Sculptures beautify Paradise Creek Gathering Place.

On the south side of National City’s Kimball Park, near 16th Street, a footbridge crosses Paradise Creek. Look up near the bridge and you’ll spy beautiful small sculptures mounted atop high posts.

These shining metal sculptures at the Paradise Creek Gathering Place were created by San Diego artist Vicki Leon, in collaboration with high school students at A Reason To Survive (ARTS), an organization in National City that uplifts local youth using the power of creativity.

The Paradise Creek Gathering Place sculptures together are titled Migratory Flight. They resemble silvery birds taking wing. Solar-powered lights illuminate bits of colored glass in clear tubes beneath each sculpture.

The environmental sculptures, symbolizing wildlife that depends on Paradise Creek, were installed in 2018. Many in the community came out to help build and beautify the Paradise Creek Gathering Place, including the Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center’s Kitchenistas and students from San Diego City College and San Diego State University. You can read more about the project here and here.

Lead artist Vicki Leon has also helped to beautify her own City Heights Azalea Park neighborhood. You can see photos of more amazing public artwork that I took during a special visit to Azalea Park here and here and 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!

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 new Empowering Hope mural in East Village!

A huge, absolutely amazing mural in downtown San Diego’s East Village has been painted right next to the Quartyard. The mural is in support of wildlife conservation efforts, and is titled Empowering Hope. The artists are Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki.

According to the promoted Key Conservation website, one can download their Key App to hook up with and support various global conservation organizations, who are working to save animals from extinction. It appears the project is presently a work in progress and more funding is needed.

If you’d like to check it all out, you can visit the Key Conservation website 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!

My Wish For You beckons in Imperial Beach.

Travel down Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach with perceptive eyes and you might discover My Wish For You. The long mural on an alley wall is located just west of Florida Street. It was created by Imperial Beach artist Michelle Lubin and installed in 2018.

According to a sign at the mural, My Wish For You was inspired by the love of the artist’s daughter for all things, including butterflies, ladybugs, dandelions, flowers, sticks, leaves and rocks. Do you see and love these things, too?

These simple things, so easily taken for granted, are among the infinite wonders all around us.

The beautiful mural is a project of the Imperial Beach Arts Bureau.

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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!

Red-tailed hawks and fog in Balboa Park.

This morning I walked from downtown San Diego to Balboa Park, hoping to capture some interesting fog photographs.

As it turned out, most of my photos were of red-tailed hawks!

I observed three of them from the Cabrillo Bridge.

Anyone who walks into Balboa Park from the west side should keep their eyes peeled for hawks. They like to perch in the trees above the archery range or the slope of the West Mesa overlooking State Route 163.

I often hear the distinctive cry of red-tailed hawks near the eucalyptus trees west of the California Tower. Once or twice in the past I’ve seen them perched on the tower!

I managed to get a few decent photos with my little camera. You can see two hawks in the final image!

From the Cabrillo Bridge I also took a photograph of foggy downtown San Diego in the distance.

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!

Swarming gulls, Horton’s new skin, and a relic.

I observed a few interesting things in downtown San Diego during my morning walk.

First, a parking lot in East Village was swarming with hundreds of seagulls. Someone was tossing the gulls a large quantity of crumbs. It was quite a spectacle, as you can see in my photographs.

Of course, feeding birds downtown makes them more of a potential nuisance. And the people who’d parked nearby might have something to say…

Next, as I walked past old Horton Plaza, I noticed its redevelopment is progressing right along. The exterior of the now enlarged building at the corner of G Street and 1st Avenue, former home of a Nordstrom department store, has some new skin!

If you want to see how the project appeared about a year ago, with the once popular shopping mall stripped and gutted, click here!

If you want to see how the new mixed-use high-tech downtown campus will appear when finished, click here!

Finally, check out the following old relic.

How many pay phones remain in the city? I never see them anymore. I did find one here, at the Convention Center trolley station, next to a brand new high-tech PRONTO ticket machine!

Put that pay phone in a 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 photos for you to enjoy!

Extraordinary new Old Town art honors Kumeyaay!

Extraordinary new public art has been unveiled in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park!

Two benches in the park’s recently opened outdoor expansion, which is called Land of the First People, feature beautiful mosaics that honor the Native American Kumeyaay and the world of nature.

Once you look at the following photographs, you’ll likely agree these ceramic mosaics are exceptional. They were created by local artist Betsy K. Schulz.

The two interpretive benches contain images of the Kumeyaay people in our region, fishing, collecting reeds, paddling boats and living by a river, among birds, fish and other native wildlife.

If you’d like to see more stunning public art around San Diego that was created by Betsy K. Schulz, click here.

These images were captured yesterday evening just before nightfall. I took additional photographs of this newly opened area of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, and posted them 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!

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!

Bird sightings along Tijuana Estuary boardwalk!

Walk down the recently improved Tijuana Estuary boardwalk in Imperial Beach and you’re certain to see birds. You’ll find many down at your feet!

The widened, beautified boardwalk along Imperial Beach Avenue, west of 3rd Street, now includes the names of many birds that make Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge their home.

Next to the bird names you’ll also find images of outstretched wings. The wings are to scale, providing an idea of how different species of birds compare.

During my last walking adventure in IB, about a month or so ago, I was surprised and delighted to find this improved boardwalk. There are new benches, and information signs at scenic Tijuana River estuary overlooks, and even a great bus stop shelter that I used.

It’s about time I shared these photos!

Great Blue Heron.
Red-Tailed Hawk.
Beautiful birds.
Sanderling.
Snowy Egret.
Nature everywhere. Imperial Beach is naturally wild.

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!

An educational nature hike at Chollas Lake Park.

A wide variety of community programs are offered at Chollas Lake Park in San Diego’s Oak Park neighborhood. There are ranger-led wildlife “Meet the Neighbors” hikes around the small lake, Kumeyaay ethnobotany walks, youth fishing, fitness classes, crafts, an oral history project, archery and even a book club with its own scenic hangout!

Yesterday I went on a nature hike where I and a good number of visitors circled the shallow artificial lake while ranger Cary Goldstein identified and talked about the many birds and other animals we saw, some of which are feral.

The walk was level, about a mile long, easy, and very educational. We saw Chinese and African geese and learned how to tell them apart. We saw a turkey vulture circling high above the treetops. We saw blooming marsh fleabane at the water’s edge and California bulrushes where birds nest. We saw turtles swimming underwater and sunning on rocks. We saw mallards and coots and banded pigeons and Canada geese and curious California ground squirrels and a strange-looking Muscovy duck.

We learned so much I couldn’t begin to relate it all. Some very young walkers had hands raised and asked lots of good questions.

I was fascinated to learn Chollas Lake was created in 1901 as a source for drinking water when San Diego was rather small. Later it was used to cool United States Navy radio equipment back when the three largest structures in the city, at 600 feet tall, stood atop a hill above the lake. Those radio transmitter antennas were the first to receive a signal from Hawaii that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. (A blog concerning this will be coming up later.)

Today Chollas Lake Park is a place where nature thrives. It is also a place where people can recreate, relax and learn about this beautiful and interesting world we call home.

Visit the Chollas Lake Park website 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!

Wings of Inspiration at the Ramona Library.

A very beautiful metal sculpture stands in front of the Ramona Library on Main Street. It’s called Wings of Inspiration.

The sculpture is dedicated to M. Elyse Kuhn, President of the Friends of Ramona Library, who passed away in 2015.

Literacy gives everyone the means to soar. That was the idea expressed by the local artist, Leslie Souza. You can read more about Wings of Inspiration, and the efforts of Marion Elyse Kuhn to see the Ramona Library built 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!

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!