Waning rays of sunlight, magically captured.

One of the metal Wind Palms in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront catches golden light at the end of an October day.
One of the metal Wind Palms in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront catches golden light at the end of an autumn day.

I walked along the Embarcadero late today. As I reached the Hilton San Diego Bayfront the sun was beginning to set. Looking up, I observed that golden rays of waning sunlight had been magically captured by some peculiar palm trees…

Sunset begins behind trees of Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Sunset begins behind the trees of Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Late sunlight on one of the rotating Wind Palms created by artist Ned Kahn in 2008.
Late sunlight on one of the rotating Wind Palms created by artist Ned Kahn in 2008.
People jog along San Diego's Embarcadero as evening approaches.
People walk and jog along San Diego’s Embarcadero as evening approaches.
Waning rays of sunlight, magically captured.
Waning rays of sunlight, magically captured.

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 plant in Balboa Park now extinct in the wild.

Balboa Park's knowledgeable Ranger Kim Duclo points out an extremely rare specimen of Deppea splendens in the Botanical Building.
Balboa Park’s knowledgeable Ranger Kim Duclo points out an extremely rare specimen of Deppea splendens in the Botanical Building.

I learned something really amazing last Sunday in Balboa Park. I had joined one of Ranger Kim Duclo’s park tours as it was in progress, and I followed the group into the Botanical Building.

Near the center of the Botanical Building, Ranger Kim stopped beside a beautiful green tree and told us it was one of the rarest plants in the entire world!

Deppea splendens was originally discovered in 1973 by botanist Dennis Breedlove. He found it growing in a single spot in Mexico’s southern mountains. Fortunately Dennis gathered some seeds. Because when he returned in 1986, the plants had all been destroyed. The area had been developed into farmland.

Ranger Kim told us that specimens of Deppea splendens now grow in relatively few places–mostly in special havens like Balboa Park. He also said that one day the plant might be reintroduced into the wild, much as the California condor was saved locally from extinction and successfully returned to its natural habitat.

May that day come!

A look at the thriving Deppea splendens inside Balboa Park's lush Botanical Building.
Photo of a thriving Deppea splendens inside Balboa Park’s lush Botanical Building.
The distinctive flowers of Deppea splendens, a plant that is now extinct in the wild. This public domain photograph is from Wikimedia Commons.
The distinctive flowers of Deppea splendens, a plant that is now extinct in the wild. I found this public domain photograph at Wikimedia Commons.
These beautiful green leaves might be reintroduced into the wild one day!
These rare, beautiful leaves might be seen once again in the wild!

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 fascinating photos for you to share and enjoy!

Photos of San Diego Bonsai Club exhibition.

Many beautiful works of bonsai art could be viewed today in the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park.
Many beautiful works of bonsai art could be viewed today in Balboa Park.

Here are more photos that you might enjoy! I took them this afternoon at the San Diego Bonsai Club exhibition, which was held inside the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park.

The art of bonsai has always fascinated me. A tiny, carefully tended tree can speak so much about life. About time and human struggle, about balance and poise.

It’s funny how artists can create a profound feeling of untamed natural beauty using orderly, controlled methods. It is absolutely contradictory. But there is much in art–as in life–that is hard to explain.

A sign outside the Casa del Prado directs visitors to an exhibition by the San Diego Bonsai Club.
A sign outside the Casa del Prado directs visitors to an exhibition by the San Diego Bonsai Club.
Demonstrations were part of the event. These friendly people were patiently working on their bonsai trees and explaining the process.
Demonstrations were part of the event. These friendly people in the Casa del Prado’s inner courtyard were patiently working on their bonsai trees and explaining the process to those who were curious.
The many tools of a bonsai gardener.
The many specialized tools of a bonsai gardener.
One member of the San Diego Bonsai Club created a cool display that contrasted her bonsai with photos of trees in local landscapes.
One member of the San Diego Bonsai Club created a cool display that contrasted her bonsai with photos of trees in local landscapes.
Like any other good art, bonsai evokes emotion. Nature inspires the bonsai artist. Styles can include Windswept, Formal Upright, Informal Upright and Forest.
Like any other good art, bonsai evokes emotion. Nature inspires the bonsai artist. Styles can include Windswept, Formal Upright, Informal Upright and Forest.
This bonsai Prostrata Juniper has been trained and pruned to appear ancient--the product of wild nature.
This bonsai Prostrata Juniper has been trained and pruned to appear ancient–the product of wild, tempestuous nature.
A tiny Japanese black pine is one object in a small room-like scene.
A tiny Japanese black pine is one object in a small room-like scene.
A fine work of art created by a lover of bonsai.
A fine work of art created by a lover of bonsai.
An ornamental porcelain berry arranged in an beautiful pot.
An ornamental porcelain berry arranged in an beautiful pot.
These tiny succulents are in a tiny wheelbarrow!
These tiny succulents are in a tiny wheelbarrow!
Visitors to the San Diego Bonsai Club exhibition in Balboa Park enjoy looking at a small, very beautiful oriental sweetgum tree.
Visitors to the San Diego Bonsai Club exhibition in Balboa Park enjoy looking at a small, very beautiful oriental sweetgum tree.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Signs of autumn along the San Diego River.

Autumn officially begins in two days.

During my walk this morning in Mission Valley along a short stretch of the San Diego River, I noticed a few leaves have already begun to turn.

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 few photos around sunset at Marston Point.

This evening around sunset I took a short walk through Marston Point, which is located in the southwest corner of Balboa Park.

Trees were gradually darkening. Directly to the south, Cortez Hill–the part of downtown San Diego where I live–gleamed like a shining paradise in the sky.

To the west, buildings near the bay and on Bankers Hill were crowned with streaks of pale gold.

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 sycamores at Los Peñasquitos Canyon.

Early this morning, while it was still cool outside, I headed up to Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. My intention was to take a brisk hike around some trails near the old Adobe Ranch House. But then my eyes encountered California sycamores along one trail. And my camera came out. And then the sun came out. My hike slowed to a walk. With many long pauses.

Beautiful photos frame and emphasize the infinite beauty that surrounds every one of us. Taking such photographs does make one pause. And love life.

You might also enjoy some photos on one of my other fun blogs, A Small World Full of Beauty.

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!

To read a few small stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Bright green leaves form patterns of beauty.

Here are some amazing photos that I captured today at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. During my slow walk into the Lower Garden, I halted beneath a tree and looked up at the leaves. Sunshine was beaming through, illuminating the many layers of green.

The complex patterns of leaves appear to me like swirling three-dimensional fractals. The patterns are strangely magical. They are beautiful.

Later in the afternoon, I ventured over to the International Cottages and enjoyed some colorful Philippine folk dancing. You can see those joyful photos on my special Beautiful Balboa Park blog by clicking 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!

To read a few short stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Do you enjoy beautiful things? Please visit my other photography blog, which I’ve named A Small World Full of Beauty.