San Diego (CA) Photos

January 31, 2009

Pirate ship HMS Surprise is ready for you to step aboard

Filed under: Places to visit — Tags: , , — washaw @ 6:00 am

You can step aboard a full size pirate ship in San Diego!  The HMS Surprise is a 179-foot 24 gun frigate replica used in the movie “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”.   The Maritime Museum  has restored her to seaworthy condition and sails her several times a year. 

January 30, 2009

Keeper Nate asks everyone to recycle old cellphones

My picture today is San Diego Zoo Keeper Nate, caretaker and spokesman for the lowland gorillas.   Nate is dedicated and passionate about the survival of lowland gorillas, both the ones at the zoo in his care and those in the wild. He ask us all to help by recycling old cellphones. What’s the connection? Well, cell phones contain a rare ore called coltan (short for columbite-tantalite) which is found in central Africa. The popularity of cellphones has increased mining operations in wildlife reserves including Kahuzi-Biega National Park and Okapi Wildlife Reserve. Illegal miners invade the “protected” parks and endanger the native gorillas. How can you help? Turn in your old cell phone to any recycling program where you live.   The recycled cell phone will reduced the need to mine more coltan and help protect the wild gorilla habitat.   Nate thanks you, I thank you and so do these beautiful primates.   

January 29, 2009

Sunset over the Pacific from downtown Coronado

Filed under: Nature, Places to visit — Tags: , — washaw @ 6:00 am

See more Skywatch Friday pictures here.

January 28, 2009

Memba, silverback gorilla troup leader

Filed under: Nature, San Diego Zoo — Tags: , — washaw @ 6:00 am

Memba, 40 years old, is the strong experienced male leader, or silverback, of his western lowland gorilla troop at the San Diego Zoo.   Memba and all the lowland gorillas need your help.    Please recycle your old cell phone.   Read more here


January 27, 2009

USS Howard DDG83 and USS Peleliu LHA5

Filed under: Places to visit — Tags: , , , , , — washaw @ 6:00 am

USS Howard is named in honor of Gunnery Sgt. Jimmie E. Howard, USMC, (1929–1993), recipient of the Medal of Honor for his leadership of a platoon against repeated attacks by a battalion-sized Viet Cong force. Every time USS Howard sets to sea from its homeport of San Diego, it passes within view of Gunnery Sgt. Howard’s grave at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and salutes it’s namesake.

In November 2001, the USS Peleliu delivered the first U.S. Marines to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. On August 10, 2008 she responded to a distress call from the merchant vessel the Gem of Kilakari, who was being attacked by armed pirates in the Gulf of Aden north of Somalia. The attack was successfully halted with no injuries.

USS Peleliu LHA5 and USS Howard DDG83

January 26, 2009

USS Chancellorsville CG62 named for a Confederate victory in the Civil War

Filed under: Places to visit — Tags: — washaw @ 6:00 am

USS Chancellorsville carries guided missiles and rapid-fire cannons, with anti-air, anti-surface and anti-subsurface capabilities. She also carries two Seahawk LAMPS multi-purpose helicopters for anti-submarine warfare. In 1996 it was awarded the Spokane Trophy by CINCPACFLT as the most proficient in overall combat systems readiness and warfare operations.

USS Chancellorsville CG62

January 25, 2009

USS Chancellorsville CG62 at 32nd Street Naval Station

Filed under: Places to visit — Tags: — washaw @ 6:00 am

Officially named Naval Base San Diego it has been known as 32nd Street Naval Station not only by the local community but sailors and veterans around the world. The 32nd Street name was never officially recognized, although the name did appear countless times not only in local publications, but Navy publications as well. It is the workplace of about 40,000 personnel.

USS Chancellorsville CG62

January 24, 2009

USS Halsey DDG97 at 32nd Street Naval Station

Filed under: Places to visit — Tags: — washaw @ 6:00 am

The 32nd Street Naval Station will celebrated its 87th Anniversary on February 22nd 2009. It was created by President Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. in 1922 when federal spending was $3.29 billon for the entire year. The station now provides 12 miles of berthing for over 50 ships.

USS Halsey DDG97, 509.5 ft. long, 66 ft. beam, 31 ft. draft, 30+ knots speed

January 22, 2009

Three Aircraft Carriers at NAS North Island

Filed under: Places to visit — Tags: , , — washaw @ 9:00 am

Visitors to San Diego can see three aircraft carriers in port at the same time.   The ships are pierside at Naval Air Station North Island.   One third of the U.S. Naval Pacific Fleet is home ported in San Diego Bay, designated as a West Coast ‘megaport’, making it instrumental in the National Defense.

Art along the waterfront in San Diego

Filed under: Places to visit — Tags: , — washaw @ 6:00 am
“Tailwalking Suncatcher” by Stephen Fairfield
This glittering sailfish is a constant rainbow of colors as it tailwalks across the oceans surface. Its scales diffract the sunlight while its sail and fins glow a rich cobalt blue. Made of steel pipe, hardware cloth and plexiglass, the artwork also features a base with waves made from recycled automobile steel.
“Imagine” by Kent Kraber
This artwork captures the imagination in all of us. The artist depicts dragons as caretakers rather than fearsome or devious creatures.
“A Day in the Life” by Meilisa Lim
Standing before this seemingly restless squid brings the viewer closer to the inhabitants of the ocean. Its colors and swirls allow it to be seen as it would be in the water. Constructed of brightly colored fiberglass and resin, this imaginative creature stands ten feet tall.

January 21, 2009

Otay Ranch Town Center, our newest shopping area

Filed under: Communities, Places to visit — Tags: , , — washaw @ 6:06 am

Otay Ranch Town Center, located in the South Bay, is our newest shopping area in San Diego. It feels like a little town with sidewalks, on-street parking and outdoor cafes. Stores include Macy’s, REI, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sephora, White House Black Market, Gila Rut Aveda Salon plus an AMC 12 screen theatre. Restaurants include P. F. Chang’s China Bistro, Cheesecake Factory, King’s Fish House, California Pizza Kitchen or many on-the-go dining options. 


January 20, 2009

Cactus garden, cat canyon, San Diego Zoo

Filed under: Nature, San Diego Zoo — Tags: — washaw @ 6:00 am


January 19, 2009

Wells Fargo fountain downtown San Diego

Filed under: Places to visit — Tags: , — washaw @ 6:00 am

Downtown San Diego may be small and compact but it certainly has some beautiful fountains.  This one is near 6th Street in front of Wells Fargo Bank. 


January 18, 2009

Ducks winter over at the golf course

Filed under: Nature, Places to visit — Tags: , — washaw @ 6:00 am

Admiral Baker Field Golf Course is the winter home for hundreds of ducks. The ducks love the San Diego weather and look forward to their annual visit. Golfers find the ducks sometimes add to the challenge of getting around the course. The pond near the clubhouse is just perfect for ducks. And the well kept greens and fairways are a great place to eat, rest or simply hangout. Ducks being ducks, they do everything as a group including lifting off in flight.

January 17, 2009

Indian gharial, a critically endangered species

Filed under: San Diego Zoo — Tags: — washaw @ 6:00 am

The San Diego Zoo is one of the few places in the US to see an Indian gharial up close.  This male gharial is named Shook.   At feeding time each repitile is called by name and each comes up on the sand to the keeper to receive their fish.  Only boy gharials have the lump on the end of their snout.  As I watched Shook swam about in the water he he pushed a turtle out of his way.  A duck came in for a landing and I saw how quick the gharial could move, but the duck was quicker and got away.  The Indian gharial grows to 16 feet and over 1500 pounds. 


San Diego Zoo entrance area from the sky ride

San Diego Zoo entrance area from the sky ride

January 15, 2009

Crystal blue sky behind the Mt. Soledad cross

Filed under: Places to visit — Tags: , , — washaw @ 11:30 am

Skywatch Friday

The weather in San Diego is unusually warm with beautiful clear skys. Our daughter is flying home tomorrow returning from VERY cold weather in Washington DC and Chicago.  See skys from around the world here at Skywatch Friday.

Crosses have been erected on Mt. Soledid (822 ft.) since 1913 but this cross was built in 1954 as a memorial to veterans who have served our country during times of conflict.  The US Navy administers the federal land just under the cross.  Mt. Soledad and the cross are a visible landmark in San Diego.

Views from Mt. Soledad, 251 meters above the city

Filed under: Communities, Places to visit — Tags: , , , — washaw @ 6:00 am

Interstate 5 leads south to San Diego and on down to the border with Mexico.  To the southwest is Mission Bay in front of Point Loma.  And to the northwest is the beautiful city of La Jolla. 


The city of San Diego from Mt. Soledad looking south


Mission Bay and Point Loma from Mt. Soledad


La Jolla viewed from Mt. Soledad

January 14, 2009

Turtle, tortoise, and terrapin: what’s the difference?

Filed under: San Diego Zoo — Tags: — washaw @ 6:00 am

All turtles, tortoises, and terrapins are reptiles, have scales, lay eggs and are ectothermic.  So what is difference?  Turtles, like those pictured below, spend most of their time in water.  Tortoises live mostly on land and terrapins live both in water and on land.  

These three beautiful turtles live in the Japanese Friendship Garden pond at the San Diego Zoo.  


January 13, 2009

Meerkats from the Kalahari Desert in Botswana

Filed under: San Diego Zoo — Tags: — washaw @ 6:00 am

“Meerkat Manor” is a very popular British TV show seen on the Animal Planet Network.   The picture shows one of the resident meerkat families in the San Diego Zoo.  This family is located across the street from the koala exhibit near the elephants.   The other family lives in the children’s zoo.   The meerkats charming behavior always seems to draw a crowd.   The mother meerkat shown is taking care of 4 pups, oh so very cute.   



January 12, 2009

Even-toed ungulate native to eastern Asia

Filed under: San Diego Zoo — Tags: — washaw @ 6:00 am

Our camels at the San Diego Zoo can be a little too friendly sometimes.    When visiting you may want to stand back just a little.    Spittle production seems to be prodigious so you can expect, may want to anticipate, a curious encounter if you lean in too close.   My picture shows our big guy in his full winter coat.  He doesn’t wear it too long.   Actually, San Diego only has two and a half seasons, so the heavy coat is just for show.    


January 11, 2009

The bird collection at the San Diego Zoo

Filed under: San Diego Zoo — Tags: , — washaw @ 6:00 am

The collection of birds at the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park is extensive.   Several walk-thru aviaries provide visitors close up contact with many of the birds.  Other birds are part of shows presented daily at several locations throughout the zoo.  During a early morning behind the scenes tour I had an opportunity to meet Keeper Mike Grue who stopped to talk with us.   His wagon was loaded up with special dishes he had prepared with care for each bird in his keep.  In one of the dishes we saw some live grubs, still moving around, a delight for some special bird eager for Mike to arrival.     


January 10, 2009

Evert the Snow Leopard at the San Diego Zoo

Filed under: San Diego Zoo — Tags: — washaw @ 6:06 am

Anna and Evert are our snow leopards at the San Diego Zoo.  Both were born in captivity, Anna from the Memphis Zoo and Evert from Lincoln Park Zoo near Chicago.   They first arrived in 2006 and seem to be getting along fine.  We all hope the romance heats up this winter so Anna can give us 3 or 4 cubs in the spring.  

_1_snow_2_karenSenior Keeper Karen Barnes takes care of Anna and Evert along with the other cats on the Cat Walk near Sun Bear Forest.   Karen has been with the zoo since 1990 bringing a true love for these beautiful cats. 

January 9, 2009

Cali was named for California

Filed under: Nature — Tags: , , — washaw @ 6:00 am

Cali, our little girl cat

Cali was rescued by local firefighters.  They dropped her off at Petco, a pet supply store, where my daughter was working during her college days.    Cali was adopted and quickly took up residence in our house.   At first Cali ruled over the other two cats with an iron hand.   However, her “alpha cat” position did not last long.  We rescued a little boy cat, Abe, who immediately established his own control as the dominate cat.    Cali’s reduction in rank was a difficult transition for her but peace in the house was quickly restored with all our cats living happily ever after.     


Abe, our boy cat

January 8, 2009

“Kenai” the Arctic Wolf at the San Diego Zoo

Filed under: San Diego Zoo — Tags: — washaw @ 6:00 am

Kenai is one of two resident Arctic Wolves at the San Diego Zoo.  Kenai lives and performs at the Hunte Amphitheater where he entertains visitors with a demonstration of howling.  He is about 3 foot tall from head to toe and weighs about 175 lbs.   Kenai is allergic to cats and takes alergy pills daily.  What a beautiful animal. 


January 7, 2009

Tea at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park

Filed under: Places to visit — Tags: , , , — washaw @ 6:00 am

The Tea Pravilion near the entrance to the Japanese Friendship Garden offers a wide range of delicious loose leaf teas for a spot of rest.  _balboa6 This symbol of our friendship with Japan was built in 1915 during the Exposition.    


Yokohama is our sister city in Japan.   Our garden is called San Kei En meaning water, pastoral and mountain.  Our garden honors our ties with the San Kei En garden located in Yokohama.  This plaque, located near the tea pravilion entrance, remembers our friendship with a song.


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