A hidden paradise in San Clemente Canyon!

You’d assume a hiking trail beside a freeway wouldn’t be beautiful.

Not when it’s a trail through enormous willows, oaks and sycamores in San Clemente Canyon!

Marian Bear Memorial Park occupies this narrow canyon between North Clairemont and University City–and so does California State Route 52. But when you hike by the creek through the many trees, which conceal the freeway, you quickly tune out the muffled noise of traffic. Your mind is busy with the surrounding beauty.

It’s everywhere.

Today around noontime I started from the Genesee Avenue trailhead and walked east. I passed under a freeway on-ramp, over stones in shallow muddy water, and entered a hidden paradise in the middle of the city.

The trail was easy. There were benches for resting. There was plenty of shade. I saw many birds. High above the trees I glimpsed a red-tailed hawk.

I saw families with smiling kids enjoying a day in nature. Bring water and sturdy shoes!

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!

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Happy street art near El Cajon and 54th.

Be happy. Be bright. Be YOU.
Be happy. Be bright. Be YOU.

I was walking along El Cajon Boulevard just east of 54th Street–part of the El Cerrito neighborhood–when I noticed lots of fun street art painted on electrical boxes.

I took photos!

Sometimes you have to make your own sunshine.
Sometimes you have to make your own sunshine.

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 most beautiful garden reopens!

The Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park is reopening!

Today was the first day that members could enjoy the garden. Starting on Monday, June 22, this most beautiful garden will be open to the public!

Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, face coverings and social distancing will be required.

I got off from work early today, so I headed into Balboa Park and found myself at the entrance to the Japanese Friendship Garden renewing my annual membership. Then I stepped into the garden. And I immediately lost myself in the tranquil beauty.

Sunlight touched green leaves. Water sparkled and splashed. Birds took flight as I moved from shadow to light. My mind calmed. I again understood the true beauty of life and this world.

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!

Life returns to Shelter Island!

A busy Sunday at the Shelter Island Launch Ramp.
A busy Sunday at the Shelter Island Launch Ramp.

Life has returned to Shelter Island! How quickly circumstances change!

For several months, during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, San Diego Bay was an inactive blank–virtually no boats, almost no people along its shoreline. But now that society is well along in the process of reopening, appearances have radically changed!

I took a walk around the Shelter Island today. It looked like a typical Sunday in June. People picnicked on the grass, fished from the pier, and launched their boats into the bay.

The playground was closed and some people wore facial protection, but otherwise it felt like just another summer day…

As life returns to Shelter Island, a line forms at the boat ramp.
As life returns to Shelter Island, a line forms at the boat ramp.
Various types of boats are gathered inside the recently renovated launching basin.
Various types of boats are gathered in the recently renovated launching basin.
This boat is heading out into San Diego Bay.
This boat is heading out into San Diego Bay.
These guys are coming in. Pelicans stand on the rail across the water.
These guys are coming in. Pelicans stand on the rail across the water.
A cool little wooden sailboat sets out into the bay.
A cool little wooden sailboat sets out into the bay.
Still working to get that sail up!
Still working to get that sail up!
A sea lion goes from boat to boat hoping for fishing bait leftovers.
A sea lion goes from boat to boat hoping for fishing bait leftovers.
I believe this might be Wally the sociable sea lion. I blogged about him a couple times before. He hangs out here.
I believe this might be Wally the sociable sea lion. I blogged about him a couple times before. He hangs out here.
Today is Flag Day, so this sign works perfectly.
Today is Flag Day, so this sign works perfectly.
The huge Stars and Stripes racing yacht is passing the Shelter Island Pier. I haven't seen it on the bay for a very long time.
The huge Stars and Stripes racing yacht is passing the Shelter Island Pier. I haven’t seen it out on the bay for what seems a very long time.
The pier is filled almost end to end with people.
The pier is filled almost end to end with people.
This gull has landed atop a box at the foot of the pier. It would probably like some leftovers from Fathom Bistro, Bait and Tackle.
This gull has landed atop a box at the foot of the pier. It would probably like some scraps from Fathom Bistro, Bait and Tackle.
A perfect sunny day on the Shelter Island Pier. Across the bay you can see North Island Naval Air Station.
A perfect sunny day on the Shelter Island Pier. Across the bay you can see North Island Naval Air Station.
Somebody caught a little mackerel!
Somebody caught a little mackerel!
Lots of sails in the distance. Beyond them rises downtown San Diego's skyline.
Lots of sails in the distance. Beyond them rises downtown San Diego’s skyline.
Another sail seen from one of the lath shelters along Shelter Island’s Shoreline Park.
Another sail seen from one of the lath shelters along Shelter Island’s Shoreline Park.
Walking, bicycling, sailing... What could be better?
Walking, bicycling, sailing… What could be better?
A bright sailboat about to pass Scripps Institution of Oceanography research vessel Sally Ride. You might remember I took a tour of her when she debuted and blogged about it!
A sailboat about to pass Scripps Institution of Oceanography research vessel Sally Ride. I took a tour of her when she debuted and I blogged about it!

If you want to see what it’s like inside the oceanographic research vessel R/V Sally Ride, which is in the above photo, click 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!

Returning to a reopened Ocean Beach Pier.

The piers and boardwalks of San Diego reopened yesterday. The coronavirus pandemic seems to be subsiding locally.

I got off work early this hot June day and decided to go to Ocean Beach. A fresh sea breeze would be so nice. I hadn’t been out on the OB Pier in a long while.

When I arrived, a good crowd was gathered on the beach. It seemed fewer people were on the pier.

Fishermen were leaning against the rail or sitting on benches hoping to catch the big one. Those strolling down the pier often paused to watch a group of surfers below.

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!

The sun rises again over San Diego.

The reliable sun rose again this morning. It cast its warm light over San Diego.

The sun promised to eventually climb above downtown skyscrapers.

Breathing in fresh air, moving between long shadows and seeping sunlight, I aimed my camera eastward and took a few photographs as I walked along the Embarcadero.

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!

Healthy air on the water.

Today I enjoyed a long walk from downtown San Diego to Liberty Station then back again. It felt so good to be near the water that I even took a short detour to visit Harbor Island.

Given the current coronavirus pandemic, I noticed an unusual number of people out on San Diego Bay, on paddle boards, in kayaks, breathing in the healthy fresh air. There’s a new local regulation that recently went into effect during the COVID-19 crisis. People are now allowed to recreate on the water. And those engaged in safe social distancing aren’t required to wear face coverings. They can fully enjoy San Diego’s watery paradise.

As I arrived at Liberty Station, I noticed many stand up paddleboarders embarking on a journey from the boat channel. They headed under the Nimitz and Harbor Drive bridges and into the sunlit marina behind Harbor Island.

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!

Bright, fantastic patterns in the city sky.

As an amateur photographer, I’m always looking for interesting photo opportunities as I walk about.

In downtown San Diego some fantastic images can be captured simply by turning my little camera skyward.

Bright reflection, shadow, and the grid-like windows of tall buildings produce strangely appealing patterns. The photographs that result can make what is familiar mysterious.

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!

Historic Old (1935) Cactus Garden revitalized!

During my walk this weekend through Balboa Park, I was excited to discover that the historic Old (1935) Cactus Garden behind the Balboa Park Club has been recently revitalized!

Dead and unsightly vegetation has been removed, the cacti and succulents look more beautiful than ever, and the pathways are in great condition!

I was also surprised to see a family of cats walking casually about in the sunshine, greeting me and a few other visitors who were passing through the cactus garden!

If you ever find yourself in Balboa Park and would like a quiet place to read or eat lunch, head over to the Old (1935) Cactus Garden. Not only will you be surrounded by natural beauty, but there are views of the Cabrillo Bridge and the distant California Tower.

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!

Final rays of sunlight and a smile in Balboa Park.

Late yesterday I entered Balboa Park to enjoy a summer organ concert. I arrived well before the music began, so I took a leisurely walk along El Prado.

I was touched by the final rays of sunlight and a smile…

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!