Dragonfly In Otay Valley Regional Park
If you like dragonflies then you will want to ride your bike through Otay Valley Regional Park, in Chula Vista between Beyer Boulevard and Interstate 805. That area of the park holds a couple lakes with cattail filled shores and lots of dragonflies. I would very much recommend you take the time to just watch a dragonfly as at flies around. They have what seems like an impossible way of flying; they are able to stop and hover on a dime and can even fly backwards. This makes photographing them in flight very difficult because they are impossible to anticipate. The autofocus on my camera could not keep up at all, so I switched to manual focus which was difficult but yielded better photos. My only advice would be to use a small aperture, so you focal range will be as wide as possible.
Airborne Dragonflies Are Not Easy To Photograph
I was amazed at the bright blue color of this particular dragonfly, but it just wouldn’t land. I tracked this one and several others for the better part of an hour and none of them ever landed. That’s why there are only two photos in this post, because these two were the best I was able to do. Dragonflies zip around at all angles and have an instant stop and reverse move that will get you every time.
West Edge Of Otay Valley Regional Park
But I digress; Otay Valley Regional Park is a dragonfly lover’s paradise right now, so head out to west Chula Vista with your bike and enjoy the park. There are bathrooms and drinking fountains on the west side of Beyer Boulevard so you don’t need to brink anything other than your camera. You can walk this park, but it is 100 percent bike friendly so that is what I recommend. I entered the park via the southeast edge of Bayshore Bikeway, near Swiss Park (see map above). It’s a great little oasis in the middle of Chula Vista.
Art Aquatic: Sea Life + Glass Exhibit
Chula Vista Nature Center, has an exhibit going until September 5, 2011 titled, “Art Aquatic: Sea Life + Glassworks” that I checked out recently, and it was well worth the trip. Recently renamed The Living Coast Discovery Center, I’d never been there before so it was a fun time of going, doing and seeing something new.
Tropical Fish At Chula Vista Nature Center
Chula Vista Nature Center is located at 1000 Gunpowder Point Dr. Chula Vista, CA 91910, at E St. and I-5. This location allows for three very good options to get to the center. You can drive there, take public transportation or ride your bike, via Bayshore Bikeway. However you decide to get there, park in the lot and wait for the free nature center shuttle to pick you up. The shuttle runs every 15 minutes so you’ll never have to wait very long, just be patient and enjoy the view.
Scorpionfish With Modern Glass Art
The Art Aquatic: Sea Life + Glassworks exhibit that lead me to Chula Vista Nature Center to begin with was a remarkably simple yet beautiful study in combining brightly colored, organically shaped glass with brightly colored tropical fish. There are a dozen or so aquariums that each contains the work of one artist, along with living tropical fish that compliment the colors and design of the art.
Glass Volcano As Aquatic Art
This exhibit is remarkably simple: Glass is non-reactive, so it makes perfect sense to incorporate some brightly colored glass inside the aquarium, not just as the boring, clear walls we usually see. All of the cool shapes, designs and themes you see in these photos (except for the fish, of course) were hand-made or hand-blown by local, San Diego hot glass artists.
Be sure to take your time as you walk through Chula Vista Nature Center because each display and exhibit holds more than meets the eye. Remember this is a visual place about biology so there is a lot to take in every step of the way. The Art Aquatic exhibit is a very small part of the nature center, which sits on the 316 acre Sweetwater Marsh Wildlife Refuge so don’t think looking at fish is the only thing to do. You can also look at sea turtles, touch sharks and manta rays, see raptors and predatory birds and walk a scenic trail to the San Diego Bay.
Art Aquatic: Sea Life + Glassworks At Chula Vista Nature Center
One can only imagine what the fish think of their fancy aquariums or what they will do when they have to give up their fancy décor but for right now, they seem content and happy with their colorful new homes.
Scorpionfish In A Living Art Exhibit
So, my trip to Chula Vista Nature Center was good, and I found out there is a lot to see there and it is very much worth the $11 price of admission. You can find more information on the Chula Vista Nature Center website or by following them on Twitter. Cheers!
Least Tern Nesting Area In Coronado
As you may agree as you scroll through this post, I think it’s one of the more erratic and disorganized collection of photographs I’ve presented. Believe it or not there is a method to this madness and a common trait all the photos in this post share: They were all taken on the same day while riding my bike from Chula Vista to Coronado on Bayshore Bikeway.
Marbled Godwits & Tern
Since I’m not really a bird person, trying to figure out what species of bird I’m photographing can be quite the challenge at times, even with internet search engines.
White Egret In San Diego Bay
The white egret you see above was hunting for fish at the extreme southwestern edge of San Diego Bay. As near as I can tell, the fish he likes to eat hang out in the mud at the bottom of the bay. The egrets use their feet to shuffle and shake fish from the mud and gobble them up.
A Wedding About To Begin In Coronado
The photo above was made just as I departed Bayshore Bikeway, heading to Burger Lounge in Coronado. In a tradition that goes way back, a father walks his daughter down the aisle to get married, two or three years prior to her first divorce.
Little Girl On Silver Strand Beach State Park
Of course, just because the majority of marriages end in divorce is no reason not to bring a kid into the world. The most in-charge and powerful position most Americans will hold is that of parent. So what if your boss is dumber than you or you didn’t get all the respect you wanted from the person that sold you your cappuccino this morning? As soon as you get home, it’s YOUR house and YOUR rules, which is the mantra of middle class parents. We all know you didn’t go to college, have no savings or retirement plans, are pissed off about not getting that big promotion at work and wish you would have learned to play the guitar because if you had, listening to your kid complain about whatever kids complain about wouldn’t suck like it does. But you didn’t. You’re just getting by & life didn’t turn out the way you want so you have kids & now you can lord over them with impunity, just like the rest of the world is doing to you.
Street Art On The Ground Of Bayshore Bikeway
For me, the difference between street art and graffiti has everything to do with location and subject matter. Using a spray can to scribble on the side of a building in the dead of night to declare what south of the border, shithole village you’re from or what shithole neighborhood you live in now, is graffiti. Using your imagination to create something unique & original that people will stop to look at, talk about or take photos of is street art, like what you see above.
Yellow Flowers Adorn Bayshore Bikeway
Right now, San Diego is in the midst of our annual yellow flower invasion. Through most of April, on just about every square inch of non-landscaped earth you will see yellow flowers.
The photo on the left is a somewhat hidden memorial for a person named, Donnie. This memorial is against the fence that separates South Bay Salt Works from Bayshore Bikeway. It lies just about due south of the salt works, down the north slope of the path. That’s as specific as I’m going to get, that way you’ll have to work for it a little bit if you’d like to see it in person. Above is an old lady that just happened to be cruising past me. So that’s it! This concludes my post of random things I saw while riding my bike through Coronado, Imperial Beach and Chula Vista on Bayshore Bikeway. If you have not yet explored this path, I hope the photos in the post will encourage you to do so. Below is a video that goes along with the photos in this post, as well as some video of birds and the hidden memorial. Cheers!
South Bay Power Plant And Salt Works
To be clear, these are two different places. The salt flats in the foreground are part of South Bay Salt Works while the exhaust towers in the background are part of the South Bay Power Plant. The sky is brown at the horizon due to the pollution above Chula Vista and National City.