Friday, March 6, 2015


I mentioned in yesterday's post that I was at Julie and Dave's new house last Sunday and we spent time on the patio enjoying the view.  Well, we also did quite a bit of skywatching as the clouds rolled by.  Every now and then there were some dramatic formations aided by the light from the setting sun on the other side of the mountain.

We also caught site of the evening arrival of the daily British Airways flight as it passed overhead on it's way to the airport.

The waxing moon was also putting on a show as it hung over head.  As you can tell, I was pointing my camera in just about every direction.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Paradise Valley View

Last Sunday I went to Julie and Dave's new house in Paradise Valley for an impromptu dinner party.  Julie and Dave have been very, very busy with work and travel but, mostly with the move to the new place.  They are still getting things organized and working on some necessary remodeling and maintenance.  But, they took a little break on Sunday to have a few friends over so we could all catch up.  We spent most of our time on the patio enjoying the view over Paradise Valley.

From the west end of the patio, there is a gorgeous view of the praying monk rock formation on Camelback Mountain.  You can probably tell from the sky that some weather was moving into the valley.  We were lucky that rain held off until early Monday morning because it continued all day and into Tuesday.

And here is our little group (minus yours truly) enjoying conversation, wine and a fabulous view.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Blooming Yucca

The Yucca plants are all blooming right now crowning each plant with a chandelier of white flowers.

If you look a the blooms up close you can see that they are made up of hundreds of little bell shaped blooms hanging down just like a...well...a chandelier.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Garden fashion...

The Desert Botanical Garden is the kind of place you visit wearing walking shoes and casual pants but, every now and then I see someone walking around who apparently didn't know it was that kind of place.  I have to admire anyone who can gracefully navigate the uneven paths (paved and gravel) while dressed for a dinner party.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Very expensive fashion statement

We have a wonderful business here in the Phoenix area called "My Sister's Closet".  It's one of those places where you can take clothes that you no longer wear and consign them for sale and of course you can buy some great things that have been gently worn but still have some life in them.  I take things there quite often and I usually find something to take home with me.  Last Friday I was there and got stopped in my tracks by these Christian Louboutin extremely high platform shoes.  No, you will not see these killers in my closet, I wasn't even tempted.  I know the serious injury I could sustain if I tried to wear these.  However, I did think they were worthy of a photo!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Theme Day: Aging

Every living thing ages, the trick is to do it gracefully!  I think these flowers have got the hang of it.  

The March 1st theme for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Aging".  To see how other bloggers represent the theme, click here.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  The magic of Venice is featured.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


I'm not a fan of Direct TV but I do enjoy seeing blimps fly over so when I saw this one practically over the top of me, I had to take a shot.

Then I extended the telephoto to see if I could see the pilots inside but, alas, not the right angle.  Such a tiny little space with all that  huge space above.  

Friday, February 27, 2015

Scottdale Canal Convergence

I was in Scottsdale early yesterday evening and I spotted these birds flying over the canal.  That's when I remembered the Canal Convergence Spring Equinox celebration that will be going on from now until the end of March.  The celebration features all kinds of art on display along with craft vendors and nightly entertainment all situated along the waterfront walk that follows the canal.

In this shot you see how the birds were hung so that they are flying right over the Paolo Soleri bridge that spans the canal.

They made a very pretty sight especially with the setting sun behind them.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Look to the skies

We had some welcome rain on Monday and Tuesday and that always leaves us with some interesting clouds to look at.  On Monday they were swirling and churning all day long but, on Tuesday they started to break up into colorful patches like the photo above.  I do love seeing the cloud activity here in the desert.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wookees and Jedi Knights

It was Star Wars night at the Phoenix Suns game Monday evening and the gang was all there to celebrate.  Chewbacca was on hand as was Han Solo and Princess Leia.

Of course, Darth Vader was there to cross lightsabers with Yoda.

An abundance of Stormtroopers were seen everywhere in the arena.

And quite a few aliens were roaming about the arena too.  

Oh wait a second, that's not an alien it's just a Boston fan!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Allan Houser Sculptures

I found three Allan Houser sculptures at the Hermosa Inn on Saturday that were new to the resort.  It looks like their collection changes often.  Some of the ones I've seen before are still there and some are gone with new ones in their place.  It appears their collection of sculptures are on loan from Figarelli Fine Art in Scottsdale so I imagine when one is sold, they bring another one.  The one above is titled "Buffalo Dance Relief".

The one to the left is titled "Smoke Signal".

My favorite one was this one to the right.  It's called "Ready to Dance".  When I traveled for work with a team of people, my nickname became Dancing Queen so maybe that's why it struck a chord with me.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Resort Colors

My friend Janet and I had our annual spring lunch at the Hermosa Inn on Saturday, dining in the garden.  After lunch we walked around the beautiful grounds.

The flowers were gorgeous as usual making the place look stunning on a wonderfully warm day.

While we were there, the chefs came out with this giant hunk of meat and arranged it over the open fire.  It made me wonder if there was going to be a special patio dinner party with a western bar-b-que flare that evening.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Shades of Purple

While I was at the garden on Friday to see the Turning Wood exhibit I featured yesterday, of course I walked around to see what was blooming.  I was surprised to see so much popping out.  What surprised me even more was that almost everything blooming was in shades of purple, lavender and pink.  It was a beautiful combination.  I ended up taking around 200 shots!  I made the little collage above to give you an idea of the "shades of purple" show I saw.

I have a new  post on Sharon's Sojourns.  This time I'm visiting a different St. Louis Cathedral.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Arizona Indigenous - New Turned Wood

Yesterday I went to see an exhibit at the Desert Botanical garden of turned wood objects all made from wood native to Arizona.  I think the above piece was my favorite of all the pieces I saw.  It and the two to the left are made of saguaro cactus ribs.  It's formed by a technique developed by the artists Philip and Matt Moulthrop.  The pieces of the cactus are formed together in sections that are adhered together with poured epoxy.  Once the epoxy is dry, the piece is turned in the traditional woodturning manner.

The piece above is made from palo verde wood.  I really liked the patterns in the wood piece.

It wasn't a large show but, the pieces are quite beautiful.  There is even an excellent video describing how the pieces are made. There is also a book that shows other wooden art pieces that the pair have created.  You can see some of their wonderful work by clicking the link above.  If you are close, the show runs through May 3rd.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five Presidents - in a row

I took this photo of these tall buildings in a row in downtown Phoenix a couple of weeks ago but, I was actually downtown last night to see a play, the world premier of a play called "Five Presidents" written by Rick Cleveland.  It was a very entertaining look at what might have gone on in the private room where Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter waited when they attended the funeral of Richard Nixon.  The writer said he first got the idea to write the play when he was working on the television show "The West Wing" and he saw a photo of the five presidents at the funeral.  He got to thinking about what they might have said to each other when they were alone together.  The five actors chosen to play the roles did a great job of making each personality come to life.  If the play makes it to your town, check it out.  I think everyone would enjoy it.

P.S.  For those of you who saw yesterday's post, I had a prosciutto pizza for dinner before the play.  Prosciutto and goes together.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Procsciutto and happiness

This sign was hanging on the wall in a downtown restaurant and I didn't pay much attention to it until I was about to leave.  Then I noticed the funny twist on words.  A very clever American twist on a very Italian product.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

An unusual sighting

As I was getting out of my car in a shopping center parking lot, I saw something moving in the car next to me but no one was in the car and it was locked up.  What I saw was this little flower pot sitting on the dash and those leaves were slowly moving up and down as though they were waving at me.  I thought it was so strange that I decided to shoot through the car window to get a photo of it.  Have you seen anything like this before.  I'm not much for car trinkets but, I am curious to know if this thing has a purpose.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Elegant Dinner Party

My good friend David had another one of his very elegant dinner parties last Saturday night.  He served a seven course meal for eight people and each course was truly delicious.  Once again he got out the good china, silver and crystal and set a beautifully elegant dinner table.

Here is the dinner menu:

Amuse Bouche - caviar and creme fraiche on a nut and berry cracker paired with Champagne
Seafood - Lobster, crab and shrimp cocktail paired with a French Rose
Soup - Rustic garlic soup paired with a Napa Valley Fume Blanc
Grapefruit sorbet
Entree - chicken breast stuffed with pistachio, parsley and bread crumbs and covered with an apricot, mango and ginger sherry sauce.  Served with lemon-scented saffron rice and steamed asparagus drizzled with balsamic reduction; paired with a Spanish Granacha 
Salad - Baby kale in a blood orange, jalapeƱo, white wine vinaigrette sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and cashews, paired with Sonoma Pinot Noir
Dessert - Fresh strawberries topped with Grand Marnier sauce, paired with an Italian Moscato, or 20 year-old Port and coffee service.  And, Julia Baker chocolates.

It was all extremely delicious and presented artfully.  David is truly the master of the elegant dinner party.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Birds

I had a little Alfred Hitchcock flash back when I pulled in to my local grocery store a few days ago.  There was certainly a large gathering of birds going on right by the entrance.  I took my chances and went in anyway!  I hope they weren't plotting some nefarious crime.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Red Rose

I just wanted to follow up that "prickly" heart from yesterday with a soft red rose.  This one was growing at the botanical garden and it's labeled a cherry bomb rose.  I think it lives up to it's name.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm remembering a trip to New Orleans.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

Even the prickly pear cactus find room for a little romance today!

I love it when I find heart shapes in nature!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Friday

Is anyone happy it's Friday besides me?  I thought I'd post this cheerful African daisy to help put smiles on faces.  It's been a busy week and I'm ready to kick back and relax.

P.S. I took this photo exactly across the street from the little free library I posted yesterday!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Free Library

I finally found one of those Little Free Libraries.  I've seen photos of them posted on other sites but never saw one in Phoenix until this last weekend.  I found this one in one of our historic neighborhoods.  I'm glad to know it's alive and well in my town.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ride the Grid

Phoenix has a new bike ride share program with 500 bikes located in 50 locations.  This system works with a mobile application.  You use the app to reserve a bike, enter the PIN you are given to unlock the bike and away you go.  You can even stop somewhere to shop or have a meal by placing the bike in Hold status and locking it to any bike rack.  When you are finished, return it to any of the GRID bike racks to lock it in place.  The fares are $5.00 per hour or you have the option to subscribe for $30 per month or $79 per year (students, $59 per year).

You can tell from the top photo that the service has already caught on.  Many of the bikes in that rack were in use when I took the photo.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bloom'n Gorgeous

There may not have been anything blooming at the Japanese Garden on Sunday but all around town, the flowering pear trees are in full swing with their explosion of white flowers.

And the bees are just loving the huge selection of blooms available to them for tasting.

I stopped to photograph this group of trees on the campus of the Camelback Bible Church near where I live.  They have a beautiful little courtyard with several of these trees scattered around.