A colorful spring walk around Coronado.

Looking across San Diego Bay toward downtown from Coronado's beautiful Centennial Park.
Looking across San Diego Bay toward downtown.  A spectacular view from Coronado’s beautiful Centennial Park.

Spring will soon become summer. I had to wear shorts for my long walk around Coronado today. A very warm sun was shining and the island was abloom.

Walking west through Centennial Park. Flags line the pathway for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
Walking west through Centennial Park. Flags line the pathway for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
Gazing from a sheltered area with benches across green grass. The skyline of downtown San Diego rises in the background.
Gazing from a sheltered area with benches across the green grass. The skyline of downtown San Diego rises in the background.
Words on one bench. Don't be afraid to lean into the wind, love the earth in all of its glories, and take care of each other.
Words on one bench. Don’t be afraid to lean into the wind, love the earth in all of its glories, and take care of each other.
Gazing north along the bayside beach toward Navy ships docked at North Island.
Gazing north along the bayside beach toward Navy ships docked at North Island.
Roses bloom near the old ticket booth of the original Coronado ferry.
Roses bloom near the old ticket booth of the original Coronado ferry.
A spring bloom in Coronado.
A spring bloom in Coronado.
Some patriotic art on a wall by the Little Club on Orange Avenue.
Some patriotic art on a wall by the Little Club on Orange Avenue.
Walking west along Orange Avenue. Coronado is pleasant, friendly and inviting wherever you roam.
Walking west along Orange Avenue. Coronado is pleasant, friendly and inviting wherever you roam.
Bench near the front of the Coronado Public Library.
Bench near the front of the Coronado Public Library.
Plaque on the bench. In memory of June Lenz, founder of Crown Garden Club, whose legacy was to encourage the love of flowers and the beautification of Coronado.
Plaque on the bench. In memory of June Lenz, founder of Crown Garden Club, whose legacy was to encourage the love of flowers and the beautification of Coronado.
Flowers in front of the stately but welcoming Coronado Public Library.
Flowers in front of the stately but welcoming Coronado Public Library.
The big Torrey Pine on the left of this photograph is a Coronado Heritage Tree.
The big Torrey Pine on the left side of this photograph is a Coronado Heritage Tree.
Flags by the library fly proudly on a spring day.
Flags by the library fly proudly on a spring day.
A plaque on a boulder by the flagpole. The Stockdale Tribute. Vice Admiral Stockdale and his wife Sybil were distinguished Coronado residents.
A plaque on a boulder by the flagpole. The Stockdale Tribute. Vice Admiral Stockdale and his wife Sybil were distinguished Coronado residents.
A shining, kinetic sculpture by the library turns in the breeze.
A shining, kinetic sculpture by the library turns in the breeze.
A flower vendor brightens Orange Avenue.
A flower vendor brightens Orange Avenue.
A life-size Marilyn Monroe by an Orange Avenue shop in her iconic pose. She starred in the classic movie Some Like It Hot, which was filmed at the nearby Hotel del Coronado.
This life-size Marilyn Monroe by an Orange Avenue shop is in her iconic pose. The famous actress starred in the movie Some Like It Hot, which was filmed at the nearby Hotel del Coronado.
Flowers along fence of a pleasant house in affluent Coronado.
Flowers along fence of a pleasant house in affluent Coronado.
Looking out across the wide beach toward Point Loma and the Pacific Ocean.
Looking out across the wide beach toward the Point Loma peninsula and the Pacific Ocean.
On the beachfront, at 1043 Ocean Boulevard, you'll find one of two historic Spreckels Mansions--his "beach house". John D. Spreckels' more impressive "bay-side house" is now the Glorietta Bay Inn, across from the Hotel del Coronado. The successful and very wealthy businessman helped to transform San Diego into a bustling city and center of commerce. One of his business ventures included the world-famous Hotel del Coronado.
A peek at John D. Spreckels’ “beach house” on Coronado.

On the beachfront, at 1043 Ocean Boulevard, you’ll find one of two historic Spreckels Mansions: his “beach house”. John D. Spreckels’ more impressive “bay-side house” is now the Glorietta Bay Inn, across from the Hotel del Coronado. The successful and very wealthy businessman helped to transform San Diego into a bustling city and center of commerce. One of his business ventures included the world-famous Hotel del Coronado.

Concrete sidewalk in front of the Spreckels "beach house" is stamped 1898.
Concrete sidewalk in front of the Spreckels “beach house” is stamped 1898.
Heading south along the beach toward the Hotel del Coronado, one of the world's finest, most famous resorts.
Heading south along the beach toward the Hotel del Coronado, one of the world’s finest resorts.
Coronado has one of the best beaches in the United States. It is regularly rated in the nation's top five.
Coronado has one of the best beaches in the United States. It is regularly rated in the nation’s top five.
Hotel guests and visitors enjoy the San Diego sunshine on a broad white beach.
Hotel guests and visitors enjoy the San Diego sunshine on a broad white beach.
This cool sand sculpture was built near the Hotel del Coronado by The Sandcastle Man!
This cool sand sculpture was built near the Hotel del Coronado by The Sandcastle Man!
The Hotel del Coronado is an architectural gem. Numerous world leaders, dignitaries and celebrities have stayed at the resort over the years.
The Hotel del Coronado is an architectural gem. Numerous world leaders, dignitaries and celebrities have stayed at the resort over the years.
Sign by the beach. Hotel del Coronado continues to safeguard this magnificent stretch of Southern California coastline.
Sign by the beach. Hotel del Coronado continues to safeguard this magnificent stretch of Southern California coastline.
This is paradise.
This is paradise.
Biking down toward the Coronado Shores.
Biking down toward the Coronado Shores.
Old and new maps of Coronado Island on a portable restroom.
Old and new maps of Coronado Island on a portable restroom.
The Hotel del Coronado's old boathouse, on Glorietta Bay, built in 1887. It's now home to the Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill.
The Hotel del Coronado’s old boathouse, on Glorietta Bay, built in 1887. It’s now home to the Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill.
Bicyclists ride down Glorietta Boulevard, part of the Bayshore Bikeway around San Diego Bay.
Bicyclists ride down Glorietta Boulevard, part of the Bayshore Bikeway around San Diego Bay.
Golfers enjoy a sunny spring Saturday at the Coronado Municipal Golf Course.
Golfers enjoy a sunny spring Saturday at the Coronado Municipal Golf Course.
Photo taken beneath the San Diego- Coronado Bridge, which opened in 1969. Locals often call it the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Photo taken beneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, which opened in 1969. Locals often call it the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Boats moored between Coronado and the bridge. San Diego's shipyards can be glimpsed on the other side of the bay.
Boats moored between Coronado and the bridge. San Diego’s shipyards can be glimpsed on the other side of the bay.
Colorful boats piled on the sand near Coronado Tidelands Park.
Colorful boats piled on the sand near Coronado Tidelands Park.
A silly bench by the playground at Coronado Tidelands Park, created by sculptor Douglas Snider of Studio 15 in Balboa Park's Spanish Village Art Center.
A silly bench by the playground at Coronado Tidelands Park, created by sculptor Douglas Snider of Studio 15 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.
I believe this fellow down by the water is a great blue heron.
I believe this fellow down by the water is a great blue heron.
My walk will soon come full circle. What a perfect spring day.
My walk will soon come full circle. What a perfect late spring day.

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The strange, wonderful beauty of nautical ropes.

Late this afternoon I discovered strange and wonderful beauty.

As I relaxed on a comfortable wooden bench on the poop deck of the Star of India, enjoying the sea breeze and sunlit bay, my eyes were drawn to the riot of ropes that were coiled, knotted, stretched and dangling all about the deck, in every direction. How strangely beautiful they appeared.

I took a few photos.

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!

A few San Diego Bike to Work Day photos!

Someone rides a bicycle along B Street during San Diego's Bike to Work Day.
Someone rides a bicycle along B Street during San Diego’s Bike to Work Day.

This morning, on my way to catch the trolley downtown, I saw lots of people heading to work by bicycle. Today was Bike to Work Day in San Diego!

I snapped a few photos just for the fun of it. I also took a photo of a cool map showing designated places to bike in San Diego’s downtown and uptown areas. Make copies of it for your own use if you’d like!

The Donut Bar had a Bike to Work Day pit stop in downtown San Diego. Many morning riders swung on by.
The Donut Bar had a Bike to Work Day pit stop in downtown San Diego. Many morning riders swung on by.
There were tables full of goodies for those who commuted to work by bike.
There were tables full of goodies for those who commuted to work by bike.
Another pit stop at Civic Center Plaza. The City of San Diego has a special program that encourages bicycling.
Another pit stop at Civic Center Plaza. The City of San Diego has a special program that encourages bicycling.
A map of the San Diego downtown and uptown bike loop. (Click image to enlarge.)
A map of the San Diego downtown and uptown bike loop. (Click image to enlarge.)
Even a blogger who is more into walking received big smiles!
Even a blogger who is more into walking received big 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!

Photos from a short hike through Sweetwater Marsh.

A group begins a nature hike down a trail at San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
A group begins an easy nature hike down a trail at San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

On Saturday I visited Gunpowder Point, just south of where the Sweetwater River empties into San Diego Bay. The marshy area is a wildlife refuge. It’s part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, to be exact, and home of the popular Living Coast Discovery Center.

After visiting the Living Coast Discovery Center, I enjoyed a guided nature hike down a short trail through the Sweetwater Marsh.

I was pleasantly surprised by the bare natural beauty. I didn’t see a whole lot of wildlife during this visit, but I know our region’s marshes and estuaries are often teeming with birds. San Diego is part of the Pacific Flyway, a major route of migratory birds that stretches from Alaska to South America.

A map inside the nearby Living Coast Discovery Center show the location of the Sweetwater River and the marsh where it enters San Diego Bay.
A map inside the nearby Living Coast Discovery Center shows the location of the Sweetwater River and the marsh where it enters San Diego Bay.
Hiking through Chula Vista's protected Sweetwater Marsh on a sunny day. It's mid-May and the once green and flowering plants have begun to dry out.
Hiking through Chula Vista’s protected Sweetwater Marsh on a sunny day. It’s mid-May and the once green and flowering plants have begun to dry out.  In this photo I see some prickly pear cactus.  During the hike I also recognized black sage and coastal sagebrush.
Our guide shows us saltbush. It is adapted to the type of salty soil in this marsh on San Diego Bay. Its leaves taste salty!
Our guide shows us saltbush. It is adapted to the type of salty soil in this coastal marsh. Its leaves taste salty!
Sign by the trail. This area is called Gunpowder Point. During World War I, Hercules Powder Co. extracted potash and acetone here from kelp harvested offshore in the Pacific Ocean. These were used to make cordite, or smokeless gunpowder for the British.
Sign by the trail. This area is called Gunpowder Point. During World War I, Hercules Powder Co. extracted potash and acetone here from kelp harvested offshore in the Pacific Ocean. These were used to make cordite, also called smokeless gunpowder, for the British.
A sail on the bay beyond a drying field of San Diego Sunflowers.
A sail on the bay beyond a drying field of San Diego Sunflowers.
The short, easy hike is ideal for families.
The short, easy hike is ideal for families.
Some sunflowers are still yellow.
Some sunflowers are still yellow.
The San Diego Sunflower, or Bahiopsis laciniata, is often found in a coastal sage scrub environment.
The San Diego Sunflower, or Bahiopsis laciniata, is often found in a coastal sage scrub environment.
The Silver Strand and Coronado Cays can be seen across San Diego Bay.
The Silver Strand and Coronado Cays can be seen across San Diego Bay.
We've arrived at the wildlife reserve's narrow sandy shore. Birds could be seen here and there in the distance.
We’ve arrived at the wildlife refuge’s narrow sandy shore. Birds could be seen here and there in the distance.
As the group continues on, I linger to take in the sunshine and wide views. I notice what appears to be remnants of the potash manufacturing operation from years ago.
As the group continues on, I linger to take in the sunshine and wide views. I notice what appears to be remnants of the potash manufacturing operation from years ago. Some benches allow rest and meditation.
Stones and debris on a beach in the wildlife refuge.
Stones and debris on a beach in the wildlife refuge.
Some mysterious (to me) concrete ruins on Gunpowder Point.
Some mysterious (to me) concrete ruins on Gunpowder Point.
I arrived at a bird observation lookout. All was very quiet. I saw a California least tern hunting small fish along the water's edge. Few people seem to come out here.
I arrived at a bird observation structure. All was very quiet. I saw a California least tern hunting small fish along the water’s edge. Few people seem to come out here.
Depending on the tide, the area near the shore can be open water or a mudflat that supports shorebirds searching for food.
Depending on the tide, the area near the shore can be open water or a mudflat that supports shorebirds searching for food.
Bird's beaks are specially designed for feeding. Some beaks filter plants from the water, some grab flies out of the air, and some probe the mud.
Bird’s beaks are specially designed for feeding. Some beaks filter plants from the water, some grab flies out of the air, and some probe the mud.
The tide must have been out, because this platform stood above a drying mudflat.
The tide must have been out, because this platform stood above a drying mudflat.  I believe that might be bright green eelgrass in the shallow pool of water.
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, or crystalline ice plant, is salt tolerant. My hike through the marsh produced some beautiful surprises.
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, or crystalline ice plant, is salt tolerant. My hike through the marsh produced some beautiful surprises.
Hiking through an expanse of green in San Diego's South Bay.
Hiking through an expanse of green in San Diego’s South Bay.

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A short hike along Lake Poway Trail.

Bronze sculpture of a mountain lion and cub near the Lake Poway concession building. Pride of the Wilderness, Richard Becker, 2007.
Bronze sculpture of a mountain lion and cub near the Lake Poway concession building. Pride of the Wilderness, Richard Becker, 2007.

This morning, before checking out the new Tony Gwynn statue, I took a short hike up the Lake Poway Trail.

Here are some photographs…

Sign near beginning of Lake Poway Trail shows how to continue on to the summit of Mt. Woodson, location of the famous Potato Chip Rock.
Sign near beginning of Lake Poway Trail shows how to continue on to the summit of Mt. Woodson, location of the famous Potato Chip Rock.
On a Sunday morning some people along the shore are trying their hand at fishing.
On a Sunday morning some people along the shore are trying their hand at fishing.
Starting up the Lake Poway Trail. The natural scenery is beautiful.
Starting up the Lake Poway Trail. The natural scenery is beautiful.
A trail marker.
A trail marker.
I believe this is wild mustard. Various flowers could be seen along the trail.
I believe this is wild mustard. Various flowers could be seen along the trail.
Bright green foliage above silver water.
Bright green foliage above silver water.
Hikers climb the Lake Poway Trail on an overcast weekend morning.
Hikers climb the Lake Poway Trail on an overcast weekend morning.
Looking back at how far I've come so far.
Looking back at how far I’ve come so far.
Several boats containing fishermen were floating on the lake below.
Several boats containing fishermen were floating on the lake below.
More hikers climbing skyward.
More hikers climbing skyward.
This is as far as I came. I enjoy a breathtaking view as a ray of sun comes through and touches a hill.
This is as far as I came. I enjoy a breathtaking view as a ray of sunshine comes through and touches a hill across the lake.
As I head back down, my eyes feast on more beauty.
As I head back down, my eyes feast on more beauty.
A small bunny is out on the trail.
A small bunny is out on the trail.
Almost back to lake level.
Almost back to lake level.
Some kids were fishing.
Some kids were fishing.
These kids who are fishing huddle together to check out something on the lake's shore.
These kids who are fishing huddle together to check out something on the lake’s shore.
Someone caught a huge fish! One of the kids runs over to see!
Someone caught a huge fish! One of the kids runs over to see!
During my short hike I turned around at this bench. It's dedicated to John Finley McMinn, naval aviator who won the Distinguished Flying Cross.
During my short hike I turned around at this bench. It’s dedicated to John Finley McMinn, naval aviator who won the Distinguished Flying Cross.

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!

Caterpillar walks on crab beneath birds!

Bronze birds near entrance of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge and regional complex headquarters in Chula Vista.
Bronze birds near entrance of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge and regional complex headquarters in Chula Vista.

Having some fun!

Today I visited the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge and Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista. I should have a couple blog posts coming up with lots of photos.

First, here’s a fearless caterpillar that I spotted walking on a crab under some birds. The crab and bronze shorebirds are artwork in front of the wildlife refuge headquarters! The visiting caterpillar is a resident of the surrounding marsh. Perhaps it’s an art lover!

I searched the internet for a few minutes, trying to identify this particular fuzzy caterpillar. No success. Leave a comment if you know!

The representation of a crab underneath the bronze shorebirds is being visited by a living creature.
An inanimate crab beneath the bronze shorebirds is being visited by a living creature.
A fuzzy caterpillar makes its way over the crab.
A fuzzy caterpillar makes its way over the crab.
Wildlife living in the Sweetwater Marsh meets art.
Wildlife living in the Sweetwater Marsh meets art.

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!

Rain creates magic in a very special garden.

Raindrops on leaves at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.
Raindrops on leaves at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

During today’s spring rain, the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park shined with magic. Every leaf was enchanted. Every part of the garden was blessed with a profound and mysterious beauty.

Rain nourishes life: every life.

A spring storm creates unexpected beauty.
A spring storm creates unexpected natural beauty.
Wet, bright green leaves.
Wet, very bright green leaves.
Budding spheres of red magic open mysteriously.
Budding spheres of red.  Like magic they open mysteriously.
Water in the grooves of a beautifully marbled stone by the garden path.
Water in the grooves of a beautifully marbled stone by the garden path.
Droplets on a fern, like a curtain of beaded diamonds.
Droplets shining on a fern, like a curtain of beaded diamonds.
Sunlight through magical layers of green.
Sunlight through dreamy, magical layers of green.
More simple beauty at the always wonderful Japanese Friendship Garden.
Simple beauty at the always wonderful Japanese Friendship Garden.
Fragile blooms encrusted with crystal-like rain.
Fragile blooms encrusted with crystal-like rain.
Smooth forms of beaded water on a sloping leaf.
Smooth forms of beaded water on a sloping leaf.
One photograph of beauty in a special garden, on a rainy day in San Diego.
Another photograph of beauty in a special garden, on a rainy May day in 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!

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