What Is Buried Under the Big Shrub/Tree Thing on Bernal Hill?

Bernal Hill

Bernal Hill

The big shrub/tree thingy on the eastern slope of Bernal Heights Park is one of the most impressive — if underrated —  features on the hill. The consensus among our local plantspotters is that it’s a California Buckeye (Aesculus californica).

The Buckeye cuts a dramatic profile from almost any angle, but if you look at it closely you might notice two small grave markers tucked away under the branches on the downtown-facing side. How creepy! How gothic!

So who’s buried under there? The answer becomes clear if you dare approach for a closer look: The grave markers belong to departed subcultural pets.

One of the tombstones remembers a punk rock rabbit named Vikktor who died earlier this year:

Buckeye Grave

The other is a snake named Spike that began its eternal rest in 2010:

Buckeye Grave

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

7 thoughts on “What Is Buried Under the Big Shrub/Tree Thing on Bernal Hill?

  1. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I much prefer graffiti’d rocks going gold than Bernal Hill as a pet cemetery. Cue glamorous horror movie comments.

  2. Love that tree/shrub (glad to hear it ID’d and as a native) always liked to give it a nod as I’m running or walking up that steep grade…kind of amazed that the snake marker has gone undisturbed as long as it has.

  3. I think I saw a dog’s grave marker under that tree/shrub a few years back. I wonder how far back this tradition goes…

  4. This tradition goes back over twenty years… I know about a goldfish, russian dwarf hamster, dog, cat, bearded dragon, and a blue-bellied tarantula to name some. I hope it continues to grow. Thank you, spirit of Bernal Heights, may you rest in peace.

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