Best Photos from our Readers and Staff

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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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!

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.

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.

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.
 

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.

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.

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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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.

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?

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: HOLY HALLOWEEN, BATMAN! GIANT PUMPKIN GROWN IN EAST COUNTY

East County News Service

September 27, 2019 (El Cajon) – Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson snapped this image of a Batman-themed giant pumpkin grown in a rural area of unincorporated El Cajon.

J. Jansson-Berndes says he supplied the special seeds and Vince George grew it under his tutelage. It weighs 1,036 lbs.-- more than half a ton. 

Jansson-Berndes drove up with the pumpkin to participate in the Irvine Park Railroads'  2019 Great Pumpkin Weigh - Off. But it wasn't the biggest entry!

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: INTERNATIONALLY ENDANGERED PARROTS BRIGHTEN UP EL CAJON

East County News Service

August 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – Photographer Robert Gehr snapped this close-up of a Red Crowned Amazon Parrot (Amazona Vindigenalis), aka Green-Cheeked Amazon parrot, aka Mexican red headed parrot - eating pepper tree berries in downtown El Cajon on East Main Street.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: THE FACE OF POISONING

By Debbie Merrill

August 5, 2019 (Jamul) - This was the breeding male of a Jamul coyote pack. The first image was taken before he ingested most likely a poisoned rodent, based on his symptoms. He had already recovered from mange, also most likely due to rodenticide poisoning. The second is a picture of him the afternoon before he died, and one of his last attempts at standing.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: COTTONTAIL RABBIT

East County News Service

July 19, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Robert Gehr sent in this photo of a native Cottontail Rabbit spotted near city hall in downtown El Cajon.  Winter rains have encouraged growth in grasses and native wildlife that rely on grasses for feed and habitat.

Remember to avoid use of chemical pesticides on your grass, which can also harm cute critters like this one!

LAKE JENNINGS SPRING PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS

Source: Helix Water District

July 10, 2019 (Lakeside) -- Helix Water District has announced the winners of its 2019 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest. 

Now in its eighth year, the contest drew 60 entries from throughout the county. This year’s theme was Life at the Lake, and each of the entries highlighted the unique beauty of camping, fishing, hiking, spotting wildlife and enjoying the view at Lake Jennings in Lakeside. 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SPECTACULAR SUNSET

East County News Service

June 30, 2019 (Mt. Helix) – Yvonne Goff shot this spectacular sunset from her home on Mt. Helix. Where else but San Diego could you frame a sunset with a pine tree and a palm tree?  Meteorologists say Thursday night’s dazzling sky show was due to high humidity in the air – or maybe it’s just magic.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: LIGHTS FANTASTIC AT HUBBELL HOUSE CHAPEL

June 27, 2019 (Julian) -- No, our editor hasn't gone punk. The vivid colors on her hair, hands and stone floor below are caused by sunlight filtered through stained glass crowning the "chapel" building at Hubbell House near Julian, which was recently open for the facility's annual Father's Day Tour.

The complex includes the home, studios and galleries of famed artist and architectural designer James Hubbell.  Proceeds from the tour benefit the Ilan Lael Foundation, working to keep alive the magical artistic style created by Hubbell for future generations to enjoy.

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