Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Easter Bunnies are everywhere today!

Have a wonderful holiday.

Stop by Sharon's Sojourns this week.  I have a new post about a grand Basilica right here in the US.

Start thinking about the May 1 theme post.  The subject is "Squares".

Saturday, April 19, 2014

High-rise condominium.....for the birds

When I went to the botanical garden last Friday, I was standing next to this very large Cardon cactus taking a photo of a wonderful bloom close to the ground when I noticed a tremendous amount of birdsong in the air.  I looked up at this cactus and saw all the holes in it.  About that time, a starling came flying into the scene, perched at the entrance to one of those holes and feeding the kids inside.

Then another little brown bird flew in and did exactly the same and finally a woodpecker came flying in to another one of the holes with a mouth full for the youngsters.

I had stumbled on  to a high-rise condominium for the birds.  It was nice to see such a culturally diverse group of avians all living in the same cactus.

If you look closely, you can see a young bird peeking out from this opening.

And here's momma, who came back with a bit to eat for the little ones.

Reminder:  The theme for May is "Squares".

Friday, April 18, 2014


Standing in front of the US Airways Arena in downtown Phoenix and looking northwest at the "blue" hour.  I was headed to a Phoenix Suns game when I took this shot and I didn't have a tripod with me.  There was a railing running along the street to separate the sidewalk from the light rail tracks, so I balanced the camera on the rail.  It turned out pretty good.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blue Door

This house from a historic neighborhood is all but hidden by a huge tree growing right in front of it.  We can see the blue door on the side that appears to lead to a patio area.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Colorful guests

The friendly peach-faced lovebirds who live in my neighborhood are still around and enjoying the food I've been putting out for them.  Whenever the feeder is empty, they tend to sit up in the trees and make loud calls to get my attention.  They are smart little comedians.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Garden Bench

What a peaceful and quiet spot I found at the Art in the Garden event I described yesterday.  It was a little sanctuary that the crowds at the event surprisingly, just passed right by.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Art in the Garden

My friend Janet called me on Saturday morning to tell me about an event at a local nursery called "Art in the Garden".  She thought I might like to see if there were some photo opportunities there.  Thanks for the tip Janet, there were certainly lots to photograph among all those plants.  Some of you might even remember the tree pictured above.  I posted a shot of it few years ago.  You can see it Here.

My favorite art work there was this small painting of a tree frog.  There were quite a few artists present with all kinds of wonderful garden inspired paintings and photos.

There were also quite a few venders selling vegetables, bread, oils, and some very delicious iced tea.  There was even a food demonstration going on.

I also got plenty of photos of some very beautiful flowers and arrangements.  I'm sure a few of them will show up on this site from time to time.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cactus Blooms

I went to the Desert Botanical Garden early on Friday morning hoping that I would see some cactus blooms and my hopes were beautifully fulfilled.  The stunning pink bloom above was on an echinopsis aurea, native to Argentina.

These jumbo sized blooms are on a cactus called an Argentinian Giant.  These blooms typically measure 12 inches across.

This brilliant red bloom is found on another cactus called the Red Torch.

 These orange beauties were all over a large prickly pear cactus.  There were so many blooms it was hard to decide which ones to photograph.  As you can see, for this trip to the garden I had no trouble finding blooms to focus my lens on.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  This time I visit the home of a very delicious bubbly beverage.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Great Hall

When I arrived in the great hall I noticed that it was being set up for an event.  I asked one of the people setting the tables what it was for and learned it was for a wedding reception.  What a beautiful setting!  I then moved on to see the artistic costumes that I featured yesterday.  You can see them against the wall in the above photo.

When I got to the other end of the hall, I noticed the wedding cake sitting on a plain table without any decorations added yet.  Against that giant gray circle on the wall, I thought it made a rather artistic shot just the way it was.

That's the last of my adventures at the art museum last Sunday.  There were certainly a lot more things to see than just the Hollywood Costume exhibit.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Insects and Fashion

The great hall in the museum is a room that is used for special events and sometimes for private or public gatherings or events.  When I left the "Read My Pins" exhibit, I went down the stairs that empty right into the great hall.  That's where I found this display of fashions made with organic items.    I found out that the display was done for the Arts and Flowers opening luncheon and each fashion was inspired by the designs of Alexander McQueen.

This one is called "Insecta Awakening" and it's a gown covered by Monarch Butterflies.
The description said something about Monarch Butterflies are poisonous, a fact I didn't know, and their color orange is a warning.  So this fashion fuses beauty and danger together.  Interesting.

I'll show you more of the fashions in the next few weeks but tomorrow I have one more thing from the museum to show you.

I was there for almost 5 hours on Sunday.  There was so much going on that I just kept exploring!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Famous Pins

After viewing the Hollywood Costume exhibit, the Arts & Flowers displays, and the Bonsai trees, I headed to another gallery where another temporary exhibit was on view.  This one is called "Read My Pins" and it's all about the enormous collection of jewelry pins owned and worn by Madeleine Albright.  She was well known in political circles for always wearing some type of pin on her clothing, often matching the pin to the event or the personalities of the people she would meet.  The collection was fun to see but, the stories that went with the pins were simply fascinating.

So fascinating in fact, that I bought the book that goes with it.

I love this quote from the book "This is a collection that has been amplified and enriched by the events that have engaged their owner, providing a visible record of past experiences and future hopes."

If this exhibits makes it's way to your town, I recommend it.  It's a sort of whimsical way to look at historic events that we all read or heard about in the news.

So now I've reviewed four special exhibits going at the museum last weekend.  I'm not done yet, I still have more to show you.  Stay tuned tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


The third thing I saw at the Phoenix Art Museum last Sunday was a display from the Phoenix Bonsai Society of some beautiful bonsai trees.   The one above is beautifully shaped.

I had never seen a bougainvillea plant done as a Bonsai but this one was quite spectacular with all it's red blooms.

At the other end of the table was another bougainvillea only this one was white.

I wonder if I could grow one!  Considering my luck with plants, probably not but, I sure did enjoy looking at these beauties.

Now I've shown you three different special things going on at the museum last weekend.  But, I'm not done yet.  I have another special exhibit to show you tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Arts & Flowers

For the first time in about four years, I didn't make it to the opening day of Arts & Flowers at the Phoenix Art Museum.  In fact, I was really remiss in my scheduling and didn't even know it was going on this last weekend.  It's a good thing I decided to go to see the Hollywood exhibit or I would have missed it.  The picture above shows a first place winner for best interpretation.  The flower arranger was Eric C Cook and the painting is called Ne-I-So-Meh, Yuma by Eldridge Ayer Burbank.

This one is done by florist Ping Wei and it was for the painting behind it by Don Stinson called Llano Estacado: High Plains.  I'm so glad that I caught this event in spite of my poor planning.

Once again, this and the Hollywood exhibit were still not all that was going on at the museum.  More to come tomorrow.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Yesterday I went to the Phoenix Art Museum's new exhibit called Hollywood Costume.  The exhibit has come direct from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and it's all about the art of costume making and the impact it has on film and the actor's who wear the costumes.  It was an amazing exhibit with real costumes, video, sound and descriptions.  Everywhere in the exhibit there was something to feast your eyes on.  No photos were allowed in the exhibit but I did manage to get this shot of the entrance with a costume worn by Nicole Kidman in "Moulin Rouge" hanging above the ticket takers box.

In additions to this fabulous show, there were quite a few other things to see and enjoy.  Over the next few days, I'll fill you in on the rest of things I saw.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Art of Frank Lloyd Wright

Way back in July of 2008 when I first started this blog, I posted a photo of this stained glass window by Frank Lloyd Wright.  I decided it was about time to revisit it.  It's located in the lobby of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel & Resort, a Frank Lloyd Wright designed building and luxury hotel.  I LOVE this window.  I could easily live with it in my own home and look at it every day.

It's located in the lobby of the hotel and is one of the first things visitors see when they enter through the front doors.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm talking you to see The Lord Mayor's Show in London!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Don't disturb the king

I made a trip to the Phoenix Zoo yesterday and I must have hit it at the wrong time.  Everyone was asleep!

The Lion!

The Tiger!

The Bobcat!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fix it yourself

Broken rear-view mirror?  You can always fix it yourself with a hand mirror and some duct tape.  I spotted this do-it-yourself fix-it job in a parking lot and just had to snap a shot.  The funny thing is, the hand mirror is broken too.  It just must be a bit better than the mirror underneath.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Yummy Spring Color!

Another photo from the Japanese Friendship Garden.  I saw a large patch of Iris in bloom and their bright colors made such a beautiful contrast against the green surrounding them.  We in Arizona need to enjoy these lovely flowers now before the summer heat puts them back into hibernation.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Art Opening

On Saturday afternoon I went to an art opening for a good friend Thomas Blee-Carlyle.  He was showing his latest piece called SYNESTHETICs composed of 30 individual canvas panels that all flow together in a number of ways.  I loved it!

The panels can be arranged in an endless amount of groupings giving the piece a new look with every arrangement.

Below is Thomas' description of the piece.
The multipiece SYNESTHETICs, which is a protosymbolic reconfigurable multipiece: is an interactive experiment that's part of a larger study called EPIGENESIS. Comprising 30, 14"x 18" canvases. This brightly colored pieces of  intentionally nonsymbolic shapes. Is designed so shapes optically continually alter their relationships to neighboring shapes like a kinetic puzzle. The viewer becomes aware that they are constantly seeing new shapes and forms as an activity of their own perception, and are also able to physicslly reconfigure the groupings of canvasses. This is to illicit the active creative participation by the viewer conceptually and physically with the work. The term SYNESTHETICs refers to the esthetics of synesthesia, a neurological condition in which senses are seemingly misalligned with how they are experienced, such as sound being perceived as colors and shapes.

Congratulations Thomas, well done!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Theme Day: Triangles

The braces on the Tempe Town Lake pedestrian bridge make perfect triangles in all directions.  Even the canvas coverings are in triangle shapes.  And, that photographer's tripod is making another triangle.  Triangles everywhere.

If you would like to see how other City Daily Photo bloggers have depicted "Triangles", Click Here.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Drying off

While I was at the Japanese Friendship Garden last Friday, I saw two cormorants perched around the lake.  While I was watching them, this one started his drying ritual making a perfect opportunity for me to snap a few pictures.  He was very obliging.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lot's of Excitement at the Sun's Game Friday

I went to the Phoenix Sun's game Friday night with my friend Janet and boy was it ever a fun time!  First, see that guy down there in the purple shirt with the team and the cameras pointed at him?  He just won $77,777.00 in the Casino Arizona Lucky 7 shootout.  It's a contest they have at every game where the participant gets to choose if they want to go for $777.00, $7,777.00 or the big jackpot of $77,777.00.  They get only one shot to do it.  This guy went for the big one which is a shot from half court and he sunk it with every bit as much finesse as the big money players!  The crowd went wild and the Sun's team came running out to congratulate him.  If you'd like to see him take the shot, you can watch this short little video of the event.  It will put a smile on your face.

It was also the Birthday of the Sun's mascot "The Gorilla" so all the mascots from all our local teams were on hand to wish him a Happy Birthday.

They are always a fun bunch to watch as they roam around the arena stirring things up.

Oh yes, and the Suns beat the New York Knicks 112-88.

What a fun night.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Baby Ducks!

I took a walk at the Japanese Friendship Garden yesterday and caught site of some baby ducks following their mother around.

It was nap time so momma duck hearded them all together and tried to coax them into sleeping.  

Looks like her coaxing worked!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Rose Garden

I've shown Roses from the rose garden at Steele Indian School Park but, I don't think I've ever shown the fountain that runs down the middle of the park with the rose bushes on each side.

This time of year, the bushes are bursting with all colors of roses.  This section was all red.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today and the photo to the left is a little teaser for that post.  I didn't have to travel far to find this unique spot.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Blooms everywhere

A visit to the Japanese Friendship Garden yielded an array of trees blooming in every corner of the garden.  Above are blooms on a Bradford tree.

To the left are blooms on the Purple Leaf Plum tree.

Lots of color in the garden right now.