Walkies: Trespassing at the Presidio Golf Course, and More

Excerpt from mail sent in 2000:

Yesterday, I walked to Marin county.

Along the way, in the Presidio, I tried to hop a fence, but couldn't, ended up crawling under instead. It turned out to be a fence around the Presidio golf course, which was between me and the Golden Gate Bridge.

I was feeling pretty daring, walking across this golf course, trespassing. Then I got to the North side--and there was a gate, standing wide open. So maybe mine wasn't such a great feat of trespassing.

(But on my way back, kind of lost, I found myself at that gate again. And this time it was closed and locked. And there were people (albeit golfers) around. So I didn't look for a way through the fence there.)

Also in the Presidio, I thought I saw a heron, or some other stilty-looking bird. I was looking out in the middle of some lawn, and there was something strange there that could have been a heron.

It was raining, and there was a building with a covered arcade so I stepped into the arcade and tried to figure out what I was looking at.

It wasn't moving. It occurred to me that this could be one of those prank heron statues that you can order out of the backs of comic stores. It occurred to me that there was no such thing. Still, could a heron really stay still that long? And what would it be doing on a lawn? Don't they prefer wetlands? More likely, I was looking at an outdoor lightfixture that had a palm frond resting on it.

I started to walk across the lawn for a closer look. I soon found that this lawn, thanks to the rain, was actually a serviceable wetland.

I had been heading directly towards the mysterious object. Now I stopped, turned 45 degrees, and kept walking. I kept walking until it was out of my view, then looked back.

It was a heron. Now that I'd changed my angle with respect to it, I could see that it had turned its head to keep an eye on me.


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