Best Photos from our Readers and Staff

LAKE JENNINGS NAMES WINNERS IN SPRING PHOTO CONTEST FOR 2021 “LIFE AT THE LAKE” THEME

East County News Service
 
Photos courtesy of Helix Water District
 
June 28, 2021 (Lakeside) – In the 10th annual Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest, 61 photographers submitted entries. This year’s theme was “Life at the Lake.”

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: FOXY INTRUDER

East County News Service

May 25, 2021 (Santee) – Santee resident Kate Pittman posted these startling photos on Facebook with this message today. “This just happened. Fox chased my cat through the doggie door into our office.”
 
Pittman added that she opened a sliding glass door to let the fox out, which was “growling at me.”  She adds, “What a way to start the day!”
 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: BIRDS NEST THISTLES

May 9, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Birds' nest thistles are among the more unusual wildflowers now in bloom in meadows along Sunrise Highway en route to Mount Laguna from Rancho Cuyamaca State Park. Miriam Raftery snapped these images.

The first photo, left, shows the characteristic nest-snaped plant before it's bloomed. The spiny appendages have a cactus-like appearance and are sharp to the touch.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SAN DIEGO PADRES' GAME

By Miriam Raftery 

April 3, 2021 (San Diego) ECM staff writer and photographer, Rebecca Jefferis Williamson, submitted this picture of a baseball game ---San Diego style - at the beach. The San Diego Padres' Petco Park includes a fan section that has beach chairs and sand. Pictured are three fans enjoying the second game of the season.  Fans were seated in "pods" or groupings of family and friends due to the pandemic. Social distancing between the pods was enforced. 

HELIX WATER DISTRICT LAUNCHES 2021 LAKE JENNINGS SPRING PHOTO CONTEST

Source: Helix Water District

March 4, 2021 (Lakeside) -- Helix Water District has launched its 10th 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 between March 1 and May 31, 2021.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: NATURAL GOPHER REMOVAL

By Miriam Raftery

February 3, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Jamul resident Debbie Merrill sent in this photo, along with a message which reads, “Sending along my Coyote with Gopher image to show this is their natural prey, not pets!”

I’ve witnessed a coyote digging a gopher out of its burrow on my own property in La Mesa, which had been overrun with gophers until Mother Nature sent this natural form of pest control. 

PHOTO OF THE MONTH: COOL POOL

East County News Service

January 27, 2021 (Descanso) – How cold was it this week in East County? Cold enough to freeze over a swimming pool in Descanso.  Thanks to Allen Walker Entertainment for sending in this startling image of lawn chairs perched atop the iced-over pool that resembles an outdoor skating rink.

Readers, please send us your winter pics to editor@eastcountymagazine.org

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WINTER BLACKBERRIES

January 15, 2021 (Mt. Helix) -- Global warming and climate change are affecting growing seasons.  ECM editor Miriam Raftery was surprised to find ripe blackberries in mid-January in her backyard on Mt. Helix in unincorporated La Mesa. Blackberries normally ripe in midsummer and go dormant in winter, but this vine never lost its leaves.

Several readers have shared that they were startled by mid-winter harvests of peppers and tomatoes this month.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: HAPPY BIRTHDAY SANTEE

East County News Service

December 4, 2020 (Santee) – Rebecca Jefferis Williamson snapped this photo of a keepsake Christmas ornament commemorating Santee’s 40th birthday on December 1st.  The city hosted dual fireworks displays, as well as treats passed out through local merchants.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted a broader celebration originally planned.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: MOONRISE OVER EAST COUNTY

Photo credit:  Dawn Hough Sebaugh Photography

November 30, 2020 (Casa De Oro) – Dawn Hough Sebaugh sent in this photo taken from the deck of her Mt. Helix home, looking eastward as a golden-hued moon rose over East County’s mountains.

View more of her photographs and artwork at https://www.facebook.com/DHSartstudios.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: LAKE CUYAMACA WILDLIFE TRAIL

 
 
East County News Service
 
 
November 28, 2020 (Cuyamaca) – Scott Lagace sent in a stunning collection of photos, along with this description. 
 
“There is a trail out by Cuyamaca Lake called the Marty Minshall Trail or as I call it, the wildlife trail because of all the deer, turkeys, birds and even a Bald Eagle which flies around the lake. Along with the wildlife the landscape and scenery of the area is breath taking especially now that the leaves are turning colors.”

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: ANTS AND THE SUNSET

By Greg Dunne

November 21, 2020 (Lakeside) -- Well, it's not Edgar Allen Poe, or Robert Frost. It simplicity is that of a ten year old, but that's what I was the other at the lake. Think big or think small, or don't think at all.
 
The ants made me think on the ground below me. I watched them for 10 minutes, and it took me three times as long to write this poem down. Thanks to all the ants for being there.
 
Here are my thoughts about ants and a photo of them on my walk the other day at Lake Jennings and the sunset that night.
 

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WINTER WONDERLAND AT LAKE CUYAMACA

 

 
 

East County News Service

 

November 11, 2020 (Lake Cuyamaca) -- Pandora Horn sent in this images after snow transformed her home on the North Hill of Cuyamaca Lake in Julian into a winter wonderland. 

Her dog, Prada Van Horn, bundled up in a festive sweater for a romp in the new fallen snow.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: HALLOWEEN'S BLUE MOON

 

Photo and story by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson 

Nov. 1, 2020 (San Diego's East County) Halloween night, October 31, 2020, provided a spooky and unique "Once in a Blue Moon" phenomenon - a blue moon.

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac October contained both a harvest moon and a hunter's blue moon. The "why" behind this unique occurrance  has to do with having two full moons in one calendar month or autumnal equinox. 

Interpreting cloud formations, and not to be mistaken with recognized cloud formations, but imagination, means declaring these clouds as either a dragon's head or a fuzzy Baby Yoda. Your choice. 

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: DINNG AL FRESCO AT GIARDINO’S IN LEMON GROVE



 

By Miriam Raftery

September 27, 2020 – Giardino’s Neighborhood Cucina in Lemon Grove has set up a large outdoor dining pavilion where you can dine al fresco in the COVID era. (There are also indoor tables available, if you prefer).  Doing our part to help support local restauranteurs in these challenging times, our family recently savored the flavors there.

We started with a cheese and meat charcuterie board I enjoyed a house specialty Anchovie Parpardelle, a wide pasta noodle dish served with anchovies, capers, olives, roasted tomatoes and bread crumbs, which was delicious.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: NEOWISE COMET OVER EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

July 23, 2020 (Borrego Springs) -- Photographer Scott Burnham captured this amazing image of Comet Neowise over Borrego Palm Canyon from the edge of Borrego Springs on Friday evening, July 17.

The icy comet will make its closest approach to Earth tonight, and may be seen through July 25.

Once it’s gone, it won’t return for another 6,800 years. 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: RACCOON IN THE HEART OF EL CAJON

East County News Service

July 6, 2020 (El Cajon) - Robert Gehr sent in this photo of  a  masked intruder – a raccoon—that visited the grounds at his apartment complex in the heart of downtown El Cajon.   

 Raccoons are nocturnal, omnivorous, can grow up to 60 pounds and can run up to 15 miles per hour. This particular night visitor was attracted by cat food left out by a neighbor, Gehr said.

http://naturemappingfoundation.org/natmap/ca/facts/mammals/raccoon.html

PHOTOS OF THE MONTH: HORNED LIZARD, A FORMIDABLE FIGHTER

Debbie Ekhaml took these close-ups of a horned lizard (also known as a horned toad) in East County. 

Resembling a miniature dinosaur, the horned lizard has an impressive array of protective features ranging from camouflage to spiked horns to an ability to puff itself up and even squirt blood at an attacker.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: LA MESA LIONS CLUB DELIVERS MEALS TO CAREGIVERS

East County News Service 

June 19, 2020 (La Mesa) – Members of the La Mesa Lions Club delivered meals to caregivers at Sharp Grossmont Hospital last month in appreciation for their efforts.  Left to right, photo shows two nurses from an ICU unit on a COVID-19 floor, Lions Club Vice Presidents Joyce James and Mary Rynearson, Beth Morgante, CEO of Grossont Hospital Foundation and La Mesa Lions member David Shaw, Elbert Kim, La Mesa Lions Club President, and Cupid’s Caterers representatives.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: CONGRATULATIONS, CLASS OF 2020!

By Miriam Raftery

June 11, 2020 (Santee) – Rebecca Jefferis Williamson snapped these photos of the marquee at the Santee Drive-In Theater this week, where some local schools  held drive-up graduation ceremonies to maintain social distancing due to COVID-19.

Our hats are off to the class of 2020 for earning your diplomas despite the global pandemic, an economic depression, and civil unrest that has rocked our region and nation. We wish you a better and brighter future—and hope many of you will work for change to make our world a better, safer and more peaceful place for us all.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: ARTISTS BRING BEAUTY BACK TO LA MESA AFTER RIOTS

 

Story and photos by Miriam Raftery

 

June 6, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Artists from Art Beat San Diego have been volunteering this week to paint colorful murals in downtown La Mesa, beautifying plywood used to board of broken windows and protect undamaged businesses at the La Mesa Springs shopping center and along La Mesa Boulevard.

The action comes after the May 30 rioting, which led to vandalism of dozens of downtown businesses, looting of many, spot fires in several stores and burning down of three buidings (Chase Bank, Union Bank, and a historic building that housed the Randal Lamb engineering firm).

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