Sutro Forest Thanksgiving

Fall in San Francisco brings uncertain weather – (welcome) rainy days mixed in with days of beautiful crisp clarity (also welcome). The day before Thanksgiving was a picture-book  afternoon, and Sutro Forest beckoned.

pix9 072 forest
We went up perhaps an hour before sunset, and the light was already turning golden.

A tiny crescent moon shone high up. We used to call a daytime moon “the Children’s Moon” – a leftover from the Victorian era in which children were put to bed so early in summer that they didn’t see the moon at night.

Childrens moon  over Sutro Forest
There’s still a wildness to the forest, and a natural beauty that hasn’t yet been cut away. Not all the trees are straight, and the leaning and twisted ones add to the forest’s character.

There aren’t many flowers in the forest now, but some nasturtiums persist.

nasturtiums in sutro forest
We heard a lot of birds in the canopy, too far for us to recognize them. A few also scratched and darted around the bushes. We heard a humming bird clicking and buzzing, and here’s a fuzzy picture of (probably) a hermit thrush.

hermit thrush in sutro forest


As sometimes happens, we came across things people had left behind.

 lost spade
Sutro Stewards, if you are missing this spade – it’s near the Christopher trail head.

animal cap
And whoever belongs to this animal cap/scarf – it’s been careful placed on a log on the North Ridge trail down from the Native Garden.

Sutro Forest trail
We continued down the trails with the light slanting in.  For such a lovely day, there were few people in the forest. There were maybe half a dozen hikers over two hours, and three or four bikers enjoying the natural beauty and peace of the forest.

pix9 051 forest at sunset
Without the fog, there were views out of the forest.

golden gate bridge from Sutro Forest
The trails are damp from recent rain, but not muddy except in a very few easily avoided places.
pix9 098 view window
The forest has some bare areas it didn’t have before – those that have been decimated by the so-called ‘fire-safety work’, the felling of over 200 trees declared hazardous, and drastic understory removal.

cleared area in sutro forest
Still, you can avoid those areas, and much of the forest is still very lovely.

Sutro Forest glows golden in the sunset


So on Thanksgiving Day 2014, here’s what we’re thankful for:

  • That Adolph Sutro planted this wonderful forest 125 years ago.
  • That this piece survived when much of the rest of his forest was cut down;
  • That through the efforts of neighbors who fought to save it in the 1970s, it did not become a construction site;
  • And that 15 years since the Plan to destroy most of its trees and understory, it yet stands tall and beautiful.
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2 Responses to Sutro Forest Thanksgiving

  1. Jacquie says:

    Beautiful and inspiring – thank you for all you do to preserve and protect this very special part of San Francisco!

  2. Richard Crooks says:

    This is such a beautiful area and should be left alone for all times. Taking one tree down is one to many.

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