Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Rain and Fog in the Desert


It was a beautiful evening last Friday but on Saturday it rained all day long and all night.  It is unusual here in the desert to have rain that lasts for so long.  On Sunday morning, I heard there was fog in some of the low areas so I decided to snap a photo of my view of the mountains.  They were barely visible.

Two hours later, I couldn't see the mountains at all and the heavy clouds persisted all day long. You can tell from yesterday's photo of the Herberger Theatre that the sky was still heavy with clouds late into the afternoon.

On Monday, the sun started to peek through the clouds from time to time and by 5:00 PM, my view of the mountains was once again clear.  It wasn't our normal desert weather but it was a welcome diversion.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Humor at the Opera


I went Arizona Opera's production of "Ariadne auf Naxos" last Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed a show full of humor as well as music.  The opera was written by Richard Strauss and was full of humorous situations.  I snapped the photo of the opening set before the opera had started.

The opera was performed at The Herberger Theatre in downtown Phoenix.

I snapped the photo to the left in the lobby of the theatre where the Christmas Tree was situated right under  the chandelier that hangs around the skylight.  

Monday, December 5, 2022

Music Among the Plants


There were several music groups performing at the Desert Botanical Garden last Friday night.  We didn't get to see them all but here are the few we did enjoy.  First up a group called The Sugar Thieves.  

We listened to The Sahnas Brothers for a little while.  They are two great guitar players that always draw a big crowd. 

There were some bell ringers inside one of the buildings and they were a treat to listen to.  

My friend Dave snapped the close up of their hands and bells to the right.

On the way in and on the way out, we stopped to listen to The King's Carolers.  They were signing all the songs of the season.  It was a music filled evening at the garden.  

Sunday, December 4, 2022

The Season Has Begun


I attended my first holiday event of the season Friday night.  It was at the Desert Botanical Garden and it was the opening night of the "Luminarias."  The garden was full of music and lights for everyone to enjoy.

At the entrance they had this living Christmas Tree. It isn't a single tree, it's composed of hundreds of "air plants".  

Here's a close-up shot so you can see all the little plants in there.  Air plants absorb moisture and nutrients through their leaves instead of their roots so they seem to grow in the air.  What a clever way to create a holiday tree.

Later in the evening I was able to get a shot of one of the trails without any people in it. It was a busy night and I wanted to get a shot of the pretty Luminarias lining the trails.  However, I did hold up a few people behind me while I took the shot.   Lots of people were there to enjoy the festivities.  I'll have a few more photos from the event in the next few days.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm highlighting the things worth seeing in Arizona.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Knee Deep


Do birds have knees?  If they do, I'd say this grackle is knee deep in the water and loving every minute of it.  Birds do love to play in the water and I love photographing them there.

This goldfinch is taking the plunge.

This mourning dove has decided to go in head first!  

Friday, December 2, 2022

Deck the Malls


I made a quick stop at Scottsdale Fashion Square Wednesday afternoon and snapped a few photos of the holiday decorations while I was there.  Late Wednesday afternoon was a good choice for a bit of shopping.  The mall was unusually quiet.

I believe they used these red wreaths last year.  

Here is the pretty Christmas Tree that I spotted through the window of the Tiffany's store.  I could have used this photo for the "luxury" theme.  That many Tiffany-turquoise boxes under the tree represent quite a lot of money.

Nordstroms has decorated with giant nutcrackers this year.  

I'm enjoying catching sight of all the decorations that have gone up recently.  

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Theme Day: Luxury


The City Daily Photo Blogger's theme for December is Luxury.  I wasn't sure what to post for this theme and then I thought of all those Chihuly glass bowls and ornaments that have been for sale in the Desert Botanical Garden gift shop over the years.  These beautiful works of art start at around $7000.00 so I think it would truly be a luxury to own one.  

You can see luxury from other cities by clicking here.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Careful Cleaning


Every now and then when I go to the Desert Botanical Garden, I catch the cleaning crew (all volunteers) polishing up the Desert Wildflower Towers.  They do it ever so gently so they don't break any of the glass 'leaves'.  

These are the Chihuly sculptures that the garden bought back when they had the very first Chihuly exhibit at the garden.  The three tall towers are one of the very first things visitors see when they enter the garden. You wouldn't believe how many people I hear say "are those real plants" when the first set eyes on them.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Suddenly It's the Holidays!


It seems like holiday decorations have suddenly appeared over the weekend.  Maybe I just haven't paid much attention but over this last weekend, I saw decorations in every direction.

These festive balls were decking the halls of my local Macy's store.

On a drive to a friend's house, I spotted this wonderland of lights.  The Holiday season is in full swing now.  Time to get my decorations out!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Frida and the Black Cat


Here are two more murals from that alley full of murals that I recently found.  The first one of course, is a tribute to Frida Kahlo by Daniel Cesar.  The one on the right is a strange black cat that looks as if it is about to pounce on something.  That one is signed by Joe Gonzalez.  The colors on these two complement each other.

Taking part in Monday Murals.  

Sunday, November 27, 2022

City Views


When I do some shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square, I usually park in the south parking garage and walk across the third-level bridge into Nordstrom's.  As I cross the bridge, I can't help but pause to take in the view east toward the Scottsdale Waterfront condos and the shops down on street level.  

When I visit the Heard Museum, I enjoy seeing the Phoenix Towers condo building on the other side of the wall.  I find that pink, Art Deco style building very appealing.

When I visit the Phoenix Art Museum, I find myself attracted to the Viad Building across the street from the museum.  This building was originally built for the Dial Corporation as their headquarters.  The architects designed it to look like a bar of Dial soap.  The Dial Corporation moved to Scottsdale several years ago and now the building houses a bank and many law offices.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I was inspired by a PBS documentary.  

Saturday, November 26, 2022

The Art of Anime and Manga


While we were at the Phoenix Art Museum last Sunday, we decided to take a look at the latest exhibit called "Mr.: Can You Hear the Song of This Town".  It is the work of Japanese artist known as Mr.  

The exhibit is described as "exploring the vivid, chaotic and manga-inspired world of one of today's most popular artists."  

I knew the term "anime" but I had not heard of "manga" before so I looked it up.  It means comics or graphic novels originating in Japan.  

I liked the exhibit more than I thought I would.  It's so colorful and so busy.  

Friday, November 25, 2022

Delicious Food & Great Friends


Thanksgiving turned out to be a day of delicious food and great friends.  There were several plates of things to munch on while we waited for the main course.

It was nice enough to dine on the patio.  We had turkey and ham, stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy and several salads.  There was soup and sweet potatoes and green beans too!  It was all so very delicious.

And then there were the desserts.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and the bourbon, chocolate and pecan pie that I made.  There was also cheesecake, apple tarts and chocolates.  There was certainly plenty to eat.  Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for our blessings and we were certainly blessed with great food and great friends and family.  

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers and anyone else who celebrate this day!  There will be a lot of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy consumed today and a tiny bit of it will be consumed by me.  I hope all of you are enjoying the day wherever you are.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The Art Outside of the Museum


There are quite a few art pieces located outside the Phoenix Art Museum that can be viewed before going inside.  One is the tiled wall by the artist Jun Kaneko.  It's called "Color Box".  Kaneko is the same artist that was featured a few years ago at the Desert Botanical Garden.

The afternoon sun was lighting up "Vortex" by Alexander Liberman.  This one opens the door to all kinds of photo opportunities.  

And, of course this guy is still relegated to the front steps of the Museum.  He used to move around inside the museum but you might remember when I discovered he had been exiled back in 2018.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A Movie at the Art Museum


On Sunday afternoon, I went to the Phoenix Art Museum to see a filmed production of the play "Straight Line Crazy" starring Ralph Fiennes.  Every year, the museum has showings of different National Theatre productions that are filmed by National Theatre Live.

The play was written by David Hare and it tells the story of Robert Moses who spent 40 years creating roads, parks and beaches in and around New York City.  However, he was a bit of a tyrant which makes for an interesting character for Fiennes to play.  The play was fascinating and actors were brilliant.  I had never heard of Robert Moses before but the next time I'm in New York and riding on one of the expressways, I'll certainly think of him.

National Theatre Live makes it possible to see wonderful London theatre productions without leaving home.  

Monday, November 21, 2022



There is a narrow lane or alley in central Phoenix that is simply full of murals by various artists.  That's where I found this mural of Superman who appears to be rescuing a lady from some type of explosion.  Is that Lois Lane he's carrying away?  The signature down in the corner was very difficult to read but I'm fairly certain that is the work of Danny Dyster of Dyster Art.  

Taking part in Monday Murals

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Washboard Clouds in the Sky


The sky on Friday was full of these rows of clouds making the sky look like an old fashioned washboard.  It lasted all day long.  Sometimes they bunched up and other times they spread out a little.  They made interesting patterns all day long.

Here is a shot my friend Dave texted to me.  He took it from his office window.

The clouds even persisted into the night when I went to the Desert Botanical Garden for a music in the garden concert.  I took the above shot with the iPhone of the mountain all lit up to form a background for the concert.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm looking at street art in London.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Watching the Birds


I have some more bird-spotting photos today starting with this rather shaggy looking cardinal.  He must have been in the process of shedding some feathers.  He is looking a bit tattered. 

Here is one of those peach-faced lovebirds that have made the desert their home.  You can tell I snapped this one in the spring because that saguaro cactus is full of fruit.  

Here us a house finch perched on some cactus fruit.  This one has a brilliant, blushing face and chest.  

Here we have a group of starlings gathered high up on the branches of a century plant. 

The world would be a bit duller without these feathered beauties to entertain us.