The other day, I made a post about musical blinds. Tito is strumming as I type. However, first thing in the morning, Tito and Jenny go into berserker mode and careen around the apartment at full speed. Of course, going at full speed means drifting around the corners and leaping over and on the furniture.
Action as exciting as theirs deserves some good theme music and here it is. It’s called Devil’s Galop, by Charles Williams. Please forgive the typo on the YouTube video. It is named after the galop, a French dance.
And now onward to the cute stuff. We came across some geese and goslings when we went to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. It was the day we saw the nesting herons.
The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is one of the most elegant and beautiful birds to grace our wetlands. The largest of the herons, they stand around 4 ft (122 cm). tall with a wing span of around 6ft (183 cm). They range from Mexico and the United States up through the West Coast of Canada into Alaska. These amazing birds have been living and nesting in San Francisco since 1993.
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is home to more than just bison, raccoons, and coyotes. It’s home to at least one nesting pair of Great Blue Herons. They live here year round have a nest high in the top of a Monterrey Cypress. They hunt fish in the ponds and lakes in the park. I once saw a heron next to an intersection with a large gopher in its mouth. I couldn’t get a photo, darn it.
I looked them up on the intertubes and discovered that San Francisco Nature Education has a heron watch every year. The herons lay their eggs between January and March and the chicks hatch in April. Volunteers meet at Stow Lake with spotting scopes and spend time educating the public about these beautiful birds. This year, the last one is May 19th. I didn’t find out about it soon enough to go this year. Nest year I’ll try to go.
When I moved here back in 2002, I knew about the Dutch windmill. I didn’t know about the Murphy windmill. The Dutch windmill, also known as the North windmill is very popular with tourists and has a wonderful tulip garden.
Not having been raised here, I was unaware of the Murphy windmill. Also known as the South Windmill, it had fallen into disrepair. It was designated landmark 210 and efforts were made to save it.
The Murphy and Dutch windmills pumped the water that fed Golden Gate Park. After electric pumps were installed in 1913, they were neglected. By 1993, the Murphy had lost its sails, fan tail and deck. When I moved here, this was all that was left as the rest had been sent to Holland for repairs.
This last year, the restored parts came back to San Francisco and the Murphy windmill was restored to its original glory. It was a sight to behold.
Be sure to visit both windmills should you ever come to our lovely city.
Winter is coming soon and with it will come the rains. I love the rain. That might be because I grew up in the desert, but no matter. Hubby and I are just as happy to walk in the rain as we are walking in the sun. Actually we prefer the rain
One of our favorite spots in the city is Stow Lake. Located in the middle of Golden Gate Park, Stow Lake is definitely one of the nicer features. Lastech took some nice photos last time we strolled around it.
The cats have been feeling their oats lately, playing just a bit more vigorously than usual and sleeping just as hard…
We’ve been going out more and more ourselves, spending most of this past Saturday at Golden Gate Park, starting with grilled fish, shrimp and carne asada in the meadow across from Mallard Lake. We had marinated the shrimp in a mix of Clementine-tangerine juice mixed with lime juice, brown sugar, thinly sliced shallots and shredded ginger which all came out deliciously fresh tasting.
Filets of sole and carne asada, with blackened seasoning on the fish.
Grilled peppers and beer, dried bread crumbs for our hosts.
Three hours later, we took a stroll around Mallard Lake where we saw this beautiful Blue Heron:
Looking for parking around the Arboretum, I decided to drive around Stow Lake where we saw these geese with their goslings:
Finally, the arboretum with so many flowers in bloom:
This is part three. Parts one and two can be fund here.
One morning we woke up to rain. It’s the rainy season in San Francisco. It wasn’t a heavy rain, but it was enough. We had wanted to get out and walk and so we debated. We suddenly realized that we had not been to the Japanese Tea Garden In Golden Gate Park for quite a while and that the rain would keep the crowds down.
This time, in the spirit of the holidays, we’re visiting a different section of the Conservatory. To celebrate 140 years of Golden Gate Park, the Conservatory is hosting a Garden Railway Exhibit. The exhibit will run through March 13, 2011 and there is no extra charge. Even Thomas the Tank Engine puts in an appearance.
Anyone who comes to San Francisco should try to find the time to visit the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. Opened to the public 1879, it is the oldest building in the park. It houses around 1700 plant species. The orchid collection is said to be one of the best.
The Conservatory of Flowers is located at 100 John F. Kennedy Drive. It is accessible for motorized and non motorized wheelchairs. Strollers are not permitted inside, but there is a place to park them while you explore. As it is a greenhouse, it will be quite warm and humid inside. As it can be rather cold outside, be sure to wear removable layers. It is open Tuesday thru Sunday from 10am to 4:30pm. The cost is $7 for adults, $5 for ages 12-17, seniors 65 & over, and college students with school ID. $2 for children 5 – 11 and free for children 4 and under. Local residents receive a discount with proof of residency.
Note: On Sundays, John F. Kennedy Drive is closed to vehicular traffic. For those who don’t mind walking, you can just park on Martin Luther King Drive and walk to the Conservatory.
Today we’re visiting the Aquatic Plant Gallery. This section features lily ponds, carnivorous pitcher plants, and a whole host of bromeliads. I must admit that this was my favorite section, by far. I don’t know the names of a lot of the plants and flowers I’m posting, so if you know, feel free to comment and I’ll update accordingly.