San Francisco – Friday 13th Dec, Squirrels

**Disclaimer: There may be many squirrel pictures in this post**

Today we woke up bright and early.  Dale went off to do his thing, and I passed the morning watching movies and reading.  In the afternoon I went for a walk around near the water.  There was a golf course and a wetlands.   Didn’t see much wetlands wildlife, but did finally find some squirrels.  I couldn’t figure out at first if they were squirrels or chipmunks, as they kept zipping into underground burrows, but a quick google search turned up that they were likely Californian Ground Squirrels, as I thought they were larger and less stripey than chipmunks.  They had heaps of burrows, and they would all zip into them if you came too close.  they also had little hollows in the ground, that they would run to and press themselves in if they were too far from the burrow.

Ground squirrel
Ground squirrel, with a big fluffy tail

They all move very quickly but suddenly;  they will stay really still for a bit, then dart to the next place, and pause, motionless, then zip around again.  After the ground squirrels, I found a few black squirrels, and one grey fluffy squirrel.

Black squirrel
Black squirrel

P11705561

Grey squirrel?
Grey squirrel?

It was wonderful, they are all so cute and fluffy and I just want to pat them.  However, they don’t like that.  The tree squirrels do the same pause then darty movements, but they do it up the tree.  They dart onto the tree trunk, then pause, then dart a bit farthur up.  They also don’t seem to mind if they are facing up, down, or sideways when they do this.  Also, if you try and follow them to take pictures, they go up the tree in a circular way, so you end up walking around and around the tree to see them, and eventually have to look down so you don’t fall over, then they disappear.

After my squirrel hunting, I heard what sounded like an eagle, but it might have just been a hawk.  I saw quite a few geese, probably Canadian Geese?  They were noisy.  And a whole mass of black waterbirds, in a similar shape to a Pukeko, but with shorter legs, and a bit smaller, which I think are Coots.

Coots
Coots

I also found a bit of history, in the form of an old house, built in 1867, by a settler who had a lot of influence in the area.

One of the older houses in the Mountain View Area
One of the older houses in the Mountain View Area

P1170567

Meeting back with Dale, we headed back out onto the freeway towards the coast, but traffic was a pain, so we took a random way to the Golden Gate Bridge, which we drove over, and stopped on the other side.   We took a couple of photos, but they ddn’t really come out.  The view of the bridge and the city was very pretty, all sparkly.

San Francisco at night
San Francisco at night. Spot all the planes
Golden gate bridge at night
Golden gate bridge at night

On the way back to  drop off the rental care, we stopped for petrol, had a minor issue with which one to use, and how to work the pump, but got there in the end.

Decided to go to the Stinking Rose for dinner, just down the road.  It is a garlic themed restaurant, and they claim that they serve food with their garlic.  We can attest to that, there was so much garlic in the bread spread that it made your tongue tingly.  But the food otherwise was delishuz, and definitely worth going.  There was a bit of a wait, and they have a ton of tables, but I think we only waited about 15mins for a table.  They had a waiting list that was quite long.

Del;ishuz food
Del;ishuz food
"We serve food with our garlic..."
“We serve food with our garlic…”
Happy getting delishuz food
Happy getting delishuz food

After dinner, it was bed, and being woken up a lot by our silly room-mates, who liked to come and go at all hours of the night, and make the room stink like smoke.