Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Figurative Sculpture



I'm going to end the merry Month of May with a whimsical figurative sculpture of a woman holding (of all things) a urinal.

It begs the question "why" doesn't it?

Well, I can't answer that question.  It's a mystery.























This sculpture is in front of The Fountain Apartments, an older apartment complex right in the heart of Phoenix.  There is no name for the piece and no artist credit.  The curly headed lady just sits there day and night holding on to her porcelain treasure.

I suppose it might be a welcome sight to someone staggering home after a late night at the bars and clubs.

"You can make it.  You're almost to your door!"

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Ever Changing Restaurant


I took this photo looking out a second floor window at the Phoenix Art Museum.  That building with the red roof has been so many different restaurants, I've lost count.  It was a simple diner for a while and an Asian restaurant and then recently a Thai restaurant.  Now I see it's a Mexican restaurant.  I wonder how long this one will last.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Enduring Freedom




Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day when we remember and honor people who have died while serving the nation in the armed forces.

I thought this memorial located in the park in front of the Arizona State Capitol was perfect for this day.

It's called the Enduring Freedom Memorial.















  It's dedicated in honor of our men and women from  Arizona serving in the armed forces who lost their lives fighting terrorism.

It also symbolizes the gratitude and respect for those who continue to protect our nation's freedom in the global war on terrorism.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Smile for the Camera!


The Japanese Friendship Garden will close for the summer at the beginning of June so I decided to take a walk there on Friday before the heat forces us in doors for the summer.  That's where I found a gentleman with an impressive camera taking portraits of the young ducklings who had gathered at his feet.


The man's wife would toss out some food for the ducks at different intervals while he focused on the young ones.  Mamma duck watched the action very carefully from behind.


I would love to have seen what close ups he got with his camera.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Walk with me on some narrow ancient streets.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Interesting Doors



I see a lot of interesting doors and entrances when I cruise around different neighborhoods looking for things to photograph.  Today I have an assortment I recently spotted.

This one with its colorful bouquet of flowers is very inviting.

























This one with the nice arched entrance to a little courtyard has an appealing look to it.
































This last one has the door located right on the carport and it's been painted a pleasing color and is surrounded by plants and statues and wall plaques.

Each of these are appealing in very different ways.

Friday, May 26, 2017

"Spec" House


I pass by this house quite often and actually watched it being built.  It went up on lot that used to be part of a very large yard.  Right after it was completed, the "for-sale" sign went up so it looks like it was built on speculation.  Does anyone think it's unusual looking besides me? It just seems so odd to have only the upstairs window facing the front and no others.  I can't see into the back area so I'm hoping there might be a lot of windows back there.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Dinner at My House


Last week I cooked dinner for my friend David and I made a recipe for coq au vin that I've had for many years.  Since it was a French recipe, I decided the dig out the French dishes to set the table properly.  This dinnerware is one of the sets that survived the great purge of "things" I did when I moved three years ago.  To add to the table since they match perfectly, I got out the candle holders that David brought me from his trip to Prague a few years ago.  I think they added just the right touch.  Sorry, I didn't take a picture of the coq au vin.  It was so delicious we ate every single bite.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Zooming In...


I can find all kinds of critters hanging out at Papago Park and if I use the my zoom lens, I might be able to capture a few without disturbing them.  This dragonfly was resting on one of the reeds in the lagoon.  It looks like he's looking right at the camera.



This blue heron was on the lookout at the edge of the lagoon.  He was looking toward the water so I'm guessing he was deciding what to do about dinner.






























This colorful duck was floating about in the lagoon.  He kept to himself away from the large group of mallards that were also using the lagoon for a swim.


And then I spotted this little cactus wren sitting atop a rock and watching me take pictures.  It looks like he has a tiny bit of nest building materials in his mouth.

My zoom lens does a good job of zeroing in on all kinds of wildlife in the park.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Out the Windshield


I have two "out the windshield" photos for you today.  The first is the back of a gold pick-up truck with a louvered tailgate.  I've never seen a tailgate like this before.  Have any of you?


The second one is a special license plate on the car of someone who is obviously a Phoenix Suns fan. The colors of the Phoenix Suns are purple and orange and the "are you purple" plate is asking who else is a Suns fan.  "Vanity" plates are popular in Arizona and every now and then I see a good one.  Sorry about the hazy look, my windshield was either dirty or the sun was hitting it.  Either is highly possible.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Animals in the City


Remember that building with the copper flag in front that I posted about last month?  While I was exploring around the building, I found this mural at the end of the driveway that leads to the garage.  It's on a building next door to the copper flag building and it's completely hidden from the street,  I was surprised to find this wonderful mural by Medina Art.  It's painted over a garage door.


These elephants were roaming on the side of the building next door to that one above.  There is definitely an African Safari theme going on here on these buildings.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Phoenix Municipal Court


The Phoenix Municipal Court building is an attractive building located in downtown Phoenix sitting at an angle on it's corner lot.   It actually sits right next door to Phoenix City Hall which you can see to the far right of this photo.


Fortunately, I've never had to appear in any of it's courtrooms so I can't tell you what they might look like.  I think I'll keep it that way and just admire the building from the outside.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Is it a bank or is it a pub?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Camera Tricks


I haven't used the on-board special effects setting on my camera in ages so I decided to give it a try on this photo of some cactus up against a white wall.  However, I just couldn't stop there.  I decided to take the same photo and try a few looks available on the photo editing tool I have on my iPad.  Here's the results.


A Kandinsky version.


A mosaic version.


And, a pop-art version!

Sometimes I start playing around with a photo and I can't seem to stop!
Hope you are having a fun weekend!

Friday, May 19, 2017

More Unusual Weather


At the beginning of the month we had some unusually hot temperatures for this time of year.  Now this last week we've had unseasonably cool temperatures for this time of year.  I'm glad because it gave me an opportunity to do two walks at the Desert Botanical Garden, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon.


I even found some pretty cactus flowers to share with you.  This cactus had five at once.


And they were all so perfectly shaped, they were hard to resist.


But, I thought I throw in the pretty little coneflower for good measure.  

Fingers crossed that this weather will hold out for another week!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

That Look!


This mourning dove was giving me a look that seemed to say "don't you dare come any closer".  Then I spotted a tiny bit of activity behind him so I walked around the cactus he was sitting in and guess what.....


...Mamma mourning dove appeared to be sitting on a nest wedged down in the arms of this cactus.  Can you see her eye peeking between the thorns?  She's right below Mr. Mourning Dove.  (You might have to enlarge to see her.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Wild West


There was a part of the Scottsdale Princess Resort that I don't remember from all those years ago when I stayed there.  It's this little wild West village located off to the side of the resort property.


It looks like it's been set up for parties and could very likely be the place that conferences have a bar-b-que event.


There was all kinds of western items scattered around the area.


And, quite a few rusty horses to admire.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Welcome to the Princess


This is Gibbs, the official greeter at the Princess Resort.  Although this photo doesn't convey it, he was very friendly and walked right up to everyone who displayed an interest.  In fact, when I stopped petting him, he sort of nudged me for some more. What a sweetheart!  When I asked if I could take his photo, he got a bit bashful and retreated to a corner.  (It's so rare to find a dog that loves to have his picture taken.)


Gibbs had a partner who was on break when I was there.  He had retreated to his bed in the corner of the lobby and was fast asleep.

I don't believe I've ever encountered a resort that uses dogs to greet guests before.  Have any of you seen this done anywhere?  Being a dog lover, I enjoyed it very much.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Fit for a Princess


The resort I visited last weekend was the Scottsdale Princess, a Fairmont property located in north Scottsdale.  It's a huge property that has been located on that spot for about 30 years.  In fact, I stayed at this resort many years ago for a conference and I remember well how beautiful the rooms and the facility was.  It was painted a desert pink back in those days.  I see now that it has been painted a cream color.  This is the place where I saw the girls I featured yesterday practicing some type of "air" dance.


This is one of the pools on the property and it was busy with a lot of people out soaking up some desert sunshine.


The lobby was adorned with a stunning flower arrangement full of bouquets of salmon-colored roses.

I recall that when I stayed here, there was a huge flower arrangement on this table.  I remember that it's size impressed me at the time.

Tomorrow I'll introduce you to an unusual "greeter" who was working in the lobby.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Just Hanging Around


It's amazing the things one runs into when just out looking for things to photograph.  I took a drive out to north Scottsdale to visit another resort that I'll tell you more about next week, when I saw these lovely ladies just hanging around.



Or were they climbing the walls?


































They appeared to be rehearsing for some type of performance.


































I watched until they were done and came back down to earth.  Since this was on the grounds of a big resort, I'm guessing it will be part of some type of celebration for a conference.  I did see several people about with the requisite name tags hanging from their necks.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's Florence....but not the one you are thinking of.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Is It a Trend?


I recently noticed these new apartments located near a heavily commercial part of central Phoenix.  The colors caught my eye so I stopped to take a few photos.


They are called Trend at 51 and the 51 means the state route 51, a freeway that cuts north and south through central Phoenix.  You actually can see the highway from this complex.


I checked their website to see what these apartments might run and I have to say I was a bit shocked by the prices they are charging.  They seem quite expensive for the area and in my opinion they don't really look upscale at all.  It made me think about that Frontline investigative report that was on my local PBS station this week about affordable housing.  Did anyone see that?  I found it quite disturbing.  It talked about how we (the taxpayers) are paying more in tax money to subsidize housing for the poor but there are less and less affordable housing places being built.  You probably guessed the problem.  Some developers have figured out how to scam the system to make themselves rich.  Couple that with the neighborhoods that fight against any affordable housing being built in their areas and you have a double hit.  Don't you just love it?  Grrrrr....

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Bunny in the Window


I was sitting at a traffic light when I spotted this big fuzzy bunny watching me from an apartment window so I grabbed my camera to see if I could capture him.


He ws in the window of one of the apartments in the recently built student housing building in downtown Phoenix.  I wonder why he's watching so vigilantly.