Far Out Flora

The Albany Bulb

March 11, 2011 by Megan | 6 Comments

Warning!  Hazardous shoreline.

Warning! Hazardous shoreline.

Ahh, the Albany Bulb.  So many things to so many people.  17% dog park, 23% urban homestead, 39.5% outsider art, & 109% Anarchy.  We heard about this place from a friend, and finally ventured there.  This is not exactly our typical plant post, but it does fall into the unusual category.

Concrete junk.

Concrete junk.

The skinny on the Albany Bulb, aka The Bulb.  This former landfill is located in the East Bay just west of Berkeley / Albany, CA…and has some of the best views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Frankly, I don’t know all the politics behind this small plot of land, and it seems to be self-governed by those that visit and inhabit the area.  What I do know is that there’s a ton of concrete, rebar, and rusted metal all over the place.  Wiki does it best if you want more details on the history.

Yellow brick road.

Yellow brick road.

A short distant along the main trail, you’ll come up to a yellow brick road…an assortment of disregarded chunks of concrete painted gold.

Weird little plaque.

Weird little plaque.

As well as many embellished chunks cement.

The church.

The church.

Near the tip of the peninsula, you can find the “Church”.  Our friend describes it best, “the only thing holding the Church together is years of paint embellishments.”

Max chasing squirrels.

Max chasing squirrels.

One unexpected treat for Max the Border Collie was the 100os of squirrels frolicking about.  The place turned into a dog obstacle course for agility training.  Lucky that Max is quick on his feet because all that rusty metal made me a little nervous.

Acacia dealbata - Silver Wattle

Acacia dealbata - Silver Wattle

One shrub that was looking remarkable was the Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata).  Here’s one of many blooming all over the place.

Three robots.

Three robots.

Let's paint everything.

Let's paint everything.

I’m torn about the paint on this tree.  It does look pretty awesome in person, and if there had to be one place allowing plant abuse…this would be the spot.  [Those reading...please don't try this at home.  Paint is not good for plants.]

Dog beach with Golden Gate Bridge (in background).

Dog beach with Golden Gate Bridge (in background).

After a short hike around the peninsula, we made it back to the dog beach.  Gorgeous views can be seen from every direction including the Golden Gate Bridge in the far background.  For some more great pics of the Bulb, check out My Back 40 (feet).  chuck b. has captured a lot more little nooks and makes me want to head back soon.

– Far Out Flora