Wild in the City Wednesday…and a Giveaway!

It’s been a time of returning to old haunts. This time it was Buena Vista Park.

Once only a sand dune with large outcroppings of ancient chert, plantings and replantings have turned this hill into an enchanted forest.

Fern and I have only been once since I stopped baby wearing. There’s a lot of uphill at this park, and I found we would only get 1/16th of the way into the forest before incessant whining would start.

But somebody’s a big girl now, and we are discovering an excellent partnership in nature spirit adventures.

San Francisco has been blessed with heavy rains, and this outing was during a break between storms. Our weather often seems to be only one season…some variation of Spring. Even though we are heading into the dark of the year, lots of rain, plus a late indian summer, has spurred the growth of new greens and some beings are just plain confused…

We saw this friend at the beginning of our walk and I felt like Tom Bombadil, urged to say, “You should not be waking. Eat earth! Dig deep! Drink water! Go to sleep!”.

For much of our walk, I let Fern lead the way, letting her choose the direction when the path would split. We encountered so much goodness right at the beginning that our city mantles of concrete and exhaust slipped from our shoulders almost immediately and we found ourselves moving between the worlds.

We watched as a homeless man hid under a tree, feeding peanuts to the squirrels. It was a festive gathering, with each little squirrel running off to bury her goody right in front of us. We quoted and chanted from Timmy Tiptoes, “Who’s been digging up my nuts?”

A few steps away, Fern found a bounty of pinecones, and I met a dear friend.

Primrose offers Libran balance, and she was true to form, both blooming and ripe with seed.

You do know that Evening Primrose Oil (molecularly close to mother’s milk and oh so good for promoting grace before moon cycles) comes from the seeds, yes?

The seed heads, full to the brim. Those little edges hook onto whatever passes it and the slightest jiggle creates a raining sprinkle. A prolific seeder, attracting gold finches and bird soul people.

Collect as many as the stars in sky and you might have enough for a teaspoon of the oil.

I plucked a few stalks and shook them out when I got home. Even after loosing half of them just by the picking, I still was blessed with two tablespoons full. But I won’t be eating them…I will be planting them and…well, wait til the end of this post…

As we walked on, we seemed to find ourselves in an eddy, with Fern walking back and forth on the same stretch of trail, refusing to go up the stairs that beckoned and Mama refusing to walk downhill towards the tennis courts. Suddenly, I noticed that adjacent to the steps was a sideways path, with a gentler incline. I beckoned Fern to enter the sideways time with me and she broke free of the eddy with smiles and play. As I watched her step onto the path, I noticed something just behind her…

Little beings of light hovered around this old cypress and my breath caught as it dawned on me…could it be?

A wild beehive!

There was some lovely soft sand at the base and Fern had a good roll while Mama stood beneath the tree, heart singing.

Lit up more than we could have imagined, we continued on.


The day had already been so generous with us, but then something truly remarkable happened. (Note to self, next time you look at the telescopic lens and wonder, “Should I bring that?” the answer is “Yes you should, you silly dingbat.”

Swooping down, full of power and glory, a Red Tail Hawk landed right next to us. I mean…just…right there.

My camera, however, decided to focus on everything except the subject. *Cry*.

In what felt like an eternity, but was probably more like 2-3 minutes, the hawk just…hung out. I actually began to wonder if it was hurt, because, you know, it couldn’t be because we’re awesome or anything. Fern began to get bored and wanted to start walking again. I said to her, “You’re going to grow up thinking that astonishing encounters in nature are normal simply because you always experience them with your mom.” She just whined and said, “Can I move my feet now?”

Goodbye and wow…thank you!

I have several more totally blurry shots, but I’ll spare you.

Free to whoop and run, we scampered up to the next hill and found a sandy glen with fallen logs.

And a coyote den…

I swear I don’t make this shit up. That’s why I bring my camera.

Oh beautiful world…

Fern began lying down on the cement, using pine cones as pillows, thus signaling the end of our walk. We rested for a bit and watched as this old couple walked up with their chairs…

See the squirrels running? The man made a squeaky “pshht pshht” sound and the entire wood came galloping in, crows and scrub jays included.

Thank you camera, for focusing on the pine needles but not the two people in chairs.

Many of you have received your Bioregional Swap packages already, even though I am taking my own sweet mollasses time with sending my own (I am diligently working on it every day MB, really! It’s almost done…). One thing I realized as I was packing up seeds for my partner is that…holy moly I have a veritable wilderness in bio packages. In other words, I have a shit ton of seeds.

So in the spirit of thanks for all of you beauties, I am doing a give away. I would like to send one of you a kit for your very own Magical Garden. This seed mix will contain all homegrown and wildcrafted seeds, and may include (but is not limited to): Clary Sage, Hummingbird Sage (attracts friendly hummers, really!), California Bee Balm (Figwort), Evening Primrose, Old Fashioned Zinnias, Bachelor Buttons, Nettles, Snap Dragons, Motherwort, Yarrow, Feverfew, Self-Heal, Moth Mullein, Pennyroyal, Anise Hyssop, Hawthorn…the list goes on!

They will be all mixed up, so part of the fun will be the mystery as they begin to grow…and most of them flower! I will include planting suggestions and tips.

To enter, leave a comment and why not…if you share on FB or your blog, let me know and you’ll get a double entry. Because I’m totally sure that everyone is going to just go hog wild over a bunch of seeds. Ah well, I would!

You have until Dec. 1st to enter, and the rest of winter to dream of your magical garden! (And these seeds will grow in some big pots too, so don’t let lack of land stop you from entering!)

I am so grateful to be in contact with so many of you and doubly blessed for all my readers. My deep and glowing, heartfelt thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving! See you next week.


14 thoughts on “Wild in the City Wednesday…and a Giveaway!

  1. wicked awesome, how i’d love to have those carefully and lovingly gathered seeds. (and especially along with your instructions or else i’d bungle it, haha!) looks like you and ferndiddly had a gorgeously perfect day. i do indeed think there’s a secret universal reason that you are graced with the elite of nature’s wonders.

  2. Hey, well I’d love to enter your giveaway but you know the NZ agriculture rules…sigh…they’d be seized, so no point in sending any here. The seeds sent from Sadie just got seized 😦
    I zoomed in on those photos, especially touched by the oldies in their chairs calling out the forest….and whaddya mean the hawk isn’t hanging with you cos you’re awesome. Course you are! The hawk knew you I think. Whenever you post of your trips into some wild that still exists just in or out of the city I’m reminded of how far it’s been relocated or marginalised, and also though, that people still crave the wildness and want it there. That it continues to survive even in small pockets. It reminds me that there is still good. There is still good. (and yes, i meant to write that twice) x

  3. Love your observations in a city park- just goes to show what you can see with the right set of eyes! I would love the seeds- I have a huge yard in Ashland Oregon with a “wild” area and the seeds could flourish there…
    and thank you for the bio regional swap- it was a great experience!

  4. what a beautiful walk! that shot of fern running toward that gigantic tree is so pretty. and the hawk is pretty fantastic, even if it is blurry 😀 i hope you all had a nice thanksgiving and i am curious how your visit home went. any encounters?

  5. what a lovely day full of such beauty, adventure and amazing encounters… that hawk…. wow!!!! i love all the pictures…. 🙂 please enter me in your awesome giveaway, mary!! i hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving!!!

  6. Hey Lady, just wanted to say how much I’ve been enjoying your lovely blog. I only found you recently (I think through Milla’s blog) & am so happy I did! I love to know there are other vintage, woodland, nature, city, bohemian, magical mamas out there!! I really dug your ghost story from an earlier post, I have a few of those. Oh our world is such a treasure! xoxo Mindy Sue

  7. I don’t think you coulda planned a better walk if you tried!!! So fun that you take Fern take these nature adventure walks 😀 And I’m so bummed I didn’t get in on the bioregional swap! Next year… next year! The seeds sound like a fantastic way to share some SF love! Happy Sunday!

  8. Well, I just posted this to the wrong blog entry… derp. So you get to read it twice. 😉

    Before I found your blog I never would have guessed that there was so much wild beauty in and around The City (I live a couple hours north of you on 101 and that’s how I’ve always thought of S.F… The City, with a capital T & C, heehee). This is wonderful. And the hawk! Holy moly, I woulda peed myself. I’ve been known to nearly drive off the road gazing at hawks. To see one that up close and have it just hang out for a while would be magical. On another note, I would like to enter your giveaway for the seeds. We moved into the house we’re in now nearly a year ago, under difficult and crappy circumstances, and I feel like I’m just now starting to settle in and feel grounded here. Putting some seeds in the earth would feel good. And I love the idea of being surprised by what pops up!

  9. i would love somma them seeds! i’m trying to learn the local flora- you’ve been a big source of inspiration in that regard (among others). always looking for a good walk.

  10. The bees, the hawk, the land, the girl. How lovely, all of them. I’ll throw my comment in for the giveaway! My new yard needs some serious TLC.

  11. My gosh! I could have sworn I commented here, something about how much magic can two people really hold!?!??!? One being so little too! I cannot believe how animals, especially birds are drawn to you. Injured pigeons, coopers hawks, red tailed hawks…wow…

    I feel lucky to know such a magical person and hope that next time we get to hang out in person, there’ll be some of that nature time shared.

    Speaking of sharing, what an awesome giveaway. Now to check out all these missed posts.

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