Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
For the past few weeks I've periodically posted photos related to the Arizona monsoon and a few of you have commented that you don't think of the desert as a place with monsoon conditions. I did a little reading about the phenomenon and found that the desert plays a huge role in the monsoon. In summer months, the wind shifts from a westerly direction to a southerly direction bringing moisture into the area from the Pacific ocean and the gulf of Mexico. This moist air slams into the intense surface heating of the desert and BAM, storms develop. Sometimes they are just dust storms (we've had a few really big ones lately) and sometimes the product is a heavy thunderstorm.
At this time of year, we see clouds develop in the afternoon and they seem to build and build until early evening. They don't always create a storm but, they do create some spectacular skies. I took the above show through the windshield of my car one afternoon last week. The clouds were especially picturesque.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
I posted a photo of this building four years ago in August of 2008. I drove by it again yesterday and noticed it has a new tenant and a new look. I like the green trim very much but, I do miss all those large cactus that were popping out along the walk ways on the upper floors. Click the link above to see the original photo.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Thursday evening Julie of Scottsdale Daily Photo, hosted a birthday celebratory dinner for Dave her husband and author of Tamarindo Costa Rica Daily Photo, and what a memorable event it was. Above, you see Dave after his "Happy Birthday" dessert arrived.
The event took place at Elements Restaurant in a special room with a full view of the kitchen so we could watch the experts preparing each of the five courses they skillfully presented to us. Here you see three guests (and of course good friends) enjoying the kitchen view and studying the evening's menu. You can also see that we were sitting under a very unique and lovely chandelier.
One last photo of one of the skilled chefs putting the final touches on our salad. It was such a fun event with lots of fantastic food, wonderful wine, and the tons of laughter among good friends.
Thanks Julie for including me and my good friend David for your David's birthday celebration.
Friday, July 27, 2012
I've shown you a lot of the big cactus blooms that I find but, here is one that is small but, quite pretty.
The photo below gives you a better idea of what the cactus looks like. It's the one on the right side of the photo. In fact, if you look closely you can see a bloom on the bottom right.
I'm not positive but I believe this is a type of cholla (pronounced choy-a) cactus.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
This house is on the lower slope of Camelback Mountain and when I saw that ornate entrance arch, I decided to snap a photo. You can also see those monsoon clouds starting to build up in the east. They will be pushing their way over Phoenix as the evening progresses.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
The thing I love about monsoon season are all the interesting clouds we see. These are from Friday night with one of the Papago Buttes in the foreground. I was hoping for some rain but, it never materialized. As I write this, a dust storm has just blown through the valley and there are thunderstorms to the north. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they move straight south and give us a little rain here in the central valley.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
For that past weeks since returning from my trip to Italy, I've been working in my spare time editing and organizing all the photos I took. I've tackled almost all of them but still have around 500 to sift through, and edit so I can upload the best of the best to my Flickr account. While I was editing, I came across this photo that I took from the window of the plane after take off from the Venice airport. I was lucky enough to have a window seat on the side of the plane that gave me an incredible view of Venice as we passed overhead. I snapped a few photos with the little point-and-shoot camera and was surprised to find them to be better than I would have expected through the double glass windows of the jet plane. I thought I'd share this one with you. If you've been to Venice, you will be able to identify some major landmarks and clearly see the grand canal as it cuts an S-shaped path through the center. Ahhh....makes me wish I was there right now.
Friday, July 20, 2012
I recently found this house in Paradise Valley sitting literally on the rocks on the side of Camelback Mountain. In fact, that one huge rock appears to be supporting the large patio on this side of the house. An engineering marvel that probably cost way too much money to build.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
We are in the heart of the monsoon season in the Phoenix area, the time of year when storms roll in from all directions. This past weekend, I spotted this reflection of the clouds in this glass office building and thought it would look interesting in a photo. You can actually see the dark sky on the horizon to the bottom right of this picture. That one brought us a little rain. Tomorrow I'll show you what I saw when I turned around in the opposite direction of this building.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I mentioned in Sunday's post that we had some clouds on Saturday but, in the afternoon a few storms rolled in as well. When I started to hear the distant rumble of thunder, I jumped in the car and headed for Steel Indian School Park to see if I could get some dark sky and churning cloud photos.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Both Friday and Saturday brought more clouds to Phoenix and little patches of rain here and there. The result was cooler temperatures so I took the opportunity to take a morning walk at my favorite place to hike. You guessed it, the Desert Botanical Gardens. I didn't really expect to see anything spectacular because the desert hot and dry this time of year but, I was surprised by the things that caught my eye. As I was heading toward the exit, I heard a huge commotion of loud and very angry birds and then I spotted what they were so riled up about. This Roadrunner was prowling around and the smaller birds were determined to shoo him off. I was very lucky, he wasn't in much of a hurry and he stood perfectly still long enough for me to snap a few shots.
So, I can finally present to you a clear photo of one of these speedy birds.
His coloring makes him well camouflaged to do his hunting low to the ground.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
When I was out taking photos on rainy July 4th, I stopped on Main Street in old town Scottsdale to peek in the gallery windows. I didn't have to cup my hands to the glass to see this work by artist Ed Mell. It's called "Jack Knife" and it sits in the middle of an intersection right on Main Street.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
This statue stands in front of the Arizona State Capitol in memory of Lt. Frank Luke, Jr. (1897 - 1918). Luke was born in Phoenix and served as fighter ace in WWI. In fact, he was ranked second after Eddie Rickenbacker in number of ariel victories during that war. He was also the first airman to receive the Medal of Honor. Luke Air Force Base on the west side of the Phoenix, is named after him and is a pilot training facility. If you look behind the statue near the base, you will see two brown rocks.
So, there you have it, a tiny bit of Arizona history!
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Today is the 4th anniversary for Phoenix Daily Photo and I thought I'd revisit the subject of my very first post, the Arizona State Capitol. This photo was taken looking down Washington Street heading right toward the capitol building. You can see our Centennial banners hanging from the light poles along the street and announcing that the state is 100 years old.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Monday, July 9, 2012
Sunday, July 8, 2012
About two years ago, I posted a psychedelic photo of a Jimson Weed bloom. You can see it here. I took this photo last month at the Desert Botanical Garden with the early morning sun lighting up the flower but leaving the background in deep shadows. Because of it's highly toxic properties, this plant should be admired from a distance but never consumed.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Given my posts of the past two days, you might have thought that I missed out on the 4th of July Fireworks displays. Not so! I was invited by a good friend to see what could be seen from the 22nd floor of a downtown high-rise. The view to the north took in one display that was in the distance but still very clear. You can see it above in the top-right of the photo. The photo also captures the traffic on Central Avenue and a peek at that art installation I've featured before called "Her Secret is Patience". You can see it on the lower left of the above photo. If you don't remember it, click here for a photo I posted before.
About 20 minutes after the north end show started, another, much closer show to the east started up. Some of it was partially obscured by another building, but we still got to see all the high-flying explosions as they crested over the top of the building in the foreground. And, they were close enough for the noise to rattle the windows of our building. All in all, I enjoyed the view from above very much!
Friday, July 6, 2012
Here are two more shots from SkySong, the ASU project that I featured yesterday. I thought it would be nice to get a closer view of the beautiful white sails.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
The 4th of July holiday brought much needed (and much appreciated) rain to the valley. The cloudy skies and the cooler temperatures made it a lovely day to prowl around town looking for photo opportunities. I stopped in Scottsdale at the new ASU facility called SkySong to capture a photo of those magnificent sails that you can see from far away.
I'll post a couple more photos from here tomorrow.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
Saturday evening I attended a fantastic "Winemaker Dinner" at one of my favorite restaurants, Coup Des Tartes. The featured winemaker was Sam Pillsbury of the Pillsbury Wine Company. That's Sam posing for a photo for my blog. The owner of Coup Des Tartes, Ron Pacioni prepared a wonderful meal that worked perfectly with Sam's superb wines.
Sam is passionate about creating wines that pair beautifully with food and that was certainly proven Saturday evening. The winery's tasting room is located in Cottonwood Arizona but many retailers carry his wines. Sam was raised in New Zealand and worked as a Hollywood filmmaker before engaging his true passion, winemaking.
Mix all that great food and wine with close and new friends and add a dash of Sam's infectious personality you have everything it takes for a wonderful evening.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
This cute little bungalow is located in the F Q Story Historic Neighborhood. It looks more like it should be sitting in the English countryside than near downtown Phoenix. I love the stone chimney with that decorative chimney cap on top.
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