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Special Report: San Diego Roars

San Diego Zoo (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Escondido (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

Color correspondent Alena Nicholas was on safari for fall color in San Diego on Thanksgiving Day and Orange Friday and found it at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. And, did San Diego roar!

San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Coastal marsh, San Diego (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Safari Park, Escondido (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

Safari Park, Escondido (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego County (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Pacific Coast, San Diego (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego County (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

North San Diego County (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

African Elephants, San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

African Elephants, Safari Park, Escondido (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

In 2016, the San Diego Zoo celebrates its 100th birthday. So, during this celebratory period is the time to visit what Trip Advisor rates as the world’s best zoo.

What makes the San Diego Zoo so good is both the breadth of species to be seen (Chinese Giant pandas, Australian koalas, African elephants, Malaysian tigers, California condors, African lions…) and the natural, seemingly unfenced habitats in which they reside.

That means there aren’t many bars or mesh wire fences through which to observe or photograph the animals, but open space instead, and the areas provided for the animals are expansive and have natural settings.

At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (an hour north of the San Diego Zoo in Escondido) visitors ride carts, trams and now motorized trikes, along roads and paved trails into the savannah where they see animals interacting as they would in the wild.

One of the interactive programs at the Safari Park is Cheetah Safari where the “jaw-dropping” speed of a cheetah is demonstrated as it races along a 330-foot long track. Programs at both locations immerse visitors in better appreciating wild animals and the threats to their continued existence in the wild.

On Alena’s safari to San Diego, she captured not just the amazing and colorful inhabitants of the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, but also the foliage to be seen in beautiful Balboa Park and throughout the region: native California fan palms taking on a yellow-orange glow, black oak dressed in lime, yellow and orange, exotic maroon fountain grass, orange-red coastal marsh grasses and trees carrying lime, yellow, orange and red confetti.

San Diego’s climate is so temperate and inviting that the seasonal change is hardly evident, though it can be felt in the autumn air, seen in San Diego’s glorious sunsets and found along stream beds where golden cottonwood and orange black oak paint the landscape.

Early December is an ideal time to visit San Diego.  The weather is good (this week, it will be in the low 70s), and the last of California’s fall color will continue to peak through the next two weeks. In two words… GO NOW!

Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

San Diego (11/28/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego (11/28/15) Alena Nicholas

Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Pacific coast, San Diego (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Safari Park, Escondido (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Safari Park, San Diego (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Safari Park, Escondido (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

Safari Park, Escondido (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Safari Park (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

Safari Park (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego County (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Zoo (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Malaysian tiger, San Diego Zoo (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Zoo (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Zoo (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Black Oak, San Diego (11/28/15) Alena Nicholas

Balboa Park, San Diego (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

AN-SanDiego-15

Balboa Park, San Diego (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

AN-SanDiego-13

Balboa Park, San Diego (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Black oak, San Diego County (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

Balboa Park, San Diego (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Cheetah, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Escondido (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Australian koala, San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Australian koala, San Diego Zoo (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Safari Park, Escondido (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Safari Park, Escondido (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (11/26/15) Alena Nicholas

Safari Park, Escondido (11/27/15) Alena Nicholas

 

 

 

Special Report: Sedona, Arizona

Fall color spreads across the high desert near Sedona at dawn (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Fall color spreads across the high desert near Sedona at dawn (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Occasionally, we’ll get autumn shots from other parts of the country. This autumn, we posted one from Idaho. California is our focus, but it’s interesting to see what’s happening elsewhere, now and then, though we’ll always be true to CA. There’s just too much fall color here to start taking on the rest of the country.

However, today we receive this special report from Alena Nicholas who was in Flagstaff and Sedona, Arizona. Alena provides this postcard collection of the change of season in one of our neighboring states.  So, we’re creating a new category called “Special Report” where photographs from other fall color destinations can be published.

Let’s look at what Alena discovered in The Grand Canyon State.

Oak Creek Canyon Rd, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Oak Creek Canyon Rd, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Restaurant, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Restaurant, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Plateau Rd. above Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Plateau Rd. above Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Art Gallery, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Art Gallery, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Slide Rock River, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Slide Rock River, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Slide Rock River, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Slide Rock River, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

West Fork, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

West Fork, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

West Fork, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

West Fork, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

West Fork, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

West Fork, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Slide Rock River, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas

Slide Rock River, Sedona (11/1/15) Alena Nicholas