Surprising life in Balboa Park’s reflecting pool.

A duck sleeps among lily flowers in the life-filled Balboa Park reflecting pool.
A duck sleeps among lily flowers in the life-filled Balboa Park reflecting pool.

One of my favorite spots in Balboa Park is the reflecting pool–or lily pond as some call it–between El Prado and the Botanical Building. Built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, its official name is Laguna de las Flores.

Under and around the pool’s beautiful green lily pads there is abundant life. Some of the more unusual fish and other critters in the water have been introduced by visitors to the park–something that is officially discouraged. From ducks to koi to turtles to visiting, hungry herons . . . to tadpoles and even crawdads–you never quite know what surprising animal you might encounter.

I’ve taken many photographs of life in the reflecting pool over the years. Here are just a few.

Child watches ducks walk along the edge of the Balboa Park reflecting pool near the Timken Museum.
Child watches ducks walk along the edge of the Balboa Park reflecting pool near the Timken Museum.
A beautiful patch of water lilies among rippled reflections.
A beautiful patch of water lilies among rippled reflections.
Green lily pads reflect San Diego sunlight.
Green lily pads reflect San Diego sunlight.
Two of Balboa Park's resident ducks enjoy a day swimming about the lily pond.
Two of Balboa Park’s resident ducks enjoy a day swimming about the lily pond.
In addition to many more common mallards, one can occasionally see mandarin ducks at the Balboa Park reflecting pool.
In addition to many more common mallards, one can occasionally see mandarin ducks at the Balboa Park reflecting pool.
Colorful koi glides beneath glistening lily pads.
Colorful koi glides beneath glistening lily pads.
A curious koi lifts its head above the surface of the lily pond.
A curious koi lifts its head above the surface of the lily pond.
Someone has spotted a turtle sunning at the edge of the Balboa Park reflecting pool.
Someone has spotted a turtle sunning at the edge of the Balboa Park reflecting pool.
The turtle stretches out its neck absorbing warm sunshine.
The turtle stretches out its neck absorbing warm sunshine.
Photographing the lush flower bed at the south end of the Balboa Park reflecting pool.
Photographing the lush flower bed at the south end of the Balboa Park reflecting pool.
Plaque by the reflecting pool flower bed expresses grateful appreciation to Arthur and Jeannette Gladys Pratt for their generosity and dedication to Balboa Park.
Plaque by the reflecting pool flower bed expresses grateful appreciation to Arthur and Jeannette Gladys Pratt for their generosity and dedication to Balboa Park.
People gaze into the water from the walkway between pools of water near the Botanical Building.
People gaze into the water from the walkway between pools of water near the Botanical Building.
A flock of ducks visits Balboa Park.
A flock of ducks visits Balboa Park.
Natural beauty rests at water's edge.
Natural beauty rests at water’s edge.
Busy life in the water.
Busy life in and on the water.
Floating among beautiful green reflections.
Floating among beautiful green reflections.
A dog is fascinated by all the life, too.
A dog is fascinated by all the life, too.
Koi, a duck and lilies.
Koi, a duck and lilies.
Orange life darting below a yellow flower.
Orange life darting below a yellow flower.
A crowd of colorful koi swirl before one's eyes.
A crowd of colorful koi swirl before one’s eyes.
In beautiful Balboa Park, the reflecting pool is teeming with life.
In beautiful Balboa Park, the reflecting pool is teeming with life.
Just walking along the grass.
Just walking along the grass.
A mother duck and her ducklings explore their watery world.
A mother duck and her ducklings explore their watery world.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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