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


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.


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:


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


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:

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


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?


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:

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:

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:


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:


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:


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


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


Scenes from Wednesday’s Surreal Sunset Over Bernal Heights


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:


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


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


Exploding Sunset Dazzles Bernal Heights Neighbors


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:


PHOTOS: Top, Dan Jurafshy; below, Telstar Logistics

Some More Recent Photographs by Bernalwood Shuttberbugs


It’s a holiday weekend, so let’s slow down for a moment to appreciate some of the scenery here in this place we are fortunate to call home by taking a peek at some of the photos shared in the Bernalwood Group on Flickr.

Regular Bernalwood readers know that shutterbug Jane Underwood is exceptionally good at seeing the beauty in everyday Bernal life, and her photo of Bernal Hill (shown above) is so vivid you can almost smell it.

Here’s a magnificent shot of the semi-secret swing on Bernal Hill, by Saulo Mohana:


Neighbor Markus Spiering took a moment to appreciate a recent summer night, as seen from his home in Santana Rancho:

Here’s another one from Neighbor Markus; a totally retro, color-coordinated set of a vintage VW beetle and a matching Bernal shoebox house.


Speaking of old VWs, bmeabroad captured this scene of the Bernal backwoods:


Neighbor Laurie Wigham has been busy with her watercolors, and I love this view looking east at a dog-walker, as seen from atop Bernal Hill:


Photographer m_travels has been on a quest to capture all the hills of San Francisco. This is her entry for Bernal; a loovley perspective on the camera-shy west slope, as seen from San Jose Ave:


If you go for a stroll around the neighborhood during the long weekend, take a few photos along the way, and share your very best with us in the Bernalwood Flickr Group. Happy wandering!

Before Now, If You Wanted to See Bernal Heights Like This, You Had to Be a Bird



On Monday Bernalwood shared an impressive time-lapse video of Karl the Fog that was filmed from a drone flying high above Bernal Hill.

That footage was captured with a Phantom 3 drone, and it caught the attention of Neighbor Keith Karamanos from Montcalm, another Phantom 3 jockey who has also captured some gorgeous footage above Bernal Heights. Yet instead of hovering steadily in one place, Keith took his drone for a cruise across northeast Bernal Heights, and the result is some of the most stunning footage of our neighborhood we’ve ever seen.

Sure, it’s fun to pretend to “fly” over Bernal using newfangled tools like Google Earth. But thanks to today’s even more newfangled drones, it’s now possible for all of us to see the real thing in high resolution from perspectives that have never before been feasible (unless you happened to be, say, a crow or a red-tailed hawk).

So go fullscreen to watch Keith’s gorgeous new video, sit back, and take a moment to appreciate the fact that we now have the opportunity to see this place in ways that few humans ever have, ever before:

Recent Photography Reveals Bernal Heights Gorgeousness Hiding in Plain Sight

springtime.markus Hear that sound? That’s the sound of a reminder telling us that it’s been waaaaaaaaaay too long since we’ve shared some of the retina-sizzling Bernal Heights photography shared in the always-fashionable Bernalwood Flickr group. Here are some pictures to make your eyeballs happy, so get ready to go fullscreen on your monitor or pinch and zoom on your mobile.

The perfect springtime moment you see up above was taken by Neighbor Markus Spiering. It’s so luscious you can almost smell it.

Superstar Bernal photog Ed Brownson snapped this achingly beautiful shot of the mysterious tree shrub thingy on the east side of Bernal Hill: bernaltree.browson

Ed’s photos kick so much ass that we can’t just show one.  He also captured this hilarious canine group photo on the hill:


June snapped this shot of some Bernal branding on a car in the ‘hood:


Clifton Reed shot this magical image of the container cranes on the Southern Waterfront, as seen from Bernal Hill:


Neighbor Ben got a sublime still-life ofAndover at Ellert:


Pugawug Tiny Puna took this photo of some Bernal Hill glory:


It’s easy for Bernalese to take this view for granted, but Erin Malone’s pic reminds us that it is always spectacular:


Ultisusan snapped this timeless moment of Precita Park family zen:


Neighbor Jane Underwood always finds beauty in the subtle details of Bernal Heights, and here she found it in branches near a rooftop:


And here’s one I took back in February, when the poppies first started to pop:


And of course, whenever you capture a snap that put the Bernal sexy in your shutter, please share it with the rest of us in the Bernalwood Flickr Group.  As always, special thanks to all the amazing photographers who help us see this place in new ways.

Thursday: Bernal Brothers Exhibit Awesome, Big-Format Wilderness Photography


Neighbor Tim Mullen and his brother Mike are in the large-format photographic printing business, and tomorrow evening, May 14, he and his brother are hosting an exhibit of some California wilderness photos. Naturally, you are so invited:

Tim Mullen of the 200 block of Elsie Street here, writing to let you know of an event taking place on Thursday, May 14 that may be of interest to Bernalites.

I’m half of the Mullen Brothers Imaging team that made the historic photos that were on display at Pinhole Coffee. The other half of this team, Brother Mike, is working on the massive task of photo-documenting all of the lakes of Desolation Wilderness (just West of Lake Tahoe). There are hundreds of lakes there, both named and un-named. The project focusses on the natural beauty of this pristine wilderness, but also touches on the ideas of solitude in a state of 34 million people and the very timely issue of water scarcity.

On May 14, from 6 to 9 PM, our company Mullen Brothers Imaging will host a gallery exhibition of many of the images collected to date. Out gallery is at 2040 Oakdale Ave. in 94110.

PHOTO: Mullen Brothers Imaging