Beautiful views at Sea Cliff Park in Del Mar.

A small pocket park by the ocean in Del Mar provides visitors with very beautiful views.

Sea Cliff Park is located immediately south of Powerhouse Park, and west of Seagrove Park, which is situated on the bluffs above it.

The unmarked entrance to Sea Cliff Park is a swinging gate. It leads from Powerhouse Park to a dirt path and a small, easy walking loop. The gate is just south of what Google Maps calls the Powerhouse Playground.

The drought tolerant vegetation of Sea Cliff Park is native to our coastal region. I discovered several plaques as I walked about, taking in the scenery. Two plaques were dedicated to loved ones.

I walked the short distance south to where the main path ascends to the railroad tracks. Then I turned back.

Surfers were out on the cloudy late November day. Looking down at the beach from the bluffs, I saw tide pools! I’ll have to explore them some day…

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Amazing poinsettia Christmas tree in Balboa Park!

An amazing 15 feet high Christmas tree made of 390 poinsettia plants now stands in Balboa Park!

The Christmas tree was installed at the San Diego History Center on Monday. I saw it today, and it’s impressive!

On a wall near the festive red “tree” is a display explaining San Diego’s historical connection to the poinsettia, the World’s Favorite Holiday Flower.

As many San Diego residents know, Paul Ecke’s famous ranch in Encinitas cultivated and hybridized poinsettias for much of the 20th century, producing different colors and variations that have become popular around the world. At one time, the Ecke Ranch sold nearly 90 percent of the holiday plants in the United States.

Flowers and other nursery plants remain a very important part our local economy. As a matter of fact, the poinsettias in the San Diego History Center’s beautiful Christmas tree were grown by Weidners Gardens in Encinitas.

If you visit Balboa Park for the holiday season, especially during December Nights, be sure to step into the San Diego History Center, which is located inside the Casa de Balboa!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you’d like, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and 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!

Birds, Bees, Flowers and Trees in Balboa Park!

A very cool event was held in Balboa Park today. Birds, Bees, Flowers and Trees, presented by the San Diego Floral Association, filled El Prado, a nearby segment of Village Place, and the Casa del Prado courtyard!

The fun, educational event featured gardening information, organizations working to protect the environment, creative kids activities, plant sales, and fascinating displays provided by different San Diego garden clubs and associations!

I walked along, taking it all in. One thing I learned is that Kate Sessions, Mother of Balboa Park, was a co-founder of the San Diego Floral Association! (That would explain my final two photographs.) Oh–I also learned the new waterfall at the Japanese Friendship Garden should be operating in a matter of a couple weeks!

The Birds, Bees, Flowers and Trees event is today only, until 4 pm. As I post this blog, you still have a little over a half hour to check it out!

If you couldn’t make it, enjoy these pics…

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and 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!

Beautiful mural at Living Coast Discovery Center!

There’s a very beautiful mural near the front entrance of the Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista that was painted fairly recently. I saw it a couple weeks ago when I visited Sweetwater Marsh in the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The very colorful mural, depicting native wildlife and plants, decorates a roll up door behind a group of outdoor picnic tables. I took these photos.

I asked a Living Coast Discovery Center employee about it, but she didn’t know who the artist was. If you happen to know, please leave a comment!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and 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!

Planting rare trees at Torrey Pines State Reserve.

An important reforestation effort is underway at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

In recent years the critically endangered Torrey pine population has been reduced significantly by bark beetles, particularly in the park’s North Grove. So over 450 Torrey pine seedlings and 581 native shrubs grown in the nursery at the San Diego Safari Park are being planted in different locations around the Reserve.

You can read more about the project, an effort of California State Parks, the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, and the U.S. Forest Service, by clicking here.

I walked the loop of the Guy Fleming Trail yesterday, where visitors can see many of the dead Torrey pines. Among dead trees, clustered close to the ground, stand strange blue tubes. These plastic protectors shield growing trees and other plants from animals and drying winds.

Native shrubs that have also been planted, mostly above the west-facing bluffs facing the Pacific Ocean, include sea dahlia, jojoba, lanceleaf liveforever, fingertips (San Diego dudleya), lemonade berry, coast lilac, and San Diego mountain mahogany.

As I walked along, observing all those blue tubes, I paused to read signs that explain how bark beetles kill the rare and beautiful Torrey pine. This tree’s natural protection against beetle infestation is sap. During drought trees produce less sap than usual and become especially vulnerable.

Without sufficient water, trees cannot produce enough oleoresin, an oozy sap-substance, and one type of chemical defense that can flush beetles from trees…

Bark Beetle Trapping and Observation in Progress.

The Five-Spined Engraver Beetle is a native insect that survives by burrowing in the Torrey pine tree. During normal conditions, the pines will excrete sap to prevent beetles from laying eggs within the tree. The sap simultaneously protects the damaged bark from fungus and disease…

…The stacked black funnels that are seen on a dead Torrey pine contain a specialized chemical pheromone to attract and trap beetles…

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!

Orchids in the Park returns to San Diego!

The San Diego County Orchid Society is hosting their summer Orchids in the Park show and sale in Balboa Park this weekend!

I was drawn to Room 101 in the Casa del Prado once I saw a sign pointing to the popular free event.

The show’s many tables were overflowing with orchids in many shapes, sizes and colors. Every flower was like a perfect jewel.

I found so many examples of nature’s beauty (tended by the caring hands of society members), that I had to capture a little bit of it with my camera…

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!

Hidden birdhouses, art planters in Balboa Park!

Very few visitors to Balboa Park will see these fun birdhouses and artistically painted planter boxes. They’re a bit hidden behind the Centro Cultural de la Raza’s home, their repurposed water tank off Park Boulevard.

I believe the birdhouses were created in 2021 and are designed for owls. The way they’re painted certainly suggests that!

It appears at least some of the planter boxes were painted this year.

I took this series of photographs Sunday as I walked randomly around waiting for a San Diego Fringe Festival performance to begin. I thought I’d share them.

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!

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!

Natural beauty and art at the Bromeliad Show!

Did you know pineapples are bromeliads?

I had no idea until I checked out the Bromeliad Plant Show and Sale in Balboa Park today. It was the second day of a weekend event held at the Casa del Prado.

A friendly gentleman answered all sorts of odd questions that popped into my mind concerning bromeliads. They’re distinguished from other similar-appearing plant types primarily by their flowers. Many bromeliads are found naturally at higher elevations and are pollinated by hummingbirds, that tolerate colder temperatures than bees. And . . . and . . . I already forgot half of what I was told!

I did notice some tiny, beautiful purplish flowers, and all sorts of fun artwork and crafts at several tables.

The San Diego Bromeliad Society, who hosted the show, has many enthusiastic members. Perhaps you’d like to join!

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!

Become a citizen scientist in San Diego!

Would you like to make contributions to science? But you’re not a trained scientist?

You can easily become a citizen scientist!

Opportunities are available for ordinary people who’d like to use their passion or particular talents to help broaden our understanding of the natural world.

I discovered several great ideas while visiting the San Diego Natural History Museum recently. Signs spotted around the exhibition Extraordinary Ideas from Ordinary People: A History of Citizen Science provide details.

Most of the following ideas apply not just to San Diego residents, but to anyone anywhere. Here they are:

Become a member of iNaturalist and post photographs you’ve taken of living things in nature. Scientists will identify what you recorded. Nature lovers around the world can discuss your observations. You’ll contribute to our shared understanding of biodiversity. To learn more click here.

Participate in the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count or Great Backyard Bird Count. Critically important data collected during these events is used by scientists to study bird populations across the country. To learn more click here.

Participate in the Celebrate Urban Birds project. Spend ten minutes helping scientists understand how common birds are doing in urban settings. More than a quarter of a million ordinary people have already made observations! To learn more click here. (Balboa Park’s own WorldBeat Center has participated in this project. Read about that here!)

Become a summer camper at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. Over the years, people walking around Balboa Park have observed green anole lizards, which aren’t native to San Diego. It was determined by the museum’s young summer campers that the green anoles were the descendants of escapees. These lizards had once been used as food for other animals at the San Diego Zoo! To learn more about attending summer camp at theNAT, click here. (Scholarships are available!)

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!

Beautiful new stained glass panels in Vista!

Check out this amazing new public artwork!

Many additional stained glass panels have appeared in Vista along South Santa Fe Avenue in the past couple years.

It was the summer of 2020 when I last explored the Paseo Santa Fe street improvement project and found an early set of panels along the sidewalk. (You can see those photographs and learn a little more about the project here.)

The panels are numerous now. They show various aspects of life in Vista, California. Many of the small scenes depict local plants or agriculture.

To the best of my knowledge, the artist creating all of these beautiful mosaics is still Buddy Smith.

Given the direction of my walk last weekend, I probably didn’t find every finished panel. But I hope you enjoy looking at these…

UPDATE!

I’ve learned from Buddy, the artist, that there are now 28 finished panels! Super cool!

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!