Saturday, May 31, 2014


I drove up to Prescott Valley on Friday to visit with my sister Judy.  When I was headed home I spotted this truck on the highway with his own little memorial to the 19 firefighters who lost their lives in the Yarnell hill fire last year.  Seemed like a perfect way to end the week after Memorial Day.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Arizona Lovebirds

You know how I love the "lovebirds" who visit my yard all the time.  Well this one was visiting the Desert Botanical Garden.  Actually, I think there is another flock of them living around the garden.  When I was there one of the mornings last weekend, I heard their distinctive  chirping and I started looking around.  That's when I spotted this beauty sitting on top of a saguaro cactus.  It's certainly not a classic desert scene but, it seems these wonderful birds have made the area their home and we need to get used to seeing them in the desert environment.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Foothills Homes

Last fall I took a Sunday afternoon drive in a north Scottsdale area that I don't visit very often.  The streets tend to be crooked and running in odd directions as they make their way over the ripples of foothills terrain.  These homes are on the edges of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve and many of them are large and luxurious places but, there are a few more modest homes in the mix too.  The one above caught my eye because of the bright desert-orange wall and that large blue vase in front.  I like that sort of southwestern look.

The one above is clinging to the side of the mountain with a a large and long deck running around it.  They must have some fabulous views from up there.

This one is more "California" style with a gated drive that leads to a circular area with an attractive  fountain in the center.

All of these homes are attractive and I can admire them but, I wouldn't want to live that far away from all the amenities I have near me like museums, theaters and restaurants.  This isn't a neighborhood where you can walk to the grocery store or a neighborhood pub.

Reminder:  The theme for June 1 is "Zest".

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  A visit one the best modern art museums in the U.S. is in order.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Red Beauty

I visited the botanical garden six times over the past week to get some photos of the Chihuly exhibit being dismantled but, I didn't spend all my time watching workmen handle the glass.  I just checked the total number of photos I have for all those visits and it comes to 476 and that doesn't count the 120 or so that I deleted.  As always, there was plenty to see and to photograph.

Take for example the photo above.  While I walking in the herb garden area, a nice man told me he found a gorgeous red flower hiding behind some other plants making it barely visible.  He gave me directions to where he saw it and this is what I found.  It really is a beautiful flower.  There was no sign to tell me what type of flower it is; I just know I'm glad I saw it.  A special thanks to that nice man for pointing me in the right direction.

Remember the June theme is "Zest".

UPDATE:  I can't believe I found this flower by doing a Google search but, I did.  It's called an Equestrian Starflower (Hippeastrum equestre).  You've gotta love Google!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone"

One last de-install shot from the Chihuly exhibit.  This was actually the first to be dismantled.  I thought the lyrics to Bill Wither's song was appropriate for this one.

I never got to see the empty frame of this one.  By the time I returned, the whole thing was gone.  You can see part of the framework in this close up shot.  You can also see how dusty the glass got sitting in the desert all those months.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sapphire Star...losing it's glow

Remember the Sapphire Star?  It was on the agenda for dismantling on Sunday morning.  The crew above has just started taking off the individual pieces.

Each piece was wired in place on the form so this job required some wire cutting to release each piece.

As they took them off, they passed them to a team who were putting each piece into packing boxes, but, they were getting ahead of themselves so there were a few of the spikes leaning agains a wall waiting to be picked up.

At the end, all that was left was this round form with the cut wires still curled up inside. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Deinstallation

The deinstallation of the Chihuly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden began last Monday.  I went there to see what I could see but on Monday they only worked on the neon lights the ran up the side of that mountain behind the piece pictured above.  (You can barely see them in the photo to the left of the Scarlet and Yellow Icicle Tower.)  While I was there, I found out that the deinstallation would take place slowly over the span of around two weeks.  So I started going every other day to see what I could see.
Yesterday morning when I was there, they were working on the Scarlet and Yellow Icicle Tower.

I saw the workmen being raised in a cherry picker so they could start removing the glass pieces one at a time and place them in the boxes that are in the lift with them.

They made pretty good progress in the short time I was there.

Around 5:30 I decided to head out there again and see what had been accomplished.  The Scarlet and Yellow Icicle Tower had been picked clean!

I've got a few more photos to show you over the next few days.  It's interesting watching them work and seeing how some of the pieces are put together.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Lunch at the Hermosa Inn

Janet and I had our annual lunch on the patio of the Hermosa Inn yesterday.  We both tried the new "Mocktails" drinks.  Mine was with pineapple, coconut and orange juice and Janet's was with Mango and chilies and it did have a little bite to it.

It was actually a little late for our patio lunch and the garden wasn't quite as lush as it would have been in April but, it was still beautiful and it was a perfect day for dining out doors.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The success of the paparazzi

Through persistence, patience and stealth your intrepid photographer finally got a good photo of Honey Bun, the third dog staying at my house with my sister and her family.  Honey Bun used to be my dad's beloved dog and my sister Pam inherited him.  He really is the sweetest and most gentle dog.  He's been the perfect house guest.

Correction:  Honey Bun is a female.  I don't know why I say "him" all the time.  Maybe because she was my dad's dog.  Anyway it should say "she".

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Enjoyable Event!

You might recognize my close friend David in the photo above posing with Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly.  David is working for the Fred DuVal for Governor campaign and he's been hard at work planning fund raising events so that people can meet and get to know the candidate.  Tuesday evening was a special event with Gabby and Mark there to support their long-time friend Mr. DuVal and say a few words on his behalf.  The event was at the home of friends who provided a warm welcome to go along with the truly delicious refreshments.

The evening was the most enjoyable political event I think I've ever attended and I've attended a lot of them.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Another day, another dog

This is Winifred or just "Fred" for short.  As I mentioned yesterday, my sister and family are staying with me right now and the family includes three dogs.  You met Muppet yesterday.  The third dog is still evading the "paparazzi" but never fear, I'll get my shot.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Full House

My house is going to be full for the next few days.  My sister Pam from Missouri is staying with me along with her husband and my niece and their three dogs.  This is one of the dogs Muppet!  I'll get photos of the other ones later on....maybe.  One of them is camera shy.  But, Muppet is all about posing as you can easily see.  It's going to be a busy week!

Monday, May 19, 2014


I've introduced you to Thomas Blee-Carlyle before.  He is the artist that created this fantastic painting  that I showed you a few weeks ago.  And, you might remember the "Dance Macabre" show that I posted about last October.  Thomas's dance company The Movement Source Dance Company had another show this weekend at the beautiful Tempe Center for the Arts.  The name of this show was "Serendipity" and it featured several mesmerizing dance numbers all based guessed it, serendipity.  David and I waited in the lobby to congratulate Thomas on another successful performance.  He is certainly a multi-talented artist!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I think you will enjoy seeing a unique dining experience in Italy.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

That elusive cardinal

Since I was on the subject of birds yesterday, look who else I saw on Friday.  That very elusive cardinal who hangs out at the garden.  I snapped this shot as soon as I saw him and then went to move a little closer and off he flew.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Baby roadrunners.....again

These baby roadrunners were stirring around in their nest which happened to be in exactly the same spot as the roadrunner nest I photographed last year at this time.  These three look like they are about ready to head out on their own.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Out on a limb

I saw a branch on a creosote bush bouncing up and down so I took a closer look and found this little round tailed ground squirrel munching away on the blooms.  The branch was up pretty high and was very thin.  I'm not quite sure how it was holding him up.

He didn't seem to mind me taking his picture.  He just kept on eating.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


That must have been some party!

There were two of these bins full of wine bottles at the entrance to a small restaurant in Scottsdale.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Waiting too long...

I took this photo last year around this time and I saved it because I was going to plan a meal there so that I could get some interior photos to go with it.  I ate there about 3 years ago and was amazed at the beautiful Egyptian-style decor and expansive high ceilings.  The food was pretty good too if I remember correctly.  I waited too long.  The restaurant closed recently so I'm not going to get my inside view.  When I came across the photo, I decided I should post it anyway.  You can tell from the outside that it had that Egyptian antiquities look to it.  I only wish I could have shown you the inside.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Showing Off!

The cactus are showing off right now.  Wherever I go I see spectacular blooms.  It's hard not to stop and photograph them all.

I especially like these satiny red blooms.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Eye Catching

I love these brightly painted doors on this business that sells Mexican furniture.  I see this little shop all the time but, had not seen these doors closed until recently.   I actually featured this little shop four years ago with this post.

When the shop is open, the doors are open and there are pieces of pottery and furniture placed in front for everyone to see.  One of these days, I need to go inside and look around.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Heirloom Tomatoes

I realized yesterday morning that I hadn't been to the Farmer's Market in several weeks so it was about time for a visit.  I ended up coming home with tomatoes, lots of tomatoes.  I talked to one vendor who had several different types and she offered me a basket for $4.00 and I could put in a little of each kind to try them.  I had some for lunch and dinner and I still have more to try.

These red onions were looking good but, I already had some so I passed on these.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm featuring the town that invented Grappa.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

One Week Left

There is only one week left for the Chihuly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden.  If you haven't seen it yet, you need to get there before the 19th.  It will start coming down that day.  I think it will be interesting to see them dismantle some of these pieces.  I might have to be there for that.

Friday, May 9, 2014


I've seen this window many times because it is on a house close to mine but one day last week, it suddenly caught my eye and enticed me to take a photo of it.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's the blue trim or maybe it is the old fashioned awning.  Whatever it was, it suddenly appealed to me.  I hope it appeals to you too!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A "Supreme" event

Tuesday evening, I attended the 15th Annual John P Frank Memorial Lecture again this year and the guest speakers this year were Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor with Mary Schroeder, Senior Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the North Circuit.  It was another very entertaining and educational evening.  The topic of discussion this year was the progress of women in the law profession and what it's like to be a woman on the Supreme Court.  The event has become so popular that it has been moved to a much larger venue on the Arizona State University campus.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Singing for his supper

This little starling was singing his heart out and I caught him mid-note!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


This rather sporty (and very, very red) motorcycle was parked at my local grocery store.  Wouldn't it be a fun way to see the country?

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  This time I'm visiting a South American Villa.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo

I have to post my annual tribute to Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday that most Mexicans don't celebrate but, we Americans make it a good excuse to eat Mexican food and drink a Margarita or two.
I enjoyed this yummy Chicken Mole dish at the restaurant inside the Heard Museum recently.  Now, what Mexican dish will I come up with tonight?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Pink Door

Hidden on one of the side streets in downtown Scottsdale is a small little center with a couple of restaurants in it and other small shops.  All the doors are a different bright color making a colorful and appealing look.  The one above had a gorgeous hot pink door.

Another one had an orange door.


.......yet another one had a bright green door. 

What a fun atmosphere!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sun protection

These two ladies are using their umbrellas to protect against that strong Arizona sun.  I spotted them on my Thursday afternoon walk at the Desert Botanical Garden.  That colorful Japanese style umbrella really caught my eye.

I probably won't be doing too many more late afternoon walks at the garden.  The temperature is starting to get up there.  It was 88 degrees (31C)  when I walked on Thursday and the weather forecasters are saying it will be at least 10 degrees higher (37C) this weekend.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Lucky shot....

There have been times when I've patiently waited to take a shot of a hummingbird at work and still never had any luck with the shot.  For this one, I just saw him out of the corner of my eye and swung around and took the shot never imaging that it would be any good.  Not too bad for a shot on the run.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Theme Day: Squares

About a week ago I spotted this wall at the Desert Botanical Garden with all these colorful tiles.  Some of them have names on them so they appear to serve as some sort of memorial or commemoration.  They are all square and they have been arranged in another large square.  I even cropped the photo so it would be square too.  There you have it, squares all around!

So see how other city daily photo bloggers have represented the theme, click here.