Good Morning, Bernal Heights

Good morning, Bernal Heights! It’s a lovely almost-winter morning here, as verified by resident Bernal-watcher (and early-riser) Christopher Baker, who lives in Noe Valley.

The photo he shared with us this morning is rather gorgeous, so all Bernalese are encouraged to keep this image in mind as you make your way through the day.

Thank you, Christopher!

Colorful Sunrise Bathes Bernal in Magical Light

From my home in the North Bernal lowlands, I noticed this morning that the sunrise was creating some fiery orange reflections on the glass of a few downtown high-rises.

It was a lovely scene, but from his vantage point in Noe Valley,  Bernalspotter Christopher Baker had an even more glamorous view of this morning’s colorful sunrise — because it highlighted us.

Welcome to the new week, Bernal Heights!

PHOTO: Courtesy of Christopher Baker

“Good Morning Bernalwood”

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“Good Morning Bernalwood.”

That’s the message we got earlier today –  along with this image  — courtesy of Christopher Baker, Bernal’s photographically inclined fanboy in Noe Valley. Thanks Christopher!

Oh, and it really was a beautiful sunrise. Did anyone else notice how the color of the color of the light matched the hue of the plum blossoms that are popping right about now? Just for one magnificently ephemeral moment? Wonderful.

Separately, your Bernalwood editor has been arguing recently that winter is the finest season to be in San Francisco – and not just because the skiing on Bernal Hill tends to be excellent. Winter here means no fog, green grass, fragrant air, warm days, occasional hygge-inducing rainstorms, Rainbow Alerts, and so many other unique seasonal charms. Would you agree? Please discuss.

PHOTO: Bernal Hill on February 15, 2017, by Christopher Baker

Steady Rains Give Way to Euphoric Rainbow Barrage

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On the bright side, after a week of rain, the Citizens of Bernalwood yesterday experienced a Category 3 Rainbow Alert, as a break in the storm pattern gave way to a few moments of sun.

Yesterday, Christopher Baker, your resident Bernal-spotter in Noe Valley, snapped the sexxxy photo you see above. “I kept waiting for it to move over the top of hill,” Christopher says. “Rainbow decided it was happy just where it was.”

Meanwhile, in Bernal, Neighbor K. shared this reverse view of a rainbow touching down somewhere near Christopher’s Noe Valley observation post:

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@MLukeMc captured this scene of a full-arc double rainbow showering The Mission with unicorn glitter:

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Here’s another view from Neighbor Dennis:


Neighbor Dan, who lives across the street from me, saw a rainbow beautifying our local artisanal auto workshoppes:

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… and back in Noe Valley, Christopher shared this photo; taken at sunrise this morning. Welcome to a new day, Bernal Heights!

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PHOTOS: Thanks for everyone credited above for shared your photos of this Rainbow Alert

Good Morning Bernal Heights!

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If (heaven forbid) you happened to live in Noe Valley, and if (just if) you happened to be up at sunrise this morning, and if (lucky you) you happened to have a rockstar view of Bernal Hill, then this is what you might have seen this morning as you looked out your window.

Christopher Baker is a Friend of Bernalwood who happens to meet all of these criteria, with the added bonus that he’s also a wonderful photographer. So here you go: Bernal Hill, at sunrise this morning, as seen from Noe and 28th.  Thank you Christopher!

Also: Damn we’re sexy.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Christopher Baker

Our New Cloud-City Skyline, as Seen From Bernal Hill

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Wow .Check out this amazing photo, captured from Bernal Hill Monday morning and shared on Reddit by @faunz.

This is an image of our futuristic urban future, as it shows the skeleton of the new Salesforce Tower poking through the dense blanket of fog that sometimes covers downtown San Francisco. So gorgeous. So Cloud City of Bespin.

Your Bernalwood editor also noticed the new tower standing proud through the clouds when I awoke on Monday, and it prompted a pre-caffeinated moment of wonder and awe. So I’m grateful to have that moment captured in a photo. It’s going to be amazing to see how our evolving skyline will look from Bernal Heights when Salesforce Tower is completed.

PHOTO: @faunz on Reddit

Sunday: Celebrate Pinhole Photography Day at Pinhole Coffee

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Neighbor JoEllen from Pinhole Coffee on Cortland brings word of a special photo-coffee event happening on Sunday, April 23:

There is a big holiday for Pinhole enthusiasts this Sunday. It’s Pinhole Day, a worldwide event that goes back to the roots of photography to celebrate pinhole photographs. It’s always held on last Sunday of April,and  this year that’s Sunday, April 24th

Pinhole Coffee is featuring pinhole photographs by Bay Area artist (former Bernal resident) Joy Caves. In addition to taking pinhole photographs, Joy develops them with caffenol, a coffee developer. From 10-2pm on Sunda,y she will be present to show people how to take pinholes and how caffenol works.

In addition, anyone who wears Pinhole Coffee apparel, or purchases any, on Sunday the 24th will receive 1 free beverage.

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PHOTO: Top, Sutro Tower pinhole photo, by JoEllen Depakakibo

Finally! Clear, Up-Close Portraits of a Bernal Coyote

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We’ve known for some time that coyotes have settled in Bernal Heights and become our new neighbors. Yet while coyote sightings are now a frequent occurrence, so far many of the photos of the coyotes that we’ve seen have suffered from the Bigfoot Problem — the images have been distant and somewhat grainy.

Over the weekend Bernal neighbor and ace photographer Cristiano Valli tackled that by capturing some of the most stunning and intimate portraits of our coyote-neighbors that we’ve seen thus far. He says:

“[This coyote] lives in the backyard of the cool house on Stoneman at Shotwell. He’s terrified most of the time. Aggressive if cornered. Cute like hell.”

Here are a few more of Neighbor Cristiano’s portraits of our coyote neighbors.

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PHOTOS: Cristiano Valli on Instagram

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