Mount Davidson is my favorite easy city escape. Most people know the peak for its distinctive large white cross and SF views, but for me it is a little nature oasis in the middle of this busy city. On our frequent family hikes around the mountain we see hawks, hummingbirds, and many songbirds. A few times I've spotted banana slugs and garter snakes and heard a great horned owl. One year the blackberry bushes provided enough sweet fruit to make blackberry jelly as family Christmas gifts.
Much to my dismay, the mountain is about to be torn asunder by a water pipeline project. Starting on August 18, several of the mountain's most scenic and heavily used trails will be closed, including the ascending paths from La Bica and the bus stop. The project looks to climb from the bus stop to the viewpoint, then drop back down through the woods to exit at La Bica. I am thankful that this project may spare the "native treasures" trail on the north slope of the mountain, but large swaths of forest are tagged and destined to be mangled, and it appears that the graceful eucalyptus near the lower viewpoint will be cut down. Ah, the price of progress and clean water.
What pockets of "everyday" bay area nature have you lost?
Although this doesn't qualify as a park, some friends of mine completely re-landscaped their backyard with California native plants such as pipevine, manzanita, coffeeberry, and many others.
Eventually, these friends moved away and their house was sold.
I later discovered that the backyard had been torn up and replaced with a lawn. It really was a shame because that garden did an excellent job of attracting pipevine swallowtail butterflies, as well as numerous birds and frogs.
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