Tours, travels, hikes and journeys!

Hello, thanks for joining me again on this journey I took on Christmas Eve Day 2016. If you want to see part 1, you can find that here: https://katelontjeffereys.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/belated-balboa-park-christmas-eve-day-post-1/

As I mentioned in part 1, I was walking around in a state of bliss the whole walk, so my attention was easily drawn to roots and leaves and trees and flowers and clouds and reflections…so many sights I had seen before but they showed up in a new way that day.

After enjoying Spanish Village, I headed south toward the main part of the park, where all the museums are located. My first stop was to admire again, this huge Moreton Bay Fig tree that has the second largest girth of any tree in CA. Its age isn’t certain but is estimated to have been planted in 1910.
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I left the tree and took a moment to look at the beautiful fountain that stands between the Fleet Museum of Science and the Natural History Museum. In the summer children love to play in this fountain.
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On my way to Zoro garden, my attention was drawn to this fall colored leaf in a tree.
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I’ve always loved the large root structure of these Ficus trees that border Zoro garden, but hadn’t noticed before that they look like water flowing down the sides of the garden. Zoro garden is built as a grotto, with some rock walls, and curving paths that head down into the grotto. It originally was a walled off nudist colony that people could buy tickets to look into and also to enter. It was built for the 1935 California-Panama Exposition. It also includes vegetation and pools of water to attract various species of butterflies. Here are three pictures of the roots:
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After leaving Zoro garden, I walked all the way southwest to the International Cottages and then back and stopped in at the Timken Museum. They had this beautiful display entitled “Jewels of the Season”, which was choreographed and produced by San Diego State University School of Theatre, Television and Film and MSI Production Services. On the very tall Holiday tree, in display cases and hung from a golden curving display hanging from the ceiling, Hord & Schlappi’s collection of ornaments, designed and handcrafted by local artists Florence Hord and Elizabeth Schlappi, were displayed. Florence Hord began making the ornaments in the 1930’s, and then in 1959, Elizabeth Schlappi was invited to join in the effort. Each ornament includes semi-precious gems, sequins, stones and filigree collected by the two women from around the world There was a video showing that told the history of their work. Some of the ornaments were designed to be very elegant, some more mundane in their topic. Here is a photo of a few of them on the tree.
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After leaving Timken, I decided to check out the annual Poinsettia display at the Botanical Garden Building. Here are 4 photos of them and other wonderful plants inside the Botanical building.
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And lastly, I stopped to look at the serene reflecting pool in front of the Botanical Building. I loved the reflection of the clouds in the water and how the wind created the ripples on the water. I managed to capture this Blue Heron, looking like he is standing on water. The water looked so magical that day, with its ripples and waves.
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That concludes my Christmas Eve Day walk through Balboa Park. Hope you’ve enjoyed it! Thanks for following and reading my blog.

Wishing you a wondrous 2017 filled with joy and fulfillment in all ways!

Love, katelon

Happy New Years everyone! Hope no matter what or how you celebrate, you had wonderful holidays and a Happy New Year! I have spent way too many holidays away from family so I know how holidays can be stressful or lonely, but I still love them and find things to celebrate anyway…like the Bruce Cockburn holiday station Pandora put together for me. I loved listening to it. 2016 was a rough year in many ways but I truly believe that 2017 is going to be THE year where we move fully into the light…the planet, humanity and begin a peaceful existence in all ways. Outer appearances may say something else but I feel differently and feel that the dark chaos that appears physically now will soon be a faded bad dream of long ago.

I took myself to lovely Balboa Park, in San Diego, CA. on Christmas Eve day. I’ve had challenges since so am just now getting around to posting. It was such a beautiful day at the park that I wandered around filled with bliss, seeing old things and new things as if with eyes I’d not used before.

I parked in a different parking lot than I had parked in before, this one near the Historic Carousel and Spanish Village, the gathering of art studios featuring various mediums.

So…first stop was the Historic Carousel, built in 1910. It was hand carved in North Tonawanda and shipped to CA. It was designed by Herschell- Spillman. It was fun to see children of all ages enjoying the ride.
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As I walked from the Carousel and turned the corner into the Spanish Village area, I spotted this lovely wreath high up on the wall, with the beautiful blue sky and clouds above. It was supposed to have been a rainy day but luckily for me, the sky stayed blue my entire walk.
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The first studio I noticed was this one, number 41, that carries some jewelry but mostly stunning glass pieces. In the window were various glass balls that would look beautiful on a big Christmas tree.
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Right next to that, was a sweet tree decorated for the holidays. You can see other studios along the side.
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I wandered into the Sculptors Guild patio, a place I had never noticed before. The pieces were quite different from each other and made from different materials. There were smaller pieces, carved and painted whimsical “chairs”, wood sculptures, large whimsical sculptures faced with colored glass, and large metal sculptures so delicate that it seemed that if you touched parts of them, it would feel like delicate fabric. You can see a second metal sculpture in the background behind a voluptuous figure.
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There were a couple of larger displays out in the main Spanish Village area, that were made from sustainable, recycled materials. The trees in both were made from corks. One was this clever “Gingerbread house” with presents in front, and the other a mini-forest with carolers in front.
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What a delightful place to spend an afternoon. I wandered in a few other studios to look at delicate jewelry, gorgeous hand painted scarves and “vests”, exotic feathered pieces for the wall, beautiful paintings, and hand made ornaments for the tree. I love witnessing the immensity of the creative spirit.

If you happen to be in San Diego on a visit, I highly recommend you visit Balboa Park and wander into Spanish Village!

The other day I took a walk on the boardwalk, on a gray winter day. It is one of my favorite times at the beach as visitors are few and I can wander and remember times gone by, as a kid, coming here for vacations. Yes, those vacations were in the summer but it seems like it wasn’t as busy then.

Here is the gray ocean and sky day with very few people on the beach.
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I noticed this lovely mural at the Blue Sea Beach Hotel, a hotel right on the boardwalk, at the intersection of Boardwalk and Pacific Street.
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Looking down the boardwalk, which was narrower when I was a kid, you can see very few people on the beach or going down the boardwalk.
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Here is the side and front of the Surfer hotel. It used to be painted white with blue trim. My Mom, my son, and I, used to stay here often when she was alive and after she died. It is also on the corner of the boardwalk and Pacific Street.
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Just to the north and east of the Surfer, are two sets of apartments, that are now olive green. When I was a kid, these were called the Denton apartments, and were painted white with red trim. I remember staying in this set of apartments on the second floor and can still remember the inside of it. My Mom had taken a photo of my brother, two other children from another family from our hometown, and me, when I was around 7. She actually kept the little t-shirt I was wearing in the photo and I still have it….all four of us sitting on the stairs. I don’t have that photo with me but when I do get a hold of it, I’ll add it to this post.
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So that’s a little trip down memory lane on a brisk and windy Dec. day! Thanks for joining me 🙂

A week ago I decided to stroll through Old Town and see what interesting sights I could find.  In several places altars were starting to be created for their Dio De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration which starts Oct. 29th and goes through Nov. 2nd. http://www.dayofthedeadsd.com/index.html.  Decorated skulls are seen all year in many stores in Old Town. If you are interested in skull jewelry, handbags, back packs, pens, or many other skull items, this is the place to shop 🙂

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But as Dio De Los Muertos decorations start to arrive, you will see more decorated skeletons.  Here is a Mariachi Band dressed for the holiday, welcoming you into an area called Fiesta de Reyes, a group of shops, a restaurant and a stage for various acts throughout the year.

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Here is an elegant “lady” skeleton outside the entrance to Fiesta de Reyes.

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And a couple well dressed “ladies” to welcome you to the Cosmopolitan Hotel and restaurant.

Here is another brightly dressed “lady” in a display in the Fiesta de Reyes courtyard, near this lovely painted wooden bench.

I loved this large wooden horse sculpture outside one of the stores in Fiesta de Reyes.

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Walking outside of Fiesta de Reyes, I spotted this large painted skull, sitting in an old wooden wagon.

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And this lovely fall display set in front of Seeley Stables, a museum that displays old wagons, and other items that are from the era when Old Town was a thriving new town.

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Lastly, on my way back from strolling through other parts of Old Town, I walked through Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and was intrigued by this huge gnarled tree and this sweet yellow blossom on another tree.

I hope you have enjoyed your walk with me and the photos I took.  If you are in the area, come check out Old Town, and see all the history, and/or come and join the celebration of Dio de Los Muertos.

Imperial Beach Adventure!

I apologize for not posting in many months. My focus has been elsewhere and I just haven’t had any adventures in months. I’ve gone to Balboa Park, gone to the beach, walked through neighborhoods, but just didn’t see anything I hadn’t posted about already.

So after hearing about Imperial Beach on Monday, I decided to have an adventure yesterday. I drove down I-5 and then took the Palm Drive turn off, exit 5a and made my way to the pier and then down Seacoast Drive to find a place to park.

After parking, I walked a short while on the street side of a long row of condo’s and townhomes, until I found a path to the beach. Then I walked on the beach toward the pier. It’s been hotter in San Diego lately, so I enjoyed the cool breeze. The beach was so different than Pacific and Mission beach, which I’m used to walking, as although this beach was lined with places for people to stay, there was hardly anyone on the beach!

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This time of year, Mission and Pacific Beach, in San Diego, is filled with surfers, sunbathers, kids, adults, umbrellas, shade structures and tents. Plus, those beaches have a boardwalk and many restaurants lining the beach as well. Imperial Beach has the homes, a few hotels, etc. but there is no boardwalk next to the beach, nor any restaurants right on the beach. There a few restaurants on Seacoast Drive.

Here is the park that is next to the pier. There is an icecream shop, restrooms and a souvenir shop at this park.

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There are several benches scattered around the park and they all are made of surfboards.

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There were also a few painted electric boxes, and here is one that captured my attention.

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And here is the pier. I didn’t walk out on the pier so can’t tell you what is on it.

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After walking to the pier, I walked along Seacoast Drive, looking for a place to get a quick lunch. I finally found an open Taco shop and had 2 great fish tacos. (Sorry no picture…I just don’t stop to think of food pictures ). I met a great friendly couple who had grown up in Imperial Beach. I asked them what they loved about it. The woman, Linda, mentioned the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge south of town, right next to the beach, the Tijuana River National Estuarrine Research Reserve, same area, and the Border Field State Park, which is just south of the Reserve and Refuge. She mentioned that along the friendship fence in the Border Field Park, families will gather on both sides so they can hug each other. Oh….how I long for a world without borders keeping families apart, and nations at war.

North of town is the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. All of these areas have walking/hiking/biking trails through them.

Linda said she enjoyed that Imperial Beach is a small town, with friendly people, quiet at night, plenty of stores, etc. in the city area, yet all this natural beauty to enjoy. There are other parks along the beach and inland, too.

After lunch, I went back and laid on the beach for awhile and read. Note to self….buy some new sunscreen 🙂 I am fried today! I did get visited by this probably hoping for a snack sea gull, who sat about 6 feet from me for quite awhile.

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After going to the little icecream shop to get a Mexican coffee mocha icecream cone, I took Linda’s advice and did walk down the beach about 40 min. to where the Tijuana River flows into the ocean. The beach was mostly empty but occasionally I’d run across someone, and every few minutes there were Navy helicopters flying overhead. I can spot three of them in this picture.

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Here are two pictures of the Tijuana River and it flowing into the ocean. If you click on the pictures and enlarge them, you can see Tijuana’s buildings and bull ring on the hillside.

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On the other side of the river is the Reserve and beyond that, the Border Field State Park. I don’t know if there is a way to cross the river there as the ocean there is deeper with the river running into it. There are roads on the east side of the Park and Reserve and I think that is where people access the trails.

After walking back to my car, I decided to take another suggestion Linda made and I took Hwy. 75, the Strand, north, past the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, past Silver Strand State Beach to Coronado and then took the Coronado bridge back to San Diego.

What a fun adventure. I met two other friendly people when I walked down to the river, met that great couple at lunch, got lots of sunshine and hours of walking in, got to explore a new place and had a great road trip. I’m looking forward to going back again to explore the others great nature places in this city.

So if you’re local or visiting this way, come check it out!

Hello All! It’s been a while and I apologize for that. But I’m back with some photos from my Sunday stroll through lovely Balboa Park.

I started my exploration in Spanish Village. I love the brightly colored tiles, the unevenness of the patio and little studios and of course the lovely art to be found in each one of them. My favorite to look at these days is jewelry. Being on the road I’m more interested in wearable art. There are a variety of jewelry styles offered in the studios and in booths set up in the plaza, so come check them out.

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Next I stopped by the Floral Show with the Plumeria Society, in Casa del Prado. Each weekend a different floral show takes place in a room there. I had thought there would be flowers but instead, the room was filled with various sized cuttings of Plumeria varieties, for people to purchase and plant at home.

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I love walking through the Botanical garden. In addition to their regular displays, they set up a different center display depending upon the season. This time it was a display of Easter Lily.

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In the entrance way there were various orchids. I took photos of two that intrigued me.

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Then the pattern on the underneath of this palm leaf caught my eye. Isn’t it stunning?

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I have a fascination with the Greek Goddess Artemis, so I stopped in at the Timken Museum of Art to check out their latest exhibit. It is called “An Archaeologist’s Eye”. The display is a combination of graphic and pastel pencil drawings by Katherine A. Schwab, an archaeologist and artist, photos of the sculptures they are based on, and information about the Greek Parthenon. “The Parthenon is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenon. Since there has been much decay to these sculptures, Katherine did these drawings to attempt to fill in more detail lost to the ages. You can visit the museum and explore this interesting display. The Timken has no entrance fee.
http://www.timkenmuseum.org/exhibitions/archaeologists-eye

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On my way back to my car I passed through the International Cottage area. I had missed the House of India presentation but saw these three lovely ladies dressed for the event.

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Finally, almost to my car, I passed by this huge Eucalyptus tree and was stopped in my tracks to touch it and admire its age and size. I love engaging with nature so I am often petting the trees, flowers, and plants I pass, taking in their smells, textures and beauty.

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It was another lovely day at Balboa Park. Thanks for joining me. Come see for yourself all that Balboa Park has to offer!

All the photos I shared on my other Chicano Park post were taken on the Northeast side of National Ave. https://katelontjeffereys.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/chicano-park-barrio-logan-san-diego-ca/

These photos were taken on the Southwest side of National Ave.

These first 3 are of a beautiful mural on the side of a building on the corner of National and Dewey.

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I’m not sure if the murals on this side of National are considered part of the “official” Chicano Park murals or not, but I found them to be very striking and powerful so wanted to include them.

This one states “As I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of death, I fear no evil. Porque soy Chicano! (Because I am Chicano).

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Here are two murals featuring faces.

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There is a lovely sculpture featured in this fountain.

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At the west end of this area, at the corner of Newton and Dewey, there is a skate lane. One of the guys skating started talking to me and I told him about riding the first skateboards that came out, just a board on top of metal roller skate wheels.  I got that board while on vacation in San Diego as a kid. He offered to let me try his board but I felt too shy so didn’t take him up on it. You can see him in the distance in the skate lane photo. I watched the skaters for awhile and enjoyed seeing them ride up ramps and walls and put it all together in such a fluid and fearless motion.  Perhaps I’ll get another board at some point and learn again how to ride it.

Here’s a photo of the skate lane and also two murals representing skaters.

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Here are a couple wrap around murals.

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The Aztec theme is prevalent in the park murals.

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And finally…..even the utility box was colorful!  Here are two sides of it.

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The upcoming 46th annual Chicano Park Celebration will take place on April 23, 2016.  Hope you have enjoyed this walk with me. Come check out Chicano park for yourself…bring a picnic, a skate board, or energy for swinging on the swings and playing on the play equipment….or just walk around and admire all the beautiful art.

Hello All!  A few weeks ago, I finally made it to Chicano Park. I had read about it in another wordpress blog, Cool San Diego Sights. The art work fascinated me.  I love art so wanted to see the outdoor murals but also since I grew up in Southern AZ, I’ve always been close to the Latino community.  I worked with Central American Refuges starting in 1986 and ending in near the end of 1997, so am sensitive to the plight of immigrants, and had been since childhood.
I hope that all who visit the area can check out this beautiful art work and feel all the dedication behind it.  The park has quite the history.  It arose out of the invasion of industry that took over Barrio Logan and ended with the San Diego Coronado bridge being built in the middle of the Barrio, leaving gigantic concrete support pylons and on ramps in its wake.  This is a great website that talks about the history, has photos of the various murals, more information and other links to go to as well.  http://www.chicanoparksandiego.com/history/index.htm
The park is now 7.9 acres and includes a skate park, playgrounds, picnic tables, various community buildings and the largest outdoor mural collection in the country.  On April 22nd every year, Chicano Park day is celebrated to commemorate the day the militant, but non-violent, people’s land take over that led to the city and state finally agreeing to let the community make something beautiful where this concrete monster had taken over their Barrio.
I took many photos so this subject will take two posts!
The first photo states “All the Way to the Bay”.   The Barrio used to extend all the way to the bay but then the bay was taken over by the Navy and defense industries.

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This mural states ” Let me say at the risk of seeming ridiculous that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love” Che Guveara.

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The next two photos are part of the same structure.
This mural is titled “The Undocumented Worker”.  At the base it states : “A contemporary story through symbolism. Read the painting from the bottom to the top.  I. The immigration helicopters looking for the undocumented worker who is already a part of the landscape.  People are caught and put in boxes on display. II. The road and the fence. Two realities of movement: To be caught and eaten by the border guards (monsters) or to fall from the sun’s heat like Icarus. III. After crossing the border we possess two hearts. One on fire for the homeland. The other of water for the river. We are bodies without faces. Monsters and disaster follow us through the mountains. Our struggle turns to flames.  IV.  Change is not a dream. We can leap over history and monsters. Not even the stars are out of reach. V.  Barrios, walls and fences must be moved. Must be broken down. Between countries. Between people. Between neighborhoods.”

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Throughout the park there are images that reflect all the cultures that make up the Chicano culture.

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This next mural states ” The V in Barrio symbolizes victory over environmental conditions. ! Varrio Si Yonkes No! (yonkes is the word for junkyards, as junkyards took over the Barrio along with other industrialization) Represents the intent of our community to take back our environment from industry.  With the uplifting of the Barrio, the people as well must be uplifted, or the Renaissance is not complete.  Los Vatos Al Varrio.
This mural states it was painted in 1977 and gives the list of artists.

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This is another mural that shows the struggle of the immigrant worker and the fight for justice.  In the background you can see the Strength Thru Unity mural.

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This next mural states: “Ya Basta!  The schools are not teaching us.  Over 50% of us Chicanos are pushed out of school.  If we want to make it, we have to surrender our language.  They want to make us coconuts – brown on the outside and white on the inside.”

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Here’s  a very colorful one….Parque Chicano.

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The next one is a San Diego Community Project. It was created on 4-23-93 the day that Cesar Chavez died.  On the cross beams it states “Para Raza” and “Humana/Paz” and “Justica” and lastly ” We are not a minority”.  The mural also honors Chicano Park artist Roger Lucero 1953-1992. I took photos of two of the other sides and the cross beams.  One states “Stop the Violence”.

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This next mural was done by Lowell muralists on April 22, 1983.

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I’m not sure what group this next mural is depicting.  The link above leads to a full description of each mural and its artists.

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And lastly,  I’ll share the “Hasta La Bahia” mural.

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Here is a statue of General Emiliano Zapata, 8/8/1879 – 4/10/1919, who was instrumental in the Mexican Revolution.

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Hope you’ve enjoyed this journey with me. While there I was walking around just wowed by the artists and the beauty they created within a mass of concrete.  I hope you get a chance to come check it out yourself. There are many more murals. I’ll be back with more photos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weeks ago,  I went to the Mingei Museum, at Balboa Park, in San Diego, CA. They had this wonderful display entitled ” Made in America: Craft Icons of the 50 States.”.  It was a wonderful display and I have some photos to share with you.  Please come check it out if you are in the area.  February is 1/2 off museum month and you can pick up a pass at any Macy’s store during the month of Feb..

I also went to the Museum of Art and loved their “The Art of Music” exhibit.

Here are some photos I took:

The first one is a “Signature Quilt”.

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Here is a close up view. I thought perhaps each person had signed the quilt piece and then the signature was embroidered, but then realized that the penmanship was the same for all the signatures.

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The next quilt is another signature quilt.

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The third quilt is another signature quilt made by Elizabeth Dorks Nettle in 1891.

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Next is a photo of an Oglala Lakota Beaded Vest made in 1928 at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  And a beaded cradle board made by Todd Yellow Cloud in 1993, at Pine Ridge.

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This lovely Navajo Yei’s Vessel was made by Mary Holiday Black, in 2007, in Monument Valley.

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This is a Navajo rug made in 1910-1920, “Corn with Birds.” The Dough bowl is a late 20th century beauty made at the Santa Domingo Pueblo in New Mexico. 

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This is just a small sampling of this extensive exhibit, plus, there are several other exhibits at the museum, so come check it out. http://www.mingei.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tecoloate Canyon Natural Park

The last couple weeks I’ve gone over to Tecolote Canyon to hike.  There are several places to enter this park and I came in via Tecolote Rd.  There is a parking area and a Nature Center there.  Inside there are some live snakes, many displays about snakes, vegetation, trees, rocks, the geological make up and history of the canyon and much more.  There is a classroom there that offers classes as well as various events that happen there such as birding walks and other activities,  and workshops, even yoga classes.   It is located at 5180 Tecolote Rd., San Diego, CA, 92110. You can contact the center by calling 858-581-9959. Here is the link to the trails :  http://www.sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation/pdf/tecolotetrailmap.pdf

 

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It is a narrow coastal canyon, named for the many varieties of Owls that live there. It was dedicated on April 1, 1978.  Historically, the Kumeyaay Indians lived there.  There are 6.5 miles of trails for jogging, walking, and mountain biking. There is a garden behind the Nature Center, too. There are entrances off of Claremont Mesa Blvd., Genesse Ave. Mt. Etna Dr., Boyd Ave., and Tecolote Rd.

There are 2 main trails, one is mostly flat for quite awhile and is a dirt and gravel road that turns into mostly dirt and sometimes sand.  This trail ends up running along next to the Golf course before it heads up and down hills. The other trail is quickly off to the right and called the Battle trail. I preferred this one as it is up and down and windy and more through trees and taller vegetation, closer to the side of the canyon.    There are a couple trails that connect the two and a couple access points. The Battle trail joins the main trail as you head more east and north.  Along the way there are other trails that lead up to the top of the canyon walls.  At times you see houses on the hills and other times, especially on the Battle Trail, it feels like you are more out in nature.

Here are some photos of the main trail:

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This is the California Bush Sunflower

2016-02-14-13.55.21.jpg.jpgThis is a Lemonade Berry Bush which can grow up to 10 feet tall. The Natives made a lemonade out of the berries.

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Lovely old tree

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On the trail side of the fence you’ll see California Sage Brush

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This is a tall old Eucalyptus tree

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The Immaculta Parish at the University of San Diego is up on the hill.

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The Golf Course along side the trail.

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Trail that goes up to the Linda Vista area.

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On one hike I walked on the main path then turned around and walked back to catch the Battle Trail at its Northeast entrance.  

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I took this amazing photo where this green light stream showed up in the photo. It didn’t show up in any other photos so I don’t think it has to do with my phone camera, or some reflection, as it goes the entire length of the canyon wall.  Here are two photos, one the main photo and a close up, both without any manipulation or touch up from me. So if you have any ideas what it is let me know in the comment below….energy vortex?  energy stream?  ?????

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I forget the name of these rock balancing sculptures.

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Freeway Iceberg

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 Not sure what these plants are so if you know, let me know.

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Another trail view.

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This is the trail head for the Battle Trail that starts just after you pass the beginning part of the gravel/dirt road main trail that goes next to the enclosed garden behind the nature center.

So if you are in the area, come check it out. You can walk for 40 min, or hours, your choice!

Enjoy!

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