Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dinner with Friends

Last Saturday, I spent a wonderful evening with my good friends Julie and Dave at their new house.  They are still doing quite a bit of work to the house, but Dave's favorite room, the wine cellar is ready to enjoy.  And so we did!  We had wine and light bites in the wine cellar and to adjust to the cooler air in this temperature controlled room, we donned sweaters and jackets that Dave has carefully stored in the room for such occasions.

In addition to their collection of wines, Julie and Dave have added some artifacts and books to the room, many of them souvenirs from their extensive travels.

We didn't spend the entire time in the cellar though.  We did enjoy the sunset on the patio and watched as the sun turned Camelback Mountain red in the evening glow.

After watching the sunset, I whipped up a pasta dish for our dinner.  I love to cook and Julie's large kitchen is a pleasure to work in.

By the way, Julie and Dave said they should have enough work done on the house by July to have time to begin posting to their blogs again.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Today I'm contemplating some future space travel.   

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Spring means Lavender!

Is it just me or is there and awful lot of lavender showing up in blooms this time of year?  Maybe it's because lavender and purple are my favorite colors that I'm just drawn to so many of them.  I did several collages of all the lavender blooms I've seen this spring.  Here are two of them!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Tagged Monarch

One of the times I was at the garden this last weekend, I spotted this monarch butterfly  and started taking photos of it.  That's when I noticed it had some sort of tag on it.  The message gave an email address so I emailed a photo of the butterfly and stated that I had seen it.  I was thinking that it was some sort of monarch tracking.  I got a return email on Tuesday and found out that there was a study done at the Desert Botanical Garden with some monarch butterflies and this was one of them.  They didn't say anything more about the study so I have no idea what they were looking for.  I would guess it was something about their migration.  So, the only thing I can conclude is that if the study was recent, this little guy hasn't strayed very far.  If the study was a while ago, maybe this guy has come back.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Springtime Downtown

It's still spring in Phoenix and I'm enjoying seeing the palo verde blooms all around town.  There are quite a few palo verde trees lining the streets downtown which makes a good opportunity to take another shot of a high-rise building through the branches of a blooming tree.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Big Payoff

Four years ago, I discovered the most gorgeous red cactus bloom I had ever seen and every spring for the past four years, I've watched that cactus carefully for it to bloom again.  I've missed it every time. On Sunday when I walked at the garden I noticed buds on the cactus, the first sign I'd seen in four years that it was going to bloom.  I went back on Monday to see the blooms but, they still hadn't opened. They were closer to blooming because I could see streaks of bright red peeking through the bud.  So, on Tuesday morning I took some time off from work and headed back to the garden and was rewarded with three gorgeous blooms.

Here is a view of the cactus with all three blooms.  It is some variety of Echinopsis but, it's much larger than the more common "red torch" and the blooms are much bigger.

I'm so glad I made the effort to go back again.  I checked the date on those photos four years ago and they were taken on May 29th.  So now I know that this one blooms at the end of May.  I'll mark my 2016 calendar to start looking for them in late May.  You can see my post from four years ago on this link.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Remodeling the Castle

Way back in August of 2008 I did a post about the Copenhaver Castle on Camelback Mountain.  You can see it here. I guess the castle sold recently and now it appears to be undergoing some major renovations.  In fact, It looks like all that is standing are the outside walls.  I'll have to keep my eye on it and see what is done to this very distinctive home.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day here in the United States so I'm featuring this Vietnam Memorial located in the plaza near the state capitol.  It was created by Jasper d'Ambrosi in 1985 and is titled "The Fallen Warrior".  It sits on it's own platform in the park and it appears someone has added the American flag to it especially for the holiday.

A map of Vietnam is embedded in the platform pavement near the memorial.

I hope all of my American readers are enjoying the Memorial Day holiday.  We are having perfect weather for many outdoor activities.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

There is more blooming going on...

I thought all the palo verde trees were done blooming but I was wrong.  I've seen quite a lot of gorgeous yellow trees in all parts of the city.  I found this one in Paradise Valley around the corner from those purple shrubs I posted yesterday.

They certainly have the look of spring time to them.  You can even see a glimpse of another one of those Texas Sage shrubs in the background of this shot.  That one hasn't been trimmed into a shape like the ones I featured yesterday.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm continuing the Santa Fe story with a feature on the art that can be found in that city.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


I saw these Texas sage bushes along the side of a street in Paradise Valley and I had to stop to get a photo or two.  These are just green shrubs most of the year but at this time of year they break out in color.

I thought these bushes had an exceptional amount of blooms resulting in almost a carpet of purple/lavender blooms.  It really is my favorite color so drew me in right away.

Friday, May 22, 2015


I discovered this "saucy" lady on the side of an Italian restaurant back in my old neighborhood the other day.  She must be new.  I haven't sen her before.  Looks like the old neighborhood joint is spicing things up!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Not that White House....

It is a White House, it's just not that White House.  I found this place while walking around in old town Scottsdale.  It wasn't open or I would have gone in.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Downtown Phoenix

I took this photo of some of our downtown high-rise buildings from a different point of view than most skyline photos.  The building on the left is the Federal Courthouse.  U.S. Bank is in the center and the Orpheum Lofts building is the shorter one.  The lofts building was once an office building where I worked for several years.  I featured it in a post a few years ago here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Garden Sightings

In spite of the rain this last weekend, I did manage to get a walk at the garden squeezed in and I'm very glad I did.  There was lots to see (and photograph) like this gorgeous pink cactus bloom.  Isn't that a beauty?

These tiny baby quail were following along behind their mother but every now and then they would straggle behind.  They are such cute little fuzzy creatures.  Don't you think that one in the middle has awfully big feet?

This cactus created its own bouquet of gorgeous blooms.  What an amazing sight to see all these blooms on one cactus.  There was a lot to enjoy before the rain started.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Interesting Weather

On Friday, a weather front came roaring through the Phoenix area with thunder storms and lots of rain.  The photo above was taken early in the morning when the front was moving in but, you can see that grey tint in the sky.  It started to rain around 1:00 PM and rained most of the day after that.

On Saturday there was no more rain but we were left with those big puffy white clouds that I like so much.

By late afternoon, the clouds were thinning out as they made their way eastward toward New Mexico.  I do love seeing the skies full of these gorgeous big clouds.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Santa Fe Style

On my walk around the Scottsdale Old Town area a few weeks ago I found this wonderful Pueblo style building  sitting on a side street.  It reminded me of Santa Fe New Mexico where everything is this style.

The building which houses a health and wellness group, looks good from every angle with it's wonderful styling and desert landscaping.

But if you are a purest, and would like to see this style in it's proper environment, flip over to my travel site Sharon's Sojourns and you will see true Santa Fe style in it's element.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

More Mid-Century Modern

Across the street from yesterday's mid-century modern apartment complex are two more built in that same era.  The one above is called Granada and it has that long sweeping walkway that takes you up to the second floor with a three tiered fountain just behind the walk.

The one above is more low-slung with a squared off design.  It's called "Dayo".  I'm guessing that comes from that old Harry Belafonte song.

Just down the street from all three of the housing complexes, I saw this old VW bug!  It seemed to fit right in to the surroundings.  Is that a kangaroo decal I see on the back window?  And I do believe that steering wheel is on the right-hand side of the car.  I think this VW came all the way from Australia!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mid-Century Modern in Scottsdale

When I was walking around in Scottsdale two weeks ago, I came across a street lined with mid-century modern apartment complexes.  At least they were apartments at one time.  Now they all seem to be condos and many of them are listed on the short-term rental market.  That makes sense, their location couldn't be better.  Within walking distance of galleries, restaurants, night clubs and shops.  I liked the way this one had the cutouts for the palm trees to grow right up through the roof.

The place definitely has the mid-century modern look to it.  I'll show you a couple of the other complexes in a future post.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Phoenix Bird

Phoenix Daily Photo has hit a bit of milestone today.  This is the 2500th post!

I thought I'd celebrate the occasion with one of the many iconic Phoenix Bird depictions that I see around town.  I really should do a series on these various statues.  There are quite a few to be found in our fair city.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sparkly Sparkles

I was probably the only person in the ballroom at the Phoenician Resort who was looking straight up at the ceiling most of the time.  I loved seeing the sparkly chandeliers hanging over the area.

The are designed like giant flowers with sparkly petals and they sure had me intrigued.  So, of course, I whipped out my camera and took a couple of shots.  I'm sure there were one or two people who saw me and thought I was a bit whacky but, that sort of thing doesn't bother me at all.  In fact, it's kind of fun doing the odd thing in a crowd of people don't you think?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Diamond Bloom

I discovered a new sculpture in Scottsdale located in front of the new Scottsdale Museum of the West.  It's called "Diamond Bloom" by Curtis Pittman.

The description for the piece says:

"Delicately emerging from the landscape Diamond Bloom serves as an icon marking the southern edge of Scottsdale's arts district.  Reminiscent of a cactus flower, the sculpture's radiant changing qualities of light shadow and color contribute to its dynamic botanical form."

I'm not sure it reminds me of a cactus flower but, I do like it's form.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Weekend full of flowers

I saw so many gorgeous bouquets of flowers leaving the stores over the weekend that I had to get some for myself.  I chose these yellow roses with the burgundy lilies to dress up my dining room table.

Sunday morning when I took my walk at the Desert Botanical Garden, there were still a few cactus showing off with their gorgeous blooms.  Cactus bloom are so beautiful that it seems a shame that they can't be taken home with you.

I also spotted a lot of Queen Butterflies out and about.  These two have decided to share the taste of this shaggy lavender flower.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Two Great Dogs

I'd like you to meet Barolo and.....


Last week I did some dog-sitting for a good friend's two dogs while he was out of town.  Barolo and Thomas are two great dogs who were both rescued from a shelter and have found a wonderful home with my friend James.  Barolo has the energy of a puppy.  Always running and playing and Thomas is very content to have his tummy rubbed.  They are truly great companions.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I've continued the tour of the La Posada Hotel featuring the art of two of it's owners.  

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Poppies in the garden

Everywhere I look, poppies are showing up in gardens.  Not public gardens but, private gardens.  20 years ago, I never saw these flowers in gardens but, the last few years they are everywhere.  I saw these when I was walking around in Scottsdale last Sunday.  They really are a "happy" flower.  they make you smile.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Ultra-Modern work and home space

Three or four years ago, I toured this place when it was part of a open house home tour for a local charity.  It had an interesting layout with a work space on the lower level and residence on the two upper floors.  There is quite a lot of glass with views in every direction.    Right now, it's sitting here on this Scottsdale corner completely empty.  There isn't a for sale sign anywhere but, I'm guessing it is for sale.

It's neighbor house is this modest and well tended brick bungalow making quite a contrast between the two properties.  Both are located in the old town Scottsdale area so I'd say they are both on some prime property.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The artist at work..

Look who I found working on a painting in front of a Scottsdale art gallery.  He's a little "bronzed" but he has been sitting in the Arizona sun for a little while.  :-)

I like this sculpted depiction of Monet at work!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

"Tour de Tavern"

There are all kinds of modes of transportation in downtown Scottsdale.  You can ride a stage coach, or a horse and buggy; there are trolly-like buses and of course real buses.  But, this mode of transportation is all about partying.  It's a people-powered moving bar operated by a company called "Tour de Tavern". You get a large group of people together, hire the service for an hour or two and the guide will drive you to several bars.  The driver/guide, of course does not drink.  The guests all sit at the center bar but, they have bicycle pedals at their feet and they pedal to power the "bar".  I spotted this group Sunday morning.  What do you think?  Does this sound like fun to you?