's been over 40 years since my last bee sting and I'd forgotten how much they hurt: a red-hot needle!! D. removed the stinger and slowly, eventually, the fire and prickling subsided in my hand. Owie!

But while we lunched we were entertained by 2 slugs crawling around on the plaza, looking for some shade. White-crowned sparrows kept on flying close by, looking for crumbs. We saw at least 3 hawks (2 red-tails), black phoebes, hummingbirds and little warblers probably on their way migrating south. After a short stroll along a trail through California serpentine grassland habitat being restored with native plants, we moved on to return to Point Bonita.

We made our way gingerly down a steep hillside to a tiny beach. Some seals resting on a few off-shore rocks plunged back into the ocean upon our appearance. So much for seal pics today.  During a break from taking pics, D. showed me a tidepool at the foot of a cliff. We saw an amazing community of invertebrates, including mussles, limpets, barnacles, big gnarly sea stars, anemones, and even a chiton. When he first set up his tripod, D. startled a little crab out of a tiny pool barely big enough to contain it. The tidepools were like a little secret Eden we were privileged to visit. There were also lots of brown pelicans on patrol over the waves, cormorants, seagulls, and turkey vultures (one of which flew just a few feet from my head as I was looking the other way admiring a passing pelican on the other side).

As the tide rose and the sun sank we made our arduous way back up the steep hill, stage by careful stage, step by breathless step. D. could not find a good angle to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset, but he got some good pics of the dramatic cliff behind us, awash in the mellow late afternoon light (the Point Bonita lighthouse is on the other side of the cliff, and the access tunnel to it through the rock was closed at the time).

On our way back to the truck we saw the full moon rising up behind Hawk Hill to our east, looking like it was tangled in the treetops. Within mere minutes the moon pulled free and rose farther up into the darkening sky, as translucent wisps of fog drifted slowly among the hills. We saw black-tailed deer, and a coyote too, as we headed out of the Headlands and back to the City.

Tags: bee, field trip, inspiration pt, presidio, pt bonita

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