Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Here I Am, Camera in Hand

I just got back from a weekend trip to Santa Fe New Mexico with a good friend of mine.  We visited lots and lots of great museums and galleries and just about overloaded ourselves with art.  (Don't worry, we managed to eat good New Mexican food and shop a little too.)  One of the museums we visited was the International Folk Art Museum and what a place that was.  It was full of dioramas of all kinds of collectable pieces from all over the world.  In one of the dioramas, my friend spotted this little lady pointing her camera to take a photo and she said "hey, look it's you!" Sure enough, there I am, camera in hand!

Here is a fuller view of the diorama. You can see me down there in the lower left corner.  I almost didn't make in this shot.

Monday, June 18, 2018


Here's a very scary looking mural I found on the side of a convenience store.  It has a signature on it of Mr. Gatto Arte but, I couldn't really find anything to indicate I was reading about this actual artist.  I found a site for an artist called Mr. Gatto but, his work was so different from this that I'm pretty certain it's not the same person.  Regardless, this is not a face I'd want to run into day or night.

To seem more "Monday Murals" click here.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

What Style Would You Call It?

Here is an interesting house I found when I was out one day.  I'm not sure what style I'd call it.  It has little colonial bits and a hint of Tudor but, it doesn't fit any specific mold as far as I can tell.  And, it doesn't look like anything else on this street.  Any ideas?

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm looking at an art museum located in a historic neighborhood.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Eye Test

How are your eyes?  Feeling a little dizzy?  
I took this photo in the gift shop of the Phoenix Art Museum.  Can you guess what it is?  It is a sort of basket made form carved wood.  The basket collapses to flat for storage and opens to make a basket.  I held my camera over the top of it to take the shot.  It looks like something from The Twilight Zone or maybe an eye test.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Charging Station

Biltmore Fashion Park shopping center has installed a Tesla charging station in the back parking lot and it is a big hit with the Tesla owners.  Every time I pass by it, there are several cars there hooked up to the power.  Apparently, these stations are cropping up all over.  I wonder if they work for other electric cars.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Outdoor Dining is on Hold

Our summer temperatures have arrived which means outdoor dining will have to wait until fall.  When the temperatures climb to the 110 degree mark (43c), it's too hot to dine outside even if the misters are going.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Stewart

When I went to the Farmer's Market last Saturday, I saw this very large and very busy construction sight just across the street.  It looks like more apartments or condos going up right along Central Avenue.

There used to be a row of businesses here all constructed of brick and on the end was a place called Circle Records.  I spent time in that store years ago picking out CD's.  (I probably still have a few I bought there.  Yes, I still own a few CD's.)  I was pleased to see that the circular entrance to that wonderful old store has been preserved and will become part of this new place.  Historic preservation is a good thing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Planting Palm Trees

I happened to catch this crew planting palm trees in front of an office building along Camelback Road.

I cropped the photo down so you could see the guys easing that big tree into hole.  The next tree over looks like it has already been set.

These aren't the greatest of shots because I was shooting toward the sun but it was the only way to capture the scene.  It takes a lot of equipment to plant fully grown palm trees.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Timely Observation

Spotted this car ahead of me on Saturday.  There are some things too ironic for words.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Flowers at the Market

I went to the Farmers Market yesterday.  I hadn't been in what seems like a long time.  I can always count on Maya's to have a colorful array of flowers on display.  These sunflowers look very cheery.

I was surprised to see a bunch of thistle blooms in one bucket.

But, put them all together with some daisies and they make a beautiful bouquet.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm roaming a historic neighborhood.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Tumbling Plants

I was sitting at a traffic light when I caught sight of the plants tumbling from the balconies of the apartments at Optima in Scottsdale.  They looked so pretty against that blue sky that I couldn't resist.  All I had with me was my iPhone but I think it did pretty well.

I did a post about these apartments here.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Tall Tree

Wednesday evening I stopped at a new healthy style restaurant that just opened down the street from to give them a try.  On my way out of the restaurant, I caught sight of this tall tree with the glow of the  late sun on it.  I drove around to the next street over to get a closer look and to snap a photo.  I just liked the light on the tree.

By the way, the healthy place was pretty good.

I just realized that I've had posts about trees for  three days in a row now.  That wasn't planned.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Tree as Art

From a distance, this looks like a real tree but, it's not.  It sits along the side of the Symphony Hall building in downtown Phoenix.  I hadn't paid much attention to it until the time I walked along the sidewalk that runs right next to it.  It's not the usual approach I make when going to Symphony Hall.

There was no sign to say who the artist is but, I can tell you it's made of metal.  You probably figured that out already.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Baja Elephant Tree

Here's a tree at the Desert Botanical Garden that I hadn't paid much attention to before.  The last time I was there, I noticed how sort of dried out it look so I snapped a couple of photos and when I got home I looked up Elephant Tree.  It appears that there is another tree that goes by the same name so I looked up the latin name for it "Pachycormus discolor".

It turns out that the tree isn't dry at all.  Those are actually blooms on the tree and they have a pinkish hue to them.

By the way, the term "pachy" means thick and "cormus" means stump.  The name refers to the thick trunk on the tree.  Interesting!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Drinks for Humans

Last Sunday night I went to see the Tony Award winning play "The Humans" starring Richard Thomas.  It was part of my Valley Broadway season of shows and it was performed at the Grady Gammage Auditorium, that fabulous Frank Lloyd Wright building in Tempe.  The bar at Gammage always has some special drinks available based on the play being presented.  This time it was these three.  They fit the theme of the play beautifully but, I didn't try any of them.

The play itself was very good.  It was a family drama with all kinds of modern day family issues that I'm sure are familiar to all of us.  The set (above) was based on a two-story apartment in a rather run-down apartment building in New York City.  It's rare for the Valley Broadway series of plays to have a simple play in the series.  Usually every play in the series is a musical.  I enjoyed the change.

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Phoenix & Friends

I found this mural on the side of a dental office and it depicts two of my favorite feathered friends.  First the mythical Phoenix bird rising out of the fire in splendid glory and three of those colorful peach-faced lovebirds that have made the Phoenix area their home.  Way down in the bottom left corner there is a signature that says "Phoenix 2015 by Slot Head" and below that is the picture of a toaster.

The only problem is, I can't find any information on an artist called "slot head".  I wonder who it could be.

For more "Monday Murals", click here.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Mountainside Yard

One evening recently I was having dinner at my friends Julie & Dave's house.  I think I've mentioned before that their house sits on the north side of Camelback Mountain.  That means that their backyard is a steep hillside.  On this particular evening, we decided to climb around  in their backyard area before dinner and make sure everything on the hillside was looking good.

There is quite a view from up there among the trees and rocks.  At one spot, Julie and Dave have put a statue of St. Francis hidden among the rocks.  It seems quite natural to see him there where he can protect the birds and other animals that roam the mountain.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm taking a look at the collection of a very prolific collector.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Contemplation Garden

A little artistic rendition of the Contemplation Garden at the Desert Botanical Garden.  This is where I like to sit and watch the birds enjoying the fountain around the circle.

They love getting a drink here and sometimes taking a quick bath.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Theme Day: Me

The first of the month has rolled around rather quickly it seems and this month's theme is "Me".  So here I am!  You didn't know I was an astronaut, did you?

This was taken at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

To see other City Daily Photo Bloggers in person, click here.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Impromptu Dinner

A week or so ago I met a friend for an impromptu dinner at a relatively new restaurant in Scottsdale called Fat Ox.  I hadn't heard much about the place so I didn't know what to expect.

I was pleasantly surprised.  The food was delicious and the service was exceptional.  We started with the Caesar salad for two which was prepared at our table.  It was one of the best Caesar's I've had.

We followed the salad with an appetizer of aged prosciutto and we shared an order of truffled pasta.  Everything was simply scrumptious.  I give this place a thumbs up!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Birds and Chatter

Last Sunday, I took an early morning walk at the Desert Botanical Garden and at one point, sat down in the Contemplation Garden to watch the birds.  There is a water feature here and the birds like to get a drink and take baths in the fountain.  It was so quiet and peaceful with the sound of water and the chirping of the birds and then.....

...three other people entered the garden and I heard one woman say "what a peaceful place to sit and listen to the water".   She then proceeded to never stop talking.  Not only could you not hear the water but, the birds were not likely to stop for a drink with all that talking going on.

I held my ground and stayed put until they finally left and the birds came back.

P.S. The birds are a white winged dove, a house finch and a Gambel's Quail.  Sorry I didn't add that earlier.   

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Pure Luck

So there I was driving along on a busy thoroughfare when a guy on a motorcycle with a sidecar passes me as we roll to a stop at the traffic light.  Seated in the sidecar was a big shaggy dog.  I grabbed my camera and rolled down the window but, by the time I got the camera pointed out the window, the light changes and the traffic starts to move.  I snapped the shutter and thought, maybe I'll catch him at the next light.  However, that didn't happen.  The next two lights remained green and by the time I hit the next red light, he had already gone through.

I down loaded my one and only photo and started cropping it to so you could see the dog.  You see, the shaggy white dog was wearing eye goggles and I wanted to get a shot of it.

So, I cropped it some more and sure enough, now you can see the goggles on the dog.  What a sight it was.  People ahead of me were leaning out their windows with cell phones trying to snap a photo.  I really thought I had nothing at all but, with pure luck on my side and some heavy duty cropping, it's not too bad of a shot.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S., a day we celebrate the lives of our fallen soldiers.  I'm revisiting the Viet Nam Memorial located in the Wesley Bolin Plaza, the park that sits directly across the street from the Arizona State Capitol.  The name of this statue is "Fallen Warrior" and it is flanked by pillars on which the names of Arizona's sons who were lost in that war.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Historic Variety

I had these photos in my "historic neighborhoods" file and I thought they would show the variety of older homes that can be found in our oldest neighborhoods.  If it weren't for those palm trees, this one would look like it would fit in well in the midwest or east of the U.S.

While this one has a very fitting southwestern look to it.  It fits in well in Arizona or would look equally at home in California.

This one is the home of a friend of mine and I've always admired the way the front door is so beautifully framed.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm showing the outdoor part of the Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Waiting Room

In the waiting room at my local diagnostic imaging facility.  I like a place that does a good job of making an unpleasant necessity tolerable!  Instead of a medical office feel, Solis has more of a spa feel.