Monday, March 15, 2010

Gaga over GOGA


That's Golden Gate National Recreation Area to most. More info @

The view Sunday morning. I was brought there by my charming SF hosts who kindly accommodate my dog-like need to be walked. Happily, they have dogs who like it too, so it's a win-win.

Oh, that bridge...

The biggest miner's lettuce I've EVER seen. It's growing in a very shady, damp area--i.e., in an area NOTHING like our house, where the top leaf of this plant is a little bigger than my thumb.

Happy little boat patrolling, making sure the two ocean colors don't mix...





Looked much better after red plastic bag was removed from branches...

Dogs corralling me--person holding dog leashes (in one hand) is behind me, dogs walked around me (this happened repeatedly) and then rejoined, so I just stood, caught by happy dogs in a leash hug.

The always-intriguing Sutro baths area, and some very nice looking native coastal habitat. I remember wandering around here in high school, quietly fascinated.

If you look at the historic photos of the baths on the GOGA web site, you can find an interior shot that shows the outlined bath visible in this photo on the right. It was a raised pool, deeper, for diving practice and such.

There's a very weird mix of plant species here. Some seem to be lovely coastal native species (the coastal sage scrub community was my world for years), and then the obvious non-natives I used to get paid to yank for the NPS (but not @GOGA): Bermuda buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae), "ice plant" (Carpobrotus spp.), jade plant (Crassula ovata), various geranium, lily, other clearly escaped (or illicitly planted) ornamentals. Made for some interesting ogling.

As I said, I used to get paid to pull jade plants, among others, so when I was in Michigan and someone very proudly showed me their big, potted jade plant I had to pretend to be impressed versus perplexed. I later realized that what is a weed in California may be quite difficult to grow in freezing Michigan, so then I understood why they were proud. At least I think I did....

Speaking of jade, seeing some of the green rocks on the beach reminded me that this park has serpentine habitat and the associated rare plant community. A very informative paper on the geology of GOGA, including the serpentine goodies, go to and type in serpentine in the search window (just  for that site, not all NPS). It's an interesting little world, the serpentine.

Anyhow, had a lovely outing in this unit of the NPS, and paid precisely $0 for the privilege. This is one of the reasons I don't mind paying taxes. I heart the NPS, and the opportunities it grants the public. Really substantially contributes to the quality of life, in my view, not to mention the health of the planet.

But to enjoy it, you gotta go.

So, go, already.   =)

the biobabbler


  1. From "Anonymous":
    Amazing how differently I see after visiting biobabbler and enjoying photos. Lovely!! Just saw petals moored to detritus islands in our creek, then a muscle-bound guy riding his bike past me with a tiny Yorkie in his backpack- little silky head sticking out. Wish I had a better camera with me.

  2. a) Thank you for the LOVEly sentiment, b) my goodness but you write well, c) what fun observations you made. Love the image of the little silky Yorkie head peeking out from back of muscular behemoth. =)


Cool people write inside rectangles....