Saturday, February 28, 2015


I'm not a fan of Direct TV but I do enjoy seeing blimps fly over so when I saw this one practically over the top of me, I had to take a shot.

Then I extended the telephoto to see if I could see the pilots inside but, alas, not the right angle.  Such a tiny little space with all that  huge space above.  

Friday, February 27, 2015

Scottdale Canal Convergence

I was in Scottsdale early yesterday evening and I spotted these birds flying over the canal.  That's when I remembered the Canal Convergence Spring Equinox celebration that will be going on from now until the end of March.  The celebration features all kinds of art on display along with craft vendors and nightly entertainment all situated along the waterfront walk that follows the canal.

In this shot you see how the birds were hung so that they are flying right over the Paolo Soleri bridge that spans the canal.

They made a very pretty sight especially with the setting sun behind them.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Look to the skies

We had some welcome rain on Monday and Tuesday and that always leaves us with some interesting clouds to look at.  On Monday they were swirling and churning all day long but, on Tuesday they started to break up into colorful patches like the photo above.  I do love seeing the cloud activity here in the desert.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wookees and Jedi Knights

It was Star Wars night at the Phoenix Suns game Monday evening and the gang was all there to celebrate.  Chewbacca was on hand as was Han Solo and Princess Leia.

Of course, Darth Vader was there to cross lightsabers with Yoda.

An abundance of Stormtroopers were seen everywhere in the arena.

And quite a few aliens were roaming about the arena too.  

Oh wait a second, that's not an alien it's just a Boston fan!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Allan Houser Sculptures

I found three Allan Houser sculptures at the Hermosa Inn on Saturday that were new to the resort.  It looks like their collection changes often.  Some of the ones I've seen before are still there and some are gone with new ones in their place.  It appears their collection of sculptures are on loan from Figarelli Fine Art in Scottsdale so I imagine when one is sold, they bring another one.  The one above is titled "Buffalo Dance Relief".

The one to the left is titled "Smoke Signal".

My favorite one was this one to the right.  It's called "Ready to Dance".  When I traveled for work with a team of people, my nickname became Dancing Queen so maybe that's why it struck a chord with me.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Resort Colors

My friend Janet and I had our annual spring lunch at the Hermosa Inn on Saturday, dining in the garden.  After lunch we walked around the beautiful grounds.

The flowers were gorgeous as usual making the place look stunning on a wonderfully warm day.

While we were there, the chefs came out with this giant hunk of meat and arranged it over the open fire.  It made me wonder if there was going to be a special patio dinner party with a western bar-b-que flare that evening.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Shades of Purple

While I was at the garden on Friday to see the Turning Wood exhibit I featured yesterday, of course I walked around to see what was blooming.  I was surprised to see so much popping out.  What surprised me even more was that almost everything blooming was in shades of purple, lavender and pink.  It was a beautiful combination.  I ended up taking around 200 shots!  I made the little collage above to give you an idea of the "shades of purple" show I saw.

I have a new  post on Sharon's Sojourns.  This time I'm visiting a different St. Louis Cathedral.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Arizona Indigenous - New Turned Wood

Yesterday I went to see an exhibit at the Desert Botanical garden of turned wood objects all made from wood native to Arizona.  I think the above piece was my favorite of all the pieces I saw.  It and the two to the left are made of saguaro cactus ribs.  It's formed by a technique developed by the artists Philip and Matt Moulthrop.  The pieces of the cactus are formed together in sections that are adhered together with poured epoxy.  Once the epoxy is dry, the piece is turned in the traditional woodturning manner.

The piece above is made from palo verde wood.  I really liked the patterns in the wood piece.

It wasn't a large show but, the pieces are quite beautiful.  There is even an excellent video describing how the pieces are made. There is also a book that shows other wooden art pieces that the pair have created.  You can see some of their wonderful work by clicking the link above.  If you are close, the show runs through May 3rd.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five Presidents - in a row

I took this photo of these tall buildings in a row in downtown Phoenix a couple of weeks ago but, I was actually downtown last night to see a play, the world premier of a play called "Five Presidents" written by Rick Cleveland.  It was a very entertaining look at what might have gone on in the private room where Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter waited when they attended the funeral of Richard Nixon.  The writer said he first got the idea to write the play when he was working on the television show "The West Wing" and he saw a photo of the five presidents at the funeral.  He got to thinking about what they might have said to each other when they were alone together.  The five actors chosen to play the roles did a great job of making each personality come to life.  If the play makes it to your town, check it out.  I think everyone would enjoy it.

P.S.  For those of you who saw yesterday's post, I had a prosciutto pizza for dinner before the play.  Prosciutto and goes together.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Procsciutto and happiness

This sign was hanging on the wall in a downtown restaurant and I didn't pay much attention to it until I was about to leave.  Then I noticed the funny twist on words.  A very clever American twist on a very Italian product.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

An unusual sighting

As I was getting out of my car in a shopping center parking lot, I saw something moving in the car next to me but no one was in the car and it was locked up.  What I saw was this little flower pot sitting on the dash and those leaves were slowly moving up and down as though they were waving at me.  I thought it was so strange that I decided to shoot through the car window to get a photo of it.  Have you seen anything like this before.  I'm not much for car trinkets but, I am curious to know if this thing has a purpose.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Elegant Dinner Party

My good friend David had another one of his very elegant dinner parties last Saturday night.  He served a seven course meal for eight people and each course was truly delicious.  Once again he got out the good china, silver and crystal and set a beautifully elegant dinner table.

Here is the dinner menu:

Amuse Bouche - caviar and creme fraiche on a nut and berry cracker paired with Champagne
Seafood - Lobster, crab and shrimp cocktail paired with a French Rose
Soup - Rustic garlic soup paired with a Napa Valley Fume Blanc
Grapefruit sorbet
Entree - chicken breast stuffed with pistachio, parsley and bread crumbs and covered with an apricot, mango and ginger sherry sauce.  Served with lemon-scented saffron rice and steamed asparagus drizzled with balsamic reduction; paired with a Spanish Granacha 
Salad - Baby kale in a blood orange, jalapeƱo, white wine vinaigrette sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and cashews, paired with Sonoma Pinot Noir
Dessert - Fresh strawberries topped with Grand Marnier sauce, paired with an Italian Moscato, or 20 year-old Port and coffee service.  And, Julia Baker chocolates.

It was all extremely delicious and presented artfully.  David is truly the master of the elegant dinner party.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Birds

I had a little Alfred Hitchcock flash back when I pulled in to my local grocery store a few days ago.  There was certainly a large gathering of birds going on right by the entrance.  I took my chances and went in anyway!  I hope they weren't plotting some nefarious crime.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Red Rose

I just wanted to follow up that "prickly" heart from yesterday with a soft red rose.  This one was growing at the botanical garden and it's labeled a cherry bomb rose.  I think it lives up to it's name.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm remembering a trip to New Orleans.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

Even the prickly pear cactus find room for a little romance today!

I love it when I find heart shapes in nature!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Friday

Is anyone happy it's Friday besides me?  I thought I'd post this cheerful African daisy to help put smiles on faces.  It's been a busy week and I'm ready to kick back and relax.

P.S. I took this photo exactly across the street from the little free library I posted yesterday!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Free Library

I finally found one of those Little Free Libraries.  I've seen photos of them posted on other sites but never saw one in Phoenix until this last weekend.  I found this one in one of our historic neighborhoods.  I'm glad to know it's alive and well in my town.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ride the Grid

Phoenix has a new bike ride share program with 500 bikes located in 50 locations.  This system works with a mobile application.  You use the app to reserve a bike, enter the PIN you are given to unlock the bike and away you go.  You can even stop somewhere to shop or have a meal by placing the bike in Hold status and locking it to any bike rack.  When you are finished, return it to any of the GRID bike racks to lock it in place.  The fares are $5.00 per hour or you have the option to subscribe for $30 per month or $79 per year (students, $59 per year).

You can tell from the top photo that the service has already caught on.  Many of the bikes in that rack were in use when I took the photo.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bloom'n Gorgeous

There may not have been anything blooming at the Japanese Garden on Sunday but all around town, the flowering pear trees are in full swing with their explosion of white flowers.

And the bees are just loving the huge selection of blooms available to them for tasting.

I stopped to photograph this group of trees on the campus of the Camelback Bible Church near where I live.  They have a beautiful little courtyard with several of these trees scattered around.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dress-up Day

I went to the Japanese Friendship Garden yesterday to take a walk around and I spotted this group of young ladies feeding the koi.

I have no idea why they were dressed this way.  I was going to ask but, they kind of isolated themselves in one spot and were busy conversing with each other.

I only spotted one flower blooming at the garden so it was good thing these young ladies were there.  If they hadn't been, there wouldn't be much to take photos of this time.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Art with moving parts

While I was in east valley on Friday, I stopped at an office complex in the city of Mesa and found this whimsical art piece that moves with the wind.

If I worked here, I'd be out here several times a day to watch it move and change shapes.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourn day and it's all about Florence Italy.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

What's good for the goose....

I drove out to Gilbert yesterday to visit the Riparian Preserve at Water Park.  I hadn't been there in over a year so I thought I'd see what kind of birds I could spot out there.  We are experiencing some unusually warm weather for this time of year so it was a bit of hot walk (83f/23c) and the place was packed with people so the wildlife weren't very cooperative.  Well, except for this goose.  He was not the least bit camera shy.

And, these two were quite happy to swim around in front of my camera.

I did get a rather good shot of this black necked stilt who was prodding around in the water for bits to eat.  The Riparian park wasn't my only stop in the east valley.  I'll show you some more photos from other stops in a future post. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

In need of a little TLC

I found this house in one of the historic neighborhoods that is undergoing a little gentrification.  I'm hoping that someone has bought this place and is going to refurbish it to its original glory.  It's a cute little bungalow that has a good potential.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Apache Cradleboard

Another wonderful Allan Houser sculpture at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.  This one is called "Apache Cradleboard".  Cradleboards were used by generations of Apache women to hold their babies and the sweeping of the mother's wrap around the baby conveys the parental protection between mother and child.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Different ways to relax

There are all kinds of ways to relax during an Arizona winter.  You might play a round of golf on one of the many golf courses.

Or maybe you'd like to take an outdoor yoga class on the lawn at Biltmore Fashion Park.  I bet I know which activity a few of my readers will choose.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fog in the garden

After I drove around the city in the fog on Sunday morning, I headed to the Desert Botanical Garden to see how all those cactus look shrouded in fog.  I found the very big Cardon cactus standing tall with birds perched on each tower.  The birds seem to be dismayed by the wall of white surrounding them.

The Chihuly glass towers were looking equally misty with the fog surrounding them.  I had a pleasant walk around the garden but by the time I went home, my hair was wet enough to have to be blown dry.