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!

Art Through History murals on Bayshore Bikeway!

People bicycle past huge colorful murals painted along the Bayshore Bikeway in Chula Vista.
People bicycle past huge colorful murals painted along the Bayshore Bikeway in Chula Vista.

In 2019, some of the largest, most impressive outdoor murals in San Diego were completed in Chula Vista along a stretch of the Bayshore Bikeway. Very few people see them–only those who ride or walk down a segment of the bike path west of L Street.

The bold, very colorful murals, representing different art styles throughout history, were painted by eleven talented artists. Check out these photos, then hop onto your bicycle to experience the amazing wall for yourself!

This public art was the result of the Chula Vista Art Through History Outdoor Art Gallery project, organized by the City of Chula Vista. The variety of styles portrayed celebrates the diversity that thrives in this South Bay community.

A row of bold murals that represent different art styles through history.
A row of bold murals that represent different art styles through history.
Art has the power to transform, to illuminate, to educate, inspire and motivate!
Art has the power to transform, to illuminate, to educate, inspire and motivate!
In Full Color, by Allison Bamcat. Classical Greek and Roman art.
In Full Color, by Allison Bamcat. Classical Greek and Roman art.
Wally, by Chloe Becky. Expressionism.
Wally, by Chloe Becky. Expressionism.
The Warrior, by Guillermo "Memuco" Munro. Arte Mexicano.
The Warrior, by Guillermo “Memuco” Munro. Arte Mexicano.
Crying Girl, by Daryl Shawni. Pop Art.
Crying Girl, by Daryl Shawn1. Pop Art.
Michelle Guerrero. Primitive Art.
Michelle Guerrero. Primitive Art.

Niz. Art Nouveau.
Niz. Art Nouveau.
Us Watching You, Watching Us, Watching You, by Jhelen Ramirez and George Shaffer. Post-Impressionism.
Us Watching You, Watching Us, Watching You, by Jhelen Ramirez and George Shaffer. Post-Impressionism.
In Bloom, by Andy Rios. Graffiti.
In Bloom, by Andy Rios. Graffiti.
Self-Actualized, by Sergio Daniel Robleto. Feminist art movement.
Self-Actualized, by Sergio Daniel Robleto. Feminist art movement.
Carve Your Path, by Sergio Daniel Robleto. Social Realism.
Carve Your Path, by Sergio Daniel Robleto. Social Realism.
Picasso, by Michelle Guerrero. Cubism.
Picasso, by Michelle Guerrero. Cubism.

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!

Fun scenes from the Fern Street Circus!

Today I took a long walk, wrote a little, and kicked back for a while as I enjoyed some entertainment in Chula Vista. Local favorite Fern Street Circus was performing in Bayfront Park as part of a special Port of San Diego event!

Circus in the Park: A South Bay Arts Event attracted a good crowd of happy people. Everyone got to watch jugglers, acrobats, and all sorts of thrilling circus acts. Kids were kept busy with an array of games and art activities, and everyone was treated by the Port of San Diego to some tasty food.

After watching the first circus performance, I walked by the water to a quiet park bench and looked out over San Diego Bay, thinking that much in life is indeed good.

(What I discovered once I resumed my walk was absolutely amazing. It’s something very few in San Diego know about–and one of the coolest things you’ll ever see! Those photos will be 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!

Art and wisdom outside National City library.

Sculpture of two people holding hands on sidewalk.
Sculpture of two people holding hands on sidewalk.

Yesterday, as I walked past the National City Public Library, I paused to look at some fun art on the sidewalk. Then I noticed a wise quote in many languages printed on a monumental wall at the building’s front entrance.

In many languages: I always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of Library. Jorge Luis Borges
In many languages: I always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of Library. Jorge Luis Borges
Street art near the library.
Fun street art near the library.

Las Aventuras de Dehdohz en Casa.
Las Aventuras de Dehdohz en Casa.
Read.
Read.
Many faces.
Many faces.

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!

Street art on the National City Mile of Cars.

One of my walks today was an easy loop through National City, which included a stretch of the Mile of Cars.

I ventured up National City Boulevard, north of Mile of Cars Way, wondering what I might discover. I knew I’d pass many car dealerships and parking lots filled with thousands of vehicles. But would I see any street art?

The few examples of art that I found were colorful and very cool!

IMG_4142zy

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!

More cool art seen during a National City walk!

My walking adventure in South Bay on Saturday included a stretch through National City. I was excited to discover an abundance of art along 8th Street, between National City Boulevard and D Avenue.

I paused for a moment to admire public art on the pedestrian bridge that connects the Integrity Charter School building to the Bayview Tower Condominiums. As I continued my walk, I spied colorful street art on several electrical boxes, super vibrant murals on one fantastic building, and some unusual symbol-like sculptures jutting from the sidewalk.

Very cool!

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!

Art and history around the Chula Vista Library.

Photo from 4th Avenue beside the Chula Vista Public Library Civic Center Branch.
Photo from 4th Avenue beside the Chula Vista Public Library Civic Center Branch.

Yesterday I walked around the Chula Vista Library’s big Civic Center Branch. I took a look at a beautiful sculpture outside, saw an El Camino Real bell and bronze bust in nearby Friendship Park, then entered the building’s front entrance to check out more art and local history. I particularly enjoyed looking about the library’s unique Chula Vista Heritage Museum.

Come along with me and please read these photo captions…

Pleasant Tree, 2003, by artist Jorge Blanco. An abstract sculpture stands near the Chula Vista Library.
Pleasant Tree, 2003, by artist Jorge Blanco. An abstract sculpture stands near the Chula Vista Library.
Art should always be available to us, to surround us and uplift us.
Art should always be available to us, to surround us and uplift us.
Pleasant Tree from another angle, with eucalyptus and palm trees behind.
Pleasant Tree from another angle, with eucalyptus and palm trees behind.
North of the library, at the west edge of Friendship Park stands an El Camino Real bell, donated by the City of Chula Vista, County of San Diego, and California Federation of Women's Clubs.
North of the library, at the west edge of Friendship Park stands an El Camino Real bell, donated by the City of Chula Vista, County of San Diego, and California Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Green grass and shady trees fill the Will T. Hyde Friendship Park, north of the Chula Vista Library.
Green grass and shady trees fill the Will T. Hyde Friendship Park, north of the Chula Vista Library.
A bronze bust near the center of Chula Vista Friendship Park.
A bronze bust near the center of Chula Vista Friendship Park.
The bronze likeness of Will T. Hyde, who helped create Friendship Park. By sculptors T.J. Dixon and James Nelson.
The bronze likeness of Will T. Hyde, who helped create Friendship Park. By sculptors T.J. Dixon and James Nelson.
Plaque shows that Will T. Hyde was Mayor of Chula Vista from 1977 to 1981.
Plaque shows that Will T. Hyde was Mayor of Chula Vista from 1977 to 1981.
Will T. Hyde seems to gaze across the beautiful park.
Will T. Hyde seems to gaze across the beautiful park.
The front of the Chula Vista Public Library, seen from the parking lot entrance.
The front of the Chula Vista Public Library, seen from the parking lot entrance.
A large wall inside the front entrance of the Chula Vista Library contains many historical photos of the community.
A large wall inside the front entrance of the Chula Vista Library contains many historical photos of the community.
A photo mosaic on the library's entrance wall shows Chula Vista Heritage.
A photo mosaic on the library’s entrance wall shows Chula Vista Heritage.
In one corner of the quiet library the public can visit the Chula Vista Heritage Museum.
In one corner of the quiet library the public can freely visit the Chula Vista Heritage Museum.
A photographic timeline wall around the perimeter of the museum's space shows notable events from Chula Vista history.
A photographic timeline wall around the perimeter of the museum’s space shows notable events from Chula Vista history.
Chula Vista history in the 2000s includes Park View Little League becoming World Champions in 2009.
Chula Vista history in the 2000s includes Park View Little League becoming World Champions in 2009.
Historical artifacts fill display cases. This plastic replica was cast from a Chula Vista walrus - Valenictus chulavistensis. The fossil was found in 1989 at Otay Ranch Village.
Historical artifacts fill display cases. This plastic replica was cast from a Chula Vista walrus – Valenictus chulavistensis. The fossil was found in 1989 at Otay Ranch Village.
The San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge includes 1068 acres of diked salt evaporation ponds. Migratory birds are carefully protected.
The San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge includes 1068 acres of diked salt evaporation ponds. Migratory birds are carefully protected.
Historical 1919 letter from Hercules Powder Company, which produced potash and acetone from harvested ocean kelp at Gunpowder Point. They supplied the British with munitions during World War I.
Historical 1919 letter from Hercules Powder Company, which produced potash and acetone from harvested ocean kelp at Gunpowder Point. They helped to supply the British with munitions during World War I.
Photos of an osprey and feeding white pelicans in the museum's current exhibition, Natural History and the Indigenous People of the South Bay.
Photos of an osprey and feeding white pelicans in the museum’s current exhibition: Natural History and the Indigenous People of the South Bay.
Large sculpted medallion in a wall near the entrance to the Chula Vista Public Library. Scenes depicted include Rohr Aircraft Company, the San Diego Country Club, home of golf legend Billy Casper.
Large sculpted medallion in a wall near the entrance to the Chula Vista Public Library. Scenes depicted include the original Rohr Aircraft Company, and the San Diego Country Club, home of golf legend Billy Casper.

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Exhibit shows Kumeyaay history in the South Bay.

The Chula Vista Heritage Museum now has an exhibit that includes Kumeyaay history in the South Bay. Bringing the past to life.
The Chula Vista Heritage Museum has an exhibit that features Kumeyaay history in the South Bay. Bringing the past to life.

Until this afternoon I’d never stepped inside the Civic Center Branch of the Chula Vista Public Library. The other day I learned this library is home to the Chula Vista Heritage Museum, so I wanted to take a look!

The small but very fine museum, which is located in a corner of the library, now features an exhibit titled Natural History and the Indigenous People of the South Bay. There are all sorts of fascinating displays concerning fossils and wildlife and natural resources that are an essential part of Chula Vista’s story. But the section that fascinated me most provides information about the Native American Kumeyaay people and their very long history in the South Bay.

If you are interested in this region and its rich history, head down to the Civic Center Branch of the Chula Vista Public Library when it’s open, and take a stroll through the Chula Vista Heritage Museum!

In addition to displays about birds, fish, wildlife and plants, the exhibit explores the history of indigenous people in the South Bay region.
In addition to displays about birds, fish, wildlife and plants, the exhibit explores the history of indigenous people in the South Bay region.
Our Kumeyaay ancestors understood that without water there is no life. The term Mai Ha refers to the Creator--the life sustaining water cycle from the heavens to the Earth.
Our Kumeyaay ancestors understood that without water there is no life. The term Mai Ha refers to the Creator–the life sustaining water cycle from the heavens to the Earth.
The Kumeyaay near the coast traded acorns, deer meat, baskets, seafood and shells for obsidian, red ochre, pottery, agave and other items from clans in the eastern mountains and deserts.
The Kumeyaay near the coast traded acorns, deer meat, baskets, seafood and shells for obsidian, red ochre, pottery, agave and other items from clans in the eastern mountains and deserts.
Kumeyaay artifacts include willow baskets. Bedrock mortars and metates were used to grind acorns to flour.
Kumeyaay artifacts include beautiful willow baskets. Bedrock mortars and metates were used to grind acorns to flour.
The Kumeyaay made sandals, nets and rope from the fibers of Coastal Agave and Yuccas.
The Kumeyaay made sandals, nets and rope from the fibers of Coastal Agave and Yuccas.
Maps show extent of the Kumeyaay/Diegueño Nation in 1775, 1822 and 1850, as Spain, Mexico and the United States took control of more land.
Maps show extent of the Kumeyaay/Diegueño Nation in 1775, 1822 and 1850, as Spain, Mexico and the United States took control of more land.
The Kumeyaay of the Sycuan band have ancestral village sites along the Sweetwater River. The village of Chiap or Chayp was located by mudflats at the southern end of South Bay.
The Kumeyaay of the Sycuan band have ancestral village sites along the Sweetwater River. The village of Chiap or Chayp was located by mudflats at the southern end of South Bay.
Historical photo of a Kumeyaay village in the South Bay region. San Diego Bay and the Silver Strand are visible in the background.
Historical photo of a Kumeyaay village in the South Bay region. San Diego Bay and the Silver Strand are visible in the background.

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!

Faces of INSIDE OUT still smile in Chula Vista!

A harsh winter with rain and wind, and an occasional prankster, but dozens of optimistic faces still smile in Chula Vista!

Last weekend, as I walked down H Street east of Fourth Avenue, my eyes were surprised to see a row of large, smiling faces in an alley. They looked out at the world from a long, low wall. I turned into the alley to have a closer look.

What I discovered were faces photographed and turned into public art by the international INSIDE OUT project. INSIDE OUT had come to San Diego’s South Bay in September 2018 to encourage people to express their unique identity and viewpoint, and vote in the upcoming election.

The INSIDE OUT project is the brainchild of an anonymous artist named JR. Large‐format images of individuals in a community are pasted on buildings and along streets. Activist messages are conveyed visually, with personality and a smile!

This global “people’s art project” has achieved enormous reach. By late September 2018 over 260,000 people had participated in 129 countries!

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!