Taming wild colors in the wind.

I didn’t intend to blog today. But when I walked through Embarcadero Marina Park North and saw colors soaring in the wind, my camera came out.

The kites wanted to break free of their harnesses. A skilled handler had to tame them, muscle them back to the grass.

The colorful kites rocketed, circled, pranced, galloped.

A few smiling passersby tried taking the reins.

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!

History and holidays at Coronado Rotary Plaza.

Rotary Plaza in Coronado includes several interesting features, including a clock, fountain and community Christmas tree.
Rotary Plaza in Coronado includes several interesting features, including a clock, fountain and community Christmas tree.

During my recent walk through Coronado, I paused for a bit at Rotary Plaza to check out the old clock, pleasant fountain and community Christmas tree. I read a few plaques near each of these features and learned a little about the history of the place. I’ve never seen the very tall star pine lit at night during the holidays, but I bet it’s quite a sight!

Coronado Rotary Plaza (sometimes called Rotary Park) is located on Orange Avenue at Isabella Avenue.

A handsome old clock and bench await passersby in Coronado Rotary Park.
A handsome Rotary International clock and peaceful bench await passersby in Coronado Rotary Park.
Plaque on the clock reads Presented to Coronado by the Rotary Club of Coronado for Rotary International's Centennial, February 23, 2005.
Plaque on the Electric Time clock reads Presented to Coronado by the Rotary Club of Coronado for Rotary International’s Centennial, February 23, 2005.
The bubbling Jim Vernetti Fountain in Coronado's Rotary Plaza, dedicated 2009.
The bubbling Jim Vernetti Fountain in Coronado’s Rotary Plaza, dedicated 2009.
A Hanukkah menorah stands in Rotary Plaza during the holiday season. (The trunk of the large Coronado star pine Christmas tree is in the background.)
A Hanukkah menorah stands in Rotary Plaza during the holiday season. (The trunk of the large Coronado star pine Christmas tree is in the background.)
Walking along Orange Avenue toward Rotary Plaza and the high Coronado Rotary Club Christmas Tree, which is lit at night.
Walking along Orange Avenue toward Rotary Plaza and the high Coronado Rotary Club Christmas Tree, which is lit at night.
In May, 1936, the Rotary Club planted this starpine for the citizens of Coronado. This tree given by Emily T. Thompson in memory of her husband Charles.
In May, 1936, the Rotary Club planted this starpine for the citizens of Coronado. This tree given by Emily T. Thompson in memory of her husband Charles.

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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Help restore a beautiful Navy sailor memorial.

Volunteers and Boy Scouts work to improve the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park.
Volunteers and Boy Scouts work to improve the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park.

Your help is needed to help restore a beautiful U.S. Navy sailor memorial in San Diego. I’m speaking of the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park. Some of the 66 oak trees planted to honor the victims of the USS Bennington boiler explosion in 1905 have themselves died. They need to be replaced.

The San Diego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is working to restore and improve the historic oak grove with the help of hardworking Boy Scouts and locally-based U.S. Navy sailors. You can read more about these efforts here.

But money is needed. Donations are sought to purchase new trees. Please contact the San Diego DAR to learn how you can help honor and beautify the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.

A dead oak tree that needs to be replaced.
A dead oak tree that needs to be replaced.

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Beautiful mosaics of flowers in Spreckels Park.

Mosaic of Flowers: Hibiscus by Kirstin Green. City of Coronado Public Art Collection installed 2017.
Mosaic of Flowers: Hibiscus by Kirstin Green. City of Coronado Public Art Collection installed 2017.

During my walk around Coronado this afternoon I made a cool discovery! I noticed two exquisite flower mosaics now adorn the public restroom building in Spreckels Park. One can be found above an outside sink on the north side, the other on the south side. Both are made of many small colorful tiles.

This public artwork is bright and cheerful, a perfect match for the beautiful, spacious park which is home to the annual Coronado Flower Show.

A beautiful sunflower-like zinnia made of small yellow, gold and white tiles.
A close-up photo of a beautiful sunflower-like zinnia made of small yellow, orange and white tiles.
Mosaic of Flowers: Zinnia by Kirstin Green. City of Coronado Public Art Collection installed 2017.
Mosaic of Flowers: Zinnia by Kirstin Green. City of Coronado Public Art Collection installed 2017.

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!

A few morning birds around the city.

Someone waits on a sidewalk among pigeons early one morning in downtown San Diego.
Someone waits on a sidewalk among pigeons, early one morning in downtown San Diego.

In the city of San Diego, the early bird catches the worm. And an early morning walker takes many photos!

One cool aspect of living in downtown San Diego is the proximity of various rivers, estuaries, bays and, of course, the Pacific Ocean. One meets a host of different aquatic birds, including ducks, gulls, herons, cormorants, least terns, and other graceful inhabitants of air and water.

Here are a few fun photos that have gathered in my computer.

One of many pigeons in the city.
One of many pigeons in the city.
Small birds on sunlit grass one morning along Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.
Small birds on sunlit grass one morning along Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.
A black-crowned night heron perched atop the Pier Cafe.
A black-crowned night heron perched atop the Pier Cafe.
A seagull stands on Broadway Pier over San Diego Bay.
A seagull stands on Broadway Pier over San Diego Bay.
Strangely, a great blue heron stands in the southwest corner of Balboa Park one morning, watching people walk up a path.
Strangely, a great blue heron stands in the southwest corner of Balboa Park one morning, watching people walk up a path.
Ducks hang out by the pool in the San Diego Museum of Art's May S. Marcy Sculpture Court.
Ducks hang out by the pool in the San Diego Museum of Art’s May S. Marcy Sculpture Court.
A mother duck and two ducklings walk among leaves on the Our River mural in Mission Valley.
A mother duck and two ducklings walk among leaves on the Our River mural in Mission Valley.
Morning ducks near the Children's Park Fountain.
Morning ducks in Children’s Park downtown.
A morning walk past the Children's Park Fountain near many birds.
A morning walk past the Children’s Park Fountain near many birds.
Gulls enjoy a beautiful morning in the city.
Gulls enjoy another beautiful morning in the city.

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!

Boy Scouts improve Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.

Crew members of USS Theodore Roosevelt help Boy Scout Maxwell Thomson move logs in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Crew members of USS Theodore Roosevelt help Boy Scout Maxwell Thomson move logs in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.

Over the past year and a half, some amazing young men have been working to improve the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park. These community-minded Boy Scouts, with the help of the San Diego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, have undertaken projects in the historic grove in order to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

You might remember the photos that I posted of the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. It’s tucked away in a corner of Florida Canyon, not far from Naval Medical Center San Diego and the Balboa Park Municipal Golf Course. The 66 live oak trees were planted in 1905 to memorialize 66 sailors killed on the USS Bennington on July 21st of that year. The gunboat’s boiler exploded while it was in San Diego Bay, and many men tragically perished.

The efforts of these hardworking Boy Scouts have added beauty, safety and memory to the old oak grove. Four have successfully become Eagle Scouts. They are Joshua Ortega, Sam Kinsey, Frederick Persons and Erik Ortlieb. The projects of two other young men are now underway.

Most of these photographs have been contributed by local historian Kathleen Winchester. She and other members of the DAR’s San Diego Chapter have been instrumental in providing coordination and encouragement as the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove is improved. Please read the photo captions to appreciate the unselfish work of these young men.

I have learned the grove’s kiosk will eventually contain the names of those who perished aboard the USS Bennington. And very soon a flagpole will be raised in the grove-the project of another Boy Scout.

In 2014, the San Diego Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution partnered with the San Diego Park and Recreation Department and the Friends of Balboa Park as part of the latter’s “Adopt-A-Plot” program and adopted the Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.

The local DAR intends to purchase more oak trees to replace dead ones. If anyone wants to help with this worthy endeavor, contact the San Diego Chapter of DAR. All contributed funds will go straight to the purchase of trees.

As you can see in a few of the photos, U.S. Navy sailors from the San Diego homeported aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt have also lent a hand. Their involvement is especially meaningful as Teddy Roosevelt was the President of the United States in 1905 when the USS Bennington disaster occured. President Roosevelt was a conservationist who would have loved this shady grove of majestic oaks.

The sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt, by helping to beautify the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove, honored their fellow seamen from an earlier time.

The USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park has been improved by some amazing young men working to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
The USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park has been improved by some amazing young men working to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
The oak grove's entrance sign is an Eagle Project undertaken by Erik Ortlieb of Boy Scout Troop 4 in La Jolla.
The oak grove’s entrance sign is an Eagle Project undertaken by Erik Ortlieb of Boy Scout Troop 4 in La Jolla.
Erik Ortlieb poses with Kathleen Winchester of the DAR by the sign he built on October 16, 2016. It welcomes visitors into the beautiful old oak grove.
Erik Ortlieb poses with Kathleen Winchester of the DAR by a post of the wooden sign he built on October 16, 2016. The sign welcomes visitors into the beautiful old oak grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Boy Scout Sam Kinsey works on the trail that leads into the historic USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park.
Boy Scout Sam Kinsey works on the trail that leads into the historic USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Boy Scout Joshua Ortega finished a footbridge in the grove just days before his 18th birthday. He is now attending Pepperdine University.
Boy Scout Joshua Ortega finished a footbridge in the grove just days before his 18th birthday. He is now attending Pepperdine University. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Plaque on the bridge reads Eagle Scout Project - Joshua R. Ortega - Troop 299 - June 2016.
Plaque on the bridge reads Eagle Scout Project – Joshua R. Ortega – Troop 299 – June 2016.
Boy Scout Frederick Persons poses in front of the new kiosk he built. Around him are volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 295.
Boy Scout Frederick Persons poses in front of the new kiosk he built. Around him are volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 295. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Crew members of San Diego aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt lend a helping hand by rolling logs that will border a path though the grove.
Crew members of San Diego aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt lend a helping hand by rolling logs that will border a path though the grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Boy Scout Maxwell Thomson and U.S. Navy sailors roll logs into place in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.
Boy Scout Maxwell Thomson and U.S. Navy sailors roll logs into place in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Maxwell Thomson poses with friends among logs which now mark the trail through the revitalized USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove!
Maxwell Thomson poses with friends among logs which now mark the trail through the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
15-year-old Maxwell Thomson takes a short break as DAR San Diego Chapter members cheer him on!
15-year-old Maxwell Thomson takes a short break as DAR San Diego Chapter members cheer him on! Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.

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!

Baseball flags debut at historic Lane Field Park!

Two of three huge banners that celebrate the history of baseball at San Diego's Lane Field. On the left you can see Ted Williams, one of the greatest Major League Baseball hitters of all time, taking a swing.
Two of three huge flags that celebrate the history of baseball at San Diego’s old Lane Field. On the left you can see Ted Williams, one of the greatest Major League Baseball hitters of all time, taking a swing.

Three huge, colorful flags will soon be flying above Lane Field Park. They were created by local artist Lisa Schirmer in a coordinated effort between the Port of San Diego and the Hensel-Phelps Construction Company. They celebrate the history of baseball at Lane Field.

The vivid banners, which Lisa calls windglyphs, are titled Spirits of the West Wind. They feature two images of baseball legend Ted Williams and one of Eddie Erautt. Both played baseball at long-vanished Lane Field, which was located in downtown San Diego right next to the water.

Ted Williams was perhaps the greatest Major League hitter of all time. The baseball legend was born in San Diego. Early in his baseball career he played for the Pacific Coast League San Diego Padres at Lane Field, helping his team win the PCL pennant in 1937.

Eddie Erautt pitched three and a half seasons for the PCL San Diego Padres. He went 16-12 in 1954 when the Padres were PCL champions and 18-10 in 1955.

Images of the players on two windglyphs were based on photographs in Bill Swank’s book Echoes from Lane Field.

I love how large, bright and colorful these flags are, and how they celebrate an important page in San Diego baseball history. Bill Swank says the way they billow reminds him how the wind would blow off San Diego Bay and carry home runs over the right field wall of Lane Field, to bounce onto Pacific Highway. Many great memories where made here.

This Wednesday, there will be an official unveiling of the colorful banners at 8:30 am. I was fortunate to get a preview today, during a flag-raising rehearsal for the coming event.

Enjoy some photos!

Three colorful windglyphs created by San Diego artist Lisa Schirmer fly above Lane Field Park.
Three colorful windglyphs created by San Diego artist Lisa Schirmer fly above Lane Field Park.
Rehearsal of a flag raising. The public art unveiling ceremony takes place later this week. That unfurled banner shows Ted Williams fielding a ball. Photo courtesy Bill Swank.
Rehearsal of a flag raising. The public art unveiling ceremony takes place later this week. That unfurled banner shows Ted Williams fielding a ball. Artist Lisa Schirmer stands on the left. Photo courtesy of Bill Swank.
Local baseball expert Bill Swank shows his book Echoes from Lane Field, which recounts the early years of San Diego baseball and the Padres.
Local baseball expert Bill Swank shows his book Echoes from Lane Field, which recounts the early years of San Diego baseball and the Padres.
The banner depicting pitcher Eddie Erautt is based on one of these old baseball photos.
The banner depicting pitcher Eddie Erautt is based on one of these old baseball photos.
On the center banner, Eddie Erautt pitches the ball.
On the colorful center banner, Eddie Erautt winds up to pitch the ball.
The wind adds life to a wonderful baseball memory. Ted Williams is taking his classic swing.
The wind plays with a baseball memory. Ted Williams seems to come alive as he takes his classic swing.
Action photo of Ted Williams used by Lisa Schirmer in one windglyph. Photographer: Heber Epperson. Courtesy of Autumn Durst Keltner.
Action photo of Ted Williams used by Lisa Schirmer in one windglyph. Photographer: Heber Epperson. Courtesy of Autumn Durst Keltner.
Baseball memories take flight in the San Diego sky at Lane Field Park!
Baseball memories take flight in the San Diego sky at Lane Field 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!

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!