Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nature Walks in the City

As most of you know, I live in the country, so spending time in nature is easy. City dwellers may think nature is hard to find, but if you take a close look, it's all around you, too. I've written about plants growing up through cracks in the sidewalk and birds on city wires before, but even I need to be reminded about the number of animals that can be observed in city parks.

Case in point: all of our animal sitings in San Francisco parks last week. On Thursday, we saw loads of gophers holes in Sutro Park and could have seen them emerge if we had been patient enough to wait. But we were on a mission to see Sutro Sam, a river otter that lives in the Sutro baths so we kept walking. And just as we walked up... there he was! Lots of other people were gathered watching for him, too- he's a bit of a celebrity in the area.

Another day, we went on an adventure to see the Bison that live in golden Gate Park. Obviously, these are not wild animals, but the kids were excited to see them. Along the way, however, we made some pretty exciting observations.

We saw loads of ducks.

 Five raccoons

 And the most exciting observation.... a nesting Great Horned Owl!
Can you see her there camouflaged in the middle?

A man nearby also told us he had just seen a coyote along a wooded trail nearby.

All in all, it was a pretty exciting adventure. We were excited and pooped out at the end of our long walk.

So even if you think there aren't many animals in your city, take a closer look. I'd love to know what you find.

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  1. When I lived in London 25 years ago, I lived with a family of avid walkers an bird watchers. we discovered so many splendid urban walks!

    1. That's awesome, Joanna. It's amazing how much wildlife you can see in the city.

  2. don't forget the nesting hummingbird that started our walk. i got to see both babies sticking their beaks out of their nest today waiting for their momma to return.

    1. You're right! We saw so much wildlife, I forgot to tell about the hummers! So cool that you saw the babies!