Cool photos from Steampunk Day at the Library!

A guy with a super cool steampunk outfit spread his mechanical wings for a photo as I entered the library!
A guy with a super cool steampunk outfit spread his mechanical wings for a photo as I entered the library!

Check out these cool photos from Steampunk Day at the Library!

I headed over to San Diego’s Central Library early this afternoon not really knowing what to expect. And what I experienced absolutely blew me away!

San Diego Steampunk, Gaslight Steampunk Expo, and the Friends of the Central Library put on an event that still has me smiling as I write this! You wouldn’t believe all the awesome steampunk costumes and gizmos and props and gadgets and inventions and artwork that filled a good chunk of the library’s first floor. I saw original stuff inspired by Lewis Carroll, H. G. Wells, Jules Verne… Some of my favorite authors! There were also a couple lectures and something called Tea Dueling, which I missed. Perhaps next year…

The participants, most of whom are makers, were all super friendly and eager to tell me about what they had created. I pocketed lots of business cards and flyers, and have tried to provide photo captions that accurately describe what I came across.

So what did I see? Take a look!

Steampunk Day at the San Diego Central Library promotes S.T.E.A.M. learning. Readers, students and imaginative people can explore history, science and technology!
Steampunk Day at the San Diego Central Library promotes S.T.E.A.M. learning. Readers, students and imaginative people can explore concepts in science and technology! And enjoy excellent literature and learn some history, too!
Dozens of local steampunk enthusiasts had gathered in the library to have fun and provide creative inspiration for young and old alike.
Dozens of local steampunk enthusiasts had gathered in the library to have fun and provide creative inspiration for young and old alike.
A super nice lady had a table full of steampunk crafts she had made. Like others participating in the event, she is a member of San Diego Steampunk.
A super nice lady had a table full of steampunk crafts she had made. Like others participating in the event, she is a member of San Diego Steampunk.
Library visitors during Steampunk Day could pose with Victorian costume accessories and props for a cool photo.
Library visitors during Steampunk Day could pose with Victorian costume accessories and props for a cool photo.
One of the first things I saw was an awesome model of Jules Verne's Nautilus from the classic Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!
One of the first things I saw was an awesome model of Jules Verne’s Nautilus from the classic Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!
Richard Ferrell aka Colonel Malcolm Weatherby was holding a ray gun at the ready. Like many other steampunk enthusiasts, he makes his own props.
Richard Ferrell aka Colonel Malcolm Weatherby was holding a ray gun at the ready. Like many other steampunk enthusiasts, he makes his own props.
This ray gun from Steampunk Arsenal is made of glass bottles and imagination.
This ray gun from Steampunk Arsenal is a fusion of glass bottles and imagination.
It's The Mad Hatter! And her mobile table is set for tea! Or perhaps A Moveable Feast. (Okay, I'm sorry--it's the library.)
It’s The Mad Hatter! And her mobile table is set for tea! Or perhaps A Moveable Feast! (Okay, I’m sorry–it’s the library.)
I didn't get the names of these folks, but they had some of the most inventive stuff. The blue liquid on the right is composed of captured moonbeams.
I didn’t get the names of these folks, but they had some of the most inventive stuff. The blue liquid on the right is composed of distilled moonbeams.
That gadget up at the top of this photo propels a courageous adventurer through time.
That gadget up at the top of this photo propels a courageous adventurer through time.
I believe this guy said he's Gandalf the Brass. His staff emits different colored light, depending on the magic. Should he defeat a Balrog, he might become Gandalf the Gold.
I believe this guy said he’s Gandalf the Brass. His staff emits different colored light, depending on the magic. Should he defeat a Balrog, he might become Gandalf the Gold.
Steampunk writer Madeleine Holly-Rosing had a table displaying some of her books. If you like reading steampunk fiction, you should probably check it out.
Steampunk writer Madeleine Holly-Rosing had a table displaying some of her books. If you like reading steampunk fiction, you should probably check it out!
Madeleine Holly-Rosing is author of comic book series Boston Metaphysical Society. Kind of like a steampunk The X-Files I was told. Sounds cool!
Madeleine Holly-Rosing is author of comic book series Boston Metaphysical Society. Kind of like a steampunk The X-Files I was told. Sounds cool!
Maleficent greeted me at the Steampunk Public table. I learned she's not really evil, just a bit misunderstood.
Maleficent greeted me at the Steampunk Public table. I learned she’s not really evil, just a bit misunderstood.
And look at all the cool contraptions created by Steampunk Public! Sheer fun and human creativity!
And look at all the cool contraptions created by Steampunk Public! Sheer fun and human creativity!
In a glass library display case I discovered steampunk collage art by Ramona Szczerba. She calls these curious vintage fictions.
In a glass library display case I discovered steampunk collage art by Ramona Szczerba. She calls these curious vintage fictions.
Imaginative costumes exhibited during Steampunk Day by the San Diego Costume Guild. They create costumes from many eras.
Imaginative uniforms exhibited during Steampunk Day by the San Diego Costume Guild. They create costumes representing many different eras.
Goggles and top hats everywhere!
Goggles and top hats everywhere!
A British explorer or officer or character from an alternate reality--not sure which! But he was super nice!
A British explorer or officer or eccentric character from a weird alternate reality–I’m not sure which! But he was super nice!
Taking an image using patented Spectral Photography.
Taking an image using patented Spectral Photography.
Kids in the Children's Library were busy making Mad Hatter hats!
Kids in the Children’s Library were busy making Mad Hatter hats!
A super spooky steampunk vampire was looking me over, perhaps getting a bit thirsty. Fangs for nothing!
A scary steampunk vampire looked me over when I stepped outside. Perhaps she was getting a bit thirsty. “Fangs for nothing!”
More awesome steampunk cosplay near the Central Library's auditorium.
More awesome steampunk cosplay near the Central Library’s auditorium.
This guy on the time machine materialized from the future right as I took a photo. I don't know whether he saw any Eloi or Morlocks.
This guy on the time machine materialized from the future right as I took a photo. I don’t know whether he saw any Eloi or Morlocks.

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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Trades That Shaped the West demonstrated in Old Town!

A Wells Fargo stagecoach takes a turn around La Plaza de Las Armas in San Diego's historic Old Town.
A Wells Fargo stagecoach takes a turn around La Plaza de Las Armas in San Diego’s historic Old Town.

Here come photos from today’s Trades That Shaped the West event, which took place in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park!

A wide variety of demonstrations drew curious visitors to a cluster of tents in the park’s grassy plaza. Early San Diego in the 1800’s was completely different from our modern city of gleaming skyscrapers. In many ways, life back then was both simpler and more difficult. Many household objects that are manufactured today were crafted using raw muscle and sweat. Most ordinary tasks were neither easy nor automated.

One hopes that historical reenactments like this continue for generations, so that people don’t forget the unique and meaningful lives of our ancestors.

You might notice this isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about this annual event. I’m so fascinated by San Diego’s history, I decided to experience Trades That Shaped the West again!

Stagecoach Days is celebrated every Saturday in Old Town during the summer. There’s a different themed event every week!

Aspects of frontier life were reenacted today in Old Town San Diego. Visitors watch in amazement as a stagecoach passes by!
Aspects of frontier life were reenacted today in Old Town San Diego. Visitors watch as a stagecoach passes by!
History comes to life during Stagecoach Days in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. There's a different theme each Saturday in July and August.
History comes to life during Stagecoach Days in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. There’s a different theme each Saturday in July and August.
Many fascinating demonstrations could be viewed by the public at the Trades That Shaped the West event.
Many fascinating demonstrations could be viewed by the public at the Trades That Shaped the West event today.
Young and old alike watched two blacksmiths at work with an anvil and small portable forge.
Young and old alike watched two blacksmiths at work with an anvil and small forge.
A wheelwright explains his craft. Wagon wheels were difficult to create, but a necessity of life in the 1800's.
A wheelwright explains his craft. To make wagon wheels required great skill. Like cars today, wagons were an important part of life in the 1800’s.
The bent metal band tyre would be expanded with heat, then contracted using cold water once carefully placed around the wooden wheel.
The bent metal band tyre would be expanded with heat, then contracted using cold water once carefully placed around the wooden wheel.
We take laundry machines for granted today. In the Old West, cleaning clothes took a whole lot more work.
We take laundry machines for granted today. Years ago in the Old West, cleaning clothes required a whole lot more work!
Irons, washboards and other objects from daily life generations ago are on display.
Irons, washboards and other objects from daily life generations ago were on display.
These ladies were weaving baskets. Basket-weaving is said to be the oldest of all human crafts.
These ladies were weaving baskets. Basket-weaving is said to be the oldest of all human crafts.
The local Kumeyaay would use willow baskets to protect their gathered acorns and other food from insects.
The local Native American Kumeyaay would use willow baskets to protect their gathered acorns and other food from insects.
This portable green forge is being used for the first time. The handle turns a belt which operates an air blower. I recognized this blacksmith from the Fall Back Festival in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter.
This portable green forge is being used for the first time. The handle turns a belt which operates an air blower. I recognized this blacksmith from the Fall Back Festival in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.
Local blacksmith hobbyists made all the items you see here, including the ornamental snake (which takes about an hour and a half to make) and the huge padlock!
Local blacksmith hobbyists created all the items you see here, including the ornamental snake (which took about an hour and a half to make) and the huge padlock!
This crafty gambler tried to entice me into playing a game of chance. Nice try!
This crafty gambler tried to entice me into playing a game of chance. Nice try!
A gentleman had a table containing old tintype photographs. He also had antique cameras on display that produce daguerreotype photographs.
A gentleman had a table containing old tintype photographs. He also had antique cameras on display that were used for daguerreotype photographs.
A new wheel is being produced by several wainwrights, trades people who make and repair wagons and carts.
A new wheel is being produced by several wainwrights, trades people who craft and repair wagons and carts. These guys belong to the California Historical Artillery Society.
A variety of useful tools and devices. Many look familiar today.
A variety of useful tools on their table. Many look familiar today.
Friendly members of the California Historical Artillery Society were demonstrating at the annual Old Town event for the first time.
The members of the California Historical Artillery Society were attending the annual Trades That Shaped the West event for the first time.
Approximate blacksmithing prices in the mid 1800's.
Sign shows average blacksmithing prices in the mid 1800’s. The prices were much higher in Northern California during the Gold Rush.
These guys also had a traveling battery forge, used by the Army long ago. Today they are often used in Civil War reenactments.
These guys also had a traveling battery forge, used by the Army long ago. Today they are often used in Civil War reenactments.
I noticed that the snake oil salesman had drawn a crowd!
I noticed that a snake oil salesman had drawn a crowd!
An old lady with a bad case of lumbago was eager to try Dr. Montbank's Tonic Elixir.
An old lady with a bad case of lumbago was eager to try Dr. Montbank’s Tonic Elixir.
I'm not sure it helped much.
I’m not sure it helped much.
A guitar, fiddle, banjo and a bottle. These frontier musicians were getting ready to provide a bit of Western entertainment.
A guitar, a fiddle, and a bottle. These frontier musicians were getting themselves ready to provide a bit of Western entertainment.
Visitors to Old Town were walking in front of the Colorado House and enjoying a sunny San Diego weekend.
Visitors to Old Town were walking in front of the Colorado House and enjoying a sunny San Diego weekend.
Look what's coming! These pack animals have transported the mail all the way from San Antonio!
Look what’s coming! These pack animals have transported the mail all the way from San Antonio!
The Overland Mail Delivery arrived exactly at one o'clock!
The Overland Mail Delivery arrived exactly at one o’clock!
I guess this would qualify as Ground Mail.
I guess this would qualify as Ground Mail.
The small Old Town encampment excitedly greets the four-legged mail carriers.
The small Old Town encampment excitedly greets the four-legged mail carriers.
Mail is handed out to many event participants!
Mail is handed out to many of the event participants!
The young folk don't seem to notice.
These creative young folk are too busy writing their own letters to notice.
An educational slice of history could be enjoyed today in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park!
An educational reenactment of history was enjoyed today in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park!

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Photos from Port of San Diego’s harbor tour.

We pull away from the Embarcadero aboard the Admiral Hornblower, on a special harbor tour provided by the Port of San Diego.
We pull away from the Embarcadero aboard the Admiral Hornblower, on a special harbor tour provided by the Port of San Diego.

Last Saturday I enjoyed a special boat tour of San Diego’s harbor. The free tour was created by the Port of San Diego for Maritime Month, which was actually May. (The earlier tours were so popular, an additional June date was added.) The main intention of these tours was to educate the public about the importance of San Diego Bay, and the waterfront’s many contribution’s to our local economy.

We set out on the Admiral Hornblower and checked out a number of fascinating facilities that are overseen by the Port of San Diego. The Port of San Diego manages San Diego Bay and a strip of surrounding waterfront land. Its five member cities are San Diego, National City, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach and Coronado.

According to their website “The port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 20 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of hundreds of tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.”

Well, what exactly did we see and what did we learn?

I took a few notes, which I’ve placed in my photo captions. Let’s head out onto the water on an overcast day and see some fascinating sights!

Looking back toward the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. This facility can host special events or welcome cruise ships. Every cruise ship adds 2 million dollars to the San Diego economy.
Looking back toward the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. This facility can host special events or welcome cruise ships. Every visiting cruise ship adds 2 million dollars to the San Diego economy.
Someone enjoys recreating on San Diego Bay as we pass Tuna Harbor. Tourism and commercial fishing rely on San Diego's harbor.
Someone enjoys recreating on San Diego Bay as we pass Tuna Harbor. Tourism and commercial fishing rely on San Diego’s versatile harbor.
It's Saturday morning, so the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market is open on the I Street Pier near Seaport Village. It's the place to go if you like fresh fish.
It’s Saturday morning, so the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market is open on the I Street Pier near Seaport Village. It’s the place to go if you like fresh fish.
Now we are approaching the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. Most people associate it with Dole ships that bring in about 185 million bananas and other fruit each month!
Now we are approaching the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. Most people associate it with those big yellow Dole ships that bring in about 185 million bananas and other fruit each month!
The Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal is to undergo modernization. Some transit sheds will be removed, to create more flexible laydown space.
The Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal is to undergo modernization. Some transit sheds will be removed, to create more flexible laydown space.
These are windmill tower components.
These are windmill tower components.
This part of the facility is used for transferring cement between ship and shore.
This part of the facility is used for transferring cement between ship and shore.
This 1,800-ton-per-hour bulk loader handles soda ash, bauxite and fertilizer exports.
This 1,800-ton-per-hour bulk loader handles soda ash, bauxite and fertilizer exports.
Docked south of the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, beside the Cesar Chavez Park pier, are the vessels of Pacific Tugboat Service.
Docked south of the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, beside the Cesar Chavez Park pier, are the vessels of Pacific Tugboat Service.
Near the east end of the San Diego–Coronado Bridge is the first of three big shipyards--Continental Maritime of San Diego.
Near the east end of the San Diego–Coronado Bridge is the first of three big shipyards–Continental Maritime of San Diego.
Navy ships are undergoing repairs and modernization. The white plastic wrap prevents paint particles from entering the environment.
Navy ships are undergoing repairs and modernization. The white plastic wrap prevents paint particles from entering the environment.
The next shipyard as we head south is BAE Systems. They also provide repair and modernization services. This huge ship in one of two dry docks is completely concealed!
The next shipyard as we head south is BAE Systems. They also provide repair and modernization services. This huge ship in one of two dry docks is completely concealed!
This is a new type of stealth Navy ship--a guided missile Zumwalt-class destroyer. DDG-1000 is the first of its class. Its radar image is similar to that of a fishing boat.
This is a new type of stealth Navy ship–a guided missile Zumwalt-class destroyer. DDG-1000 is the first of its class. Its radar image is similar to that of a fishing boat.
Another vessel is being worked on at the BAE Systems San Diego shipyard. You can see floating oil spill containment booms in many of these photos.
Another vessel is being worked on at the BAE Systems San Diego shipyard. You can see floating oil spill containment booms in many of these photos.
Finally we are nearing the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard. Ships are built here. It is the largest full service shipyard on the West Coast.
Finally we are nearing the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard. New ships are built here. It is the largest full service shipyard on the West Coast.
It's an overcast "June Gloom" late morning on San Diego Bay.
It’s an overcast “June Gloom” late morning on San Diego Bay.
As we continue into the South Bay, we see a large ship is being moved away from the shore by tugboat.
As we continue into the South Bay, we see a large ship is being moved away from the shore by tugboat.
It's the Palmetto State, a fuel-efficient ECO Class tanker that was built at the NASSCO shipyard.
It’s the Palmetto State, a fuel-efficient ECO Class tanker that was built at the NASSCO shipyard.
Now we are beginning to pass Naval Base San Diego--what some refer to as 32nd Street Naval Station. It is the principal homeport of the U. S. Navy's Pacific Fleet.
Now we are beginning to pass Naval Base San Diego–what some refer to as 32nd Street Naval Station. It is the principal homeport of the U. S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet.
This is the USS Essex (LHD-2), a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.
This is the USS Essex (LHD-2), a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.
San Diego is home to these three Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships.
San Diego is home to these three Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships.
The unusual white vessel is a barracks barge--where a crew lives while their Navy ship is undergoing major repairs.
The unusual white vessel is a barracks barge–where a crew lives while their Navy ship is undergoing major repairs.
The USS Makin Island (LHD 8) returned from deployment recently. The gold anchors indicate this ship has earned the Navy's Retention Excellence Award.
The USS Makin Island (LHD 8) returned from deployment recently. The gold anchors indicate this ship has earned the Navy’s Retention Excellence Award.
Now we are past the Naval base and approaching the National City Marine Terminal.
Now we are past the Naval base and approaching the National City Marine Terminal.
I see lots of cars. If you own an automobile imported from Japan or South Korea, there a good chance it arrived here.
I see lots of cars. If you own an automobile imported from Japan or South Korea, there a good chance it arrived here.
Vehicles of all type arrive here by huge roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships, including trucks and tractors.
Vehicles of all type arrive here by huge roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships, including trucks and tractors.
Longshoremen drive hundreds of new vehicles off the ships. Warehouses nearby are used to install accessories. White wraps on cars protect them from stuff like seagull poop!
Longshoremen drive hundreds of new vehicles off the ships. Warehouses nearby are used to install accessories. White wraps on cars protect them from dirty stuff like seagull poop! Some ospreys have nests atop those high lampposts.
These totaled cars arrived from Hawaii! They're headed to San Diego salvage yards.
These totaled cars arrived from Hawaii! They’re headed to San Diego salvage yards.
Half of the new cars are then sent to their destination by train, the other half by truck. This facility accommodates super long freight trains--120 cars long!
Half of the new cars are sent to their final destination by train, the other half by truck. This facility accommodates super long freight trains–120 cars long!
We've turned about and have headed back to the North Embarcadero. Before we dock, we check out a superyacht moored in the middle of San Diego Bay.
We’ve turned about and have headed back to the North Embarcadero. Before we dock, we check out a superyacht temporarily moored in the middle of San Diego Bay.
This is the Attessa IV, owned by Dennis R. Washington, 76th wealthiest person in the United States! The Port of San Diego accommodates all sorts of ships!
This is the Attessa IV, owned by Dennis R. Washington, 76th wealthiest person in the United States! The Port of San Diego accommodates all sorts of ships!

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 look inside the Blacksmith Shop in Old Town.

A blacksmith shapes red hot iron at a forge in San Diego's historic Old Town.
A blacksmith shapes red hot iron at a forge in San Diego’s historic Old Town.

Yesterday I lingered for a few minutes at the Blacksmith Shop in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Two forges were operating. I watched as hammers swung, making sparks fly. It was fascinating to learn about blacksmithing and its vital role in San Diego’s history.

I chatted for a bit with one of the friendly gentlemen working in the Blacksmith Shop. These days the shop is used by highly skilled hobbyists to make all sorts of ornamental and useful metal items. They’ve made objects used for display elsewhere in the State Park. They make everything but horseshoes–and that’s because none of them know how to shoe a horse!

I learned that in 19th century San Diego there were several blacksmiths; this shop now in Old Town was probably located a bit to the east, on the outskirts of town (near today’s Presidio Hills Golf Course) because of the fire danger it presented to other buildings. No blacksmith shop back then would have been as large as the one visitors see today. A blacksmith would most likely do their work in the corner of a livery stable, using one modest forge.

Please read the photo captions to learn more!

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park's Blacksmith Shop and Wood Shop at the site of the Blackhawk Livery Stables, circa 1850-1871.
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park’s Blacksmith Shop and Wood Shop at the site of the Blackhawk Livery Stables, circa 1850-1871.
Visitors to Old Town learn a little about life in San Diego during the mid 1800s. Blacksmiths created assorted metal objects, made repairs and shoed horses.
Visitors to Old Town learn a little about life in San Diego during the mid 1800s. Blacksmiths created assorted metal objects, made repairs and shoed horses.
This friendly blacksmith provided lots of fascinating information. Visitors watch with interest as he works to create a pot holder.
This friendly blacksmith provided lots of fascinating information. Visitors watch with interest as he works to create a pot holder.
I learned that in early San Diego blacksmiths typically burned charcoal in their forge, as coal was usually of poor quality and difficult to obtain in Southern California.
I learned that in early San Diego blacksmiths typically burned charcoal in their forge, as coal was usually of poor quality and difficult to obtain in Southern California.
A huge bellows provides oxygen for this furnace. A good working temperature is about 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.
A huge bellows provides oxygen for this brick furnace. A good working temperature is about 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.
Products that were fashioned include grills, traps, candle holders, fish roasters, knives, shovels, chains, hinges, nails, cooking ladles and horseshoes.
Products that were fashioned include iron grills, traps, candle holders, fish roasters, knives, shovels, chains, hinges, nails, cooking ladles and horseshoes.
Hammers, bars, wrenches and various blacksmithing tools hang from the rear wall, in addition to harnesses and other items one might find in a livery stable.
Hammers, bars, wrenches and various blacksmithing tools hang from the rear wall, in addition to harnesses and other items one might find in a livery stable.
The gentleman showed me some devices used to suspend pots over a fire. Everything on this wall was made by local members of blacksmithing clubs and organizations.
The gentleman showed me some devices used to suspend pots over a fire. Everything on this wall was made by local members of blacksmithing clubs and organizations.
A shiny anvil.
A shiny anvil.
This wide grassy area behind nearby Seeley Stable was once used for anvil shoots. Gunpowder was placed in a hollow indentation between two anvils and ignited, sending one anvil high into the air with a loud bang! Anvils that did not shatter were considered sound.
This wide grassy area behind nearby Seeley Stable was once used for anvil shoots. Gunpowder was placed in a hollow indentation between two anvils and ignited, sending one anvil high into the air with a loud bang! Anvils that did not shatter were considered sound.
Old Town visitor tries on a Spanish conquistador helmet made in the Blacksmith Shop.
Old Town visitor tries on a Spanish conquistador helmet made in the Blacksmith Shop.
A heavy anchor chain is shown. The welds must be as strong as the iron links.
A heavy anchor chain is shown. The welds must be as strong as the iron links themselves.
A look back at history. Skilled artisans used muscle, fire and sweat to make everyday life easier for the early residents of San Diego.
A photo of living history. Skilled artisans used muscle, fire, metal and sweat to make everyday life easier for the early residents of San Diego.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Wildlife paintings at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.

Common Buckeye. Anna Le and Clarisa Cuevas.
Common Buckeye. Anna Le and Clarisa Cuevas.

On a fence behind the Nature Center at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park one can find many colorful paintings of native wildlife. The fence follows a dirt road that leads to a hiking trail through Tecolote Canyon.

The paintings of spiders, butterflies, beetles and other insects were recently completed by students at University City High School. I believe the paintings of mammals, reptiles and birds have been on the fence for some time.

Colorful paintings of insects and other wildlife on a fence behind the Nature Center at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.
Colorful paintings of insects and other wildlife on a fence behind the Nature Center at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.
California Root Borer Beetle. Lucero Rayos.
California Root Borer Beetle. Lucero Rayos.
Black and Yellow Garden Spider. Nour Barbakh.
Black and Yellow Garden Spider. Nour Barbakh.
Anise Swallowtail. Lawdyka Solano.
Anise Swallowtail. Lawdyka Solano.
Spotted Cucumber Beetle. Kayla Kenney.
Spotted Cucumber Beetle. Kayla Kenney.
Tarantula Hawk. Andrea Angeles and Christian Covarrubias.
Tarantula Hawk. Andrea Angeles and Christian Covarrubias.
Western Tiger Swallowtail. Tyler Coehrane and Lauren Ferrer.
Western Tiger Swallowtail. Tyler Coehrane and Lauren Ferrer.
Darkling Stink Beetle. Morgan Boland.
Darkling Stink Beetle. Morgan Boland.
Roseate Skimmer. Issac Felcher.
Roseate Skimmer. Issac Felcher.
Silver Argiope. Zaynab Albaghdadi.
Silver Argiope. Zaynab Albaghdadi.
American Lady. Aurora Godinez Quevedo.
American Lady. Aurora Godinez Quevedo.
Green Lynx Spider. Jamison Legaspi.
Green Lynx Spider. Jamison Legaspi.
Harlequin Shield Bug. Jakob De La Cruz.
Harlequin Shield Bug. Jakob De La Cruz.
Datura Weevil. Jacob Stoermer.
Datura Weevil. Jacob Stoermer.
Green Fruit Beetle. Makayla Srioudom.
Green Fruit Beetle. Makayla Srioudom.
Vivid Dancer Damselfly. Miyoko Seldon and Andrew Bayot.
Vivid Dancer Damselfly. Miyoko Seldon and Andrew Bayot.
Pruinose Squash Bee. Quincy Stone.
Pruinose Squash Bee. Quincy Stone.
California Sister Butterfly. Steffany Shapow.
California Sister Butterfly. Steffany Shapow.
Coyote.
Coyote.
California King Snake.
California King Snake.
Great Blue Heron.
Great Blue Heron.
Striped Skunk.
Striped Skunk.
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake.
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake.
Western Scrub Jay.
Western Scrub Jay.
Raccoon.
Raccoon.
Red Tailed Hawk.
Red Tailed Hawk.
Southern Alligator Lizard.
Southern Alligator Lizard.
Anna's Hummingbird.
Anna’s Hummingbird.
Bobcat.
Bobcat.
Pacific Gopher Snake.
Pacific Gopher Snake.
Gray Fox.
Gray Fox.
Western Fence Lizard.
Western Fence Lizard.
Great Horned Owl.
Great Horned Owl.
Spotted Towhee.
Spotted Towhee.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Photos of Family Day at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.

Someone walks toward the Nature Center on Tecolote Family Day.
Someone walks toward the Nature Center on Tecolote Family Day.

Today I headed over to Tecolote Canyon Natural Park. While I frequently drive around this narrow San Diego city park, which serves as a nature preserve inside Tecolote Canyon east of Mission Bay, I’ve never taken a single step inside. When I saw that an event called Family Day would be happening today, I decided to pay a visit!

What did I discover? Read the photo captions to find out!

Sign near entrance of the Nature Center provides info about Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.
A sign near entrance to the Nature Center provides information about Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.
A narrow strip of natural habitat preserved in San Diego. Tecolote Canyon features hiking trails and a refuge for wildlife.
A narrow strip of natural habitat preserved in San Diego. Tecolote Canyon features hiking trails and a refuge for wildlife.
Sign inside the Tecolote Nature Center. The park was originally dedicated in 1977. Houses, yards and streets surround this area where the native environment still survives.
Sign inside the Tecolote Nature Center. The park was originally dedicated in 1977. Houses, yards and streets surround this area where the native environment still survives.
Many interpretive displays can be found in the Nature Center. The coyote is Tecolote Canyon's largest predator.
Many interpretive displays can be found in the Nature Center. The coyote is Tecolote Canyon’s largest predator.
One sign describes San Diego's Coastal Sage Scrub habitat, which is found in a small part of the world, along the coast of Southern California into Mexico.
One sign describes San Diego’s Coastal Sage Scrub habitat, which is found in a small part of the world, along the coast of Southern California into Mexico.
The Brown Towhee is one of many birds one might spot in the canyon.
The Brown Towhee is one of many birds one might spot in the canyon.
Along Tecolote Creek lies the Riparian Woodland habitat. Water attracts animals from the dry hills, and native trees like willows, cottonwoods and sycamores grow on the creek's banks.
Along Tecolote Creek lies the Riparian Woodland habitat. Water attracts animals from the dry hills, and native trees like willows, cottonwoods and sycamores grow near the creek’s banks.
One of the displays shows Lemonadeberry (a common chaparral shrub in San Diego), Fuchsia Flowered Gooseberry, and a California Thrasher.
One of the displays shows Lemonadeberry (a common chaparral shrub in San Diego), Fuchsia Flowered Gooseberry, and a California Thrasher.
A topographical representation of Tecolote Canyon, which you can see directly below Mission Bay. Up is west, right is north.
A topographical representation of curving Tecolote Canyon, which you can see directly below Mission Bay. Up is west, right is north.
Many of the plants and animals now in Tecolote Canyon are the same as those here 200 years ago. Golden eagles and mountain lions, however, have vanished because this natural space is limited in size.
Many of the plants and animals now in Tecolote Canyon are the same as those here 200 years ago. Golden eagles and mountain lions, however, have vanished because this natural space is too limited in size.
Families enjoy a special day to learn about the environment. It's Tecolote Family Day! There were lots of educational displays and activities at the Nature Center.
Families enjoy a special day and learn about the canyon’s environment. It’s Tecolote Family Day! There were lots of educational displays and activities at the Nature Center.
Special events at Tecolote Family Day included a scavenger hunt for kids, art, music, dance and a silent auction.
Activities at Tecolote Family Day included a scavenger hunt for kids, art, music, dance and a silent auction.
Inside the Nature Center, one table had lots of displays concerning insects! Another one had snakes.
Inside the Nature Center, one table had lots of displays concerning insects! Another one had snakes.
At another table I was shown a coyote skull.
At another table I was shown a coyote skull.
I believe these beautiful poppy paintings were part of the silent auction.
I believe these beautiful poppy paintings were part of the silent auction.
A friendly parrot was at a booth promoting Zovargo, a local company which offers animal summer camps for kids.
A friendly parrot was at a booth promoting Zovargo, a local business that offers animal summer camps for kids.
These kids were dancing to a fun song about pollination!
These kids were dancing to a fun song about pollination!
Nearby I discovered the Tecolote Native Plant Nursery.
Nearby I discovered the Tecolote Native Plant Nursery.
Work is ongoing to take back the native habitat from invading plant species.
Work is ongoing to take back the native habitat from invading plant species.
I saw some signs about the importance of composting. It enhances soil and protects watersheds.
I saw some signs about the importance of composting. It enhances soil and protects watersheds.
Behind the Nature Center, near an amphitheater and native garden, I saw this e'waa, a simple willow branch structure built by the Native American Kumeyaay.
Behind the Nature Center, near an amphitheater and native garden, I saw this example of an e’waa, a simple willow branch structure built by the Native American Kumeyaay.
A sign depicts the Tecolote Watershed. Pollutants can flow down the creek and enter the soil, Mission Bay and eventually the Pacific Ocean.
A sign depicts the Tecolote Watershed. Pollutants can flow down the creek and enter the soil, Mission Bay and eventually the Pacific Ocean.
Several signs can be found around a small native garden. This one, Aromas of the Canyon, depicts Black Sage, White Sage and California Sagebrush.
Several signs can be found around the small native garden. This one, Aromas of the Canyon, depicts Black Sage, White Sage and California Sagebrush.
On the way to the hiking trail that leads into Tecolote Canyon, one might spot this owl!
On the way to the hiking trail that leads into Tecolote Canyon, one might spot this owl!
Hikers read the sign at the Battle Trail trailhead.
Hikers read the sign at the Battle Trail trailhead.
Welcome to the Battle Trail - Nature's haven in the city.
Welcome to the Battle Trail – Nature’s haven in the city.
I start up the easy trail. The vegetation in Tecolote Canyon is still green in late spring, after a very rainy winter.
I start up the easy trail. The vegetation in Tecolote Canyon is still green in late spring, after a very rainy winter.
This lush greenery will soon dry out in the Southern California summer and turn mostly brown.
This lush greenery will soon dry out in the Southern California summer and turn mostly brown.
I am greeted by cheerful yellow sunflowers.
I am greeted by cheerful yellow sunflowers.
I believe this house on a post is for bats. I've seen similar boxes in other open space parks around San Diego.
I believe this house on a post is for bats. I’ve seen similar boxes in other open space parks around San Diego.
A family heads into Tecolote Canyon to explore nature.
A family heads into Tecolote Canyon to explore nature.

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Colorful photos from 2017 Fiesta Botanica!

The 2017 Fiesta Botanica in Balboa Park featured lots of plants, flowers and botanical information.
The 2017 Fiesta Botanica in Balboa Park featured lots of plants, flowers and useful botanical information.

Of course I had to go to Fiesta Botanica! I love flowers, plants, sunshine and Balboa Park!

What used to be called Balboa Park’s Garden Party is now Fiesta Botanica, in keeping with the surrounding Spanish-style architecture. And who would want to miss a colorful fiesta!

I’m sorry to say I missed the floral wagon parade this year, because I was privileged to receive a very special morning tour at the San Diego Museum of Art. I’ll probably blog about that tomorrow.

Anyway, I just happily wandered about Fiesta Botanica after leaving the museum and did my best to learn a little about gardening and the miraculous world of nature. There was quite a lot to see!

As the annual event got underway, a large crowd gathered on El Prado to enjoy gardening displays and San Diego sunshine.
As the annual event got underway, a large crowd gathered on El Prado to enjoy gardening displays and San Diego sunshine.
I missed the Floral Wagon Parade this year. A number of tours and lectures were held in the beautiful gardens of Balboa Park.
I missed the Floral Wagon Parade this year. A number of tours and lectures were held in the beautiful gardens of Balboa Park.
The Southern California Plumeria Society had a very active booth.
The Southern California Plumeria Society had a very active booth.
So did the San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society!
So did the San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society!
I learned this is a fig atop a huge Ficus dammaropsis leaf.
I learned this is a fig atop a huge Ficus dammaropsis leaf.
As I walked about I spotted this colorful banner with a hummingbird and American flag. Perfect for Memorial Day weekend!
As I walked about I spotted this colorful banner with a hummingbird and American flag. Perfect for Memorial Day weekend!
Gorgeous blooms were being shown by the San Diego Epiphyllum Society.
Gorgeous blooms were being shown by the San Diego Epiphyllum Society.
The Friends of Balboa Park has a number of great future projects. I like the idea of a platform around the giant now-fenced Moreton Bay Fig near the Natural History Museum. A platform would allow visitors to closely approach the majestic giant, while preventing the pressure of feet from compressing the soil and endangering the roots.
The Friends of Balboa Park has a number of great future projects. I like the idea of a platform around the giant, now-fenced-off Moreton Bay Fig, which stands near the Natural History Museum. A raised platform would allow visitors to more closely approach the majestic giant, while preventing the pressure of human feet from compressing the soil and endangering the roots.
Photograph taken in the Alcazar Garden.
Photograph taken in the Alcazar Garden.
Amazing blooms in the Alcazar Garden. Not sure what they are.
Amazing blooms in the Alcazar Garden. Not sure what they are.
As I walked back along El Prado, I got another photo of the smiling plumeria folks.
As I walked back along El Prado, I got another photo of the smiling plumeria folks.
Michelle Gonzalez of Spanish Village was sitting in the Plaza de Panama painting three of Balboa Park's landmark towers: the iconic California Tower and towers from the House of Hospitality and the House of Charm.
Artist Michelle Gonzalez of Spanish Village was sitting in the Plaza de Panama painting three of Balboa Park’s landmark towers: the iconic California Tower and towers from the House of Hospitality and the House of Charm.
The Zoro Garden had a number of butterfly releases which proved very popular with families. I saw butterflies flitting all over the place!
The Zoro Garden had a number of butterfly releases which proved very popular with families. I saw butterflies flitting all over the place!
Checking out one of the floral wagons that participated in the morning parade down El Prado.
Checking out one of the floral wagons that participated in the morning parade down El Prado. I believe this one was sponsored by Save Starlight.
In Spanish Village I was stopped in my tracks by this amazing painting by artist RD Riccoboni. An image of Claude Monet composed of flowers!
In Spanish Village, I was stopped in my tracks by this amazing painting by artist RD Riccoboni. An image of Claude Monet composed of flowers!

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