Balboa Park’s ornamental pear trees in bloom!

It’s late January. Balboa Park’s ornamental pear trees are in full bloom!

Like a dream, or an Impressionist painting, clouds of white flowers now fill El Prado. The ornamental pears in both Plaza de Panama and Plaza de Balboa are putting on their winter show!

Delicate blossoms fluttering down from the trees appeared to me like gently falling snowflakes…

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A short story about planting a tree.

Looking up through the leaves of the live oak trees at blue sky and clouds.

Have you ever planted a tree and realized it will probably outlive you?

That thought occurred to me a couple days ago as I helped to plant a few young oak trees in Balboa Park.

Yesterday, as I sat gazing out at San Diego Bay, I recalled how the larger oak trees in the grove had seemed so very . . . old. How they were bent and cast dark, spidery shadows. And a bittersweet story came to me.

It’s titled Dale’s Tree. There aren’t many words. I published it here.

New trees planted at Bennington Memorial Oak Grove!

Twenty five new oak trees were planted today in a very special place in Balboa Park!

Forever Balboa Park, trained Tree Stewards and dozens of volunteers gathered in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove to revitalize a historically important area of the park that’s a bit off the beaten path.

Perhaps you’ve driven down 26th Street from Golden Hill toward Naval Medical Center San Diego and seen many old oak trees off to your left. Those live oaks were planted in 1905 to memorialize 66 sailors who died in San Diego Bay when the boiler of the USS Bennington exploded.

As these coast live oaks have aged, some have died or approached the end of their life. Planting small new oak trees infuses new life and meaning into this truly special urban forest.

Walking along, camera in hand, I got “volunteered” to help plant three of the twenty five trees! Cool thing is, when I walk this way again, I’ll know that I and others have tangibly touched the future with these living trees. They will be growing more beautiful long after I’m gone.

If you’d like to become a volunteer Garden Steward or Tree Steward in beautiful Balboa Park, click here!

Before the planting of new trees, Kathleen Winchester tells everyone the history of the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.

Some of the spots where new coast live oaks will be planted.

Everyone learned the proper way to plant a tree so that it thrives.

Here’s a tree my group planted.

Using the shovel to make sure the tree is planted at the correct depth.

The planting of these 25 live oak trees in Balboa Park was the final phase of the 26th Street Trail park improvement project.

Last year members of the California Conservation Corps greatly improved the trail that leads up 26th Street to Golden Hill Park. The path, badly eroded in many places, was replaced with decomposed granite, and three new footbridges were built!

I walked up the trail to take some photos…

Lastly, thanks again to the Boy Scouts and sailors of the USS Theodore Roosevelt who made their mark improving and beautifying the oak grove five years ago. If you’d like to see what they did, click here!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Dragon Tree recalls movie at Hotel del Coronado.

Not far from the front entrance to the Hotel del Coronado grows a tree you might have seen in a classic movie.

It’s the Dragon Tree, which appears briefly in the 1958 comedy Some Like it Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.

Here’s a page on the Hotel Del’s website about the filming of Some Like it Hot. In the movie the world-famous Victorian beach resort is called the Seminole Ritz.

When I was walking around the Hotel del Coronado late last month, I noticed the unusual Dragon Tree and then a nearby plaque…

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Christmas trees on Carlsbad’s coastal bluffs!

A number of unusual Christmas trees can be found atop the coastal bluffs in Carlsbad!

Today, Monday the 26th, is the official observed holiday for Christmas this year. I decided to jump on the Coaster train and enjoy a walk by the ocean.

I walked north along Carlsbad Boulevard (historic Highway 101) from a point near the Poinsettia train station all the way into Carlsbad Village. Imagine my surprise when I saw several of these trees, decorated profusely with dangling ornaments. Most of the windswept trees were dead, which perhaps made the placement of the colorful ornaments more meaningful.

I don’t visit Carlsbad that often, so I don’t know the story behind these trees. If you do, please leave a comment!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Amazing views from the top of Grant Hill!

Amazing views of San Diego can be enjoyed from the top of Grant Hill.

To the west lies downtown San Diego and its skyscrapers; to the northwest one can spy distant Point Loma; to the southwest the Coronado Bridge spans San Diego Bay, and boats can be seen as tiny dots in Glorietta Bay; to the south one can view Navy ships and much of South Bay; to the southeast rises distant San Miguel Mountain.

Today, after a long walk through Logan Heights and Sherman Heights, I turned east and moved into the Grant Hill neighborhood. There was a short steep climb up J Street to reach Grant Hill Neighborhood Park. It was a beautiful day with little haze, perfect for seeing almost to horizon–even over the Pacific Ocean. These photos resulted.

When I finally completed my exploration and walked back across the grass among the gigantic eucalyptus trees, someone was getting ready to fly a kite. It can be breezy atop Grant Hill!

Approaching Grant Hill Neighborhood Park from the west.

Heading up a walking path, looking at giant eucalyptus trees atop Grant Hill.

Several people were sitting on the park’s grass, enjoying the wide outdoors in the middle of a busy city.

Downtown can be seen when turning back west. That’s J Street, which I climbed.

Downtown San Diego seen from the top of Grant Hill.

Turning a little to the left, there’s the Coronado Bridge!

Coronado Bridge seen from the top of Grant Hill.

A zoom photo shows Glorietta Bay and Coronado Shores buildings.

A zoom photo over Coronado reveals distant Point Loma jutting into the Pacific Ocean.

Walking down the Grant Hill Neighborhood Park path heading east.

San Miguel Mountain seen from Grant Hill.

I turned back west and passed this old tree in an interesting planter.

Grant Hill Neighborhood Park is a beautiful grassy retreat in urban San Diego.

I have numerous photographs on my computer which I need to share!

Stay tuned in the next week or two for blog posts concerning Solana Beach, Cardiff, Escondido, Logan Heights, Sherman Heights, and more!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Inspired people Aspire in Vista!

Look at this inspirational public art in Vista! The metal sculpture, a large tree whose silver leaves shine brightly in the sunshine, is titled Aspire.

Look closely at the tree’s trunk. Several human figures reach up, their outspread arms transformed and branching, touching the blue sky.

Like a living tree, Aspire was grown by local artists Melissa Ralston and Robert Rochin.

The sculpture was placed in a newly created roundabout on the Paseo Santa Fe corridor a little over two years ago. You can view this wonderful artwork at the intersection of Santa Fe Avenue and Guajome Street.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

San Diego’s forgotten Community Christmas Tree.

About three years ago, a new Community Christmas Tree was planted in San Diego’s wonderful Balboa Park. It replaced a beloved old Christmas tree that still shines brightly in the memories of many. But over the decades that aging tree became overgrown, gangly and misshapen.

San Diego’s new Community Christmas Tree has grown considerably. It’s now large and shapely. You’d think it would be a part of December Nights this year.

No.

As you can see in my photos taken this morning, hours before December Nights will begin, the new Community Christmas Tree is half concealed behind vendor tents. No lights, no ornaments, nothing. All but forgotten, it appears.

Yesterday I spoke to a gentleman who was helping to supervise the setting up of December Nights, and he had absolutely no clue about the tree’s existence. Very sad.

You can see the old tree, and how the new tree has grown, by clicking here.

That original Community Christmas Tree had a plaque near it, just within the fence. That plaque is now gone. What became of it, I don’t know. I now regret that I never photographed the plaque. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me can leave a comment.

UPDATE!

When I walked past two weeks later, I noticed a golden bow had appeared!

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Setting up Festival of Trees for December Nights!

Balboa Park is bustling with activity today, as an army of workers and volunteers prepares for December Nights, San Diego’s epic holiday festival that kicks off tomorrow afternoon!

In Room 101 of the Casa de Prado, I saw many smiling people busy decorating Christmas trees for this year’s Festival of Trees!

The Festival of Trees is a 50 year tradition that began in 1972, inaugurated by the San Diego Floral Association. Visitors to the Casa del Prado during December Nights will see dozens of beautifully decorated Christmas trees, sponsored by organizations throughout Balboa Park and San Diego.

It appears to me the Festival of Trees in 2022 will be just as spectacular as ever. It’s always a very popular family attraction during December Nights. Of course, admission is free!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag. There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Archive and Witness sculpture at Liberty Station.

A thought-provoking sculpture can be found at Liberty Station in Point Loma. Created by San Diego artist Trevor Amery in 2021, the wood sculpture, Archive and Witness, stands in front of the Dick Laub NTC Command Center.

A nearby sign explains that Archive and Witness takes the form of…a fallen tree in a forest…Through…decomposition and decay, it…provides a home to animals and insects…The fallen tree is not the end of a life cycle; it is a transformation as well as a beginning

The slab from the dead tree, whose tree rings represent a finished life, seems to pulse outward with abstract rings symbolizing future life. At least, that’s the way I see it.

It was interesting to read that artist Trevor Amery’s father was stationed at the old Naval Training Center San Diego here years ago. The human world, like a forest, is interconnected in surprising ways.

Archive and Witness stands where the Mingei International Museum’s Nikigator sculpture stood while that Balboa Park museum was undergoing its renovation a couple years ago.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!