Crayfish photo.jpgI was running in Golden Gate Park this afternoon, and I jogged past a lobster. It may have been a crawfish. At any rate, it was some sort of lobster-like creature. I wish I’d had my camera with me, but alas I did not, and it was gone on my way back. It was crawling on the sidewalk in true crustacean-fashion, looked about five or six inches long, and was a dark red/brown color. It looked like it had dirt on it, as if it had crawled up from a burrow. It was along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at about 10th-15th avenues (not even near the beach!).

Was I witness to some kind of fluke a la the last scene of Magnolia? Did it escape from an Asian supermarket up the street? Was it someone’s lunch run away? Are there lobsters in Golden Gate Park?

Staci, the executive assistant to the general manager of the Recreation & Park Department, told me that she had never heard of any crustaceans roaming Golden Gate park in her 17 years working there.

“There aren’t even any Asian grocery stores near that area,” she said. “Maybe somebody came and tried to set one free!”

All joking aside (regarding this very serious topic), she mentioned that the questioner was jogging around the Japanese Tea Garden, so I called them to inquire further and finally talked to Deborah, a park gardener and the first person I spoke with who did not seem bewildered by my question.

“There are crawfish both in the tea garden pond and at Stow Lake,” she said. “I’m not sure where this particular crawfish came from, but I see them crawling around on pathways sometimes.”

Have you seen any other surprising creatures in an SF park? Let me know in the comments!

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  • tomprete

    I think I missed the punch line.

  • tomprete

    I think I missed the punch line.

  • Hank Chinaski

    Did you say… “Hey! Nice Lobster!”

    ?

  • Hank Chinaski

    Did you say… “Hey! Nice Lobster!”

    ?

  • Anna

    I’ve seen a crawfish in the park too! I was in high school with my cross country team, and it was crawling around next to the little lake by the dog park (adjacent to the Polo Fields).

  • Anna

    I’ve seen a crawfish in the park too! I was in high school with my cross country team, and it was crawling around next to the little lake by the dog park (adjacent to the Polo Fields).

  • brucebellingham

    Surely you recall Gérard de Nerval, who walked his lobster on a leash on the streets of Paris during the early part of the 19th century. Ah, to be a boulevardier once again. Perhaps there are a few of these characters left, brazenly dragging their shellfish pals along the winding walkways of Golden Gate Park. Lobsters, as you know, can be notoriously uncooperative, particularly when they sense they are in the vicinity of a gurgling vivoir in a Richmond District seafood house where their crustacean cousins are awaiting their fiery fate. Besides, they really do not like being schlepped from place to place on a leather tether. Given the chance, they’ll make a run for it. Who could blame them? It is understandable that they long for those halcyon days when lobsters, with their ragged claws, could scuttle freely across the floors of the silent seas?

  • brucebellingham

    Surely you recall Gérard de Nerval, who walked his lobster on a leash on the streets of Paris during the early part of the 19th century. Ah, to be a boulevardier once again. Perhaps there are a few of these characters left, brazenly dragging their shellfish pals along the winding walkways of Golden Gate Park. Lobsters, as you know, can be notoriously uncooperative, particularly when they sense they are in the vicinity of a gurgling vivoir in a Richmond District seafood house where their crustacean cousins are awaiting their fiery fate. Besides, they really do not like being schlepped from place to place on a leather tether. Given the chance, they’ll make a run for it. Who could blame them? It is understandable that they long for those halcyon days when lobsters, with their ragged claws, could scuttle freely across the floors of the silent seas?

  • Hank Chinaski

    I heart Bruce Bellingham!

  • Hank Chinaski

    I heart Bruce Bellingham!

  • DT

    There are also crayfish in the Botanical Garden pond near Friend Gate.

    I have stood on the bridge watching raccoons snack happily and loudly on the grate at the west end of the pond.

    This is usually in the morning when it first opens, before the tourist and nanny mobs.

  • DT

    There are also crayfish in the Botanical Garden pond near Friend Gate.

    I have stood on the bridge watching raccoons snack happily and loudly on the grate at the west end of the pond.

    This is usually in the morning when it first opens, before the tourist and nanny mobs.

  • tomprete

    Bruce!

  • tomprete

    Bruce!