Sunday, June 30, 2013

What to do....

....when it's too hot to be outside.
Go to the store first thing in the morning and buy a bouquet of flowers.  Take them home and get out the macro lens.  Adjust the light and the camera settings and start shooting.  

That was fun!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Keep some water handy

Anyone spending time outside in Arizona yesterday had to have some water handy.  Our temperature reached 116 (47c) and it's predicted to reach 118 (48c) today.  Summer has surely arrived in the desert southwest.  It should cool off to 106 (41c) later next week.  It might sound crazy to be looking forward to 106 but, I can't wait.

Friday, June 28, 2013


Just down the street from me are some apartments that have been there probably since the 50's but, I just noticed this gate the other morning when the sun was lighting it up.  I like it.  It's an attractive gate but it sits in a location that can't be seen from the street most of the day.  I'm glad I caught it early one morning.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Update on the Dome

I thought I'd post an update on the dome on top of a church under construction that I posted last year.  You can see the original post here.  You can also see my artistic take on the dome here.  The church is still under construction but I recently noticed this opening on the dome featuring stained glass windows.  I haven't seen it lit up yet but, it looks like it will be very attractive.  I'll be sure to get a photo of it once they light it up.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Approaching the target

These two hummingbirds are zeroing-in on the same Century Plant bloom.  As it turned out, one of them had to divert to a different bloom.  Hummingbirds don't like to share the same bloom at the same time.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Weekend Getaway

I thought I'd post one photo of where I was off to last weekend.  I spent a fabulous weekend in Chicago visiting friends, having fantastic meals, and visiting old favorite spots in the city.  I spent Friday taking photos but, alas the weather did not cooperate.  I ended up coming home with one more souvenir umbrella, something we Arizonans never remember to pack.  Regardless of the weather, it was a wonderful weekend and a great escape.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Two of the new dormitory buildings for the Arizona State University campus in downtown Phoenix.  I wonder what the rooms look like.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Papago Butte Reflection

I took these photos on the first of June when I went to the botanical garden very early that morning.  I got there in the midst of watering on the Desert Wildflower loop.  That's how I happened to see the reflection of one of the Papago Buttes in the puddle of water on the path.

All that water drew the attention of a lot of bees at a spot where there is a water feature.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Two more from Butterfly Wonderland

This butterfly is called Paper Kite.  It's one that I actually found in the guide they provided.
It's quite pretty, isn't it?

This one isn't actually a butterfly at all.  It's a moth and it's called an Atlas Moth.  I had to find this one by searching the internet and it took a while to find.  It's hard to tell in a photo but, this moth is very large.  It's actually bigger than my hand with all my fingers spread.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

Butterfly Toes

Butterflies taste with their feet so when they are standing on a flower or leaf, they are actually tasting it.

So, this butterfly must be having a little taste of this lady's toes just to see if it might be something it would like.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Two Beauties

I found the name of this butterfly by searching the internet.  It's called a Leopard Lacewing, a perfect name for this don't you think?

This one I haven't found yet so if there are any butterfly experts out there and you know what this one is called, let me know.

I'm going to be away for a few days and might not have time to check the internet very often.  I've scheduled some posts while I'm away.  I'll catch up with all of you shortly.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Butterfly pile-up

The keepers at Butterfly Wonderland kept adding cut up fresh fruit to several bowls placed around the atrium area and that drew many butterflies trying to get a taste.  Most of these butterflies are a species called Blue Morpho.  That one in the center is showing off his blue inside the wings that are brown and spotted on the outside.  The one to the right with the hints of green is called Pathenos Sylvia.

The guide they give you lists 36 different butterflies in it but of all the butterflies I photographed, only two were actually in that guide.  I did a lot of searching on the internet to find the names of others (such as that Pathenos Sylvia above) and I'm still looking for some of them.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Butterfly Wonderland, part 2

I thought I'd show you the outside of Butterfly Wonderland.  They've designed the front of the building to look like a butterfly wing.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Butterfly Wonderland

I found something new in the Phoenix area called Butterfly Wonderland.  It's located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community just outside Scottsdale and it has many components to it.  You start with a 3-D movie about Monarch Butterfly migrations, you move to the Butterfly Emergence Gallery where you can observe butterflies emerging from the chrysalises.  The photo above was taken there.
Next you enter the atrium where the butterflies live and fly all around you.  It's like a semi-tropical rainforest with tropical plants and trees.

That is where I took this photo of a Scarlet Swallowtail.  I actually took 168 photos of which 108 are good enough to keep.  There were butterflies here that I had never seen before.  It was a photographer's paradise and I can assure you, there were many, many photographers inside snapping away.  When you leave the atrium, you head into an area with honey bee and ant colony demonstrations and into an aquarium featuring fish from the rivers of the Amazon.

I didn't have quite the same luck photographing the fish.  Those rascals simple won't hold still for a portrait.  But, here's one that's not too bad.

It's a fun place.  Check it out if you live in the area.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Trees and Cactus

Both trees and cactus grace the yard of this southwestern style home located in the Willo Historic District.  There are some agave and aloe in the mix too.  All together it makes a very pretty yard.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Something Pretty

Something Pretty to look at on a Saturday morning (or evening for those in the southern hemisphere).  Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Stairway to Heaven

Actually I think it's the stairway to the spa at the Westin Hotel in downtown Phoenix.  I guess some people might think that is heaven!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Burgers and much more

A little over a year ago I posted a photo of this place that I took while sitting on that patio at night.  (You can see it here.)  Those canoe like sails above the patio are lit up at night and have a sort of other-worldly glow.  I finally got around to taking a daylight photo of the place so you can see what they really look like.  The restaurant is AZ88 and they have the best burger I've eaten in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.  I haven't had one in a very long time.  I think that needs to be on my list for very soon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Popular Backdrop

This wall on the outside of the Tempe Center for the Arts has become a popular backdrop for many photographers.  Almost every time I find myself here, there is a photographer shooting a portrait in front of this wall.  The color and the interesting and colorful lucite dots make a great background for portraits.  Those lucite dots are lit from behind so I keep thinking that I need to get here after dark and take a shot of the wall.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tribute to Firefighters

This art work is called Tribute to Fire Fighters and it sits in front of the main fire station in Glendale Arizona.  It was purchased by the city and was created by artist Jay Tschetter from Lincoln Nebraska.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Farm House

When I was living in Mesa, I used to drive by this house often sometimes going out of my way just to get a peek at it.  It sits about one lot away from a very busy street and it's right in the heart of a modern subdivision with lots of low slung ranch style homes all around it.  My guess is that this was  a farm house when the land around here was all farming and citrus groves and the neighborhood has grown up around it.  I took this photo several years ago on a winter day.  The photo below was taken just recently and you can see how that tree fills out in the summer time.

I'm not sure what about this place makes me stop and look but I do every time I find myself in Mesa.  In fact, I've never driven by my old house since I moved to Phoenix but I'll go out of my way to drive by this one.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The golf course and the mountain

Continuing with The Golf Club photos that I pictured yesterday, here is a view of the course.  I'm not a golfer so I'm just guessing but, this looks like a pretty tough course to me.  I see lots of places to loose your ball....forever.  I also spotted a couple of things in this photo that I didn't see until it was downloaded on the computer.  In the lower center you can just make out the shape of a rabbit sitting on the edge of the course.  And, to the far left, a little below the half point you see a little grey spot on the course.  I pulled it in and it's some kind of animal running.  It could be a fox or maybe a coyote.  Besides being very pixelated, it was moving so I can only make out a shape.  I love those little surprises.

Here is another shot from inside the golf club gates.  There are lots of southwestern features making this a lot of fun to photograph.

There were also some colorful accents sitting around to make it more interesting.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Golf Club

I took a drive north yesterday in a random search for something to photograph and I ended up at the northern most edge of Scottsdale where I found a place called simply The Golf Club.  I followed the drive and while studying the glimpses of golf course creeping up the side of a mountain I found myself at an attractive entrance.  I decided to get out of the car and have a look.  The place was completely built in a very rustic southwestern style that was at once appealing and welcoming.  My fear that I had stumbled onto a private club melted away and I wandered around freely admiring the architecture at every turn.

I'll show you a couple more photos from here tomorrow.  It was truly a beautiful place.

It was around 11:00 AM when I arrived here and it hadn't yet hit our high for today at 112 degrees (44c).  That is crazy hot for this time of year!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Whoooo are you?

And what do you want?

A cute little burrowing owl looking right into the camera.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I haven't shown any houses from our historic neighborhoods in a while so I thought I'd drive around and see what I could find.  This little bungalow appealed to me with those nicely trimmed hedges in front and the lovely brick trim.  I found it in the Encanto Vista neighborhood.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Being observant

If you happen to be out hiking and you round a corner and see this sight, you might be it a bit of trouble.  Fortunately, I was well behind the steel bars of the lion's compound at the Phoenix zoo.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Skeleton in the window

This skeleton lurking at the window of one of the Arizona State University medical studies buildings was spotted in downtown Phoenix.  The reflection of that palm tree is a nice addition along with the palm tree shadow on the building wall.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Emergency Services

I think I've mentioned before that I live about 5 blocks from St. Joseph's Hospital, one of the biggest in Phoenix.  Consequently, I often see medical helicopters flying over my house.  For the most part, they take paths that don't fly directly over homes in the neighborhood but every now and then one passes right over head.  I don't mind, it's rare and I know when it happens that it is really a big emergency.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Gnarled Tree

As I sit under this gnarled old tree so treasured,
I wonder how many years so far it has measured.
Has it grown to this size just in time for me?
Or did my ancestors once sit here under this tree?

I watch as a bird, lands on its limb,
Singing a song that sounds like a hymn.
I feel the gentle breeze, I breathe in the fresh air,
and wonder if trees in heaven will be quite as fair.

Glenn Bergen

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Theme Day: The Beauty of Decay

I'd say this old car is decaying rather nicely!

Today is theme day and City Daily Photo Bloggers are posting photos that represent the Beauty of Decay.  If you would like to see how some others have expressed this subject, click here.