Sunday, August 31, 2014

Downtown on Sunday

I've pictured St. Mary's Basilica before but this time I concentrated on the church towers reaching for the sky.  Even though the church is towered over by downtown high-rise buildings, this shot makes it look bigger and and taller than those steel and glass interlopers.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today, more about Treviso Italy.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


It's been awhile since I've posted a photo from Cityscape in downtown Phoenix so it's about time for another shot.  Cityscape is a fairly new development in the heart of downtown that links together office buildings with restaurants, hotels and shopping.  In the center is this pedestrian area with water features and places for downtown workers enjoy lunch away from the office.  I'm not sure how I happened to catch this photo without any people in it.  It's usually bustling with people.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Yearlings

The Yearlings is a well known and loved sculpture in Scottsdale.  It sits at the entrance to the Scottsdale Civic Plaza and on the edge of "old town" Scottsdale, an area of high tourist volume.  I almost always see someone posing for a photo by it whenever I'm there.  The sculptor was George-Ann Tognoni, a life long lover of horses who has a few equine sculpture around Scottsdale.  She passed away in 2008 at the age of 88 but, has surely left a beautiful legacy to be enjoyed for many years to come.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


This ceramic quail sits atop another totem that I found at the Shemer Art Center last weekend. 

It was situated in a difficult place to photograph at the time of day I was there.

But hopefully you can see the different pieces that make up this artistic totem in one of these two photos.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bath time

Last Thursday was a pleasant day with temperatures in the low 90's (about 32c) so I stopped at the Desert Botanical Garden for a walk.  It was nice to be out doors enjoying the garden with hardly anyone else around.  I found these starlings frolicking in one of the fountains.  I used the telephoto lens to capture this so I wouldn't disturb their fun.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Oh what a night.....

I think I might have mentioned before that my best friend David is working for the Fred Duval for Governor campaign.  David asked me to take photographs for an event last night with special guests George Takei and his husband Brad.  That's George and Brad on the left and Fred and his wife Jennifer in the photo above.  What a fantastic evening it was.  George and Brad are the most gracious and engaging gentlemen who spent the evening talking with the guests and posing for numerous photos and making everyone around them feel comfortable and welcome.  Combine that celebrity hospitality with Fred's inspiring message and it was a recipe for a fantastic evening.  It certainly was an evening that I won't forget.  Go Fred!

Today is primary day in Arizona!  Get out and VOTE!

Monday, August 25, 2014


Do you happen to remember this piece of art?  I featured it in a post on July 12, 2011.   At that time it was located in a shady spot at the Desert Botanical Garden where it remained for about six to eight months.  I liked it so much that I took many photos of it and was sad when it was gone.

On Saturday I found it again in the sculpture garden at the Shemer Art Center.  I was so pleased to see it up again.  It was created by Patricia Sannit who was inspired by the Citadel Erbil in Iraq.  You can see a couple of photos I borrowed off of the internet of Erbil in my 2011 post, just click the link above.

When it was on display at the Desert Botanical Garden, it had a rope around it to keep people from getting too close.  Here at the Shemer, you can walk around it and through it and admire all the shapes and textures of the bricks that have constructed it.  I love it!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


The Shemer Art Center was having an open house on Saturday with many of it's art instructors doing demonstrations and talking about the classes they offer.  I stopped by to check it out.  I talked to a few of the artists and found two classes that appeal to me.  If I can work them into my schedule, I'll be signing up.  The visit also gave me an opportunity to see what is new around the center.  I loved this unusual planter with the five vessels hanging over a trough of water.  It's very unique.

And, of course I love the beautiful ceramic totems that are scattered throughout the center's garden.  This one is right by the door.  I have a few more shots form here that I'll be posting next week.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting a city in Italy that isn't on the normal tourist route.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Blinding Luxury

There is a new Mercedes dealership that has just opened up across the street from my hair salon.  When I went to get my hair cut last week, I spotted this rather shiny car in the window so I walked over to check it out.  They told me car has a "wrap" on it.  I did some research and it looks like something done by a company called WrapStyle.  They wouldn't let me in that little display room so I had to shoot through the window which was quite difficult with the sun glare mixed with the glare coming off the car.

I can't imagine driving this in sunny Arizona.  I think I'd need some specially made sunglasses to counter the reflection.

But, now that I think about it, I don't really have anything to worry about.  I couldn't afford the price tag on this car anyway.  Hopefully, I won't encounter too many on the road on a very sunny day.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Yellow Butterfly

A single yellow butterfly caught my eye yesterday afternoon.  I think this one is called a Cloudless Sulphur.  It was busy flying all around this lantana plant hopping from flower to flower.  I wonder if all the rain has made those flowers a little more tasty.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tree trimming

My neighbor had his palm trees trimmed again so once again I took the opportunity to catch a few photos.  I think he hired the same guys again because they climbed the tree exactly the same way, spikes in their shoes and rope around the waist and up they went.  I can tell you for sure, I couldn't do that.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rain, lots of rain

Tuesday morning brought lots of rain to Phoenix and it continued throughout the day.  It was great to see it come down.  The only drawback is that so many valley residents have no idea how to drive in rain.  I saw lots of skidding and sliding that was really unnecessary.  I guess it pays to learn to drive where rain happens quite a lot.

Update:  I heard this morning that some pretty severe flooding happened north of Phoenix.  There was flooding, mudslides, rockslides and Interstate 17 coming into Phoenix had to be closed for a time while the road was cleared.  They got quite a bit more rain than we did in the central part of the city.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

More clouds and a little rain

I left my house Sunday evening around 6:30 to meet some friends for dinner and I discovered some gorgeous clouds building up all around me.  I took this photo just after I left my house.

This was the view from the restaurant parking lot looking east.  Those dark clouds on the horizon turned into some thunder storms that scattered some rain throughout the valley.  I got some where I live but I'm betting other places got even more than the small bit that hit central Phoenix.  When I was driving home, the sky was alive with lightening in every direction and when I woke up at 2:00 AM, I noticed the lightening was still going on and still working in all directions.  It was quite a sky show.

Monday, August 18, 2014

All on the same street

When I was driving around the north side of Phoenix last week, I happened on to a street with some lovely homes all in different styles.  These days, it seems sort of unusual to find so many different looking homes all on the same street.  First this low-slung ranch-style house with the beautifully trimmed yard.

Next, this two story brick house with the big tree in the front.

Then I saw this southwestern modern home with the shade trees and that stunning planter in front.

And, finally this ultra-modern white block shaped house.  All very interesting in their own way.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Neighborhood Vagabond

I call him the neighborhood vagabond because he tends to prowl around the neighborhood making himself at home wherever he goes.  Every now and then I'll pull into my driveway to find him relaxing on my front porch.  Sometimes I see him doing the same at my neighbor's house.  When I go out for a walk, I might see him down the street lounging on someone else's walk.  He does get around.  He's never wanted to come inside.  In fact if I open the door, he packs up and leaves.  Aloof would be a good word to describe him.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm showing a small slice of my summer weekend in California.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


I did some exploring around the Northern parts of Phoenix yesterday when I spotted the big, white monsoon clouds building up in the north.  I pulled over to capture this formation with some palm trees dotting the skyline.  The street I was on is named "Dreamy Draw".  The street was attractive all the way to the end so I guess some might call it 'dreamy'.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Day of the Dead Decoration

I went to dinner with Julie's (Scottsdale Daily Photo) mother Glenda on Wednesday night and we dined at a restaurant that I featured a year ago (you can see it here).  The place is called Distrito and it's the restaurant owned by Iron Chef Jose Garces.  I noticed this wall of Day of the Dead skulls just as you enter the restaurant.  They were  paint different colors and all mounted to a wall with warm glowing lights.

The restaurant is located inside the Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale and as I was leaving I snapped one more shot of this great cluster of light fixtures that grace the hotel lobby.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The work of Allan Houser

I have two more photos today from my recent visit to the Heard Museum.  Both of these sculptures were located in the sculpture garden and both are by the well known Native American sculptor, Allan Houser.  The one above is called "People of the Rio Grande" and it presents the Pueblo people as mysterious and ethereal.

The statue to the left is called "Wind on the Mesa" and it depicts a woman standing on a mesa with her cape blowing in the wind.

I love the sweeping, modern look of both of these statues.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I saw this regal looking fellow in front of a decorator shop not far from my house.  With the late afternoon sun shining on him, he looked even more important and stately.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A little R & R

I just got back from four days of rest and relaxation visiting with my friends Julie & Dave (Scottsdale DP & Tamarindo DP) in Southern California.  We took in art, shopping, sunsets and fine meals and had a great time.  I thought I'd put up a Pacific sunset shot to remind me of a wonderful weekend.  Thanks Julie & Dave!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer swing!

This is one of those scenes that remind me of my childhood.  It just looks so midwestern summer!  If it wasn't in someone's front yard, I would have been tempted to give it a try.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Apache Clowns

While I was at the Heard Museum, I took the opportunity to visit a few other exhibits at the museum. I was happy to see the sculpture garden open with a new selection of sculptures to admire.  This one is called Apache Clowns II by Phillip Haozous.  I liked the way they were reflected in the glass behind them.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Today we take a look inside the Mission Inn in Riverside California.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lego Art

I'm continuing my posts about the Lego Exhibit at the Heard Museum.  This wonderful coyote was created by Steven and Wyatt Yazzie.

He's a very willy character, don't you think?

Another impressive creation was this Native American blanket make of Lego tiles.

The blanket that was used as the model was also there for comparison.

Pretty clever work, I'd say.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Lego Construction

Above is one of the interactive attractions at the Lego Exhibit at the Heard Museum.  Those fancy tire wells were made of Lego blocks and on the other side was a seat and steering wheel so that kids could sit there as if driving that at car.  A perfect photo spot.

I was impressed by these two exhibits.  The top one is called Bicycle Triumphs Traffic created by Sean Kenney.  The one below is called Captain America and it was created by Nathan Sawaya.

I'll show you some more creations tomorrow.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


I made a visit to the Heard Museum on Sunday to see an exhibit that has been popular this summer.  It is called Build and it's all about Lego construction.  The exhibit included a lot of interactive activities designed for the young and the young at heart.  But, there was a lot there for adults to enjoy too!  Over the next few days, I'll show you some of the things I saw there.

These extra large blocks were in the hands of two young boys when I arrived and they had built a large fort around themselves.  After viewing some of the other exhibits, I walked back to see how the fort was coming along and all that was left was this pile of bricks.  The boys must have decided it was just as much fun to take it down as it was to put it up.  Hmmmm....maybe it was even more fun.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Building Materials

When I was at the garden on Sunday morning, I caught this little cactus wren gathering some fibers from this cactus to "feather" his next.  These little birds are very enterprising when it comes to nest building.  They are always on the lookout for the right materials to make that nest just perfect.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bloom'n Cactus

All the rain this weekend helped to cool down the temperatures by quite a lot so on Sunday morning I went for an early morning walk at the Desert Botanical Garden.  I didn't expect to see cactus blooms but one cactus located at the entrance to the garden had an abundance of blooms on it.

It's a very tall and very bumpy cactus called Cereus Hildmannianus. Whoa, that's a mouthful.

If you look at the tallest arms, you will see blooms sprouting out in all directions.

This is a night blooming cactus so when I arrived at 6:00 AM, most of the blooms were still open. You can see the two I have pictured there in the center of the cactus.

When I left the garden around 7:30, you can see that the blooms were almost closed up.  I'm sure that by 9:00, they were looking droopy.

I'm glad I was there early to see these two beauties.

Monday, August 4, 2014

More Rain!

We had some more very welcome rain again on Saturday evening.  I had just arrived at Julie and Dave's (Scottsdale DP & Tamarindo Costa Rica DP) house for our Art Challenge club meeting when is started to come down hard.  I stepped out on the patio to snap a few shots of that lovely rain.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


We had some rain Friday night.  Enough rain to leave puddles around town.

So, early Saturday morning I drove around looking for shots of the cloudy sky and I found some great reflecting puddles too.  We desert dwellers do love a good rain.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I have more photos of the beautiful Mission Inn.