Late sunlight on Balboa Park’s trees and towers.

The House of Charm's tower rises like a bright dream.
The House of Charm’s tower rises like a bright dream.

I took these photos yesterday shortly before sunset. I strolled from Balboa Park’s grassy West Mesa to the Cabrillo Bridge, then down El Prado to the reflecting pool. Late sunlight touched trees and dreamlike towers.

Late afternoon light brings out the curvaceous shape of a tree near Sixth Avenue.
Late afternoon light brings out the curvaceous shape of a tree near Sixth Avenue.
Slanting light touches trees at Sefton Plaza.
Slanting light touches trees at Sefton Plaza.
The California Tower even more beautiful in late sunlight.
The California Tower even more beautiful in late sunlight.
Light on the tiled dome of the California Building.
Light on the tiled dome of the California Building.
People in growing shadow near the beautiful House of Hospitality.
People in growing shadow near the beautiful House of Hospitality.
Tower of Casa del Prado in San Diego sunshine, shortly before sunset.
Tower of Casa del Prado in San Diego sunshine, shortly before sunset.

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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Mirror dreams in the reflecting pool.

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I took these photos late in the day at the edge of Balboa Park’s beautiful reflecting pool.

One can see the reflected shapes of people, trees, flowers and the Casa del Prado, like dreams mirrored in the rippled water. Lily pads and ducks make the mysterious place their home.

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The Peace Trees of the Japanese Friendship Garden.

Chinese Parasol Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Chinese Parasol Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.

The Japanese Friendship Garden is home to a variety of inspiring Peace Trees. These Peace Trees are descendants of trees that miraculously survived the Hiroshima A-Bomb during World War II.

The trees were presented by Green Legacy Hiroshima, an organization that spreads the seeds and saplings of Peace Trees to gardens around the world. They are symbols of hope, and the resilience of life, and the victory of human friendship, understanding and peace.

Here are some photos collected over the past couple months. May these Peace Trees grow and thrive in beautiful Balboa Park, where people come together to celebrate the good of humanity.

People walk through the profound beauty of the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego.
People walk through the profound beauty of the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego.
Ginko Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Ginko Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Wisteria Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Wisteria Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
A walk through the Lower Garden of the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A walk through the Lower Garden of the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Chinese Parasol Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Chinese Parasol Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Ginko Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Ginko Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Tending to small bonsai trees in the Upper Garden.
Tending to small bonsai trees in the Upper Garden.
Plaque near Camphor Peace Tree in the Japanese Friendship Garden. In August 15, 2015 the JFG received 15 saplings grown from trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Plaque near Camphor Peace Tree in the Japanese Friendship Garden. In August 15, 2015 the JFG received 15 saplings grown from trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
The Camphor Peace Tree flourishes in the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. Proof that life, hope and peace can prosper.
This Camphor Peace Tree flourishes in the Japanese Friendship Garden. Proof that life, hope and peace can prosper.

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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.

Balboa Park becomes more beautiful one Friday morning.

San Diego Park and Recreation Department workers paint a wall one Friday morning in Balboa Park.
San Diego Park and Recreation Department workers paint a wall in Balboa Park one Friday morning.

During my walk through Balboa Park this morning, I saw lots of people out and about working to beautify the park. It’s Friday, which means another busy weekend is just around the corner…

Cleaning the Plaza de California near the Museum of Man with a blower.
Cleaning the Plaza de California near the Museum of Man with a blower.
Another worker clears leaves with a blower by the Niki de Saint Phalle Nikigator sculpture.
Another worker clears leaves and litter with a blower by the Niki de Saint Phalle Nikigator sculpture.
Working on some underground repairs in the outdoor courtyard of the House of Hospitality, near Donal Hord's sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec.
Working on some underground repairs in the outdoor courtyard of the House of Hospitality, near Donal Hord’s iconic sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec.
Restoration work if being done on this facade by the reflecting pool. Sadly, a vandal must have climbed the scaffolding and spray painted graffiti.
Restoration work if being done on this facade by the reflecting pool. Sadly, a vandal must have climbed the scaffolding and spray painted graffiti.
Raking between enormous roots behind the Botanical Building!
Raking between enormous roots behind the Botanical Building!
Some work is going on to fix up the front entrance of the San Diego History Center.
Some work is going on to fix up the front entrance of the San Diego History Center.
More leaf blowing in the Plaza de Panama.
More leaf blowing in the Plaza de Panama near the Museum of Art’s Sculpture Garden Court.
A Park and Rec worker gathers up some garbage one Friday morning, preparing for the weekend.
A Park and Rec worker gathers up some garbage one Friday morning, preparing for the inevitable weekend crowds.
A tree trimming service removes fallen eucalyptus trees in Palm Canyon. This year's winter storms have knocked many large trees over.
A tree trimming service removes fallen eucalyptus trees in Palm Canyon. This year’s winter storms have knocked many large trees over.
Some of the enormous eucalyptus trunks weigh many tons.
Some of the enormous eucalyptus trunks weigh many tons.
A truck dumps mulch, with the Balboa Park Club rising in the background.
A truck dumps mulch, with the Balboa Park Club rising in the background.
Mowing the green lawn at the International Cottages.
Mowing the green lawn at the International Cottages one quiet Friday morning.

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Beautiful Christmas trees made of green corks!

A fun gingerbread house can be found in Balboa Park's very creative Spanish Village Art Center during this holiday season.
A fun gingerbread house can be found in Balboa Park’s very creative Spanish Village Art Center during this holiday season.

Walk through Spanish Village Art Center this holiday season and you’ll see beautiful artwork everywhere. Including Christmas trees made of green corks!

Looks like a fun project! That’s a lot of wine bottles!

The beautifully textured Christmas trees have been artfully made from bottle corks!
The beautifully textured Christmas trees have been artfully made from bottle corks!
A forest of Christmas trees made of green-colored corks is the backdrop for Frosty the Snowman and some carolers.
A forest of Christmas trees made of green-colored corks is the backdrop for Frosty the Snowman and some carolers.

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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!