Surprising contrasts on a quiet walk.

Sunday afternoon I took the trolley to East County to enjoy a quiet walk near Gillespie Field. I knew that along Marshall Avenue there’d be no traffic.

As I walked down the long, empty sidewalk I turned my eyes toward sleepy hangars across the street, burgeoning spring flowers at my feet and a large construction site abandoned for the day. All I heard was the whisper of the breeze, birds flitting here or there and small planes rising into the sky.

The time and place was perfect for a stretch of thinking. I’m struggling with a short story that is particularly difficult. It’s a story about the complexity of people and the small actions that help to define a life. I keep changing the words.

As I walked along in a state of abstraction I slowly became aware of surprising shapes and contrasts in the world all around me. Exactly like the complexity we find in ourselves.

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 mixture of the strange and delightful!

A purple cat on the wall of The Cat Cafe.
A purple cat on the wall of The Cat Cafe.

I went on a long walk through downtown this morning. My plan was to take some blog-worthy photographs before the rain begins in earnest tomorrow.

As I randomly wandered from block to block, my eyes found a variety of strange and delightful sights!

A clock wedged between a sidewalk and fence.
A clock wedged between a sidewalk and fence.
A wall of roses welcomes guests to Coffee 'N' Talk.
A wall of roses welcomes guests to Coffee ‘N’ Talk.
I must be a mermaid.
I must be a mermaid.
The PARKING is disappearing, and soon there will be none.
PARKING is disappearing, and soon there will be none.
A boy plays a flute up on someone's balcony.
A boy plays a flute up on someone’s balcony.
A frog plays the violin by somebody's front door!
A frog plays a violin by someone’s front door!

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!

Somebody lost their heads by the sidewalk!

A couple of heads are missing! I’ve discovered two strange, disembodied heads sitting on the ground by the sidewalk!

I observed that first rather fierce-looking head early this afternoon as I rode on a bus down Pacific Highway, just north of the Old Town Transit Center. (Why was I on the bus? I had several adventures this morning in North County! Stay tuned for more cool blog posts!)

The second head, which looks kind of like a painted Dia de los Muertos skull, was discovered beside a sidewalk about a week ago as I walked through Mission Valley on my way to work!

Has anyone out there lost their head? Or heads?

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights (and have more fun) via Facebook or Twitter!

Lines, curves, contrasts and mysteries.

A mazelike X by artist Bob Matheny. His works of Almost Anonymous, mind-teasing art can now be absorbed at the San Diego History Museum.
A mazelike X by artist Bob Matheny. His works of Almost Anonymous, mind-teasing art can now be absorbed at the San Diego History Museum.

I took these unusual photographs yesterday during my afternoon walk through Balboa Park.

Each image seemed uniquely interesting to me for one reason or another. My eyes were drawn to lines, curves, contrasts and mysteries.

The passage of time glimpsed underfoot. Contrasted modes of decay.
The passage of time glimpsed underfoot. Contrasted modes of decay.
An elemental drama. Trees battle sky.
An elemental drama. Trees battle sky.
In one photo nature subdues architecture.
In one photo nature subdues architecture.
The iconic California Tower is swallowed by vertical distance.
The iconic California Tower is swallowed by vertical distance.
Looking through an arch of the California Quadrangle toward the original Administration Building, first building completed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Looking through an arch of the California Quadrangle toward the original Administration Building, the first building completed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Simple lines and curves, a small place in the park to rest.
Simple lines and curves: a small place in the park to rest.
Eyes are drawn in every direction in a nook beside the San Diego Museum of Art.
Eyes are pulled in every direction in a nook beside the San Diego Museum of Art.
Wild beauty is aesthetically arranged at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Wild beauty is aesthetically arranged at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
The Japanese Friendship Garden, where reflection becomes meditation.
The Japanese Friendship Garden, where reflection becomes meditation.

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 visual complexity downtown.

My camera was busy yesterday.

Not only did I take some magical photos of Balboa Park after work, but before work I snapped cool, complex images of downtown San Diego.

My eyes were searching everywhere as I walked from Eighth Avenue on Cortez Hill west down Ash and Beech 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!

Sunrise beauty at South Bay Salt Works!

Sunrise at South Bay Salt Works is a spectacle that’s hard to describe. The sun’s first rays tint the dunelike mounds of pure white salt with a golden glow, creating an effect that is otherworldly and strangely beautiful.

Yesterday as the sun cleared the horizon I approached South Bay Salt Works to experience the magic. I took many photographs!

Wikipedia has an extensive article about South Bay Salt Works, which is located near Chula Vista, in the tiny Fruitdale section of San Diego’s Otay Mesa-Nestor community. I was interested to learn it’s the second longest running business in San Diego after the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper. The salt factory began as La Punta Salt Company sometime before 1872.

Large evaporation ponds at the southern end of San Diego Bay are the source of the salt, but the water comes directly from the Pacific Ocean. South Bay Salt Works produces about 75,000 tons of salt every year from ponds that cover over a thousand acres. For decades is was the sole supplier of salt for Southern California.

Many migrating birds are attracted to the evaporation ponds. The salinity of the water supports an abundance of brine flies and brine shrimp. Today, even as salt harvesting operations continue, the ponds are officially part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

I was once told by someone who knows a little about South Bay Salt Works that the salt is shipped from San Diego to places with freezing winters, where it’s used on roads and highways to melt the ice.

Enjoy these photographs!

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!

Strange beauty of a brick wall downtown.

Stand at the corner of India Street and A Street in downtown San Diego, turn north, and you’ll probably notice an old brick wall on the other side of a parking lot. Approach the wall and you’ll see a complex mosaic of paint and mortar. Like the brushstrokes of a painting, they tell a unique story.

I’m under the impression this building was once a soda bottling plant. I posted a couple photographs of the Hires Root Beer graphics five years ago here.

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!