Today's field trip, about 30 minutes south of San Francisco.

Pulgas Ridge

mountain lions

IMG_4027 IMG_4030

Buckeye fruit. I forget the name... Poisonous to some animals (like other Hippocastanaceae), but I hear they recover easily enough.

Aesculus californica

Hedera canariensis, cut to kill.

Hedera canariensis dead Hedera canariensis

Toxicodendron. In all my life, I've never had a reaction to poison oak. Either I've been very lucky, or I'm insensitive to it. Nice fall color!


Into the woods...


Arbutus menziesii, Madrone. One of my favorite trees. If they stayed that small, I'd have planted one in my yard by now. Sigh. (A. menziesii, named for Archibald Menzies, the famous Scottish plantsman. The mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, descends from the Menzies. Newsom's grandfather, Arthur Menzies, planted the California garden in the San Francisco Botancial Garden in Golden Gate Park. FYI.)

Arbutus menziesii




This is a middle-aged Madrone.


Up on the ridge, the oaks give way to manzanita, coyote bush, toyon...


Baccharis pilularis

Heteromeles arbutifolia

and views of expensive California mini-mansions built on a seismic fault in a high fire zone inhabited by mountain lions.



Tough ferns growing in hot part-sun.


This chick had a nagging cough. I let her pass me so I didn't have to listen to her anymore.


Eucalyptus globulus. There's only a half dozen of them up here, and I'm surprised they weren't chopped down. Not that I mind; I generally like Eucalyptus but they're quite the invasive tree here. You can go for hundreds of miles in California without losing sight of a eucalyptus. They were brought over as a source of fast-growing wood for building, but they brought the wrong species and the wood is mostly useless. They should bring over koala bears too, to eat the leaves.

Eucalyptus globulus?

IMG_4089 IMG_4090

It's a hazy day but I can see all the way to Moffett Field in Santa Clara.

It's like some fall color colossus bestriding the chaparral. IMG_4091

Acer macrophyllum? I don't know. It looks a bit out of place.


Back at the trail head.




The short drive home.

IMG_4113 IMG_4116

Hwy 280 north, and south.

IMG_4124 IMG_4121

One of the things that makes the Bay Area what it is, are the dramatic changes in microclimate. Ten minutes and fifteen miles ago it was sunny. Now look at the fog. This is how it will look all day in this part of town.


And a few minutes later, and a few miles on, the fog gives back the blue sky.


In San Francisco, it's all about location, location, location.


Annie in Austin said...

Thanks for the tour, Chuck B., and the plant identifications. As much as I enjoy the photos, however, it's those editorial comments that add the spice! ["views of expensive California mini-mansions built on a seismic faults in high fire zones inhabited by mountain lions"].

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

firefly said...

I have extreme camera envy, which I've been trying to tell you since the Community Garden post I read on the weekend.

Feedback for Blogger.com: Blogger beta is a Big Pain in the A**. I tried loading the site with three different browsers on an Apple iBook (Safari, Netscape, and Firefox) over the weekend -- no dice. Here at work with Firefox on the PC, and beta still will not play nice; the comment box went blank after I pressed submit.

I don't know why I persist, except that my boyfriend is in software QA, so this kind of feedback is valuable to them.

I think.

Anyway, great photos, here and below.

chuck b. said...

Thanks & I'm glad you both like the pictures.

I'm sorry you're having trouble w/ Beta Blogger. I haven't had much trouble with it myself, but that's probably just a fluke. :)

There are lots more photos elsewhere in the blog if anyone is interested in looking at them (you know, if you have some time to waste). Just click on BernalHeights, California, garden, GoldenGatePark or SanFrancisco in the del.icio.us tags. I tried to call out the picture-intensive posts so they would be easy to identify.

I plan to post a lot more pictures of my own garden next year.