Winter beauty by the San Diego River.

Please enjoy these photographs of winter beauty by the San Diego River in Mission Valley.

I framed this natural beauty during several January morning walks. Some photos were taken from the pedestrian bridge that spans the river by the Fashion Valley Transit Center; others near Mission Center Road.

Reflections created magic. White clouds in the sky floated on water. Trees were turned upside down.

Branches, leaves, river and sky danced together mysteriously.

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!

Mystical visions at 1st Street Bar in Encinitas!

A new mural was painted at the 1st Street Bar in Encinitas several months ago. I didn’t see it until this weekend, during my walk down South Coast Highway 101.

The mural is a colorful, mystical work by artists Amanda Lynn and Carly Ealey. It’s overflowing with visions of nature’s beauty and cosmic mystery.

This fantastic artwork replaces an older environmental Sea Walls mural at the same Encinitas location, painted by the same artists. I took photos of the previous 1st Street Bar mural in 2019 and posted them here.

It’s interesting to contrast the styles of the two murals. I particularly like this newer one.

Enjoy!

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!

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Beauty at the Meditation Gardens in Encinitas.

Some of the most beautiful gardens in San Diego County can be found in Encinitas. I visited one of those gardens this weekend.

The Meditation Gardens at Self-Realization Fellowship is a quiet retreat for those who like to walk or sit quietly in a place where the mind can find peace and the spirit, inspiration.

Pathways wind through a lush, carefully tended world. Benches in green nooks invite rest and reflection. There are exotic plants, trees and flowers, ponds filled with bright koi, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Like distant poetry, surfers far below ride the curling rhythmic waves of Swami’s.

The Meditation Gardens recently reopened after a long closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitors to the garden, as the Self-Realization Fellowship website suggests, might discover “a greater realization of the Divine Presence that lies within.”

The amazing garden is free to the public.

Enjoy a sample of its beauty…

This is the site of the Golden Lotus Temple, built in 1937. Here thousands came to services conducted by Paramahansa Yogananda… In 1942 cliff erosion made the temple unstable and later it had to be dismantled…

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!

John Denver honored on Encinitas plaque.

Head west through Encinitas along J Street. When you reach the end, climb the stairs to the J Street Viewpoint.

You’ll discover beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, unexpected works of public art . . . and a small plaque.

John Denver

December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997

John Denver, songwriter, singer, actor, humanitarian and an activist for world peace and the environment was a founder of The Hunger Project and Plant-It 2000 which sponsored tree plantings in Encinitas.

“Though the singer is silent, there still is the truth of the song.”

Your friends will always remember you.

“If peace is our vision, let us begin.”

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!

Art and science in two amazing East Village murals!

Two amazing murals by well known regional artists can be found in a new public plaza located in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood.

The murals, designed by artists Rafael Lopez of San Diego and Joel Sotelo of Tijuana, decorate opposing walls in the amphitheater-like space between the UCSD Downtown Center building and the 34-story The Merian apartment tower. Walk north up the sidewalk from the corner of Market Street and Park Boulevard and you’ll find it.

This welcoming new plaza is so remarkable that it earned a San Diego Architectural Foundation Orchid Award!

For many months I’ve been waiting for a construction site fence to come down, and it finally did, allowing entrance to the new plaza.

If you’d like to read more about this unique public plaza’s inspiration, design and construction, here’s a great article.

My first photos are of the Rafael Lopez mural, which was painted by Gran Prestoz. It was completed a couple of summers ago, but not accessible to the public.

Lopez is widely known for his award-winning illustrations in numerous acclaimed children’s books. He has even designed several United States postage stamps!

The next photos are of the mural on the plaza’s east side, by artist Joel Sotelo. The mural’s title is Pulsar Ultra-Marino. According to a plaque I found, “Sotelo’s colorful mural is based on the idea of wonder, from the micro to the macro, from the beauty of nature to the revelations of science.”

(Doing a little research, I was surprised to find out that Joel Sotelo helped conceive of the Tweet Street linear city park with its artistic birdhouses. Tweet Street on Cortez Hill is only a few steps from where I live!)

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!

Vandalized landscapes at San Diego Museum of Art.

Two galleries at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park feature slashed, defaced and vandalized landscape photographs. The title of the exhibition is Disestablishment.

Galleries 14 and 15, freely accessible to the public from the May S. Marcy Sculpture Court (home of Panama 66), are filled with this disquieting artwork.

San Diego artist John Raymond Mireles took photographs of natural beauty at areas once part of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments in Southern Utah, then invited people to hammer upon, cut, scratch and pen graffiti on each piece. This intentional damage is said to represent how the land can now be exploited for oil drilling and coal mining.

Like much contemporary art with a political message, these not-so-subtle pieces aim to shock the viewer. Learn more about Disestablishment, on view until January 30, 2022, at the SDMA website here.

Here are a couple more examples…

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!

Silvery beach photos at Fletcher Cove.

Many beaches in San Diego County will cause you to simply stare. They are that beautiful. The beach at Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach is no exception.

I enjoyed a long walk in Solana Beach today. I photographed some incredible public art (as you’ll see in the next few days), but how does an artist compete with nature’s complex, sublime, and inexhaustible beauty?

That blue sky and clouds reflecting from silvery wet sand were captured with a mere press of a camera button. Then, standing near the ocean’s edge, I turned right and left and pressed the button a few more times…

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!

Pelicans and sea lions near La Jolla Cove.

To observe pelicans or sea lions in San Diego, simply take a walk by the ocean where the shore is rocky.

On Sunday I walked near La Jolla Cove.

Yes, I’ve photographed both pelicans and sea lions in the past, but look what I saw!

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!

Red-tailed hawks and fog in Balboa Park.

This morning I walked from downtown San Diego to Balboa Park, hoping to capture some interesting fog photographs.

As it turned out, most of my photos were of red-tailed hawks!

I observed three of them from the Cabrillo Bridge.

Anyone who walks into Balboa Park from the west side should keep their eyes peeled for hawks. They like to perch in the trees above the archery range or the slope of the West Mesa overlooking State Route 163.

I often hear the distinctive cry of red-tailed hawks near the eucalyptus trees west of the California Tower. Once or twice in the past I’ve seen them perched on the tower!

I managed to get a few decent photos with my little camera. You can see two hawks in the final image!

From the Cabrillo Bridge I also took a photograph of foggy downtown San Diego in the distance.

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!

Autumn beauty on Pacific Crest Trail in Warner Springs.

Today I headed out to Warner Springs in northern San Diego County. I wanted to experience an authentic stagecoach ride at the historic Warner-Carrillo Ranch House.

I arrived too early, so I drove a few miles further up State Route 79 to the Eagle Rock Trailhead, near the Warner Springs fire station. There I parked under some shady oak trees and began a slow hike south along the Pacific Crest Trail.

The short (perhaps half mile) segment of the PCT that I walked followed a dry creek bed. It passed through several swinging gates, but I encountered no grazing livestock.

In addition to many ancient oaks, I saw the autumn yellows of a few riparian trees–mostly willows it seemed. A couple sycamores I noticed had lost most of their leaves.

I also spotted interesting rock outcroppings and a distant woodpecker. And only a few hikers.

Had I time, I might have continued all the way to Eagle Rock–an impressive outcropping three miles from the trailhead that looks exactly like an bird with spread wings. I’ll do that some other day.

Enjoy these photos of autumn beauty along a very small part of the Pacific Crest Trail…

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!