Saturday, May 25, 2024

Unusual Piece of Art

 

We all know that art comes in a vast variety of forms however, here is one that surprised me.  This is from my trip to Tucson and it was hanging in one of the galleries at the Tucson Museum of Art.  It's called "Everything in my Apartment, 2006" and the artist is Paho Mann.  Here is the description:

"One day in 2005, Paho Mann dismantled his Tempe apartment. Mann photographed everything he owned, each object in the same thumbprint size, a car key equal to a bra, a chili pepper equal to a book.  Then he arranged the photos into a grid and made a gigantic Inkjet print. In this manner, the artist speaks about the insignificance of things while also  commenting on how much 'stuff' we all accumulate."


Here's a close up of one tiny section of the piece.  

It's certainly a unique way to create art.  

Friday, May 24, 2024

Healthy Hibiscus

 

When I was at my friend Glenda's house last week, I noticed that her neighbor had one of the healthiest hibiscus bushes that I've ever seen.  Just look at all those blooms.  I don't think I've ever seen one with so many blooms all at once.  

There are several bushes on the property where I live but they usually have only one bloom at a time. Hibiscus blooms are certainly one of my favorite flowers.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

A Visit to SkySong

 

I was near the SkySong Innovation campus of Arizona State University last weekend so I decided to take a drive through the campus to see what has changed.  The growth here is amazing.  I posted a photo back in 2012 when those pretty sails were more visible than they are now. There are a lot more buildings here now.

There are buildings on all four corners of this central spot that is covered by those sails.

It's still a good place to take some interesting photos.  Those sails are very appealing.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

At the Watering Hole

 

A few birds I enjoyed watching at the Desert Botanical Garden a week ago.  They were all enjoying the water in the Contemplation Garden.  It's a favorite spot for the birds to get a drink of water and sometimes have a quick bath. Above is a house finch.

This little lesser goldfinch stopped by.

A white-winged dove needed a little drink of water.

And, a Gambel's Quail took his turn.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Progress at the Mall

 



A little over a year ago, I posted some photos of the construction that was going on at Scottsdale Fashion Square.  They were doing a major remodel.


This spot is where an elevator was located.  The elevator was glass sided except for that decorative panel.












When I was there in September, the elevator had been removed and construction was still in progress.

















I was there again this past weekend and construction is done.  This is the spot where that elevator used to be.

The mall now is filled with very, very high end shops.  I was walking down one row and it felt like I might be cruising Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.  Many of the stores have guards at the door and they only allow a few people in at a time.  It's a whole new world of shopping that I find quite unusual.

Monday, May 20, 2024

A Woodpecker Tribute

 


I found another painted utility box this time paying tribute to the mighty woodpecker who I featured a few days ago.

















Oh, there's a tiny hummingbird on there too.

I didn't see a signature for this one which is shame.  I really like it.  

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Arizona Handshake

 

When I was downtown last weekend, I spotted this public art piece in one of the entrances to the huge convention center.  It's called Arizona Handshake and was created by Steve Farley.  There were a lot more of these "handshakes" along the wall but I think you get the idea.  Farley describes it as an acknowledgment of the spirit of human connection.  

Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Sonoran Desert Trail

 

The last time I was at the Desert Botanical Garden, I took a walk on the Plants & People of the Sonoran Desert Trail.  It's a longer trail that points how indigenous people lived and prospered in the desert.  The photos in this post are all from that trail.  Above is a plant growing in one of the historic demonstration garden spots. I liked the look of this plant but I'm not sure what it is.  It's probably some type of teasel or grass.

In this grassland area there are signs explaining how these grasses were used to weave baskets and other things.  I just like how it looks like I'm in a vast wilderness area.


Near the little pond there is a large patch of Yerba Mansa.  I love these unusual looking flowers.  I didn't see that little bug with the long, skinny legs until I downloaded the photos.  



All of the saguaro cacti are blooming right now.  There are lots of happy bees buzzing around all the blooms at the top of each one.

Even the crested saguaro has a few blooms on it.

Friday, May 17, 2024

The Mighty Woodpecker

 


I always hear a woodpecker before I see it.  It's either the rat-a-tat-tat of their pecking or their distinctive call that grabs my attention.  Last week at the Desert Botanical Garden it was the call that made me look up to see this one.  

I believe this is a female and she was sitting at the top of this saguaro skeleton and calling out to anyone who would listen.












I watched her for quite a while hoping to see another one stop by.  No such luck.  She finally flew off to another location.  I hope she found who she was looking for.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Road Monster

 

I saw this parked on a residential street over last weekend.  I had no idea what it was but a friend told me it was a Tesla Cybertruck.  It has to be one of the ugliest vehicles I've ever seen.  It's not only ugly, it's pretty expensive too.  I saw one listed for $169,000.  It looks like something out of a Star Wars movie. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Saying Goodbye to the Conductor

 

The reason I was in downtown Phoenix last Saturday was to attend a performance of the Phoenix Symphony.  They were playing Mahler's Symphony No. 2, a symphony I had never heard before.  My friend Riley said we should be prepared for a very long symphony with a lot of exuberance.  He was right.   To quote from the program:  "Mahler took an unusually expansive view of what a symphony could be, once declaring that the symphony 'is the world' and that it 'must embrace everything'." I don't think I had ever seen so many musicians on the stage before.


In addition to this great music, this was our conductor's last performance in Phoenix.  Tito Munoz has been the conductor of the Phoenix Symphony for 10 years and this was his last performance.
















We attended a going-away party for Tito after the performance where the orchestra presented him with this great portrait as a parting gift.


Hopefully he will be back from time to time as a guest conductor.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Short Trip to Africa

 

I took a very short trip to Africa last Saturday evening.  There is a new restaurant in downtown Phoenix called Latha and my friends and I had dinner there Saturday evening.  I loved this wonderful map of the African continent in the entrance to the restaurant.

The food was outstanding.  I had a dish called a "Dayboat" which was composed of rice grits, pickled onions, roasted coconut chutney and the fish of the day which was grouper.  The sauce on this dish was phenomenal. 

My friend David had the Berbere Strip Steak served with cilantro and lime rice and topped with raisins.  David said it was great.


My friend Riley had something called Hypha Mushroom Criolla which was a vegetable stew.  Riley said it was simply delicious.  The waitress told us it was her favorite.  

In addition to these fantastic dishes, we each had some very tasty cocktails.  We all decided we would be making a return visit.

Monday, May 13, 2024

The Lady and the Rose

 


I recently saw this new mural along Indian School Road.  It faces the parking lot of a Circle K store so I pulled in to get a photo.  I couldn't decide if it was for the Circle K store, or the building it was painted on.  

I did a little research and discovered that "B" emblem is the trade mark for a place called The Bespoke Salon which happens to be inside the building this mural is painted on.  Mystery solved, it's for the salon.

The artist is Geremy Cites.  The mural has such a solemn look. 


Taking part in Monday Murals.  

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Turning the Garden Yellow

 


I had pictures last Tuesday of lots of blooming palo verde trees around town.  The Desert Botanical Garden has a lot of them too and when those yellow blooms start to fall, they cover the garden in a carpet of yellow. 

You can see here how the petals have covered the ground.  They are clinging to the cactus too.  Everything in this section of the garden had a warm yellow glow.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Ruffled Feathers!

 

This dove has some seriously ruffled feathers!  He's gotten himself twisted into a knot too!  

I took a walk at the Desert Botanical Garden early Friday morning and saw this dove doing a little preening while sitting on top of a cactus.  I snapped the shot just as the bird twisted around and looked in my direction.  This is the best representation of "ruffled feathers" that I've ever seen.


Friday, May 10, 2024

Ancient Ceramics From Central America

 

I mentioned last Friday that I'd show you some more of the ancient ceramic pieces I saw at the Tucson Art Museum.  

This one was my favorite.  I'm  not quite sure what it is about this one that I find so fascinating.  It is so beautifully detailed and well preserved.

It was described as a Standing Male Dignitary found in Veracruz Mexico.  It dates between 400 and 800 AD.  See what I mean about "well preserved"?











This fellow is described as a seated male orator with raised hands.  It dates to 300 AD.  He looks like he's telling a story.

















Here is an athlete.  It's described as a ballplayer and dates between 100 and 300 AD.  Another beautifully preserved piece.


One thing I found interesting about all of the figures in these displays were how elongated the faces were on all of them except the one in the top photo (above).  That top figure has a completely different look.  





Thursday, May 9, 2024

Beautifully Landscaped

 

One of the many things I love about the Arizona Inn in Tucson is its beautifully landscaped grounds.  Everywhere you turn there are special places to admire.  One of my favorites is this little spot with the fountain and flowers.

The grounds are full of flower beds that were bursting with spring flowers.




I admired all the flowers but I have to admit I have a special fondness for the pretty hollyhocks that surround the tennis courts. I don't see many hollyhocks in the Phoenix area.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

A New Look

 

I happened to be in my old neighborhood over the weekend and I noticed that this house has a whole new look.  

This is what it looked like 10 years ago when I was living near by.  I like that yellow with the blue trim but I like the new version too.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Yellow Everywhere I Look

 

It's a sea of yellow here in the Phoenix area these days.  It's the time of year when the palo verde trees bloom and they are currently in full force.



Three in a row in a nearby parking lot.



This isn't the prettiest shaped tree but I couldn't resist a shot with the yellow wall in the background.














This one appears to be exploding with color.

An up close look at one of the blooms.  They are so pretty!