Porcine Santa Brings Joy to Bernal Neighbor

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With all the joyful exuberance of a child who awakens to find new toys under the tree on December 25, Neighbor Erin is very excited about the arrival of the Christmas Pig on Park Street in Bernal Heights:

He’s back! By far the greatest holiday decoration in Bernalwood and, perhaps, the world… CHRISTMAS PIG!

Ho, Ho, Ho! Oink, Oink, Oink!

Your Bernalwood editor went to visit the illuminated creature last night, and we can confirm that it is, indeed, rather fabulous. To capture the full porcine effect, however, we also filmed this little video:

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A video posted by Todd Lappin (@telstarlogistics) on

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Grisly Picket Fence of Death Returns to Haunt Gladys Street

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Neighbor John shares these photos showing the return of the truly Grisly Picket Fence of Death that the neighbors on Gladys create to celebrate Halloween:

A few of us on Gladys Street have once again created our “Grisly Picket Fence of Death,” in honor of the upcoming holiday.

Not to be outdone, there’s also this super-spooky house on Moultrie at the corner of Eugenia:

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Neighbor John

Buddhist Chickens Guide New Bernal Neighbor on Path to Nirvana

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Neighbor Maggie recently moved to the upper elevations of Peralta, where shes been exploring Zen and the Art of Exploring Bernal Heights:

My first few weeks living in Bernal were like a fairy tale. They continue to be, but the first weeks of anything feel like a dream-state because everything is brand new. Every time I left my house, the tallest one of the top of a hill, I set out in a different direction. Moving from Brooklyn – where you are forced to walk in a grid no matter how hard you try to stray – it was like a “chose your own adventure” every time I walked my pup, Miko.

Most often, I let her decide where we went. She’s usually the one to find the little paths and secret stairways and gardens that make Bernal so charming and calming. One day we happened upon these very zen chickens. They have their own coop, a fenced in backyard, and a great garden view. It comes complete with a little Buddha that I’ve often seen them cuddled next to – completely chilled out, even when a little mutt is curiously sniffing around them.

Every day we take an adventure in Bernal, every day brings a new gift, and every day I feel grateful to live here.

PHOTO: Neighbor Maggie

Bernal Neighbors Baffled by Big Bird of Prey

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Over the weekend Bernalwood received several reports that a rather large bird of prey  had been seen loitering in several Bernal Heights back yards. It began when this big bird was spotted in the backyard of Neighbor @Mop_Head, who speculated that the creature might be a Peregrine Falcon.

On Sunday, Neighbor Erin spotted a similar bird near College Avenue:

Over on Facebook, there were many theories. Perhaps it’s a juvenile red-tailed hawk? Or a coopers hawk? Or maybe a kestrel?

So what kind of critter is it? To answer that, Bernalwood shared the photos with ace birdwatcher Neighbor John, who theorizes:

A little hard to tell, but I’d say it is a juvenile Coopers Hawk. It’s a bit difficult to tell the size and a super similar looking hawk, though smaller is a Sharp Shinned.

Both are reasonably common around here. It would be great to think that this might be one of the two Red Tails that fledged from the nest on the north side of Bernal a month or two ago, but it’s too small and doesn’t have the right markings. For me the key is the dark stripe on the underside of its neck. Peregrines have a mostly white neck. As Coopers get older they add a rufous color to their necks and shoulders. And, as with all hawks, seeing them in flight is key to identification.

UPDATE: 3 August, 1 pm: Neighbor John and his bird-spotting son Eddie shot this photo this morning on the hill.  John says:

Eddie and I saw a hawk on our walk this morning, both in flight and in the tree above the Gates steps on the south side of the hill (see attached photo), and the young birder is “very clear” that it is a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk:

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Neighbor Tamara reports that she spotted this bird on the hill two days ago:

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PHOTOS: Top, @MOP_HEAD; below, @ecmesser

Housing Shortage Becomes Fodder for Twee Bernal Birdhouse Humor

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There comes a point in every Bay Area economic boom where housing is scarce and rents are through the roof when some jokester comments about renting out the garage, or the doghouse, or a tent in the yard for an absurd amount of money. (Although, turns out, the tent in the yard is real.)

Citizens of Bernalwood, we have reached that moment. Neighbor Robert shared this photo of a birdhouse he spotted on Precita.

For Rent!! LOLZ!! But wait… it’s a trend!

Neighbor Valerie spotted two more birdhouses on offer around Coleridge:

But here’s the thing: Market forces tell us that $3000 a month is actually a ridiculous amount of money to pay for a birdhouse, because Neighbor Robert also spotted a very innnnnnnnnteresting property listing in The Mission.

It’s an entire studio apartment, and it could be yours for just $2500:

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What a bargain!

PHOTOS: Robert Weiner