Best Photos from our Readers and Staff

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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: AIR FORCE SALUTES HEALTHCARE HEROES WITH SPECTACULAR FLY-BY

The view from east county

By Robert Gehr

Photo: Six F-16C/D Falcons

May 20, 2020 (El Cajon) -- The well known U.S. Air force Thunderbirds made a brief, yet impressive flyover in El Cajon on Friday, May 15th just after high noon.

Hearing the powerful jet engines off in the distance signaled their pending arrival, especially when the pilots lit the afterburners as they throttled up more power. Seconds later they were barely within sight, arriving from the East, flying in tight formation as they skimmed the blue sky above. A moment later they were gone, leaving just a fading echo of sound, and perhaps a thought of awe.

I was fortunate to capture this single, fleeting image of these six, F-16C/D Falcons when they made their appearance over the east county of San Diego as they honored first responders, health care workers, military members, law enforcement, and so many other essential service personnel.

I add my gratitude as well. Thank you everyone!


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: FLOWER MOON

By Robert Gehr

May 9, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - One of the many signs that spring has arrived was observed several nights ago in the sky. Did you see it?  May 7th, 2020 presented us with a beautiful, bright Super Full Moon from dusk to dawn.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: FAITH IN TRYING TIMES

East County News Service
 
April 28, 2020 (El Cajon) – Robert Gehr of El Cajon sent in this image taken at Christ Church Unity in El Cajon, which he titled “Finding strength in faith during these trying times.”

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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: EASTER LAMBS

East County News Service

 

April 18, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs)  - Photographer Debbie Merrill writes, “While on a `Sanity drive’ on Easter Sunday, we spotted a small group of Desert Bighorns below Desert View Tower on the boulders along the highway. I was able to get quite a few pictures before they moved over the ridgeline.  Easter lambs!”
 
Click "Read more" for two more of Merrill's sharp, crisp and clear bighorn sheep photos.
 

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: TRAFFIC JAM IN CAMPO?

East County News Service
 
April 17, 2020 (Campo, California) – Joseph Carmody sent in this photo taken Monday outside the Campo, Community Center. “Feeding San Diego was there giving out food,” he writes during the COVID-19 emergency shutdown, when many are without jobs or other income. “An hour before scheduled start time, I counted 60 cars waiting,” says Carmody.
 
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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.
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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: A VOLCANO IN EAST COUNTY?

East County News Service
 
April 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Paul Kruze shot this optical illusion photo that appears to be an erupting volcano, but is actually Mt. San Miguel south of Spring Valley.  The peak is obscured by wind-blown clouds, tinged pink in the early evening sun.

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: YELLOW ROSE

East County News Service
 
April 12, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Robert Gehr sent in this photo of one of many beautiful roses in bloom right now which surround the white Gazebo at Judson Park at the corner of Magnolia & Park Ave., near downtown El Cajon.

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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: A MID-FLIGHT TRANSFER

East County News Service
 
April 2, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Debbie Merrill sent in these photos of a white-tailed kite bringing a vole (similar to a mouse) to his mate in a mid-air food exchange that is “typical behavior for these raptors,” according to Merrill.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SKY BUNNY

ECM Sky Bunny 2020 Robert Gehr
East County News Service
 
March 28, 2020 (El Cajon) – Cloud-gazing is one way to pass the time during the stay-home order.  Just in time for Easter, Robert Gehr sent in this shot of a fluffy cloud shaped like a bunny in the sky.

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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: MAGIC HORSES

Photo: Left to right Ka Lio, Indy, Reina, Billy, and Pearl
 
March 26, 2020 (Lakeside)  -- Robin Pawl, owner of The Magic Horse Therapeutic Riding Center, sent us these photos with the following message: “I hope you are all well and coping patiently with all the changes the COVID-19 Pandemic is causing. The Magic Horse Therapeutic Riding Center has been closed to comply with the restrictions mandated by the federal and local governments, the CDC, etc.  With their time off, the horses have shifted their work to weed abatement. As you can see, they are very focused and committed to their new responsibility!

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: A SNOWY SPRING SUNRISE

East County News Service

March 20, 2020 (Laguna Mountain) – Amid the fears and uncertainties we are facing right now, there is a healing power in nature.  This inspirational sunrise photo was taken this morning by UCSD’s HP Wren camera atop Laguna Mountain in San Diego’s East County, which is covered in snow on this official first day of springtime.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: THIS ROCKS

East County News Service
 
March 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Laurie and Charles Baker sent in this photo of a boulder that they spotted while hiking in Cleveland National Forest yesterday. Carved by nature, the boulder displays a pattern called honeycomb weathering.

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LAKE JENNINGS SPRING PHOTO CONTEST SEEKS “LIFE AT THE LAKE” ENTRIES

East County News Service
 
Photo: Lake Jennings/Helix Water District
 
March 10, 2020 (Lakeside) – Lake Jennings is seeking entries for its 2020 Spring Photo Contest.  This year’s theme is “Life at the Lake.”  
 
Photos can show any aspect of lake life - camping, fishing, vistas, wildlife, etc., but photos depicting people enjoying activities at Lake Jennings are encouraged.
 
The contest runs March 1 - May 31. Prizes are awarded in youth and adult categories. 
 
For full rules and information about the Spring Photo Contest, click HERE.

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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WHITE-TAILED KITES

East County News Service

March 5, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Debbie Merrill snapped these photos of a pair of white-tailed kites nesting in East County.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BALD EAGLE IN EAST COUNTY

East County News Service
 
March 1, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Photographer Debbie Merrill snapped these spectacular close-ups of a bald eagle, America’s national symbol.  The photos were taken at an East County location that is not being disclosed to protect the bird’s safety.
 
Bald eagles are rare in San Diego County, with only a handful of nesting pairs in recent years. Sightings have previously been reported in the Cuyamaca, Lakeside, and Lake Morena areas.
 

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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: COLORFUL HUMMINGBIRDS

By Miriam Raftery
 
February 14, 2020 (Flinn Springs) – Wildlife biologist and photographer Renee Owens caught these two beautiful hummingbird images in her backyard in Flinn Springs. The first is Costa’s hummingbird, the other is a Rufous hummingbird.
 
 
 
 
 

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: RED TAIL HAWK

 

January 24, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- Debbie Merrill sent us this action photo of a red-tailed hawk capturing a rabbit, taken in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: CALIFORNIA GNATCATCHER

January 19, 2019 (San Diego) – Robert Gehr shot this photo of the illusive California Gnatcatcher (Polioptilla Californica) at the waterscape in downtown El Cajon as this tiny male bird flitted about, snatching small insects from the air as its food source.
 
“Listed as a threatened species, these uncommon feathered friends are interesting to watch as they forage for a meal,” says Gehr.

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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: CHANUKAH FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS IN EL CAJON

December 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Bettie Wells shared these photos taken Dec. 22 in downtown El Cajon, where Mayor Bill Wells lit a menorah in honor of the opening of Chanukah, the eight-day Jewish holiday also known as the Festival of Lights.

The event was organized by Chabad of East County and featured firefights dropping gelt (chocolate coins) from atop a firetruck ladder, music, remarks from local dignitaries and unveiling of what organizers claim is the world's largest dreidel, a spinning top in the Jewish tradition.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: THANKFUL AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS IN ALPINE

East County News Service
 
Photos courtesy of Kelly Massey at Lions, Tigers and Bears
 
December 1, 2019 (Alpine) – At the Lions, Tigers and Bears sanctuary in Alpine earlier this week, exotic big cats and bears enjoyed some special Thanksgiving enrichment.  In addition to savoring raw turkey dinners, the animals also enjoying romping and frolicking in the newfallen snow.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

East County News Service

November 23, 2019 (Descanso) -- Artist Duncan McFetridge has found Nirvana at his Descanso home, where he carved this giant sculpture from boulders on his property. He sent in these photos after this week’s storm, stating, “Buddha looks magnificent in rain.”

 

 

 

 


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: GIARDINO AND COMMUNITY CELEBRATE SECOND ANNIVERSARY

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Giardino Neighborhood Cucina celebrated its second anniversary last night, treating all guests to a delicious array of complimentary appetizers as well as toasts with champagne and lavender-vodka lemonade.

The appetizers include savory meatballs, cheese platter, olives, strawberries and more.  Guests also enjoyed live music and a festive ambience with red and gold balloons.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE!

 

 

October 30, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- Thanks to all who came to our Halloween Party Sunday night at our Mt. Helix "haunted" manor, helping to make our benefit event for East County Magazine a night to remember!


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: ROCK STAR

East County News Service

October 30, 2019 (Santee) – Just in time for Halloween, someone dressed up boulders in Santee dubbed the “Santee Lady” by photographer Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: TRENDY PUMPKINS

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Just in time for Halloween, Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson sent in these pics of “super-trendy pumpkins” spotted at Sprouts market. Why settle for a mundane round orange pumpkin when you can liven up your holiday décor with choices such as a Fairytale or Cinderella pumpkin that looks like a princess’s coach?  Or a knobby Knucklehead variety to add texture to your pumpkin patch display.  How about a ghostly white Jarradale pumpkin to add a spooky effect?


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