Japanese flower arrangement show in Balboa Park!

This weekend's annual show in Balboa Park by Ikebana International features beautiful Japanese flower arrangements.
This weekend’s annual flower show in Balboa Park by Ikebana International features beautiful Japanese floral arrangements.

I know almost nothing about ikebana, the ancient art of Japanese flower arrangement. But I do recognize stunning beauty and appreciate human creativity!

Check out these photos of amazing works of art at the annual Ikebana International flower show in Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado. The show continues through the weekend!

Exquisite displays of ikebana--the art of Japanese flower arrangement--can be seen inside the Casa del Prado.
Exquisite displays of ikebana–the art of Japanese flower arrangement–can be seen inside the Casa del Prado.
One of many stunning works of floral art that one can see this weekend in Balboa Park.
One of many stunning works of floral art that one can see this weekend in Balboa Park.
Freestyle arrangement by Mitsuko Takeya. Materials include fig branch, protea, palm leaves and leather fern.
Freestyle arrangement by Mitsuko Takeya. Materials include fig branch, protea, palm leaves and leather fern.
Arrangement by Noriko McDaniel. The Ohara School of Ikebana. Materials include magnolia, veronica, purple-crest aeonium, wisteria vine and philodendron.
Arrangement by Noriko McDaniel. The Ohara School of Ikebana. Materials include magnolia, veronica, purple-crest aeonium, wisteria vine and philodendron.
Freestyle arrangement by Patricia Fuchs. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include anthurium, dogwood, pom pom mum, japanese rope.
Freestyle arrangement by Patricia Fuchs. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include anthurium, dogwood, pom pom mum, Japanese rope.
Landscape style arrangement by Cris Bugarin. Ohara School of Ikebana. Materials include forsythia, camellia, parsley, iris leaves.
Landscape style arrangement by Cris Bugarin. Ohara School of Ikebana. Materials include forsythia, camellia, parsley, iris leaves.
Freestyle arrangement by Judy Cliffton. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include red bud, white cherry, ranunculus.
Freestyle arrangement by Judy Cliffton. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include red bud, white cherry, ranunculus.
Freestyle arrangement by Sue Elsayeh. Ichiyo School of Ikebana. Materials include forsythia and daffodils.
Freestyle arrangement by Sue Elsayeh. Ichiyo School of Ikebana. Materials include forsythia and daffodils.
Freestyle tropical arrangement by Inge Johansen. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include heliconia, ginger, gladiolus, white orchid, variegated ti leaf.
Freestyle tropical arrangement by Inge Johansen. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include heliconia, ginger, gladiolus, white orchid, variegated ti leaf.
A beautiful, complex work of art composed entirely of horsetail by Hiroko Szechinski.
A beautiful, complex work of art composed entirely of horsetail by Hiroko Szechinski.
Exquisitely arranged beauty, made from elements of the natural world.
Exquisitely arranged beauty, made from elements of the natural world.
A delight to the eye.
A delight to the eye. Gorgeous symmetry.
A bouquet of delicate beauty.
A bouquet of delicate beauty.
A small garden of colorful bursts and delights.
A small garden of colorful bursts and delights.
Intertwining flowers and leaves like a small, magical arch.
Intertwining flowers and leaves like a small, magical arch.
Many eyes at the ikebana show took in the jewel-like creations.
Many eyes at the annual ikebana show took delight in the perfect jewel-like creations.
A pink arrangement that seems to have materialized from a fairy tale.
A pink arrangement that seems to have materialized from a fairy tale.
Stunning colors and contrasts.
Stunning colors and contrasts.
A fantastic arrangement by Rumi Rice. Human creativity and natural materials combine to bring one dream to life.
A fantastic arrangement by Rumi Rice. Human creativity and natural materials combine to bring a dream to life.
A spectacular arrangement by ikebana Grandmaster Akiko Bourland. Materials include loquat, rose, rush.
A spectacular arrangement by ikebana Grandmaster Akiko Bourland. Materials include loquat, rose, rush.
Beauty designed by Keiko Schneider, President of Ikebana International 119.
Lavish beauty designed by Keiko Schneider, President of Ikebana International #119.
A fine vase containing orchids, palm leaves and dry branch.
A fine vase containing orchids, palm leaves and dry branch.
A vertical style arrangement by Barbara Adams. Materials include Mediterranean fan palm and mums.
A vertical style arrangement by Barbara Adams. Materials include Mediterranean fan palm and mums.
Another work of great beauty, by ikebana instructor Debbie Garofalo.
Another work of great beauty, by ikebana instructor Debbie Garofalo.
Pat Schneider combined a simple orchid, peacock feather and palm leaf.
Pat Schneider combined a simple orchid, peacock feather and palm leaf.
Tulips, like colorful fireworks!
Tulips, like colorful fireworks!

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!

I’ve written a very short story about delicate cherry blossoms, and the passage of time. It’s titled A Short Bloom. Click to read it!

Photos of the amazing Cherry Blossom Festival!

Walking through a profusion of pink flowers at the Japanese Friendship Garden during the 2017 Cherry Blossom Festival in Balboa Park.
Walking through a profusion of pink flowers at the Japanese Friendship Garden during the 2017 Cherry Blossom Festival in Balboa Park.

Wow! Here come photos of the amazing annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which is taking place this weekend at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

I recommend a visit! You’ll see lots of jaw-dropping beauty, devour lots of yummy food, and enjoy many fun and fascinating aspects of Japanese culture.

If you shy away from crowds, it’s probably best to arrive in the morning just as the festival opens. This event becomes more and more popular every year!

Tomorrow–Sunday–the festival is open from 10am to 6pm.

The annual Cherry Blossom Festival takes place all weekend. If you're in San Diego and you read this blog in time, make sure to go!
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival takes place all weekend. If you’re in San Diego and you read this blog in time, make sure to go!
Japanese art, gifts and crafts can be found all around the garden during the festival.
Japanese art, gifts and crafts can be found all around the garden during the festival.
Many people gravitate toward the covered patio near the koi pond.
Many people gravitate toward the covered patio near the koi pond.
Colorful koi, symbols of longevity in Japan.
Colorful koi, symbols of longevity in Japan.
Some attending the Cherry Blossom Festival try their hand at the ancient game of Go.
Some attending the Cherry Blossom Festival try their hand at the ancient game of Go.
The strategic game of Go originated in China over 2500 years ago. Boards for the Japanese version are often prized for their beauty.
The strategic game of Go originated in China over 2500 years ago. Boards for the Japanese version are often prized for their beauty.
Some super smiles at this table!
Some super smiles at this table!
Gazing beyond the beautiful Light of Friendship at many vendor tents during the festival of cherry blossoms.
Gazing beyond the beautiful Light of Friendship at many vendor tents during the festival of cherry blossoms.
Lots of fun Japanese stuff is for sale at the event.
Lots of fun Japanese stuff is for sale at the event.
Yoshi's Jams are completely organic! So was that smile!
Yoshi’s Jams are completely organic! So was that smile!
This cool guy had genuine samurai swords for sale.
This cool guy had genuine samurai swords for sale.
Some ladies at one table were demonstrating Japanese brush painting. A special exhibition in Balboa Park's Casa del Prado will take place March 25 and 26.
Some ladies at one table were demonstrating Japanese brush painting. A special exhibition in Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado will take place March 25 and 26.
Exquisite Japanese artwork created by a careful, inspired hand.
Exquisite Japanese artwork created by a careful, inspired hand.
People head through the Charles C. Dail Memorial Gate and toward the Lower Garden, where most of the blossoming cherry trees await.
People head through the Charles C. Dail Memorial Gate and toward the Lower Garden, where most of the blossoming cherry trees await.
We descend into beauty.
We descend into beauty.
Walking into heaven.
Walking into heaven.
Spring cherry blossoms line the walkways and the gentle stream that runs through the garden's canyon.
Spring cherry blossoms line the walkways and the gentle stream that runs through the Lower Garden.
A purple parasol and pink flowers.
A purple parasol and pink flowers.
Lots of food could be found around the Inamori Pavilion. These guys were preparing Okonomiyaki--yummy Japanese pancakes.
Lots of food could be found around the Inamori Pavilion. These guys were preparing Okonomiyaki–yummy Japanese pancakes.
Inside the Inamori Pavilion, a variety of marionettes are on display. The Edo Marionettes will perform at the Japanese Friendship Garden on April 30.
Inside the Inamori Pavilion, a variety of marionettes are on display. The Edo Marionettes will perform at the Japanese Friendship Garden on April 30.
I was drawn to these tents in the garden, where there was even more food!
I was drawn to these tents in the sun-splashed garden, where there was even more food!
Preparing Taiyaki, Japanese fish-shaped cakes.
Preparing Taiyaki–Japanese fish-shaped cakes.
I'd never eaten Taiyaki before, and it was really good!
I’d never eaten Taiyaki before, and it was really good!
But, of course, the Japanese cherry trees are the star of the show. Crowds walk through bursts of pink flowers and enjoy the green grass.
But, of course, the Japanese cherry trees are the star of the show. Crowds walk through bursts of pink flowers and rest on the green grass.
Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park enjoy the annual Cherry Blossom Festival!
Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park enjoy the annual Cherry Blossom Festival!

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 might enjoy reading my new short story The Child and the Koi.

Horses and riders gather for St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

A horse is prepared in a corner of Balboa Park for San Diego's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade along Sixth Avenue.
A horse is prepared in a corner of Balboa Park for San Diego’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade along Sixth Avenue.  San Diego Bay and Point Loma can be seen in the distance.

Here are some fun photos!

Look what I discovered this morning as I walked through Marston Point, heading into the heart of Balboa Park. Horses and riders had gathered in the southwest corner of the park and were preparing for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade! Every year the big parade heads down nearby Sixth Avenue.

Both horses and riders would be wearing green today during the parade.
Both horses and riders would be wearing green today during the parade.
Horse and rider get ready in Balboa Park's Marston Point parking lot.
Horse and rider get ready in Balboa Park’s Marston Point parking lot.
Folks dressed in cowboy attire watch the proceedings.
Folks dressed in cowboy attire watch the proceedings.
A couple of horses from Valley Center wait by a trailer for the start of the parade.
A couple of horses from Valley Center wait by a trailer for the start of the parade.
A nice smile from a rider!
A nice smile from a rider!
Law enforcement would ride in the parade, too. These two horses were wearing some green shamrocks.
Law enforcement would ride in the parade, too. These two horses were wearing some green shamrocks.
A horse and rider with fancy braids.
A horse and rider with braids and curls.
This elegant carriage would soon be watched by thousands during the big parade.
This elegant carriage would soon be watched by thousands during the big St. Patrick’s Day parade.
A rider heads across the grass of Balboa Park's lush green Marston Point.
A rider heads across the grass of Balboa Park’s beautiful green Marston Point.

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!

San Diego Air and Space Museum’s PT-22 hits the road!

A shiny PT-22 military trainer aircraft from the World War II era is about to be towed from the San Diego Air and Space Museum to their annex at Gillespie Field.
A shiny PT-22 military trainer aircraft from the World War II era is about to be towed from the San Diego Air and Space Museum to their annex at Gillespie Field!

Another unexpected cool sight! I was walking around the San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park this morning when I spied a mysterious airplane wing being carried into the rear of the museum’s historic Ford Building! What was it?

I spoke to a nice guy overseeing the movement of two museum aircraft and found out!

The museum’s Boeing P-26 “Peashooter” had just returned from a year-long stint in Seattle, where it was featured in the Boeing Centennial. And to make room, a vintage PT-22 military trainer was being sent to Gillespie Field. The San Diego Air and Space Museum has an annex at Gillespie Field, which I suppose I’ll have to visit someday. (Yes, it was a PT-22 that Harrison Ford was flying when he crashed a couple years ago at a golf course!)

As I walked through Balboa Park, I spied a wing vanishing into the San Diego Air and Space Museum. It belongs to a Boeing P-26 Peashooter, which was on loan for a year in Seattle for the Boeing Centennial.
As I walked through Balboa Park, I spied a wing vanishing into the San Diego Air and Space Museum. It belongs to a Boeing P-26 “Peashooter”, which was on loan for a year in Seattle for the Boeing Centennial.
These yellow wings in the San Diego Air and Space Museum truck are heading to Gillespie Field in East County. They are part of a PT-22 airplane.
These yellow wings in the San Diego Air and Space Museum truck are heading to Gillespie Field in East County. In preparation for land transport, they have been detached from a PT-22 airplane.
The PT-22 was gleaming in the sunlight and I had to take a closer look.
The PT-22 is almost ready to be towed.  The plane was gleaming in the sunlight and I had to take a closer look.
Photo of the cockpit of the Air and Space Museum's PT-22.
Photo of the cockpit of the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s PT-22.
A cool, unexpected sight in the parking lot behind the San Diego Air and Space Museum!
A cool, unexpected sight in the parking lot behind the San Diego Air and Space Museum!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Angel hovers above homeless person.

An angel hovers above a homeless person.
An angel hovers above a homeless person.

I usually don’t post only one photograph, but I captured a remarkable image this morning, and thought some of you might like to see it. I was walking into the Panama-California Sculpture Court at the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park when I observed the standing figure titled “Religion” hovering like a heavenly angel above a homeless person sitting alone on a bench.

Join the House of Chamorros in Balboa Park!

During my walk through Balboa Park, I spotted this House of Chamorros banner in front of the Hall of Nations, so I had to investigate!
During my walk through Balboa Park, I spotted this House of Chamorros banner in front of the Hall of Nations, so I had to investigate!

I was inspired today during my walk through Balboa Park. The House of Chamorros was showcasing the culture of the Mariana Islands, including Guam, at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. Interesting artifacts were on display in the Hall of Nations, and food and entertainment filled the room for the public to enjoy.

Why were these friendly people in the Hall of Nations? Because the House of Chamorros doesn’t have a cottage–not yet!

I learned that efforts are underway to build a House of Chamorros cottage in Balboa Park. A building of their own would greatly enhance their mission to educate and share the Chamorro culture with the residents of San Diego County–and the millions of tourists who visit Balboa Park.

That sounds like a worthy endeavor to me! One that requires vision, dedication and . . . money. To learn more, and perhaps join their cause or make a donation, please visit the House of Chamorros website.

Musicians filled the room with beautiful Mariana Islands melodies while food beckoned from the nearby table.
Musicians filled the room with beautiful Mariana Islands melodies while food beckoned from the nearby table.
Just a few of the artifacts and crafts on display today.
Just a few of the artifacts and crafts on display today.

I also learned the House of Chamorros is having a cool lawn program next weekend at the International Cottages. The event is called the First Annual Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival. It will include music, dance, crafts and food that represent the culture of the Mariana Islands. (In case you’re curious, I’ve learned “hafa adai” means “hello” in the Chamorro language!)

The festival will take place March 5 from 11am to 5pm. It sounds to me like it will be a lot of fun!

The House of Chamorros presents the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!
The House of Chamorros presents the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!

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Fun fungus fair! A mushroom show in Balboa Park!

A mushroom fair was held this weekend in Balboa Park inside the Casa del Prado. The event was put on by the San Diego Mycological Society.
A mushroom fair was held this weekend in Balboa Park inside the Casa del Prado. The event was put on by the San Diego Mycological Society.

There’s a fungus among us! I’m not kidding!  (Groan.)

All sorts of mushrooms were on display inside Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado today during a special show by the San Diego Mycological Society.

I wandered through this cool “mushroom fair” and took a good look around. And I learned quite a lot!

Check out a few fun photos and some informative captions…

Mushroom enthusiasts check out all sorts of displays at the mushroom show. Mushroom facts, art, and food products like jerky were plentiful.
Mushroom enthusiasts check out all sorts of displays at the mushroom show. Mushroom facts, art, and food products like jerky were plentiful.
Several tables exhibited different types of mushrooms one might encounter in nature. The San Diego Mycological Society puts the fun in fungus!
Several tables exhibited different types of mushrooms one might encounter in nature. The San Diego Mycological Society puts the fun in fungus!
These mushrooms are all edible. Some are said to taste better than others.
These mushrooms are all edible. Some are said to taste better than others.
A basket full of Bolbitius vitellinus. Labelled edible but mediocre. According to Wikipedia, it's inedible. I'm no expert.
A basket full of Bolbitius vitellinus. Labelled edible but mediocre. According to Wikipedia, it’s inedible. I’m no expert, so don’t ask me.
Cooking with Wild Mushrooms. (Click image to enlarge the sign for easy reading.)
Cooking with Wild Mushrooms. (Click image to enlarge the sign for easy reading.)
Okay, these are definitely poisonous! Children were advised not to touch. I steered well clear!
Okay, these are definitely poisonous! Children were advised not to touch. I steered well clear!
Here's a monster yeast fungus so villainous that Captain Marvel had a tough time coping with it.
Here’s a monster yeast fungus so villainous that Captain Marvel had a tough time coping with it.
I do know that much of the art displayed at the mushroom show was quite tasty!
I do know that much of the art displayed at the mushroom show was tasty!
Check out this fascinating poster and the following photo. Spore prints show how spores are ejected from the mushroom gills.
Check out this fascinating poster and the following photo. Spore prints show how spores are ejected from the mushroom gills.
These spore prints strangely remind me of human thumbprints.
These spore prints strangely remind me of human thumbprints.
An artist created some spore print cards, hand made from mushrooms found in San Diego! Cool!
An inventive artist created some spore print cards, hand made from mushrooms found in San Diego! Cool!
Volunteers from the San Diego Mycological Society are collecting mushroom specimens found throughout the county. Tiny tissue samples will be barcoded for species identification.
Volunteers from the San Diego Mycological Society are collecting mushroom specimens found throughout the county. Tiny tissue samples will be scientifically barcoded for species identification.
All sorts of arts and crafts, books and fascinating stuff was for sale at the mushroom fair.
All sorts of arts and crafts, books and fascinating stuff was for sale at the mushroom fair.
Colorful mushroom ornaments!
Colorful mushroom ornaments!

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 fun photos for you to enjoy!