A dance of life in beautiful Balboa Park!

An enormous butterfly was seen dancing in the blue sky above Balboa Park today.
An enormous butterfly was seen dancing in the blue sky above Balboa Park today.

It’s Sunday. So late this morning I headed up into Balboa Park!

A meander through Balboa Park is both relaxing and invigorating. So much life all around. There are smiles, carefree laughter and people from all walks of life moving together in a natural unfettered dance. Like one happy whirl in the sunlight. A dance of life in beautiful Balboa Park!

Do you dance? Would you like to learn? You’ll see a sign that contains many opportunities in the coming photos. Click any sign that interests you and the image will enlarge for easier reading!

These super nice guys were strolling about promoting Desire To Fly, which is playing at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre through Sunday, June 25.
These super nice guys were strolling about promoting Desire To Fly, which is playing at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre through Sunday, June 25.
Poster for Desire To Fly, by Animal Cracker Conspiracy. It's a puppet spectacular in Balboa Park! (Click image to enlarge.)
Poster for Desire To Fly, by Animal Cracker Conspiracy. It’s a puppet spectacular in Balboa Park! (Click image to enlarge.)
Fancy footwork by some guys on the grass sparring with long poles.
Fancy footwork by some guys on the grass sparring with long poles.
An umbrella dances through a tunnel of green at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A white umbrella proceeds through a tunnel of green at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Two people walk along.
Two people step along.
A folk dancer enters the Balboa Park Club.
A folk dancer enters the Balboa Park Club.
If you are in San Diego and love dancing, or would like to learn to dance, then check out these notices by the Balboa Park Recital Hall. (Click image to enlarge.)
If you are in San Diego and love dancing, or would like to learn to dance, then check out these notices by the front door of the Balboa Park Recital Hall. (Click image to enlarge.)
An amazing athletic performance was witnessed today in the Plaza de Panama.
An amazing athletic performance was witnessed today in the Plaza de Panama.
The super charismatic, super positive, super talented dancer Kareem "Anointed" Ali does a flip over four people!
The super charismatic, super positive, super talented Kareem “Anointed” Ali does a flip over four people! You might have seen him on television. He performed spectacularly on So You Think You Can Dance!
Metal arms in the San Diego Museum of Art's outdoor sculpture garden dance in sunlight.
Metal arms in the San Diego Museum of Art’s outdoor sculpture garden dance in sunlight.
Grain dances in this beautiful glass artwork inside the House of Germany at the International Cottages.
Grain dances in this beautiful glass artwork inside the House of Germany at the International Cottages.
Singers from the House of Germany in a life-filled lawn program in Balboa Park.
Singers from the House of Germany are part of a life-filled lawn program in Balboa Park.
Sign shows 2017 International Cottages lawn programs and special events. (Click image to enlarge.)
Sign shows 2017 International Cottages lawn programs and special events. (Click image to enlarge.)
Hearts dance in Balboa Park.
Hearts dance in Balboa Park.

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!

Philippine folk dancing in Balboa Park!

Today I walked around Balboa Park. The House of the Philippines was having a lawn program at the International Cottages, so I paused for a bit to watch Philippine folk dancing.

The performers, I believe, were all from the Samahan Philippine Dance Company. They have two dance and music schools in San Diego. During the lawn program, youth and adult groups wearing colorful dress performed a variety of traditional folk dances.

I didn’t write the name of each dance down. Many contained gentle humor. Every dance and dancer radiated life. I’ll simply present some photos:

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!

A park full of movement one Saturday morning.

San Diegans play a game of soccer on Balboa Park's grassy West Mesa.
San Diegans play a game of soccer on Balboa Park’s grassy West Mesa.

Balboa Park is alive with nonstop human movement. There is so much to do, so much to see.

Enjoy a few photos from my stroll through the beautiful park this morning.

Competitors at the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club enjoy a relaxing Saturday.
Competitors at the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club enjoy a relaxing Saturday.
Hoping for a ringer!
Hoping for a ringer!
Having some fun in sunny Balboa Park.
Having some fun in sunny Balboa Park.
Guarding a small soccer goal. People enjoy recreating in Balboa Park on a Saturday morning.
Guarding a small soccer goal. People enjoy recreating in Balboa Park on a Saturday morning.
A group practices martial arts near the corner of Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street.
A group practices martial arts near the corner of Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street.
Learning the moves.
Learning the moves.
More athletic feats by members of the San Diego Lawn Bowling Club, on the green near the Cabrillo Bridge.
More athletic feats by members of the San Diego Lawn Bowling Club, competing on the green near the Cabrillo Bridge.
Taking careful aim.
Taking careful aim.
Folks hurry along El Prado wearing hiking boots and carrying walking sticks.
Folks amble along El Prado wearing hiking boots. Some use walking sticks.
Tourists on Segways pause for a moment in Balboa Park's Alcazar Garden. The California Tower rises into the blue sky.
Tourists on Segways pause for a moment in Balboa Park’s Alcazar Garden. The California Tower rises into the blue sky.
Dog owners walk their Papillon's near the Mingei Museum.
Dog owners walk their Papillon’s near the Mingei Museum.
An excellent day for a two-legged or four-legged stroll!
An excellent day for a two-legged or four-legged stroll!

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!

Beautiful cherry blossoms at Japanese Friendship Garden.

The cherry blossoms are opening in bunches at the Japanese Friendship Garden in early March.
The cherry blossoms are opening in bunches at the Japanese Friendship Garden in early March.

The Japanese cherry trees in Balboa Park are beginning to really blossom!

This morning I walked through the canyon at the Japanese Friendship Garden and took in the indescribable, almost heavenly beauty. Then I sat down near the Inamori Pavilion, in the perfect mood to reflect and write.

Beauty springs forth like a miracle.
Beauty springs forth like a miracle.
Pink blooms in blue San Diego sky.
Pink blooms in blue San Diego sky.
A small bird enjoys the newly opened cherry blossoms.
A small bird high on one branch enjoys the newly opened cherry blossoms.
People look up in wonder at a magical Japanese cherry tree.
People look up in wonder at a magical Japanese cherry tree.
The grove of Japanese cherry trees in the canyon is starting to put on a great show.
The grove of Japanese cherry trees in the canyon is starting to put on a great show.

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What did I write?

A philosophical short story titled The Child and the Koi.

A fun Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park!

A speaker at the festival talks about his experiences aboard the Sakman Chamorro, an outrigger canoe once based in San Diego, but now in Guam.
A speaker at the festival talks about his experiences aboard the Sakman Chamorro, an outrigger canoe once based in San Diego, but now in Guam.

I enjoyed my walk today through the First Annual Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park. The event was sponsored by the House of Chamorros, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. Those who spent the day had much to experience, including Chamorro food, music, dance, crafts and cultural demonstrations.

I personally enjoyed listening to a talk about the outrigger canoe Sakman Chamorro and its crew of misfits. This traditional Chamorro canoe, built from a northern California redwood tree, used to be based in San Diego’s South Bay, but is now in Guam. I remember seeing the vessel docked by the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and also at the 2015 Pacific Islander Festival in Mission Bay, which I blogged about here.

It appeared to me that everyone at today’s event was having a lot of fun! Hopefully this is the first of many Chamorro festivals in Balboa Park!

Many families gathered for the Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park. Chamorro culture was celebrated on the lawn among the International Cottages.
Many families gathered for the Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park. Chamorro culture was celebrated on the lawn among the International Cottages.
Food served up at the festival included red rice and barbeque chicken.
Food served up at the festival included red rice and barbeque chicken.
Traditional woven baskets, beautiful seashells, and other aspects of life in the Mariana Islands are displayed.
Traditional woven baskets, beautiful seashells, and other aspects of life in the Mariana Islands are displayed.
A detailed model of an ancient village A-frame hut. Archaeological records and historical accounts show Chamorros inhabited the Micronesia and Mariana Islands since 2000 B.C.
A detailed model of an ancient village A-frame hut. Archaeological records and historical accounts show Chamorros inhabited the Micronesia and Mariana Islands since 2000 B.C.
A fun, humorous demonstration of how to crack open a coconut.
A fun, humorous demonstration of how to crack open a coconut.
The flag of Guam flies at the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!
The flag of Guam flies proudly at the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!

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!

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!

San Diego Diwali Mela festival in Balboa Park.

A good crowd attended the annual San Diego Diwali Mela festival in Balboa Park.
A good crowd attended the annual San Diego Diwali Mela festival in Balboa Park.

The annual San Diego Diwali Mela was held today in Balboa Park. Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, a cultural celebration which affirms the ultimate victory of light over darkness.

My Saturday walk through Balboa Park included a few minutes at the colorful festival, where I enjoyed upbeat music and entertainment, and resisted the temptation to devour all the tasty-looking Indian food.

Everyone appeared to be enjoying the Diwali Mela. A little research indicates that I missed a Bollywood Dance company performance. Perhaps I’ll catch it next year!

Friendship, shopping and upbeat entertainment was enjoyed at the San Diego Diwali Mela.
Friendship and upbeat entertainment were enjoyed by many at the San Diego Diwali Mela.
Youth perform on stage at the Diwali Mela in Balboa Park.
Youth perform on stage at the Diwali Mela in Balboa Park.
Authentic Indian food was plentiful for hungry people at the festival.
Authentic Indian food was plentiful for hungry people at the festival.
Colorful dresses at several vendor tents were out on display.
Colorful dresses at several vendor tents were out on display. A Mela is a traditional Hindu fair, or market day, where many colorful goods can be found.
The San Diego Diwali Mela created happy memories for many on a sunny October day.
The San Diego Diwali Mela created happy memories for many on a sunny October 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!