Viewing life from a Balboa Park bench.

Late this afternoon I headed into Balboa Park.

I walked down El Prado, found a quiet bench across from the San Diego Natural History Museum, and sat down to write.

Every so often I felt compelled to look up.

My eyes were drawn to magic.

If you’d like to read a few thoughtful words about life, visit my website¬†Short Stories by Richard.

Joy and tradition at Balboa Park Pow Wow!

Joy and tradition. Mother's Day intertribal dancing at the Balboa Park Pow Wow.
Joy and tradition together. Mother’s Day intertribal dancing at the Balboa Park Pow Wow.

Here come some colorful photos!

The annual Balboa Park Pow Wow was held this Mother’s Day weekend. I swung on by to absorb some of the event. To feel the power.

What did I see?

Native American costume adds color and meaning to a sacred dance.
Native American costume adds life and meaning to a sacred dance.
Many vendors at the Balboa Park Pow Wow had Native American crafts and related gifts for sale.
Many vendors at the Balboa Park Pow Wow had Native American crafts and gifts for sale.
A drum group provides resonant rhythm. A strong, beating heart.
A drum group provides resonant rhythm. A strong, beating heart.
A young lady needed a bit of assistance due to a medical situation.
A young lady at the Pow Wow needed a bit of assistance due to a medical situation.
The crowd converged to fill a blanket with donated money.
The crowd converged to fill a blanket with donated money. (I took this photo toward the end, when the blanket had a nice heap of bills.)
Many young people were participating in the Pow Wow.
Many young people were participating in the Pow Wow.
A large tipi had been set up on the grass nearby. At the time I took this photo, nobody was around it.
A large tipi had been set up on the grass nearby. At the time I took this photo, nobody was around it.
More color at the very popular annual Balboa Park event.
More color at the very popular annual Balboa Park event.
The line for Kumeyaay Bread was super long! Must be super good!
The line for Kumeyaay Bread was super long! Must be good!
Joyful life. A generous spirit. A close family. Rich culture and sacred traditions.
Joyful life. A generous spirit. A close family. Rich culture and sacred traditions.

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!

Fun photos of Balboa Park Halloween Family Day!

A dog that resembles a lion with a wild mane is a crowd pleaser during Balboa Park's very popular Halloween Family Day.
A dog that resembles a lion with a shaggy mane gets a lot of attention during Balboa Park’s popular Halloween Family Day.

Please enjoy these fun photos that I took this afternoon during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day!

As you can see, thousands of people turned out, and I spotted a variety of colorful costumes. There was plenty to see and do throughout the park. Trick-or-treating and having a good time at the annual Halloween celebration in Balboa Park has become a family tradition for many!

A young Princess Leia walks past a sign announcing the Halloween Costume Contest in Balboa Park.
A young Princess Leia walks past a sign announcing the Halloween Costume Contest in Balboa Park.
Two trick-or-treaters check out one of the many attractions on Balboa Park's El Prado. The third does a candy inventory.
Two trick-or-treaters look at one of the attractions along Balboa Park’s El Prado. The third does a candy inventory.
A fun Halloween crafts booth in Balboa Park's Spanish Village Art Center.
A fun Halloween crafts booth in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.
Kids in Spanish Village decorate trick-or-treating bags with Halloween designs and their name.
Kids in Spanish Village decorate trick-or-treating bags with Halloween designs and their name.
The artists of Spanish Village also had a colorful Halloween display on El Prado.
The artists of Spanish Village also had a colorful Halloween display on El Prado.
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum created a tiny but spooky train layout.
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum created a tiny but spooky train layout.
The San Diego Natural History Museum had a paper-bat-making table that appeared to be quite busy.
The San Diego Natural History Museum had a paper-bat-making table that appeared to be quite busy.
A bone-tired skeleton and his four-legged pal rest for a bit during Balboa Park's annual Halloween celebration.
A bone-tired skeleton and his four-legged pal rest for a bit during Balboa Park’s annual Halloween celebration.
Beauty queens with hula hoops hang out beside Frankenstein's monster.
Beauty queens with hula hoops hang out beside Frankenstein’s monster.
Every year a huge crowd enjoys the family friendly Halloween activities in Balboa Park.
Every year a huge crowd enjoys the family friendly Halloween activities in Balboa Park.
The San Diego Zoo had a slithery snake on display. These kids were fearless!
The San Diego Zoo had a slithery snake on display. These kids were fearless!
Families had a safe trick-or-treat experience among the International Cottages, where goodies were plentiful.
Families had a safe trick-or-treat experience among the International Cottages, where goodies were plentiful.
Kids could snag Halloween surprises with a fishing pole in front of the House of Sweden.
Kids could snag Halloween surprises with a fishing pole in front of the House of Sweden.
Not sure why a drummer is sitting alone on the grass. Perhaps the witch is a singer, and the band is resting during intermission.
Not sure why a drummer is sitting alone on the grass for Halloween. Perhaps the witch is a singer, and the band is resting during intermission.
A spontaneous Dia de los Muertos smile. Just some of the fun caught by my camera during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day.
A spontaneous Dia de los Muertos smile. Just some of the fun caught by my camera during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day.

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!

Colorful photos of 2016 Garden Party in Balboa Park!

Member of Southern California Plumeria Society hands flower to child during Balboa Park's 2016 Garden Party event!
Member of Southern California Plumeria Society hands flower to child during Balboa Park’s 2016 Garden Party event!

Today I enjoyed the Second Annual Garden Party in beautiful Balboa Park! Last year, during the park’s Centennial Celebration, the original Garden Party of the Century was held. It was such a success, a new yearly tradition has been born!

Here are lots of colorful photos! Enjoy!

Sign details happenings during the Garden Party. There was a Floral Wagon Parade, lectures, ranger led tours, folk music, painters, butterfly releases and more!
Sign details happenings during the Garden Party. There was a Floral Wagon Parade, lectures, ranger led tours, folk music, painters, butterfly releases and more!
Beautiful spring flowers near the reflecting pool. Balboa Park's Botanical Building stands in the background.
Beautiful spring flowers near the reflecting pool. Balboa Park’s Botanical Building stands in the background.
The many gardens of Balboa Park certainly merit a party!
The many gardens of Balboa Park certainly merit a party!
People check out dahlias on display at one table along El Prado.
People check out dahlias on display at one table along El Prado.
The San Diego County Iris Society and San Diego Epiphyllum Society also had exhibits at the big Garden Party!
The San Diego County Iris Society and San Diego Epiphyllum Society also had exhibits at the big Garden Party!
Kids check out a bunch of carnivorous plants in Balboa Park!
Kids check out a bunch of carnivorous plants in Balboa Park!
Posters illustrate and classify California native flowers.
Posters illustrate and classify California native flowers.
Folks in Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama relax as the Second Annual Garden Party gets underway with some speeches.
Folks in Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama relax as the Second Annual Garden Party gets underway with some speeches.
Balboa Park's Ranger Kim greets Garden Party visitors and introduces several notable speakers.
Balboa Park’s Ranger Kim greets Garden Party visitors and introduces several notable speakers.
A fun Kids Floral Wagon Parade began the party, heading down El Prado. The beautifully decorated wagons were parked in Plaza de Panama for all to admire.
A fun Kids Floral Wagon Parade began the party, heading down El Prado. The beautifully decorated wagons were then parked in Plaza de Panama for all to admire.
A cart full of potted plants and flowers stops near the podium. Ranger Kim is ready for a delivery.
A cart full of potted plants and flowers stops near the podium. Ranger Kim is ready for a delivery.
Young ladies near the plaza's fountain draw flowers.
Young ladies near the plaza’s fountain draw flowers.
This guy on a bike riding down El Prado purchased some Plumeria stems.
This guy on a bike riding down El Prado purchased some Plumeria stems.
Another display concerned Coastal Sage gardening.
Another display concerned Coastal Sage gardening.
A stunning orchid display inside Balboa Park's Botanical Building.
A stunning orchid display inside Balboa Park’s Botanical Building.
Gorgeous orchid blooms.
Gorgeous orchid blooms.
Looking across the Balboa Park reflecting pool on a cloudy spring day in San Diego.
Looking across the Balboa Park reflecting pool on a cloudy spring day in San Diego.
Plein air painting by artist Michelle Gonzalez in Spanish Village. She works in Studio 6.
Plein air painting by artist Michelle Gonzalez in Spanish Village. She works in Studio 6.
Dancers were performing ballet on El Prado during the wonderful Balboa Park Garden Party.
Dancers were performing ballet on El Prado during the wonderful Balboa Park Garden Party.
A large crowd gathered to watch a graceful ballet performance by talented youth.
A large crowd gathered to watch a graceful ballet performance by talented youth.
The Zoro Butterfly Garden was a gathering place for families during the event.
The Zoro Butterfly Garden was a gathering place for families during the event.
A display in the Zoro Garden shows some Balboa Park botanical history.
A display in the Zoro Garden shows some Balboa Park botanical history.
Old photo of Kate Sessions, often called the Mother of Balboa Park. She planted many of the park's original trees that visitors enjoy today
Old photo of Kate Sessions, often called the Mother of Balboa Park. She planted many of the park’s original trees that visitors enjoy today.
The Garden Party included lots of art, creativity, plus an inspiring, hourly butterfly release in the Zoro Garden!
The Garden Party included lots of art, creativity, plus an inspiring, hourly butterfly release in the Zoro Garden!
Flowers and chalk art drawn by kids. The Zoro Garden has come alive.
Flowers and chalk art drawn by kids. The Zoro Garden has come alive.
A butterfly in Balboa Park's Zoro Garden. Perhaps this one was released today!
A butterfly in Balboa Park’s Zoro Garden. Perhaps this one was released today!
Visitors to beautiful Balboa Park walk through the Alcazar Garden during the 2016 Garden Party event!
Visitors to beautiful Balboa Park walk through the Alcazar Garden during the 2016 Garden Party event!

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!