Paths of light: night photos under the library dome.

View of the lit dome of San Diego's downtown library, seen from the 9th floor at night.
View of the lit dome of San Diego’s downtown library, seen from the 9th floor at night.

Yesterday evening after work I walked a bit in the darkness. The air was cool, downtown was quieting. I was drawn to the San Diego Central Library, and of course I had to ascend to the 9th floor. Few others were about. I lingered high above the city, outside under the lattice steel dome. I watched small trolleys slip past below. A thousand distant lights stretched toward the South Bay. The world seemed remote. Paths of gentle light were traced above, around and below. I seemed to float in a swirled galaxy; but I saw no stars.

Inside a glowing steel lattice. The new library's dome in the past couple years has become a distinctive feature of San Diego's skyline.
Inside a glowing steel lattice. The new library’s dome in the past couple years has become a distinctive feature of San Diego’s skyline.
Gazing through the unique dome toward the 12th and Imperial Transit Center's clock tower.
Gazing through the unique dome toward the 12th and Imperial Transit Center’s clock tower.
Nine stories below, a trolley heads north into the heart of East Village.
Nine stories below, a trolley heads north into the heart of East Village.
Looking down into the large reading room of the San Diego Central Library after dark. Under the dome, people were quietly studying, or just gazing out into the nighttime.
Looking down into the large reading room of the San Diego Central Library after dark. Under the dome, people were quietly studying, or just gazing out into the nighttime.
Meshed paths of light seem to radiate like a halo from the top of San Diego's amazing downtown library.
Meshed paths of light seem to radiate like a halo from the top of San Diego’s amazing downtown library.

Follow this blog for more photos of cool stuff! Join me on Facebook or Twitter.

Glowing clouds at day’s end in Balboa Park.

Glowing orange clouds at day's end, and the California Tower in silhouette. Photo taken from Plaza de Panama in San Diego's Balboa Park.
Glowing orange clouds at day’s end, and the California Tower in silhouette. Photo taken from Plaza de Panama in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Days are rapidly becoming shorter. My evening walks after work have magically changed. Bright sunshine has become twilight. Clouds glow like embers as darkness descends.

Here are two photographs I took this evening during a short stroll through the heart of Balboa Park.

A dramatic end to an October day. Photo of iconic California Tower in San Diego's Balboa Park as night falls.
A dramatic end to an October day. Photo of iconic California Tower in San Diego’s Balboa Park as night falls.

Follow this blog for more photos of cool stuff! Join me on Facebook or Twitter.

A pile of scary, ghostly horrors in a city park!

Creepy skulls await visitors near entrance to The Haunted Trail for the approaching Halloween season.
Creepy skulls await visitors near entrance to The Haunted Trail.  Many visitors will scream this coming Halloween season.

Is it nearly Autumn? That means Halloween is quickly approaching! And so are the usual nightmarish horrors!

I saw during a walk through Balboa Park’s west end that The Haunted Trail is under construction. Around Halloween, the annual outdoor “haunted house” scares even the bravest living residents of San Diego. Passing through the dark, ghostly trees at night might be scary enough, but imagine being surrounded by legions of hellish ghouls and flesh-eating zombies!

I conquered my own fear and poked my camera over a fence to record the coming terror…

The Haunted Trail is under construction on the west end of Balboa Park. Workers seem to be just getting started.
The Haunted Trail is under construction on the west end of Balboa Park. Workers seem to be just getting started.
Bloody decapitated heads on pikes will scare thrill-seekers in the dark of night!
Bloody decapitated heads on pikes will scare thrill-seekers in the dark of night!
Various dummies arranged on the leafy ground. Like the undead, they will soon rise!
Various dummies arranged on the leafy ground. Like the undead, they will soon rise!
What would Halloween be without a pumpkin head. And some ghouls, ghosts, specters and whatnot.
What would Halloween be without a pumpkin head? And some ghouls, ghosts, specters and miscellaneous whatnot.
That's one big pile of terribly mangled bodies. It almost looks like what happens during a fumble in football.
That’s one big pile of terribly mangled bodies. It almost looks like what happens during a fumble in football.
I thought one grim reaper was quite enough, thank you.
I thought one grim reaper was quite enough, thank you!
And to top it all off, a good old spooky demon with horns. October must be approaching!
And to top it all off, a good old spooky demon with horns. October must be approaching!

Follow this blog for more photos of cool stuff!  They usually aren’t this scary!  Join me on Facebook or Twitter.

Magic at Centennial International Summer Organ Festival.

People gather on a July evening to listen to the amazing Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park.
People gather on a July evening to listen to the amazing, magical Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park.

Tonight I walked through Balboa Park. I lingered for a bit at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion to enjoy the beginning of a special concert. This year, in honor of Balboa Park’s centennial, the annual International Summer Organ Festival is featuring an incredible lineup of the world’s finest organists. Concerts are held Monday evenings through the end of August.

The concert tonight was performed by Aaron David Miller. Here are some pics of the magic…

Tonight at 7:30, composer and concert organist Aaron David Miller performed at the Centennial International Summer Organ Festival.
Tonight at 7:30, composer and concert organist Aaron David Miller performed at the Centennial International Summer Organ Festival.
These Spreckels Organ Society volunteers smiled for my camera at one entrance to the free public concert.
These Spreckels Organ Society volunteers smiled for my camera at one entrance to the free public concert.
San Diegans filter into the Spreckels Organ Pavilion as evening progresses and daylight fades.
San Diegans filter into the Spreckels Organ Pavilion as evening progresses and daylight fades.
Treats and beverages were served near one entrance.
Treats and beverages were served near one entrance.
Preparing for the concert on the shadowed stage The sun's horizontal rays strike one end of the beautiful colonnade.
Preparing for the concert on the shadowed stage The sun’s horizontal rays strike one end of the beautiful colonnade.
The metal benches are filling up and lights turn on as night descends and the time for music nears.
The metal benches are filling up and lights turn on as night descends and the time for music nears.
At night, many small lights turn the Spreckels Organ Pavilion into a magical place.
At night, many small lights turn the Spreckels Organ Pavilion into a truly magical place.
Pan plays his pipes. Soon a world-class organist will join him.
Pan plays his pipes. Soon a world-class organist will join him.
Aaron David Miller begins with Festival Overture, by Felix Mendelssohn.
Aaron David Miller begins with Festival Overture, by Felix Mendelssohn.

Enjoy future posts! Join me on Facebook or Twitter.

Photos of Balboa Park’s unique magic at dusk.

Lights come on inside Casa del Prado in Balboa Park as the day ends.
Lights come on inside Casa del Prado in Balboa Park as another day ends.

Balboa Park in San Diego’s bright sunshine is wonderful. At night it becomes magical.

As darkness seeps in and night gentles the world, Balboa Park transforms into an entirely different place. Take a look…

Plaster statues of Spanish painters become shadowy in courtyard of Casa del Prado.
Plaster statues of Spanish painters become shadowy in courtyard of Casa del Prado.
Faces above blue-lit fountain by Botanical Building.
Faces above blue-lit fountain by Botanical Building.
Ornate building facades on El Prado take on new depth at dusk.
Ornate building facades on El Prado take on new, amazing depth at dusk.
Walking down an elegant, golden corridor as night descends.
Walking down an elegant, golden corridor as night descends.
Passage along El Prado becomes mellow and mysterious.
Passage along El Prado becomes mellow and mysterious.
The sky becomes dark blue after sunset and faint stars slowly emerge.
The sky becomes dark blue after sunset and faint stars slowly emerge.
Balboa Park after dark transforms into a fantastic, fairytale world.
Balboa Park after dark transforms into a fantastic, fairy tale world.
Foliate capitals on the columns of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion colonnade.
Foliate capitals on the columns of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion colonnade.
Illuminated fountain beside patio beneath The Prado restaurant in Balboa Park.
Illuminated fountain beside patio beneath The Prado restaurant in Balboa Park.
One last juggle by darkening fountain near Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.
One last juggle by the slowly darkening fountain near Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

Gaze at infinite stars and beauty in Balboa Park.

San Diego Astronomy Association members set up telescopes in Balboa Park.
San Diego Astronomy Association members set up telescopes in Balboa Park.

Late this evening I took a stroll through Balboa Park. As the nodding, golden sun bid the blue sky farewell, a smattering of telescopes began to sprout under the brightening moon near the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.

Today is the first Wednesday of the month. That’s the day members of the San Diego Astronomy Association gaze at stars and the universe’s infinite beauty, and invite casual passersby to gaze up at the wonders. Young and old bend over to peer through eyepieces, and are awed by the craters of the moon, planets that happen to be swinging overhead, colorful nebulae and distant galaxies…

The viewing begins in earnest around eight o’clock, when the sky is good and dark, right after the Reuben H. Fleet’s planetarium shows the monthly “Sky Tonight” program on their big IMAX screen.

Table with astronomy book, eyepieces and other equipment.
Table with astronomy book, eyepieces and other equipment.
One of many amateur telescopes set up the first Wednesday of every month.
One of many amateur telescopes set up the first Wednesday of every month.
Someone checks out a half moon around sunset.
Someone checks out a half moon around sunset.
Lights come on along El Prado and more stargazing enthusiasts arrive.
Lights come on along El Prado and more stargazing enthusiasts arrive.
My little camera barely registers the moon above the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.
My little camera barely registers the moon above the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.
The nearby fountain takes on a beautiful glow as night descends.
The nearby fountain takes on a beautiful glow as night descends.

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.