Saturday, October 10, 2015

Contemplating Lunch

This little collard lizard is looking very longingly at the bee up in the left corner of the photo.  I think he might be wondering if it would make a tasty lunch.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Friendly Wave

I thought I'd give you an update on that little hummingbird I spotted a week ago.  Apparently it has decided that the shrub I saw him sitting in is a favorite spot because I see him there almost every day now.  I stopped to take some more pictures of him and he gave me this friendly little wave of his wing.  Wasn't that nice?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Across the Street

Across the street from the sad looking house I showed you yesterday is this very nice modern home.  Most of the front windows on this place are made of those glass blocks so I'm guessing that all the big windows face the back.  That's probably a good thing in this case.  If it had big windows in front it would have to view that dying house.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Going to waste...

I posted the above photo on February 25, 2011 to show this ranch style house with the wonderful flowering pear trees in the front.  I mentioned that the house was for sale and you can see the sign post on the right side of the photo.

I drove by the house over the weekend was shocked to see it sitting empty with all three of those lovely pear trees dead and that lush green lawn completely gone.  I have no idea what happened at this place but it's certainly sad to see a house just waste away.  I could see straight through the window so I know it's currently empty but there is no "For Sale" sign on the property at this time.  It's located in a very nice upscale neighborhood on a highly visible corner lot so I imagine that the neighbors find this as distressing as I do.  What a shame.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

While in Cave Creek...

I can't drive all the way out to Cave Creek without having some mole at El Encanto restaurant.  When I had it two years ago, the flavors stuck in mind as some of the best mole I've eaten around here.

And, I wasn't disappointed.  Delicious as usual and enough to take a little home for lunch the next day.  I do love a well made mole sauce and this place does it very well indeed.

The place is also very attractive with a nice little pond in front and lots of Mexican tile work.  This was the view from my table.  Each of those partitions has a full length window in between so that those seated inside also have a view of the pond and the ducks who live there.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Trees & Bees

Does anyone remember these trees?  I posted a photo of these same trees two years ago when I visited this place out in Cave Creek Arizona.  You can see that post here.  Sunday was a gorgeous fall day in the Phoenix area, perfect weather for taking a drive somewhere.  I headed north out toward Cave Creek and Carefree and along the way I passed this place so I decided to stop.  It's grown by quite a bit since I was there two years ago and there is more construction going on with all kinds of different styles of landscaping on display.  The trees are Aloe Dichotomy, native to Africa.

There was of course, a wide variety of cactus for sale on the property including some barrel cacti that were in full bloom.  This one was especially popular with the bees.

On my way out, I noticed this building that looks like it's for display purposes.  It made a very nice southwestern scene with all those cactus and the adobe construction.  With all the construction going on at this place, I'll have to make a point of visiting again in another year or two and see what they've done.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Opera Preview

Friday evening I had a wonderful opportunity to tour the brand new home of the Arizona Opera Company and to hear about their upcoming U. S. premiere of the Opera "Arizona Lady".  Above is a view of the rehearsal hall with the cast below.

I am attending this opera later this month so I didn't stay for the whole rehearsal but I did stay long enough to snap a few photos.

As you can see from the photos, this opera has a decidedly Western theme in spite of the fact that it was composed by Austria-Hungarian born Emmerich Kalman.  During WW11, Kalman resided in the United States and spent a lot of time watching Westerns and Western films.  He wrote this opera as a love letter to his new home in the Southwest.  The Arizona Opera Company did quite a bit of work translating the opera from it's original German and preparing it for it's U. S. premiere.

Much of the work that was needed was done by the woman chosen to conduct the opera Kathleen Kelly, pictured above conducting during the rehearsal.  It was fun spending an evening with such amazingly talented people and learning about the work that goes into staging an opera that hasn't been presented to an audience in many, many years.  I can hardly wait to see it on stage.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Take a look at the treasures inside the Getty Villa.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Storybook Land

I don't think I've mentioned how much I've enjoyed searching out all the historic neighborhoods and cruising around them to see what I can find.  In amongst all those older homes that have been lovingly maintained, I've had the opportunity to find some rather quirky and down-right odd places too.  Here is a perfect example.  Remember that Idylwilde Park neighborhood I posted about last week?  It's the one with the hidden garden that runs behind all the homes.  I found this house in that neighborhood.  It appears that they have a bit of a storybook theme going on at this place.

There are all kinds of interesting things scattered about the front yard.  Here's an example.

This shot taken from a different angle shows a little more of the interesting things decorating the yard.  In the top photo you might see a touch of red and white check in the bottom center of the photo.

As you can see in this close up view, it's a basket with the checked cloth inside and the statue of a goose in the basket.  Do you think that might be Mother Goose?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Royal Palms

I had lunch at the Royal Palms resort a few days ago and I took the opportunity to walk around and find some of those hidden corners I hadn't seen before.

I found this lovely little garden area that leads to several guest rooms.  I loved those iron gates in the archway.

Of course, the hotel's main courtyard leading to the restaurant is always a treat to see and enjoy!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Theme Day: Shelter

I slipped across the city limit into Scottsdale for this theme day post after remembering the very unique bus shelters that are located all around the city of Scottsdale.  This one is made up of the artistic iron-work and river rocks.

If you need to wait for the bus, it's nice to have some shade to protect you from the sun and these shelters which are all uniquely different make the wait a little more fun.

If you would like to see how other city daily photo bloggers have pictured "shelters", click here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Idylwilde Park and La Hacienda

I thought I'd close out the month of September with two more historic neighborhoods.  I decided to do this project as a summer pastime and here it is swiftly approaching October and I've only covered 20 of the 35 neighborhoods.

This first neighborhood is called Idylwilde Park and it was built in a years old concept of creating a central park and having all the houses back up to the park.  That keeps the park private for only the adjoining neighbors to enjoy.

I drove around the two streets several times and couldn't get a glimpse of the park inside but my historic neighborhood documents say it's still there and very much alive.  The houses in this neighborhood are Period Revival style small homes.

The next neighborhood is called La Hacienda with homes dating back to 1927.  The neighborhood is small and contains both Period Revival and Early Traditional Ranch style homes.

The fully mature landscaping makes this area feel secluded and cooler than the busy high-rise mid-town commercial area that is only a few blocks away.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Garfield and North Garfield

The Garfield neighborhood is an area that is still struggling to make a comeback.  It's located just east of downtown Phoenix and is comprised of very small homes some dating back to 1883 but, most from the 20's, 30's and 40's.  It was one of the first additions to the original Phoenix town site.
The little house above has been freshly painted and is now ready for some yard work.

The owners of this little bungalow have done quite a bit to enhance the front with plants and planters and even a fountain.

The North Garfield neighborhood is adjacent to the Garfield area and contains similar houses dating back to the early part of the 1900's.  The one above has that distinctive Spanish style.

This one is built in the "salt-block" style I've seen in other historic neighborhoods however, this is the only one like this that I saw in the North Garfield area.  I recently featured a Phoenix Bird that is located in the Garfield neighborhood.  You can see it here.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Rubbish and Fire

On Saturday I located the last three historic neighborhoods that I needed to photograph for my series and one of those neighborhoods was located in an area that was pretty run down.  I'll say more about that when I get to that neighborhood in my series.  While I was driving around I noticed that there was quite a lot of trash piled up in various places and I realized that it was a neighborhood clean-up project.  The city does that in designated areas upon the request of residents and then hauls away all the trash at once.

I decided that since we city daily photo bloggers are always picturing our cities in the best possible light, it doesn't hurt to show some of the less desirable sights.  This pile of rubbish was particularly big so I snapped a photo of it.

A little way away from the first shot, I found this house or building all boarded up after what looks like a fire.  I hope no one was hurt when that happened.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Exotic Architecture

While searching out some of the historic neighborhoods I've been doing a series about, I found this place with the very exotic architecture.

Once I saw the place, I remembered that I had seen it before but it was many years ago. I learned that it was going to be a Sikh Cultural Center.  It was under construction when I first saw it so I didn't take any photos of it at that time.  I thought I'd wait and come back when it was done.

Sadly, it still appears to be under construction and frankly it looks much the same as it did when I first saw it all those years ago.  I wonder what happened.  Maybe it's just a matter of shortage of funds after the recession.  It will certainly be a striking looking building when it's completed.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Take a look inside the gardens at the Getty Villa.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tiny Poser

Yesterday I was leaving my house to run an errand and as I approached my car I could hear the sound of a humming bird close by.  I looked over at a shrub growing by the walk and saw this guy sitting on a branch.  My first thought was that I'd never get my camera out in time but, I tried anyway.  I had to set down the cold drink I was holding and set down my purse and then get the camera out.  The whole time I did all that this little guy held his pose while keeping an eye on me.  I popped off 5 shots before he decided that was good enough.  I'd say this tiny creature is either a good sport or true ham.

Friday, September 25, 2015

All About Design

Sometimes the oddest things catch my eye or at least that's what my friends tell me when I point something out that no one else has noticed.  I was at the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall last week and I happened to take a staircase that very few people ever use.  On the landing I spotted this arrangement.  It's probably there to add a little pizzaz to a small space but, I found it quite attractive.  I took this photo of it and one each of those arrangements on top of the table.

When I left the mall and found myself at a traffic light just outside the parking garage, I decided to snap a photo of this tower structure on the end of the garage.  It just houses the stairs that lead to all the floors of the garage but, I think is does a beautiful job of hiding those metal stairs and hand rails.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Stylized Phoenix Bird

Another one of our many Phoenix Birds today.  I'll bet that many people who live here don't even realize that this is a depiction of that famous mythical bird.  It's a very modern, stylized version that sits in front of a high-rise office building on Central Avenue.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fairview Place and F Q Story

Two more of our 35 designated Historic Neighborhoods today.  Both of these I've featured here before.  They were fairly close to my old neighborhood so I drove around in these areas many times.  Fairview Place is made up of middle class homes built in the 1930's and 1940's.  The one above is in a Spanish style.

This one looks more eastern to me.  I do like the front arch and the brick trim.

I've featured homes in the F Q Story neighborhood a few times before.  It's a great little neighborhood close to downtown.  I love the look of the one above with the awnings and the trim around the entrance.

This one has a little front courtyard and an arched front door.  This neighborhood also dates back to the 1930's and 1940's.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


I love to walk one of the trails at the Desert Botanical Garden that goes past the desert lagoon where a little reed and cattail filled pond is alive with all kinds of interesting life.  I always stop at the pond and look for the bullfrogs that live there.  They aren't easy to spot.  I have to really study the water but when I see one then I start to see the others.  This one seemed to be looking right at me.

This one was looking the other way.  As I walked away they started talking to each other in the deep baritone song they make.  My dad used to say it sounded like they were saying "jug-a-rum, jug-a-rum".

Monday, September 21, 2015

Outdoor Exercise

It was nice yesterday morning to see so many people outdoors getting some exercise and fresh air.  During the hot summer months, Phoenicians tend to do their exercising indoors where heat stroke is less of a problem.  This last week, the mornings and evenings have been nice enough to be out and people were out in force.

I saw cyclists and runners and walkers and shoppers and children playing in playgrounds.  We are finally getting our outdoors back!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Living in Phoenix....Las Vegas Style

I was prowling around the neighborhood just to the east of me one Sunday when I discovered this house.  It was so large that my wide angle lens couldn't get the whole front of the place in the shot.

The driveway was gated and this huge fountain was just on the other side of the gate with the drive circling around it.

I drove around the block and discovered that the property extended to the next street over and the back of the house was just as elaborate as the front.  This pool area made me think of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Take a look at a gorgeous house of worship.