Mustard brightens a walk in Peñasquitos Canyon.

This morning I took a short hike through the west part of Peñasquitos Canyon. I started at the developed trailhead on Sorrento Valley Boulevard, and walked down the dirt trail to the historic El Cuervo adobe ruin, which I will blog about shortly.

It’s springtime, the air is warming, and the hills all about San Diego are bright yellow with blooming mustard. Many beautiful parts of Peñasquitos Canyon seem to have painted with an artist’s brush.

Even though most of the mustard one sees in San Diego isn’t native, the cheerful appearance of yellow hillsides reminds those who live in our city that summer is just around the bend.

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!

Del Mar’s natural beauty, beach from Coaster!

I was careful to sit on the west side of the Coaster yesterday for my trip from San Diego to Encinitas. The very best views can be enjoyed from that side when riding the train through Del Mar.

I thought it would be fun to take photographs of the natural beauty. As we quickly moved through La Jolla out over Los Peñasquitos Lagoon I had my camera ready.

I snapped photographs nonstop as we flew over the marshy lagoon and past Torrey Pines State Beach, then up along the bluff’s edge toward Seagrove Park.

We were moving so fast that the nearby vegetation was a blur. But my small camera was able to capture the distant sandstone cliffs of Torrey Pines State Reserve, the broad Pacific Ocean’s beautiful white surf, people down below on the beach, and even a line of pelicans flying through the blue sky.

I altered these photos a bit, sharpening them and increasing contrast.

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!

Another beautiful evening on the Embarcadero.

Sun shines through late clouds, splashing light across San Diego Bay in its peaceful Crescent Area.
Sun shines through late clouds, splashing light across San Diego Bay in its peaceful Crescent Area.

It was another beautiful evening on San Diego’s Embarcadero. I went for a slow walk.

What more can I say?

Boat moored in San Diego Bay becomes darkly mysterious in the late light.
Boat moored in San Diego Bay becomes darkly mysterious in the late light.
Inspiration Hornblower heads out into San Diego Bay near the Grape Street Pier on an early Friday evening.
Inspiration Hornblower heads out into San Diego Bay near the Grape Street Pier on an early Friday evening.
The new Coast Guard vessel USCGC Benjamin Bottoms will soon be commissioned. The public can tour the Sentinel-class cutter tomorrow on San Diego's Embarcadero, just north of the Maritime Museum.
The new Coast Guard vessel USCGC Benjamin Bottoms will soon be commissioned. The public can tour the Sentinel-class cutter this weekend on San Diego’s Embarcadero, just north of the Maritime Museum.
Some of the vessels of the Maritime Museum of San Diego splashed with late sunlight.
Some of the vessels of the Maritime Museum of San Diego splashed with late sunlight.
Glowing clouds through the rigging of Star of India.
Glowing clouds through the rigging of Star of India.
Rays of light crown Star of India's female figurehead, the Greek Muse of lyric poetry, Euterpe.
Rays of light crown Star of India’s female figurehead, the Greek Muse of lyric poetry, Euterpe.
A gull swoops down onto Broadway Pier to investigate some seated people.
A gull swoops down onto Broadway Pier to investigate some seated people.
The reflections of downtown skyscrapers shine in the Port Pavilion's windows, a few minutes before sunset.
The reflections of downtown skyscrapers shine in the Port Pavilion’s windows, a few minutes before sunset.
Flags and a sail illuminated by late light.
Flags and a sail illuminated by late light.
Tables and seats at the end of Broadway Pier are empty at the close of another day.
Tables and seats at the end of Broadway Pier are empty at the close of another day.
Another beautiful evening on San Diego's Embarcadero.
Another beautiful evening on San Diego’s Embarcadero.

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!

Spring flowers near Fashion Valley!

It feels like spring!

Yellow mustard is blooming across San Diego’s hillsides, and other early spring flowers are thriving, too! The rainy winter has produced a cheerful show of bright color all around the city.

I walked near the San Diego River by Fashion Valley this morning and found many patches of native sunflowers.

UPDATE!

I think I goofed! I believe most of these flowers are actually garland chrysanthemums, which aren’t native to our region. But they do flourish in San Diego now.

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!

Star of India, painted by light and by hand.

The STAR, by artist Marie Huggin.
The STAR, by artist Marie Huggin.

I was drawn to the Star of India today. I sat on a wooden bench of the historic tall ship and gazed out at sailboats gliding across the sparkling water of San Diego Bay.

Finally I stood up and walked about the Star of India’s sunny deck, trying to frame interesting effects of light and shadow with the lens of my camera.

Later, as I walked through the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s other vessels, I halted inside the Compass Gallery of the steam ferry Berkeley. My eyes were held fast by an exhibition of paintings titled Sea and Shore. Many of the canvases, painted by the hands of local artists, all members of the Plein Air Painters Association of San Diego, depict the Star of India.

I thought that contrasting a few of my photos with some of the dreamlike artwork might be fun.

Dozens of pieces in the Compass Gallery are available for purchase! If you’d like to sail through an ocean of beautiful nautical paintings, and perhaps take one home, head downtown to the Maritime Museum of San Diego!

Bert and Wes Working on the STAR, by artist Jeffrey Remmer.
Bert and Wes Working on the STAR, by artist Jeffrey Remmer.

She Rests, by artist Pamela Ingwers.
She Rests, by artist Pamela Ingwers.

Aloft on STAR of INDIA, by artist Norm Daniels.
Aloft on STAR of INDIA, by artist Norm Daniels.

The STAR of INDIA at Sunset, by artist Pamela Ingwers.
The STAR of INDIA at Sunset, by artist Pamela Ingwers.

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!

Bright cherry blossoms, after the festival.

The 2019 Cherry Blossom Festival at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park drew huge crowds! I enjoyed stopping by on the weekend and was pleased to see so many people.

The festival is now over.

Late this afternoon I entered the garden again to experience the cherry blossoms in a more tranquil setting. Sunlight slanted through the pink and white flowers, making them shine.

If you love beautiful gardens but dislike crowds, now is the time to go!

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 wrote a very short story about people and cherry blossoms a couple years ago. It’s titled A Short Bloom. You can read it here.

Photos inside the historic Ohr Shalom building.

On Sunday I enjoyed a tour of the Ohr Shalom building in San Diego’s Bankers Hill neighborhood. The historic 1925 building, acquired by the Ohr Shalom Synagogue in 2002, was one of many sites around the city that were open to the public during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2019 OPEN HOUSE SAN DIEGO.

The Ohr Shalom building was designed by architect William H. Wheeler, who is also known for downtown’s iconic Balboa Theatre building.

According to description provided by the San Diego Architectural Foundation: “With its dominant Moorish-style dome suspended high above an octagonal sanctuary embellished with Middle Eastern decorative motifs, the Synagogue . . . is one of the foremost examples of Mediterranean Revival, an architectural style that caught momentum around the mid-1920s.”

I learned that the synagogue was originally built for Congregation Beth Israel by M. Trepte & Son. It is constructed of steel-framed concrete and hollow clay tile, which was innovative for its time. Inside the sanctuary, which features a free-standing balcony, the lines are clean and simple, and worshipers are touched by light shining through the dome and a variety of stained glass windows and panels. Illustrations in the beautiful glass include the Ten Commandments, the menorah and Star of David, and a depiction of the twelve tribes of Israel.

During our tour we were allowed to stand near the pulpit. We were privileged to view one of the Torah scrolls and hear a sample of its reading.

Here are some photos that provide a feel for what it’s like to enter the Ohr Shalom Synagogue.

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!