Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Clouds in the windows

Clouds reflected in one of the mid-town high-rise buildings.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Magic Doors

While I was at the Glendale Foothills Library, I wandered around and spotted these wonderful doors leading to the children's reading room.  They were created by artist Kathy Bradford of Lyons Colorado.  She is an award winning artist who works in glass doing mostly etching, fusing and sandblasting.  She was commissioned by the city of Glendale to create The Magic Doors.  She says in her artist's statement that she wanted to "give the feeling of exploration, encourage a sense of discovery, and nurture a delight in reading and learning".  The glass panels are sand carved with circular glass discs fused to the panels.  One circle contains an image of the Earth.  Some of the discs create color shifts while others turn an image upside down.  The doors give an approaching child the feeling of stepping into another world.  The same feeling one gets reading a book!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Sun and The Moon

I recently checked the web site of artist Dale Chihuly and noticed that he had an installation in Arizona at the Glendale Foothills Library.  So, Saturday afternoon, I drove out to the library to see if I could find it.  Hanging in the entrance is this wonderful chandelier called "The Sun and The Moon".  The helpful woman at the information desk gave me an information sheet about the piece.  It is made of 1,123 individually hand blown pieces of glass and it took a three man crew from the Chihuly studio three days to install.  It weighs 2000 pounds.  It was commissioned by the city of Glendale for $200,000.  It is a wonderful piece!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Interesting sky

Friday evening around 7:00 PM I stepped outside to see if it was any cooler yet.  Friday's high here was 117 degrees (47C), our hottest day yet.  It wasn't much cooler but, I did notice some interesting patterns in the clouds so decided to snap a few photos.  This is taken from my front yard and looking over the tops of the houses across the street where there are lots of palm trees to enhance the sky shot.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Park Setting

Summer at the Steele Indian School Park.  You can see Camelback Mountain way off in the background.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Arizona Capitol

Back in July, I went down to the state capitol and took some photos early one morning when the sun was shining directly on the front of the capitol building.  I then played around with my editing software to see if I could get some interesting looks.  I think I liked this one the best.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cactus Bloom

We've reached that time of year where it is simply too hot to go out and take pictures so, I looked in the archives for something to post and found this photo of one of the blooms on my backyard cactus.  It bloomed again for the second time this year back in mid-July and this time it had five blooms on it.  This is a close-up picture of one of those blooms. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Native Stones

The walls of the Valley National Bank building (now Chase Bank) are made of stucco and native stone.  There is definitely the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright in the design of this building.  It is obvious in the organic curves and natural materials used in construction.  The stone is called Yavapai schist and each stone seems to float in the curved walls that wrap around the parasols.

In this photo, you get a closer look at the “peanut brittle” textured walls and you can see how the minerals in some of the stones have painted the walls with a rust colored coating over the years.

This last photo shows the inside of the bank branch.  You can see the curves of the walls and glass and the organic look and feel.  I apologize for the quality of this photo.  I snapped it rather quickly while no one was looking my way.  Photographing the inside of a bank is tricky matter.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Architectural Parasols

Today I'm continuing my look at the bank building featured yesterday.  The round parasol-like structures seen in the above photograph surround the building and dot the park-like grounds around the bank building.  They call them "parasols" in the book I mentioned yesterday but, they make me think of a ballerina spinning out from the building and on to the landscape.

In the small photo you can see how the property is located in the shadow of Camelback Mountain with the camel’s head peeking under one of the parasols.

Tomorrow, I'll show more views from this wonderful building.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Midcentury Marvel

This is a bank building located at the corner of 44th Street and Camelback Road.  It was built in 1967 for a branch of the Valley National Bank, a predecessor to Chase Bank who now occupies the building.  Walter Bimson, then president of Valley National Bank, selected this design by Frank Henry of the Weaver & Drover firm from among five competing submittals.  Bimson wanted to create a “modern building of timeless beauty as his gift to the city.”  The building has definitely stood the test of time.  It won the AIA Arizona Twenty-Five-Year Award, proving to be one of Arizona’s most distinguished and beloved midcentury buildings.

I work across the street from this wonderful building so I get to see it almost every day. Tomorrow I’ll show you more pictures from this property

The information for this building comes from a book entitled Midcentury Marvels, Commercial Architecture of Phoenix 1945 – 1975. The book was published in 2010 by the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office and Ryden Architects, Inc. It’s a gorgeous book that I purchased immediately after it was published. It contains wonderful photos and lots of information about some of the most distinguished buildings in the city.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pin River

Back in January, I posted a photo of this art installation taken from a distance because the room was under renovation.  I wasn't sure what it was but, at the time it looked like a huge crack in the wall.  You can see the original post here.  At that time, I promised to go back and find out and let you all know what it was.  Well, I was at the museum on Saturday and happened to walk by it and suddenly remembered that I had never gotten the information on this piece.  It is called Pin River by Maya Lin and it is created with thousands of pins in the wall and they arranged in the shape of the path of the Colorado River.  A very subtle piece.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Just outside the Phoenix Art Museum is this giant sculpture of a swimmer floating through and underwater obstacle.  I'm afraid I don't know the artist's name but, I have always admired this sculpture from a distance.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Favorite in a Historic Neighborhood

This is one of my favorite houses located in the Encanto-Palmcroft Historic Neighborhood.  I love the southwestern style of this house and the colors.  I see this house very often because it is located next to a main thoroughfare  in Phoenix and right on my path to and from the Phoenix downtown area.  I love it.

Explanation:  Thank you all for the wonderful comments on my photo yesterday.  After reading many of them, I thought I might owe you an explanation.  I was perfectly safe when flying on that refueling mission.  The bubble on the bottom of the plane is solid and surrounded by a huge glass window so the arm operator can see what she is doing.  I was securely inside the plane.  The plane was in fact another jet so it couldn't have been open to the outside.  The only tricky thing about it was actually crawling into the space but, once you are down there, it is perfectly comfortable.  There was the added bonus of being able to wave at the fighter jet pilot!  And, he waved back!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

One of Life's Highlights

Today, I'm posting an old photo from before digital photography.  Years ago, I had a unique opportunity to fly on a military refueling mission high above northern Arizona.  During the trip I was invited to actually join the refueling technician in the belly of the plane, flat on my stomach next to her (yes, it was a woman controlling that arm) so I could take the above photo.  I have prized this photo ever since.  It was a wonderful opportunity to see our military men and women at work and to see something that only a very few people ever get to see.
I was doing some work to reorganize my photos on to the new Macbook when I came across this old photo and thought it would be a fun photo to share with you all.  I've had some very unique experiences in my life and with a little luck, I have many more to come.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Best Western

This is the headquarters for Best Western Hotels.  They are located adjacent to the Arizona Biltmore Golf Course.  So, if you work in that building, you just might have some fantastic views.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cloud over the mountains

Some big clouds are rolling in from the north behind the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.  I took this shot from the Arizona Biltmore Golf Course.

In spite of the 105 degree (41C) heat, there were golfers on the course at 2:00 in afternoon.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I'm not normally a motorcycle kind of girl but, I have to admit, this is a sweet ride!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I attended a meeting on Thursday and Friday in Carefree Arizona and when I was getting ready to leave, I noticed this giant saguaro with it's many arms.  This is truly a big one.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I recently spotted this clever birdhouse.  Do you think any birds have actually moved in since they are required to fly in and out of the cat's mouth?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Home Tour revisited

Back in March I posted a few pictures from a charity home tour.  Recently I drove by this house again and got to see if from the side.  This house is build right into the side of a rocky mountain and the front looks like a solid slab while the sides and back are all glass.  I tried to explain how it was built in the original post but, this photo shows it much better.  I just wish they had the drapes open so you could see straight through it.    You can see the original post here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Another View

This is a view of Phoenix from the hills in the north east part of town.  We don't see the downtown skyline in this shot.  It's looking down 44th street toward South Mountain.  Phoenix is laid out in a grid of north/south and east/west streets making it pretty easy to find your way around.  Not like California where I spent last week.  There it is pretty easy to stay on one street and end up completely turned around.

There is an awful lot of green out there for a city in the middle of the desert, don't you think?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Big Brother

All the the light rail stations have been equipped with cameras to keep an eye on the crowds at the stations.  I bet this is the same in most cities with a light rail system.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bola Ties

These bronze bola ties were created years ago as part of a public art project that was installed around the Phoenix Convention Center.  When the convention center underwent major improvements a few years ago, they were moved to a new location near a downtown light rail stop near Symphony Hall.  There are 60 bronzes altogether and they were created by the late artist Michael Maglich.  Each tie is adorned with  a different object related to the southwest.  You might have to click on the photo to get a better view.

Okay folks, I've been duly chastised.  I won't shoot any more one handed photos while driving.  :-)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Home Again

It's a terrible photo taken through a rather dirty windshield but, it is my home again tribute to Phoenix.  As I was driving into town on Interstate 10, I grabbed the point and shoot camera and took this shot of the Phoenix skyline with one hand on the camera and one hand on the steering wheel. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Lorikeet Landing

I left the coast on Friday after a wonderful week cooling off by the ocean.  I decided to take a longer way home driving south a little way and then over the mountains toward Arizona.  On a quiet highway heading toward the mountains, I quite unexpectedly I passed a place called the San Diego Safari Park that is run by the San Diego Zoo.  I decided to stop and see what it was all about.  It is located on property that the zoo has owned for a long time and used as a place to do animal breeding and work with endangered species.  Sometime back, they decided to add a few more species and open it to the public.  The area where the large animals are living is quite huge.  So big in fact, they have to run trams around the perimeter so guests can see the animals.  The area was quite beautiful with rolling hills all around and the site of giraffes and other large animals off in the distance.

It was there that I found a special, large aviary filled with these frisky and colorful lorikeets.  Guests can go inside the aviary and the birds might land on your shoulder and whisper in your ear.  I've seen these birds on a couple of the blog sites from Australia but, never seen one in person before.  They are the most colorful bird I've ever seen.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sun Drenched Walls

One more photo from The Mission at San Juan Capistrano.  I love these old walls!

Friday, August 5, 2011

San Juan Capistrano

The historic Mission of San Juan Capistrano is a wonderful place to visit in Southern California.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Day at the Beach

Taking pleasure in the small things, sand, water and an occasional sea shell.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Postcard from the coast

Julie (Scottsdale Daily Photo) and I took a long hike to the beach today to get a spectacular view of the sunset.  The view was well worth the ups and downs and length of the hike.

By the way everyone.....I absolutely love my Macbook!  Making the switch is the best thing I've ever done technologically speaking.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Post Card from California

Here is a post card from the Mission Inn in Riverside California.  I spent one night here on my way to the coast simply because I wanted to photograph the place.  It is incredibly beautiful and was a great place to stay.  Hope you all are having a great week.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Theme Day: Post Card Worthy:

I think this night shot of the large artwork in downtown Phoenix is postcard worthy. The piece is called “Her Secret is Patience” by artist Janet Echelman. I featured it back in May of 2009 soon after it was installed. I think this photo of it is better than the one I published back then.

Click the link below to see all the Postcard worthy shots posted today.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants