Best Photos from our Readers and Staff

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: COOPER'S HAWK

By Miriam Raftery

June 14, 2022 (La Mesa) -- Each year, a pair of Cooper's Hawks has chicks raised in their nest atop a large ficus tree on our property on Mt. Helix in unincorporated La Mesa. 

Today, one of the fledglings landed on our gate just a few feet from me, unpreturbed by my close proximity, and I snapped this photo of our newest resident bird of prey.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: SUNRISE ON VOLCAN MOUNTAIN

East County News Service

May 24, 2022 (Julian) -- Scott Lagace snapped these inspiring shots of the sun's rays on an early morning hike up Volcan Mountain in Julian.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: PEOPLE’S CONVOY PASSES THROUGH SAN DIEGO

By Matthew Manosh

April 15, 2022 (San Diego) - On Friday April 8th, the People's Convoy passed through San Diego on its way to Los Angeles. With a motto of “Let freedom roll,” the truckers are on the road to protest proposed vaccination mandates and other COVID-19 related bills in California.

The convoy left Arizona in the morning and arrived at the Golden Acorn Casino on the Campo Indian reservation around 6 p.m., where they were greeted by local supporters of the movement. When the convey first arrived, it parked in the front of the casino but was later moved to the back lot behind the building


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: BUNNY PHOTO OPS

April 14, 2022 (El Cajon) – Photos with the Easter Bunny are being offered at Parkway Plaza shopping mall in El Cajon, where you can hop on by for a photo opportunity until April 16, as this image by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson illustrates.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: LEMON GROVE STUDENTS HONORED

East County News Service

April 11, 2022 (Lemon Grove) – Elijah McKee took this image of the proud winners of Lemon Grove’s annual third grade essay writing contest and Councilmembers, during an awards presentation April 5 by the Lemon Grove City Council.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: ORCHID TREE BLOOMING IN BORREGO

April 10, 2022 (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park) -- Though there wasn't enough rain for a superbloom season in the Anza Borrego Desert this year, you can still see examples flowering desert plants and trees in a demonstration garden at the Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association center.

This orchid tree blossom was among the most striking examples during a recent visit by our editor, Miriam Raftery, who snapped this photo of the beautiful bloom resembling those found in the tropics, but thriving in the local desert.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BOBCAT CLOSE ENCOUNTER

East County News Service

March 9, 2022 (Ramona) – Photographer Scott Lagace was hiking in the Ramona Grasslands Preserve this week when he was fortunate enough to encounter a bobcat basking in the sun that obligingly posed for photos. Though this was one cool cat around the human present, bobcats are normally secretive and solitary. They have been protected species in California since 2020.


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HELIX WATER DISTRICT LAUNCHES 2022 LAKE JENNINGS SPRING PHOTO CONTEST

Source: Helix Water District

Photo: Bald eagles at Lake Jennings, by Scott Lagace

March 5, 2022 (Lakeside) -- Helix Water District has launched its 11th annual Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest to share the beauty of its reservoir with the local community. The contest is open to photos taken at Lake Jennings in Lakeside between March 1 and May 31, 2022.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: HOLY GUACAMOLE!

East County News Service

March 2, 2022 (Alpine) – Richard Edwords of Kamp's Propane sent in this photo from the Preferred MM SD Insurance Services wiinning team, which took home the first place trophy in the Alpine Kiwanis Club's recent guacamole contest.

The competition benefits Sports for Exceptional Athletes.

 




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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: COUNTY SHOWS SOLIDARITY WITH UKRAINE

East County News Service

February 26, 2022 (San Diego) – Tonight, the San Diego County Administration Building is illuminated in blue and yellow – Ukraine’s national colors, to show solidarity with Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: ROSES IN BLOOM

East County News Service

February 24, 2022 (El Cajon)Robert Gehr snapped these early signs of spring in El Cajon.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: WINTER WONDERLAND ON MOUNT LAGUNA

East County News Service

February 23, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – UCSD’s HP Wren webcam captured this serene image of snow-covered pine trees and land atop Mount Laguna during a break in today’s winter storm.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: VALLEY OF THE MOON

East County News Service

January 29, 2022 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Jacumba Hikers recently trekked to the rugged, rock-strewn Valley of the Moon in the Jacumba Mountains. Angela Somera sent these photos from the hike, which was led by Mike Rood and Bill Paper.

“I was the `sweep,' the last person on the hike to make sure no one gets off trail,” she says.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BIRDS AT LAKE JENNINGS

East County News Service

January 12, 2022 (Lakeside) – Greg Dunne took a stroll around Lake Jennings in Lakeside, where he photographed a a black-crowned night heron and a bald eagle, both fish-loving birds that have been denizens at our local lake.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: CUYAMACA PEAK

East County News Service

January 5, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Jay Steiger took a New Year’s morning hike to the top of Cuyamaca Peak, the second highest peak in East County. He sent in this beautiful image, with patches of snow still clinging to trees along the trail.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: COYOTE HUNTING

East County News Service

December 29, 2021 (Ramona) – Scott Lagace snapped a series of images of a coyote pouncing on a gopher mound in the Ramona Grasslands Preserve this week, but the prey eluded capture, much to the coyote’s consternation.

The wily coyote earlier camouflaged itself among a herd of cattle – apparently oblivious to the “no trespassing” sign posted.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: EAST COUNTY SHOWS ITS HOLIDAY SPIRIT

By Miriam Raftery

December 23, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – East County residents have decked the halls – and more – to celebrate the holiday season.

At Janet’s Montana Café in Alpine, even the moose head on the wall is adorned with sleighbells, a pine wreath and bow. (Photo by Miriam Raftery)


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BOBCAT IN DEERHORN VALLEY

East County News Service

December 20, 2021 (Deerhorn Valley) – Tanner Valladares shared these photos he took of a bobcat on December 19 in Deerhorn Valley.  The photos were taken with a Samsung s21 Ultra at about 10x zoom.  

“The cat was about 75 yards off our back porch,” he says.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SURREAL DESERT DAWN

East County News Service

December 9, 2021 (Anza Borrego Desert) – The Anza Borrego Foundation and Sicca Rood provided this stunning image taken December 7 in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. No, that’s not the mother ship touching down for a landing. The ABF posted the image on Facebook, with this note: “And who ever said the desert was boring? Gorgeous lenticular cloud captured by Sicco Rood yesterday morning! at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park."


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: HOTEL DEL CORONADO’S STUNNING CHRISTMAS 2021 LIGHTS

Photos of the week.

Photos and story by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

December 2, 2021 --- The  2021 Hotel del Coronado’s Christmas lights have debuted a new look ---  shimmering, color-changing lights that resemble a castle. Their historic Norfolk Island Pines, located on their front Founders Lawn, draped with lights, created that illusion. 

“It looked like an Emerald City,” said visitor Jeff Nelson. “I was shocked to find out the lights were suspended on pine trees that have been there forever.”

According to staff this is the first year with this particular display noting they used a new contractor for the project.

The lights, named “At First Light” lightshow spectacular, feature lights that are draped over the historic pine trees that also include a coordinated music show and snow flurries. 

In addition to the "castle" the hotel is also decorated with thousands of lights on multiple roofs, buildings, fences and more. 


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: TURKEY TIME

East County News Service

November 23, 2021 (Alpine) – Did you know that not all turkeys are brown? Richard Edwords of Alpine sent this shot of his white “royal palm” and gray “blue slate” turkeys, both heritage breeds.

Fortunately for these birds, they won’t wind up on the Thanksgiving table.  Edwords says,  “They are therapy turkeys. We take them to the senior care facilities.  I own them and I sell the babies in the spring.”


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ANZA-BORREGO PHOTO CONTEST NOW OPEN

East County News Service

Nov. 2, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – You’re invited to submit your best photos of the unique and natural beauty of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park by December 7. There are six categories to enter your photos – and the Best of Show winner will receive a 2.5 hour private tour for two with California Overland Desert Excursions.

The contest is presented by the Anza Borrego Foundation in partnership with the Borrego Art Institute and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BOUNTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL FALL IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left:  fall foliage along Highway 78 in Ramona Valley

 


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: LIGHTNING FIRE

By Miriam Raftery 

October 4, 2021 (La Mesa) – Lightning from tonight’s storm sparked several fires across East County tonight, including this one in the Casa de Oro/Mt. Helix area.  Dawn Hough Sebaugh captured a series of dramatic images showing lightning striking vegetation with an explosive force, sending a shower of sparks swirling up into the night sky.

“It sounded like a bomb went off!” Sebaugh posted, noting that she thought a lightning bolt had struck a home.

 

Pulse Point indicates the strike was on Calavo just north of Louisa. A dispatcher at Heartland Fire & Rescue confirms that fortunately, the lightning did not strike a structure, but instead ignited a grove of palm trees.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: NATURE’S LIGHT SHOW

East County News Service

September 11, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – More than 100 lightning strikes illuminated skies across San Diego County last night, the National Weather Service reports. Michael Brunker snapped these spectacular images from his San Carlos home using a Nikon D7500 camera on a tripod, taking hundreds of shots.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: DUST STORM IN BORREGO SPRINGS

East County News Service

August 31, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – “Strong thunderstorms east of Borrego and subsequent downdrafts has created a Haboob in Borrego Springs, see progression below over several minutes,” says Bob Kutscher, who sent in these photos. A haboob is an intense dust storm carried on an atmospheric gravity current or weather front; haboobs occur commonly in dry land areas around the world. 

 

Kutscher runs a weather station and is a severe weather spotter for the National Weather Service.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SUNRISE AFTER A DESERT STORM

East County News Service

August 20, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – Bob Kutscher snapped this photo on August 11, the morning after a storm dumped three quarters of an inch of rain accompanied by thunder and lightning – all preceded by a Haboob, or dust storm that left particles to intensify the sunrise hues.


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THE RADY SHELL AT JACOBS PARK'S INAUGURAL WEEKEND PROVIDES A PHOTO-OF-THE-WEEK SHOT

 
August 10, 2021 (San Diego) ECM reporter Rebecca Jefferis Williamson snapped this photo-of-the-week during a performance by Gladys Knight at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park.  The inaugural weekend started with a performance by the San Diego Symphony under conductor Rafael Payare's  guidance on August 6. Gladys Knight performed August 8.  The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park's season ends in November. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park can be rented as well. 

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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: EAGLES IN EAST COUNTY

East County News Service

July 12, 2021 (San Diego's East County) - Scott Legace photographed a mother and baby Bald Eagle landing on their perch here in San Diego’s East County.

 

 

 


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: NATURE IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

July 8, 2021 (El Cajon) – Robert Gehr captured the beauty of nature in downtown El Cajon with images of a cactus flower, pine cones, a mother duck and ducklings, a snowy egret and a colorful hummingbird.


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