Monday, November 30, 2009

Central Towers again

The mostly glass office building that is located across the street from Central Towers has a courtyard with a very interesting water feature. There are little pools of water with the sculpted glass block walls that you see in the foreground of this photo. I bet there is some type of fountain effect working here, but I must admit I'm just guessing. I've never seen it working.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Central Towers

The Central Towers on Central Avenue in Phoenix are twin office towers. I guess by today's standards you couldn't really call them "towers" because they aren't really that tall. I tried to find when they were built but didn't have any luck. If I had to guess I'd say sometime in the 60's.

Tomorrow I'll step back a few yards and show you the same view from the courtyard of the office building that is casting that reflection across the Central Towers sign.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Old Man


This cactus is commonly know as "the old man" or "Mexican old man" because of the shaggy grey hairs that cover it. Its technical name is Chephalocereus Senilis.

I kind of take offense at that "senilis" part of the name. A few grey hairs don't make us senile.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Cactus Wren

While I was enjoying the new sculptures at the Desert Botanical Garden, this little cactus wren landed on a plant just a few inches from me. He obligingly sat there while a snapped a few pictures. Wasn't that nice of him?

The cactus wren is the state bird of Arizona and it makes its nest in cactus so the Desert Botanical Garden is an ideal spot for it to make its home. Sometimes they nest in holes in the large saguaros and other times in the crook of the arms of saguaros, chollas or even yuccas. They eat mostly insects and they tend to forage on the ground under cactus and other plants. The cactus wren is a bit bolder than some birds which explains why this one seemed perfectly content sitting so close to me while I pointed a camera in its direction.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States and everyone will be gathering with friends and relatives to celebrate with a fabulous meal while giving thanks for our blessings. Last year on Thanksgiving, I went to the Grand Canyon with my sister Judy (Prescott Area Daily Photo) and her husband Chet for a wonderful meal at the El Tovar Lodge. You can see the table setting in the above photo.


I remember that day very well because it started to snow as we were driving toward the rim and the fog was so thick you could only see little slices of the canyon. The small photo is an example. I wonder if it will be snowing up there this year.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! Have a joyful and delicious day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let it Bee

My morning at the Desert Botanical Garden wasn't just about the Allan Houser sculptures. There was plenty of nature to observe and enjoy. The bees were busy in the wildflower and herb garden buzzing from plant to plant.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mountain Echoes

This sculpture by Allan Houser sits in the shadow of the giant Cardon Cactus and is called "Mountain Echoes".



The size of the cactus makes this sculpture look very small, but it is actually about 6 foot (2 meters) tall including the pedestal it is sitting on.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Warm Springs Apache Man

Another one of the sculptures by Allan Houser and on display at the Desert Botanical Garden was this one called "Warm Springs Apache Man". What a beautiful face basking in the warm Arizona sunshine. This exhibit is scheduled to run through May 30, 2010.



Though cast in bronze, his eyes still seemed to be full of expression.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Spirit of the Wind

The Allan Houser sculpture exhibit opened at the Desert Botanical Gardens on Saturday and I spent four hours there viewing the sculptures and enjoying the beautiful weather. Allan Houser is one of America's best known artists, known world-wide as a sculptor, painter, and teacher. His work can be found in museums and collections around the world.

The above photo is of a sculpture called Spirit of the Wind and it was one that could be viewed from all directions with subtle changes at every angle.



I added the small photo to give you a different perspective.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Exhibit Opening

Last night was the members-only opening for a new joint exhibit between the Heard Museum and the Desert Botanical Garden. The Native American band shown in today's photo, entertained us as we enjoyed the opening reception.

This new show features works by Native American artist Allan Houser who began his artistic career painting and then moved into sculpture. The Heard Museum portion of the exhibit features paintings, drawings, and sculptures and demonstrates the artist's gradual movement from traditional art into abstraction.

The opening for the Desert Botanical Garden portion of the show will take place today (Saturday) and I'll be there with camera at ready. In fact, I can hardly wait.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sky Watching

Sometimes the clouds in the sky are so interesting I just have to stop the car to snap a photo. These interesting clouds appear to be hovering over the 3300 Building on Central Avenue.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Purple Plant

This Purple Heart plant (setcreasea pallida) is growing very near the front door of my house. These tiny little purplish-pink flowers appear every morning, but by evening they are all gone.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Textile Patterns

These beautiful textiles were for sale at the Spanish Market. You could use these colorful pieces in any number of ways.



It is difficult to pick just one.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quilted Auto

This car was on display at the Spanish Market. It is completely covered by a custom-fitting, hand-made quilt. How unusual!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Art on a Clothesline

There were a lot of interesting and varied art works available at the Spanish Market at the Heard Museum on Saturday. These small paintings were displayed on a clothesline within easy reach of shoppers.



In the small photo you see the artist arranging his works.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spanish Market

The Heard Museum hosted its annual Spanish Market on Saturday on the grounds of the museum. The show features over 70 Hispanic artists from Arizona and New Mexico. The photo above is of Zarco Guerrero and his wife Carmen de Novais, two well know artists and arts activists in Arizona. As well as being accomplished musicians, Zarco is a master mask maker and Carmen is a jewelry desginer and maker.



The small photo shows a few of Zarco's masks and other art works.
Tomorrow I'll show you some other scenes from the market.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sparky

Football season is in full swing and if you happen to be in Tempe on the night of a game, you might run into this fellow. Sparky is the mascot for the Arizona State University Sun Devils.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What are you looking at?

I took this photo just inside a neighbor's yard when I was out taking a walk one afternoon. I was attracted by the bird just walking around the yard examining everything along the way. When I uploaded this picture, I almost deleted, but then I noticed the lizard in the right foreground of the picture and I thought to myself "what are they looking at?" I hadn't noticed the lizard before and I found it amusing that they both appear to be looking at the same thing. I wonder what it was.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Looking North

This is the view from the house I featured yesterday. The Phoenix Mountain Preserve is just ahead and the homes of Paradise Valley are just below. I bet this looks great at night with all the lights of the valley twinkling below.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Echo Canyon

This house clings to the back of Camelback Mountain and looks toward Echo Canyon, Paradise Valley, and the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. The view from here is quite beautiful. Tomorrow I'll show you what can be seen from those windows.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Touch of Color


I found these condominiums in northern Phoenix and noticed the touch of color that was added to a somewhat plain exterior. In fact, without that color, these would be very plain indeed.



Each unit appears to have access to a roof-top patio with spiral stairs leading the way.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Joya Spa

Just across the city limits into Paradise Valley is the new Montelucia Intercontinental Hotel & Spa. The Joya Spa to be precise. This new hotel is built on the exact spot where the old La Posada Resort used to be, but nothing of the old resort seems to remain. It appears that the new resort was completely built new from the ground up. Or maybe I should say from the underground up since a huge parking garage two levels deep is now located under the property.
I think the entrance to the Joya Spa on the property is quite beautiful and according to their web site, it is very luxurious.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Arizona Sunset



Just another Arizona sunset. The clouds make it happen.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Asian Temple

This church or temple has been under construction in northern Phoenix for many months. When I drove by recently, the construction fence was down, but judging from the blue plastic film on those stainless steel doors, it still hasn't opened. In fact, when I drove around it, I found workers still hard at work in the back.



I was struck by the glint of the afternoon sun on that huge cross.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Beep Beep


I apologize for the quality of this photo. It was taken through a window and at a distance and then cropped down to focus on the bird. This is a Roadrunner, a bird that is part of the cuckoo family and is native to the desert southwest. The roadrunner can fly, but it spends most of its time on the ground and run up to speeds of 20 miles per hour.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Heart Shaped Prickly Pear

This prickly pear cactus has heart shaped pads. I believe it is a beavertail prickly pear (Opuntia basilaris) but I could be wrong. If I'm right, it will have some beautiful pink blooms one of these days.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Have Volkswagen Will Travel

This cute little Volkswagen Beetle can be found most days in the parking lot where I work. Sometimes there is a sticker-covered vintage suitcase on the back luggage rack and other times the bags are on top like in this photo. Sometimes the bags are gone altogether. I don't know who it belongs to, but I admire how well maintained it is and I love the addition of those racks and the vintage luggage.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

High Country Scenes

Here is another high country photo. I just liked the play of the sunlight on these whispy, light-green leaves.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Spider

This could have been with my photos leading up to Halloween. Ghosts, witches, and spider webs seem to be some of the basic accoutrements of the season. I did take this photo on Halloween and it did sort of startle me when I caught site of this huge web, but I quickly saw the potential for a photograph and that fear just melted away.

I have to admit that I didn't take this photo in Phoenix. I was away for the weekend visiting a friend at his cabin in the mountains north of Phoenix. We spotted this beauty while out for a walk.



When I downloaded this photo and examined it closely, it looked to me like the spider had a jack-o-lantern face looking right at me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Theme Day: Doorways



I posted a small version of this photo a year ago, but I thought it was the best depiction of a doorway that I could think of.


This is located in downtown Phoenix on the grounds of St. Mary’s Basilica. The doorway was preserved from a long gone school and placed here with a special dedication to the nuns who taught there. Through the opening you can see the bronze sculpture by Gary Price called “Circle of Peace”.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants