Unity in Variety exhibition in Balboa Park.

An exhibition titled Unity in Variety is currently on display in Balboa Park at the Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Mexican artist Gabriel Rico has assembled objects related to a coastal desert estuary setting.

Walking around the floor of the museum gallery is like walking through a strange dreamscape of scattered symbols. Animals living and dead, stones, bones, faces, apparitions from the past, trash, a variety of abstract figures and forms stand or lie on sand by the unseen water.

Human artifacts, contemporary issues and disturbing images seem more prominent than nature’s beauty. The estuary imagined appears to be one in an urban setting.

Neon symbols dangling from the ceiling include vowels, numbers, the five senses and essential geometric shapes. They are common to every mind, but each experience of life is unique.

According to the exhibition’s description, the collected “objects are not meant to be considered individually rather experienced as a unified whole.” The art is provocative and raises questions differently in the mind of every viewer. Who are we? Where do we live and how do we live?

Does this gallery seem oddly familiar to your eyes? The Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego is a recent fusion of two organizations: the LUX Art Institute and the San Diego Art Institute. The latter used to occupy this same space inside Balboa Park’s House of Charm.

If you like to think about the world you live in, and perhaps in unexpected ways, Unity in Variety will give you pause. Like a stirring dream that lingers.

The exhibition runs through February 27, 2022.

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!

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!

San Ysidro mural painted for California Clean Air Day.

A mural was recently completed in San Ysidro to raise awareness for the 4th Annual California Clean Air Day, which took place last Wednesday.

Today I headed down to Casa Familiar’s new Environmental Justice office at 161 San Ysidro Boulevard to see the mural, which was painted by Amanda Kachadoorian and other artists along a low wall nearby.

My photos show just how gorgeous the artwork is!

According to information I received concerning it, the “mural represents the fight for clean air by elevating conservation and restoration of natural habitats. The mural focuses on the Tijuana River Valley depicting a natural landscape with native plants…”

San Ysidro is home to the world’s busiest land border crossing. This San Diego South Bay community experiences a disproportionate amount of air pollution. The high level of pollution comes from 60,000 idling cars every day as motorists wait at the border.

The beautiful mural was commissioned by the community organization Casa Familiar in collaboration with Coalition for Clean Air.

You can learn more about a past Air Pollution Study in San Ysidro 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!

Electric vehicles showcased in downtown San Diego.

A variety of electric vehicles are on display today at the Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego. The public event is sponsored by SDG&E and Nissan.

I walked out on the pier this morning to check out some beautiful cars, assembled by members of the Electric Vehicle Association of San Diego for the occasion. I saw many models by leading auto makers.

I’ve never driven an electric car. When I spoke to a representative of the Electric Vehicle Association, I learned they’re actually more fun to drive because they’re extremely responsive. Some models now have an over a three hundred mile range, and consequently the owner can charge them easily overnight at home without worrying about locating a recharging station.

She believes in ten years most new vehicles on the road will be electric!

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!

UPDATE: Russian sub to be new reef off Ensenada, Mexico!

I learned something interesting this morning!

I was walking along the Embarcadero past the Maritime Museum of San Diego when I noticed the hull of their badly rusting old Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine, B-39, was partially wrapped with orange material. I asked at the ticket booth for the latest news concerning this historic Russian sub, and I was told it’s being prepared for one last journey. It is to be towed away from the museum next month.

During the Cold War this particular diesel electric submarine, which was commissioned in the 1970’s, might have lurked at times off the West Coast, tracking United States Navy ships. Its final destination will be the Pacific Ocean off Ensenada, Mexico. There it will be sunk to create a new underwater reef!

UPDATE!

Oh, the perils of a blogger whose website, through mysterious algorithms, is considered by some a news site. I make a lousy journalist!

The gentleman I relied on for the preceding information was only partially correct–and very wrong concerning the main matter. The submarine will indeed be towed to Ensenada (at an as yet unknown time) to be disassembled for its valuable metal components. But will it become a reef? I’m told, no.

I heard this a couple days later from a much more reliable source during another visit to the Maritime Museum.

I also took the following photographs. You can see strips of orange safety fence wrapped around a portion of the rusted outer hull.

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!

Help build a new environmental field station!

Want to do something tangible to help the environment? Here’s an idea!

UC San Diego is working to fund a new Kendall-Frost Field Station on the north side of Mission Bay. They are raising funds for a much improved education, research and outreach center at the edge of the Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve.

I passed their old trailer today during my long walk through Pacific Beach, and I happened to see the following information on the fence. It includes a rendering of the proposed field station…

Join our fundraising campaign to build a new field research and education building to replace the 55-year-old trailer. The new building will feature a large multi-purpose classroom and community room, roll-up windows and a large deck, bird-watching overlook, and reception area.

Five years ago I visited the old trailer and the working area adjacent to it during Love Your Wetlands Day.

If you want to see the wetland restoration that is done here, and fun photos of that educational event, check out my past blog post.

If you want to help build the new field station, or learn more about this project, visit the UC San Diego web page here!

The trailer is covered with colorful art, but is getting very old.
The environmentally important Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve in Mission Bay.

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!

Build an easy compost bin and grow worms!

Look what I learned yesterday! How to easily build a compost bin and grow worms!

Two super friendly ladies at the Ramona Country Fair showed me how its done. They were at the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation booth, displaying ways people can bring environmental sustainability to their homes.

The Solana Center has a great website with lots of informative resources. Check it out here. You can even become a Master Composter! They have a wide variety of educational programs and host sustainability events all around San Diego County. They also feature special programs for schools and businesses.

Okay. Are you ready? To compost in a small yard, apartment or condo, all you need is a couple of plastic storage bins with holes drilled a certain way. And some shredded paper. And some starter worms. Then begin adding food scraps to your vermicompost bin.

You’ll end up with excellent potting soil, plus lots of wiggly bait for fishing, if that’s your thing!

For the exact step-by-step details, check out the instructions I photographed below! (You might be able to read the words more easily by using a computer, rather than a phone. Open the images in a new tab and they’ll enlarge somewhat.)

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!

Hundreds of new trees planted in Balboa Park.

I was walking through Balboa Park on Sunday, making my way toward Park Boulevard, when I noticed a newly planted tree with a shiny plaque beside it.

I veered across the grass to investigate…

The plaque states:

TREE BALBOA PARK

This tree and hundreds of others have been planted throughout the park by the Balboa Park Conservancy, Urban Corps, Tree San Diego, and Parks & Recreation.

Funding for this California Climate Investments grant project has been provided through the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), Urban and Community Forestry program.

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 hike near the Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center.

A beautiful, very easy nature hike can be enjoyed at the south end of Oceanside near the Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center. The quarter mile hike follows a quiet looping trail with views of the Buena Vista Lagoon Ecological Reserve.

Yesterday I walked the trail and took these photographs.

The Buena Vista Audubon Society runs the Nature Center, which is located at 2202 South Coast Highway. The trail begins and ends a few steps from the building’s front entrance, directly across the driveway.

The Buena Vista Audubon Society engages the community and local students by offering nature education and various birding opportunities. They are also active in working to protect and restore wetlands and other environmentally sensitive land. You can learn more about their mission at this web page.

The Nature Center was closed when I happened by, but the trail was wide open and inviting on a sunny July day.

Here and there through dense bulrushes, or at viewing platforms, one can see the placid lagoon, and birds floating in the water or taking flight. Not only does local wildlife depend on this important natural habitat, but Buena Vista Lagoon is used by thousands of migrating birds that follow the Pacific Flyway.

One section of the hike was on a wood plank boardwalk over shallow water, then the trail turned toward dry land where I saw majestic trees, including sycamores, cottonwoods, and even a few Torrey pines.

During my walk I happened to meet Buena Vista Audubon Society’s Executive Director Natalie Shapiro. Before I began my hike, I observed her picking up trash along the Coast Highway, where it crosses the lagoon. Then I saw her again on the trail! She asked if I’d like to volunteer! Volunteers are always greatly appreciated!

She was super friendly and explained to me the difference between bulrushes and cattails, which I tend to confuse. At the margins of the lagoon, the plant community includes both of these, not to mention pickleweed and saltgrass.

Since the 1940s, Buena Vista Lagoon has been sealed off from natural tidal fluctations, and it has consequently become a stagnant fresh-water system. But there are now plans to open the lagoon to the ocean, creating a more healthy wetland.

If you’d like to enjoy this very easy, educational nature hike, head to Oceanside. And plan to visit when the Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center is open! I need to do that, too!

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!

Bike and scooter murals in East Village.

Two colorful murals in East Village promote riding bicycles and scooters. They’re painted on the north side of the old Farkas Store Fixtures building, on G Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenue.

The murals encourage motorists to get out of their cars to clear the air of pollution, save energy and enjoy San Diego’s beautiful outdoors!

I took these pics the other day during a downtown walk…

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!