Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out with the old year

The leaves are finally starting to fall from the trees here in Arizona.  We don't get the gorgeous reds that are seen in the east.  It's mostly yellow and browns that we see.  I thought this shot might be prefect for the last day of 2011.  Out with the old, in with new year!  Celebrate safely everyone!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Big Bug Santa

Even the giant praying-mantis got in the holiday spirit this year!  Click this link to Scottsdale Daily Photo to see Julie's shot of him at night.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Bench

Looks like a good place to soak up some winter sun!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Tree - Boojum Tree

This Christmas Tree at the Desert Botanical Gardens looks very festive compared the the Boojum Tree right behind it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ruffled Feathers

This curved-billed thrasher was getting his feathers ruffled by the wind as he sat atop this cactus.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Caroling with good friends on Christmas Eve!

Most years we are accompanied by a piano.  This year it was violins!  Wonderful!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Happy Birthday to my sister Judy of Prescott Area Daily Photo.  Stop by and wish her a happy birthday!

*Someone from the city of Phoenix took this beautiful photo of the Tovrea Castle.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Many Christmas Trees

This house covered their yard with lots of Christmas trees all decorated individually!  Have a  wonderful Christmas Eve everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Santa Cactus

This cactus has taken on a festive holiday mood!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dramatic Skies

I was with a group of friends on Sunday attending a reunion at a good friend's house in Queen Creek Arizona (about 30 miles south east of Phoenix).  Our friend's house sits on a mountain side with a wide view of the cities below in all directions.  It was a cold and dreary day with layer after layer of dark clouds scooting by all day long.  On the way home we were treated to some spectacular cloud formations set aflame by the setting sun.  We stopped several times to jump out of the car to get some shots before they were all gone.

A big Happy Birthday to my sister Pam in Missouri.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas, lots of Christmas

Saturday we were out scouting out those over-the-top Christmas decorations and found this house.  The lights were amazing and there were also window displays with all kinds of moving toys.  It was drawing quite a crowd while we were there.

I'm just glad that I wasn't the one who had to climb those palm trees to string these lights.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Stickers & Stickers

On Sunday a very good friend and artist, Ted Wolter had a small private showing of some of his fantastic ceramics.  Those of us there were eagerly snatching up our favorite pieces.  Here is Julie Pace of Scottsdale Daily Photo showing off the price stickers from all of the pieces she bought while posing next to a much more prickly kind of sticker.   She is also holding one of her prized acquisitions.

Our friend Ted is an art teacher at the Chandler-Gilbert Community College and he is also part of the Art Challenge group that I've been involved with for the past year.  You can see some of the art challenge work by all of the artists in the group here and you can see some of Ted's other works here.

And yes, I picked up a few pieces for my collection too!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Patiently waiting

Meet Sam.  Sam was patiently waiting for his people to finish their hamburgers at Zinburger at the Biltmore Fashion Park on Saturday afternoon.  Sam is certainly a handsome fellow with a rather worldly face.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Under Attack

I expected lots of traffic and huge crowds when I went shopping on Saturday but, I didn't expect to be under attack by storm troopers and aliens.  It turns out that as long as I dropped a dollar in the Salvation Army red kettle, I was safe.

If you peek at the reflection in the glass behind this trio, you will see the Biltmore Fashion Park's annual Poinsettia Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The wedding downtown

When I was roaming around downtown last Sunday late afternoon, I happened to pass this wedding party being arranged for photographs right in the middle of a street.  I sat at a stop sign and watched as the photographer lined up the female half of the wedding party in a line right across the middle of the street.  I apologize for the quality of this photo.  I grabbed the camera and shot it right through the windshield.  When I had to move on, I drove around the block in time to see the guys lined up the same way for their photo op.  I really wish I could see those shots, they have to be very unique.

Friday, December 16, 2011


The underside of the 7th Avenue bridge in downtown Phoenix is very quiet on a Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sky Harbor International Airport

That airplane I featured yesterday was headed here.  This is another telephoto shot taken from a very great distance.  We can only see one terminal here and the airport currently has 3 active terminals.  It's a very busy place, believe me, I spent a lot of time here in the 90's.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Room with a view

If you live in one of the apartments in this downtown tower you get a good view of the incoming flights headed for the airport.  I shot this from a distance using the telephoto lens which makes this plane look as if it's flying a bit too close to the building.  Nothing to worry about.  It was a good distance away.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Beautiful red and white roses to brighten a rainy day!

Happy Birthday to my very dear friend David!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Keep out....

.....of my Mimosa!  This bee took a hearty interest in my Mimosa at Sunday brunch.  He was persistent but, I never let him get a sip.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


This is the entrance to a home in the Encanto Palmcroft historic neighborhood.  It is completely surrounded by trees and an entrance wall so you can't see the actual house.  Just this grand entrance.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Interesting Proposition

I saw this guy on a recent light rail trip.  He has an interesting offer to make but, I think I'd want some references.  His definition of "remodel" might not be the same as mine.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Spots and Feathers

I thought this was a rather strange outfit for a ten year old girl!  But, what do I know?

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Here is another shot from the Tempe Arts Festival last weekend.  This fellow had a very large assortment of digerdoos and he wasn't afraid to use them!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Out of Season

While I was at Tovrea Castle last Thursday, I saw this cactus with a gorgeous bloom.  It's not exactly the right time of year for it to be blooming but, it had two more buds that were going to pop out in the next day or two.  The cactus might be a little mixed up but, it was a pleasant sight nonetheless.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grey Skies

Here is another shot from the Tempe Festival of the Arts last Saturday.  This one is looking over the tops of some of the artist's tents toward the new W6 Residential Towers.  You can see what a menacing sky we had and it lasted all day with spots of rain and hail here and there.  I even heard a loud thunder clap later in the evening.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Back to the Grind

It's Monday.  Time to go back to work.  I'm fortunate that I don't have to use the freeways through the city in order to get to and from work.  One day a week ago, I attended an afternoon event and made the mistake of getting on the freeway to head home.  This was the scene as we headed west toward Phoenix with the late afternoon sunset lighting the sky.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"Wok" Man

Yesterday I went to the Tempe Arts and Crafts Festival in downtown Tempe.  It's the biggest festival of it's kind in the valley and it happens twice a year in the spring and in the fall.  Well, yesterday it felt more like winter.  I think this guy was keeping warm from the steam and all that stir frying action.  It looked like interesting 'fair' food but, it was way too cold for me to eat out doors.  I selected a nice warm pub for lunch instead.

I'll have to watch for this guy at another festival (when it's a bit warmer).  I think I'd like to try his noodles.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I've mentioned the 5 C's on this blog before.  If you grew up in Arizona you were probably taught about the five C's that drove the Arizona Economy between the 50's and 70's, Copper, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus, and Climate.  Cotton is still a large industry in Arizona as evidenced by this cotton field in south Phoenix.

No matter how many times I've seen these fields, I still marvel at such an interesting plant.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Lights

Thursday morning I joined fellow volunteers at the Torvrea Castle to change the lights to colorful Christmas light for the season.  Every year the white bulbs that line the outside of the castle are switched out for red, green, and blue lights for the holiday season.  We all donned Santa Clause hats and set about changing the lights on a cloudy, blustery morning.  I think I might be ready to tackle my own decorations at home now.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Theme Day: Action Shot

I was so busy during the month of November that I completely forgot about theme day.  I didn't even know what the theme was until two days ago.  So, I had to pull something out of the archives for this one.  Here we have one of the hoop dancers who performed at the Heard Museum last spring.  There is certainly a lot of action that goes on when these men and women dance.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The water in Tempe Town Lake was sparkling like diamonds the day I was there.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lake Wildlife

A large variety of wild birds have taken up residence along Tempe Town Lake.  I found this beautiful white heron sunning on a barricade at the end of the lake.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Marsh Land

The overflow water from Tempe Town Lake creates a sort of marsh land at the west end of the lake.  It's perfect environment for all kinds of birds.  Tomorrow I'll show you one of the birds I saw there.

There were lots of questions yesterday about the inflatable dam that creates the lake.  The lake is located in a dry river bed.  The river is dry most of the time but if we have wet weather in the mountains that surround Phoenix, the river can run and has on many occasions.  Anything built in the river bed or on the shores of the river has to take into account flooding from time to time.  The dam was built so that it can be deflated in flood times in order to allow the river to flow its natural course.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Forming a Lake

Tempe Town Lake is formed in the mostly dry river bed of the Salt River.  An inflatable dam is positioned at the end to form the Lake that runs along the north side of the city of Tempe.  Here you can see the inflatable dam sitting almost directly under the new bridge I featured yesterday.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Bridge

When I was in Tempe last week I noticed this new pedestrian bridge across the Tempe Town Lake.

It's beautifully constructed with sail like covers spaced over it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bird House

The birds seem to like sunning themselves on the roof of this house.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all are having a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Lights at Night

One more shot from Grady Gammage Auditorium.  I snapped this one a couple of weeks ago when I was leaving the theatre after a performance.  It's hand held with my little point and shoot camera and it turned out way better than I thought it would.  You can see how those round lights are lit up at night.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grady Gammage Auditorium

Grady Gammage Auditorium is located on the campus of Arizona State University and is a building well known to anyone who studies architecture.  It is a Frank Lloyd Wright design that he originally envisioned to be built in Baghdad, Iraq.  It surely wouldn't be standing today if it had been built there.  In 1957, the president of ASU, Grady Gammage had a mission to create a distinct university auditorium.  He contacted his close friend, architect Frank Lloyd Wright who revised his Baghdad plans to accommodate a perfect spot on the ASU campus.  Neither Gammage or Wright lived to see the building built.  Both died in 1959.  Construction began in 1962 with Grady Gammage, Jr. turning the first shovel.  The design was described as having outstretched arms welcoming all to ASU.

The light fixtures I featured yesterday line the flying buttresses on either side of the auditorium.  They light the walkways that lead to the upper levels of the auditorium.

Monday, November 21, 2011


This unusual light fixture can be found at a very well known building.  Tomorrow I'll show you where.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I was at the Tovrea Castle most of the day yesterday working on the docent training program when someone in our group spotted this Cooper's Hawk sitting on top of the power pole and surveying the property.  He was patient enough to let me snap a few shots before he flew off toward the castle.  I like the effect of that thin cloud streaking the sky behind him.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Southwestern style gate on a yellow wall.  I wonder what was above the gate that was removed leaving that unpainted spot.