Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Smooth moves....

In front of the Microsoft store at Scottsdale Fashion Square is a large screen TV that is constantly playing exercise and dance videos, the kind you move along with.  These two guys are giving it a try and drawing a bit of a crowd while they are at it.  I didn't stay long enough to hear if they drew any applause when they were done.

Tomorrow is May 1st....are you ready for "Squares"?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

For once my timing was perfect....

Not just one....

Not just two....

Not even 30....

More like 40 or 50 blooms all at once!

I was at the garden Friday morning and noticed that this Argentinian Giant cactus had quite a lot of buds on it.  I went back early on Sunday morning and was treated to this spectacular sight.  
I wasn't the only one who was in awe of all this beauty.  The gathering of photographers just kept getting bigger.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I am off to an Italian Castle.

Reminder:  The theme for May 1 is "Squares".

Monday, April 28, 2014

Windy City

Saturday was a very windy day in Phoenix.  I took a walk in Indian School Park but it was so windy it was hard to keep up a good pace and very hard to take any pictures.  However, it was a good time to catch some palo verde blooms before they were blown off the tree and it was an especially good time to get a flag shot.  The wind was really whipping the flags around.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Night at the Symphony

Julie & Dave (Scottsdale Daily Photo & Tamarindo Daily Photo) treated a group of friends to a night at the Symphony Friday night.  The program was Verdi's Requiem which explains the crowded stage.  There were over 200 musicians and singers for this performance.  It was quite the knock-out performance.  (iPhone photo)

After the concert, we walked across the street to the revolving lounge atop the Hyatt Hotel to celebrate with some champagne and dessert.  I snapped this photo with my iPhone pressed right up against the glass never imagining that it would amount to anything but it doesn't look too bad.  That's the Herberger Theatre with the purplish lights on top and you can see St. Mary's Basilica dimly lit in the center-right.

It was an entertaining and fun night.  Thank you Julie and Dave for the special treat.

Reminder:  The theme for May 1 is "Squares"!

Saturday, April 26, 2014


The saguaro cactus are blooming like crazy right now and I think it's making the bees a little crazy too.  See how they are all lined up like airplanes waiting to land?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Neodymium Reeds

Here is another one of the Chihuly displays at the Desert Botanical Garden.  These are called "Neodymium Reeds", quite a mouthful!  They blend in perfectly with the lavender/purple theme that I've had going this week!

Reminder:  The theme for May 1 is "Squares".

Thursday, April 24, 2014

More of the color lavender

This is another plant I just recently discovered.  It's called a "Desert Four-O'clock".  When I looked it up, I found that when found in Colorado, it's called a Colorado Four-O'clock.  But I couldn't find out how the "Four O'clock" tag got attached to this plant.  I love that little splash of yellow that appears on the stamen.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stuck on a color

Since I posted lavender/purple on Monday and Tuesday, I thought I may as well continue on that theme and post more lavender/purple subjects.  Today I have a type of poppy I've never seen before.  I noticed them growing in the vegetable garden at the Desert Botanical Garden.

They were at least 5 feet tall and since I didn't know what they could be, I stopped a docent and asked.  She told me they are poppies.  I never heard of poppy that large before but, I did some internet searching and sure enough, they do exist.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day!

The Jacaranda trees are blooming in Phoenix right now and they have these lovely bunches of lavender flowers hanging from them like bunches of grapes.  They really are beautiful to see but the blooms don't last for very long, maybe two to three weeks.

They leave a carpet of lavender below them wherever they are.  This one happened to be near the street so the lavender carpet has gathered at the curb.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Colors

This is a new plant at the Desert Botanical Garden that I discovered on my last trip there.  It has tiny purple flowers on it and a sign that called it a "Sky Flower" with a Latin name of Duranta erecta.  It looks similar to a plant I've seen before that is called a "Sapphire Shower" but these flowers are much smaller than the ones on the shower plant.  The lovely purple color with that splash of yellow in the background is perfect for the Easter holiday weekend.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Easter Bunnies are everywhere today!

Have a wonderful holiday.

Stop by Sharon's Sojourns this week.  I have a new post about a grand Basilica right here in the US.

Start thinking about the May 1 theme post.  The subject is "Squares".

Saturday, April 19, 2014

High-rise condominium.....for the birds

When I went to the botanical garden last Friday, I was standing next to this very large Cardon cactus taking a photo of a wonderful bloom close to the ground when I noticed a tremendous amount of birdsong in the air.  I looked up at this cactus and saw all the holes in it.  About that time, a starling came flying into the scene, perched at the entrance to one of those holes and feeding the kids inside.

Then another little brown bird flew in and did exactly the same and finally a woodpecker came flying in to another one of the holes with a mouth full for the youngsters.

I had stumbled on  to a high-rise condominium for the birds.  It was nice to see such a culturally diverse group of avians all living in the same cactus.

If you look closely, you can see a young bird peeking out from this opening.

And here's momma, who came back with a bit to eat for the little ones.

Reminder:  The theme for May is "Squares".

Friday, April 18, 2014


Standing in front of the US Airways Arena in downtown Phoenix and looking northwest at the "blue" hour.  I was headed to a Phoenix Suns game when I took this shot and I didn't have a tripod with me.  There was a railing running along the street to separate the sidewalk from the light rail tracks, so I balanced the camera on the rail.  It turned out pretty good.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blue Door

This house from a historic neighborhood is all but hidden by a huge tree growing right in front of it.  We can see the blue door on the side that appears to lead to a patio area.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Colorful guests

The friendly peach-faced lovebirds who live in my neighborhood are still around and enjoying the food I've been putting out for them.  Whenever the feeder is empty, they tend to sit up in the trees and make loud calls to get my attention.  They are smart little comedians.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Garden Bench

What a peaceful and quiet spot I found at the Art in the Garden event I described yesterday.  It was a little sanctuary that the crowds at the event surprisingly, just passed right by.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Art in the Garden

My friend Janet called me on Saturday morning to tell me about an event at a local nursery called "Art in the Garden".  She thought I might like to see if there were some photo opportunities there.  Thanks for the tip Janet, there were certainly lots to photograph among all those plants.  Some of you might even remember the tree pictured above.  I posted a shot of it few years ago.  You can see it Here.

My favorite art work there was this small painting of a tree frog.  There were quite a few artists present with all kinds of wonderful garden inspired paintings and photos.

There were also quite a few venders selling vegetables, bread, oils, and some very delicious iced tea.  There was even a food demonstration going on.

I also got plenty of photos of some very beautiful flowers and arrangements.  I'm sure a few of them will show up on this site from time to time.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cactus Blooms

I went to the Desert Botanical Garden early on Friday morning hoping that I would see some cactus blooms and my hopes were beautifully fulfilled.  The stunning pink bloom above was on an echinopsis aurea, native to Argentina.

These jumbo sized blooms are on a cactus called an Argentinian Giant.  These blooms typically measure 12 inches across.

This brilliant red bloom is found on another cactus called the Red Torch.

 These orange beauties were all over a large prickly pear cactus.  There were so many blooms it was hard to decide which ones to photograph.  As you can see, for this trip to the garden I had no trouble finding blooms to focus my lens on.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  This time I visit the home of a very delicious bubbly beverage.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Great Hall

When I arrived in the great hall I noticed that it was being set up for an event.  I asked one of the people setting the tables what it was for and learned it was for a wedding reception.  What a beautiful setting!  I then moved on to see the artistic costumes that I featured yesterday.  You can see them against the wall in the above photo.

When I got to the other end of the hall, I noticed the wedding cake sitting on a plain table without any decorations added yet.  Against that giant gray circle on the wall, I thought it made a rather artistic shot just the way it was.

That's the last of my adventures at the art museum last Sunday.  There were certainly a lot more things to see than just the Hollywood Costume exhibit.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Insects and Fashion

The great hall in the museum is a room that is used for special events and sometimes for private or public gatherings or events.  When I left the "Read My Pins" exhibit, I went down the stairs that empty right into the great hall.  That's where I found this display of fashions made with organic items.    I found out that the display was done for the Arts and Flowers opening luncheon and each fashion was inspired by the designs of Alexander McQueen.

This one is called "Insecta Awakening" and it's a gown covered by Monarch Butterflies.
The description said something about Monarch Butterflies are poisonous, a fact I didn't know, and their color orange is a warning.  So this fashion fuses beauty and danger together.  Interesting.

I'll show you more of the fashions in the next few weeks but tomorrow I have one more thing from the museum to show you.

I was there for almost 5 hours on Sunday.  There was so much going on that I just kept exploring!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Famous Pins

After viewing the Hollywood Costume exhibit, the Arts & Flowers displays, and the Bonsai trees, I headed to another gallery where another temporary exhibit was on view.  This one is called "Read My Pins" and it's all about the enormous collection of jewelry pins owned and worn by Madeleine Albright.  She was well known in political circles for always wearing some type of pin on her clothing, often matching the pin to the event or the personalities of the people she would meet.  The collection was fun to see but, the stories that went with the pins were simply fascinating.

So fascinating in fact, that I bought the book that goes with it.

I love this quote from the book "This is a collection that has been amplified and enriched by the events that have engaged their owner, providing a visible record of past experiences and future hopes."

If this exhibits makes it's way to your town, I recommend it.  It's a sort of whimsical way to look at historic events that we all read or heard about in the news.

So now I've reviewed four special exhibits going at the museum last weekend.  I'm not done yet, I still have more to show you.  Stay tuned tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


The third thing I saw at the Phoenix Art Museum last Sunday was a display from the Phoenix Bonsai Society of some beautiful bonsai trees.   The one above is beautifully shaped.

I had never seen a bougainvillea plant done as a Bonsai but this one was quite spectacular with all it's red blooms.

At the other end of the table was another bougainvillea only this one was white.

I wonder if I could grow one!  Considering my luck with plants, probably not but, I sure did enjoy looking at these beauties.

Now I've shown you three different special things going on at the museum last weekend.  But, I'm not done yet.  I have another special exhibit to show you tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Arts & Flowers

For the first time in about four years, I didn't make it to the opening day of Arts & Flowers at the Phoenix Art Museum.  In fact, I was really remiss in my scheduling and didn't even know it was going on this last weekend.  It's a good thing I decided to go to see the Hollywood exhibit or I would have missed it.  The picture above shows a first place winner for best interpretation.  The flower arranger was Eric C Cook and the painting is called Ne-I-So-Meh, Yuma by Eldridge Ayer Burbank.

This one is done by florist Ping Wei and it was for the painting behind it by Don Stinson called Llano Estacado: High Plains.  I'm so glad that I caught this event in spite of my poor planning.

Once again, this and the Hollywood exhibit were still not all that was going on at the museum.  More to come tomorrow.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Yesterday I went to the Phoenix Art Museum's new exhibit called Hollywood Costume.  The exhibit has come direct from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and it's all about the art of costume making and the impact it has on film and the actor's who wear the costumes.  It was an amazing exhibit with real costumes, video, sound and descriptions.  Everywhere in the exhibit there was something to feast your eyes on.  No photos were allowed in the exhibit but I did manage to get this shot of the entrance with a costume worn by Nicole Kidman in "Moulin Rouge" hanging above the ticket takers box.

In additions to this fabulous show, there were quite a few other things to see and enjoy.  Over the next few days, I'll fill you in on the rest of things I saw.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Art of Frank Lloyd Wright

Way back in July of 2008 when I first started this blog, I posted a photo of this stained glass window by Frank Lloyd Wright.  I decided it was about time to revisit it.  It's located in the lobby of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel & Resort, a Frank Lloyd Wright designed building and luxury hotel.  I LOVE this window.  I could easily live with it in my own home and look at it every day.

It's located in the lobby of the hotel and is one of the first things visitors see when they enter through the front doors.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm talking you to see The Lord Mayor's Show in London!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Don't disturb the king

I made a trip to the Phoenix Zoo yesterday and I must have hit it at the wrong time.  Everyone was asleep!

The Lion!

The Tiger!

The Bobcat!