Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fountain at City Hall

This beautiful fountain is located next to the City Hall building that I featured on August 31st. This fountain and the area surrounding it is dedicated to Marvin Andrews who served as City Manager from 1976 to 1990 and whose overall career with the city spanned 32 years. In 1984 he was named City Manager of the Year by City and State Magazine, In addition, while serving as City Manager, the city was awarded the “All American City” status three times. Mr. Andrews passed away in 2004 and this space was dedicated to his memory in 2008.

If you look closely through the water, you can make out the sign on the side of the marquee for the Orpheum Theatre next door.

Friday, February 27, 2009

One more blooming picture

Cherry blossoms are not that common in Phoenix so when I spotted this tree bursting with color I had to drive around the block to go back for a photo.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

More blooming…

Along with the African daisies I posted yesterday, I also noticed that the “happy wanderer” (Hardenbergia violacea) in my back yard was blooming too. I love the tiny little purple flowers on this plant and apparently the bees love them too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


It’s getting to be the time of year when flowers are popping out all over. African daisies are widely used in landscape d├ęcor here in the Phoenix area and when they start to bloom they create a sea of yellow, orange and gold everywhere they appear. This is a house just down the street from me. Every year at this time, this yard and a few others in the neighborhood are covered in a kaleidoscope of color and texture.

I love this time of year in Phoenix. The weather is just about perfect, there is color everywhere, and the whole city looks fresh and new.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Just three weeks ago, the last of the leaves on the fig tree in my backyard curled up and dropped off leaving this one lonely fig remaining on the tree. Today, I spotted new leaves bursting out from the ends of the branches. Soon it will be covered with those famously large leaves again and new fruit will start to develop.

It is amazing how quickly the seasons change in southern Arizona.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Little Man

This little man hiding the hammer behind his back, has been the trademark for Western Exterminating since 1931. At that time, the company was 10 years old and was being asked to advertise in the local telephone yellow pages. The directory company offered to create a company logo in exchange for the advertising business. And so was born the “little man with the hammer”. He has represented the company ever since.

Western Exterminating operates throughout Arizona, California, and Nevada. You can read more about their history here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Art & Sanity

Art is a Guarantee of Sanity is the title of this sculpture located in the atrium between the new Phoenix Convention Center and Symphony Hall. The sculpture is by renowned artist Louise Borgeois and is fashioned as a giant mirror reaching 90 feet and reflecting the interior of the atrium in its face. The title of the pieces is illuminated in red and reflected from the yoke of the mirror.

Ms. Borgeois moved the United States from France in 1938 and became a citizen in 1951. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1997, the nation’s highest arts honor. Her work can be seen in many museums and public places throughout the world.

The face of the mirror is composed of highly polished steel cut into a spider web pattern giving viewers a constantly changing look at themselves as they move through the atrium.

On February 19th, Lisa Wilson of Telluride Daily Photo, honored me with a Creative Bloggers Award. I very much appreciate the tribute for something I so thoroughly love doing. Working on this blog has made me see my city in a whole new way and has given me the opportunity to “virtually” meet so many talented and interesting people. Thank you Lisa.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Urban Renewal

A J Balyless was a popular grocery store chain until the early 90’s, when it merged with another locally owned grocery chain, Basha’s. Basha’s stores are very well known in Arizona and with the merger with the Bayless enterprise, a new upscale gourmet market was created. The new market was named AJ’s Fine Foods in honor of the former owner and keeping the two distinct businesses and their marketing approaches independent.

This building on the edge of downtown Phoenix was once one of the old A J Bayless stores many years ago. The building has recently been restored and is now available for rent. Wouldn’t this make a wonderful gallery space?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Is this art?

When driving around in an area of Phoenix known as the “arts district”, I came across this abandoned building with some rather garish and somewhat earthy artwork on its exterior. I have no idea what used to be located here but, my guess is that it served as an artist studio at one time.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Strange High-jinks

On that same busy weekend I mentioned yesterday, while I was waiting for the light rail at one of the central Phoenix stops, I came across some very strange activities. I have no idea what it was all about but these groups of costumed people began running down the street some pushing carts, some pulling carts while shouting remarks back and forth. I have no idea what was happening and could never find any reference to the event. I’m guessing it might have been some type of initiation but, who knows. It certainly was entertaining.

A few minutes after the costumed revelers had passed, this unique automobile drove past. Click on the photo to get a better look. It’s worth it.

With so many outlandish things happening around me, I am so thankful I had my camera ready.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rhinestone Cowgirl

On my busy weekend of February 7th, one of the events I visited was the High Noon Western Americana Event, an Antique Show and Auction featuring high quality Western and Native American art and collectables. (I posted a picture of a beautiful saddle from there on February 12th.) While I was there, I met this lovely young woman dressed appropriately in this glamorous western attire. I was told that her outfit was created by Nudie Cohn, a Ukrainian-American tailor who became famous for his rhinestone encrusted suits worn by celebrities such as Roy Rogers, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and even Elvis Presley and John Lennon. You can read more about Nudie's interesting life here.
This young lady was part of a group known as the Golden West Cowgirls who participate in many events throughout the southwest.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Colorful Hoop Dancers

Last week I featured a photo of the young man who won the Hoop Dancing competition at the Heard Museum’s World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. Today I feature a picture of a group of younger dancers engrossed in conversation and dressed in their beautiful and colorful costumes. I have a special affinity for the geometric designs that adorn these garments.
The small photo shows two of these youngsters tossing their hoops back and forth in their own private practice session.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Willo Home Tour

Getting back to the weekend before last and all the entertaining events I crammed into that weekend, today’s post is a photo from the Willo Historic District’s 21st annual home tour. The event is scheduled for the second Sunday in February and includes tours of homes in this historic neighborhood that have been beautifully restored and decorated. Most of the homes in this area were built in the 1920’s and 30’s and are architecturally diverse with Spanish Revival, Tudor, and American Colonial among the many styles. It’s a special treat to be able to see how these beautiful homes have been lovingly maintained.

This year we experienced some rare weather conditions with rain falling all night before the event and all that morning. However, the rains cleared up by mid-afternoon leaving beautiful blue skies full of gorgeous cloud formations. Judging from the lines of people waiting to get into the houses, the rain didn’t spoil the event.

I have very good friends who live in the Willo District and every year during this event, they have a party on their driveway and invite friends to stop by during the tour. It is always a fun time and a good place to run into friends you haven’t seen in a while. The small photo shows the gathering in on thier lawn and drive.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Arizona Theme Day: Arizona Sunsets

All of the Arizona photo bloggers have gotten together to form our own “theme day”. We’ve decided on the 15th of the month and each of us have selected a theme for the picture that month. This month’s theme is “Arizona Sunsets”.

My sunset picture was taken last week while I was attending a political campaign kick-off party for a very dear friend. I was standing on the patio enjoying good conversation when I looked up and saw the sky glowing. Fortunately, I had my trusty point-and-shoot camera stashed in my purse.

Check out the other Arizona bloggers participating in the Arizona Them day:

Flagstaff Daily Photo
Chandler Daily Photo
Prescott Area Daily Photo
Tempe Daily Photo
Scottsdale Daily Photo
Chandler Daily Photo
Scottsdale Daily Photo

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine Day

This heart shaped wreath is made of roses formed from shaved wood! The petals are formed from wood shavings mostly from high quality Birch.

I found this wreath and the roses in the small photo at one of the festival booths at the Glendale Chocolate Festival.

Friday, February 13, 2009

That’s a wrap

Phoenix will be the host of the National Basketball Association All-Star game on Sunday at the U. S. Airways arena in downtown Phoenix. In honor of the occasion, T-Mobile sponsored this huge tribute covering two sides of the Bank of America building that faces the arena downtown. It took over a week to cover the two sides of this building with the vinyl banner. Pictured in the ad are Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets, Dwyane Wade of Miami Heat, and Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

High Noon

Last weekend also included a visit to the Phoenix Convention Center and the High Noon Western Americana Event, a sale and auction of historic western artifacts and memorabilia. The convention center was full of booths with every kind of “old West” art and collectables that you can imagine. I saw beautiful paintings, amazing beaded clothes, cowboy boots in all colors, western guns and rifles, Indian rugs, and much, much more. The photo I’ve posted is of an amazing saddle embroidered all over with Yucca fiber!

In the small photo you can see some of the detail of the embroidery.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hoop Dancers

Another weekend event that I visited was the Heard Museum’s World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. The dancers competing in this intertribal contest are from the United States and Canada and perform with amazing skill and talent a colorful dance full of precision and grace. The photo I’ve featured here is of Brian Hammill of New River Arizona who won the championship title in the adult division.
The small photo shows the circle of singers and drummers who accompanied the various performers.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chocolate Festival

The next event I visited was the Chocolate Festival in neighboring Glendale Arizona. This event included music on two different stages, food of all kinds, and of course, lots of chocolate. The photo I’ve featured here is of three beautifully chocolate dipped strawberries ready to be eaten.

The small photo shows some ruby red candy apples glowing in the bright sunlight.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chinese New Year

This past weekend was full of events, festivals, and unique photographic opportunities. I started the weekend with a visit to the Chinese Cultural Center where Chinese New Year was being celebrated with parades, music, demonstrations, and food. This martial arts performer was entertaining on the main stage.

The small photo shows one of the dragons used in another performance.

Over the next few days, I’ll highlight some of the other weekend events that kept me busy.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Valley Youth Theatre

On the side of the building that is the headquarters for the Valley Youth Theatre is a huge mural that combines scenes from many well known theatre productions. Here we see some characters from the musical “Cats”.

The small photo shows some personalities from “The Wizard of Oz” with a few other characters thrown in.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Powder Puff

This is the blossom of the Calliandra shrub, more commonly known as the powder puff plant. It is extremely attractive to bees as you can clearly see.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Siesta….lion style

Here’s another photo from the Phoenix zoo capturing the lions doing what they do best.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lunch Time

A giraffe is enjoying an afternoon snack from one of the tall feeding bins. If you look closely you can also see some of the vultures I mentioned yesterday sitting on the crest of the hill. You might have to click on it to get a better view.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


This large area at the Phoenix Zoo is called the African Savanna and it contains Giraffes, Gazelles, Eland Watusi Cattle, and a few rather frisky vultures. It’s a large open space for the animals to roam in an area that looks very much like their natural habitat.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Entrance to Phoenix Zoo

After my second camera class, I decided to make a quick trip to the Phoenix Zoo to practice with my camera. This is the bridge that is both the entrance and exit for the Zoo. The huge globe is located above the entrance arch. Now you can see where I took yesterday’s photo. In fact, if you look closely, that bird is sitting right on top of the globe. By the time I got close enough to snap the shot, he had walked across Siberia.

I only spent about 90 minutes at the zoo. It was so crowded that I decided to wait and come back on a quiet day. We had temperatures reaching 76 degrees (about 25 Celsius) in Phoenix so everyone was out enjoying the perfect weather.

The Phoenix Zoo is another Phoenix Point of Pride.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sitting on top of the world

He’s sitting somewhere near the Bering Sea if I’m not mistaken.

Sometimes a photo just screams to be taken!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Theme Day – Paths & Passages

The Desert Botanical Gardens is a wonderful place to find paths and passages leading in all directions and guiding visitors through a labyrinth of desert splendor. Right now, that natural beauty is being further enhanced by the Chihuly exhibit entitled “The Nature of Glass”. I’ve featured many photographs from this stunning exhibit as have other Arizona photo bloggers. I’m sure there will be many more photos posted in the future. The beauty of this exhibit is too big of an attraction for a photographer with camera in hand. In this photo we see the stairs that lead into the beautifully manicured garden that welcomes visitors upon entering. This garden is also home to the gorgeous Sun sculpture that I feature here.
To see how other bloggers have depicted "Paths & Passages" click here.