Become a citizen scientist in San Diego!

Would you like to make contributions to science? But you’re not a trained scientist?

You can easily become a citizen scientist!

Opportunities are available for ordinary people who’d like to use their passion or particular talents to help broaden our understanding of the natural world.

I discovered several great ideas while visiting the San Diego Natural History Museum recently. Signs spotted around the exhibition Extraordinary Ideas from Ordinary People: A History of Citizen Science provide details.

Most of the following ideas apply not just to San Diego residents, but to anyone anywhere. Here they are:

Become a member of iNaturalist and post photographs you’ve taken of living things in nature. Scientists will identify what you recorded. Nature lovers around the world can discuss your observations. You’ll contribute to our shared understanding of biodiversity. To learn more click here.

Participate in the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count or Great Backyard Bird Count. Critically important data collected during these events is used by scientists to study bird populations across the country. To learn more click here.

Participate in the Celebrate Urban Birds project. Spend ten minutes helping scientists understand how common birds are doing in urban settings. More than a quarter of a million ordinary people have already made observations! To learn more click here. (Balboa Park’s own WorldBeat Center has participated in this project. Read about that here!)

Become a summer camper at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. Over the years, people walking around Balboa Park have observed green anole lizards, which aren’t native to San Diego. It was determined by the museum’s young summer campers that the green anoles were the descendants of escapees. These lizards had once been used as food for other animals at the San Diego Zoo! To learn more about attending summer camp at theNAT, click here. (Scholarships are available!)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Kids make silly critters at Natural History Museum!

Kids always have lots of fun at the San Diego Natural History Museum! They can check out cool dinosaurs and even living animals. And they can make silly critters out of recycled materials!

The creative activity takes place inside the NAT’s Nature Lab, which is open on Saturdays from 10 to 2. The Nature Lab also hosts school children during field trips to the museum and Balboa Park. It has a natural history library, too!

Have you ever poked your nose into this cool Nature Lab, which is located on the first level of the museum? I did last Saturday!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Giant lizards escape from Natural History Museum?

Did these two giant Flat-tailed Horned Lizards escape from the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park? At first glance, one might think so!

On second glance, it’s apparent this great chalk art, below the steps of the Natural History Museum’s south entrance, is a rather realistic depiction of Phrynosoma mcallii, and is super cool!

I learned that this artwork was created several weeks ago during the big EarthFair event in the park. It has survived quite well so far!

The two immense reptiles, which I spotted by chance today, were the production of @sidewalk_chalk_dad. I’ve seen his great chalk art in Balboa Park during other past events.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Kumeyaay words for native animals, plants.

The rich culture of our region’s Native American Kumeyaay is honored at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Near the corner of Juan Street and Taylor Street, the beautiful Iipay ~ Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok Land of the First People outdoor interpretive area teaches interested visitors a little of the Kumeyaay language. Kumeyaay words for many native animals and plants can be read along the edge of walkways.

During my last visit, I photographed many of the engraved artworks representing wild mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, cacti and trees, and the corresponding Kumeyaay and Spanish words.

If you want to see more of the surrounding area, the Land of the First People opened last year, and soon thereafter I took these photographs.

Incidentally, today there will be a special event held in this corner of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Earth Day will be celebrated! So if you read this in time, and you’re in the area, you might want to come on by!

Milyaapan. Mexican free-tailed bat.
Sha-ii. Turkey vulture.
Meshalyaap. Monarch butterfly.
‘Aahmaa. California quail.
‘Ensnyaaw. Coast live oak.
‘Aashaa kwilaaw. Northern mockingbird.
Hatepull. Nuttall’s woodpecker.
Kekhuu. Northern flicker.
Hallyewii. Alligator lizard.
Iihay halakwal. Salamander.
‘Emallk. Big-eared woodrat.
Perhaaw. Gray fox.
Kwak. Mule deer.
Nyemtaay. Mountain lion.
E’mull. Shaw’s agave.
Ehmaall. Ground squirrel.
‘Ewii. Southern Pacific rattlesnake.
Waipuk. California kingsnake.
Kusii. Jimsonweed.
Hattepaa. Coyote.
Hampachoka Huumpaashuuk. Anna’s hummingbird.
‘Ehpaa. Coast prickly pear.
Ashaa hahpaa. Cactus wren.
Ku’uun. Red-tailed hawk.
Hachehwach. Hooded oriole.
Kupally. Blue elderberry.
Nyemii. Bobcat.
Llyexwiiw. Striped skunk.
Para ak hepeshu. Great blue heron.
Hantak. Treefrog.
Ashaa milshlap. Mallard.

UPDATE!

I took photographs of more words during a later visit…

Hantak sa-ai. California toad.
‘Ehnaally. Western pond turtle.
Mashhaatiit. Dragonfly.
E’pilly. Southern cattail.
Meshalyaap heyull. Western tiger swallowtail.
Para ak nemeshap. Great egret.
Chi ariar tenurr estik. California killifish.
‘U’uu. Great horned owl.
Nemas. Raccoon.
Miskenan. Stink beetle.
Kellyemuy. Bumble bee.
Hiiwaat. Deergrass.
‘Eshpaa ewall nemeshap. Bald eagle.
Kilyaahwii. Mourning dove.
Tellypuu. Greater roadrunner.
Meniish. Scorpion.
‘Aanall. Honey mesquite.
‘Eshpaa. Golden eagle.
Kunyaaw. Black-tailed jackrabbit.
Menniih. Tarantula.
Muu. Bighorn sheep.

The following are animals that are extinct or no longer found in the area around San Diego…

Sha-ii guatay. California condor.
Nyemii guatay yow kwakulsh. Sabertoothed cat.
Nemuuly. Grizzly bear.
Kwa nyilly. Pronghorn.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Pelicans and sea lions near La Jolla Cove.

To observe pelicans or sea lions in San Diego, simply take a walk by the ocean where the shore is rocky.

On Sunday I walked near La Jolla Cove.

Yes, I’ve photographed both pelicans and sea lions in the past, but look what I saw!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Bronze horse greets motorists in Bonita!

Earlier this year, a life-size bronze horse sculpture debuted in front of the Greg Cox Civic Complex in Bonita. I saw it for the first time when I walked down Bonita Road last weekend.

The horse sculpture has the unusual title WR This Cats Smart. It’s the name of an actual stallion. An identical sculpture can be found at a ranch in Douglas, Wyoming. The nationally renowned Western artist is Mehl Lawson.

San Diego County has one of the largest per capita populations of horses in the United States. I’ve read that at one time there were more than 1300 horses in Bonita. You can still them today in Rohr Park and in corrals throughout the residential hills. Many streets have names that are related to horses.

I took photographs of this beautiful public art and would like to share them.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Rabbit sculptures find a home in Civita Park.

Walk through beautiful Civita Park in Mission Valley and you’re likely to cross paths with numerous rabbits. Rabbit sculptures, that is!

The bronze bunnies, which are pleasing to children (and the young at heart), can be encountered in surprising places around the spacious public park, which opened in 2017.

The lifelike rabbits were created by Encinitas sculptors T.J. Dixon and James Nelson. Their fantastic work can be viewed all over San Diego. (Click here to see many more of their creations!)

The above photo of a rabbit standing guard by small baby bunnies is located right next to the Civita Park welcome sign. As you can see in the next two photographs, a bronze book containing a story about two rabbits finding their home is perched on another rock nearby.

Finding Home… Once upon a time there were two little bunnies named Franklin and Alta. They were looking for the magic stone that had once covered their little doorway for so long…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Sea creatures swim in Ocean Beach building!

Dozens of sea creatures make their home on the side of a building in Ocean Beach!

Should you walk down Cable Street a little north of Niagara Avenue, you might think you’re passing small specimens of sea life in a big aquarium!

Swimming in blue and white watery tiles you’ll find schools of fish, seahorses, octopi, eels, rays, sea turtles, whales, sharks and even sand dollars and nudibranchs!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Dogs surf freestyle in Del Mar!

The world-famous 2021 Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon was held today in Del Mar!

The non-stop surfing action took place at Dog Beach, and dozens of furry athletes did their best to score style points as they conquered the waves and entertained the crowd in support of Helen Woodward Animal Center.

The surfing I observed was freestyle. That meant two or three dogs per surfboard! Whether contestants faced forward or backward seemed unimportant!

I took the following photos of this amazing canine sporting event for your enjoyment and amusement. Yes, it’s all a bit silly, even crazy. But you know what? It was evident that the excited dogs were having a blast! Many were jumping back toward the ocean the moment they landed on the sand!

If you’d like to help rescue dogs and other critters find a loving home, support the Helen Woodward Animal Center by clicking here.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Alley cats (and mice) painted on dumpsters!

An alley in downtown Escondido, which contains numerous amazing murals created for the Esco Alley Art project, is also home to several alleys cats. And mice.

They’ve been painted on two dumpsters!

Strangely, one alley cat appears to be a barber. Another appears to be an artist.

Check out photos I took of this fun Alley Art!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!