Patterns of beauty in the Botanical Building.

I got off work early today and headed into Balboa Park.

As I wandered through the Botanical Building, my eyes were captivated by brilliant sunlight filtering through the green leaves and surrounding lath. With my small camera I tried to frame patterns of beauty . . .

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!

Orchid Society adds beauty to Balboa Park.

A beautiful orchid, like a butterfly.
A beautiful orchid, like a butterfly.

Who doesn’t love orchids?

When I noticed the San Diego County Orchid Society was having their Winter Show and Sale in Balboa Park today, I headed directly to the Casa del Prado. That’s where tables overflowing with colorful, jewel-like blooms awaited the public.

I know next to nothing about orchids. All I know is they affect me in a mysterious way. Like any beautiful thing. Their exquisite forms seem to have sprouted from some perfect, generative, magical place.

Of course, you and I also sprout from that same place.

The San Diego County Orchid Society had their Winter Show and Sale in Balboa Park's Casa del Prado this weekend!
The San Diego County Orchid Society had their Winter Show and Sale in Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado this weekend!
Orchid lovers around San Diego submitted their entries in the hopes of winning Best of Show.
Orchid lovers around San Diego submitted their entries in the hopes of winning Best of Show.

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, too? Check out my other website Beautiful Balboa Park!

Sunlight casts magic in the Alcazar Garden.

Another Sunday stroll through Balboa Park.

Another journey filled with magic.

Sunlight was casting its spell on flowers, leaves and webs in the Alcazar Garden.

Stay tuned!

A massive, truly magnificent, 300 year old bronze Kannon statue debuted several days ago in a beautiful corner of the Japanese Friendship Garden, as well as their new sparkling stream . . . and today I took 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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Check out my other website Beautiful Balboa Park!

Student art at Mission Trails: Wilderness Views.

Moth Study 2018, Evelyn DuVall, watercolor and ink. IDEA Center High School.
Moth Study 2018, Evelyn DuVall, watercolor and ink. IDEA Center High School.

Before I began my walk yesterday at Mission Trails Regional Park, I ventured into the Visitor Center and was pleased to see walls full of art created by students from the Grossmont Union High School District.

Many of the Wilderness Views are really good. Creativity thrives in San Diego’s East County! I took quick photos of some pieces that I happened to like.

Most of the artwork is for sale. If you’d like to support local high school students and their artistic endeavors, head over to the Mission Trails Visitor Center before the exhibition ends on January 4, 2019.

Untitled, Ashton McDowell, acrylic paint and spray paint. West Hills High School.
Untitled, Ashton McDowell, acrylic paint and spray paint. West Hills High School.
Caught, Rachel Silvis, digital photography collage. Grossmont High School.
Caught, Rachel Silvis, digital photography collage. Grossmont High School.
Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.), Siena Quinn, acrylic. Grossmont High School.
Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.), Siena Quinn, acrylic. Grossmont High School.
Reflective Sunset, Cherish Clarkson, digital photography. Grossmont High School.
Reflective Sunset, Cherish Clarkson, digital photography. Grossmont High School.
The Tears of Nature, Travis McCrae, watercolor. Grossmont High School.
The Tears of Nature, Travis McCrae, watercolor. Grossmont High School.
Quoth the Raven, Amalia Browning, suminagashi ink, acrylic paint. Monte Vista High School.
Quoth the Raven, Amalia Browning, suminagashi ink, acrylic paint. Monte Vista High School.
Malcolm, Siena Quinn, colored pencil. Grossmont High School.
Malcolm, Siena Quinn, colored pencil. Grossmont High School.
El Tigre, Ryan Zubik, watercolor. Grossmont High School.
El Tigre, Ryan Zubik, watercolor. Grossmont High School.
Dangerous Spots, Maryam Ablahad, scratchboard. Valhalla High School.
Dangerous Spots, Maryam Ablahad, scratchboard. Valhalla High School.
Bambino, Joshua Meriwether, scratchboard. IDEA Center High School.
Bambino, Joshua Meriwether, scratchboard. IDEA Center High School.
In the Leopard's Gaze, Armida Angulo, colored pencil. Grossmont High School.
In the Leopard’s Gaze, Armida Angulo, colored pencil. Grossmont High School.
Untitled, Kirsten Fraga, charcoal and colored pencil. West Hills High School.
Untitled, Kirsten Fraga, charcoal and colored pencil. West Hills High School.
Dripping Lily, Evelyn DuVall, watercolor and ink. IDEA Center High School.
Dripping Lily, Evelyn DuVall, watercolor and ink. IDEA Center High School.
Moonrise, Brooke Moran, linoleum print. Steele Canyon High School.
Moonrise, Brooke Moran, linoleum print. Steele Canyon High School.
Smooth Waves, Britney Guerrero, acrylic. Steele Canyon High School.
Smooth Waves, Britney Guerrero, acrylic. Steele Canyon High School.
Lobos, Natalie Burke, acrylic. Steele Canyon High School.
Lobos, Natalie Burke, acrylic. Steele Canyon High School.
Ocean Eyes, Rand Akim, tempera. Valhalla High School.
Ocean Eyes, Rand Akim, tempera. Valhalla High School.
It's Pretty Wild, Savy, acrylic. Valhalla High School.
It’s Pretty Wild, Savy, acrylic. Valhalla High School.
Landscapes, Andy Orosco, watercolor. Steele Canyon High School.
Landscapes, Andy Orosco, watercolor. Steele Canyon High School.

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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Hidden life near the Fish Market.

This afternoon, as I walked past the Fish Market restaurant on the Embarcadero, I saw a dead plant in their small garden next to the sidewalk.

When I knelt to look more closely, I discovered seeds ready to take flight.

If a thing appears hopeless, always take another look.

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 enjoy beautiful things? Visit my other photography blog which I call A Small World Full of Beauty.

Beauty along the San Diego River Estuary.

I enjoyed a good walk today, which included a long stretch of the San Diego River Estuary.

Nature’s beauty was everywhere. All I had to do was frame it.

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 visit to the Cabrillo National Monument tidepools.

Visitors to Cabrillo National Monument investigate the tidepools.
Visitors to Cabrillo National Monument investigate the tidepools.

Cabrillo National Monument at the end of San Diego’s Point Loma peninsula is a place of many wonders.

Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of San Diego, its big, beautiful bay, Coronado’s North Island and the Pacific Ocean. They can enter the Old Point Loma Lighthouse which was built in 1855 to guide ships into San Diego’s harbor. They can see the iconic statue dedicated to Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the explorer who discovered San Diego Bay in 1542 on behalf of Spain. They can watch the migration of gray whales, move through native flora on the Bayside Trail, and check out bunkers that were erected as a coastal defense during World War II.

And by heading a little off the beaten track, visitors can also explore amazing tidepools!

Where are they?

Shortly after passing the park’s Entrance Station, turn right on Cabrillo Road and drive down the hill to the Point Loma Tide Pools.

Make sure to arrive around the time of low tide. Wear sturdy shoes with good traction. Then carefully walk from the parking lot down a short path to the sandstone cliffs and slippery intertidal zone rocks. That’s where you’ll find abundant sea life.

It’s easy to spot all sorts of diverse marine animals, invertebrates and plants at the ocean’s edge. One can find surf grass, sea lettuce, dead man’s fingers, sea hares, lined shore crabs, bat stars, aggregating anemones, sea urchins, limpets, chitons, periwinkle snails, California mussels, lobsters and even small octopuses!

I took some photographs about two hours before low tide!

As low tide nears, people look about the rocks and shallow water for signs of sea life.
As low tide nears, people look about the rocks and shallow water for signs of sea life.
Amazing beauty awaits curious eyes.
Amazing beauty awaits curious eyes.
Starting down the path from a parking lot to the Point Loma Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument.
Starting down the path from a parking lot to the Point Loma Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument.
A sign by the path. Exploring the rocky intertidal zones is like peering through a window into the ocean's ecosystem. During low tide, marine animals in shallow pools can be closely observed.
A sign by the path. Exploring the rocky intertidal zones is like peering through a window into the ocean’s ecosystem. During low tide, marine animals in shallow pools can be closely observed.
The closer you look, the more you see. Park rangers periodically identify and count the organisms to monitor the health of each species.
The closer you look, the more you see. Park rangers periodically identify and count the organisms to monitor the health of each species.
As we head down the dirt path, the tide pool overlook comes into view.
As we head down the dirt path, the tide pool overlook comes into view.
The tide pool area is active with curious visitors. Only two hours until low tide this afternoon.
The tide pool area is active with curious visitors. Only two hours until low tide this afternoon.
A funny crab asks visitors to please leave all shells in the tidepools.
A funny crab asks visitors to please leave all shells in the tidepools.
Approaching a pair of information signs atop the overlook. The blue Pacific Ocean waves smoothly curl below.
Approaching a pair of information signs atop the overlook. Pacific Ocean waves curl smoothly below.
The old signs are very weathered, but let's take a look anyway.
These old signs are very faded, but let’s take a look anyway.
You are now standing in the upper limits of the splash zone. The waterline does not come this high, but splash and spray sometimes do. Just below is the high-tide zone.
You are now standing in the upper limits of the splash zone. The waterline does not come this high, but splash and spray sometimes do. Just below is the high-tide zone.
Some organisms pictured are limpets, chitons, sand castle worms, goose-necked barnacles and abalone.
Some organisms pictured are limpets, chitons, sand castle worms, goose-necked barnacles and abalone.
Plant life includes giant kelp, surf grass, coraline algae, rock weed, feather boa kelp and dead man's finger.
Plant life includes giant kelp, surf grass, coraline algae, rock weed, feather boa kelp and dead man’s finger.
Families enjoy the warm sunshine and smell of the ocean. This photo looks north along the sandstone cliffs of Point Loma.
Families enjoy the warm sunshine and smell of the ocean. This photo looks north along the sandstone cliffs of Point Loma.
A few rocks stick out of the surf. Fishing boats lie in the water beyond.
A few rocks stick out of the surf. Fishing boats lie in the water beyond.
A gull stands upon one of the larger rocks.
A gull stands upon one of the larger rocks.
A lone surfer has caught a good wave!
A lone surfer has caught a good wave!
As we head down a short dirt path from the overlook to the tidepool area, we take a closer look at the eroded sandstone cliffs and water-smoothed stones on the narrow beach below.
As we head down a short dirt path from the overlook to the tidepool area, we take a closer look at the eroded sandstone cliffs and water-smoothed stones on the narrow beach below.

A wide flat rock dips dips toward the ocean at one end of the tidepools, making a perfect platform for exploration when the tide goes out.
A wide flat rock dips dips toward the ocean at one end of the tidepools, making a perfect platform for exploration when the tide goes out.
In a couple hours even more tidepools will appear. Low tide is the best time to explore the rocky pools of captured water.
In a couple hours even more tidepools will appear. Low tide is the best time to explore the rocky pools of captured water.
Someone peers down into the shallow water, perhaps looking for an octopus or fish.
Someone peers down into the shallow water, perhaps looking for an octopus or fish.
Someone--a young person most likely--searched for heart-shaped stones on the rocky beach and lined them up for all to see.
Someone–a young person most likely–searched for heart-shaped stones on the rocky beach and lined them up for all to see.
People explore a smooth bowl-like pit in the eroded, layered, uptilted sandstone.
People explore a smooth bowl-like pit in the eroded, layered, tilted sandstone.
So much wild natural beauty. So much to contemplate.
So much wild natural beauty. So much to contemplate.
The rock shelf contains parallel fissures and oddly eroded patterns. Over many years the rock is weathered, strangely changes.
The rock shelf contains parallel fissures and oddly eroded patterns. Over many years the rock is weathered, strangely changes.
I see some of those whitish goose-necked barnacles. Many of the tiny pits are home to troglodyte chitons.
I see some of those whitish goose-necked barnacles. Many of the tiny pits are home to troglodyte chitons.
I found some limpets clinging to the wet rock.
I found some limpets clinging to the wet rock.
Bright green algae grows on the exposed rock's surface.
Bright green algae grows on the exposed intertidal rock’s surface.
Beauty that defies description.
Beauty that defies adequate description.
The patient sea washes against these rocks, doing its slow work over the course of countless lifetimes.
The patient sea washes against these rocks, doing its slow work over the course of countless lifetimes.
Looking south at light on the water and dark, broken rocks.
Looking south at light on the water and dark, broken rocks.
The slowly uplifted then eroded sandstone cliffs also tell a story in their book-page-layers about the passage of time.
The uplifted then eroded sandstone cliffs tell a story in their book-page-layers about the passage of time.
Little piles of sand and stone collect where the cliffs crumble.
Little piles of sand and stone collect where the cliffs crumble.
High above, atop Point Loma, I see the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, now a part of human history.
High above, atop Point Loma, I see the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, now a part of human history.
Gazing at the sublime work of nature.
Gazing at the sublime work of nature.

No human artist could possibly paint this.
No human artist could possibly paint this.

I see a small bit of sea lettuce!
I see a small leaf of sea lettuce!
An aggregating anemone has collected fragments of shell and grains of sand.
An aggregating anemone has collected fragments of shell and grains of sand.
A small boy walked up to me as I photographed this small scene and said that it looks like a volcano. On the surface of Mars, I thought to myself.
A young boy walked up to me as I photographed this small scene and said that it looks like a volcano. On the surface of Mars, I thought to myself.
Like a glittering hidden treasure.
Like a glittering hidden treasure.
A chiton between an anemone and a limpet. Another close look at nature's awesome and infinite beauty.
A chiton between an anemone and a limpet. Another close look at nature’s awesome and infinite beauty.

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