Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A day in San Francisco on Fisherman's Wharf

A week ago, Saturday the 7th, my husband, daughter Red, and I went to San Francisco for the day. We met Ruthie J of Nature Knitter and her brothers for lunch at Castagnola's next to Fisherman's Wharf. While waiting for Ruthie to arrive, we were seated at the Captain's Table where you can get a 180 degree view of the boats docked at Fisherman's Wharf. While waiting, I could see a black-crowned night heron and a snowy egret. I took photos of both birds, but the heron pic was not very good. But you can see a very nice photo of the heron on Ruthie's blog (here). Below is my photo of the snowy egret. I sure do love those bright yellow feet!
After our lunch and conversations, Ruthie wanted to see some other sights. While we drove down The Embarcadero looking for a place to park I had noticed some photo ops, including some beautiful flowers - mostly tulips. Be sure to click on any of the photos for an enlargement. First, here is a shot of the sign for Pier 39, the largest and most commercial part of Fisherman's Wharf. Typical of weekends, it was wall-to-wall people, especially since this was the first beautiful weekend in quite a while.
And here are a few photos of the tulips we had seen. Aren't they beautiful? Mixed in to make it very colorful were other flowers such as daffodils, primroses, and anemones (I think), as well as other small flowers. They sure were colorful and quite attractive all along Pier 39.

Here is a view of Alcatraz Island from Pier 39, with one of several sailboats that were out on the bay that day.
Boudin Bakery across from Fisherman's Wharf, world famous for their sourdough breads.
Ice cream or yogurt, anyone?
Found on our walk were several Brewer's Blackbirds. Here is a shot of a female.
Another species seen were several gulls. This one, I think, is a Western gull carrying an old empty plastic bread bag. He/she was trying to keep it from letting the "youngster" get it. Below this photo is the "youngster." Notice how much grayer and mottled looking is his plumage which is an indication of a first or second year gull. I would think it is a first year gull.

As we were heading back from Pier 39 and toward the direction of where our car was parked, I saw this hawk perched on a fence around the pier. Enlarge the photo and take note that it has a leg missing. I am identifying it as a Sharp-shinned hawk.
If you have the extra time and are interested in more sights and history of this part of San Francisco, click on all the links I provided.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Thank you, Ruthie J!

This past Saturday, most of my family had the opportunity to meet Ruthie J of Nature Knitter and part of her family. My husband, daughter Red (aka Heidi) and I met Ruthie and her brothers in San Francisco. We met for lunch at Castagnola's. And it was such a bright sunshiny day in "the city" as we South Bay folks call San Francisco. Typical of this city, especially on weekends, it was wall-to-wall people everywhere around Fisherman's Wharf.

Meeting of the "clans." Below, back row, Ruthie's brothers, Phil and Dave. Ruthie's in the middle, and I'm in front (on left), Heidi (Red), and my husband Dave. It was such a special day for us bloggers to meet and get to know each other a little better. I felt I have known Ruthie all my life; but then so many other bloggers have said the same thing after meeting another blogging buddy.

Ruthie came bearing gifts for Red and me. You'll have to check Red's blog (http://mmatm.blogspot.com) to see what Ruthie brought her. Ruthie gave me a pair of fingerless gloves, and below is a picture of one of the gloves. Thank you, Ruthie! Even though our weather is beginning to warm up now, I know they will certainly be handy for next winter, and I look forward to wearing them.

And I'm now an "official" member of the Blogger flock! Again, thank you, Ruthie! I really enjoyed our time together and hope some day I'll be able to come visit you in Minnesota, or meet up with you at a birding festival. We would certainly have a lot of fun together.
Following our lengthy lunch we set out to walk around Fisherman's Wharf before heading home. Red and I had seen some beautiful tulips over by Pier 39 and we wanted very much to get photos of those beauties. The sights we saw as well as the tulips will be in my next post.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Skywatch Friday # 34

Back in early January, my family and I visited Elkhorn Slough Reserve on a late Sunday afternoon. My daughter Red (aka Heidi) and I took a relatively short trail around the Reserve knowing it was close to closing time. This old "barn" looks like it had been used for storing grain. But it also shows that before this land became Elkhorn Slough Reserve it used to be private farmland.
As we got near the end of the trail the sun was setting, and as we looked westward we could see the PG&E stacks across the way in Moss Landing. At first we weren't sure it was going to be much of a sunset. But Mother Nature proved us wrong.
Below you can see in the far distance many birds flying around, probably getting ready to find a roost for the night.
All is quiet now, and we needed to hurry out of the Reserve, because it was past closing time.

Click on the link to see other bloggers' Skywatch postings.


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