Bernal Hill Is Now Very Green, Very Lush, and Very Gorgeous

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January was gray and damp, and according to the weather-watchers, we had more rain in January 2016 than we had for the previous five Januaries combined. Hooray! But there was a break between storms over the weekend, so Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter and I took advantage of the sun to document the glory of Bernal Hill in full Green Mode.

To make our tour a little easier to follow, let’s use this official Ski Bernalwood trail map for navigational reference:

The Cub Reporter and I started on the south side, under a cloudless blue sky, just below Sutrito Tower. The colors were sizzling.

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From there we walked toward Rock Quarry. For much of the year, this area looks like a passable facsimile of the surface of Mars. But right now, the chert formations in the quarry have grown a green peachfuzz beard:

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And of course, no visit to Rock Quarry is complete without some walking meditation in the labyrinth:

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Thus even more mindfully, we headed north along the western rim of the quarry, after stopping to admire another reminder that Bernal Is For Lovers:

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Then we started climbing up, to take in that incredible OMFG Martian view of Sutro Tower and Noe Valley:

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From there we continued north, to take in the colors and contrasts of the Owl’s Nest face. This is always one of my favorite views, but it’s so much more festive in green, don’t you think?

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Then we climbed a little higher, to the fence around Sutrito Tower just above the 14 Limited face. From here, Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter took a moment to survey her hometown. (It must be tough to grow up in San Francisco, because it kind of ruins you for life):

24380284319_885d062605_kFrom there we continued along the summit ridge, until we got our first view of Bernal Hill’s east half. Oh my:

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We continued east, walking along the ridge beneath the Vista Pointe chairlift, toward the quiet slope of Haunted House, on the southeast part of the hill. Thick green grasses were billowing in the wind, and hundreds of yellow Oxalis were open to the sun:

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Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter confessed that this is actually her favorite spot on Bernal Hill. Then she sat down in a patch of grass with a panoramic view of the 101-280 spaghetti bowl, and began to weave a garland from Oxalis flowers:

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That moment was about as good as any moment gets anywhere on our planet — or any other planet, for that matter. I looked back toward the west, to appreciate the scene:

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It was time to continue our survey, so we contined east along the north side of the ridge, until we hit the mysterious tree-shrub thingy that some Bernalwood readers  tell us is actually a California Buckeye. Only, with so much green grass beneath it, it doesn’t seem quite so spooky at the moment:

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From afar,  however, the tree-shrub thingy still looks sculptural, and the intensity of the green grass makes it look even more otherworldly:

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Starting today, we’re in for a few days of unsettled weather. But next time the sun comes out, take a lazy stroll on Bernal Hill  to enjoy it during this period of peak seasonal engreenment. You will feel fortunate.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

 

Rainbows Bombard Bernal During Brief Break in Winter Storms

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Blessed are the rains that have come to our lands this winter, for they are sorely needed. Yet during a brief break in the storms yesterday, the sun made a glorious appearance, which prompted Neighbor Valerie to issue a Rainbow Warning via the Twitters:

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Sure enough, within moments reports began streaming in to the Bernalwood Rainbow Situation Control Facility about a prismatic bombardment underway in Bernal Heights. From his vantage point on Bernal Hill, Tom Cook captured a pristine full-arc rainbow over the Mission:

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Jason witnessed a devastatingly euphoric rainbow strike on Cortland:

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Neighbor Valerie saw a rainbow pounding Bayshore with joy:

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Added Nationwide Celebrity Bonus: As the rain pitter-pattered on the roof this morning, your Bernalwood editor huddled over a cup of coffee to read the newspaper. This photo caught our eye on the front page of the National section of The New York Times:

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Oh hey! That’s Bernal Hill! The caption reads:

Dark clouds hovered over Bernal Heights on Tuesday as storms from the climate pattern known as El Niño began hitting the West Coast. Heavy rain, while welcome after five years of drought, increased fears of mudslides and flash floods in areas stripped bare by wildfires. Some forecasts called for nearly an inch of rain a day for the next 16 days in Northern California.

And also… more potential rainbows.

PHOTO: Top, Direct rainbow hit on Bernal Heights. Original photo by Greg McQuaid.

Scenes from Wednesday’s Surreal Sunset Over Bernal Heights

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There have been some rather lovely sunsets around Bernal Heights of late.

Neighbor Rally snapped this fabulous profile shot of Bernal Hill on Wednesday evening. Then, not far away, Neighbor Seth captured the view from the eastern side of the park:

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Meanwhile, just down the hill, I took a photo of Harvest Hills Market, as seen from Precita Park, at almost the same moment:

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And though I can’t personally vouch for this, Neighbor James assures us that the sunrise on Wednesday morning was also rather impressive:

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Seasonal Transition Alert! Bernal Hill Engreening Officially Underway

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With the blessed arrival of some early season rains, it was just a matter of time before Bernal Hill began its annual transition from Brown Mode to Green Mode.

This morning, a proclamation from Neighbor Veronica made it official:

The Engreenening has begun!

Indeed! Neighbor Veronica also shared these photos of Bernal Hill’s verdant new peachfuzz to verify the transformation that’s now underway.

Hail the rains! Hail the green!

PHOTOS: Neighbor Veronica

Rainbow Alert! Surprise Morning Rainbow Strikes Energize Bernal Heights

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Earlier this morning, a surprising series of Class 4 rainbows touched down around Bernal Heights, triggering widespread feelings of euphoria and awe. Neighbor Bronwyn shared the photo above, and check out this stunner from Neighbor Jordan (click to embiggen):

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Here’s what Neighbor Estelle saw:

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Meanwhile, other reports streamed into the  Bernalwood Rainbow Situation Control Facility:

Confirmed… Double Rainbow!!

And then I flipped over to the other side of the hill to see the full thing! #bernalheights

A photo posted by Erika NJ Alperin (@erikanj) on

Exploding Sunset Dazzles Bernal Heights Neighbors

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There have been some remarkable sunsets of late, but the one last night was a real jaw-dropper. Neighbor Dan snapped this stunning photo last night from glamorous Winfield Street.

Meanwhile, at about the same time, your Bernalwood editor was at a slightly lower altitude, crossing Cesar Chavez  just as the sky exploded. It was so intense, I stopped dead in my tracks in pure awe. Here’s an unedited, #nofilter view of the kind of landscape that makes even an AutoZone parking lot look supersexy:

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PHOTOS: Top, Dan Jurafshy; below, Telstar Logistics