Oil painted beauty in the Botanical Building.

I had some creative fun today!

After taking a bunch of photographs in Balboa Park’s wonderful Botanical Building, I applied GIMP’s Oilify filter to selected images. Photos of natural beauty now suddenly appear like oil paintings!

I framed leaves, flowers, color and light. My computer did the rest!

I love to walk.

I love to take photos.

I love to discover new things.

But more than anything, I love creative writing!

To read a few short pieces of fiction that I’ve written, you can visit my website Short Stories by Richard.

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San Diego Iris Society blooms in Balboa Park!

I’m no expert when it comes to flowers, but I definitely enjoy drinking in their beauty.

I spent several minutes yesterday inside the Casa del Prado, walking slowly past tables full of exquisite irises. The San Diego Iris Society is having their Annual Spring Show and Iris Sale this weekend in Balboa Park. The event continues today.

The people I met in the society were all very nice. If you grow irises in San Diego, it would be fun to become a member!

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!

International Children’s Day in Balboa Park.

Youth in Mexican costume file across the stage. Children from many nations participated in today's event at the International Cottages.
Youth in Mexican costume file across the stage. Children from many nations participated in today’s event at the International Cottages.

International Children’s Day was celebrated this afternoon at the International Cottages in Balboa Park. The event was hosted by the House of Turkey, the nation that inspired this special day. Kids representing many nations took part.

Prior to a series of youthful performances, I learned during the introductory speech that every year on April 23 Turkey celebrates Children’s Day, a holiday created by modern Turkey’s founder Atatürk. He recognized that children would inherit that newly independent nation’s future. As a reminder, during Children’s Day the Turkish President, Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and provincial governors all turn over their positions to children for that one day.

As this day has become more international, UNICEF now recognizes International Children’s Day.

Guys fill balloons prior to the start of a cultural event hosted in Balboa Park by the House of Turkey.
Guys fill balloons prior to the start of a cultural event hosted in Balboa Park by the House of Turkey.
Getting Turkish food ready, including tasty tantuni.
Getting Turkish food ready, including tasty tantuni.
Lots of smiles as hungry people start to line up.
Lots of smiles as hungry people start to line up.
Kids cross the lawn, almost ready to perform on stage.
Kids cross the lawn, almost ready to perform on stage.
Young performers in Turkish costume on stage during the House of Turkey's lawn program, celebrating International Children's Day.
Young performers in Turkish costume on stage during the House of Turkey’s lawn program, celebrating International Children’s Day.
A clown in the audience provided innocent laughs!
A clown in the audience provided innocent laughs!

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!

Lots of smiles, fun and beauty in Balboa Park!

Photographer aims at classic fountain in the beautiful Casa del Rey Moro Garden in Balboa Park.
Photographer aims at beautiful fountain in the Casa del Rey Moro Garden in Balboa Park.

Today I found lots of smiles, fun and beauty as I walked around Balboa Park! But what else is new? Every visit is wonderful!

People walk down El Prado past the amazing Casa del Prado.
People walk down El Prado past the amazing Casa del Prado.
Wedding photography near the Lily Pond in Balboa Park.
Heavenly wedding photography near the Lily Pond in Balboa Park.
Nice ladies with the San Diego Museum of Art were getting art supplies ready for a youth event this evening.
Smiling ladies with the San Diego Museum of Art were getting art supplies ready for a youth event this evening.
More smiles at a table outside the Balboa Park Visitors Center.
More smiles from volunteers at a table outside the Balboa Park Visitors Center.
A coffee mug with hearts for eyes. It must be almost Valentine's Day.
A coffee mug with hearts for eyes outside the House of Hospitality. It must be almost Valentine’s Day.
Bonsai in the exquisite Japanese Friendship Garden.
Bonsai in the always beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden.
For fun, enter the San Diego Air and Space Museum! They've got a new interactive exhibit about speed!
For fun, enter the San Diego Air and Space Museum! They’ve got a new interactive exhibit about Speed!
Beauty seen by few visitors, from the parking lot behind the Casa de Balboa.
Fantastic beauty seen by few visitors, from the parking lot behind the Casa de Balboa.
Almost time to head home. I hopped on the green Balboa Park shuttle.
Almost time to head home. I hopped on the green Balboa Park shuttle at the Plaza de Panama.
As I departed, I got a bonus smile!
And as I departed, I got a bonus smile!

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!

Preparing for the holidays at Balboa Park!

Fun chalk art on a board outside Prado Perk. A hungry Pilgrim chases a Thanksgiving turkey that has been accelerated with coffee!
Fun chalk art on a board outside Prado Perk. A hungry Pilgrim chases a Thanksgiving turkey that has been accelerated with coffee!

Three days until Thanksgiving!

During my walk yesterday through Balboa Park, I saw signs everywhere of the coming holiday season. It seems everyone in the park is getting ready!

I even saw Santa Claus! Perhaps he dropped on by to see whether people were being naughty or nice!

These small snowmen at the Homemade Craft Sale in the Casa del Prado each contain a chocolate kiss.
These small snowmen at the Homemade Craft Sale in the Casa del Prado each contain a chocolate kiss.
The Old Globe's cheerful Christmas Tree is set up in Copley Plaza. The Grinch does not approve.
The Old Globe’s cheerful Christmas Tree is set up in Copley Plaza. The Grinch does not approve.
Good old Santa and his reindeer are back in Balboa Park, taking off between the Plaza de Panama and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Good old Santa and his reindeer are back in Balboa Park, taking off between the Plaza de Panama and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Almost ready for the holidays at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The 4th Annual Children's Coalition Christmas on the Prado will take place this coming Saturday. December Nights this year will be on December 1 and 2.
Almost ready for the holidays at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The 4th Annual Children’s Coalition Christmas on the Prado will take place this coming Saturday. December Nights this year will be on December 1 and 2.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, people gather inside the House of Sweden at the International Cottages to sing Christmas carols in Swedish.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, people gather inside the House of Sweden at the International Cottages to sing Christmas carols in Swedish.
Banners outside the Balboa Park Visitors Center wish everyone Happy Holidays and Peace.
Banners outside the Balboa Park Visitors Center wish everyone Happy Holidays and Peace.
The Nutcracker will be presented in December by the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet.
The Nutcracker will be presented in December by the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet.
Christmas cards for sale at the weekend's Homemade Craft Sale.
Christmas cards for sale at the weekend’s Homemade Craft Sale.
These festive Christmas tree ornaments are made of colorful pipe cleaners!
These festive Christmas tree ornaments are made of colorful pipe cleaners!
Santa might have swung by to pick up a new hat!
Santa might have swung by to pick up a new hat!

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!

How seniors can display their art in Balboa Park!

A magical painting of trees and flowers exhibited in the Senior Lounge in Balboa Park.
A magical painting of trees and flowers exhibited in the Senior Lounge in Balboa Park.

Yesterday I stepped into the Senior Lounge in Balboa Park and was immediately drawn to a wall covered with colorful art!

I learned that the City of San Diego has a special Art Program for Seniors right here in the park! And that participants can have their artwork publicly displayed in the Senior Lounge! That’s pretty cool!

The Senior Lounge, located in the Case del Prado, is open to anyone age 55 or over. I’m not quite there yet, but the friendly folks welcomed me in anyway! The lounge looks like a great place to kick back, get a cup of coffee, read, have a bite to eat and just relax. And perhaps even meet some new or old friends!

Would you like to have your art exhibited in Balboa Park? I took a photo of the flyer that provides details about the art program. Check it out if this interests you! And if you know someone who might be interested, feel free to share!

Fun artwork depicts people enjoying the Balboa Park Senior Lounge.
Fun artwork depicts people enjoying the Balboa Park Senior Lounge.
The City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department has a notice in the Balboa Park Senior Lounge. Join the Senior Art Program on Tuesdays from 1 pm to 3:30 pm.
The City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department has a notice in the Balboa Park Senior Lounge. Join the Senior Art Program on Tuesdays from 1 pm to 3:30 pm. Bring your own supplies!
A fiery sunset over water. It appears to me Ray painted this just north of the old Anthony's Fish Grotto on San Diego Bay.
A fiery sunset over the water. It appears to me Ray painted this just north of the old Anthony’s Fish Grotto on San Diego Bay.
Participants in the Senior Art Program have the opportunity to display their art in Balboa Park, right here in the Senior Lounge!
Participants in the Senior Art Program have the opportunity to display their art in Balboa Park, right here in the Senior Lounge!
A tall ship sails under clouds, over the sea.
A tall ship sails under clouds, proudly crossing the sea.

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!

Lamp and lantern exhibit at Model Railroad Museum!

Old photo and advertisement show an electric Sport-Lite lantern.
Old photo and advertisement show an electric Sport-Lite lantern.

Personally, I love the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. The massive train layouts and their realistic landscapes, tiny scale buildings, streets and fun details make me feel like a kid again.

During a recent visit, I was excited to see the museum had a fine exhibit concerning the history of railroad lamps and lanterns.

I took a few photos for you to enjoy and I added descriptive captions, but I suggest a visit in person. There’s so much to absorb, so much history and sheer fun!

You can see photos of the museum’s gigantic model train layouts here!

Exhibit inside the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, located near the N-Scale layout, shows old railroad lamps and lanterns, and recalls their history.
Exhibit inside the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, located near the N-Scale layout, shows old railroad lamps and lanterns and recalls their history.
Railroad lanterns were held by hand, and manual signals were used for night communication. Railroad lamps are mounted on train cars and railroad tracks.
Railroad lanterns were held by hand, and manual signals were used for night communication. Railroad lamps were mounted on train cars and railroad tracks.
Two examples of switch lamps. They were mounted to a railroad track switch and indicated the current position of the switch.
Two examples of switch lamps. They were mounted to a railroad track switch and indicated the current position of the switch.
Old diagram of an Adlake No. 1221 marker lamp.
Old diagram of an Adlake No. 1221 marker lamp.
Three models of old conductor's lanterns. Buck's Pattern, Daisy, and The Boss.
Three models of conductor’s lanterns: Buck’s Pattern, Daisy, and The Boss.
Three lantern hand signals: the train has departed, proceed, and apply the air brakes.
Three lantern hand signals: the train has departed, proceed, and apply the air brakes.
Three additional lantern hand signals: back up, stop, and release the air brakes.
Three additional lantern hand signals: back up, stop, and release the air brakes.
Over time signals and colors used for railroad communication became standardized. This sign describes what different color lights indicate.
Over the years signals and colors used for railroad communication became standardized. This sign describes what different colored lights indicate.
Fixed globe railroad lanterns began to be used in the 1840s. At night they allowed railroad workers to communicate.
Fixed globe railroad lanterns began to be used in the 1840s. At night they allowed railroad workers to communicate.
Marker lamps were hung on the train's caboose to identify the train and show where it ended.
Marker lamps were hung on the train’s caboose to identify the train and show where it ended.
A fascinating exhibit concerning the history of railroad lamps and lanterns is now on display in Balboa Park's unique San Diego Model Railroad Museum!
A fascinating exhibit concerning the history of railroad lamps and lanterns is now on display in Balboa Park’s amazing San Diego Model Railroad Museum!

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!