Artists add life to the Ocean Beach Street Fair!

Peace. Love. Art. OB.
Peace. Love. Art. OB.

Late this morning I went to the annual Ocean Beach Street Fair. As usual there was lots of live music, tons of yummy food, endless smiles, and a whole bunch of friendly artists creating amazing art.

Here is just a little of what I saw…

Someone tries their hand at creating with chalk during the Ocean Beach Street Fair. I Love Art.
Someone tries their hand at creating with chalk during the Ocean Beach Street Fair. At the center, I Love Art.
A large Artists' Alley was full of life and energy.
A large Artists’ Alley was full of life and energy.
One artist was painting while people looked at her colorful canvases.
One artist was painting while people looked at her colorful canvases.
This artist was just getting started. All art begins with an empty space that is full of infinite potential.
This artist was just getting started. All art begins with an empty space that is full of infinite potential.
Many different musical artists entertained the crowd at the OB Street Fair. This band could be heard at the Wonderland Stage.
Many different musical artists entertained the crowd at the OB Street Fair. This rollicking band could be heard at the Wonderland Stage.
Meanwhile, another keg of beer is arriving in an alley by the Kilowatt Ocean Beach mural.
Meanwhile, another keg of beer is arriving in an alley by the Kilowatt Ocean Beach mural.
Kids enjoyed a bounce house that featured comic book art.
Kids enjoyed a bounce house that featured comic book art.
This bubble blower guy is an artist. He creates shimmering joy.
This bubble blower guy is an artist. Right? He creates shimmering joy.
Another artist at the Ocean Beach Street Fair concentrates on her work.
Another artist at the Ocean Beach Street Fair concentrates on her work.
One guy in Artists' Alley had a bunch of cool robot artwork for sale.
One guy in Artists’ Alley had a bunch of cool robot artwork for sale.
Kids were learning how to make music, and were entertaining the crowd like rock 'n roll superstars!
Kids were learning how to make music, and were entertaining the crowd like rock ‘n roll superstars!
Some surfers pass fun public art on Newport Avenue. They hear music coming from the main stage by the beach.
Some surfers pass fun public art on Newport Avenue. They hear music coming from the main stage by the beach.
These skateboarders hear it, too.
These skateboarders hear it, too.
A band pleases the OB crowd.
A band pleases the OB crowd.
Others were happy to just sit by the sand and gaze out at the ocean.
Others were happy to just sit by the sand and gaze out at the beautiful ocean. The sun finally came out.
A local photographer was showing off his art to those passing by.
A local photographer was showing off his art to those passing by.
Members of the Ocean Beach community (or anyone) could paint a square of a new community mural.
Members of the Ocean Beach community (or anyone at all) could paint a square of a new community mural.
A number of colorful squares have already been painted!
A number of colorful squares have already been painted!
Love of life and love of art combine at the Ocean Beach Street Fair!
Love of life and love of art combine at the always wonderful Ocean Beach Street Fair!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Magic, wonder and warmth near the water.

Eyes gaze with wonder across the water.
Eyes gaze with wonder across the water.

Late this afternoon I walked along the Embarcadero. People were out and about, strolling, lingering by the water. My camera found magic, wonder and warmth.

Doing a bit of work on a boat in Marriott Marina.
Doing a bit of work on a boat in Marriott Marina.
Strolling along San Diego's waterfront on a warm late Friday afternoon.
Strolling along San Diego’s waterfront on a warm late Friday afternoon.
A pedicab driver relaxes while awaiting some business.
A pedicab driver relaxes while awaiting some business.
Something interesting must be down in the water.
Something interesting must be down in the water.
Three friends walk along the Embarcadero.
Three friends walk along the Embarcadero.
Two friends share a moment.
Two friends share a moment.
On green grass, under a green tree.
On green grass, under a green tree.
Silver light and a dreamlike sailboat on the magical water.
Silver light and a dreamlike sailboat.

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!

Bright green leaves form patterns of beauty.

Here are some amazing photos that I captured today at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. During my slow walk into the Lower Garden, I halted beneath a tree and looked up at the leaves. Sunshine was beaming through, illuminating the many layers of green.

The complex patterns of leaves appear to me like swirling three-dimensional fractals. The patterns are strangely magical. They are beautiful.

Later in the afternoon, I ventured over to the International Cottages and enjoyed some colorful Philippine folk dancing. You can see those joyful photos on my special Beautiful Balboa Park blog by clicking 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!

To read a few short stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Do you enjoy beautiful things? Please visit my other photography blog, which I’ve named A Small World Full of Beauty.

A look inside the Blacksmith Shop in Old Town.

A blacksmith shapes red hot iron at a forge in San Diego's historic Old Town.
A blacksmith shapes red hot iron at a forge in San Diego’s historic Old Town.

Yesterday I lingered for a few minutes at the Blacksmith Shop in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Two forges were operating. I watched as hammers swung, making sparks fly. It was fascinating to learn about blacksmithing and its vital role in San Diego’s history.

I chatted for a bit with one of the friendly gentlemen working in the Blacksmith Shop. These days the shop is used by highly skilled hobbyists to make all sorts of ornamental and useful metal items. They’ve made objects used for display elsewhere in the State Park. They make everything but horseshoes–and that’s because none of them know how to shoe a horse!

I learned that in 19th century San Diego there were several blacksmiths; this shop now in Old Town was probably located a bit to the east, on the outskirts of town (near today’s Presidio Hills Golf Course) because of the fire danger it presented to other buildings. No blacksmith shop back then would have been as large as the one visitors see today. A blacksmith would most likely do their work in the corner of a livery stable, using one modest forge.

Please read the photo captions to learn more!

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park's Blacksmith Shop and Wood Shop at the site of the Blackhawk Livery Stables, circa 1850-1871.
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park’s Blacksmith Shop and Wood Shop at the site of the Blackhawk Livery Stables, circa 1850-1871.
Visitors to Old Town learn a little about life in San Diego during the mid 1800s. Blacksmiths created assorted metal objects, made repairs and shoed horses.
Visitors to Old Town learn a little about life in San Diego during the mid 1800s. Blacksmiths created assorted metal objects, made repairs and shoed horses.
This friendly blacksmith provided lots of fascinating information. Visitors watch with interest as he works to create a pot holder.
This friendly blacksmith provided lots of fascinating information. Visitors watch with interest as he works to create a pot holder.
I learned that in early San Diego blacksmiths typically burned charcoal in their forge, as coal was usually of poor quality and difficult to obtain in Southern California.
I learned that in early San Diego blacksmiths typically burned charcoal in their forge, as coal was usually of poor quality and difficult to obtain in Southern California.
A huge bellows provides oxygen for this furnace. A good working temperature is about 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.
A huge bellows provides oxygen for this brick furnace. A good working temperature is about 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.
Products that were fashioned include grills, traps, candle holders, fish roasters, knives, shovels, chains, hinges, nails, cooking ladles and horseshoes.
Products that were fashioned include iron grills, traps, candle holders, fish roasters, knives, shovels, chains, hinges, nails, cooking ladles and horseshoes.
Hammers, bars, wrenches and various blacksmithing tools hang from the rear wall, in addition to harnesses and other items one might find in a livery stable.
Hammers, bars, wrenches and various blacksmithing tools hang from the rear wall, in addition to harnesses and other items one might find in a livery stable.
The gentleman showed me some devices used to suspend pots over a fire. Everything on this wall was made by local members of blacksmithing clubs and organizations.
The gentleman showed me some devices used to suspend pots over a fire. Everything on this wall was made by local members of blacksmithing clubs and organizations.
A shiny anvil.
A shiny anvil.
This wide grassy area behind nearby Seeley Stable was once used for anvil shoots. Gunpowder was placed in a hollow indentation between two anvils and ignited, sending one anvil high into the air with a loud bang! Anvils that did not shatter were considered sound.
This wide grassy area behind nearby Seeley Stable was once used for anvil shoots. Gunpowder was placed in a hollow indentation between two anvils and ignited, sending one anvil high into the air with a loud bang! Anvils that did not shatter were considered sound.
Old Town visitor tries on a Spanish conquistador helmet made in the Blacksmith Shop.
Old Town visitor tries on a Spanish conquistador helmet made in the Blacksmith Shop.
A heavy anchor chain is shown. The welds must be as strong as the iron links.
A heavy anchor chain is shown. The welds must be as strong as the iron links themselves.
A look back at history. Skilled artisans used muscle, fire and sweat to make everyday life easier for the early residents of San Diego.
A photo of living history. Skilled artisans used muscle, fire, metal and sweat to make everyday life easier for the early residents of San Diego.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Mormon Battalion celebrates Flag Day in Old Town.

Mormon Battalion flag flies during a special event in Old Town San Diego.
Mormon Battalion flag flies during a special event in Old Town San Diego.

I was invited to a unique event that took place yesterday. A special Flag Day Ceremony was held at the Mormon Battalion Historic Site in San Diego’s Old Town. The event remembered World War I and saluted all American veterans.

During the ceremony five veterans from different military services were made honorary members of the Mormon Battalion. A cake was cut with a military saber and an American flag that has been flown over the U.S. Capital and over Fort Leavenworth (where the historic Mormon Battalion originated) was raised.

The patriotic ceremony was organized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members composed the Mormon Battalion, the only religiously based unit in United States military history. Commanded by regular U.S. Army officers, members of the battalion marched almost 2,000 miles from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to San Diego, California to help secure the region during the Mexican–American War. Much of the difficult march was over mountains and through desert. They saw no fighting.

I have noticed that Mormons treasure liberty–religious freedom in particular. I’m not a Mormon–very far from it–but I do happen to be a strong believer in personal liberty. That’s because I’m a writer. Also, as a child I traveled with my family behind the Iron Curtain twice. I have briefly seen how dark life is without liberty.

A friendly Mormon lady in pioneer dress welcomes guests to the Flag Day Celebration.
A friendly Mormon lady in pioneer dress welcomes guests to the Flag Day Celebration.
This 2017 celebration of Flag Day honored veterans who served with distinction.
This 2017 celebration of Flag Day honored veterans who served with distinction.
Guests are welcomed by Director of the San Diego Mormon Battalion Historic Site, Elder Michael Hemingway.
Guests are welcomed by Director of the San Diego Mormon Battalion Historic Site, Elder Michael Hemingway.
The United States flag is posted after the National Anthem.
The United States flag is posted after the National Anthem.
Folding of the flag. Each of the thirteen folds is invested with a special meaning.
Folding of the flag. Each of the thirteen folds is invested with a special meaning.
Four American veterans on stage are honored and made honorary members of the Mormon Battalion.
Four American veterans on stage are applauded and made honorary members of the Mormon Battalion.
Keynote speaker General Bruce Carlson, USAF, Ret. talks about liberty. He is also made an honorary member of the Mormon Battalion.
Keynote speaker General Bruce Carlson, USAF, Ret. talks about liberty. He is also made an honorary member of the Mormon Battalion.
Many voices sing God Bless America.
Many voices sing God Bless America.
Young members of Marine Band San Diego after the ceremony.
Young members of Marine Band San Diego after the ceremony.
The United States Marine Corps bus contains an image of the flag being raised during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
The United States Marine Corps bus contains an image of the flag being raised during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Pageantry and remembrance at a Flag Day Ceremony in Old Town San Diego.
Pageantry and remembrance at a Flag Day Ceremony in Old Town San Diego.

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!

Balboa Park’s magic reveals life and wonder.

The facade of the Casa del Prado is just one of many wonders in Balboa Park.
The facade of the Casa del Prado is just one of many wonders in Balboa Park.

Balboa Park is one of the most magical places in the world. Spells are cast, revealing life and wonder.

Please enjoy a few photos.

Another beautiful day in the park. The California Tower rises in the distance.
Another magical day in the park. The California Tower rises in the distance.
Spirits are lifted by the Woman of Tehuantepec in the courtyard of the House of Hospitality.
Spirits are lifted by the Woman of Tehuantepec in the courtyard of the House of Hospitality.
Ranger Kim relates the history of Balboa Park to a tour group. They stand by the original Administration Building, which was the first building constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Ranger Kim relates the history of Balboa Park to a tour group. They stand by the original Administration Building, which was the first building erected for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Ranger Kim talks about the historic Botanical Building and its rich collection of beautiful flowers and plants.
Ranger Kim talks about the historic Botanical Building and its rich collection of beautiful flowers and plants.
A wicker Electriquette follows walkers in the park.
A wicker Electriquette slowly moves through the wonderful park.
Daisy Girl Scouts plant new flowers by the reflecting pool.
Daisy Girl Scouts plant living flowers by the reflecting pool.
Photo from the Alcazar Garden of the House of Charm's tower.
Photo from the Alcazar Garden of the House of Charm’s tower.
Learning to tap dance at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Learning to tap dance at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Three friends together at Nate's Point Dog Park.
Three life friends together at Nate’s Point Dog Park.
A short but happy excursion on the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad.
A short but magical excursion on the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad.
A view across El Prado of the San Diego Natural History Museum.
A view across El Prado of the San Diego Natural History Museum.
The splashing Bea Evenson Fountain in the Plaza de Balboa attracts young and old.
The splashing Bea Evenson Fountain in the Plaza de Balboa attracts young and old.
Gazing from a balcony of the House of Hospitality down at the Plaza de Panama and the San Diego Museum of Art.
Gazing from a balcony of the House of Hospitality down at the life-filled Plaza de Panama and the San Diego Museum of Art.
Bicycles along El Prado.
Bicycles and sunshine along El Prado.
Big Slim plays guitar by the Casa del Prado.
Big Slim plays guitar by the Casa del Prado.
A musician strums in Spanish Village.
A musician strums in Spanish Village.
A magic trick produces many smiles.
A magic trick produces many smiles.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

Photos of Family Day at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.

Someone walks toward the Nature Center on Tecolote Family Day.
Someone walks toward the Nature Center on Tecolote Family Day.

Today I headed over to Tecolote Canyon Natural Park. While I frequently drive around this narrow San Diego city park, which serves as a nature preserve inside Tecolote Canyon east of Mission Bay, I’ve never taken a single step inside. When I saw that an event called Family Day would be happening today, I decided to pay a visit!

What did I discover? Read the photo captions to find out!

Sign near entrance of the Nature Center provides info about Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.
A sign near entrance to the Nature Center provides information about Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.
A narrow strip of natural habitat preserved in San Diego. Tecolote Canyon features hiking trails and a refuge for wildlife.
A narrow strip of natural habitat preserved in San Diego. Tecolote Canyon features hiking trails and a refuge for wildlife.
Sign inside the Tecolote Nature Center. The park was originally dedicated in 1977. Houses, yards and streets surround this area where the native environment still survives.
Sign inside the Tecolote Nature Center. The park was originally dedicated in 1977. Houses, yards and streets surround this area where the native environment still survives.
Many interpretive displays can be found in the Nature Center. The coyote is Tecolote Canyon's largest predator.
Many interpretive displays can be found in the Nature Center. The coyote is Tecolote Canyon’s largest predator.
One sign describes San Diego's Coastal Sage Scrub habitat, which is found in a small part of the world, along the coast of Southern California into Mexico.
One sign describes San Diego’s Coastal Sage Scrub habitat, which is found in a small part of the world, along the coast of Southern California into Mexico.
The Brown Towhee is one of many birds one might spot in the canyon.
The Brown Towhee is one of many birds one might spot in the canyon.
Along Tecolote Creek lies the Riparian Woodland habitat. Water attracts animals from the dry hills, and native trees like willows, cottonwoods and sycamores grow on the creek's banks.
Along Tecolote Creek lies the Riparian Woodland habitat. Water attracts animals from the dry hills, and native trees like willows, cottonwoods and sycamores grow near the creek’s banks.
One of the displays shows Lemonadeberry (a common chaparral shrub in San Diego), Fuchsia Flowered Gooseberry, and a California Thrasher.
One of the displays shows Lemonadeberry (a common chaparral shrub in San Diego), Fuchsia Flowered Gooseberry, and a California Thrasher.
A topographical representation of Tecolote Canyon, which you can see directly below Mission Bay. Up is west, right is north.
A topographical representation of curving Tecolote Canyon, which you can see directly below Mission Bay. Up is west, right is north.
Many of the plants and animals now in Tecolote Canyon are the same as those here 200 years ago. Golden eagles and mountain lions, however, have vanished because this natural space is limited in size.
Many of the plants and animals now in Tecolote Canyon are the same as those here 200 years ago. Golden eagles and mountain lions, however, have vanished because this natural space is too limited in size.
Families enjoy a special day to learn about the environment. It's Tecolote Family Day! There were lots of educational displays and activities at the Nature Center.
Families enjoy a special day and learn about the canyon’s environment. It’s Tecolote Family Day! There were lots of educational displays and activities at the Nature Center.
Special events at Tecolote Family Day included a scavenger hunt for kids, art, music, dance and a silent auction.
Activities at Tecolote Family Day included a scavenger hunt for kids, art, music, dance and a silent auction.
Inside the Nature Center, one table had lots of displays concerning insects! Another one had snakes.
Inside the Nature Center, one table had lots of displays concerning insects! Another one had snakes.
At another table I was shown a coyote skull.
At another table I was shown a coyote skull.
I believe these beautiful poppy paintings were part of the silent auction.
I believe these beautiful poppy paintings were part of the silent auction.
A friendly parrot was at a booth promoting Zovargo, a local company which offers animal summer camps for kids.
A friendly parrot was at a booth promoting Zovargo, a local business that offers animal summer camps for kids.
These kids were dancing to a fun song about pollination!
These kids were dancing to a fun song about pollination!
Nearby I discovered the Tecolote Native Plant Nursery.
Nearby I discovered the Tecolote Native Plant Nursery.
Work is ongoing to take back the native habitat from invading plant species.
Work is ongoing to take back the native habitat from invading plant species.
I saw some signs about the importance of composting. It enhances soil and protects watersheds.
I saw some signs about the importance of composting. It enhances soil and protects watersheds.
Behind the Nature Center, near an amphitheater and native garden, I saw this e'waa, a simple willow branch structure built by the Native American Kumeyaay.
Behind the Nature Center, near an amphitheater and native garden, I saw this example of an e’waa, a simple willow branch structure built by the Native American Kumeyaay.
A sign depicts the Tecolote Watershed. Pollutants can flow down the creek and enter the soil, Mission Bay and eventually the Pacific Ocean.
A sign depicts the Tecolote Watershed. Pollutants can flow down the creek and enter the soil, Mission Bay and eventually the Pacific Ocean.
Several signs can be found around a small native garden. This one, Aromas of the Canyon, depicts Black Sage, White Sage and California Sagebrush.
Several signs can be found around the small native garden. This one, Aromas of the Canyon, depicts Black Sage, White Sage and California Sagebrush.
On the way to the hiking trail that leads into Tecolote Canyon, one might spot this owl!
On the way to the hiking trail that leads into Tecolote Canyon, one might spot this owl!
Hikers read the sign at the Battle Trail trailhead.
Hikers read the sign at the Battle Trail trailhead.
Welcome to the Battle Trail - Nature's haven in the city.
Welcome to the Battle Trail – Nature’s haven in the city.
I start up the easy trail. The vegetation in Tecolote Canyon is still green in late spring, after a very rainy winter.
I start up the easy trail. The vegetation in Tecolote Canyon is still green in late spring, after a very rainy winter.
This lush greenery will soon dry out in the Southern California summer and turn mostly brown.
This lush greenery will soon dry out in the Southern California summer and turn mostly brown.
I am greeted by cheerful yellow sunflowers.
I am greeted by cheerful yellow sunflowers.
I believe this house on a post is for bats. I've seen similar boxes in other open space parks around San Diego.
I believe this house on a post is for bats. I’ve seen similar boxes in other open space parks around San Diego.
A family heads into Tecolote Canyon to explore nature.
A family heads into Tecolote Canyon to explore nature.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!