Stones painted with love, optimism, dreams.

Paint a rock. Leave it here.
Paint a rock. Leave it here.

My walk around Cardiff-by-the-Sea today included a very short stretch of the Cardiff Rail Trail. I walked north from where this popular bike and pedestrian trail crosses Chesterfield Drive, just west of San Elijo Avenue.

As I walked I noticed what first appeared to be many small smooth stones spilled to one side of the path. Upon closer inspection, I discovered a treasure trove of colorful gems!

Scattered on dead leaves I found brightly painted butterflies and hearts. I read words expressing love and optimism. I saw painted dreams.

It appears these precious jewels were created by many generous hands.

Dream and smile.
Dream and smile.

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!

Girl Scouts work to make a better community!

Believe.
Believe.

Today I enjoyed a tour of a fantastic outdoor mural exhibition in San Ysidro. It was the highlight of my day. I’ll blog about that shortly.

Earlier in the afternoon, I walked a little around the neighborhood and found myself looking at some creative artwork on a fence at the San Ysidro Community Center. I’d stumbled upon the Gold Award project of two local Girl Scouts!

According to a sign on the fence, in 2018 Orian Martinez restored the community center’s outdoor playground, and Sofia Perez-Valles created the Utopia Mural on the surrounding fence, embellishing it with positive messages.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has closed the San Ysidro Community Center and its outdoor area for many months now, so if things look a bit weathered and ragged, you can understand why. But the positive efforts and messages endure.

The actions and leadership of these two Girl Scouts have indeed made the world (and their community) a better place!

Utopia Mural.
Utopia Mural.
Butterflies decorate a gate to an outdoor playground and gathering place.
Butterflies decorate a gate to an outdoor playground and gathering place.
Sign near entrance to San Ysidro Community Center.
Sign near entrance to San Ysidro Community Center.
Two Girl Scouts achieved the Gold Award for a 2018 project at the San Ysidro Community Center.
Two Girl Scouts achieved the Gold Award for a 2018 project at the San Ysidro Community Center.
Recycled materials turned to art on the chain link fence.
Recycled materials turned to art on the chain link fence.
Courage.
Courage.
More colorful butterflies.
More colorful butterflies.
Action Changes Things.
Action Changes Things.
The future has many names...
The future has many names. For the fearful, the unknown. For the weak, the unreachable. For the brave, an opportunity.
Action is the foundational...
Action is the foundational…
...skill to all success.
…skill to all success.
Fall seven times and get up eight.
Fall seven times and get up eight.
If you do what you've always done, you'll get where you've always gone.
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll arrive where you’ve always gone.
Changes bring opportunity.
Changes bring opportunity.

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!

Neighbor releases butterflies in San Diego park!

A neighbor in San Diego’s Cortez Hill community has released butterflies in a city park. She accomplished this with a paintbrush and stencils!

Take a look!

I learned from Joe Ciavarella of Friends of Tweet Street Park that the beautiful butterflies–and birds, flowers and dragonflies–you see in my photos were painted on planters and stones recently by Victoria Villavicencio, who periodically visits Cortez Hill.

Tweet Street Linear Park at the top of Cortez Hill becomes ever more inviting over time, thanks not only to the friendly workers of San Diego’s Parks and Recreation Department, but to unselfish community volunteers who devotedly plant, tend and clean the garden-like park.

From one who lives a few steps away: Thank You!

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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A walk filled with light, creativity, butterflies!

My walk early this morning through downtown San Diego was filled with more wonder.

I observed magical light, human creativity, and an unexpected profusion of butterflies!

The butterflies had gathered on the windows of The New Children’s 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!

Colorful art in Escondido celebrates nature!

Plaza del Arroyo mural near North Broadway and Escondido Creek features a wading bird.
Plaza del Arroyo mural near North Broadway and Escondido Creek features a wading bird.

Lots of colorful art that celebrates nature can be spotted in Escondido when you walk along the east side of Broadway, between the Escondido Creek Trail and the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum.

These photographs were taken during a walk that headed south.

Enjoy!

Escondido Creek Trail mural behind flowers by the popular bike and pedestrian path.
Escondido Creek Trail mural behind flowers by the popular bike and pedestrian path.
Nearby utility boxes with an elaborately painted owl and hummingbird.
Nearby utility boxes with an elaborately painted owl and hummingbird.
Another nearby electrical box reads BEE KIND.
Another nearby electrical box reads BEE KIND.
Mosaic on this post at the parking lot of the San Diego Children's Discovery Museum shows desert animal and plant life.
Mosaic on this post at the parking lot of the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum shows desert animal and plant life.
A desert tortoise, I believe.
A desert tortoise, I believe.
A beautiful, very colorful abstract butterfly mural near the entrance to the San Diego Children's Discovery Museum.
A beautiful, very colorful abstract butterfly mural near the entrance to the San Diego Children’s Discovery 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!

A small story about wonder.

This morning I posted a new story on my website Short Stories by Richard.

Every Butterfly is New is a bit like these small walks we go on.

It’s about discovering small and large things.

It’s about looking at ourselves.

Read it here.

Inspiring street art in Golden Hill.

Many colorful butterflies seem to have landed atop an electrical box in Golden Hill, forming a heart.
Many colorful butterflies seem to have landed atop an electrical box in Golden Hill, forming a heart.

Walk down one particular sidewalk in Golden Hill and you might find this inspiring street art.

The messages painted on the electrical box are simple but powerful.

Inspiring street art reveals the sun's bright message . . . Still I rise.
Simple, inspiring street art reveals the sun’s bright message . . . Still I rise.
I am riding a rainbow with a bow and arrow. Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
I am riding a rainbow with a bow and arrow. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.

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!

Sea life mosaics at Solana Beach bus station!

Small sea creatures made of ceramic swim about a tile mosaic bench at a bus station in Solana Beach.
Small sea creatures made of ceramic swim about a tile mosaic bench at a bus station in Solana Beach.

Check out these colorful benches at a Solana Beach bus station on Pacific Coast Highway!

Passengers waiting for a North County Transit BREEZE bus at this station are surrounded by all sorts of sea creatures in the form of ceramic tiles. You can find the public art just north of Lomas Santa Fe Drive, on the west side of the Solana Beach train station. Bicyclists heading down Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail can also pause to enjoy the artwork.

The fun mosaics, decorating 11 concrete benches, were created by artist Michelle Griffoul.

Here are photos from several benches that you might enjoy!

Two of eleven concrete benches decorated with images of marine life on Pacific Coast Highway, just north of Lomas Santa Fe Drive.
Two of eleven concrete benches decorated with images of marine life on Pacific Coast Highway, just north of Lomas Santa Fe Drive.
A colorful fish, shell and seahorse among small blue tiles.
A colorful fish, shell and seahorse among small blue tiles.
Sit here and you can ride a dolphin that is swimming among abundant sea life.
Sit here and you can ride a dolphin that is swimming among abundant sea life.
More fun public artwork at a Solana Beach bus station.
More fun public artwork at a Solana Beach bus station.
Butterflies! It appears that not all of the images concern aquatic life.
Butterflies! It appears that not all of the images concern aquatic life.
More fish in their watery element.
More fish in their watery element.
More beautiful artwork at the bus station.
More beautiful artwork at the bus station.
A bike rider rolls past public art. This station is part of the Coastal Rail Trail in San Diego's North County.
A bike rider rolls past public art. This station is part of the Coastal Rail Trail in San Diego’s North County.
So much sea life it seems we're somewhere out in the nearby Pacific Ocean.
So much sea life it seems we’re somewhere out in the nearby Pacific Ocean.
A small school of beautiful fish swimming in blue tiles.
A small school of beautiful fish swimming in blue tiles.
Enjoy The Path.
Enjoy The Path.
The sun is shining atop this bench.
The sun is shining atop this bench.
I've spotted a whale!
I’ve spotted a whale!

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Butterfly Project teaches students about Holocaust.

Naomi was born in Prague in 1932. She and her parents were sent by the Nazis to the Theresienstadt ghetto and forced to work. The family was then sent to Auschwitz and at age 12, Naomi was murdered.
Naomi was born in Prague in 1932. She and her parents were sent by the Nazis to the Theresienstadt ghetto and forced to work. The family was then sent to Auschwitz and at age 12, Naomi was murdered.

Today I discovered an inspired project that helps school students learn about the Holocaust, and how to fight injustice and bullying.

The Butterfly Project had a special event this afternoon at the San Diego History Center. By pure chance I saw a sign for the event as I walked through Balboa Park.

Inside the San Diego History Center, I watched as compassionate visitors painted ceramic butterflies–one for each child who perished in the Holocaust.

Then I heard presentations by two speakers who had family members endure the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust. These powerful presentations, complete with photographs and touchable artifacts, are often made to students in school classrooms. The presentations encourage Hope, Optimism, Kindness, Dignity and the Power of One. I learned how there were amazing instances where the courage of one person against brutal Nazis saved many innocent lives in labor and concentration camps.

One person can speak out. One person can take risks for others. One positive person can change many lives.

That one positive person can be you. Please visit The Butterfly Project website.

According to their mission statement, The Butterfly Project is a call to action through the arts, using the lessons of the Holocaust to educate about the dangers of hatred and bigotry through the painting of ceramic butterflies, permanently displayed around the world to memorialize each of the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust.

The Butterfly Project seeks to partner with anyone that has or wants to build a connection to history, honoring those who died in the Holocaust. They want to get their beautiful, symbolic butterflies into schools, museums and community centers. They want to be included in classrooms across the country as an important part of Holocaust and anti-bullying education.

Can you help? Click this link to learn how to get involved.

Will you be that one person who steps forward?

An event to raise awareness about The Butterfly Project was held at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.
An event to raise awareness about The Butterfly Project was held at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.
Ceramic butterflies are painted. Each one symbolizes a young person who died as a result of the Holocaust.
Ceramic butterflies are painted. Each one symbolizes a young person who died as a result of the Holocaust.
Some hands add color to the butterflies.
Some hands add color to the butterflies.
Bronislaw almost escaped the Nazis hidden in a suitcase, then in a backpack. Seven year-old Bronislaw was discovered and shot.
Bronislaw almost escaped the Nazis hidden in a suitcase, then in a backpack. Seven year-old Bronislaw was discovered and shot.
Holding up a labor camp uniform worn during the Holocaust. Presentations made to students bring terrible realities to light, and encourage positive action.
Holding up a labor camp uniform worn during the Holocaust. Presentations to students make the Holocaust real, and encourage positive, compassionate action.
One presentation shows the tragic journey of one man who was sent to multiple concentration camps. He ran into a forest during a forced death march and escaped.
One presentation shows the tragic journey of one man who was sent to multiple concentration camps. He ran into a forest during a forced death march and escaped.
The yellow badge that Nazis forced Jewish people to wear during the Holocaust.
The yellow badge that Nazis forced Jewish people to wear during the Holocaust.
Painted butterflies recall innocent lives lost. With hope, purpose and courage, we can fight inhumanity and teach kindness.
Painted butterflies recall innocent lives lost. With hope, purpose and courage, we can fight inhumanity and teach kindness.

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Fun street art found around La Mesa.

Live free like a butterfly. Street art in La Mesa.
Live free like a butterfly. Street art in La Mesa.

I found a lot of fun street art during a random walk around La Mesa. I bounced from color to color like a butterfly, my feet pointed in every direction. I wandered down University Avenue, up La Mesa Boulevard, along Spring Street. Most of the artwork was discovered on sidewalk electrical boxes. These photos are in no particular order.

Butterfly painted on an electrical box.
Butterfly painted on an electrical box.
Street art shows colorful cars.
Street art shows colorful cars.
A lots of mostly happy faces.
A lot of mostly happy faces.
Two giraffes.
Two giraffes.
A panda bear.
A panda bear.
High voltage heart and two roses.
A high voltage heart and two red roses.
The fish tank.
The fish tank. Perhaps it contains an electric eel.
Three fish.
Three fish.
A white goose.
A white goose.
Two owls.
Two owls.
A blue bird.
A blue bird.
Graffiti child on a wall ready to play hopscotch at Coin Haus.
Graffiti child on a wall ready to play hopscotch at Coin Haus.
Exotic mural up high in the alley behind Amethyst Moon.
Exotic mural up high in the alley behind Amethyst Moon.
Koi.
Koi.
An abstract design.
An abstract design.
Butterflies and flowers brighten a La Mesa sidewalk.
More butterflies and flowers brighten a La Mesa sidewalk.

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!