Photos of beauty inside the Botanical Building.

Yesterday I strolled through Balboa Park’s Botanical Building. No matter where I aimed my camera, beauty waited.

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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Natural beauty in Balboa Park’s Desert Garden.

Here are many photos of natural beauty in Balboa Park’s Desert Garden. This rugged garden, which was created in 1976, contains a huge variety of fascinating cacti and succulents, a few winding paths, and a wide view of Florida Canyon below.

You can find all this beauty just east of Park Boulevard, across the pedestrian bridge near the Plaza de Balboa. The Desert Garden is directly north of the award-winning Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.

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!

Do you love beautiful things? Visit my photography blog which I call A Small World Full of Beauty.

Nature photos: MOPA’s Genesis in Balboa Park.

Genesis, an exhibition of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado's work, contains many stunning images.
Genesis, an exhibition of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado’s work, contains many stunning images.

The Museum of Photographic Art’s current exhibition titled Genesis contains dozens of magnificent photographs. I enjoyed this exhibition in May. MOPA was one of several Balboa Park museums that I visited during that month’s Big Exchange promotion.

Some signs have appeared in the Plaza de Panama which show a few of these visually stunning photographs. Genesis contains the work of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, who captures the raw, wild beauty of unspoiled nature and the simplicity of people untouched by modernity. The photographs take one’s breath away. They make one yearn for a simpler, more primal, more natural existence.

Of course, the funny thing is that the exquisite photographs themselves were created with a modern instrument, and their exhibition and transmission to thousands or millions of people relies on technology–the product of accumulated human knowledge and aspiration.

A photograph from the Museum of Photographic Arts in the Plaza de Panama.
A photograph from the Museum of Photographic Arts in the Plaza de Panama.
One of my favorite images by Sebastião Salgado shows penguins leaping into the ocean.
One of my favorite images by Sebastião Salgado shows penguins leaping into the ocean.
Photograph of the Grand Canyon, one of many stunning images in the Genesis exhibition at MOPA.
Photograph of the Grand Canyon, one of many stunning images in the Genesis exhibition at MOPA.
I try with my pictures to raise a question, to provoke a debate, so that we can discuss problems together and come up with solutions. Sebastião Salgado
I try with my pictures to raise a question, to provoke a debate, so that we can discuss problems together and come up with solutions. Sebastião Salgado

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!

Thousands of tiny stars in a beautiful park!

So many flowers are abloom right now in Balboa Park! Many appear like tiny yellow suns, or stars exploding in a fiery supernova. Walking through the park yesterday felt like a journey through galaxies. I discovered clusters of stars in every direction!

This beautiful sunburst was discovered in the Casa del Prado, at the San Diego Bromeliad Society's weekend plant show.
This beautiful sunburst was discovered in the Casa del Prado, at the San Diego Bromeliad Society’s weekend plant show.

These beautiful yellow flowers seem like a sky full of shining suns. You can find this fantastic blown glass at Spanish Village Art Center in Studio 41.
These beautiful yellow flowers seem like a sky full of shining suns. You can find this fantastic blown glass at Spanish Village Art Center in Studio 41.

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!

Do you love beautiful things? Visit my photography blog which I call A Small World Full of Beauty.

Photos of late afternoon beauty in Balboa Park.

Late this afternoon I took a meandering stroll through Balboa Park. As the sun approached the horizon, its light touched surprising patches of beauty.

I paused for a bit by the reflecting pool, the channels of water that flow down El Prado from the Plaza de Balboa, the International Cottages and the old cactus garden. My camera was out.

Come along with me!

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.

Photo tour of Japanese Friendship Garden canyon.

Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden in beautiful Balboa Park carefully step across a stream that flows through a lush canyon.
Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden in beautiful Balboa Park carefully step across a stream that flows through a lush canyon.

A few days ago I took you on a short photo tour of the upper level of the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. You can find that here. Now we follow our docent tour guide down a gently sloping path into the large canyon expansion below.

Of course, a few quick photos don’t really convey the profound beauty and tranquility of this place. And my understanding of the garden is quite limited. While our tour guide spoke of the garden’s careful creation, its tending, and the meaning of its elements, I was so absorbed in the surrounding beauty that I took only a few notes. Please read the photo captions, and forgive me for not knowing more. I’m still learning.

Gazing down from an overlook into the canyon expansion of the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego. This large section of the garden opened in 2015.
Gazing down from an overlook into the canyon expansion of the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego. This large section of the garden opened in 2015.
Before heading into the canyon, our docent tour guide talks a little about what we will see below.
Before heading into the canyon, our docent tour guide talks a little about what we will see below.
Beautiful handle on the Charles C. Dail Memorial Gate which leads into the canyon.
Beautiful handle on the Charles C. Dail Memorial Gate which leads into the canyon.
After stepping through the gate, the docent shows us a black pine. This one is being trained with a bamboo splint to assume an aesthetically beautiful shape.
After stepping through the gate, the docent shows us a black pine. This one is being trained with a bamboo splint to assume an aesthetically beautiful shape.
Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden head down a path that leads from the Upper Garden into the Lower Garden. The winding path is a journey of discovery.
Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden head down a path that leads from the Upper Garden into the Lower Garden. The winding path is a journey of discovery.
Here we are, just walking along, feeling at peace, surrounded by so much natural beauty.
Here we are, just walking along, feeling at peace, surrounded by so much natural beauty.
Trees provide shade and fluttering leaves; a bench near a stone lantern allows for rest and meditation.
Trees provide shade and fluttering leaves; a bench near a stone lantern allows for rest and meditation.
We have arrived at the Dragon Bridge, where a serpentine dry waterfall creates the impression of flowing water.
We have arrived at the Dragon Bridge, where a serpentine dry waterfall creates the impression of flowing water.
The carefully-placed white stones in the dry waterfall were imported. But the yellowish boulders on top were found in the canyon. A Japanese garden must contain an element of what is native.
The carefully-placed white stones in the dry waterfall were imported. But the yellowish boulders on top were found in the canyon. A Japanese garden must contain an element of what is native.
One of three highly-prized cloud-like trees placed near the dry waterfall. Every part of the garden has been designed with the greatest attention to detail.
One of three highly-prized cloud-like trees placed near the dry waterfall. Every part of the garden has been designed with the greatest attention to detail.
Now we walk into an area full of cherry trees. In spring, if the preceding winter had a sufficiently cold period, the grove of 160 trees becomes magical with cherry blossoms.
Now we walk into an area full of cherry trees. In spring, if the preceding winter had a sufficiently cold period, the grove of 160 trees becomes magical with cherry blossoms.
Walking slowly along a winding path through the cherry tree grove. It's a November day in San Diego. But the Japanese Friendship Garden is beautiful in every season.
Walking slowly along a winding path through the cherry tree grove. It’s a November day in San Diego. But the Japanese Friendship Garden is beautiful in every season.
Approaching a second bridge where there is a pond and a turtle-shaped small rock island.
Approaching a second bridge where there is a pond and a turtle-shaped small rock island.
Our tour guide shows us a bamboo deer chaser, or shishi odoshi. You might recall that we saw another in the garden's upper level.
Our tour guide shows us a bamboo deer chaser, or shishi odoshi. You might recall that we saw another in the garden’s upper level.
Crossing the low bridge as bright water ripples gently past.
Crossing the low bridge as bright water ripples gently past.
The rock with a bent shape at the bottom of the small waterfall represents a salmon, which like we human beings fights to move upstream, against difficult currents.
The rock with a bent shape at the bottom of the small waterfall represents a salmon, which like we human beings fights to move upstream, against difficult currents.
We walk along the artificial stream. Many flowers can be seen here in spring, including azaleas and camellias.
We walk along the artificial stream. Various flowers can be seen here at different times of the year, including azaleas and camellias.
A tranquil scene at the Japanese Friendship Garden. There are five bridges, each with its own distinct character.
A tranquil scene at the Japanese Friendship Garden. There are five bridges, each with its own distinct character.
Sitting on a shady bench.
Sitting on a shady bench.
Now we are walking past an ornate Nara period Japanese stone lantern.
Now we are walking past an ornate Nara period Japanese stone lantern.
We come to the elegant Inamori Pavilion, which is used for special exhibits and events. The Sukiya-style building has a moat full of koi. The viewing deck, or engawa, looks out at a waterfall.
We come to the elegant Inamori Pavilion, which is used for special exhibits and events. The Sukiya-style building has a moat full of koi. The viewing deck, or engawa, looks out at a waterfall.
Gazing out at the sparkling waterfall and a bridge just beyond it.
Gazing out at the sparkling waterfall and a bridge just beyond it.
The Japanese Friendship Garden is treasured by many for its beauty, subtle wisdom, and serenity.
The Japanese Friendship Garden is treasured by many for its beauty, meaningful design, and serenity.
Photo of the beautiful Inamori Pavilion from nearby bridge.
Photo of the beautiful Inamori Pavilion from nearby bridge.

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!