Colorful nature painted near Fiesta Island.

I discovered some colorful artwork last weekend during my walk around Mission Bay!

As I headed north along East Mission Bay Drive just past the entrance to Fiesta Island, approaching Tecolote Creek, I saw that images from nature had been painted on the low barrier that separates the small parking lot from the walking path. I spotted birds and fish and whales and flowers and all sorts of marine wildlife and native critters.

It appeared all of nature had gathered at my feet!

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!

Natural habitat for birds, wildlife near SeaWorld.

A few people walk down a dirt path near SeaWorld. Native coastal plants provide habitat for migratory birds and local wildlife.
A few people walk down a dirt path next to SeaWorld. Coastal plants provide habitat for birds and wildlife.

There’s a quiet, seldom visited area adjacent to SeaWorld that provides valuable habitat for both local and migratory birds. You can find this narrow strip of land directly northeast of SeaWorld, on the edge of Mission Bay, just west of South Shores Park.

Walk down the dirt path by the water and you’ll discover native plants, beautiful views, a few park benches, and a sense of wonder. This bit of land was set aside as natural coastal habitat with the help of the Audubon Society, SeaWorld San Diego, and a several other organizations who care about protecting the environment.

I walked down the path during the weekend and read a number of interesting signs. Few other people were around. I shared the warm sunshine with birds that took flight over land and water.

Click the photos of signs if you’d like to read them.

One sign displays plants that provide food and shelter for the birds and insects of Mission Bay.
One sign displays plants that provide food and shelter for the birds and insects of Mission Bay.
Heading west down the path, along the south edge of Mission Bay.
Heading west down the rough path, along the south shore of Mission Bay.
Looking north across the water at boats, kayaks and Fiesta Island.
Looking north across the water at boats, kayaks and Fiesta Island.
Audubon's Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program identifies and conserves a network of sites essential for wild bird populations. Mission Bay is one of seven IBAs in San Diego County.
Audubon’s Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program identifies and conserves a network of sites essential for wild bird populations. Mission Bay is one of seven IBAs in San Diego County.
A patch of what I believe is Ceanothus, or California Lilac. A bird perched on some dry sunflowers is a gray blur in this photograph.
A patch of what I believe is Ceanothus, or California Lilac. A bird perched on some dry yellow flowers is a blur in this photograph.
Mission Bay sustains thousands of birds, as many species stop over in San Diego during their migration along the Pacific flyway.
Mission Bay sustains thousands of birds, as many species stop over in San Diego during their migration along the Pacific flyway.
Looks like a heron flying overhead, scanning the water.
Looks like a heron flying overhead, scanning the water.
Sign identifies birds that might be seen here. San Diego is home to nearly 500 bird species.
Sign identifies birds that might be seen here. San Diego is home to nearly 500 bird species.
Some shelter by the water for birds and other small animals.
Some shelter by the water for birds and other small animals.
More natural habitat that contains much hidden life.
More natural habitat that contains much hidden life.
Another sign with more California natives, including plants and birds.
Another sign with more California natives, including plants and birds.
Someone walks on a path that winds near the entrance to this little visited park-like space.
Someone walks on a path that winds near the entrance to this small park-like space.

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!

Photos of dragon boat races on Mission Bay!

The 15th Annual San Diego Dragon Boat Festival was held today in the Tecolote Shores North part of Mission Bay. This cool event is presented by the San Diego Alliance for Asian Pacific Islander Americans. Twenty two wild races on the water saw competition between amateur dragon boat teams from all around our region and nation.

My walk around Mission Bay late this morning included a long pause to watch the action…

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!

Rowing For the Cure on beautiful Mission Bay.

Early this morning I headed to Ski Beach Park, on Vacation Isle at the center of Mission Bay. I wanted to take photographs of a dramatic post-storm sunrise, and people out on the silver water rowing to cure breast cancer.

If you want to learn more about Susan G. Komen’s annual Row For the Cure event, and perhaps watch or participate next year, check out their website 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!

Oil painted scenes from around San Diego!

Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument.
Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument.

I had some more fun altering photographs to make them appear like oil paintings. I selected a number of images from my computer and applied GIMP’s Oilify filter to convert them into splendid works of art!

I’ve done similar photo editing twice in the past. I had some fun “oil painting” sailboats out on San Diego Bay, and then some beautiful plants and flowers in Balboa Park’s Botanical Building.

I also used GIMP’s Cubism filter once. With a couple easy clicks of the mouse, I created some cool impressionistic “paintings” of streets and buildings in downtown San Diego!

Here are my latest productions. Enjoy!

Fishing from a pier on sunlit San Diego Bay.
Fishing from the pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Sunset over Point Loma across San Diego Bay.
Sunset over Point Loma across San Diego Bay.
View of the Hyatt Regency Marina near the Mission Bay Sportscenter.
View of the Hyatt Regency Marina near the Mission Bay Sportscenter.
People wait to cross Mission Boulevard in Mission Beach.
People wait to cross Mission Boulevard in Mission Beach.
The Geisel Library Building at University of California San Diego.
The Geisel Library Building at University of California San Diego.
Seagulls fly above San Diego Bay.
Seagulls fly above San Diego Bay.
Fresh fish for sale at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
Fresh fish for sale at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
Walking across the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge toward Petco Park and the downtown Central Library.
Walking across the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge toward Petco Park and the downtown Central Library.
The beautiful Casa del Prado in Balboa Park.
The beautiful Casa del Prado in Balboa Park.
Lawn bowling in Balboa Park.
Lawn bowling in Balboa Park.
A flower and window at the International Cottages in Balboa Park.
A flower and window at the International Cottages in Balboa Park.
St. Mary's Chapel and Tower of The Bishop's School in La Jolla.
St. Mary’s Chapel and Tower at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla.
Junipero Serra Museum on Presidio Hill.
Junipero Serra Museum on Presidio Hill.
Ballet folklórico dancer at Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego.
Ballet folklórico dancer at Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego.
The historic former Hotel Del Coronado Boathouse.
The historic former Hotel Del Coronado Boathouse.

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!

Row and paddle on Mission Bay for the Cure!

Today I learned about a very cool event!

On Saturday, October 13 people from all walks of life will be rowing and paddling to cure breast cancer! Rowers, canoers, outrigger canoers, dragon boats, kayakers and stand up paddle boarders are all invited!

The 18th Annual Row For The Cure will take place on Mission Bay and benefits Susan G. Komen San Diego. Funds raised will go toward helping those affected by breast cancer, providing education and screenings, and ultimately finding a cure.

This aquatic event on gentle Mission Bay will feature both a beginner’s course and a competitive course. If you don’t own a paddleboard, you’ll be able to rent one on-site.

To learn more or sign up, visit the event webpage here!

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Photos of RC boats racing for San Diego Cup!

Today I headed over to Mission Bay’s large model yacht pond, located near the center of Vacation Isle Park, to watch gasoline-powered high speed RC boats race for the San Diego Cup!

The exciting annual event is hosted by the San Diego Argonauts, who sail and race a variety of model boats on the saltwater pond. I blogged about the San Diego Argonauts and hobbyists maneuvering remote control sailboats out on the pond here.

San Diego Cup weekend features over 160 RC powerboats in dozens of classes, brought in by groups from all over Southern California and Arizona. The local group is called SD Gassers.

I spoke to a few people and watched several races. I learned that the model speedboats are built from kits, and that the different classes are determined by the size of the boat. I observed that after contestants are told to start their engines (which at times is problematic) there is a countdown to the beginning of the race. After tossing their boats into the water, it appeared that getting in optimal position for the start was an important aspect of the strategy.

These amazing little powerboats can go over 60 miles per hour! Boats are readied and repaired on the shore and good times are had by all contestants.

It definitely appears to be a fun hobby!

The racing continues through Sunday and anybody can watch from the grassy shore. If you’re in San Diego, head over to the model yacht pond in Mission Bay and check it out!

I took some photos of the action…

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!