Friday, July 1, 2011

Lions and Turkeys and Goats… Oh My!

I've worked at Berkeley Lab for a little over  1½ years and taking into consideration the time I worked on campus at UC Berkeley, I have worked in the area over 2 years.  Berkeley is where the Free Speech movement began and where many of its residents are very much in touch with the environment, and is a city nestled in the Berkeley and Oakland hills with Tilden Park nearby.

During my tenure, it has become common to encounter wild turkeys and deer roaming the parking lots and pathways all around the lab.  I recall one surreal encounter with a wild turkey where I could have reached out and touched the bird as we crossed the street in opposite directions, sharing a crosswalk!  On many occasions I have had to change my route to get around a family of deer enjoying a snack made up  of wild berries hanging off one of the many trees at the lab.  Earlier this year, we were warned of the many sightings of mountain lions, and one can still see various warning signs posted around the lab cautioning employees that cougar cubs were spotted.  Our most recent predator was the sighting of various rattlesnake nests, which some of the employees managed to find and photograph, which I think rates high on the “things that are cool to see” index.

Which brings me to this morning.  As I parked my car in one of the lab’s parking lots, endearingly named “The Pit” because of its location and the 75+ wooden stairs to climb up from either the north or south  ends to get to the main road.  I walked across the parking lot and looked up, I encountered a hillside of goats… not uncommon in the Bay Area, as they are used for weed abatement, and certainly not as high on the “cool to see” index, but still kind of a “neato” moment!

Check out my photo (above) and let me know what you think!
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