Springtime in Balboa Park

I’ve been visiting Balboa Park in San Diego, California the past four springs and every time I find different plants in bloom and other interesting things. This year we have been having some rainy spells in Southern California but the Saturday I went was warm and sunny. Lots of other people had the same idea as me as when I got to Balboa Park the parking lots I tried were full until I got to the Zoo lot. This has the largest lot in the park but even it only had a handful of empty spots so I quickly parked in one.

Near the Zoo is the Balboa Park Carousel which was made in 1910 in New York and shipped to Los Angeles. The carousel moved around some until it settled in Balboa Park around 1922. It was moved to its current site in 1968.

The animals were hand carved from Linden trees in London, England. Besides horses there are other animals including zoo animals. I was surprised how fast the carousel turned, those riding must need to hold on tightly.

Above the animals are hand painted murals that are works of art.

Near the carousel are these bicycle racks. They look like old-fashioned bikes though they were installed relatively recently in 2014.

Just a short distance from the carousel was this spectacular tree.

This is a 2 picture panorama of the blooms.

A view from a different angle.

Close to the first tree is this second one. There were lots of people stopping to admire and take pictures. I thought it would be easy to identify and a search online did turn up quite a few picture of these and other similar trees. However all of them simply referred to the trees as a “pink tree”.

However I persevered and found someone who gave it the name Pink Tulip Tree. Searching for this did indeed identify it as this (Handroanthus impetiginosus). This closer views shows its trumpet like flowers. Though a native of Central and South America it grows well in sub-tropical and tropical climates of Southern California.

Continuing my exploration of Balboa Park I came to the Bea Evenson Fountain which a number of people were enjoying.

This blooming shrub was not far from the fountain.

Next up was the California Tower viewed from the Alcazar Garden.

Also in the Alcazar Garden was this beautiful tree.

Across the street near the base of the California Tower was another beautiful tree.

After crossing the Cabrillo Bridge was this tree near the Lawn Bowling Greens.

And this shrub.

This small Redbud tree was in full bloom.

The reason that started me going to Balboa Park every spring was the Irish Festival held for St. Partick’s Day. There is music like Miss Darla and Kim Donaldson with three costumed friends who joined them onstage for several songs.

This is the Irish folk music group Skelpin.

There is also dancing like with the Irish Dancers de Guadalajara.

Sometimes even younger dancers show their dancing skills.

On the way back to my car I took in one last look at the Pink Tulip Tree.

More Information:

Balboa Park Wikipedia article

Pink Trumpet Tree Wikipedia article

Article on the Balboa Park Carousel

Website for the Irish Festival in Balboa Park

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