Photos of Finches (and That Mysterious Giant Shrub)

House finches closeup  (11 Aug 11)

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.

Lone Tree

PHOTOS: Finches, Ed Brownson. Mysterious shrub, Telstar Logistics

9 thoughts on “Photos of Finches (and That Mysterious Giant Shrub)

  1. Beautiful photo!
    Could be a California Buckeye- Aesculus californica. They are dormant in the late summer. And here’s a tidbit I never knew about this lovely native: “The seeds have medicinal properties and were cut into pieces, mixed with water, and made into suppositories for hemorrhoids by the Costanoan and Kawaiisu Indians.” The seed pods were also mashed up and put in quiet pools to stupify fish. So now you know where to go if such a need ever arises.
    I love this website.

  2. This post was a topic of discussion at the rec & parks weed removal party on Saturday. Neighbor Ingrid’s expert opinion was that it was a toyon. Full of life, she said, and then one year, suddenly dead.

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