Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

These two rather skinny fellows were decorating the catering booth at the Desert Botanical Garden on Saturday as part of the Dia de los Muertos celebration.  I thought they would be perfect for a Halloween post.  The "popping eyeball" is a nice touch!

I noticed that they weren't scaring anyone.  The line for the green chili burritos was getting longer as I stood there.  Have fun celebrating the holiday or if you already celebrated over the weekend, I hope you had a great time.  I'm doing my celebrating quietly, just dinner with friends.  No costumes needed.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Celebration at the Garden

The Dia de los Muertos celebraron is going on at the Desert Botanical Garden this weekend so I made a visit there on Saturday to check it out.  

This Handsome couple were at the entrance greeting guests as they arrived.  I asked if they would mind a photo and they graciously posed for me and a couple more people who followed me in.

This is a photo of the community altar for the celebration.  It is a custom to build an altar to honor the loved ones who have passed and to place offerings on the altar for the deceased.  This one had lots of flowers, candles and paper flowers, traditional offerings.  Tomorrow I'll show you some of the interesting things I saw at the event.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting the home of a Victorian artist who painted a painting that almost everyone will recognize.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

New Law School

I was in downtown Phoenix yesterday to take a look at an art exhibit in which I have several photos on display.  It is a show sponsored by Arizona State University and the art works are on display in one of their buildings.  While I was walking to the correct building I discovered a whole new building that I hadn't seen before.  The downtown campus is growing so fast that I can't keep up with it anymore.  This is the Law School for the downtown campus.  I like the look of it.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Basketball Season has Started!

Basketball season has started and my friend Janet treated me to the first home game Wednesday night.  I took this shot of one of our new rookie players, Dragan Bender who is from Croatia.  He looks like he might be a pretty good player from what I saw!

Mr. Orange who goes to all the games dressed in orange and covered in orange make-up has grown a beard over the summer.

And one last shot of one of the acrobatic guys who put on a show during the breaks in the game.  He was flying high for this shot.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Happy Lion

I found this happy lion guarding the entrance to a home decor store in Scottsdale last weekend.  I thought he looked like he had a sort of Mona Lisa smile going on.  He looks like he might welcome a pat on the head.

His partner on the the other side of the door was a little less eager to show his cheerful side.  His stare might cause a bit more of a concern.  I think a pat on the head for this one might not be wise.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ghosts & Ghouls on the Balcony

It looks like one of my neighbors has gotten into the Halloween spirit.  They have a balcony full of ghoulish characters.

This one waves his lantern at night.

There is a whole family of scary creatures to greet guests.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Late Afternoon in the Park

The Phoenix Mountain Preserve is a park in north Phoenix with some rugged mountains and lots of trails to hike.

I took a drive through the park late one afternoon because I liked the way the sun was lighting up the rocks and cactus.

I even spotted a few hikers up there on those steep trails!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Al Fresco Dining

One of the many restaurants at Biltmore Fashion Park called Seasons 52 has added some al fresco dining space on the mall side of the shopping center.  When I passed by it was around 2:00 in the afternoon so no diners were using it but I sure do like the look of it.  I might have to ask for one of the outside seats the next time I dine there.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Clouded Justice

Sometimes justice doesn't seem as clear as you would like it to be!

It's just me taking one of my artsy shots in downtown Phoenix. I captured those clouds over the edge of the Superior Court building.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Are you a fan of Agatha Christie's Poirot?  Check it out.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Open to the Blue Sky

I was riding around in an area where there were a lot of old warehouses and storage centers when I spotted this empty building with the open windows on the top floor.  I liked the way it looked against the blue sky.

Some of the buildings in this area looked like they were empty and unused while others looked like they might still be used for storing equipment.  This one looked like it was still in use.

Friday, October 21, 2016


I was sitting at a traffic light at Central Avenue when I spotted this great skinny reflection in the high-rise building across the street.  The sun was shining just right on one building and because of the angle of the other building, only a thin line of reflection appeared.

Those are wires for the light rail at the bottom of the photo.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Handle With Care

I found this drinking fountain on the side of an older building in downtown Phoenix.  That fountain is just like the ones that I used in grade school all those years ago.  I loved the sign that someone put up above the fountain.  It says "Please be kind to this old fountain.  She'd like to share water with everyone.  Thank you, love....water".  The building is being used as an artist space at the moment.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What is it About Fountains?

There is just something about an attractive fountain that draws me in every time.  I just got a glimpse of this one from the street and I had to double back to get a closer look.

I found it at an office complex in Scottsdale called The Pinnacle.  The complex appeared to house offices of lots of financial businesses with a few insurance companies thrown into the mix but that fountain in the center sets it apart rather nicely.  What a great place to take a break from work or to have your lunch.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Angels in the Clouds

Whenever I see clouds like these that are tinted a rose color by the setting sun, I think of angels floating up among the clouds.  I have no idea why that comes to mind but, I'm guessing it has something to do with a picture or painting I saw when I was a child.  I was standing in a grocery store parking lot when I saw these and I quickly stowed my groceries so I could get the picture.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Tiny Scarecrow

After noticing the abundance of pumpkins showing up in all the local stores, I also noticed this cute little fall inspired decoration that a neighbor had put out this weekend.  That really is a cute little scarecrow!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

It Must Be October!

I went to my local Whole Foods store on Friday and was greeted with a very huge pile of beautifully shaped pumpkins.  Something tells me it's October!  I wonder how many of these will be carved into ghoulish works of art before the end of the month arrives.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  From my recent visit to London, one of the small things that drew my attention.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Day or Night at the Royal Palms

A day or two before I left on my trip, I met some friends at the Royal Palms resort for a drink after a nearby art exhibit.  I took the photo above a year ago when I visited in the day time.

This is the photo I took the night I met my friends there.  It's such a pretty place and now that our mornings and evenings are cooling off, it would be very pleasant to sit on this patio some evening.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Just Above the Mountain

I noticed this big white cloud hanging over Camelback Mountain a few days ago and I grabbed my camera.  It looked like it was just hanging right over the mountain and nowhere else.  Maybe it got snagged on the camel's hump and couldn't move away for a while.  It finally moved on because the next day there wasn't a cloud in the sky!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Mystery Plant

When I was at the garden on Sunday I saw this new plant back in the demonstration garden.  There was no sign on it so I have no idea what is is but I like it!

I love those long fuzzy blooms with the hot pink tips.

Do you "plant people" out there have any ideas?

Added:  Chenille Plant it is!  Thank you!  Now that you mention it, it does remind me of a Chenille bedspread my grandmother had when I was a little kid.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hello There!

I took a walk at the Desert Botanical Garden on Sunday and look who greeted me near the entrance. Mr. Roadrunner in the flesh...ah...feathers.  He watched me for a moment and then....

....he moved to the sidewalk and paused for a moment and.....

...and zoom, he was gone.

I checked my photo library and it looks like I haven't been to the garden since May.  That's a pretty long time for me.  Usually we have one or two summer days that have been cooled enough by rain to make a quick, early morning walk feasible but, this year I don't think we had any.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Recap of my Recent Trip, part 2

On one of my days in London, I took a day trip along with my blogging friend Mo of Fresh Eyes on London to see a really famous pile of rocks located on the Salisbury plain.  I bet most of you recognize Stonehenge.  I was there once before when I took my father to London way back in 2000.  I was surprised at how much it had changed in 16 years.  Not the 5000 year old monument, but the visitors center and the access to it.

My friend Mo also went with me to the Tate Modern to see the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit there.  It was 13 rooms of some of her most outstanding works of art.  She also took me to the observation area located on the 10th floor of the new addition to the Tate.  The view from up there was spectacular and you can walk all the way around the tower to get a full 360 degree view.

I also met another blogging friend, Steve for the first time.  I've followed his blog, Shadows & Light for about 5 years but we had never met in person.  Steve took me on a beautiful walk in West Hampstead along with his energetic dog Olga.  We had a great time enjoying what had started as a soggy day and had wonderfully turned to sunshine just for our meeting.

My trip wasn't without some of that colorful British pageantry that tourists flock to the land to see.  I usually avoid the changing of the guard ceremony because of the huge crowds but, without even thinking about it I headed toward Buckingham Palace and immediately saw that I had arrived at exactly the ceremony that I had avoided in the past.  So, using my telephoto to shoot between the heads of the crowd, I snapped a few shots of those Royal Guards at work.

That's just a quick summary from a fabulous trip.  I'll post many more photos on my travel site, Sharon's Sojourns when I get them organized.  I post to that site every Sunday with photos from my travels.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Recap of my Recent Trip

I thought I'd do a little recap of my recent trip to London and Paris.  I arrived in London midday on September 22nd and checked in to my hotel for the night located directly across the street from St. Pancras Station because the following morning I left bright and early for Paris on the Eurostar.

I went to Paris to meet two close friends from Chicago who were in Paris for a family celebration.  We spent that Friday and part of Saturday enjoying one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

On late Saturday afternoon, I took the Eurostar back to London and checked in to my hotel for the rest of the trip conveniently located right on Russell Square in the Bloomsbury area of London.  It was only short walk from the hotel to the British Museum so of course, I visited the many treasures on display at that incredible museum.   I think you could visit there a hundred times and still not see it all.

I spent a lot of time exploring areas of London that I hadn't visited before and my location made it easy to walk to many of them.  For the first two days, I didn't use the tube once, I walked everywhere.  On one such occasion I found myself along with many others wondering what this parade of police on horseback represented.  I'll probably never know what that was all about but, I enjoyed seeing it.

I spent one whole day exploring the Lincoln's Inn, Royal Courts of Justice and Temple areas of London.  I had never spent time in this area before so it was a bit of treat to visit an area of London so steeped in history and totally dominated by the legal profession.

Imagine my surprise when I turned on to Regent Street known for it's prestigious shopping destinations to find American flags flying and the NFL logo hung predominately across the street.  Apparently American football is making it's mark in England these days.  I'm not sure if that's good or bad.  Not being a fan of the game, I'll leave that up to others.

Tomorrow I'll have one more summary from the trip!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Framed Cactus

This small saguaro cactus was positioned perfectly in front of the fanned leaves of another plant.  I thought it framed the cactus beautifully.

I'm back from my trip to Paris and London.  I'll have some new posts in the next few days after a bit of a catch up!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting a beautiful spot in northern Arizona.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Busy Resort

One hot Sunday in July I decided to go over to the Monte Lucia Resort to snap a few photos and get some lunch.  Historically, most Arizona resorts are very quiet during the summer months of July and August so I thought I'd have the place all to myself.  Boy was I surprised.  The place was packed.  So I snapped a few photos, grabbed a salad at the take-away shop and went home with my lunch.  This photo above is of the entrance to the spa area of the resort.  The resort has a very well known, luxurious spa facility.

Another view taken near where I found the little take-away shop.

Another picturesque area at the resort.  This really is a beautiful, Mediterranean style resort.  I'll be back when the weather is cooler so I can explore this place some more.