Girls at Bunnyfest trim nails of rabbit.

girls at bunnyfest clip nails of rabbit

Here comes another pic from Sunday afternoon!

Walking back toward downtown, I happened to stumble upon Bunnyfest on the grass at the south side of Balboa Park. It was a surprisingly large event with lots of booths and activities, put on by the San Diego House Rabbit Society. Rabbits were everywhere! Big rabbits, small rabbits, ordinary rabbits, exotic rabbits . . . rabbits of every kind and description! In arms, in pens, and featured on many great works of art! I watched for a moment while two girl volunteers trimmed the nails of a bunny. Here’s the photo.

House of Turkey fiddler in Balboa Park.

house of turkey fiddler in balboa park

Last Sunday in Balboa Park, after checking out the free organ concert, I ventured across the street to the International Cottages. The House of Pacific Relations International Cottages were built for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition and represent 32 member countries. The little houses, situated in a picturesque cluster, are decorated and furnished in a way that recreates the unique culture of each nation.

Every Sunday (except during winter) one of the member nations features food and entertainment in the central grassy area. Last weekend it was the House of Turkey.

As I arrived, a Turkish fiddler was on stage fiddling away a merry tune while the audience clapped in rhythm. Here he is!

Turkey is one of several nations waiting to build their own cottage in Balboa Park. Here’s a pic of the nearby United Nations Building…

The United Nations Building among the International Cottages.
The United Nations Building among the International Cottages.

Robert Plimpton plays the Spreckels Organ.

Robert Plimpton at the Spreckels Organ.
Robert Plimpton at the Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park.

Who’s that person at the microphone in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion? It looks like Robert Plimpton, San Diego’s Civic Organist Emeritus! Most of the time he uses his amazing musical talent as resident Organist of the First United Methodist Church.

Robert Plimpton was San Diego’s official Civic Organist from 1984 to 2000, when Dr. Carol Williams (first woman in the United States to be appointed Civic Organist) took his place. She happened to be out of town, so he returned for last Sunday’s free public concert in Balboa Park . . . and played magnificently, of course!

I tried to get a good photo of the organ’s enormous pipes, but the images turned out too shadowy. I’ll try again at some future time!

One plaque at the historic Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Dedicated to the people of San Diego and all the world, by the philanthropist Spreckels brothers in 1915.
A plaque at the historic Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Dedicated to the people of San Diego and all the world, by the philanthropist Spreckels brothers in 1915.
View of Spreckels Organ Pavilion from Japanese Friendship Garden.
View of Spreckels Organ Pavilion from a spot near the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Bust of John D. Spreckels watches organ concerts behind benches.
Bust of John D. Spreckels watches organ concerts behind benches.

Here’s a photo I took in late 2015, during Balboa Park’s yearlong centennial celebration.

Patricia McAfee, mezzo soprano, and Robert Plimpton, San Diego Civic Organist Emeritus, perform during A Tribute to Kate Sessions, "The Mother of Balboa Park" concert on November 8, 2015.
Patricia McAfee, mezzo soprano, and Robert Plimpton, San Diego Civic Organist Emeritus, entertain a Sunday afternoon audience during “A Tribute to Kate Sessions, The Mother of Balboa Park” concert on November 8, 2015.

Umbrellas add color to Sunday organ concert.

colorful umbrellas at sunday organ concert

It must be around two o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. Time for the weekly free concert at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion!

Crowds gather in the sun under colorful umbrellas to listen to the majestic sound of the Spreckels Organ, one of the largest outdoor organs in the world. The city of San Diego employs an official Civic Organist, none other than Dr. Carol Williams, one of the top performing organists in the world! Each Sunday she plays classical music, jazz, marches . . . and occasionally one of her excellent original compositions. The Spreckels Organ Society helps to raise funds to keep the tradition of free public concerts alive. It’s a tradition that has lasted a hundred years!

The beautiful Spreckels Organ Pavilion is used for various concerts and events throughout the year, including the yearly December Nights festival around Christmas. It’s also a favorite venue for wedding photography. The ornate, elegant architecture makes it interesting to visit even when the stage and benches are empty.

Organ lovers enjoy shade under the San Diego sun.
Organ lovers enjoy shade under the San Diego sun.

Monsters, aliens and trolls on a Haunted Trail!

monsters, aliens and trolls in balboa park

Yikes! Look at the creatures I spotted lurking among the trees on the west side of Balboa Park! That big one looks like a gigantic bloody yeti with goat hooves. Watch out!

What are scary monsters, aliens and trolls doing in Balboa Park? They’re being created for Halloween . . . to populate The Haunted Trail! Sunday afternoon I spotted the huge creatures under construction behind a fence. Look how high that bloody monster stands compared to the step ladder! I also observed a human dummy in an electric chair and loads of more weird, grotesque scenery.

San Diego’s unique Haunted Trail has been raising goosebumps for years now. Looks like visitors to this dark outdoor “haunted house” will be in for a lot of screaming!

future entrance to the haunted trail

Here’s the spooky castle-like entrance to The Haunted Trail!

Padres fan gear vendor outside Petco Park.

padres fan gear vendor outside petco park

Late this morning, loads of Padres fans anticipating a great baseball game were entering Petco Park from its east side. Before filing through the gate and past the cool new Jerry Coleman memorial, they passed this colorful vendor. All sorts of Padres gear was on display for supportive fans.

Sunny summer days of baseball are full of life, sounds, smells, color and pageantry. Going to a Padres game in San Diego is always a fun experience, win or lose!

Padres fans converge on Petco Park for another baseball game.
Padres fans converge on Petco Park for another baseball game.

I took a couple more related pics at the beginning of the 2015 season…

Any vendors at this entrance on opening weekend of the 2015 season are hidden by lots of excited fans!
Any vendors at this entrance on opening weekend of the 2015 season are hidden by lots of excited fans!
This smiling entrepreneur set up shop on a sidewalk a couple blocks from Petco Park.
A smiling entrepreneur set up shop on a sidewalk a couple blocks from Petco Park.

San Diegans donate used textiles for charity.

san diegans donate used textiles for charity

I just got home from my walk today, when lo and behold, on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Date Street right next to the Tweet Street playground are a couple of friendly folks collecting used and unwanted textiles. Here’s a pic!

Their website is www.rippletextilerecycling.com and they raise money by collecting old, stained or torn clothing, bedding, towels, shoes, stuffed animals . . . you name it! Wearable and useable items are sent to developing nations. The other stuff is ground up and converted into new products. They earn 10 cents a pound, and the proceeds are donated to local charities.

The money raised today will go to the YWCA Cortez Hill Family Center!

Please check out their website and make a note of their upcoming events!