Another fine Sunday walk in Balboa Park!

Early October. A walk in Balboa Park. Another fine Sunday full of sunshine and magic.

I headed nowhere in particular.

Visitors to wonderful Balboa Park stream down El Prado.

Does the Botanical Building appear strange? It’s in the middle of its big renovation! But the Lily Pond is as beautiful as ever.

A local artist smiles and shows her colorful work.

She makes awesome papier-mache figures. I recognize Frida Kahlo!

My friend Mitchell was on El Prado playing his didgeridoo.

I got a cookie. (And more smiles!) Proceeds help the San Diego Civic Dance Arts, whose home is the Casa del Prado Theater.

Why are peanuts in a pile inside the Spanish Village Art Center?

That’s why!

Lunch time for a squirrel in the park.

Here comes the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad! Kids love it. The small train ride is operated by the nearby San Diego Zoo.

A big Balboa Park Spooktacular is coming up at the Municipal Gym on Saturday October 29, 2022. There will be a costume contest!

The House of Austria had their lawn program today. I got a folk costume preview as I strolled early through the International Cottages.

Gazing down into the lush Lower Garden of the Japanese Friendship Garden.

Shortly after noon, not many had arrived yet for the two o’clock Sunday concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. San Diego Civic Organist Raul Prieto Ramírez rehearses up on the stage.

Spreckels Organ Society member pulls a sign out for the free Sunday concert.

Everyone loves Balboa Park. Including friends with four legs!

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!

Botanical Building’s deconstruction continues!

Out with the old first. Later in with the new!

The iconic 1915 Botanical Building in Balboa Park is in the process of being rebuilt. Three months ago I took a few photographs of some early “deconstruction” activity. Since then more of the lath structure near the ground has been removed, and the building looks increasingly skeletal!

I walked around the Botanical Building’s construction fence today and took these photos. You can contrast them with the photos I took in February here. That older blog post also provides some interesting details concerning this very important, historic project!

You can see how the Lily Pond directly adjacent to the structure has been drained.

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Beautiful poinsettias before a Balboa Park closure.

The Botanical Building in Balboa Park is set to be closed next year as the historic lath structure undergoes its major restoration. So this holiday season is your last chance for a while to see the popular annual poinsettia display.

I walked through the Botanical Building today to experience the bright Christmas reds and floral beauty. I took these photographs.

If you’d like to learn more about the Botanical Building’s upcoming renovation, check out the Forever Balboa Park web page concerning the project here!

This year’s 35th Annual Poinsettia Display lasts through December 31, 2021.

As many history buffs know, poinsettias have an important connection to San Diego’s North County city of Encinitas. That’s where years ago the Paul Ecke Poinsettia Ranch was located. Paul Ecke, Sr. was almost singlehandedly responsible for making the poinsettia an important part of Christmas celebrations around the world.

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!

Balboa Park, just as beautiful as ever.

Balboa Park reopened today.

For almost three months the center of the park has been closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This afternoon I walked down El Prado into the heart of Balboa Park with my camera in hand.

I stopped at one end of the Lily Pond and slowly turned about.

Flowers were abundant. The sun was shining. People were happy.

Rest assured, Balboa Park is just as beautiful as ever.

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!

Honoring those who make the world more beautiful.

Beauty fills and surrounds the Botanical Building in Balboa Park. As do words that honor those who’ve made our world more beautiful.

Seeds that were planted many years ago live on and on.

Last weekend I saw and read a few plaques.

Alfred D. Robinson, Founding President of the San Diego Floral Association in 1907, originated the use of a "lath house" for displaying plants at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Alfred D. Robinson, Founding President of the San Diego Floral Association in 1907, originated the use of a “lath house” for displaying plants at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

Ruth C. Smith, founder of the City Beautiful of San Diego, has left a legacy of beauty for all San Diegans to enjoy for years to come.
Ruth C. Smith, founder of the City Beautiful of San Diego, who worked to plant 10,000 trees in San Diego parks, has left a legacy of beauty for all San Diegans to enjoy for years to come.

In Memory of Miss Daisy O. Tompkins, Teacher. This world is a better place because of her.
In Memory of Miss Daisy O. Tompkins, Teacher. This world is a better place because of her.

Barbara Hart McLean. Artist, Scientist, Mother, Friend. She loved life in all of its diversity and color.
Barbara Hart McLean. Artist, Scientist, Mother, Friend. She loved life in all of its diversity and color.

Honoring a man whose vision of a Botanical Building became reality, adding beauty to the lives of millions.
Honoring a man whose vision of a “Palace of Lath” became reality, adding beauty to the lives of millions of Balboa Park visitors for over a century.

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!

New wonders and discoveries in Balboa Park.

A small dog dressed like Santa attracts as much attention as the musician performing by the Balboa Park reflecting pool.
A tiny dog dressed like Santa Claus attracts a lot of attention. The friendly musician performing by the Balboa Park reflecting pool didn’t seem to mind.

Christmas is coming on Monday. So I was given this afternoon off from work.

Even on the second day of winter, San Diego is pure sunshine.

As I got my legs pumping, Balboa Park seemed like the perfect destination. It’s a magical place that’s always full of new wonders and unexpected discoveries.

Something very cool is coming this weekend. I’ve been invited on a special tour of the Modern Masters from Latin America exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art. I’ll probably blog about the experience on Tuesday, the day after Christmas. Meanwhile, I’m going to take a short break here and perhaps do a bit of writing.

I hope you all have a wonderful and very merry next few days!

Young and old peer into a magical fountain near the Botanical Building.
Young and old peer into a magical fountain near the Botanical Building.

Moving through the wonder-filled Casa del Prado, turning a corner.
People move past light-filled archways, turn a corner…

I was told these guys were filming the comic show Cult of Kevin in the outdoor courtyard of the Casa del Prado.
I was told these guys were filming the pilot of a funny show called “Cult of Kyle” in the outdoor courtyard of the Casa del Prado.

Many faces among leaves. Art discovered on Spanish Village's outdoor Studio 10 work table.
Many faces among fallen leaves. Sketches discovered unexpectedly in Spanish Village, on a worktable outside Studio 10.

Sunlight on trunks and leaves at the edge of Palm Canyon.
Bright sunlight on trunks and leaves at the edge of Balboa Park’s Palm Canyon.

The effort to save the Starlight Bowl has made great progress! They finally have a Special Use Permit from the City of San Diego!
The effort to save the Starlight Bowl has made great progress! They finally have a Special Use Permit from the City of San Diego!

I was told that two new marble benches outside the entrance of the San Diego Air and Space Museum are about one month old. They were donated by North American Aviation, Inc.
I was told that two shiny new marble benches outside the entrance of the San Diego Air and Space Museum are about one month old. They were donated by retirees of North American Aviation.

People are entertained on El Prado one beautiful winter's day in Balboa Park. The facade of the Casa del Prado makes a fantastic backdrop.
People are entertained on El Prado one beautiful winter’s day in Balboa Park. The facade of the Casa del Prado makes a fantastic backdrop.

This cool guy had a long rope that generated zillions of bubbles at once!
This cool guy near the Zoro Garden had a long rope that generated zillions of bubbles at once!

I often see this silent, very funny busker in Seaport Village. He was performing his magic today in Balboa Park.
I often see this silent busker in Seaport Village. He was juggling and performing magic today in Balboa Park.

Filling the air with living music in front of the San Diego Natural History Museum.
A musician breathes life into the park. A small scene in front of the San Diego Natural History 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!

Happy Holidays!

Richard

More stunning beauty in the Botanical Building.

The Botanical Building in Balboa Park is a garden paradise. I love to walk through it, searching right and left for small scenes of stunning beauty.

This afternoon I managed to capture some good photographs.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Please visit my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

A plant in Balboa Park now extinct in the wild.

Balboa Park's knowledgeable Ranger Kim Duclo points out an extremely rare specimen of Deppea splendens in the Botanical Building.
Balboa Park’s knowledgeable Ranger Kim Duclo points out an extremely rare specimen of Deppea splendens in the Botanical Building.

I learned something really amazing last Sunday in Balboa Park. I had joined one of Ranger Kim Duclo’s park tours as it was in progress, and I followed the group into the Botanical Building.

Near the center of the Botanical Building, Ranger Kim stopped beside a beautiful green tree and told us it was one of the rarest plants in the entire world!

Deppea splendens was originally discovered in 1973 by botanist Dennis Breedlove. He found it growing in a single spot in Mexico’s southern mountains. Fortunately Dennis gathered some seeds. Because when he returned in 1986, the plants had all been destroyed. The area had been developed into farmland.

Ranger Kim told us that specimens of Deppea splendens now grow in relatively few places–mostly in special havens like Balboa Park. He also said that one day the plant might be reintroduced into the wild, much as the California condor was saved locally from extinction and successfully returned to its natural habitat.

May that day come!

A look at the thriving Deppea splendens inside Balboa Park's lush Botanical Building.
Photo of a thriving Deppea splendens inside Balboa Park’s lush Botanical Building.

The distinctive flowers of Deppea splendens, a plant that is now extinct in the wild. This public domain photograph is from Wikimedia Commons.
The distinctive flowers of Deppea splendens, a plant that is now extinct in the wild. I found this public domain photograph at Wikimedia Commons.

These beautiful green leaves might be reintroduced into the wild one day!
These rare, beautiful leaves might be seen once again in the 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 fascinating photos for you to share and enjoy!

Orchids in Balboa Park’s amazing Botanical Building!

I believe all these beautiful images are of orchids! I apologize if I'm mistaken. Most photos were taken just inside the left door to the Botanical Building in Balboa Park.
I believe all these beautiful images are of orchids! I apologize if I’m mistaken. Most photos were taken just inside the left door to the Botanical Building in Balboa Park.

I believe all these photos are of orchids. Unfortunately, I’m not an expert when it comes to plants or flowers. Heck, I hardly even rank as an amateur. But I do recognize exquisite beauty. And you’ll find it just inside the left door of Balboa Park’s amazing Botanical Building!

I don’t know the types or names of these orchids. I looked for signs, but saw none. If you recognize anything, leave a comment!

Deep velvet beauty for everyone to enjoy.
Velvet beauty for everyone to enjoy.

So much to absorb in the amazing Botanical Building--one's eyes leap from bloom to bloom.
So much to absorb in the amazing Botanical Building–one’s eyes leap from bloom to bloom.

Nature's masterpieces are often small and fragile.
Nature’s masterpieces are often small and fragile.

Should you ever visit Balboa Park in San Diego, don't miss the Botanical Building. The enormous lath building stands behind the reflecting pool near El Prado.
Should you ever visit Balboa Park in San Diego, don’t miss the Botanical Building. The enormous lath building stands behind the reflecting pool near El Prado.

White angel-like flower seems to signal that the world is just fine.
White angel-like flower seems to signal that the world is just fine.

Many orchids in clay pots hanging from a wall trellis.
Many orchids in clay pots hanging from a wall trellis.

A long strand of gems.
A long strand of gems.

Everywhere you turn in the Botanical Building you'll discover lush plants and natural wonders.
Everywhere you turn in the Botanical Building you’ll discover lush plants and natural wonders.

A lady glides into heaven on Earth.
A lady glides into heaven on Earth.

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Young and old dream at Centennial Railway Garden.

Young and old together dream in a small outdoor nook in Balboa Park.
Young and old together dream in a small outdoor nook in Balboa Park.

The San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park has erected a cool little exhibit on their outdoor rear patio called the Centennial Railway Garden. To commemorate the hundred year anniversary of Balboa Park, a detailed layout features streetcars traveling among 3D-printed reproductions of several buildings in the park. The scenes date from the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Visitors young and old can dream they’ve traveled back in time as they take control of the fun model train action with their smart phone! (Technology has changed somewhat in the last hundred years!)

Go check out the Centennial Railway Garden and have a lot of fun!

Volunteer at San Diego Model Railroad Museum walks past 3D-printed model of the historic California Building with its bell tower.
Volunteer at San Diego Model Railroad Museum walks past 3D-printed model of the historic California Building with its bell tower.

Putting a model of a streetcar on the tracks. A hundred years ago, John D. Spreckels' Class 1 streetcars provided transportation around San Diego.
Putting a model of a streetcar on the tracks. A hundred years ago, John D. Spreckels’ Class 1 streetcars provided transportation around San Diego.

This small replica of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion is part of special exhibit that commemorates Balboa Park's centennial.
This small replica of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion is part of special exhibit that commemorates Balboa Park’s centennial.

The Centennial Railway Garden also includes a model of Balboa Park's Botanical Building and nearby reflecting pool!
The Centennial Railway Garden also includes a model of Balboa Park’s Botanical Building and nearby reflecting pool!

Getting the streetcars ready early one weekend morning before many visitors arrive at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
Getting the streetcars ready early one weekend morning before many visitors arrive at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.

The very cool Centennial Railway Garden is a place in Balboa Park where dreams from the past come alive.
The very cool Centennial Railway Garden is a place in Balboa Park where dreams from the past come alive.

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