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!

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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!

Photos of San Diego River, after three storms.

The swollen San Diego River after three winter storms in six days. A gauge beside the water shows the river has subsided to about the 8 foot mark, after reaching a high level--I believe--of around 11 feet.
The swollen San Diego River after three winter storms in six days. A gauge beside the water shows the river has subsided to about the 8 foot mark, after reaching a high level–I believe–of around 11 feet.

I did some walking in a drizzle this morning before work.

I got off the trolley at the Fashion Valley station and proceeded to investigate the San Diego River in a section of Mission Valley that is often hit with flooding. Three very rainy winter storms were finally coming to an end. What did I see?

Palm trees surrounded by river water. Photo taken between the Fashion Valley Transit Center and the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.
Palm trees surrounded by flowing river water. Photo taken from the pedestrian bridge between the Fashion Valley Transit Center and the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.
A tall eucalyptus tree knocked over by the gusty winter storms. A common sight around San Diego.
A tall, shallow-rooted eucalyptus tree knocked over by the gusty winter storms. A common sight around San Diego.
Fashion Valley Road this morning was still blocked off from traffic, even though the San Diego River's water had subsided to street level.
Fashion Valley Road this morning was still blocked off from traffic, even though the San Diego River’s water had subsided to street level.
A friendly San Diego Lifeguard makes the rounds to make sure nobody needs a swift water rescue. My photo just missed his wave!
A friendly San Diego Lifeguard makes the rounds to make sure nobody needs a swift water rescue. My photo just missed his wave!
The parking structures at Fashion Valley Mall that are susceptible to flooding were definitely well underwater. Thank goodness, I saw no submerged cars.
The parking structures at Fashion Valley Mall that are susceptible to flooding were definitely well underwater. Thank goodness, I saw no submerged cars.
Bright green grass and dark clouds. I was sheltered from raindrops by the trolley tracks overhead.
Bright green grass and dark clouds. I was sheltered from raindrops by the trolley tracks overhead.
As usual, the San Diego River was flooding Avenida del Rio south of the mall. The short street is appropriately named!
As usual, the San Diego River was flooding Avenida del Rio just south of the mall. The short, dipping street is appropriately named!
Yesterday someone foolishly trying to walk through this powerful moving water had to be rescued. They got washed away. A helicopter was even brought in.
Yesterday someone foolishly trying to walk through this powerful moving water had to be rescued. They got washed away. A helicopter was even brought in.
No worries about flooding for the trolley--at least right here!
No worries about flooding for the trolley–at least right here!
The Highway 163 underpass was flooded and muddy. I had to walk another way around to work. Good thing I got an early start!
The Highway 163 underpass was flooded and muddy. I had to walk another way around to reach work. Good thing I got an early start!
Sign by the San Diego River. The low rainfall and the geologic composition historically allowed the river to run below ground much of the year, hence the nickname--the Upside Down River.
Sign by the San Diego River. The low rainfall and the geologic composition historically allowed the river to run below ground much of the year, hence the nickname: the Upside Down River.
The beautiful river this morning through leaves.
The beautiful river this morning through leaves.
Morning sky and clouds through bare winter river trees.
Morning sky and clouds through bare winter trees.
The San Diego River is unusually wide in its swollen state after the storms. It looks like an honest-to-goodness actual river!
The San Diego River is unusually wide in its swollen state after the storms. It looks like an honest-to-goodness actual river!
Walking along Mission Center Road in the rain by the San Diego River.
Walking along Mission Center Road in the rain by the San Diego River.

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!