Sunday, June 16, 2019

Blooming Artichokes

Artichokes are gorgeous when they bloom with their wonderful purple flowers.  However, once they bloom, they are no longer good for eating.  So if you are going to eat these delicious thistles, you need to catch them before they burst open and bloom.

It's too late for this group!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  On my recent trip to Oregon, I got to experience a fantastic garden.  Check it out.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Early Birds

I took a 7:00 AM walk at the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday where I saw lots and lots of finches out feeding on the various plants.

The goldfinches were in the vegetable garden feasting on the drying blooms of a plant I didn't recognize.

And, the house finches are at the "watering hole" getting some morning refreshment.

They all seemed to be taking advantage of the relatively cooler morning temperatures, as was I.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Flag Day

Today is flag day in the U.S., a day we celebrate the adoption of the old stars and stripes as our nation's symbol.

I found this interesting flag at the the Heard Museum.  It's a hand woven textile flag made by Sadie Curtis.  It was commissioned by Arizona Highways Magazine in 1976 to celebrate the Bicentennial. It was flown over the United States Capitol and the Arizona State Capitol that same year.

The carving to the left was made by Lorenzo Reed in 2002.  It was created to celebrate the Code Talkers of WWII.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Look Who I Found

Look who I found at the Desert Botanical Garden the last time I was there.  One of my favorite birds, the peach-faced lovebirds.  I hadn't seen any in quite a while so I was glad to see this guy chomping on the ocotillo seeds.

Do you remember when these guys used to hang out in my back yard when I lived on the other side of town?  I do miss seeing them every day.  They are such clowns!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Red Turned to White

I was kind of shocked to see that my favorite red wall in the little sculpture garden at the Heard Museum has be repainted....White!

It just won't be the same.  I really loved that red background!

I've shown this statue before.  It's called People of the Rio Grande by Allan Houser.

I've photographed the three sculptures and the flowering vines that are against this wall many times.  I'm going to miss that bright background.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


I stopped in at my local Pei Wei restaurant for lunch over the weekend and was greeted by a new poster on the wall with this Tiger giving the room a bit of commanding attitude!

It's a cute poster to adverstise the restaurant and their team of cooks.  But, that tiger is the best part.  I love him!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Abstract Circle

I've passed by this small apartment complex many times but never really noticed this abstract mural painted on the side of the building.  It was painted by Lauren Lee.  It gives this rather plain wall a little pizzaz.

See more Monday Murals here.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Highlights of My Visit to Lake Como

The second part of my trip was the stay on Lake Como, clearly one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.

First up was Varenna, a beautifully preserved village where I was lucky enough to spend three nights in a real Italian Villa built in the 1700's.  That's it to the left.

It rained most of the time we spent in Varenna but that didn't stop us from visiting the gardens of Villa Monastero.

Another highlight was having lunch at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo. It was a stunningly beautiful hotel where I felt like I had stepped into an episode of Hercule Poirot.  It is certainly his kind of place.

I visited so many wonderful villas but, the Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo stands out.  The gardens were spectacular and the inside was equally beautiful.

And last, but not least was a view of George Clooney's Lake Como Villa while on a lake tour.  We thought we might pop in for afternoon tea, but alas the Clooney's were not at home.  😊

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting Museum Hill in Santa Fe.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Highlights of My Visit to Milan

I thought I'd post just a few highlights from my recent trip to Italy starting with the city of Milan.  I think my number one highlight in that city was seeing Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper.  I was very surprised that photography was allowed and in fact, encouraged as long as no flash was used.  I signed up for a tour in order to get to see this masterpiece and I felt lucky to have an extremely knowledgeable guide to point things out.

The tour also included a peek inside the world famous opera house, La Scala.  I didn't get to see the theatre lit up but I was happy to get a peek at an opera in rehearsal while I was there.  (Sorry about the washed out stage.  The lighting made it difficult to photograph and still be able to see the theatre itself.)

A few days ago I posted a photo of the outside of the Duomo of Milan.  Above is a view from the rooftop walk.  Someone asked if I had to take stairs up there and the answer is no, there was an elevator.  There are a few stairs more at the top but, not that many.

Another highlight was shopping in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.  In fact, I had lunch at one of the many cafes along the colonnade.

What a gorgeous shopping center!

I ran into some armed forces at the Museo Poldi Pezzoli.

But my favorite thing at that museum was the collection of antique, musical clocks and watches.  This pocket watch not only plays music but it has automatons that move to the music.  I love it.

Tomorrow I'll show you some highlights from Lake Como.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Huge Star

This huge, stylized star is the centerpiece of the Phoenix City Hall building in downtown Phoenix.  It stands out even from a distance.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Speedy Service

Triple A (AAA) does a good job of providing road service in all forms but, this was the first time I saw one of their agents arrive on a motorcycle to help someone with a flat tire.  What a great idea.  I bet it makes getting to people in need a little quicker.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Back Home Again

I'm back from my trip to Italy where I enjoyed a part of that country I had not visited before.  Here ar two iPhone photos.  I'll have more in the future but it will take me a while to get them all sorted.  Above is a view of the Duomo in Milan.  It really is a beautiful building, inside and out...and on top.  I did the walk on the roof of the cathedral and enjoyed the views from up there among those spires.

After three days in Milan, I moved on to Lake Como where I stayed for three days in Varenna and the rest of the time in Bellagio.  But I didn't stay in one place for very long.  My friends and I visited fabulous villas, beautiful gardens and we even took a day trip to Lake Maggiore where we explored the three islands.  They were magical places!  I'll have more to say when I get rid of this jet-lag and have time to sort the photos.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Container Garden

I took this photo on one of the home tours I took a couple of years ago.  I love the way the flower pots were bursting with plants while all those flowering plants were surrounding them.  It's a very pretty little container garden.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Sunrise Over the Lagoon

I used to go to Encanto Park quite often to take photos when I lived on the other side of town.  I don't think I've been there since I moved.  That will tell you how old this photo I found in the archives is.  I'm not sure why it never got posted because it's quite a pretty sunrise.  Whenever there was an interesting sunrise, sunset or stormy sky, I used to head that way because I could always count on the palm trees and water to make a good setting for a photo.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Looking Good

I was meeting a friend at a restaurant across the street from the Phoenix Art Museum when this rather snazzy car drove by with the lovely couple in the back seat.  They smiled my way when they saw me lift the camera.  It looks like they might be a wedding couple but, there was also a classic car show just up the street earlier that day so they might have come from that.  I'm just glad I was able to get the camera out and shoot before the traffic light changed.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting another church with the Westminster name.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Theme Day: Pink

Pink is the City Daily Photo theme for the month of June and I'm honoring the theme with this abstract sculpture by artist Matt Magee.  Matt is an artist who has lived around the globe but, currently lives in Phoenix and he had a special exhibition of his work at the Phoenix Art Museum last year.  That's where I found this "pink" sculpture called "Pink Moth Hanger".  It's composed of plastic from things like detergent bottles and strung together with wire.  I think it fits the theme perfectly.

To see how other bloggers have located some pink in their cities, click here.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Fairview Neighborhood

Two years ago or so, I was out prowling the historic neighborhoods for interesting houses to photograph.  It's one of my summer pastimes.  When it's too hot to be out walking, I ride around and take a few photos from the car.  This house is one I didn't post before.  It's an interesting little bungalow in the Fairview Neighborhood.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Rum Cake

One of my favorite desserts to make is my gorgeous rum cake.  It's a yellow bundt cake flavored with rum and full of black walnuts and then soaked in a mixture of rum and sugar.  Have I made you hungry yet?  Black walnuts aren't easy to find so I order them from Amazon and then store them in the freezer.  You can tell from that little dish in the background that this one was made around the holidays.  However, I'll make this cake for pretty much any occasion.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Spring Flowers

Hopefully, I'm enjoying the beautiful spring flowers of Italy right now so to celebrate that occasion, I thought I'd share some flowers for all of you today.  First up a gorgeous sunflower.  I can see why these flowers have "sun" in their name.

Some purple pansies.  Pansies always remind me of ladies bonnets. 

Some purple pea vine draped dramatically over a broken pillar.

And a perfect yellow rose!  

Nothing beats the beauty of flowers.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Cactus You Can Hug

Every now and then when I take a walk at the Desert Botanical Garden, I stop in the gift shop to see what new things they have.  Back in April I found this huggable saguaro cactus.

Your kids can sleep with a cactus and they won't get a scratch on them!

Monday, May 27, 2019

A Peek Inside My Spice Cabinet

A few years ago, I discovered a company that specializes in spices...lots and lots of spices.  It's called Penzeys Spices and I've been shopping there ever since.  I believe they started out as a mail order business and opened stores after the success of that business.

I would say that 99% of the spices in my cabinet are from Penzeys.  I'm pretty much hooked on them.  

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Wildlife World

I haven't been out to Wildlife World in a very long time.  I need to make a point of going there again. It's located way out on the far west side of the Phoenix Metro Area in the town of Litchfield Park.  That makes it a bit of a day trip to go out there.  They have an excellent selection of animals like this handsome green parrot.

They have a few big cats to admire from afar.

Some zebras relaxing in the sun.

And one of my favorites, the meerkats.  They look like such rascals.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Let's go Surfin'.