Photos of downtown, with sprinkles!

Our first storm of the season was tapering off this morning as I walked around downtown.

Here come photos of a damp city . . . with occasional sprinkles!

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!

Fun art on the sidewalk for a rainy day.

A dapper gentleman with an elegant automobile looks at a lady with a bottle.
A dapper gentleman with an elegant automobile looks at a lady with a bottle.

According to this morning’s weather report, it’s supposed to rain in San Diego for most of the day. We can always use more water in dry Southern California. But rain, and a bit of a sore throat, means I probably won’t go out walking today.

Meanwhile, here’s some fun artwork that I discovered yesterday while walking through North Park. Both works of art were on the sidewalk in the vicinity of El Cajon Boulevard and 30th Street.

Enjoy!

I'm sorry love, the only rubbish I have time for is in this bin.
I’m sorry love, the only rubbish I have time for is in this bin.
Tile mosaic of a motorcycle and rider. A very cool sight in the sidewalk in front of Belching Beaver Brewery in North Park.
Tile mosaic of a motorcycle and rider. A very cool sight in the sidewalk in front of Belching Beaver Brewery in North 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!

Morning rain and umbrellas downtown.

Here are a few photos I captured this morning as I walked downtown through gusts of rain.

Keeping an eye on the direction of the wind and slanting raindrops, holding my camera at the ready under my umbrella, I headed down from Cortez Hill to the Gaslamp trolley station. I wasn’t the only one trying to cope with San Diego’s first real rainstorm of the winter.

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!

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

A short hike in San Diego National Wildlife Refuge.

There was no need to alter this photo in the slightest way. The colors appeared astonishingly bright this morning in the sunlit mountains and hills east of San Diego.
There was no need to alter this photo in the slightest way. Nature’s colors appeared astonishingly rich this morning in the sunlit mountains and hills east of San Diego.

My 9:00 hike this morning turned out to be shorter than expected. That’s because I was the only one to show up for a scheduled nature hike in a beautiful section of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. Following directions, I parked a few minutes early at the Par 4 trailhead in Jamul, near the Cottonwood Golf Course. I kept checking my watch, hoping the US Fish & Wildlife Service ranger would arrive. I was looking forward to identifying the spring wildflowers and flowering plants along the trail. But it wasn’t to be. I suppose the event was cancelled due to yesterday’s rain.

I didn’t walk far because I didn’t want to adversely impact the still wet trail. Near the trailhead the footing was packed and firm, and my shoes barely made an impression, but perhaps a quarter mile into my hike there was just too much mud to continue.

As you can see, the hills of San Diego are bright green! This winter has been very rainy. During the summer the green in these photos will vanish as the native grasses, sagebrush and scrubby chaparral dry out in the relentless Southern California sun.

During my short hike, I did capture a few photos of tiny flowers and a bird! I’m sorry to report that I can’t properly identify them. Perhaps you can!

Sign at the Par 4 trailhead includes information for hikers and those on horseback. The trail follows the Sweetwater River in Jamul.
Sign at the Par 4 trailhead includes information for hikers and those on horseback. The trail follows the Sweetwater River in Jamul.
The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex includes four areas designed to protect wildlife in Southern California.
The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex includes four areas designed to protect wildlife in Southern California. (Click image to enlarge.)
There are patchy wildlife refuges in some of San Diego County's undeveloped areas. This map shops where they are located. The Par 4 trailhead is near the top of the bigger green blob.
There are various wildlife refuges in San Diego County’s undeveloped areas. This map shows where several managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service are located. The Par 4 trailhead is near the top of the bigger green blob.
A wet trail heads west over a green landscape. Many birds were seen flying across the open space.
A damp trail leads west over a green landscape. Many birds were seen flying across this open space. The morning’s short hike was made pleasurable by a fresh cool breeze and warm sunlight.
Beautiful tiny yellow flowers and raindrops on green leaves. What this plant is, I don't know. Leave a comment if you do!
Beautiful tiny yellow flowers and lingering raindrops on green leaves. What this plant is, I don’t know. Leave a comment if you do!
I spotted this little bird perched on a twig near the hiking trail.
I spotted this little bird perched on a twig near the hiking trail.
I tried to identify this small bird, using my California Birds pocket guide, but I couldn't decide. If you know, leave a comment!
I tried to identify this small bird using my California Birds pocket guide, but I couldn’t decide. If you know, leave a comment!
I'm no expert, but I did find these tiny jewel-like lavender flowers to be beautiful.
I’m no expert, but I did find these tiny jewel-like lavender flowers to be beautiful.
Dramatic white clouds in a blue sky. Natural beauty in San Diego's East County the day after a big storm.
Dramatic white clouds in a blue sky. Natural beauty in San Diego’s East County the day after a big storm.

After this very small hike, I drove along Highway 94 to Campo, winding my way through bright green rocky mountains. Then I headed back toward San Diego via Buckman Springs and Pine Valley, without any particular notion of where to stop. Then it occurred to me: Why not hike Cowles Mountain today? So I did, as you’ll see in the next blog post!

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!

Writing on a rainy day.

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It’s raining today. And I’m off from work. So I’ve been sitting at my computer wrestling with words.

I believe I’ve now finished another short story.  At least, it seems complete.  This story concerns youth, magic, innocence, dreams, the passage of years and what might happen in life. If you’d like to read it, click the following link: Final Real Magic is the title of the story.

Dreamlike visions on a wet, drizzly morning.

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It was drizzling very lightly this morning when I stepped out my door. I walked from Cortez Hill down to Broadway, then over to Santa Fe Depot. My camera was under my umbrella.

The light was dim and uncertain, causing many photographs to come out unfocused. A few strange photographs seem to contain mysterious phantoms from some half-remembered dream.  Haunting visions on a wet, drizzly morning.

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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!