With this trip, you get the drive on GG Bridge, a little drive in the Marin Headlands, a walk on coastal cliffs, interesting native (and non-native) plant life, birds and marine mammals, views that range from moody and sublime to sweeping and grand, a dark rock tunnel to walk through, an old suspension bridge to walk on (two people at a time, 500 lb. limit), an old lighthouse, and a bit of local history. What more could you ask for?
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The view. I could take pictures of GG Bridge all day, no matter the weather.
But, this blog post has a stated purpose. We're here to visit the lighthouse. It's a short walk from the parking lot (aka, the side of the road)
The red iceplant (Carpobrotus) is a much-hated invasive from South America planted to stabilize California's erosive coastal cliffs. Yeah, right--that'll work. Well, at least it's colorful.
The thistles however are native, and are somewhat trendy in native gardens right now. For some people's native gardens, anyway. Your blogger is not so adventurous in the small city garden.
Although he thinks it might be interesting to try.
I'm losing against the Alzheimer's today...Cirsium occidentale?
This is a good place to see a variety of native plants, actually. I'll give them a nomenclatural shot:
Perhaps the best native perennial lupine for the garden. The flowers smell strongly of grape juice. And who doesn't want that in the garden.
I'm going to call this Eriogonum latifolium, but again I'm not 100% on that.
And I'll call this one Artemisia californica or A. pycnocephala; corrections welcome in the comments:
And not just plants. Remember how to tell the difference between seals and sea lions?
For whatever reason, I'm in photographic love with the container ships that sail in and out of San Francisco Bay all day long.
We have a tunnel to walk through.
Out the other side.
But first let's love the suspension bridge.
The view from the bridge, looking north:
On the other side
The lighthouse itself
has a tiny museum inside
to show you how dangerous
these waters are (or were).