Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Old and The New in Tempe

Tempe is another city where I used to live and work.  In fact, I worked in this building that used to be a branch of the old Continental Bank.  I'm not sure what the business is that is located there now.

Tempe has changed a lot since I used to live there back in the 70's.  It's a land-locked city so it hasn't grown in area size but it has grown in population.  It's now a city full of modern high-rise buildings.  In fact, Tempe changes so quickly that I find new things every time I visit which is often since I attend theatre productions there all year long.  Much of that growth can be attributed to Arizona State University, a school that has grown by leaps and bounds.

This is one structure that has remained the same for all those years, the huge power plant on the east side of Tempe.  It is the Arizona Public Service Ocotillo Power Plant and it has been dominating the skyline near the Salt River for many, many years.  It's one of those landmarks that when you see it, you know exactly where you are.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Places I've Worked

Prior to moving to Phoenix, I used to live and work in Mesa Arizona, a city east of Phoenix.  It's a large city and I was proud to be involved in quite a few community activities serving on boards and commissions.  My first job in Mesa was as Assistant Manager of a bank branch for the locally owned Continental Bank in this building that is still there today.  The bank passed through couple of different owners and is now part of the Wells Fargo system.

From my position at the branch above, I was promoted to Manager of the Fiesta Mall Branch when it opened.  That branch was located in this building that is now a dental office.  Where that fence to the right is located used to be the drive-up window and those bells in the bell tower actually played music from time to time.  Continental Bank bought a carillon so we could play Christmas music during the holidays to entertain all our neighbors.

Thanks for letting me take you down memory lane!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Irrigation and Showing Off

Glendale Arizona is a sizable city located adjacent to Phoenix in the northwest valley.  At the Glendale Main public library stands this sculpture commemorating the agricultural history of the city of Glendale.  Irrigation played a key role in agriculture in the desert and still does to this very day.  This sculpture shows the people using the short hoses that would siphon water from canals and into the fields.  The sculpture was created by Debbie Gessner.

If you are walking around the library grounds you will also likely see a few peacocks who roam the area.  This one was a bit of a show off.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Take a look at the gorgeous architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

A Wilderness in an Urban Area

Gilbert Arizona is located southeast of Phoenix and is home to the Riparian Preserve & Water Park, a wonderful place to hike and bird watch.  The park is full of trails, lakes and streams.

On a visit there you will see all kinds of birds that are attracted to the water like this beautiful snowy egret.

Or this black necked stilt.

And you will most likely run into a few ground animals too.  Like this cute rabbit who was kind enough to pose for me.  It's a great place to experience nature without leaving the valley.  

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Power of Thought

Fountain Hills is another community that is part of the Phoenix Metro Area.  It's located east of Scottsdale and gets its name from the famous fountain located in the man-made lake at the center of the town.

On a drive out to Fountain Hills, I discovered that a sculpture that I admired back in 2010 was now a permanent fixture at the Fountain Hills Civic Center.  It is called "The Power of Thought" by artist Victor Issa.

I featured this sculpture in a post back in 2010 when I first saw it at the Celebration of Fine Art and at that time I said I hoped it would be purchased and displayed permanently somewhere in the area.  I'm thrilled to see that it was.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Frontier Town

Cave Creek Arizona is located right next door to Carefree (featured yesterday) in the far north of the valley.  It's quite a tourist location with a Frontier Town shopping center located at it's heart.

Here you can shop around for all kinds of interesting items most of which would remind you of your days in the desert southwest.

I kind of like this rustic furniture but, I didn't take any home with me.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Balanced Among the Rocks

Carefree Arizona is part of what is called the Phoenix Metro Area.  It's located north of Scottsdale.  The landscape in the area is full of huge boulders and many of the houses in Carefree are nestled between or on top of the rocks.

There are a lot of big homes out this way and the surrounding rocks make them very attractive.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Up, Up and Away

I'm flying off to New York today and will be gone for one week.  I'll be enjoying all the wonderful things the the great city of New York has to offer.  I might not be around to comment while I'm gone but I have posts up for the week.  I'll be posting about some of the cities that surround Phoenix.  Have a great week everyone!

Monday, October 15, 2018


Along a section of 16th Street in Phoenix is a variety of murals painted by a selection of artists with roots in Mexico or Central America.  The murals are part of a project called "Calle 16", a project that is designed to bring the neighborhood (or barrio) closer together. This particular mural is called Bienvenidos a Arizona and it was painted by Gennaro Garcia and an artist called DOSE.  The artist Garcia grew up in Mexico and now lives in Phoenix.  He is known for his ceramics.

You can view more murals from around the world by clicking here.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Wet Weather

This was my view of Camelback Mountain yesterday morning.  You can barely see it.  It was raining pretty steadily all morning long.  We've had some very unusual weather for this time of year.  We went from 106 degrees down to 80 degrees in one week and then we've had several torrential rain falls.  As I'm typing this, the temperature is 65 degrees (18C).  Normal for this time of year is right around 90 degrees (32C).  The weather everywhere is just getting a bit crazy.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I found a great place to stay while in Seattle.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Bone China

Is this what you call "bone china"?  Sorry, I just couldn't resist that little pun.

I spotted these dishes at my local Williams-Sonoma store.  Seeing these very specific items  always makes me wonder who buys these things and then has to store them for a year before using again?

By the way, I bet you could shake up a pretty deadly martini with the shaker on the left.  😉

Friday, October 12, 2018

Desert Rain God

This is one of my all-time favorite paintings at the Phoenix Art Museum.  It's called Desert Rain God by Louisa McElwain.  I didn't know much about the artist so I did some research for this post and I was sad to learn that McElwain passed away in 2013 at the young age of 59.  She was a very talented artist who loved plein-air painting in her adopted home of New Mexico.  She is said to have loved the summer storms and the way the clouds formed over the New Mexico landscape.  If you are interested, you can see a few more of her paintings at this gallery link.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Just Call it Art

Remember that restaurant I like so much called AZ 88?  It's the one with the wall behind the bar that is dedicated to changing art.  The last couple of times I had photos was when the "beating heart" was on this wall or the time the "eyes" followed you everywhere.  The latest project is above.

I had to take a photo from the side so you could see what it is.  Saw blades imbedded into the wall.  I have no explanation.  It's just another artistic expression.  So, even if I don't get this one, I still love that they create these artistic exploits on a regular basis.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Desert Rose, Two Exposures

When I was at the Desert Botanical Garden last weekend, I saw this cluster of pale pink desert rose blooms from a distance as I walked up the path.  I used the telephoto lens to zoom in on them.

When I got up close to the plant, I took another shot this time with the macro lens.  I can't decide which I like best but I'm leaning toward the first one.  I like the light better and I like the way the background is blurred more.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Meet Tucker

My friend Glenda is "dog-sitting" for the most adorable little 9 month-old beagle you've ever seen.  His name is Tucker and he's a sweetheart.  How could anyone resist those big brown eyes!

I spent all day Saturday At Glenda's house snapping photos and playing with him.  I literally carried my camera everywhere I went because I was afraid I'd miss the perfect shot if I sat it down.  What a cute little guy.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Open Arms

I've admired this mural on the side of the Roosevelt Community Church for a long time now and I finally got a photo (well, two actually) of it.  An article in a local business journal attributes it to three people in collaboration, Bishop Ortega, Larry Valencia and Anthony Vasquez.  I don't know the meaning behind it but since the church is a non-denominational church open to all, I would guess it is saying welcome no matter what your skin looks like or what you believe.  I'm just guessing!

I added this photo because someone was walking by and I thought it would give a good perspective of the size of the mural.

If you like seeing murals, click here to visit Monday Murals!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Very Prickly Place

Here's another photo from my visit to the Desert Botanical Garden last Friday.  I zoomed in on the front garden that has paths around different species of cactus. I wanted to flatten it out so it looks like a jungle of very prickly plants.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm paying a visit to the creatures who live by the sea.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Oodles of Butterflies

I went to the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday to see the butterflies.  They opened the butterfly pavilion last week and since I hadn't been to the garden since May, I was way overdue for a visit.  The fall butterfly exhibit is supposed to feature the monarch but for the past three years, they've mixed in other butterflies native to the area.  There were lots of Pipevine Swallowtails like above.

The pipevine swallowtails are just as pretty from the underside as they are from the top.

There were literally hundreds (if not thousands) of White Peacock butterflies and they LOVED whatever this plant is.  They all seemed to be clustered around these little purple flowers.

There were also lots of Gulf Fritillary butterflies and they were attracted to the orange colored flowers.  Maybe because they blend in so well with that color.

And there were a few monarchs around also.  Not as many as the other species but they were there.  I'll have to go back for one more visit before they close the pavilion for the winter.

Back when the fall exhibit was all monarchs, I got some pretty amazing photos of them like this one that I posted back in 2011.  I have that photo beautifully matted and framed and hanging in my living room.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Pretty Posies

I found these pretty little flowers growing in small patch next to city hall in downtown Phoenix and I thought they were so cute.  There is a small garden area next to city hall and these flowers are a nice decorative addition.

I have no idea what kind of flower they are but, maybe one of you will recognize them and enlighten me.  

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Back to Normal

The sun was shining brightly yesterday so it appears we are back to normal.  I stopped at Trader Joe's on my way home and snapped this photo of the pretty fountain at Town & Country Shopping Center. It seems as though the storm knocked our temperatures out of the triple digit area and back into the wonderful 80's.  We are on the road to fall weather in the desert!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Waiting in the Rain

It was a very rainy day yesterday as evidenced by these people waiting for the light rail and taking shelter as best they can.  It rained almost all of Monday night and well into Tuesday morning letting up a little around 10:00 AM and then rained on an off all day long.  My drive to work took me through several flooded streets.  It doesn't take much rain to fill up the streets here in Phoenix and when it rains all night, you can expect the morning commute will take a lot longer.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

It's Raining!

Tropical storm Rosa rolled into the area Sunday evening and brought with it lots of rain and lower temperatures.  We can certainly use both.

Monday was gray all day long and then started to rain again as evening approached.  We've been experiencing unusually high temperatures for this time of year so this change is very welcome. And, it's expected to last through Wednesday!  What a nice change.  If it had happened one day sooner it would have been perfect for yesterday's Theme Day.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Theme Day: Change

I'm betting the person who thought of this theme was thinking about how things change this time of year.  The seasons change, the leaves change colors and the temperatures start to dip or rise depending on which side of the equator you reside.  Well, in Phoenix Arizona that type of change seems to take a month or two longer.  We are still seeing triple digit temperatures so the only change we see is that sun sets a little earlier each night and rises a little later each morning.  So, I took this subject in a different direction.

Instead of natures changes, I offer some man-made woman-made change.  I took a photo of a chenille plant that I featured way back on 10.13.16 and changed it into a kaleidoscope of pastel colors and repeating patterns.  It's all done through the magic of photo editing tools!  (I've got a whole file-folder full of these kaleidoscopic photos I've made.  Call me quirky but, I just love the way they look.)

If you would like to see how other City Daily Photo Bloggers represented "Change", click here.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Night at the Station

I was waiting for the light rail train in downtown Tempe late one evening when I noticed how deserted the station looked at that moment.  So I snapped a shot while I waited.

When the train heading in the other direction arrived, I snapped another shot.  It wasn't long before the train heading my way arrived and whisked me back to Phoenix.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's all about my day at Le Cordon Bleu.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Amusing Assortment

Today I have another amusing assortment of random photos.  First is a painting at the Phoenix Art Museum that always makes me smile.  It's by Ed Ruscha and it's called, appropriately enough, "High Speed Gardening".

To left is a shot I took yesterday at the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall.  The mall is still under heavy construction and a total remodel but that hasn't stopped them from putting up the holiday decorations.  I'm guessing the covering is to keep the dust off.

An interesting combination of fencepost decorations that I found at a home near downtown Phoenix.

Above is the skywalk that connects the two Convention Center buildings in downtown Phoenix.  I don't usually see many people in it when I'm downtown.  I must have caught it when a big conference was going on.

There is a shopping center on the east side of town called Tower Plaza because there are two tall radio towers located in the parking lot of the center.  Here's one of them.  I'm betting they aren't relaying any signals any longer.