We’ve often spoken here of the beauty of Mount Sutro Cloud Forest on days when it’s wrapped in soft gray fog and the tree tops are hidden in the mist. Then the muffled sounds of the city barely disturb the tapping of the forest’s interior rain on the leaves, and the forest seems immensely large. It’s as if it’s another world in another dimension.
But the Mount Sutro Forest is also lovely sunlit. Yesterday, a drizzly day gave way to a clear afternoon, bright blue sky decorated with fluffy picture-book cumulus clouds. The sunlight slanting through the trees kindled the undergrowth to a glowing green.
Despite the weather, few people were out. We passed a couple of friendly bike-riders, who called a greeting as they went by. The understory on the South Ridge has begun to heal after being mowed down some months ago; a few birds flew around, and some may have been nesting from the way they darted into the bushes.
Here’s the picture closer in. What was the copter’s mission? Nothing to do with the forest, it turned out… the issue was closer home.
Returning by the East Ridge trail, we were dismayed at how it’s been denuded of its understory, especially in the area just above the new “Clubhouse” that’s being built on Johnstone. Instead of lush green vegetation, it’s open and dry and littered with twigs and bark.
But in a countervailing piece of good news… at 9 p.m., we heard the soft resonant hoots of the Great Horned Owls. It sounded like two of them, from the forest. We hope they’re back and not just passing through.