Best Photos from our Readers and Staff

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.


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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.


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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.”

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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.
 

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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.


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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. 


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: FIRE COPTERS

East County News Service

October 1, 2020 (El Cajon) - Robert Gehr snapped these images of two helicopters that joined forces to help suppress the Valley Fire earlier this month as they flew to and from Gillespie Field airport in El Cajon.


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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.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: WATERMELON TIME

August 1, 2020 (Alpine) -- Alpine resident Richard Edwords sent in this adorable photo of young family members' reactions to a summertime watermelon treat.


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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. 


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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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