River ducks arrive, greet, depart!

These events were recorded in Mission Valley this morning. I watched from the middle of the pedestrian bridge that spans the San Diego River by the Fashion Valley Transit Center.

Two ducks splashed down. They exchanged quack-greetings with a duck that floated nearby. The single duck launched itself from the water. Contented ducks swam happily along….

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!

Four birds and an historic first flight!

I photographed several instances of great street art while walking along Coronado Avenue this weekend. As I headed west from Interstate 5 to Robert Egger, Sr. – South Bay Community Park, I discovered four birds and an historic first flight!

First up, two utility boxes just east of the freeway were painted with three raptors, including a bald eagle…

As I continued west down the sidewalk and passed in front of the City of San Diego’s Engine Co. 30 fire station, I noticed a unique box painted in honor of the world’s first controlled heavier-than-air flight, which took place about a mile east of where I stood.

I blogged about John J. Montgomery’s glider flights from a hilltop in Otay Mesa West and posted photos of the imposing wing monument that marks where aviation history was made here.

Finally, as I arrived at Robert Egger, Sr. – South Bay Community Park, I found a colorful work of street art featuring a beautiful nature scene and pink cockatoo!

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!

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Art fills up El Cajon gas station!

If you ever driven through the intersection of El Cajon Boulevard and West Washington Avenue in El Cajon, you’ve probably noticed panda bears. And exotic birds and colorful flowers and other painted scenes from nature.

That’s because murals can be found everywhere around this 76 gas station, and inside it, too!

The super nice clerk allowed me to take photographs of the ceiling inside the gas station’s convenience store. Artwork covers the walls, doors–everywhere you look!

An enthusiastic customer who seemed knowledgeable said it all was painted about nine years ago. I couldn’t find an artist signature. (Could the artist be Henry Goods, who is responsible for other gas station murals around San Diego? For example, here.)

If anybody knows more about this artwork, please leave a comment!

Next time you need gas in El Cajon, swing by this friendly 76 station and fill up with lots of beautiful art!

Now we’ve stepped inside the door and are gazing up at the incredible ceiling!

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!

Beautiful art at Cascade Spa and Antiques.

In the same Hillcrest alley where you can find these amazing murals and the Teenage Mutant Ninja and Cigar Cave murals, there’s another very detailed and beautiful work of art.

The alley mural decorates the rear of the Cascade Spa and Antiques building. As you can see in my first photographs, stunning artwork also decorates the front and side of the building!

Looking at the Cascade Spa’s website, the luxurious interior is overflowing with more elegant Asian imagery.

Enjoy these photos!

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!

The very cool Nite Owl mural!

Here is one very cool mural!

You can see it in Pacific Beach as you drive east on Garnet Avenue past the Nite Owl Cocktail Lounge.

The artist is Hanna of Hanna’s Murals. You can see another one of her murals here.

I briefly spoke to Hanna perhaps a year ago when she was doing some painting at the entrance to a La Jolla office. I asked what her favorite creation was. She specifically mentioned the Nite Owl mural.

I finally checked it out!

UPDATE!

A couple months later I noticed there’s a second mural on the opposite, east-facing side of the Nite Owl building!

Drivers coming down Garnet Avenue, if they turn their heads at the right moment, are welcomed to Pacific Beach!

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!

Downtown from a bird’s perspective.

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to fly around a city as a bird? Traveling in three dimensions, in any direction, wherever you please?

When I walk downtown, with all the seagulls, crows, sparrows, pigeons and other birds flying about, I sometimes try to imagine what they see. And what, if anything, they think of it all!

During my walk this morning I took the above photo at Civic Center Plaza. And I started to look for unique and unusual photographs.

Gravity glued me to the sidewalk, but some of these photos might provide something of a bird’s perspective.

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!

Nesting cormorants above La Jolla Cove!

It must be breeding season already, because hundreds of Brandt’s cormorants are showing their blue throat patches and building nests on the cliffs above La Jolla Cove!

Today I stood and watched peculiar bird behaviors from the roadside above the cliffs. I saw amorous flirtations and angry squabbles and seaweed tug-of-wars. Cormorants in nests would occasionally angle their heads and wings way back, staring straight up. I’m not sure if that’s a natural behavior, or if they were merely gaping at all the tourists above them!

I tried to select my best photographs. In some the cormorants appear very beautiful; in others a bit strange and primitive–almost monstrous.

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!

A quiet January walk along the Embarcadero.

I took these photographs this afternoon during a long, slow walk along the Embarcadero.

It’s early winter. On such a pleasant January day, during an ordinary year, one would expect to see more people about. But the COVID-19 pandemic has altered life on San Diego Bay.

Closed attractions. Fewer tourists. Few boats on the water. A quiet boardwalk and sleepy Seaport Village. An almost empty fishing pier…

A lone sailboat passes the presently closed Maritime Museum of San Diego.
From the boardwalk I took a photo of Star of India’s cathead. This sturdy beam, used to raise and lower the ship’s anchor, has a cat’s head!
Walking past a mostly closed Portside Pier.
Many empty benches and tables can now be found along the Embarcadero.
Light sparkles from the wake of a turning Coronado Ferry.
Play of light on rippled water, reflected onto the hull of the USS Midway.
Hanging out on the grass, gazing across the bay.
I raised my camera to take this photo of the USS Midway aircraft carrier’s island. The USS Midway Museum is also closed now.
Long shadows cast by the two figures in Seward Johnson’s sculpture Unconditional Surrender, which is now more often called Embracing Peace.
Walking by the water.
Cool photo taken of Tuna Harbor.
Bright floats on a rusty fishing boat.
A family walks along near Seaport Village. Few people are about this sunny January afternoon.
A kite zips around making fast aerial circles, to the delight of both young and old.
Quietly reading on the grass at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
A fine day for riding bicycles!
Marriott Marquis tower reflects bright sunlight into the hotel’s marina.
I’m still getting used to Seaport Village’s new color scheme. It’s growing on me.
Looking skyward.
A snowy egret searches for dinner in shallow water at the edge of the Marriott Marina.
More walkers, and a runner.
Light makes for an interesting photo at the Marriott Marina.
The San Diego Symphony’s new outdoor concert venue, The Shell, seems nearly complete. I believe you’ll walk up here to buy tickets.
Beyond the ticket office you can see the acoustically designed structure where the musicians will play.
Walking out on the pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South. Not much fishing activity today.
From one end of the pier I took this photo of The Shell. A grassy slope descends toward the concert stage. Structures for lighting and speakers have also been erected.
Turning on the almost empty pier, facing the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Another guy quietly walking along. A perfect day for that.
But this pelican will have to wait a long time if it’s expecting a free morsel!

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!

Painted surfers welcome visitors to Ocean Beach!

Back in 2015, a mural depicting two surfers and sea birds was painted on both sides of a gas station wall at the entrance to Ocean Beach. You can see it as you drive into OB, at the corner of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and West Point Loma Boulevard. The eye-catching mural was painted by Southern California artist Henry Goods.

A couple days ago I finally walked past it.

When I read this great article concerning the mural’s creation, I learned another San Diego gas station features more artwork painted by Henry Goods. It’s that long, very colorful mural on First Avenue between Cedar Street and Elm Street, featuring sharks, fish, sea lions and other marine life. I checked out that mural and posted photos here, here and here, over seven years ago when my blog was just getting started!

Funny how walking is a travel though time.

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!

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The many birds of Famosa Slough.

Yesterday I headed to Point Loma to walk by Famosa Slough, a protected wetland I have driven past on many occasions. This was my first time walking the trails of the slough south of West Point Loma Boulevard, and along the channel that runs north toward Interstate 8 and the San Diego River.

The more I walked along the water and natural vegetation of the Famosa Slough State Marine Conservation Area, the more birds I saw! There were bright white egrets, and gulls and cormorants and ducks and various shorebirds. As you’ll see in one photo, I also spotted an osprey!

My photographs begin beside the slough that motorists see from West Point Loma Boulevard, then I crossed the street and followed a dirt pathway north up the channel to the end of the path.

Famosa Slough is part of a statewide network of Marine Protected Areas. It includes open shallow water, riparian habitat, wetland upland transition habitats, and four treatment basins to protect water quality.

Here is where I crossed over West Point Loma Boulevard. First I checked out the following information signs near the path up the Famosa Channel.

Birds one can see at Famosa Slough include the great egret, American wigeon, black-necked stilt, snowy egret, little blue heron, California brown pelican, and blue-winged teal.
Famosa Slough is a 37-acre coastal wetland owned by the City of San Diego and cared for by the Friends of Famosa Slough. It is home to many rare and endangered local and migratory bird species.
Looking north up the channel through the remains of an old bridge.
A kiosk. I couldn’t read the weathered words, but enjoyed the image of two gulls.
Heading up the dirt path.
I could see many birds in the distance.
A snowy egret.
A nice bench for resting and birdwatching.
An osprey soars high overhead!

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!