Meet Don and Dulce, Old Town’s donkeys.

I took another walk today…

Walking through Old Town San Diego State Historic Park we see a sign near Seeley Stable Museum. Let's go see the donkeys!
Walking through Old Town San Diego State Historic Park we see a sign beside Seeley Stable Museum. Let’s go see the donkeys!
Is this one of the donkeys. Nope. Visitors and kids from local schools can sit on this wooden critter, because touching the live donkeys is not allowed.
Is this one of the donkeys? Nope. Visitors and kids from local schools can ride this docile wooden critter, because touching the live donkeys is not allowed.
Look! We found some horned cattle corralled in a corner! Nope. Wrong again.
Look! We found some horned cattle corralled in a corner! Nope. Wrong again.
California State Park rangers ahead! I think something cool is up this way!
California State Park Rangers ahead! I think something cool is up this way!
It's 30 year old donkey Don. This guy can be grumpy, I'm told. I saw some evidence of that!
It’s 30 year old donkey Don. This guy can be grumpy, I’m told. I saw some evidence of that!
Over here we meet 28 year old Dulce, which in Spanish means sweet, or candy. She (I think it's a she--I didn't ask) is the friendlier donkey.
Over here we meet 28 year old Dulce, which in Spanish means sweet, or candy. She (I think it’s a she–I didn’t ask) is the friendlier donkey.
But the rangers here seem the friendliest of all!
But the rangers here seem the friendliest of all!

Visiting school kids, with the help of Don and Dulce, can learn what life was like (particularly for a donkey) in the very early days of San Diego.

Four things I learned during my brief visit:

Donkeys were a preferred draft and pack animal because of their spine, which pound for pound is much stronger than a horse. A donkey can pull half its weight.

Donkeys are closely related to the zebra.

Don and Dulce are rescue animals.

Old Town has fun surprises around every corner!

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East Village’s SMARTS Farm, a cool urban garden!

A friendly greeting from the folks at downtown's SMARTS farm.
A friendly greeting from the folks at downtown’s SMARTS Farm.

This morning I headed out for a short walk along F Street in downtown San Diego’s East Village, with the intention of photographing some awesome murals and street art. As I was strolling along, my feet carried me into a super cool place I really hadn’t noticed before.

SMARTS Farm is an urban garden run by the nonprofit organization Humane Smarts. In addition to being a community garden, SMARTS Farm offers educational programs aimed at local kids. Children plant their own produce, watch it grow and learn about our environment. Photography classes are also offered!

How appropriate that I randomly discovered this cool place on Earth Day!

Happiness is working in a beautiful urban garden.
Happiness is working in a beautiful urban garden.
Lots of stuff to see, including some photo art.
Lots of stuff to see, including some photo art.
An educational community garden in the concrete jungle.
An educational community garden in the concrete jungle.
SMARTS farm is located on F Street in downtown San Diego.
SMARTS Farm is located on F Street in downtown San Diego’s East Village.
Children learn to love gardening and being outside.
Children learn to love gardening and being outside.
New beds where salsa ingredients will be grown.
New beds where salsa ingredients will be grown.
Lots of fun stuff to see!
Lots of fun stuff to see!
Look at this big old tub of color!
Look at this big old tub of color!
Grow, Cultivate, Learn, Share.
Grow, Cultivate, Learn, Share.

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The barn-like Farm House on Bankers Hill.

the red farm house on bankers hill

This big red barn-like house can be found on Bankers Hill, near Laurel Street and First Avenue, just north of downtown San Diego. A small sign in front indicates that this fun structure is the “Farm House”. Many other interesting Victorian homes abound in the neighborhood, but this cool sight always hogs my attention!

Another pic of the barn-like Farm House on Bankers Hill.
Another pic of the barn-like Farm House on Bankers Hill.

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Photos of San Diego walk for farm animals.

cows are friends not food sign

I had taken a pic of an unusual poster about this event several weeks ago, so I decided to swing by during my Saturday morning walk. (Stay tuned for pictures of the San Diego Zombie Walk later today!)

I walked through Embarcadero Marina Park North about 10:30, half an hour after the animal rights protest had begun. It didn’t seem that many people had shown up yet. I’d estimate perhaps fifty scattered about the grassy areas and in the nearby gazebo and bay overlook.

This lady sat alone holding a poster indicating that cows are friends.

men dress as a pig and cow to support animals

Here’s a photo of two men in the nearby parking lot being helped by a woman into animal costumes. One is a cow; it appears the other is a pig.

san diego walk for farm animals attendees

These tables seemed to be the central feature of the event. The attendees all were smiling. You can see haze in the distance–mostly overcast skies and very much like Autumn today.

sign proclaims that a rooster is someone

Two more posters. One indicates that a rooster is someone, not something.

As I left the public park and returned through Seaport Village, I noticed a few more people trickling in for what seemed to be a very laid-back protest.