San Diego River wildlife in a Mission Valley mural.

Faces peer from a wall near the San Diego River. The very long mural, titled River Life, contains images of wildlife one might find here--or have found here before urban development.
Faces peer from a wall near the San Diego River. The very long mural, titled River Life, contains images of wildlife one might find here–or have found here before urban development.

I love this mural in Mission Valley. I remember driving through the intersection at Qualcomm Way and Camino de la Reina years ago, and seeing a whole bunch of people painting wild river animals along the ugly low wall. A little research today tells me that memory was from late 2009.

“River Life” was completed by almost 200 volunteers over four days. The design came from artist Lori Escalera. It’s one of of six murals (so far) that the San Diego River Park Foundation has helped to create. I’ve featured others on my blog. Here are some links if you want to check out more of the beautiful San Diego River murals…

Creative kids paint San Diego River Estuary mural.

San Diego River animals gather under city bridge.

Ribbon of life mural by the San Diego River.

Faded public art glows by neglected river trail.

The left end of a long, colorful mural in Mission Valley. Birds of the air and water are featured here. The art was designed by Lori Escalera in 2009.
The left end of a long, colorful mural in Mission Valley. Birds of the air and water are featured here. The art was designed by Lori Escalera in 2009.
IA heron, hummingbird and frog. Down by the beautiful River Trail, just south of where we stand, many different birds can be spotted on the quiet surface of the San Diego River, and in reeds and tree branches.
A heron, hummingbird and frog. Down by the beautiful River Trail, just south of where we stand, many different birds can be spotted on the quiet surface of the San Diego River, and in thick reeds and overhanging tree branches.
A butterfly, a fox (peeking from behind a transformer box on Camino de la Reina) and a raccoon.
A butterfly, a fox (peeking from behind a transformer box on Camino de la Reina) and a raccoon.
Some sort of lizard--perhaps a Gila monster--is half hidden by leaves, while a rattlesnake coils nearby!
Some sort of lizard–perhaps a Gila monster–is half hidden by leaves, while a rattlesnake coils nearby!
A jackrabbit and wild coyote.
A jackrabbit and wild coyote.
A skunk and perhaps kitten bobcats.
A skunk and perhaps kitten bobcats.
I recognize a squirrel, but I'm not sure about the other animal whose eyes seem to be glowing in the dark.
I recognize a squirrel, but I’m not sure about the other animal whose eyes seem to be glowing in the dark.
I believe that's a Red-winged Blackbird and a moth.
I believe that’s a Red-winged Blackbird and a moth.
Looks to me like a toad and a beetle. If you can accurately identify these creatures, feel free to leave a quick comment!
Looks to me like a toad and a beetle. If you can accurately identify these creatures, feel free to leave a quick comment!
That looks to me like a turtle--or a tortoise! It's obvious I still have a whole lot to learn!
That looks to me like a turtle–or a tortoise! It’s obvious this blogger still has a whole lot to learn!

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Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

8 thoughts on “San Diego River wildlife in a Mission Valley mural.”

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