I love this photo, which was taken by Ed Brownson and submitted via (hint! hint! hint!) the Bernalwood Flickr group. The birds are house finches, the place was Bernal Hill, the date was August 11, and the weather was — surprise! — kind of foggy.
Meanwhile, in another one of his shots, Ed snapped a wider angle on the woody shrub where the finches were hanging out. Perhaps you’ll recognize the location; it sits on the eastern slope of Bernal Heights Park, facing downtown to the north. I’ve always wondered about that shrub/tree thingy… it’s so distinctive. Any of Bernalwood’s armchair botanists know more about it? What kind of tree/shrub thingy is it??
UPDATE: For ye plant-sleuths, here’s a more clear perspective on the mystery shrub, showing both its full shape and location.