Posts Tagged ‘botanical’

San Francisco Fox Roundup 2011: There are Fewer Adorable Red and Gray Foxes in Town, But They’re Out There

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

I think they are, out there in Golden Gate Park and the Presidio and other less urban parts of town. I thought I could point you to some photos of sightings this year, but I came up empty. (I found of lot of paintings (like this one at our Legion of Honor Museum) and other works of art and honeys and Halloween costumes and the like.)

However, all these relatively recent shots are new to me

2010 at Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park

Another one in GGP

2010 in the Parkside near the Zoo

2009 in GGP

2009 at Strybing Arboretum in GGP

2009 near (or in) Daly City 

2001 in the Presidio

It was a lot easier to spot foxes back in the Aughts, back in the first decade of the 2000’s. Poison got a few red foxes in Golden Gate Park (and one got hit by a car on Crossover Drive, I think) and the native gray foxes are probably up there in the Presidio still, but I can’t point you to photos to show that. Oh well.

This was the San Francisco Fox Roundup for 2009. Enjoy:

After a period of time of no sightings of foxes in Golden Gate Park, it seems that they might be coming back, especially in the western end. They probably are able to travel back and forth to the Presidio and Land’s End fairly easily.

Here’s a report from Joyce W., who saw a Fantastic Mr. (or Mrs. Fox) back in 2009:

“It was about 4:00 pm and the fox was within 15 feet of JFK BLVD at the far West end.
It was intently watching a gopher hole on a wide open patch of mowed lawn.
Two cars stopped and watched in silence which didn’t seem to bother the fox.
It wasn’t until a jogger came by that the creature dashed into the woods.
I am 90% sure it was a Red Fox and not our local Grey Fox.  Very striking colour combination with the red, black and white.
How did these creatures end up in the park? Amazing.

I regret that my cell phone was tucked away.  I was mesmerized by the vision before my eyes and didn’t want to divert my gaze for a second.
I watched it be absolutely still for at least three minutes.”

So there you have it. Coyotes are a similar size, but they run with their tails down and they’re not red the way cute cute red foxes are. So let’s call this a reliable report of a red fox in the west end of GGP at the tail end of 2009. Elusive, aren’t they? (Not at all like San Francisco’s raccoons and parrots.)

Here are photos of some east end foxes, from back in the day:

Foxes certainly don’t mind living in and around cities. Near Lincoln Boulevard in the Inner Sunset. Until we get some new photos, these old ones will have to do. Click to expand:

The last fox I photographed in Golden Gate Park. A wispy blur:

From about 175 feet away in Strybing Arboretum. She’ll see you before you see her:

A kit (or pup or cub) with its mom:

Keep a look out, they’re out there somewhere.

Send in your reports or post them to Twitter, as Thrusty did.

Impressions, Strybing: There’s a Riot of Color Going On in Golden Gate Park These Days, For Those Who Break the Boycott

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

This is what you can see inside Strybing Arboretum this time of year:

Click to expand

And outside, what you’ll see are a bunch of tourists debating the merits of paying $28 or whatever to enter the gates. Usually, they walk off dejectedly.

Oh well.

Take a Look at Strybing Arboretum (aka San Francisco Botanical Garden) After the Admissions Boycott

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Why does our Strybing Arboretum (aka San Francisco Botanical Garden) need to become “world-class?”

Nobody’s ever explained that one to me. But that’s the rationale for charging admission these days (after six decades of free admission.)

Now, why isn’t our Strybing Arboretum called Strybing Arboretum anymore?

So it can become “world-class.” (Apparently, naming an arboretum after the woman who gave the money to start things up is considered provincial Back East. Plus Founder Helene Strybing made the mistake of becoming old and dying so nobody gives a ROMEO ALPHA about her anymore.)

Anyway, they started charging admission so the place turned into a ghost town, a “museum of plants and trees.”

Click to expand

Oh well.

They said if things didn’t work out, they’d stop charging admission.

They said.

Check Out the New Ticket Booths for Strybing Arboretum – Would You Want to Work in This Box for $11 Per Hour?

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Here are your deets for the new ticket booths at the San Francisco Botanical Garden:

59K for kiosks

And here’s your bill:

And here’s what they look like. Yes, there’s a bathroom in there:

Click to expand

Myself, I haven’t been back into Strybing (except to poke my head in to see how few people are there) since they started charging admission.

Maybe I’ll visit again when they stop charging…

But these booths need hawkers, you know, just like the strip clubs in North Beach. Why don’t you sign up?

You’ll need sales skills of course. Check out the job posting below.

BTW, your pay as a  “Garden Ambassador” will be $9.92 below minimum wage (aka nothing) and your commission will be zero (0) percent. (Can you imagine what hawkers would do on slow days if they got paid a commish of one dollar per entry ticket? OMG,


Greet visitors at the North Gate of the Botanical Garden and encourage them to visit this outstanding garden. Many visitors approach the admissions kiosk and don’t know about the amazing garden that lies just beyond the gates.


  • Public Speaking, Sales


Willingness to approach the public. Ability to communicate effectively and persuasively. Sincere desire to share basic knowledge about the Garden. Genuine love and appreciation for the SF Botanical Garden.”

Remembering Strybing Arboretum Before They Started Charging $7 Per, Before the Boycott: Blue Bamboo

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Blue bamboo (Himalayan Blue Bamboo, Himalayacalamus hookerianus) is totally blue, who knew?

Click to expand

Maybe it will still be there when the paywall comes down in a couple years at the now-emptied Strybing.

I’m going back someday
Come what may
To blue bamboo


Wouldn’t Just Shutting Down Strybing Arboretum Generate More Money Than Charging Admission?

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Doesn’t San Francisco already pay seven figures a year to run the San Francisco Botanical Garden? So why should people have to pay to get into the thing? Oh, it costs money to run, a whole lot? Well, then why don’t we just shut it down?

One might wonder.

Jim Lazarus, past president of the Recreation and Park Commission, gets it wrong here:

“Some members of the Board of Supervisors want the department to repeal a $7 fee for nonresidents to visit the Botanical Garden…”

Well actually, Jimbo, why not let’s do nothing and then the fee would go away by itself, right? No repeal is necessary, actually, as you already know, huh Jimbo?

Now here comes simple-minded Randy Shaw of Beyond Chron, who doesn’t seem to understand that the purported quarter-million a year that’s “expected” (by whom, some wildly optimistic person, obviously) to be generated by the fee will for pay three “extra” unionized gardeners at the Arboretum. There’s no way on Gaia’s Green Earth that the fee at Strybing will pay for social services.

And here’s the Chronicle, what can look past the almost-certain permanent imposition of fees at Strybing and see that residents will soon be charged admission as well. That”s something that simple-minded Randy Shaw can’t seem to understand. Oh well.

So the temporary boycott of San Francisco Botanical Garden will soon become permanent. O.K. fine.

Good-bye, animals of Strybing Arboreum:

Click to expand

Budget and Legislative Analyst Harvey M. Rose Calls Revenue Forecasts at Strybing Arboretum “Highly Optimistic”

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

SF Crime Examiner Thomas Pendergrast has pretty much all you need to know about the plan to make permanent the access fees at the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

And looky here, here’s a pdf from Budget and Legislative Analyst  Harvey M. Rose, CPA:


Ouch, that’s got to hurt.

When an accountant calls your forecasts “highly optimistic,” what’s he really saying?

Oh well.

I guess the BOS will soon vote to make the temporary boycott of the San Francisco Botanical Garden a permanent boycott.

Oh well.

As seen last Saturday:

Oh, and look what else is coming up:

“Thursday, April 7, 2011
2:00 p.m.
City Hall, Room 416
Discussion and possible action to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve an ordinance amending Park Code Article 12 authorizing the Commission to discount admission fees for the Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden and the San Francisco Botanical Garden as part of a Golden Gate Park Access Pass. (ACTION ITEM) Staff: Brent Dennis.

Hey. what’s a GOLDEN GATE PARK ACCESS PASS? We’ll find out soon enough…

Oh well….

Arboretum Fees Don’t Even Pay the Bills

Keep the Arboretum Free

Keep the Strybing Arboretum (Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park) Free!

Debate Over the Garden Fee

Admission Fee Protest at Strybing Arboretum: A Large Crowd Gathered at the Main Gate of the Botanical Garden Today

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Let’s call it a crowd of 150 today that gathered at the Main Gate of Strybing Arboretum to protest the permanent imposition of admission fees.

See it for yourself – you can catch Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi offering his thoughts:

Quintin Mecke was on hand representing Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s office and somebody else spoke for Supervisor John Avalos. Noticed Aaron Peskin in the audience as well.

All the while, there was absolutely nobody on or near the Main Lawn just inside the admission gate. Presenting your empty Strybing Arboretum:

Click to expand

But that’s the way the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society likes it.

You see, they love plants but they hate people.

Oh well.

Arboretum Fees Don’t Even Pay the Bills

Keep the Arboretum Free

Keep the Strybing Arboretum (Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park) Free!

Debate Over the Garden Fee


Rally to Tear Down Pay Wall at Strybing Arboretum Today at 1:00 PM: Protest at the San Francisco Botanical Garden

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

It’s on at San Francisco’s Arbo today.

Deets below. See you there!

Do any of these people approve of the new fees at Strybing Arboretum? A few, the gardeners mostly:

Saturday April 2nd, 2011
1:00PM – 2:00PM
Arboretum Main Gate
(9th Avenue & Lincoln)


On April 6th, 2011, the Budget Committee of the Board of Supervisors will be making a crucial decision on the future of the fee, either free admissions for all or a permanent non-resident fee.

SUPPORT- Ordinance 110113 sponsored by Supervisors Avalos, Campos, Kim, Mar and Mirkarimi to use Prop N tax revenues as a sustainable solution to support a free public garden.

OPPOSE- Ordinance 110225 sponsored by the Mayor for a permanent fee.

After 7 months the fee has been a failure. Only $54,800 out of a promised $250,000 has been collected. Attendance, based on Rec & Park figures, has declined sharply with non-resident visitors down 70% vs. estimates and resident visitors down 36%. RPD’s strategy is to market Strybing Arboretum as the new Japanese Tea Garden.


Attend the Budget Committee Hearing on Wed. April 6 (time TBA)

Call (by far most effective), e-mail and write potential swing-vote Supervisors to eliminate the fee:
David Chiu – 554 -7450
Malia Cohen – 554- 7670
Scott Weiner – 554- 6968

Join The Rally To Remove The Fee ! Saturday April 2nd between 1:00PM – 2:00PM at the Arboretum Main Gate


A Red-Eared Slider Gets Totally Pwned by a Great Blue Heron in Golden Gate Park

Monday, March 7th, 2011

First it was all like this:

But then it was all like this:

Click to expand

See what I mean? Pwned!

How wude, huh?