Category Archives: Out & About

Fall, football, fleet week, festival of sail—It all starts today!

Out & About

The unofficial start of the Festival of Sail at the Maritime Museum of San Diego begins today with the Parade of Sail at 3:00 p.m. For most of us here, that means it’s also the unofficial start of Fall, football, and Fleet Week (a misnomer since the “week” lasts from September 8 to October 4).

The Parade of Sail features tall ships from around the world and is, for me, one of the best events occurring each year in San Diego.

Here’s a selection of tall ships, some making San Diego their home, others visiting during the year, and still others visiting specifically for the Festival of Sail:

Tall ships in San Diego for the Festival of Sail Tall Ship Parade at San Diego Festival of Sail Tall Ship Parade at San Diego Festival of Sail Tall Ship Parade at San Diego Festival of Sail Tall ship in San Diego Tall ship in San Diego Tall ship at the 2012 Festival of Sail, San Diego

The Californian, official tall ship of the State of California

The Californian, official tall ship of the State of California

Tall ship

Tall Ship Parade at San Diego Festival of Sail

Tall ship at the 2012 Festival of Sail, San Diego

Esmeralda

Sagres ship

Star of India

Master & CommanderPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Most significant today is that the San Salvador, the recently completed full-size replica of the galleon that sailed into San Diego bay in 1542, will make its debut. While it is not expected to be under sail today, it will lead the Parade of Sail using its propellers, also known as “iron wind.”

San Salvador

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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The most southwestern point in the continental United States

Out & About

When the real estate bubble burst around 2008 and everyone decided to stay home on staycations, I decided to stay, too.

I set out to explore everything that San Diego County had to offer.

That was when I first discovered the most southwestern point in the continental United States.

It’s called Border Field State Park.

Border Field State Park in San Diego County, CaliforniaPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Border Field State Park makes the local headlines quite often because it is the only place where U.S. and Mexican families that are separated by fences and walls can go say hello to each other…. But only during certain times, and when those times are announced, headlines are made!

Border Field State Park in San Diego County, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Road and safety conditions change frequently, and the vehicle gate is closed Monday through Friday. Other weird things…. Here is a great gateway web site to Border Field State Park.

On a recent trip to Border Field, I found a new fence. Looks like this (click on picture for a huger version):

Fence at Border Field State Park, Imperial Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The dohickeys hanging on the fence are mosaics created by schoolchildren throughout the area and feature wildlife that can be found at Border Field State Park. Here are some close-ups of the mosaics:

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There are a great number of horse rental businesses in the area, and I can highly recommend a horse ride to the beach where you can actually ride the horse ON the beach, the only place in San Diego County where you can do that.

Border Field State Park in San Diego County, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Shall we go to bed?

Picture of the Moment

Many decades ago when I was but a poor college student, at the end of each semester some friends and I would travel around town gathering up all the box springs and mattresses that graduating seniors were throwing away. We would then deliver them to the homeless shelters. We thought doing that served three purposes:

  1. Got rid of the visual blight that hits so many college communities at graduation time.
  2. Helped the homeless shelters because they could either set up the beds for use by the homeless or sell them to make money.
  3. It made us feel good.

Probably 90% of the beds were single beds, sometimes double beds, but rarely queen or king size. Those same 90% were in good condition; the only reason they were being disposed of was because the graduating senior had a job and was going to buy a much bigger bed, probably a queen or king size, figuring that, after four five six years of college, s/he had earned the privilege of buying and sleeping in a big, comfortable bed.

Memories came flooding back when I saw this bed abandoned in a college community near me:

img_0101 discarded bed ocean beach stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It was all wet from a day’s worth of rain (in San Diego?) so it wasn’t salvageable, but I thought it would make an awesome picture.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Under the spell of succulents

Out & About

When I came to San Diego in April 1993, I left all of my beautiful plants in the gardens back in Texas. Since I lived pretty much in hot, dry areas of Texas, and I intensely disliked paying water bills, most of my gardens and plants were cactus and succulents. So I had to start all over again in San Diego.

I didn’t get that start until November 1995 when the consulting job I took in April 1994 stationed me permanently in San Diego. My first task after moving into the new digs was to find the cactus and succulent nurseries in San Diego County.

One of my favorites was Solana Succulents, 355 N. Highway 101 in Solana Beach:

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Map location of Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Solana Succulents is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and Noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Those are Daylight Savings Time hours. During Standard Time, they close at 4:00 p.m. on all days.

Solana Succulents is where I bought my first Stapelia. Looked like this when it bloomed:

Stapelia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The plant is so unlike most cactus and succulents that I took an immediate liking to it. But when it bloomed, I became Stapelia’s greatest fan. Here are some other pictures from my Stapelia collection throughout my years in San Diego:

Stapelia

Stapelia

Stapelia flower

Stapelia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Succulent chess set at the San Diego County FairWhen I started my home inspection company in October 2001, I stopped by Solana Succulents because they always had a stack of 10% discount coupons at the front entrance. Pick up a discount coupon and use it ten minutes later!

I wanted to know if I could include a discount coupon with each of my home inspection reports. They said yes! So each of my Clients got a 10% discount coupon. I know from follow-up conversations that many of them used the coupon, and that made me happy.

Yesterday I went to Carlsbad to get a picture of the new Cecil the Lion mural (see yesterday’s post here: I’m going to call animal abuse on that). On the way home, I drove down the Pacific Coast Highway with the specific intent of stopping at Solana Succulents. I spent nearly an hour talking to the owner, Jeff Moore, and taking pictures.

Here are twenty pictures taken on August 19, 2015:

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Can you guess which picture is my favorite?

NONE OF THEM!

It’s this one:

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sadly, all of my Stapelias got left behind when I moved from Spring Valley to La Mesa in June 2001, and gardening then took a back seat to the commencement of my home inspection company just a couple of months later.

Stapelias are difficult to find in nurseries here, which puzzles me because they are so easy to grow, are drought tolerant, and have such beautiful star-shaped flowers.

Yesterday, Jeff was kind enough to give me a piece of that Stapelia in the very last picture. My life is complete again now that I once more have a Stapelia!

Jeff has a newly published book about succulents, a copy of which he also was kind enough to give me yesterday. The cover looks like this:

Under the Spell of Succulents by Jeff Moore

There are 244 pages with over 800 color photos in an 8″x10″ soft cover book for just $29.95! Contact Jeff at 858-259-4568 or solanasucculents@sbcglobal.net for your copy!

I can highly recommend “Under the Spell of Succulents” as an absolute necessity for cactus and succulent lovers, and for those who simply love beautiful pictures of beautiful plants.

Jeff also said that I could create a 10% discount coupon specifically for my wonderful followers here, so when you stop by Solana Succulents to choose YOUR special succulent or display, give Jeff the coupon below.

10% off coupon for Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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It doesn’t look like Earth

Out & About

One of the most beautiful areas of San Diego County is La Jolla at low tide.

There’s nothing quite like it with its natural beauty looking like something from Mars; its pelicans, cormorants, sea lions, and seals; and its opportunities for great sunsets.

Here’s a slide show to illustrate:

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Look how children are being indoctrinated

Out & About

One of the things I noticed while teaching chess in elementary after-school enrichment programs is the beauty of the schools.

Sadly, though, they are fenced, locked, and secured after hours so one can’t just wander the school grounds to look at the beauty.

That’s where I come in!

I wandered and took pictures to share.

These really show just exactly how the students at this elementary school are being indoctrinated.

The following is Bird Rock Elementary School in La Jolla, an enclave of the rich in San Diego, California.

birdrock location

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I think it’s interesting that each graduating class, and sometimes other grades as well, present a gift to the school.

My elementary school, Charles H. Flato Elementary in Kingsville, Texas, was no beauty when I was there in 1965-1966, having been built in the 1930s or so, and we certainly didn’t give anything back to the school when we left….

Click on the pictures that are NOT stamps and you can get a bigger version.

img_0623-0624 panorama birdrock elementary school low res

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0604-0606 panorama birdrock elementary school low res

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0607 and 0610 panorama birdrock elementary school low res

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0612 birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0615 birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0616 birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0617 birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

They make use of all their space. For example, the following two pictures are of the back of the wall that holds the basketball goal.

img_0618 birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0619 birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

No, I did not put these words on the steps using Photoshop…….

img_0621 birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0620 birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0625 birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0627 birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0628 birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0629-0632 panorama birdrock elementary school low res

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0622 birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

IMG_0611 mural birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0613 birdrock elementary school stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In the third picture above, the text reads, “If we are to reach real peace in this world…. we shall have to begin with the children.”—Gandhi

How wonderful it would be if our children were indoctrinated first with things like logic, reasoning, and science before being indoctrinated with religion. That’s my opinion, and at the age of 60, I’m sticking with it.

Child abuse isn't always physical

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pay someone a compliment

Out & About

A collection of pictures taken near the Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach and the neighborhoods nearby (map location at end).

Cat utility box

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Brick walkway with child's police car toy

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Walkway landscape

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Walkway stairs

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Ocean Beach near the Crystal Pier Hotel

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pelican statue at Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Octopus art at Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pay someone a compliment graffiti

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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