Errant Waterfowl Returns to Familiar Spot on Precita Ave.

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Remember that odd, errant waterfowl that made an incongruous appearance on Precita Avenue last spring? Neighbor Dan reports that a) it’s spring again and b) a near-identical waterfowl has returned to the exact same spot on Precita:

Remember that hanger on that Bernalwood chronicled last may? Its back! Do you think its the same fellow?

That’s the obvious question, given the clear evidence that the similarities are indeed very similar:

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If there are any waterfowl experts in Bernalwood’s studio audience, please share your bird-wisdom in the comments.

PHOTO: Neighbor Dan

UPDATED: Large Tree Validates Newtonian Physics on Virginia Street

It probably wasn’t intended as a science experiment, but a big tree fell on the 300 block of Virginia during the wee hours of this morning, taking out a fence along the way. Neighbor Blair reports:

Apparently this tree fell at around 4:00 a.m. Thursday. According to neighbor, probably from lack of care, rather than due to storm.

UPDATE: The City sent a DPW crew to eat the fallen tree, and our local broadcast media decided that a fallen tree is so newsworthy that it warrants sending two satellite trucks to the scene:

“Reporting live from Virginia Street, this is Bernalwood Action News.”

UPDATE 2: KGO-TV identifies City budget cuts, rather than Newtonian physics, as the cause of the tree’s collapse:

Owner Patricia Mahoric wasn’t injured and her house sustained only minimal damage. Nonetheless, she believes the incident could have been avoided if the city had responded to her repeated calls about the tree.

She says she noticed the tree was in bad shape and appeared to be dying back in May. Since then, she says she has been calling to get the city to come out and take care of it.

A Department of Public Works spokeswoman says Mahoric is right. She says Mahoric did everything correctly but because of severe budget cuts, the city has reduced the pruning cycle and there are now only three tree inspectors for the entire city.

PHOTOS: Neighbor Blair

Confirmed: A Spiritually Significant Owl Sighting on Gates Street

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Bernal Heights is famously fashionable and always avant garde, but there has been a sadness at our spiritual core ever since the wonderful Great Horned Owls of Bernal Hill passed away in 2007.

Now, however, we are pleased to reveal that we have owl(s) living among us once again. Neighbor Lonnie reports from Gates Street:

Sunday morning a friend stopped by to say hello and greeted us with the news that he’d just seen an owl fly out of the tree in front of the house and take up a perch beneath the hedge next door.

We quickly grabbed some binoculars and a copy of The Sibley Guide to Birds and determined it was most probably a Burrowing Owl — “Only small owl likely to be found perched in the open in daylight,” according to the guide.

At first it was too far under the hedge and in darkness for me to get a good photograph, but after a while we noticed that it had moved out to the edge of the concrete steps leading to the side yard. Except — and I can’t be sure because I’d gone inside and didn’t see it actually move out from under the hedge — the owl on the steps appeared to be considerably smaller than the one we’d been looking at earlier, which leads me to believe there may be a pair roosting nearby.

In any event, our new neighbor stood there on the step a while looking at me and my camera and at a few people passing by toward the Gates Street stairs, before it turned and swooped down the narrow space between the hedge and the house, up to the top of the fence at the back of the yard. In a moment it was gone into the taller trees.

I’ve been told The Dakota Hidatsa Indians saw the Burrowing Owl as a protective spirit for brave warriors, which I’d like to be true on all counts.

PHOTOS: Neighbor Lonnie

They’re Baaaaack! Seasonal Arachnid Invasion Now Under Way

The Bernalwood Intelligence Agency noted the invasion preparations underway back in May, and just as predicted, the Arachnid Forces have now established a beachhead in Bernal Heights.

Neighbor Brent reports from the front lines on Prentiss Street, where a platoon of Cross Orbweavers has taken up positions:

I don’t know if they ever went away, but the spiders are back, and they’ve shown up in my backyard as of a couple of days ago. These two have had their webs up for over two days.  I haven’t disturbed them — let them eat all the flies they want!

PHOTOS: Neighbor Brent