Above bright river trees at Rio Vista!

The platform at the Rio Vista trolley station in Mission Valley overlooks the San Diego River. But to see the water, you have to peer down through the branches and leaves of many trees.

I found myself waiting for a trolley, gazing into fluttering autumn leaves. It seemed that light reflected from the river splashed skyward, painting leaves bright green, yellow and gold.

It’s late November. The sycamores and cottonwoods will soon turn gray.

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!

Major projects in Balboa Park near completion!

To make room for pumpkin pie, today I took a brisk walk through Balboa Park. And I noticed some of the major projects that have been underway this year appear to be nearing completion!

In June I took photos of early construction throughout Balboa Park and posted them here. In August I took more photos documenting the progress of these projects and posted them here and here. (The three links will lead you to more information concerning various changes in the park.)

Now its already late November. What did I see during this walk?

First, the observation platform underneath the gigantic Moreton Bay Fig tree by the Natural History Museum is almost finished! It features some cool log benches. Take a look…

Next, I walked around the House of Charm, which is being renovated to accommodate a completely redesigned, enlarged Mingei International Museum.

The building’s iconic façade behind a fence and trees has a fresh coat of paint, but I failed to take a photograph of it from the Plaza de Panama. The scaffolding has been removed from both the front and back of the building. The House of Charm’s newly painted tower, which overlooks the Alcazar Garden, is more beautiful than ever.

The first photo coming up shows some of the museum’s expansion.

I can’t wait to visit the Mingei once everything is completed!

Next I walked completely around the International Cottages.

Nine member nations of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages will eventually move into five new structures that are being built.

And the new cottages look like they’re almost done!

Finally, I arrived at the South Palisades’ brand new plaza. The yellow tape around it is gone. Colorful umbrellas over tables are open! On a quiet Thanksgiving afternoon, a few people were already enjoying the spacious plaza!

You can see how the San Diego Automotive Museum also has a new paint job. Once amazing new murals appear over the front entrance, and cool vehicles are placed in the display areas in front, the museum will be more inviting than ever!

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!

Lingering flames in one autumn garden.

It’s mid-autumn. Winter will be here before you know it. Brilliant color in most gardens will be extinguished. But a few sunny “flames” still linger at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park!

I swung by this afternoon!

The fruit on one large Chinese flame tree between the Exhibit House and Koi Pond have mostly turned brown. But one or two clusters still appear reddish high up in the green leaves.

And small purplish flames are still visible in the Bonsai collection. A beautiful fire remains lit in one carefully pruned bougainvillea!

Unfortunately, too much light has been extinguished elsewhere in Balboa Park for the time being. Most museums are closed again due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two attractions, the Japanese Friendship Garden and San Diego Zoo, remain open–the outdoor parts, at least!

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 photos of autumn on Mount Laguna.

It’s autumn on Mount Laguna, and the natural beauty this morning was breathtaking.

The leaves of oak trees are turning. Yellows shine brightly under the mountain sunlight. White snow lingers on the ground from past storms.

The sky is blue, the air is dry and chilly, the sunshine is warm.

I headed east on Interstate 8 from downtown San Diego shortly after the crack of dawn. The November sun was climbing well above the eastern horizon as I drove north up the winding Sunrise Highway. Seeking a little quiet, I arrived well ahead of most weekend visitors.

I pulled over at several turnouts as I gained elevation, just to look around me. I eventually arrived at Penny Pines, parked, put on a light jacket, and started a short distance down the Noble Canyon Trail. Then I turned about and slowly hiked a short distance up the Big Laguna Trail.

No particular destination.

Come with me…

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!

River birds, golden ripples, reflections.

Sometimes you’re just walking along when out of the blue lightning strikes. Your eyes open wide. You understand how essentially beautiful this world is.

I took these photographs on an ordinary autumn morning as I walked along the San Diego River in Mission Valley.

The golden ripples and reflections were everywhere. So were the birds.

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 forgotten public art of a famous artist.

I received a comment this weekend on a past blog post that concerns public art at San Ysidro Park. The Tree of Life is a tile mosaic planter and bench near the center San Ysidro Park, created by internationally renowned artist Victor Ochoa (with the help of some kids, I believe). I posted photos here, where you can also read the comment.

I was informed that a second Tree of Life by Victor Ochoa can be found at Howard Lane Park off Dairy Mart Road, and that the City of San Diego lists neither works on its civic art collection website here.

The reader commented the tree planted in this second Tree of Life planter is dead. Which is quite sad, seeing how Victor Ochoa is an artist who is celebrated around the world, particularly for his murals in historic Chicano Park.

Today I decided to go down to Howard Lane Neighborhood Park in the northwest corner of San Ysidro to check it out.

This is what I discovered…

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!

Early autumn beauty in San Clemente Canyon.

Yesterday I returned to Marian Bear Memorial Park in San Clemente Canyon to experience more of nature’s beauty.

It’s early autumn. The days are growing shorter. I noticed some sycamore leaves are changing.

I walked east from Genesee Avenue along the park’s main trail. Near the end of my walk I heard and then glimpsed a red-tailed hawk, but it was winging past way up in the blue sky. I envied its view.

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 very creepy corner of one city park!

Three months ago I enjoyed a great summer hike at Marian Bear Memorial Park in San Clemente Canyon. See those photos here. Today I decided to return and perhaps experience some autumn color, now that it’s October.

My walk was wonderful, as you’ll see in my next blog post, but there was one corner of this semi-wild city park where I thought I’d stepped into a very weird nightmare or horror movie!

Just in time for Halloween, take a look at the coming creepy photos!

As I hiked down a side trail that approaches Genesee Avenue from the east, the trees grew old and dense, the space beneath them darkened, and I soon found myself walking where few seem to tread among weirdly twisted roots and branches.

Had I entered an ancient, evil forest in Middle Earth? Were ravenous, sinister creatures eyeing me? Would I momentarily encounter the Blair Witch?

Those blood-red hacks in one tree trunk was too creepy for me!

I looked over my shoulder, turned my feet about, and doing my utmost to appear unfazed (in case any eyes were watching), I promptly scooted back to the park’s main trail!

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 beautiful October day in Balboa Park!

Enjoy these photographs taken this afternoon in Balboa Park.

It’s a Wednesday in early October. The summer tourists are gone. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 goes on. Not surprisingly, few people were about.

As always, the park was very beautiful.

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!

Two special trees at Alvarado Hospital.

I had to wait a few minutes at the Alvarado trolley station this afternoon, so I walked across the street to look at some brilliantly shining green trees.

The beautiful trees stand in front of Alvarado Hospital Medical Center. Each had a plaque at its base.

I read the words..

Anthony J. Wapnick, M.D. - Dedicated and caring physician - He will never be replaced in the hearts of those whose lives he touched.
Anthony J. Wapnick, M.D. – Dedicated and caring physician – He will never be replaced in the hearts of those whose lives he touched.
Judy Cherry - Microbiologist - A special friend and colleague.
Judy Cherry – Microbiologist – A special friend and colleague.

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!