Have you visited Balboa Park? Perhaps you’ve seen an incredibly enormous tree standing between the San Diego Natural History Museum and Spanish Village. It’s impossible to miss! That’s the over 100 year old Moreton Bay Fig!
“Moreton Bay Fig”
Native to East Australia
This tree was planted prior to the 1915 Panama-California International Exposition and was the focus of a Formal Garden located at this site. Because of its large size, it is listed as a co-champion with the Santa Barbara Fig in the California Dept. of Forestry Registry of Big Trees.
Age: over 100 years (now)
Height: 80 feet
Trunk Girth: 42 feet
Canopy width: 145 feet
The Value of a Big Tree
Trees contribute to our environment by producing oxygen; reducing temperature, carbon-dioxide and stormwater runoff; improving property value and providing wildlife habitat.
Scientists have developed a value formula to determine the cost benefit of trees. The Center for Urban Forest Research states that trees over 50 feet tall contribute about $65.00/year back to the environment. Smaller trees contribute $18-36.00/year. There are about 20,000 trees in Balboa Park which contribute a value of one million dollars per year back to our environment.
Beyond dollars, Big Trees like the Moreton Bay Fig enhance the park, provide a sense of history to our community and a legacy for our children.
An interesting new exhibit will open this coming Friday, April 3 at the San Diego Automotive Museum. Part of this year’s Centennial Celebration, the new exhibit is called Balboa Park: The War Years. According to one website: “The (auto museum) floor will be transformed into a USO show venue to tell the story of the impact that war had on San Diego and the entire West Coast.” As part of the museum’s general admission, visitors will be able to check out a dozen-or-so 1940s period vehicles used by the American military during the Second World War.
I was lucky to experience a small taste of the exhibit this afternoon. A rocket launching truck and anti-tank gun were waiting to be rolled from the outside parking lot into the museum during my Sunday walk through Balboa Park.
Here are several pics…
(After doing some searching on the internet, I’m pretty sure I have the above caption correct. If I don’t, leave a comment!)
I got lots of pics yesterday during a long walk in Encinitas near the beach. I was amazed at all the different artistic banners on street lamps that line the Pacific Coast Highway (often referred to as PCH). Very awesome! Check them out!
The City of Encinitas, a coastal beach city in San Diego’s North County, has a week-long celebration underway honoring the late Leonard Nimoy. If the immensely popular actor, author, director, poet, songwriter and photographer had not passed away in February this year, he would have celebrated his 84th birthday last Thursday. Nimoy’s rich life and artistry is being remembered, as well as his iconic role as Mr. Spock on Star Trek. Encinitas City Hall is located on Vulcan Avenue, and as every Trekker knows, Vulcan was the name of Spock’s home planet. So by official decree, a short stretch of Vulcan Avenue has been temporarily renamed Spock Block.
Today I took a long stroll around Encinitas, hoping to spot a few cool sights in and around Spock Block. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be much going on. I guess there wasn’t enough time for preparation and publicity. Maybe next year the festival (or Enterprise!) can grow into a much more interesting phenomenon. How about some cool displays? A science fiction film fest? A cosplay contest? Get creative!
Fortunately, I did get lots of other awesome pics around Encinitas, so I suppose more blog posts will be forthcoming!
There’s some fascinating public art in Mission Valley that few people see. It’s located in the deep shadows beneath Interstate 8 where the freeway passes over Hotel Circle. Eyes are adjusting to darkness as motorists, turning a corner, quickly pass five ceramic panels high on drab concrete pillars. The one sidewalk is located on the opposite side of the street. To really appreciate the artwork, you have to cross traffic dangerously and stand in a narrow band of dirt right up close.
Today I walked to work past the darkly obscured art and decided to finally get a closer look.
Vital Parts, installed in 1999, was created by local San Diego artist Joanne Hayakawa. The pieces seem to be stratified, crumbling and sculpted by time and memory. They seem to blend with the dirt beneath the bare bridge.