A very strange San Diego sight!

A strange liquid falls from the sky in San Diego. What is it?
A strange liquid falls from the sky in San Diego. What is it?

Umbrellas! In San Diego! My eyes must be deceiving me!

Who said it never rains in Southern California? Whoever that was, they must not have been downtown this morning!

It's only water. Perhaps we can cope. Most of these smart convention center visitors brought umbrellas!
It’s only water. Perhaps those of us who live in sunny San Diego can cope. Most of these smart convention center visitors brought umbrellas!
Honest-to-goodness rain has returned this winter, hopefully putting an end to our ongoing drought.
Honest-to-goodness rain has returned this winter, hopefully putting an end to our ongoing drought.
Umbrellas have sprouted like colorful flowers in the rain!
Umbrellas have sprouted like colorful flowers in the rain!

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!

Memories of summer on a chilly San Diego morning.

The sounds and sunshine of summer linger on a building in downtown San Diego.
Sunshine and the sounds of summer linger on a building in downtown San Diego.

Yes, San Diego has sunny, temperate weather for most of the year–many say our city has the best weather in the whole wide world. But, you know, these mornings in December can seem a bit chilly. At least to me. So I was thankful to spot some warm art this morning at the corner of Fourth Avenue and C Street.

Memories of summer linger on . . .

Musical notes and birds fly among tropical palm trees. An image on a utility box warms the city as winter nears.
Musical notes and birds fly among palm trees. As winter nears, an image on a utility box warms the heart of the city.

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 warm morning glow in San Diego.

Gazing east through trees into Balboa Park. The California Tower is a dark spike inside a golden sunrise.
Gazing east through dark trees into Balboa Park. The California Tower is a small spike inside a golden sunrise.

Early yesterday morning, the weather was so pleasant that I decided to walk to work. It’s about a four and a half mile journey. I started from downtown San Diego up Sixth Avenue along the west edge of Balboa Park, walked from Bankers Hill into Hillcrest, then finally descended Bachman Place into Mission Valley.

These photos capture the golden glow of a cloudless sunrise. Moving through the warm morning light was a modest adventure in a magical world.

Buildings along Sixth Avenue on Bankers Hill reflect breaking day one early January morning.
Buildings along Sixth Avenue on Bankers Hill reflect breaking day one early January morning.
A warm glow and reflection on the Redwood Bridge Club sign at the west edge of Balboa Park.
A warm glow and reflection on the Redwood Bridge Club sign at the west edge of Balboa Park.
A stately house at Sixth Avenue and Upas Street seems magical.
A stately house at Sixth Avenue and Upas Street seems magical.
Happy orange flowers poke through some bars along the sidewalk.
Happy orange flowers poke through some bars along the sidewalk.
The Tap House has a glowing light bulb on their business in Hillcrest.
The Tap House has a glowing light bulb on their business in Hillcrest.
The sky is gradually brightening above a shadowy Hillcrest alley.
The sky is gradually brightening above a shadowy Hillcrest alley.
A reddish splash in blue water. The fountain in front of Scripps Mercy Hospital.
A reddish splash in blue water. Morning photo of the fountain in front of Scripps Mercy Hospital.
Eucalyptus trees in warm winter morning light. Photo taken while walking down Bachman Place into Mission Valley.
Eucalyptus trees in warm winter morning light. Photo taken while walking down Bachman Place into Mission Valley.
Reflection in windows of the once-proud San Diego Union Tribune building in Mission Valley. The newspaper offices are moving to a smaller location downtown.
Reflection in windows of the once-proud San Diego Union Tribune building in Mission Valley. The newspaper offices are moving to a smaller location downtown.

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Photos of Mission Valley flooding from El Niño storm.

Car deep in the water. The flooded lower level of a Fashion Valley parking garage in San Diego's Mission Valley.
Car deep in the water. The flooded lower level of a Fashion Valley mall parking garage in San Diego’s Mission Valley.

Occasionally I post not-so-cool photos on my blog. Here are some that are noteworthy. I took these this morning while walking through a section of Mission Valley on my way to work. Because it lies right next to the San Diego River, the area is notorious for catastrophic flooding.

Yesterday we had a storm that brought intense rain to our region. It was the second winter storm of this El Nino year. Today we’re having our third storm, and it looks to be fairly rainy for many days to come.

Of course, after California’s long drought, we need the water. Unfortunately, the rain that falls in Mission Valley and many other parts of San Diego isn’t captured–it simply runs off into the ocean. I hope there isn’t too much damage caused this winter by El Nino. To my blog’s followers who are affected, take care!

The morning after an early winter storm during an El Nino year. The sun is out as people cross the San Diego River near the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
The morning after an early winter storm during an El Nino year. The sun is out as people cross the San Diego River near the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
Areas along the San Diego River are notorious for flooding. Yesterday a long deluge raised the water to an unusually high level.
Areas along the San Diego River are notorious for flooding. Yesterday a long deluge raised the water to an unusually high level.
A couple dozen cars were spotted flooded at the Fashion Valley shopping mall. This one was stranded not far from Macy's, which also suffered some flooding inside the store.
A couple dozen cars were spotted flooded at the Fashion Valley shopping mall. This one was stranded not far from Macy’s, which also suffered some flooding inside the store.
More cars abandoned in the flood. Many storms are in line to strike San Diego in the coming days during this El Nino year.
More cars abandoned in the flood. Many storms are in line to strike San Diego in the coming days during this El Nino year.
The bike and pedestrian pathway beneath Highway 163 flooded and was impassable. The nearby river was swollen with the recent rain.
The bike and pedestrian pathway beneath Highway 163 flooded and was impassable. The nearby river was swollen with the recent rain.
A beautiful morning photo of the San Diego River taken from Mission Center Road. This spot often floods and traffic must be diverted.
A beautiful morning photo of the San Diego River taken from Mission Center Road. This spot floods during severe storms and traffic must be diverted.
A barrier stands ready for the next storm. It looks to be a long, watery winter!
A barrier stands ready for the next storm. It looks to be a long, watery winter!

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Signs of 2016 All-Star Game appear in San Diego.

Sign in window of downtown's Omni Hotel, across Tony Gwynn Drive from Petco Park, proclaims San Diego is America's All-Star City.
Sign at downtown’s Omni Hotel, across Tony Gwynn Drive from Petco Park, proclaims San Diego is America’s All-Star City.

Winter is a week away. Time to start dreaming of next summer!

To help you dream, here are some photos I snapped in the past few months. During my walks around Petco Park, I’ve noticed a variety of signs which anticipate the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It will be held right here in San Diego!

Digital display on Western Metal Supply Co. building at Petco Park, the downtown stadium of the San Diego Padres, counts down the days and hours until the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Digital display on Western Metal Supply Co. building at Petco Park, the downtown stadium of the San Diego Padres, counts down the days and hours until the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
One cool window of the Omni Hotel seems to offer a view into the future, as the 2016 All-Star Game is being played in San Diego.
One cool “window” of the Omni Hotel seems to offer a view into the future, as the 2016 All-Star Game is being played in San Diego.
Baseball's All-Star Game is coming next summer! A few signs have popped up around Petco Park many months in advance. It's going to be fun!
Baseball’s All-Star Game is coming next summer! A few signs have popped up around Petco Park many months in advance. It’s going to be fun!

UPDATE!

Look what I saw in mid-December 2015…

Just before Christmas, All-Star Santa has been painted on the window of the San Diego Padres Store in the Western Metal Supply Co. Building!
Just before Christmas, All-Star Santa has been painted on the window of the San Diego Padres Store in the Western Metal Supply Co. Building!

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Do you like to read inspirational, thought-provoking fiction? Visit my Short Stories by Richard writing blog!

Birds take flight above San Diego River Estuary!

Birdwatching on north side of San Diego River, not far from Pacific Ocean.
Birdwatching on north side of San Diego River, not far from Pacific Ocean.

Today I enjoyed a glorious walk. I hiked along the always life-filled San Diego River Estuary.

Beginning along the north side of the San Diego River from Friars Road, I headed west down the bicycle and jogging trail which parallels Sea World Drive. I then crossed the river over the Sports Arena Boulevard bridge and returned along the San Diego River Trail back east to Morena Boulevard.

I didn’t expect to get any decent shots of birds with my dinky little camera, but as it turned out I got lucky. While the estuary is always teeming with both migrating and native birds, most tend to gather on the small islands and mud flats a fair distance from the path.

The San Diego River estuary is one of the best birding spots in Southern California.
The San Diego River Estuary is one of the best birding spots in Southern California.
Snowy egret takes flight from river's edge, very close to pedestrian and bike path.
Great egret takes flight from river’s edge, very close to pedestrian and bike path.
Hummingbird takes a rest on a twig on a sunny winter afternoon.
Hummingbird takes a rest on a twig on a sunny winter afternoon.
Plenty of ducks and shore birds dot the living river throughout the year.
Plenty of ducks and shore birds dot the living river throughout the year.
Black-necked stilt walks through the water, perhaps watching for a meal.
Black-necked stilt walks through the water, perhaps watching for a meal.
Looking north across blue water. Mission Bay and SeaWorld lie beyond the trees.
Looking north across blue water. Mission Bay and SeaWorld lie beyond the trees.
Huge flock of seagulls takes flight from mud flat near mouth of San Diego River.
Huge flock of seagulls takes flight from mud flat near mouth of San Diego River.
A fish-hunting osprey flies above the San Diego River estuary.
A fish-hunting osprey flies above the San Diego River Estuary.

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Skaters live a fantasy on ice at Horton Plaza.

skaters live a fantasy on ice at horton plaza

It must be the holiday season, because the Fantasy on Ice skating rink has been erected in front of Horton Plaza here in downtown San Diego. I got some pics of carefree people gliding through the sunshine. I snapped this photo while standing right next to the NBC building, at Third Avenue and Broadway. You can see the Balboa Theatre in the background.

More pics:

Beginning ice skaters hang on for dear life!
Beginning ice skaters hang on for dear life!
Christmas tree next to the Horton Plaza ice skating rink.
Christmas tree next to the Horton Plaza ice skating rink.
Fantasy on Ice banners hang along Broadway.
Fantasy on Ice banners hang along Broadway.
Ice skating rink seen from upper level of Horton Plaza.
Ice skating rink in Horton Square, as seen from an upper level of Horton Plaza.