Art students oil paint by the Lily Pond.

During my Labor Day weekend walk through Balboa Park, I saw that small windows to beauty were being opened beside the Lily Pond.

Students of Watts Atelier of the Arts in Encinitas were in front of easels oil painting.

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A new stream in the Japanese Friendship Garden!

A new stream is presently under construction at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park!
A new stream is now under construction at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park!

For several months I’ve been watching with growing excitement as the channel of a new stream takes form in the Japanese Friendship Garden!

Water is a vital element in a Japanese garden, and the beautiful new waterway will add even more life to an already wonderful place. The gently bending stream will run down into the Lower Garden through some shady trees, bubble under a bridge and small observation deck, and join the existing stream along the canyon’s bottom.

Here are some photos to get an idea of what is coming. I was told the project should be completed in several months.

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The existing stream runs through tranquil beauty in the Lower Garden's canyon.
The existing stream runs over small stones through tranquil beauty in the Lower Garden’s canyon.
Photo taken as I approach the place where eventually running water will sparkle, bubble and come alive.
Photo taken as I approach the place where running water will sparkle, bubble and come to life.
The new waterway will course down beneath a newly built bridge and observation platform, to join the existing stream.
The new waterway will course down beneath a newly built bridge and observation platform, to join the existing stream.
I can't wait until this project is finished. Another spot to enjoy this most wonderful Japanese garden.
I can’t wait until this project is finished. Another spot to enjoy this most exquisite Japanese garden.
The new stream will run down into the canyon between shady trees. The project is expected to be completed in September, 2018.
The new stream will run down into the canyon between shady trees. The project is expected to be completed in September, 2018.

UPDATE!

Here are some photos of the construction progress that I took in mid-August 2018. Many stones now line the new stream’s channel. I was told by a docent that the brown tarp covering an object near the waterway’s source is protecting an historic Great Buddha statue donated to the garden that will also make its debut very soon.

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BIG UPDATE!

It’s all finished!

In late December, 2018 the stream bubbled with life and the new statue was unveiled. It isn’t a Great Buddha, but a massive, nearly 300 year old bronze Kannon statue.

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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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A glorious sunrise above Balboa Park.

Sunrise paints the San Diego sky east of Balboa Park's tree-lined El Prado.
Sunrise paints the San Diego sky east of Balboa Park’s tree-lined El Prado.

Please enjoy some beautiful photos of sunrise at Balboa Park. I took them early this morning.

I walked east down El Prado as the sun broke above the horizon, then turned around at the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden and walked back to the west end of the park, where I caught my bus for work.

The rising sun's golden rays illuminate morning clouds.
The rising sun’s golden rays illuminate morning clouds.
Sunrise and clouds are reflected beautifully in the tranquil Bea Evenson Fountain on the Plaza de Balboa.
Sunrise and clouds are reflected beautifully in the tranquil Bea Evenson Fountain on the Plaza de Balboa.
Fire in the sky.
Fire in the sky. I then turned around.
The first light of the sun is reflected from three high east windows of the San Diego Natural History Museum.
The first light of the sun is reflected from windows of the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Early morning sunlight on the iconic California Tower in Balboa Park.
Early morning sunlight on the iconic California Tower in Balboa Park.
A few people take a morning stroll through the Plaza de Panama. A glorious new day has begun.
A few people take a morning stroll through the Plaza de Panama. A glorious new day has begun.

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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!

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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!