Wednesday, March 22, 2017


The acacia trees are blooming right now and sending their sweet aroma all over.  I know that some people don't like the smell of acacia blooms and some are even allergic to them but, I love the scent.

It's a good thing because I'm seeing (and smelling) them everywhere I go.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Yellow Palette

So, yesterday I featured all the lavender flowers I saw at the Desert Botanical Garden and today I'm showing all the yellow I saw.  Above are some blooms on the Brittlebush plant.  Brittlebush grows everywhere in the desert so at this time of year, you can see yellow in every direction.

I found a small patch of yellow and purple pansies in a corner of the herb garden.  Pansies are such cheery flowers.

And, a favorite of mine, the Mexican Sunflower plant.  It gets as big as a tree and when it blooms, it has these big yellow flowers all over it.

It was blooming like crazy when I was there last Saturday.

Needless to say, the bees enjoy a taste of the Mexican Sunflowers too!

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Lavender Palette

I took a long walk at the Desert Botanical Garden on Saturday and I found myself admiring a lot of lavender blooms in different places.  Above is a blue hibiscus.  I'm not sure how it got it's name because it's more lavender than blue.

Nearby was some nightshade blooming with its papery flowers with yellow centers.

The Chinese Wisteria was also blooming.  We don't see a lot of wisteria here in the desert. 

The Lavender plants were enjoying the sunshine.

And the sea lavender was also looking pretty.

This was a new plant to me.  It's called a Fairy Fan Flower.  All of the blooms were half circles like a fan.

Lavender wasn't the only dominating color at the garden.  Yellow was also making a showing.  Tomorrow I'll show you what yellow has to offer.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Poppies Everywhere

I had to run an errand back in my old neighborhood on Friday so I took the opportunity to drive the path I used to walk when I lived over there.  That's where I found a house that had a yard filled with bright yellow poppies.  They were so beautiful, I had to stop and get some photos.

They certainly were making a splash in the neighborhood!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting my favorite cathedral in Italy.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Coffee House that Never Was

Back in January of 2010, I posted a photo of this mural/sign on a building in Phoenix Midtown.  It was going to be a coffee house.  At the time I posted the photo, I mentioned that construction seemed to be stalled.  I never expected that it would sit empty for 7 years.  I drove by recently and saw the sign looking rather shabby and a huge chain-link fence surrounding the whole building.  Even if the business never got off the ground, you would think the property would have been put to another use but, it seems the whole thing has died on the vine.

Click the link to see my old post and how bright the sign was back then.  (I can't believe how small my  photos used to be!)

Friday, March 17, 2017

So Much Art, So Little Space

Here are a few more pieces of art that caught my eye at the Scottsdale Arts Festival last Friday.  These brilliant paintings are by Jennifer Cavan of Sant Fe New Mexico.

These ceramic pieces are by the husband and wife team Scott and Naomi Schoenherr of Laguna Beach California.  I thought I had seen these whimsical pieces before.  I bet I've seen them at one of the Laguna Beach art festivals.  The one pictured above is a Rolls Royce with two characters in the front, golf bags in the back and big Saguaro cactus just for fun.

Next we have another ceramic piece the I really liked.  It has a definite 'out of Africa' look to it.  This one is by another team, Barry and Rosalind Hage of Long Beach California.

(A lot of California artists at this event.)

There were a lot of talented artists at this event.  I'll have to remember to go again next year.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Best of Show!

Last Friday I went with friends to the Scottsdale Arts Festival in the Scottsdale Civic Center Park.  I can't recall that I've ever gone to this show before and this year was the 47th.  There are so many arts festivals but, somehow I've missed this one.

However, I'm glad I made it to this one.  I got to meet Fred Stodder, the creator of these fabulous ceramic pieces.  I had never seen anything quite like these before.  They are in such bold colors and interesting shapes that give them a whole new dimension.  Fred lives in San Juan Capistrano, a beautiful southern California location.  Check his website to see more of his work.  Fred won the "Best in Show" prize for his work and it was his first trip to this show.  Congratulations Fred!

We went late in the afternoon on Friday and it couldn't have been a more perfect time.  There were no crowds and the late afternoon sun was lighting up the art just perfectly.

The other thing I liked about this show was the music.  There were two stages. When we entered, there was a band playing some great Latin rhythms.  They were called "Zona Libre".   On the other side of the park was this very colorful group called "Jerusafunk" and they were play some fantastic Klezmer sounds.

 I do enjoy a really good klezmer band and these guys were great.

Tomorrow I'll show you a few more of the great art works we saw here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Warrior Armor

As promised yesterday, here are some more of the samurai armor that is on display at the Phoenix Art Museum right now.  This first one was extremely dramatic with the tall tail ornament called a "sashimono".  That is pretty darn spectacular, don't you think?

This parade of warriors was equally imposing and colorful.

The fellow in the back was well worth taking a closer look.

This fellow also makes quite a figure with his arrows and sword and to add that last fashionable detail, a fan!  

If you live in the Phoenix area, get over the art museum to see this exhibit.  It's well worth a look for both young and old.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Samurai Invasion

An army of Samurai have invaded the Phoenix Art Museum and word has it they are going to hang around until July 16th.  Earlier this month, the art museum began a wonderfully dramatic exhibit of Samurai armor and other warrior regalia that will transport visitors back to a time when Japanese Samurai warriors were both revered and feared.

The collection belongs to Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller of Dallas Texas and includes more than 140 items.

This is called a Frontal Crest and sits atop a helmet.  It's fashioned to look like a mythical animal, part bird and part fish.

This helmet is shaped like an "oni" demon from Japanese folk lore.

Tomorrow I'll show you some of the armor that is on display.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Butterfly Encore

I went back to the Desert Botanical Garden and the Butterfly Pavilion last week on a sunny day this time.  There were no crowds at all so it was much easier to snap some shots of these beauties.  And, it was unseasonably warm which means the butterflies were very active flying all around and stopping to taste the flowers.  I like the white on white effect in the top shot.

I heard a lady say she loved the one's that look like a tiger and I had never thought of that before.  They do kind of look like a tiger.  They are called Gulf Fritillary.  After I took this shot, he flew around the back of this plant so.....

....I took a shot from the underside.  Wow, it's even prettier from underneath.

The Giant Swallowtail butterflies are rather difficult to photograph.  When they stop to take a sip from the flowers, they beat their beautiful wings almost like a hummingbird does.  I snapped 20 shots of these hoping for the best.

Out of twenty shots, these two were the only ones that looked acceptable.

Someone mentioned when I posted the butterflies last week that they've seen some of these in the wild in Florida.  That makes sense because the garden gets their supply of butterflies from a butterfly farm in Florida.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

North and South

Last weekend we had some heavy skies that looked like they might pour down with rain at any moment.  They didn't.  We got a few sprinkles here and there but that's all.  I was driving on a residential street in Paradise Valley when I decided to stop and get a shot of those low hanging clouds.  This view is looking to the north.

I turned around and took another shot looking to the south and what a difference.  Patches of blue amongst some scattered white clouds.  Honestly, I am standing in the exact same spot for both of these photos.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  How many golfers are out there?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mud Slinger

With as little rain as we get in the desert, mud is usually not a problem so to get your truck looking like this, you really have to work at it.  I found this truck parked in a Scottsdale parking lot last weekend.  I'm betting there is a track someplace around here where boys and girls can play with their big toys.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Eagle Dance

In addition to all the beautiful art works for sale, the Indian Fair and Market also celebrated performance talents too.  This hoop dancer was performing an eagle dance with his collection of hoops.  These dancers are so interesting to watch as they take each individual hoop up from the ground while never stopping their dance, and then forming them into various shapes.  This shape represents an eagle.

It really is beautiful to watch these performers in action.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Indian Fair & Market

Another major event that was happening last weekend was the Heard Museum's annual Indian Fair & Market.

Meet Beverly "Bear King" Moran, a Hunkpapa Lakota Artist who specializes in very intricate bead work.  Doesn't she look fabulous in her hand beaded costume?  And you can see two blue ribbons that she won for her outstanding work.

The lady who made this wonderful "rodeo" rug was also demonstrating her weaving technique.  

One of my favorite things to see are the colorful figurines.  I fell in love with this little clown with his watermelon slice.  But, I didn't bring him home with me.

I spent nearly 4 hours at the event admiring all of the wonderful works of art and visiting with artists that I see every year.  I hope they all had a very successful market day.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Three Different Kind of Blooms

I have three more shots from my visit to the Desert Botanical Garden last Sunday.  I found the first one just at the entrance where I saw this yucca plant in full bloom.  So, I lined it up with one of the tall Chihuly sculptures to get this view.

The Texas Mountain Laurel were in full bloom on Sunday with their gorgeous purple flowers.  They look a whole lot like lilacs which we don't get to see in this part of the desert but alas, no lilac fragrance.

And another colorful aloe bloom to end this group.  There is a bee hanging on down there at the bottom.  The bees do love the aloe blooms.