San Diego (CA) Photos

March 31, 2009

Visiting ducks are leaving soon (we hope!)

Filed under: Places to visit, San Diego Zoo — Tags: , — washaw @ 6:00 am
From San Diego (CA) USA Photo

The birding people have web sites that list all the great places to see ducks in San Diego but are missing this group. If you were a duck trying to winter-over it seems obvious to stay were food comes to you on a regular basis. As spring approaches the ducks seem to have other ideas about where to be, probably Seattle or Anchorage or somewhere like that, but they leave San Diego. See you new winter!

March 30, 2009

Fish at the zoo, who knew, and hippo too

Filed under: Places to visit, San Diego Zoo — Tags: , — washaw @ 6:00 am
From San Diego (CA) USA Photo

Fish share the hippo exhibit at the “heart of the zoo”. My wife said “Did you just invent that name ‘heart-of-the-zoo’ for your blog? “No, it really is called that.” Anyway, the fish are down low so the kids can see them. My hippo picture is terrible but I wanted to show you the fish and the hippo really is the point of the exhibit. I’ll try harder for a better picture. (Note to zoo staff: clean the glass for my next trip on April 4th, thank you.)

From San Diego (CA) USA Photo

March 29, 2009

Western Gorilla

Filed under: San Diego Zoo — Tags: , — washaw @ 6:00 am
From San Diego (CA) USA Photo

Many people like to compare gorillas with humans, our closest relative. They can stand upright but prefer to walk using their hands as well as their legs. Our arms are much shorter. Do they have a sense of humor? Watching them at the zoo I would say no. But I have no doubt there is serious intelligence and much thinking going on.

http://library.sandiegozoo.org/factsheets/gorilla/gorilla.htm

March 28, 2009

Free Sunday concerts with 4,530 pipe organ

Filed under: Places to visit — Tags: — washaw @ 6:00 am
From San Diego (CA) USA Photo

Spreckels Organ Pavilion is a favorite free offering for everyone on Sunday afternoons. The organ was donated by the Spreckels brothers, John D. and Adolph, and they did not hold back. It is one of the largest outdoor organs in the world, so large it makes Jabba the Hutt look like a lap puppy.

March 26, 2009

End of the line

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

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  You can look at over 300 other views of the sky from all over the world at Sky Watch Friday.
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Last China Band remembered at MCAS Miramar

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

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March 25, 2009

Ride the trolley once a week, save some money

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

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March 24, 2009

Trolley stop SDSU

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

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March 23, 2009

San Diego State University

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

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College Avenue splits the campus with a suspension bridge to make the crossing easier.

March 22, 2009

Old Town Trolley Tour, great way to see the city

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

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Catch the San Diego City Tour at Old Town for both a great description of our city and transportation between stops, hop on hop off.

March 21, 2009

Mexican bush sage in my new planter box

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

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We installed a new retaining wall and planter box next to the driveway several months ago. Living in a desert, we then picked some plants that were a little tolerate of drought. I had never noticed this beautiful plant before we bought it. Now I see then everywhere around the city. The hummingbirds just love it.

March 20, 2009

Black-necked Swan at the San Diego Zoo

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

Can you think of any other animals that are black and white? Some answers below the next picture.

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Please leave a comment if you can think of any. Some of these may have come to mind: the Bali mynah, zebras – of course, the Angolan colobus monkeys, black and white ruffed lemurs, Malayan tapirs, many penguin species, the Amazon milky tree frog, the Boelen’s python and some California king snakes. Did I miss any….? Oh, perhaps the most obvious, the panda, our pride and joy at the zoo.

March 19, 2009

Bucket rides are free for members

Filed under: Nature, Places to visit, San Diego Zoo — washaw @ 6:00 am

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The views are terrific from the sky bucket ride at the San Diego Zoo. And the best part for members, it’s “free”, just show your card and jump on.

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The treehouse structure holds Alberts Restaurant, a real treat in the heart of the zoo.

March 18, 2009

New at the Zoo – Sloth Bear

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

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We have a new Sloth bear.   His name is Ken.  The “sloth” comes from the claws and teeth, not being lazy.  They do sometimes hang upside down in the trees just for the fun of it.

March 17, 2009

Palm Pride at the San Diego Zoo

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

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The botanical collection at the San Diego Zoo is huge and would cost more to replace than the animals.   Pick up a map just inside the entrance showing the names of all the palm and cycad varieties.   The first picture above shows a favorite of Chris, my new found friend at the zoo.  Chris is a volunteer with the education department who helps with the “Sunrise Surprise Strolls”.   Last month she showed me a giant exotic palm and told me all about it.  On Saturday I ask which was her favorite.  She said the one near the Children’s Zoo entrance (first picture).   I still learning names so need help with names for those pictured.  Leave a comment and let me know.  I’ll guess the last picture is a phoenix dactylifera, ‘date palm’.

March 16, 2009

Sheep to “pet” at the zoo?

Filed under: Places to visit, San Diego Zoo — washaw @ 6:00 am

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Many people around our country and throughout the world probably find it humorous that we actually have sheep in the San Diego Zoo. Yet over half the worlds population lives in a city with not even one sheep in sight. 411 cities around the world have a population of over 1 million. By 2030 over 60 percent of everyone on earth will live in the city. (If this is all TMI then know that I’m venting and still feel guilty about dropping my subscription to Mother Jones.)

I grew up in a small Texas town where kids still belonged to the FFA (Future Farmers of America) and rode the bus into town from their farms. Today for a kid to see and touch a sheep, goat or other farm animal is a real treat.

March 15, 2009

Koala at the zoo and their cousins in Australia

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

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The koala at the San Diego Zoo spend their time eating and sleeping, have great accomodations and get great affectionate care from the staff. But some of their cousins in Australia were hurt by the recent wildfires.  Those guys will be needing some help.  (Photo taken March 7, 2009 at the San Diego Zoo.)

March 14, 2009

Komodo Monitor at the San Diego Zoo

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

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The komodo monitor or “dragon” is listed as “vulnerable”, endangered, by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). They were discover by western scientists in 1910. This one at the San Diego Zoo is large (2.5 meters long) and fearsome making it a great favorite for the kids.

March 13, 2009

Kid friendly zoo, easy on the parents

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

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San Diego Zoo attracts lots of families. Many families living in San Diego buy an annual membership and enjoy the zoo often, a great time and wonderful bargain. These pictures show some families near the Children’s Zoo entrance. Keepers bring out the miniture horses for a walk in the morning. Get to the zoo when it opens at 9am and take the kids over to that area.

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March 12, 2009

Spotted Hyena at the San Diego Zoo

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

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The spotted hyena is also called the “laughing” hyena because of its vocalisations, which resembles the sound of hysterical human laughter.   These guys got a bad rap as a scavenger, i.e. lazy.  Actually they are powerful hunters happy to run down almost anything to have for a meal.

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March 11, 2009

Pigs do not qualify for American Idol

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

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This pig lives and works at the San Diego Children’s Zoo with Keeper Charmaine helping. It also makes appearances throughout the zoo taking a walk with staff members.

Some pigs have become famous like Miss Piggy, Babe, Wilbur, Porky Pig, Piglet (one of my favorites), the three little pigs and Pumbaa. But let’s face it, pigs don’t sing very well. And American Idol is all about singing… right? (For those in other countries American Idol is a strangely popular TV show where amateur singers perform and, with a little luck, may become famous and rich. In addition to being able to sing, contestants must be human, rules subject to change. I always pick the cute blonde girl and my wife picks the hot rocker dude. Never have we picked the winner. Right now I’m going with contestant 20075, aka ‘Alexis Grace’, odds of 7.5 to 1. I would place a bet on her but recently used all my allowance betting on Astrid Harbord for getting asked by Prince Harry, which I feel is more of an investing really than a bet.)

March 10, 2009

Galápagos turtles at the San Diego Zoo

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

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Charles Darwin on his voyage in the 1830s noticed that each of the 13 Galápagos Islands had a slightly different subspecies of these beautiful turtles. I can’t tell them apart. Way to go Charles!

March 9, 2009

Zoo Gift Shop has some great things to take home

Filed under: Places to visit, San Diego Zoo — washaw @ 6:00 am

The gift shop near the zoo exit has a musical combo outside that is worth a look. Inside are some terrific gifts to take home.
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Seems like the store staffs around town are really, really helpful with the economy being what it is. But honestly, the zoo staff always wears a big smile and totally willing to help in any way they can. Thank you all, well done!
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The first time visitor to San Diego from Australia is checkin out the t-shift for sale just outside the zoo entrance. Lucky for him the spouse came along and advised they best wait. Too true. Seriously, the zoo gift shops have some really good things, totally worth a visit.
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March 8, 2009

Two thumbs up for the Old Town Trolley at the San Diego Zoo

Filed under: Places to visit, San Diego Zoo — washaw @ 6:00 am

The Old Town Trolley tour stops at the San Diego Zoo. You can get off, visit the zoo, catch the trolley and continue your tour. It is one of the best deals in San Diego.

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March 7, 2009

Lawn Bowling at Balboa Park

Filed under: Uncategorized — washaw @ 2:22 pm

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Check out the Lawn Bowling activities at Balboa Park. I talked to Tom Anderson, a very enthusiastic guy representing the the San Diego club. Tom is also a trainer and I think you can get a free lesson. Looks like fun.

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