Fun art on the sidewalk for a rainy day.

A dapper gentleman with an elegant automobile looks at a lady with a bottle.
A dapper gentleman with an elegant automobile looks at a lady with a bottle.

According to this morning’s weather report, it’s supposed to rain in San Diego for most of the day. We can always use more water in dry Southern California. But rain, and a bit of a sore throat, means I probably won’t go out walking today.

Meanwhile, here’s some fun artwork that I discovered yesterday while walking through North Park. Both works of art were on the sidewalk in the vicinity of El Cajon Boulevard and 30th Street.

Enjoy!

I'm sorry love, the only rubbish I have time for is in this bin.
I’m sorry love, the only rubbish I have time for is in this bin.
Tile mosaic of a motorcycle and rider. A very cool sight in the sidewalk in front of Belching Beaver Brewery in North Park.
Tile mosaic of a motorcycle and rider. A very cool sight in the sidewalk in front of Belching Beaver Brewery in North Park.

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!

Cool environmental mural on Commercial Street.

Cool artwork painted by Dolan Stearns for the PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans project in 2016 depicts the harmful presence of non-biodegradable plastic trash in the oceans.
Cool artwork painted by Dolan Stearns for the PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans project in 2016 depicts the harmful presence of non-biodegradable plastic trash in the oceans.

I got off the Orange Line trolley the other day to capture photos of some cool street art on Commercial Street just east of 20th Street.

Like many other PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans artwork that one can spot around San Diego, this one has an environmental message about taking care of the ocean. The mural, which illustrates the harmful effects of plastic pollution on marine life, was painted in 2016 by Dolan Stearns.

The left side of the mural shows an ugly yellow head spewing pollution into the water.
The left side of the mural shows a big, ugly yellow head spewing pollution into the water.
The right side of the mural features a large pink whale.
The right side of the mural features a large pink whale.
The three-eyed whale has a mouthful of plastic junk.
The three-eyed whale has a mouthful of plastic bags, bottles, cups and junk.
The yellow human head, topped by city buildings and a smokestack, vomits disgusting trash into the blue ocean.
The yellow human head, topped by city buildings and a smokestack, vomits disgusting waste into the blue ocean.

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Scouts remove gum at Cabrillo National Monument!

Many generous Boy and Girl Scouts volunteered to beautify Cabrillo National Monument during Operation Gum Drop Removal!
Many generous Boy and Girl Scouts volunteered to beautify Cabrillo National Monument during Operation Gum Drop Removal!

I noticed during my visit to Cabrillo National Monument today that troops of Boy and Girl Scouts were busy around the park cleaning up chewing gum and other trash!

This very cool volunteering event was part of National Public Lands Day. It was also an opportunity for Scouts to earn special badges and enjoy a free lunch with park rangers!

Wow! Great job Scouts! Your positive outlook and dedication to community service has made San Diego even more beautiful! So here’s a big Thank You!

Scouts helping to remove gum and trash were awarded a Scout Ranger Patch, and enjoyed a complimentary lunch with Park Rangers!
Scouts helping to remove gum and trash were awarded a Scout Ranger Patch, and enjoyed a complimentary lunch with Park Rangers! How cool is that!
View of Cabrillo National Monument's Visitor Center from afar. I could see Scouts working hard throughout the park!
View of Cabrillo National Monument’s Visitor Center from afar. I could see Scouts working hard throughout the park!

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!

Happy environmental art in a city park!

Lots of colorful tile art with happy environmental themes decorates this trash can in downtown San Diego's Pantoja Park.
Lots of tiles painted with happy environmental themes.  Together they form a mosaic that decorates this trash can in downtown San Diego’s Pantoja Park.

I love mosaics that are composed of ceramic tiles painted by ordinary people–young people in particular. It’s like a patchwork of inner visions, expressed from many hearts.

The Envirocan in downtown San Diego’s Pantoja Park is a special trashcan that is decorated with tiles that were hand-painted by young artists. Most of the colorful images express environmental themes. Clean air, clean water . . . plus lots of smiles. Smiles are good for the environment, right? Of course they are.

ESI Art Corps San Diego. Envirocan, donated by Dick Butler. "One Who Cares"
ESI Art Corps San Diego. Envirocan – Donated by Dick Butler. “One Who Cares”
One side of the Envirocan features a female face. Perhaps it is Mother Earth.
One side of the Envirocan features a female face. Perhaps it is Mother Earth.
Colorful tiles painted by many creative hands form a mosaic on the Envirocan's other three sides. Here's the face of a happy critter in a tree, and some flowers.
Colorful tiles painted by many creative hands form a mosaic on the Envirocan’s other three sides. Here’s a happy face in a tree, and some flowers.
Keep our Earth clean!
Keep our Earth clean!
A house in a beautiful pristine landscape.
A house in a beautiful pristine landscape.
Flower Power
Flower Power
A human eye. A smudge of dirt looks like a tear.
A human eye. A smudge of something looks like a tear.
Fish enjoy a clean blue ocean.
Fish enjoy a clean blue ocean.
I'm not sure what this is, but it looks pretty cool!
I’m not sure what this is, but it looks pretty cool!
Someone is poking their nose over a fence.
Someone is poking their nose over a fence.
One tile on the Envirocan features the Enviro-can!
One tile on the Envirocan features the Enviro-can!
A happy face of many colors.
A happy face of many colors.
Another lively underwater scene.
Another lively underwater scene.
And another face!
And another beautiful face!
A clean river flows down from green hills between trees.
A clean river flows down from green hills between trees.
Wisdom is often found in a balance. Yin and yang. All things are connected.
Wisdom is often found in a balance. Yin and yang. All things are connected.
Looks like a weird underwater image. Not sure about the cube with tentacles.
Looks like a weird underwater scene. Not sure about the cube with tentacles.
Birds in a clear blue sky under a golden sun.
Birds in a clear blue sky under a golden sun.
Lots more smiley faces! They almost look like leaves to me.
Lots more smiley faces! They almost look like leaves to me.
A red heart on patchwork colors. Love.
A red heart on patchwork colors. Love.

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!

Kayakers, volunteers clean San Diego River Estuary!

Many ordinary people came out today to help clean up the San Diego River Estuary.
Many ordinary people came out today to help clean up the San Diego River Estuary.

Lots of good people volunteered to clean up the San Diego River Estuary today. Some took to kayaks, others walked along the shoreline, filling bags with nasty litter and debris. The river estuary, emptying into the Pacific Ocean between Mission Bay and Ocean Beach, is a very important wetland in this region, and millions of birds rely on it during their migrations. Small bits of trash ingested by birds and other wildlife can be fatal.

The estuary cleanup was organized by The San Diego River Park Foundation. Kayakers are permitted to enter the San Diego River Estuary only one time every year–during this special event. I walked along the river and saw what ordinary people can achieve when working unselfishly for the good of our world.

A sign directs people to the river cleanup.
A sign directs people to the river cleanup.
Beautiful white clouds are reflected in the calm water of the San Diego River.
Beautiful white clouds are reflected in the calm water of the San Diego River as it approaches the ocean.
Many birds make the river and its sandbanks their home, including ducks, herons and egrets.
Many birds make the river and its mud flats their home, including ducks, herons and egrets.
A photographer captures images of waterfowl swimming through grass down the river.
A photographer captures images of waterfowl swimming through grass down the river.
My camera isn't quite so fancy, but I did get an okay photo of this snowy egret!
My camera isn’t quite so fancy, but I did get an okay photo of this snowy egret!
As I walked west along the San Diego River, I noticed a number of kayaks out on the water.
As I walked west along the San Diego River, I noticed a number of kayaks out on the water.
A sign by the river describes the problem of stormwater pollution. During rains, a good deal of runoff enters the estuary, carrying all sorts of pollutants and trash. (I had to really alter this photo so we could make out what the old sign says.)
A sign by the river describes the problem of stormwater pollution. During rains, a good deal of runoff enters the estuary, carrying all sorts of pollutants and trash. (I had to really alter this photograph so we could make out what the old sign says. Click the image to enlarge it.)
A cleanup volunteer with a kayak is arriving!
A cleanup volunteer with a kayak is arriving!
Plastic bags in these kayaks have been filled with garbage found in the river.
Plastic bags in these kayaks have been filled with garbage found in the river. I learned much of it was snagged in the grass.
Dozens of caring people were on the rocky river shore, looking for trash.
Dozens of caring people were on the rocky river shore, looking for trash.
San Diego is fortunate to have many thoughtful people, concerned about our environment.
San Diego is fortunate to have many thoughtful people, concerned about our environment.
Volunteering is often a family affair, teaching the next generation about generosity and responsibility.
Volunteering is often a family affair, teaching the next generation about generosity and responsibility.
This guy is carrying his kayak back to his car.
This guy was carrying his kayak back to his car.
Another guy showed me the trash he collected. He said he found a variety of garbage. Some of it is windblown. Some comes from Interstate 5 and other bridges which cross the river nearby.
Another guy showed me the trash he collected. He said he found a variety of garbage. Some flows downstream. Some of it is windblown. Some comes from Interstate 5 and other bridges which cross the river nearby.
A tent where people can sign up to volunteer and learn more about The San Diego River Park Foundation.
A tent where people can sign up to volunteer and learn more about The San Diego River Park Foundation.
From the mountains to the ocean, we care for the San Diego River!
From the mountains to the ocean, we care for the San Diego River!
Sadly, the river isn't healthy. A grade is assigned each year based upon trash, water quality and the extent of invasive plants.
Sadly, the river isn’t healthy. A grade is assigned each year based upon trash, water quality and the extent of invasive plants.
Sign shows volunteering possibilities. (Click these sign images to read--they will enlarge.)
Sign shows volunteering possibilities. (Click these sign images to read–they will enlarge.)
Picking up garbage and readying kayaks underneath the West Mission Bay Bridge.
Picking up garbage and readying kayaks underneath the West Mission Bay Bridge.
Collected trash was placed in a nearby dumpster.
Collected trash was placed in a nearby dumpster.
Smiles in the San Diego sunlight. A perfect day to make our world cleaner, healthier and more beautiful.
Smiles in the San Diego sunlight. A perfect day to make our world cleaner, healthier and more beautiful.
Kayakers launch into the San Diego River during a special event to clean the estuary.
Kayakers launch into the San Diego River during a special event to clean the estuary.

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Photos from Ocean Beach Pier Cleanup Day!

Cool people search under the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier for litter. I love a clean San Diego!
Cool people search under the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier for litter. I love a clean San Diego!

This morning I headed to the OB pier to take a bunch of photos. Some of them might end up being used in a book about the piers of California! (I’ll blog more about that later as events unfold.)

I was pleasantly surprised to see my visit to Ocean Beach happened to coincide with the Ocean Beach Pier Cleanup Day, which is organized by San Diego Coastkeeper and the Surfrider Foundation. I took some pics of awesome volunteers combing the sand for all sorts of nasty litter. Once again, I learned cigarette butts are a huge problem. One small team I spoke to collected literally hundreds of them from the beach.

Do you live in San Diego?  Let’s help to keep our city clean and beautiful!

Many residents of Ocean Beach help to keep their community clean, collecting trash that damages the coastal environment.
Many residents of Ocean Beach help to keep their community clean, collecting trash that damages the coastal environment.
These guys using a metal detector were sifting the sand for precious treasure! In their own way, they help to keep the beach clean, too!
These guys using a metal detector were sifting the sand for precious treasure! In their own way, I suppose, they were helping to keep the beach clean, too!
Plastic bags filled up with litter as volunteers made Ocean Beach that more beautiful and inviting.
Plastic bags fill up with garbage as volunteers make Ocean Beach that more beautiful and inviting.
These friendly guys found over 300 cigarette butts. Yikes. If only some people could be a little more thoughtful...
These friendly volunteers found over 300 cigarette butts. Yikes. If only some people could be a little more thoughtful…
Collected trash is recorded at the San Diego Coastkeeper station not far from the OB pier.
Collected trash is recorded at the San Diego Coastkeeper station not far from the OB pier.
Volunteers search the beach near the OB pier for litter during a cleanup day.
Volunteers search the beach near the OB pier for litter during a cleanup day.

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Help protect the environment: Cool ideas at EarthFair.

Use cans and old kitchen tools for plant pots! Dryer lint as cotton with nail polish remover to take off polish!
Use cans and old kitchen tools for plant pots! Dryer lint as cotton with nail polish remover to take off polish!

Late this morning, I walked from Cortez Hill to the 2016 EarthFair in Balboa Park. The cool event, corresponding with Earth Day, is the largest annual environmental fair in the world!

Thousands turned out for 2016 EarthFair in Balboa Park, where San Diego celebrates Earth Day and learns how to help the environment.
Thousands turned out today for the 2016 EarthFair in Balboa Park.  San Diego residents celebrated Earth Day and learned how to help protect the environment.

I blogged about EarthFair the last couple of years and showed you a little bit of almost everything–so this time I decided to take a different, more practical approach. As I walked through San Diego’s garden-like Balboa Park, I searched the many exhibits for useful ideas about things we can do in our daily lives to protect the environment.

Here are a few things I found. Please read the captions! And feel free to share!

1. Ideas for creatively repurposing used household items.

One major theme of EarthFair was re-using and repurposing old items that might otherwise be thrown away. I noted some cool ideas and took pics!

Poster shows many creative repurposing ideas! Click photo to enlarge and read some cool, very unusual ideas that you might try!
Poster shows many creative repurposing ideas! Click photo to enlarge and read some cool, very unusual ideas that you might try!
These shiny, colorful handbags were made from recycled Kool-Aid and Capri Sun packets!
These shiny, colorful handbags were made from recycled Kool-Aid and Capri Sun packets!
Take old clothes to make new clothes for homeless and toys for kids.
Take old clothes to make new clothes for homeless and toys for kids.
Recycling vintage fabric into baby bibs.
Recycling vintage fabric into baby bibs.
Turn old sweaters into beautiful pillows.
Turn old sweaters into beautiful pillows.
People check out the world's largest fair celebrating Earth Day--EarthFair in San Diego's sunny Balboa Park!
People check out the world’s largest festival celebrating Earth Day–EarthFair in San Diego’s sunny Balboa Park!

2. Tasty ways to use up excess fruits and vegetables.

One display created by the County of San Diego provided excellent information about how to use leftover or surplus fruits and vegetables, to avoid unnecessary waste. Those pics came out blurry, so here’s what I noted:

Spinach–add to sandwiches, soups, egg dishes, pasta or smoothies.

Bananas–add to cereal, yogurt or smoothies. Blend frozen bananas with milk and vanilla for a healthy dessert.

Citrus–add to green or fruit salads, soups, pasta or sauces. Add peels to vinegar for a simple household cleaner.

Tomatoes–add to salads, egg dishes, sandwiches or pasta. Use to make fresh salsa, tomato sauce or bruschetta.

Onions–add to salads, soups, egg dishes, sandwiches or stir-fry. Pickle red onions. Make onion preserves.

Peppers–add to sandwiches, salads, egg dishes or stir-fry. Steam and puree to make soup or a sauce for meat or pasta.

Avocados–add to smoothies, salads, sandwiches, egg dishes or baked goods. Spread on toast. Use in pasta sauce with lemon, garlic, oil and basil.

Beets–add to salads, soups or stir-fry. Use roasted beets in place of meat on sandwiches.

Broccoli and Cauliflower–add to salads, soups, egg dishes or stir-fry. Add finely chopped or grated cauliflower to rice.

Berries–add to fruit or green salads, hot or cold cereals, smoothies or yogurt. Use in a fruit salsa served with bread or chips.

Potatoes–add to salads, soups or egg dishes. Use russet potatoes to make potato skins. Use leftover baked potatoes to make hashbrowns.

Corn–add to soups or salads. Use to make a fresh corn salsa. Bake into cornbread or potato pancakes.

3. Things you can do to help protect the environment–and save money!

Here are a few displays I photographed that contained some great advice! Click the photos to enlarge them!

Compost can be made with shredded paper, grass clippings, wood chips, garden leftovers, leaves, livestock manure, chopped up yard debris and used coffee grounds.
Compost can be made with shredded paper, grass clippings, wood chips, garden leftovers, leaves, livestock manure, chopped up yard debris and used coffee grounds.
To save energy, use efficient lighting, adjust your thermostat, install solar, reduce driving, and keep you car maintained and tires properly inflated.
To save energy, use efficient lighting, adjust your thermostat, install solar, reduce driving, and keep your car maintained and tires properly inflated.
Check to see if your city offers free utility inspections and efficiency analysis. In San Diego, a free water survey program is available.
Check to see if your city offers free utility inspections and efficiency analysis. In San Diego, a free water survey program is available.
Ride a bicycle to work! In San Diego, Bike to Work Day in 2016 is Friday, May 20. You might consider walking or taking public transit, too!
Ride a bicycle to work! In San Diego, Bike to Work Day in 2016 is Friday, May 20. You might consider walking or taking public transit, too!
Many San Diegans saved energy, reduced air pollution and stayed healthy by riding their bicycles to EarthFair!
Many San Diegans saved energy, reduced air pollution and stayed healthy by riding their bicycles to EarthFair!

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