|Mount Sutro eucalyptus trees on a foggy morning|
Rodney King did not actually say, "Why can't we all just get along?" but that's how it has come to be remembered. Misquotes and myths. Emotions and the truth. It is often really hard to find the hard core of evidence behind statements we hold to be factual.
I was recently challenged to examine my beliefs about Eucalyptus globulus, blue gum eucalyptus - three giant specimens of which flourish on our property - after hiking around Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve.
Before I say a few Ommms and post about the "Nativist" vs "Novel Landscapist" vat of vitriol I discovered while investigating Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve, I'll describe my experience of hiking there earlier this December.
Mount Sutro rises to around 900 feet in the Inner Sunset area of San Francisco, near Golden Gate Park. Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve is a 125 year-old forest of blue gum Eucalyptus planted by one-time San Francisco mayor Adolph Sutro. It's now owned and managed by UCSF.
|Ivy-laden eucalyptus trees|
I found my first hike a rather dispiriting experience, in part, because it was a cold, rainy December day - dreich as we would say in Scotland - and in part because so many of the trees in the lower areas are draped so heavily in funereal ivy. And because the non-native plants do out number the natives.
Still, I noticed quite a few native plants along the Historic Trail and East Ridge Trail, though finding them reminded me of those drawings in Highlights Magazine where you circle all the hidden objects. Then again - it is December. I look forward to returning in spring.
|Sword fern and red elderberry|
|Fringe cups and/or alum root|
|Chert, the local stone. More on this in the photo of the sign below.|
If my set looks like there are more natives than not, it's because I didn't photograph all the non-natives whereas I pretty much did photograph every native plant I saw.
Once I climbed up out of the forest, my spirits rose. For one, there are lovely views.
|View of downtown San Francisco from a Mount Sutro trail|
For another thing, there is a native habitat recreation/restoration area at the top of the hill, which I enjoyed quite a bit. This signage in that area has good info:
|This sign is worth clicking on to read.|
|Native plant restoration area - coastal scrub plants|
|More coastal scrub plants|
|The native meadow is dormant at this time of year|
- For more on Mount Sutro, you can visit these sites. I'll be mentioning them again them in another post.
- UCSF Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve pages (UCSF owns and manages the land)
- Mount Sutro Stewards (A group that volunteers in the native plant restoration efforts, and maintains trails)
- Save Mount Sutro Forest (a group opposing the "nativist agenda" on Mount Sutro)