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25 February 2017 @ 04:48 pm
Increasingly crowded  
Place: Balboa Park, San Diego in Southern California
Date: February 20, 2017
Weather: Sunny and not too hot

The Spreckels Organ Pavilion is incredibly ornate.
I arrived at Balboa Park just before 11. That was a good time, because I got a great parking spot. But the place became increasingly crowded while I was wandering around. Here is a PDF map to help with orientation. The park has an app with several guided tours. I mostly followed the one called Hidden Gems of Balboa Park.

The first stop was the Spreckels Organ Pavillion. It was incredibly ornate. Regrettably, I used one of Camera Awesome's built-in filters for the photo above. A lot of detail was lost because of that. The organ pavillion is really only a facade, so there wasn't much to see there.

Some of the largest koi I've ever seen in the Japanese-American Friendship Garden. #prisma
The Japanese Friendship Garden nearby, had a lot more to offer. Like these very fat and happy koi. I promise I'm not going mad and applying artsy filter to everything. Most of the other photos on this page are hardly processed at all. This one is a Prisma filter. They work best on relatively simply motifs with clear lines, like this one.

Kimono with Mandarin duck motif.
In a small building, there was a kimono collection. I took a picture of this one because I liked how the designer had included mandarin ducks in the pattern. Very stylish.

Olive bonsai.
Outside building, there was a small collection of lovely bonsai trees. I particularly enjoyed the specimens of non-traditional trees. Like this olive tree.

Bougainvillea bonsai.
The bougainvillea was very showy. It's another non-traditional bonsai subject. You've got to admit that it looks stunning and very true to the idea of bonsai.

San Diego Museum of Art under the usual, impossibly-blue, California sky.
The San Diego Museum of Art looked tempting, but I didn't have time to go inside. Maybe next time.

Sadly the Botanical House was closed.
I had set aside time to go inside the Botanical House but it turned out to be closed. Bummer.

Lovely tiled sheet fountain.
Because it was getting so crowded, most of the remaining photos are of details. Like this lovely tiled sheet fountain on a retaining wall.

Drinking fountain shaded by flowers.
Here's another view that gives the impression of serenity. It's a drinking fountain in the shade of a white cherry tree and a bougainvillea.

The international cottages were adorable. I wanted to move in right away.
I had parked my car near the Swedish House in the United Nations part of the park. Sadly none of the country cottages were open.

Two dragon trees on the right. Yellow-flowered tree looks like acacia but is unscented.
Opposite I found two dragon trees and an acacia.

Ocotillo is one very weird shrub.
Nearby I had my first encounter with an ocotillo. I was to see much more of these weird shrubs on this trip. They only develop leaves when there's been rain. Weirder still, the stems don't branch at all. The leaves grow straight on the stems. The overall effect is of a shrub designed by somebody who has no concept of botany.

Pueblo revival style.
OK, one more Prisma-filtered image. This is the Balboa Park youth club. It's in the Pueblo Revival style. I quite like it.

Anybody know what kind of tree this is? Flowering next to bananas in San Diego.
Last but not least, a mystery tree. It grew next to the San Diego Hall of Champions and was about the same height as the building. That's about two stories tall. At first I thought it was a giant abutilon, but the flowers are not abutilon flowers. Still, I think it's a Malvacea witht that long stamen and the maple-like leaves. I'm hoping somebody will tell me what it is.
scottksscottks on March 7th, 2017 05:12 am (UTC)
We had an olive tree in our backyard in Anaheim where I grew up. I can totally see them doing a bonsai of an olive tree. The trunks have that gnarled look.