Sheltering Wings on the bay in Coronado Cays.

Sheltering Wings is an extraordinary bronze sculpture that I discovered during my Saturday walk through the Coronado Cays.

I had reached the east end of Grand Caribe Causeway and was gazing out toward San Diego Bay when I noticed what appeared to be two herons standing on rocks in Grand Caribe Shoreline Park.

Upon closer inspection, I found this beautiful public artwork, the handiwork of renowned sculptor Christopher Slatoff. Sheltering Wings was commissioned by the Port District of San Diego back in 1996.

You can read the bio of Christopher Slatoff at his website here.

I was interested to learn he created another sculpture, The Illustrated Man, in collaboration with one of my very favorite writers, Ray Bradbury!

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!

Colorful kites above Coronado Cays!

Colorful kites were filling the blue sky today above Coronado Cays Park!

I almost got a kink in my neck staring up at them!

They seemed like a flock of tropical birds taking flight above the palm trees. I walked along a winding pathway then over the grass, circling around the many kites and passing underneath them.

They were alive up there in the sunlight.

Many others had gathered in the park to observe the magic. And to fly their own kite.

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!

Sunflowers on the Silver Strand.

There were many empty picnic benches on the bay side of Silver Strand State Beach today.

I chose a shady one that faced these bright sunflowers. Then I took out a notebook and struggled with my writing.

Words never seem adequate.

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!

If you’d like to read an inspirational little story about sunflowers and human kindness, click here!

The beauty of nature on the coastal strand.

The coastal strand lies just above the high tide line of a beach. While its appearance might be sandy, dry and scraggly, look closely and you’ll find plenty of nature’s endless beauty.

Last Saturday I walked around Silver Strand State Beach.

Entrance station at Silver Strand State Beach.
Entrance station at Silver Strand State Beach.

The blue Pacific Ocean stretches beyond the seemingly barren western shore of the Silver Strand. Point Loma and a cruise ship can be seen in the distance.
The blue Pacific Ocean stretches beyond the seemingly barren western shore of the Silver Strand. Point Loma and a cruise ship can be seen in the distance.

The flowers of beach suncup, or evening primrose, are like bright gems on the sand.
The flowers of beach suncup, or evening primrose, are like bright gems on the sand.

The Western Snowy Plover depends on kelp and seagrass washed ashore, feeding on insects. Their young are hatched in the sand. Fences keep the feet of people away.
The Western Snowy Plover depends on kelp and seagrass washed ashore, feeding on insects. Their young are hatched in the sand. Fences keep the feet of beachgoers away.

Walking along the San Diego Bay side of the State Park.
Walking along the San Diego Bay side of the State Park.

Coastal strand plants begin to grow past the tide line. Winds and waves sculpt the sands in this dynamic, yet fragile habitat.
Coastal strand plants begin to grow past the tide line. Winds and waves sculpt the sands in this dynamic, yet fragile habitat.

San Diego black-tailed jackrabbits are frequently seen in the dry coastal sage scrub of Silver Strand State Beach.
San Diego black-tailed jackrabbits are frequently seen in the dry coastal sage scrub of Silver Strand State Beach.

How many rabbits can you see? They are well adapted to this environment.
How many rabbits can you see? They are well adapted to this environment.

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!

Mosaics on wall by Silver Strand nature trail.

Check out this cool mosaic art at Silver Strand State Beach!

The artwork covers one side of a low wall near a California State Parks bench, where two paths in the northeast section of the park intersect. In my photos you can see a nature trail made of wood planks heading off through scrubby coastal habitat toward San Diego Bay.

To appreciate this unusual mosaic you need to view it up close. Bits of broken tiles, sea shells and other objects have been arranged into triangles. The triangles frame clay forms of native wildlife and people. In places the mosaics have broken off. The entire wall has become weathered in such a way that the organic artwork appears even more earthy.

Try as I might, I’m unable to discover any information about this public art.

Leave a comment if you know anything!

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!

Underwater mural in Silver Strand tunnel!

Three pedestrian tunnels pass underneath California State Route 75, connecting the west and east sides of Silver Strand State Beach. If you choose to use the south tunnel, you might want to put on some scuba gear!

That tunnel is home of a long, very cool mural that depicts life above the water and beneath it.

Silver Strand State Beach occupies a section of the peninsula between Coronado and Imperial Beach. Much of the life painted in the mural can be observed from the park’s two shores.

Walking along coastal habitat by either the Pacific Ocean or San Diego Bay, you will observe many birds, including snowy plovers, great blue herons, least sandpipers, black skimmers, marbled godwits, long-billed curlews, snowy egrets, endangered California least terns, brown pelicans, seagulls and a variety of ducks.

Out in the water you might also spot surfacing seals and dolphins! But if you want to see a whale up close, you’ll need to dive into the tunnel!

This very cool environmental mural was painted in 2009 by Imperial Beach artist Jaime Rayon, with some help from young members of The Art Kids, in partnership with the nearby Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

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!

Quiet spring day at Silver Strand State Beach.

Park ranger removing weeds near beach entrance.
Park ranger removing weeds near State Beach entrance.

The Silver Strand is a narrow strip of land that connects Coronado southward to Imperial Beach. The northern portion is used as a training ground for Navy Seals. Other areas contain housing, marinas and a hotel. Much of it remains in a natural state.

Halfway down the strand, sandwiched between San Diego Bay and the blue Pacific Ocean, you’ll find Silver Strand State Beach, a beautiful state park featuring a great beach, RV parking, a large picnic area, and a boating facility. Apart from the RV area, which is very popular, the place often seems half-deserted. Even during summer weekdays.

I rode my bike through the park on a perfectly sunny spring weekday and I saw half a dozen people.

Closed lifeguard lookout on Silver Strand State Beach.
Closed lifeguard lookout on Silver Strand State Beach.

Except for RVs to the north, beach is almost empty.
Except for RVs to the north, the beach is almost empty.

Kelp on natural beaches is the home of tiny wildlife.
Kelp on natural beaches is the home of tiny wildlife.

Silver Strand Grill is closed and nobody is about.
Silver Strand Grill is closed and nobody is about.

From one empty side of the strand to the other.
From one empty side of the strand to the other.

Here I’m passing through a tunnel under the highway from the Pacific side to the bay side.

Dozens of unused picnic tables on a sunny Spring weekday.
Dozens of unused picnic tables on a sunny Spring weekday.

There are scores of picnic benches on the bay side and very few ever seem to be used.

One small figure sits at end of picnic table row.
One small figure sits at end of picnic table row.

Colorful kayaks at Crown Cove Aquatic Center.
Colorful kayaks at Crown Cove Aquatic Center.

The boating center gets a little more activity on weekends. I’ve seen folks out rowing along the water.

Lots of unused boats on the bay side of Silver Strand.
Lots of unused boats on the bay side of Silver Strand.

San Diego Bay beyond a group of beached sailboats.
San Diego Bay beyond a group of beached sailboats.

Trail leads from Silver Strand bikeway across natural habitat.
Trail leads from Silver Strand bikeway across natural habitat.

You’ll find this natural area in the north part of Silver Strand State Beach, on the east side of the highway.

The wood plank nature trail is in disrepair.
The wood plank nature trail is in disrepair.

The endangered California least tern nests in clear, sandy areas along the Silver Strand. I wasn’t able to spot any during this visit.

Information sign rusted and unreadable.
Information sign rusted and unreadable.

A rabbit among brittle coastal plants.
A rabbit among brittle coastal plants.

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Public art shows Coronado’s Tent City.

public art shows history of coronado island

“Imagine Tent City” is a cool bit of public art I discovered while walking along Coronado’s Glorietta Bay. The artwork is composed of photographic images arranged like a mosaic, embedded in ceramic tiles. It depicts the historic Tent City, which was a popular tourist destination for many years just south of the Hotel Del Coronado.

Established in 1900 by entrepreneur John D. Spreckels, the beach tents could be reached by Coronado Belt Line trains operated by the Coronado Railroad Company, running from San Diego around the bay and up the narrow Silver Strand. (Coronado is technically a peninsula, not an island.) The tracks have since been replaced by a very popular bike and pedestrian pathway.

mosaic of old photos shows coronado history

Here’s a pic taken from the south side, walking toward the Hotel Del Coronado’s old Boathouse. The building you see is part of the Coronado Shores condo complex.

And here’s a bunch more cool pics I took at the beginning of 2015…

Imagine Tent City was created by artist Todd Stands.
Imagine Tent City was created by artist Todd Stands.

Water skiing in the past, and present-day boats in Glorietta Bay Marina.
Water skiing in the past, and present-day boats in Glorietta Bay Marina.

Two ladies row a pleasure boat.
Two ladies row a pleasure boat.

Kids prepare to jump into the water!
Kids prepare to jump into the water!

Sailor and sweetheart beside a beach tent.
Sailor and sweetheart beside a beach tent.

Old photographic portrait and postcard of Tent City.
Old photographic portrait and postcard of Tent City.

Coronado Tent City News was a popular newspaper.
Coronado Tent City News was a popular newspaper.

One image in this amazing mosaic of Tent City history.
One image in this amazing mosaic of Tent City history.

A postcard shows a crowd around Pavilion at Tent City.
A postcard shows a crowd around Pavilion at Tent City.

Small child and mom have fun in the sand.
Small child and mom have fun in the sand.

More nostalgic postcards from historic vacation spot.
More nostalgic postcards from historic vacation spot.

Illustration of people playing and relaxing on Coronado Beach.
Illustration of people playing and relaxing on Coronado Beach.

Just hanging out at Tent City and enjoying life.
Just hanging out at Tent City and enjoying life.

Postcard image shows layout of Coronado's Tent City.
Postcard image shows layout of Coronado’s Tent City.

Photo of Victorian-style Boathouse, which resembles nearby Hotel del Coronado.
Photo of Victorian-style Boathouse, which resembles nearby Hotel del Coronado.

Historic 1887 boathouse on bay side of island near Hotel del Coronado.
Historic 1887 boathouse on bay side of island near Hotel del Coronado.

(This is a photo of the Boathouse as it appears today, a bit to the north up a sunny walkway.)

Another part of cool Imagine Tent City public artwork.
Another small part of Imagine Tent City public artwork.

Lady hangs sign on tent: Our Tenth Season 1909
Lady hangs sign on tent: Our Tenth Season 1909

Swimmers enjoy the huge sandy-bottomed Plunge.
Swimmers enjoy the huge sandy-bottomed Plunge.

Lots of vacationers out in the ocean water.
Lots of vacationers out in calm water–possibly San Diego Bay.

Bicyclist pauses to admire wonderful public art in Coronado.
Bicyclist pauses to admire wonderful public art in Coronado.