Festivals, fun and blossoms in Balboa Park!

Dancers entertain visitors to Balboa Park as the House of China celebrates the New Year at the International Cottages.
Dancers entertain visitors to Balboa Park as the House of China celebrates Chinese New Year at the International Cottages.

It’s February already, and beginning to feel a tiny bit like spring!

Visitors to Balboa Park today could enjoy many wonderful experiences: the Chinese New Year Festival . . . the International Dance Festival . . . and even a few early cherry blossoms!

As I walked in sunshine and scattered sprinkles, I took many photos.

Colorful young dancers on stage celebrate the Chinese New Year in San Diego.
Colorful young dancers on stage celebrate the Chinese New Year in San Diego.
Food, culture and sunshine (and some sprinkling clouds) at the Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park.
Food, culture and sunshine (and scattered, sprinkling clouds) at the Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park.
A glimpse of the El Cid statue in Balboa Park on a spring-like Sunday in February.
A glimpse of the El Cid statue in Balboa Park on a springlike Sunday in February.
Sunshine on bubbles.
Sunshine on bubbles.
There's plenty of bright green down in the Balboa Park Rube Powell Archery Range.
There’s plenty of bright green down in the Balboa Park Rube Powell Archery Range.
A beautiful photo between the House of Hospitality and Casa de Balboa.
A beautiful photo between the House of Hospitality and Casa de Balboa.
Prado Perk's chalkboard indicates it's almost Valentine's Day!
Prado Perk’s chalkboard indicates it’s almost Valentine’s Day!
Athletes in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association gather during a time out during the Third Annual Brad Rich Invitational at Balboa Municipal Gymnasium.
Athletes in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association gather during a time out during the Third Annual Brad Rich Invitational at Balboa Municipal Gymnasium.
The ornamental pear trees are blooming near the Plaza de Balboa.
The ornamental pear trees are blooming near the Plaza de Balboa.
Members of the San Diego Bonsai Club work on small olive trees in the Casa del Prado.
Members of the San Diego Bonsai Club work on small olive trees in the Casa del Prado.
I spotted Captain America in the cafe of the Federal Building, future home of the Comic-Con Museum! (He's actually a cool member of San Diego's Science Fiction Coalition!)
I spotted Captain America in the cafe of the Federal Building, future home of the Comic-Con Museum! (He’s actually a member of San Diego’s Science Fiction Coalition.)
A beautiful spring-like day on El Prado.
A beautiful springlike day on El Prado.
I was welcomed to the International Dance Festival in the Balboa Park Club.
I was welcomed to the International Dance Festival in the Balboa Park Club.
Flags of many nations follow a bagpiper through Balbo Park as the annual International Dance Festival is about to begin.
Flags of many nations follow a bagpiper through Balboa Park as the annual International Dance Festival is about to begin.
Colorful banners approach the Balboa Park Club.
Colorful banners approach the Balboa Park Club.
Folk dancing begins!
Folk dancing is ready to begin!
A banner of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
A banner of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
Meanwhile, folks walk through the always beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden.
Meanwhile, folks walk through the always beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden.
Looks to me like spring is coming!
Looks to me like spring is coming fast!
A few early cherry blossoms are blooming in February at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A few early cherry blossoms are blooming in February at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Spring is around the corner!
Yes! Spring is around the corner!

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Check out my other website Beautiful Balboa Park!

Spring flowers shine in the May gray!

An overcast May gray day.

After work I walked through Balboa Park. The clouds were gloomy, no sun in sight. But the park’s many spring flowers were reservoirs of light.

I found shining beauty wherever I turned.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

Cortez Hill blooms at Jacaranda Flower Fest!

Many jacaranda trees add color to downtown San Diego's Cortez Hill neighborhood.
Jacaranda trees add color to downtown San Diego’s beautiful Cortez Hill neighborhood.

Today I headed to Ocean Beach to check out a big kite festival. As I left my home atop Cortez Hill, and when I returned home a few hours later, I wandered through a fun neighborhood event just outside my front door. What in years past was playfully called the Jacaranda Spring Thing is now the Jacaranda Flower Fest. The event is organized every spring by the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

One nice aspect of living atop Cortez Hill are all the flowers. Especially along Tweet Street Park.

Another reason why I love to walk outdoors every day!

As I was leaving home in the morning, I spotted this nice lady setting up a table for the Jacaranda Flower Fest on Cortez Hill.
As I was leaving home in the morning, I spotted this nice lady setting up a table for the Jacaranda Flower Fest on Cortez Hill.
Later in the day, the Flower Fest was underway. Neighbors relax and enjoy a fun community event.
Later in the day, the Flower Fest was underway. Neighbors relax and enjoy a fun community event.
Little Dandelions had some activities at the Flower Fest. They are a non-profit organization based in Imperial Beach. Their mission is to inspire and teach the importance of agriculture to all ages.
Little Dandelions had some activities at the Flower Fest. They are a non-profit organization based in Imperial Beach. Their mission is to inspire and teach the importance of agriculture to all ages.
Visitors to the Jacaranda Flower Fest could propagate a succulent cutting in a small pot.
Visitors to the Jacaranda Flower Fest could propagate a succulent cutting in a small pot.
There are many flowers on Cortez Hill along linear Tweet Street Park.
There are many flowers on Cortez Hill along linear Tweet Street Park.
I took this beautiful photo at the corner of Ninth Avenue and Date Street.
I took this beautiful photo at the corner of Ninth Avenue and Date Street.
More flowers!
More flowers along Tweet Street!
Local chalk artist Cecelia Linayao creates a beautiful jacaranda themed work of art on Date Street.
Local artist Cecelia Linayao creates a beautiful jacaranda-themed piece of chalk art on Date Street.

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!

Beautiful flowers in Old Town San Diego.

Cheerful flowers decorate the back of a wooden chair at Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego.
Cheerful flowers decorate the back of a wooden chair at Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego.

Look at all the beautiful flowers!

I found these while walking randomly around Old Town San Diego State Historic Park on Sunday!

Red geraniums flourish at the rear of San Diego House.
Red geraniums flourish at the rear of San Diego House.
A bee visits a prickly pear blossom near the Old Town Blacksmith Shop.
A bee visits a prickly pear blossom near the Old Town Blacksmith Shop.
Painted flowers decorate a panel in the entry to the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant.
Bouquet of flowers painted on a panel in the entry to the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant.
Visitors enjoy the lush, sunny courtyard of Casa de Estudillo.
Visitors enjoy the lush, sunny courtyard of Casa de Estudillo.
Beautiful pottery with floral designs can be found throughout Old Town.
Beautiful pottery with floral designs can be found throughout Old Town.
A red hibiscus behind the Fiesta de Reyes stage where visitors can watch colorful Mexican baile folklórico dancing.
A red hibiscus behind the Fiesta de Reyes stage where visitors can watch colorful Mexican baile folklórico dancing.
Flowery design on one bench by the Fiesta de Reyes stage.
Flowery design on one bench by the Fiesta de Reyes stage.
Wouldn't you like to sit on this bench?
Wouldn’t you like to sit on this bench?
Yellow blooms near the Racine and Laramie Tobacconist building.
Yellow blooms near the Racine and Laramie Tobacconist building.
Blue Buddha among flowers outside the entrance to Gum Saan.
Blue Buddha among flowers outside the entrance to Gum Saan.
Many flowers fill a garden that few visitors see behind La Casa de Machado y Stewart.
Many flowers fill a garden that few visitors see behind La Casa de Machado y Stewart.
A tree has beautiful blooms near the historic Mason Street Schoolhouse.
A tree has beautiful blooms near the historic Mason Street Schoolhouse.
Flowers adorn pottery at El Centro Artesano.
Flowers adorn pottery at El Centro Artesano.
A bag with floral design at Old Town Market.
A bag with floral design at Old Town Market.
There seem to be flowers everywhere you turn in Old Town San Diego!
There seem to be flowers everywhere you turn in Old Town San Diego!

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Another glorious spring Sunday in Balboa Park!

People walk through Balboa Park's sunlit Alcazar Garden on a beautiful spring Sunday.
People walk through Balboa Park’s sunlit Alcazar Garden on a beautiful spring Sunday afternoon.

I blog about Balboa Park frequently. I hope you’re not getting tired of it. I’m not.

I live downtown, very close to San Diego’s crown jewel, so I walk up to Balboa Park most Sundays. That’s what I did this afternoon.

It truly felt like spring today. The sun was out, the air was warm, flowers were blooming, fountains were splashing, and Balboa Park sparkled in its full glory.

I took so many photos, I’ll be posting many of them on my other website, Beautiful Balboa Park. Those upcoming posts will concern the amazing art collection of the San Diego History Center, and loads of fun artwork that I spotted in Spanish Village. Look for those photos in the next couple days.

Have a great week ahead!

The Southern California Plumeria Society was having their annual cutting sale inside the Casa del Prado. I learned they'll have many more cuttings at the upcoming Fiesta Botanica event in Balboa Park.
The Southern California Plumeria Society was having their annual cutting sale inside the Casa del Prado. I learned they’ll have many more cuttings at the May 26th Fiesta Botanica event in Balboa Park.
Someone plays with a hula hoop in the Casa del Prado's outer courtyard.
Someone plays with a hula hoop in the Casa del Prado’s outer courtyard.
Bright yellow sunflowers in hand blown glass vases in Spanish Village Art Center.
Bright yellow sunflowers in hand blown glass vases in Spanish Village Art Center.
A park squirrel seemed fascinated by this dragonfly sculpture at the edge of a rooftop in Spanish Village.
A park squirrel seemed fascinated by this shiny dragonfly sculpture at the edge of a rooftop in Spanish Village.
Playing sprightly music for passersby near the House of Hospitality.
Playing sprightly music for passersby near the House of Hospitality.
A clay female figure on display in one glass case outside the entrance to the Mingei International Museum.
A clay female figure on display in one glass case outside the entrance to the Mingei International Museum.
A family walks toward the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. It's a perfect spring day to be outside in San Diego.
A family walks toward the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. It’s a perfect spring day to be outside in San Diego.
A bicyclist has arrived for the two o'clock Sunday organ concert in Balboa Park, which is always free.
A bicyclist has arrived for the two o’clock Sunday organ concert in Balboa Park, which is always free.
A gorgeous spring bloom in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A gorgeous spring bloom in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Some people emerge from a walk through green Palm Canyon.
Some people emerge from a walk through green Palm Canyon.
I watched a bit of folk dancing by the Cabrillo Dancers inside the Balboa Park Club.
I watched a bit of folk dancing by the Cabrillo Dancers inside the Balboa Park Club.
2018's youthful House of Pacific Relations queens line the stage during a program at the International Cottages.
This year’s youthful House of Pacific Relations queens stand on stage during a program at the International Cottages.
It seems there is now limited time to save the historic Starlight Bowl. If you want to help, please take action and visit savestarlight.org today!
It seems there is now limited time to save the historic Starlight Bowl. If you want to help, please take action and visit savestarlight.org today!
I'm a big supporter of restoring the Palisades section of Balboa Park. Learn more at the Committee of One Hundred's c100.org website.
I’m a big supporter of restoring the Palisades section of Balboa Park. Learn more at the Committee of One Hundred’s c100.org website.
Looking down at the fountain inside the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.
Looking down at the fountain inside the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.
Thousands of beautiful spring roses are in bloom.
Thousands of beautiful spring roses are in bloom.
Walking over the Park Boulevard pedestrian bridge from the rose and desert gardens, back toward the San Diego Natural History Museum and Plaza de Balboa.
Walking over the Park Boulevard pedestrian bridge from the rose and desert gardens, back toward the San Diego Natural History Museum and Plaza de Balboa.
A guitarist plays in some shade near the splashing Bea Evenson Fountain in the Plaza de Balboa.
A guitarist plays in some shade near the Bea Evenson Fountain in the Plaza de Balboa.

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!

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!

Fun, laughs and thrills at Busker Festival!

Sam Malcolm, a juggling comedian from Denver, Colorado, performs high atop a ladder during the Seaport Village Spring Busker Festival!
Sam Malcolm, a juggling comedian from Denver, Colorado, performs high atop a ladder during the Seaport Village Spring Busker Festival!

Today I enjoyed an hour or so at the 2018 Seaport Village Spring Busker Festival. It’s hard to believe, but this is the fourth time I’ve blogged the annual event. Considering how quickly the years have flown by, I must be having fun!

This year’s busker festival is just as colorful and entertaining as ever. It continues tomorrow, so make sure you head down to Seaport Village for lots of fun, laughs and thrills!

Here are photos from a few of today’s performances…

The 2018 Seaport Village Spring Busker Festival is taking place this weekend!
The 2018 Seaport Village Spring Busker Festival is taking place this weekend!
Dango (Derrick Gilday of San Diego) climbs a stack of chairs near Seaport Village.
Dango (Derrick Gilday of San Diego) climbs a stack of chairs in Embarcadero Marina Park North, right next to Seaport Village.
Dango juggles flaming torches to the delight of the gathered crowd!
Dango juggles flaming torches to the delight of the gathered crowd!
I was laughing out loud at the screwball antics of Wacky Chad.
I was laughing out loud at the screwball antics and absurd comedy of Wacky Chad.
Wacky Chad jumps rope every which way. An exhibition of amazing physical dexterity.
Wacky Chad jumps rope every which way. An exhibition of amazing physical dexterity.
More juggling. This time atop a super tall unicycle.
More juggling. This time atop a super tall unicycle.
Some crazy, super high pogo sticking was the highlight of Wacky Chad's routine.
Some crazy, super high pogo sticking was the highlight of Wacky Chad’s routine. He has appeared on America’s Got Talent twice!
The Lynx Variety Show, coming from San Francisco, included a feat of amazing sword swallowing.
The Lynx Variety Show, coming from San Francisco, included a feat of amazing sword swallowing.
Mitchell Walker is a regular at Seaport Village, and so is his cool didgeridoo!
Mitchell Walker is a regular at Seaport Village, and so is his cool didgeridoo!
Greg Frisbee prepares to begin his funny Rubber Chicken Show.
Greg Frisbee prepares to begin his funny Rubber Chicken Show.
Extreme Rahim prepares to wow his audience with magic and positive clean humor. I often see him performing at Seaport Village.
Extreme Rahim prepares to wow his audience with magic and positive clean humor. I often see him performing at Seaport Village.
Extreme Rahim provides a smile and many good memories in San Diego!
Extreme Rahim provides a smile and many good memories 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!

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!