Spring flowers near Fashion Valley!

It feels like spring!

Yellow mustard is blooming across San Diego’s hillsides, and other early spring flowers are thriving, too! The rainy winter has produced a cheerful show of bright color all around the city.

I walked near the San Diego River by Fashion Valley this morning and found many patches of native sunflowers.

UPDATE!

I think I goofed! I believe most of these flowers are actually garland chrysanthemums, which aren’t native to our region. But they do flourish in San Diego now.

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!

Thought-provoking contrasts in Mission Valley.

Beautiful roses planted between the Town and Country Hotel and busy Fashion Valley Road in Mission Valley.
Beautiful roses planted between the Town and Country Hotel and busy Fashion Valley Road in Mission Valley.

This morning, after I took photos of the funny sign at the Town and Country Hotel (see my previous post), I walked north up Fashion Valley Road and turned east on Riverwalk Drive, following the San Diego River. I then passed under Highway 163 via the San Diego River Trail, and arrived at the Hazard Center shopping mall. From there I followed several streets to work.

During my walk between the Town and Country and Hazard Center I took a series of interesting photographs. When I reviewed my photos this evening, I realized they presented complex and thought-provoking contrasts.

Morning sprinklers have irrigated another perfect rose.
Morning sprinklers have irrigated another perfect rose.
A duck in the San Diego River, as seen from the pedestrian bridge between the Town and Country and the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
A duck in the San Diego River, as seen from the pedestrian bridge between the Town and Country and the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
Dozens of tame river ducks like to gather by the bus station to eat crumbs offered by humans.
Dozens of tame river ducks like to gather by the bus station to eat crumbs offered by humans.
Continuing east along Riverwalk Drive, looking at greenery by the San Diego River.
Continuing east along Riverwalk Drive, looking at native greenery by the San Diego River.
Wild, ragged sunflower blossoms ablaze in morning light.
Wild, ragged sunflower blossoms ablaze in morning light.
Fresh green sycamore leaves by the walking path.
Fresh green sycamore leaves by the walking path.
I'm approaching some major construction around where Highway 163 passes under Friars road north of the river. The project is calculated to ease traffic flow.
I’m approaching some major construction near the place where Highway 163 passes under Friars Road north of the river. The project is calculated to ease traffic flow.
Urban development requires work, resources and extensive planning.
Wild grass and urban development.
Heavy machinery sculpting the Earth.
Heavy machinery sculpting the Earth.
Construction worker by stacked fencing.
Construction worker by stacked security fencing.
Ants work busily on a nearby native flower.
Ants work busily on a nearby native flower.
A perfect bloom planted near the Hazard Center shopping center, contrasted with bare concrete.
A perfect bloom planted near the Hazard Center shopping center, contrasted with bare concrete.
A mural on the south side of Hazard Center shows people flocking to the mall.
A mural on the south side of Hazard Center shows people flocking to the mall.
Bronze sculpture at Hazard Center of Bruce R. Hazard - Everyone's Friend. For almost a century R.E. Hazard Contracting Company has built many of San Diego's freeway, road, commercial and subdivision projects.
Bronze sculpture at Hazard Center of Bruce R. Hazard – Everyone’s Friend. For almost a century R.E. Hazard Contracting Company has helped build many of San Diego’s freeway, road, commercial and subdivision projects.
Another nearby sculpture of Bruce's father features this plaque. "Pappy" R.E. Hazard, Sr. 1880-1975. A man's man, paper boy, businessman, horseman, hunter, fisherman.
Another nearby sculpture of Bruce’s father features this plaque. “Pappy” R.E. Hazard, Sr. 1880-1975. A man’s man, paper boy, businessman, horseman, hunter, fisherman.
Be Just and Fear Not. Pappy Hazard, founder of a major construction firm in San Diego, collected old wagons and stagecoaches. Today you can find much of his collection in Seeley Stable, a museum in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
Be Just and Fear Not. Pappy Hazard, founder of a major construction firm in San Diego, collected old wagons and stagecoaches. Today you can find much of his collection at Seeley Stable, a museum in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

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Photos of San Diego River, after three storms.

The swollen San Diego River after three winter storms in six days. A gauge beside the water shows the river has subsided to about the 8 foot mark, after reaching a high level--I believe--of around 11 feet.
The swollen San Diego River after three winter storms in six days. A gauge beside the water shows the river has subsided to about the 8 foot mark, after reaching a high level–I believe–of around 11 feet.

I did some walking in a drizzle this morning before work.

I got off the trolley at the Fashion Valley station and proceeded to investigate the San Diego River in a section of Mission Valley that is often hit with flooding. Three very rainy winter storms were finally coming to an end. What did I see?

Palm trees surrounded by river water. Photo taken between the Fashion Valley Transit Center and the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.
Palm trees surrounded by flowing river water. Photo taken from the pedestrian bridge between the Fashion Valley Transit Center and the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.
A tall eucalyptus tree knocked over by the gusty winter storms. A common sight around San Diego.
A tall, shallow-rooted eucalyptus tree knocked over by the gusty winter storms. A common sight around San Diego.
Fashion Valley Road this morning was still blocked off from traffic, even though the San Diego River's water had subsided to street level.
Fashion Valley Road this morning was still blocked off from traffic, even though the San Diego River’s water had subsided to street level.
A friendly San Diego Lifeguard makes the rounds to make sure nobody needs a swift water rescue. My photo just missed his wave!
A friendly San Diego Lifeguard makes the rounds to make sure nobody needs a swift water rescue. My photo just missed his wave!
The parking structures at Fashion Valley Mall that are susceptible to flooding were definitely well underwater. Thank goodness, I saw no submerged cars.
The parking structures at Fashion Valley Mall that are susceptible to flooding were definitely well underwater. Thank goodness, I saw no submerged cars.
Bright green grass and dark clouds. I was sheltered from raindrops by the trolley tracks overhead.
Bright green grass and dark clouds. I was sheltered from raindrops by the trolley tracks overhead.
As usual, the San Diego River was flooding Avenida del Rio south of the mall. The short street is appropriately named!
As usual, the San Diego River was flooding Avenida del Rio just south of the mall. The short, dipping street is appropriately named!
Yesterday someone foolishly trying to walk through this powerful moving water had to be rescued. They got washed away. A helicopter was even brought in.
Yesterday someone foolishly trying to walk through this powerful moving water had to be rescued. They got washed away. A helicopter was even brought in.
No worries about flooding for the trolley--at least right here!
No worries about flooding for the trolley–at least right here!
The Highway 163 underpass was flooded and muddy. I had to walk another way around to work. Good thing I got an early start!
The Highway 163 underpass was flooded and muddy. I had to walk another way around to reach work. Good thing I got an early start!
Sign by the San Diego River. The low rainfall and the geologic composition historically allowed the river to run below ground much of the year, hence the nickname--the Upside Down River.
Sign by the San Diego River. The low rainfall and the geologic composition historically allowed the river to run below ground much of the year, hence the nickname: the Upside Down River.
The beautiful river this morning through leaves.
The beautiful river this morning through leaves.
Morning sky and clouds through bare winter river trees.
Morning sky and clouds through bare winter trees.
The San Diego River is unusually wide in its swollen state after the storms. It looks like an honest-to-goodness actual river!
The San Diego River is unusually wide in its swollen state after the storms. It looks like an honest-to-goodness actual river!
Walking along Mission Center Road in the rain by the San Diego River.
Walking along Mission Center Road in the rain by the San Diego River.

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 flock of friendly ducks waiting for a bus!

A flock of fearless San Diego River ducks. The curious birds seem to wait for a morning bus at the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
A flock of San Diego River ducks. The curious birds seem to wait for a morning bus at the Fashion Valley Transit Center.

Just a quick, fun post!

This morning, a flock of San Diego River ducks were happily waddling about the Fashion Valley Transit Center. They fearlessly mingled with the humans, who watched the proceedings with amusement. Perhaps those curious feathered friends were also waiting for a bus!

Photos of Mission Valley flooding from El Niño storm.

Car deep in the water. The flooded lower level of a Fashion Valley parking garage in San Diego's Mission Valley.
Car deep in the water. The flooded lower level of a Fashion Valley mall parking garage in San Diego’s Mission Valley.

Occasionally I post not-so-cool photos on my blog. Here are some that are noteworthy. I took these this morning while walking through a section of Mission Valley on my way to work. Because it lies right next to the San Diego River, the area is notorious for catastrophic flooding.

Yesterday we had a storm that brought intense rain to our region. It was the second winter storm of this El Nino year. Today we’re having our third storm, and it looks to be fairly rainy for many days to come.

Of course, after California’s long drought, we need the water. Unfortunately, the rain that falls in Mission Valley and many other parts of San Diego isn’t captured–it simply runs off into the ocean. I hope there isn’t too much damage caused this winter by El Nino. To my blog’s followers who are affected, take care!

The morning after an early winter storm during an El Nino year. The sun is out as people cross the San Diego River near the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
The morning after an early winter storm during an El Nino year. The sun is out as people cross the San Diego River near the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
Areas along the San Diego River are notorious for flooding. Yesterday a long deluge raised the water to an unusually high level.
Areas along the San Diego River are notorious for flooding. Yesterday a long deluge raised the water to an unusually high level.
A couple dozen cars were spotted flooded at the Fashion Valley shopping mall. This one was stranded not far from Macy's, which also suffered some flooding inside the store.
A couple dozen cars were spotted flooded at the Fashion Valley shopping mall. This one was stranded not far from Macy’s, which also suffered some flooding inside the store.
More cars abandoned in the flood. Many storms are in line to strike San Diego in the coming days during this El Nino year.
More cars abandoned in the flood. Many storms are in line to strike San Diego in the coming days during this El Nino year.
The bike and pedestrian pathway beneath Highway 163 flooded and was impassable. The nearby river was swollen with the recent rain.
The bike and pedestrian pathway beneath Highway 163 flooded and was impassable. The nearby river was swollen with the recent rain.
A beautiful morning photo of the San Diego River taken from Mission Center Road. This spot often floods and traffic must be diverted.
A beautiful morning photo of the San Diego River taken from Mission Center Road. This spot floods during severe storms and traffic must be diverted.
A barrier stands ready for the next storm. It looks to be a long, watery winter!
A barrier stands ready for the next storm. It looks to be a long, watery winter!

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Giant-sized Pinocchio sits on tile roof.

giant pinocchio sits on tile roof

This giant, mischievous Pinocchio dangles a yo-yo and winks while sitting atop a red tile roof. This fun sight can be found at the Geppetto’s toy store in the Fashion Valley shopping mall, in Mission Valley.