Medieval knights mock fight in Balboa Park!

Look what I watched today!

Every Sunday afternoon, on a large area of grass in Balboa Park’s Morley Field Sports Complex, medieval knights come together and engage in mock combat! These brave knights hail from the Realm of Andor. They are a part of the international Belegarth Medieval Combat Society.

Wielding foam weapons like swords, maces and battle axes, these guys get a super fun athletic workout. I was told by a friendly member of the Realm of Andor that the sport is like a mixture of fencing and rugby, with fairly simple rules. When a combatant receives a strike to a critical area, they fall down as if dead. A hit on a limb results in a loss of its use. Two limbs gone, you’re a goner. The last one standing wins!

I watched as the combatants veered all over the place, swinging a variety of formidable ancient weapons. Two or three knights would gang up on another; others would be struck by a sneaky knight from behind. Some of the members, in their cool costumes and bearing shields, appeared to be rampaging extras in the filming of Lord of the Rings. Many make their own weapons. It’s all about fantasy and high energy fun!

If you’d like to learn more, or perhaps join, check out their website!

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!

Bright sailboats race across San Diego Bay.

This evening, just before sunset, I stood on the Embarcadero and watched more than one hundred sunlit sailboats race across the north part of San Diego Bay.

From May 21 through August 1, the Cortez Racing Association, in partnership with the Silver Gate Yacht Club (which is based on Shelter Island), puts on Wednesday races called the San Diego Bay Beer Can Series.

As the sailboats began across the water, and late sunlight slanted over Point Loma, the colorful sails were so bright they seemed like a dream. The race was too distant for my camera to take sharp photos–so I have increased the contrast to make the images even more dreamy!

In case you’re curious, those two active aircraft carriers you see in my photos are docked at Naval Air Station North Island. They are the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70).

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!

Walking in sunshine toward De Anza Cove.

Biking north along the east side of Mission Bay, heading toward De Anza Cove.
Biking north along the east side of Mission Bay, heading toward De Anza Cove.

On Saturday I walked slowly along the east side of Mission Bay on my way to the Shaka Fest. Many were out enjoying the sunshine.

This is living in San Diego.

Resting in some shade.
Resting in the shade of a tree.
Shooting hoops with friends.
Shooting hoops outdoors with friends.
Chasing a Frisbee.
Chasing a Frisbee.
Walking past the De Anza Cove boat launching ramp.
Walking near the De Anza Cove boat launching ramp.
Some boaters come in from a pleasant Saturday out on the water.
Some boaters come in from a pleasant Saturday out on the water.
A sailboat in a corner of gentle blue Mission Bay, the largest man-made aquatic park in the United States.
A sailboat in a corner of gentle blue Mission Bay, the largest man-made aquatic park in the United States.
Enjoying the grass.
Enjoying the grass.
The magic of Mission Bay.
The magic of Mission Bay.
Heading down a path.
Heading down a path with the dog.
Plaque on a park bench. In memory of Bettelu who love the walk (thru life).
Plaque on a park bench. In memory of Bettelu who love the walk (thru life).
Enjoying another day of San Diego sunshine.
Enjoying another day of San Diego sunshine.

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 beautiful walk along Big Laguna Trail.

Stepping from the Penny Pines parking area on Sunrise Highway to the Nobel Canyon trailhead.
Stepping from the Penny Pines parking area on Sunrise Highway to the Nobel Canyon trailhead.

This morning I went on a walk in the Laguna Mountains. The pine-covered Lagunas, about an hour’s drive east of downtown San Diego, reach just over 6000 feet in elevation.

After parking at the Penny Pines area on Sunrise Highway, I began west down the Noble Canyon Trail, then turned south onto Big Laguna Trail.

A morning walk in the mountains is so quiet and beautiful.

Come along with me! In these photos we’ll be heading a couple miles or so to Big Laguna Lake, a temporary body of water that appears in the winter and lingers until summer.

During my walk I saw many broken trees and stumps, victims over the years of bark beetles and periodic wildfires. At first the air was very chilly, but as the sun slowly rose its warmth felt good on my face. I heard plenty of birdsong, knocking woodpeckers, and the soft mountain breeze in branches. I smelled new green grass and the towering pine trees.

My eyes noted many signs of early spring.

Part of a posted Map of Laguna Mountain Recreation Area. Big Laguna Lake forms during rainy season in Laguna Meadow.
Part of a posted Map of Laguna Mountain Recreation Area. Big Laguna Lake forms during rainy season in Laguna Meadow.
Horses share the path with hikers and mountain bikers.
Horses sometimes share the trail with hikers and mountain bikers.
Many fallen tree limbs and trunks were along the trail. Victims of wildfires, beetles, and violent mountain storms.
Many fallen tree limbs and trunks were along the trail. Victims of wildfires, beetles, and violent mountain storms.
We've turned left onto Big Laguna Trail. Many of the hiking trails on Mount Laguna connect to the famous Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches from Mexico to Canada.
We’ve turned left onto Big Laguna Trail. Many of the hiking trails on Mount Laguna connect to the famous Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches from Mexico to Canada.
A swinging gate on the trail. Sometimes cattle are herded up in these mountains.
A swinging gate on the trail. Sometimes cattle are herded up in these mountains.
A beautiful early morning. The sun is still low and obscured by clouds and hills.
A beautiful early morning. The sun is still low and obscured by clouds and hills.
I saw a few small flowers along the trail scattered by spring's fingers.
I saw a few small flowers along the trail scattered by spring’s fingers.
Jumbled sawn trunks often appear like abstract works of art.
The jumbled broken trunks often appeared like abstract works of art.
Inner beauty exposed.
Inner beauty exposed.
Wild, delicate beauty.
Wild and delicate.

Moving forward.
Moving forward.
A tale of many seasons.
A tale of many seasons.
Winter's remnant.
Winter’s remnant.
Many elements.
Many elements.
About to enter the edge of Laguna Meadow.
I’m about to enter the edge of Laguna Meadow. Around here a small group of Red-winged Blackbirds were jumping about tree branches and cheerfully talking to each other.

Some collected rain and snowmelt have formed a small green pond.
Some collected rain and snowmelt have formed a small green pond in the meadow.

I spy Big Laguna Lake ahead.
I spy Big Laguna Lake ahead.
Turning my camera to the right, looking backward a bit.
Turning my camera to the right, looking backward a bit.

A friendly mountain biker approaches.
A friendly mountain biker approaches.
Like a silver dream on the mountain.
Like a silver dream on the mountain.

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!

Cool photos near South Mission Beach jetty.

People play on the sandy volleyball courts at South Mission Beach, north of the jetty.
People play on the sandy volleyball courts at South Mission Beach, north of the jetty.

Yesterday I walked through South Mission Beach near the jetty. I got lots of fun, sunny photos for you to enjoy!

Riding a bike through South Mission Beach on a perfect San Diego day.
Riding a bike through South Mission Beach on a perfect San Diego day.
The Mission Beach boardwalk, which passes many small colorful houses and condos, is popular with bicyclists and pedestrians.
The Mission Beach boardwalk, which passes many small colorful houses and condos, is popular with bicyclists and pedestrians.
One of the cool beachfront properties on South Mission Beach. Many are available as vacation rentals.
One of the cool beachfront properties on South Mission Beach. Many are available as vacation rentals.
A row of lifeguard towers. It's winter in San Diego. During the summer these lookouts will be arranged at intervals along the beach.
A row of lifeguard towers. It’s winter in San Diego. During the summer these lookouts will be arranged at intervals along the beach.
Heading south along the path, approaching the parking lot at the jetty.
Heading south along the path, approaching palm trees and the parking lot at the jetty.
A beautiful day for a bike ride.
A beautiful day for a bike ride.
These people have paused to look at the nearby grass.
These people have paused to look at the nearby grass.
Guys play in the sun at the basketball court.
Guys play in the sun at the basketball court.
On the beach, a lifeguard building with flag flapping in the sea breeze. Pacific Beach and La Jolla rise to the north.
On the beach, a lifeguard building with flag flapping in the sea breeze. Pacific Beach and La Jolla rise to the north.
Families walk and play on the shore. The surf is gentle today.
Families walk and play on the shore. The surf is gentle today.
A seagull hangs out on a dune as surfers come in. The South Mission Beach jetty juts into the Pacific Ocean.
A seagull hangs out on a dune as surfers come in. The South Mission Beach jetty juts into the Pacific Ocean.
Someone approaches the foot of the rock jetty, which guards the channel into Mission Bay. This area is also called Point Medanos.
Someone approaches the foot of the rock jetty, which guards the channel into Mission Bay. This cape is called Point Medanos.
I stopped at the lifeguard emergency sign. Halfway down the jetty stands an old, abandoned bait shack, which appears like an arch that is covered with graffiti.
I stopped at the lifeguard emergency sign. Halfway down the jetty stands an old, abandoned bait shack, which appears like an arch that is covered with graffiti.
Gulls wheel over the entrance channel as a boat comes into Mission Bay.
Gulls wheel over the entrance channel as a boat comes into Mission Bay.
Beyond this sailboat I see the Ocean Beach Pier.
Beyond this sailboat I see the long Ocean Beach Pier.
Point Loma rises beyond a second jetty that separates the entrance channel from the San Diego River.
Point Loma rises beyond a second jetty that juts from Hospitality Point, separating the Mission Bay entrance channel from the San Diego River.
People are also out and about in Ocean Beach enjoying the sunny day. I see a few pooches running about Dog Beach.
People are also out and about in Ocean Beach enjoying the sunny day. I see a few pooches running freely about Dog Beach.
Several fishermen were casting into the blue water from the rocks.
Several fishermen were casting into the blue water from the rocks.
Now I'm circling back on North Jetty Road heading for the boardwalk. A cool windblown tree and flowers in the sand.
Now I’m circling back on North Jetty Road heading for the boardwalk. A cool windblown tree and flowers in the sand.
Like paradise on Earth.
Like paradise on Earth.
I love this place!
I love this place!

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Cool art at the Washington Street Skate Park!

Look at these photos! You’ll be surprised by some of the super cool art that greets local skateboarders at the Washington Street Skate Park!

I’ve always known there was some sort of outdoor art near this public skateboard park–many times I’ve glimpsed it while passing by on the trolley. So this morning I finally decided to check it out.

And I was blown away!

In addition to some simple metal rebar art along the enclosing fence, there’s a bunch of awesome mosaic tile artwork near the skatepark’s east entrance and on a dark, seldom seen wall along unused railroad tracks under Interstate 5. The above photo with the large word RESPECT was taken as I stood on the other side of the tracks. The additional photos you see were taken from a closer range.

There’s even more cool art inside the Washington Street Skatepark (which is also known as WSVT) and my camera captured one example of it. But unfortunately the park was closed this morning, so I couldn’t explore further.

In case you want to see this surprising art for yourself, the Washington Street Skate Park is located under Interstate 5 between historic Mission Brewery Plaza and Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. Look for the intersection of West Washington Street and Pacific Highway, northeast of Lindbergh Field.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

A good day to catch mackerel in OB.

Fishermen enjoy a perfect September day along the Ocean Beach Pier. Today everybody was catching mackerel.
Fishermen enjoy a perfect September day along the Ocean Beach Pier. Today everybody was catching mackerel.

Today was a good day to catch mackerel in Ocean Beach. Fishermen were pulling up shining prizes all along the OB Pier.

What was their secret? Cut bait, a little patience, slathered sunscreen, and perhaps a cool beverage and some music. Nothing more. (Not even a fishing license. It’s free to fish from a San Diego pier.)

The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier was built in 1966 and is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. Its reach into deep water makes it an excellent place to catch a wide variety of fish.
The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier was built in 1966 and is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. Its reach into deep water makes it an excellent place to catch a wide variety of fish.
Not everyone was fishing. Some were just out enjoying the sunshine. A guy on a bike looks down on the busy beach.
Not everyone was fishing. Some were just out enjoying the sunshine. A guy on a bike looks down on the busy beach.
This guy caught a silvery mackerel. They were really biting today along the entire length of the pier.
This guy caught a silvery mackerel. They were really biting today along the entire length of the pier.
Young and old alike were having success!
Young and old alike were having success!
Below the pier, there seemed to be as many surfers as mackerel in the ocean.
Below the pier, there seemed to be as many surfers as fish in the ocean.
Some kids at the OB Pier's T-shaped end catch another nice mackerel!
Some kids at the OB Pier’s T-shaped end catch another nice mackerel!
This guy caught one, too!
This guy caught one, too!
A curious glance backward as a photo is taken of a prized catch!
A curious glance backward as a photo is taken of a prized catch!
It appears catching that mackerel was a lot of fun!
It appears catching that mackerel was a lot of fun!

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!