Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!  Don't let the witches get you.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Gangs all Here

When I visited the art museum a couple of weeks ago, I took the opportunity to drive past my old house and see if the neighbors had their large array of Halloween guests out in the yard.  Indeed they did. It looks like that gang has arrived and are once again gracing their host with their presence.

A funny thing happened while I was standing there, the skies were getting rather storming looking when I left the museum and when I arrived here there was a decidedly dark cloud approaching from the south.  While I was standing on the sidewalk taking photos, a huge gust of wind swooped up and blew one of the creepy characters over right onto me.  Fortunately, I was more worried about the branches of the tree slapping me around than these guys but, I did get back in the car and headed out after that incident.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bugs in the Garden

I took the above photo on October 2nd at the Desert Botanical Garden.  I noticed that there was something on the flower besides the butterfly when I took the photo but, I didn't realize it was such a large group of aphids.

I took this picture on October 26th on the very same plant.  I'm sure the garden does not use chemicals to so they either introduced some ladybugs or they used a soap and water solution.  Whatever they did, those aphids are all gone now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pumpkin Carving

Last weekend was the annual pumpkin festival at the Desert Botanical Garden and I missed it.  I had way too many things going on over the weekend and I just didn't have time for a visit.  However, I did go late Monday afternoon for a walk and I saw this pumpkin sitting at the welcome center.  It's starting to get a bit dried out but you can still see that great big grin!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Arabian Horse Show

Between the polo matches last Saturday, members of the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show brought their beautifully dressed horses out on the field so people could see them.

This one was especially gorgeous in it's red and black tack.  His rider is beautifully dressed in a matching Arabian costume.  

This one looked very regal all dressed in green.

And this one looked pretty sharp in true desert colors.  

These horses were all beautifully groomed and looking very proud in their fancy dress.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Luxury Event

The Polo Championships event that I wrote about yesterday was sponsored by Bentley so as you can imagine, there were plenty of luxury cars scattered about the grounds.

In the "tailgating" line I saw this Bentley convertible next to a very shiny Rolls Royce.  

Some people created some very luxurious parties on the sidelines.  This couple came with plates, napkins, roses and a candelabra.  They were dressed pretty spiffy too!

When it was time to stomp on the divots, everyone went out of the field to stomp on those little clumps of sod.  Even in high-heels!

There was even a drone buzzing around overhead recording the events from the air.  
I can't believe I actually caught a photo of it.

Tomorrow I'll show you some of the other things going on at this event.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Polo Championships

Yesterday I went to the 5th Annual Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships and truly enjoyed the event.  My friends Julie and Dave put together a "tailgate" party at the event so we had comfortable seats right next to the playing field.  The fellow above from one of the teams came over to pose for a few photos before his team was due on the field.

I had not been to this event before and the only experience I had with polo was from a few years ago in Argentina when I went to a match down there.  I learned a lot more this time.  See the rider on the white horse above?  That's a woman rider!

She was from the only team of the day with a female player and she was very good.  I was impressed.  What a truly enjoyable event.  The only drawback of the day was with the position of the field.  We were facing south with all those white tents on the other side of the field.  It made taking photos very difficult.  It was almost like shooting right into the sun.
I'll have a couple more posts from the event in the next few days.  The spectators were just as much fun to watch as the horses!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Take a look at a cute little shop in Laguna Beach California.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Decorator's Eye

I stopped at my local nursery yesterday and was struck by this great color combination.  I love that shade of green paired with that black and white print.  However, since all I have is a balcony, I decided not to buy any of them.  I took the photo instead.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Spooky Sightings

I'm seeing more and more decorations out celebrating upcoming Halloween.  It looks like a coven of witches lives here.

Tiny ghosts were spotted hanging from this tree.

And, this little ghost looks bent on scaring the mailman.  

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Medlock Place & North Encanto

Two more Historic Neighborhoods today.  The first is Medlock Place which dates back to 1926 in an area that was dominated by fruit orchards, fields and farm houses.  This area has lots of tall trees and large sweeping yards.

The second neighborhood is North Encanto, an area that contains a large concentration of Transitional/Early Ranch Style homes.  It dates back to 1939 and was laid out in a circular pattern which was a big departure from the grid layout that Phoenix was built on.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Zodiac Heads

While I was at the Phoenix Art Museum, I took the opportunity to view the Circle of Animals, Ai Weiwei's zodiac heads in gold.  The really are a dramatic group of sculptures.

I thought the Ox was particularly attractive.

But, since I was born in the year of the dog, I had to get a photo of the happy looking canine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Prize Winner

I thought I'd show you a First Place prize winner in the Arts and Flowers show at the Phoenix Art Museum.  This won first place for Best Floral Interpretation.  Now let's take a look at the painting.

And here it is!  It's called "Lake House" by Kevin Appel dated 2002.  It's an interesting painting that a photograph won't do justice because of the subtleties of the color white and the textures that are finely painted into it.  Those patches that appear brighter in the photo above have a wood grain that has been painted into it.  At first I thought it was painted on wood but no, it's painted on canvas so that look of painted wood had to be done by hand.

The floral arrangement is as simple and yet as complex as the painting.  It was created by Thomas Hoyle of White House Design Studios.  White House is one of the most creative florists in Phoenix.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Story in Paint


Today I'm going back to the Phoenix Art Museum for another Arts and Flowers entry.  This one was one of my favorites and it might be because of the colors and that the painting it represents is one of my favorite paintings.

The painting is called "Story in Paint" and it's dated 1935 by Aline Meyer Liebman.  Liebman was born in Los Angeles and studied at Barnard College.  The flower arrangement is really more of a construction than a full blown floral piece but I do think it mimics the painting beautifully.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Opera Night

Friday night was the opening night for the opera season and the American premier of the opera "Arizona Lady".  I told you a bit about it earlier this month when I got the opportunity to visit the home of the Arizona Opera Company.  You can see that post here.
My friend David is a patron of the opera company and he treated me to both the tour two weeks ago and the show Friday night.  Thank you David!  I loved it.

It really helped to get the story behind the opera's composer and his time spent in the United States during World War II.  Knowing that history helped me to see the humor and love that went into creating such a fun opera.  It was billed as his love letter to Arizona and that it was.  Two or three times I wanted to sing along to big Arizona ballad.  Luckily for everyone around me, I didn't.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Take a peek inside (and out) of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Artist's Meal

It's the annual Arts and Flowers event at the Phoenix Art Museum this weekend so I visited yesterday at the very start of the show to catch the flowers nice and fresh.  And, I may go back again tomorrow because they didn't yet have all the signs out identifying the people who arranged the flowers.  However, I will show you this one that I really liked.  The art work is an installation called "La Comida del artista" or The Artist's Meal.  I've seen this piece many times before.  The artist is Victor Grippo who was a pioneer of conceptual art in Argentina in the 1970's.  The doorway represents a threshold into another world and each plate of food symbolizes change.  The floral arrangement is sitting in the background to the left.

Here is a closer view of the arrangement.  It's like a tiny room with a floor made of white flowers and curtains held back with orchids.

There is something about imagining a room completely covered in flowers that really appeals to me.  Wouldn't it be fun to sit down at that table and soak in the wonderful floral fragrance?

Friday, October 16, 2015


It all started here with a camera just like this.  This Kodak Brownie was exactly like my very first camera.  Oh the fun I had with that camera.  I saw this one sitting on a display at the Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale.  It sure brought back memories for me.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Road Warrior??

I was sitting next to this truck at a traffic light when I noticed those wheels!  It looks like something out of a James Bond movie don't you think?  I was happy when the light changed so I could zoom away from him before he could press a button and fired them at me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Call the Exterminator!

I don't know about you but, if I lived here I'd be calling the exterminator pronto!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My Favorite Phoenix Bird

My favorite depiction of the Phoenix Bird is this one that stands at the entrance to the Town and Country Shopping Center.  This shopping center is one of the city's oldest with brick sidewalks and a "country" feel.  However is has undergone some modernizing lately.  Luckily the quaint core of the center is still in tact with newer building around the outside.  This Phoenix bird is constructed of steel and stained glass.  I'm always watching for the sun to light up those colorful wings but so far I've not caught it at the right time.  This photo, taken on a dull day shows the colors of the glass the best I've seen.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Los Olivas and Margarita Place

The Los Olivas historic neighborhood was established in 1906 by Dwight B Heard, the founder of the  now world famous Heard Museum.  This neighborhood in fact is located around that museum area.  When the homes here were built, the area was promoted as one of the most prestigious residential locations in Phoenix.  I think the one above is my favorite house in this neighborhood.

As you can see, the houses in Los Olivas are large with beautiful facades.  These homes would look perfect in any number of cities across the country.

The original owner of the property now known as Margarita Place auctioned off subdivided lots in 1924 and gave the neighborhood it's name.  By 1936 only four homes had been built in the area but, the effects of the FHA became apparent when ten more houses were built in 1942.

Most of the homes in this area were dubbed "transitional ranch" style.  Whatever the style is called, they are still lovely looking homes today.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


I saw this display in a shop window and it brought back all kinds of memories.  My mother was a fantastic seamstress who made lots a beautiful clothes for me and my sisters.  When I was quite little, I remember seeing a sewing machine very similar to this around the house however, my clearer memories were of a much more modern sewing machine.  I learned words like "bobbin", "throat plate" and "spool pin" watching her sew.

Mother made it look so easy.  Cutting out a pattern and sewing the pieces together to form a classy looking dress or blouse.  Sometime around the age of 25, I thought I could do that too.  I bought a sewing machine and gave it a try.  I quickly learned that I did not have the patience or the talent of my wonderful mother.  I wonder what I did with that sewing machine.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Explore the variety of Italian grocery stores.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Contemplating Lunch

This little collared lizard is looking very longingly at the bee up in the left corner of the photo.  I think he might be wondering if it would make a tasty lunch.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Friendly Wave

I thought I'd give you an update on that little hummingbird I spotted a week ago.  Apparently it has decided that the shrub I saw him sitting in is a favorite spot because I see him there almost every day now.  I stopped to take some more pictures of him and he gave me this friendly little wave of his wing.  Wasn't that nice?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Across the Street

Across the street from the sad looking house I showed you yesterday is this very nice modern home.  Most of the front windows on this place are made of those glass blocks so I'm guessing that all the big windows face the back.  That's probably a good thing in this case.  If it had big windows in front it would have to view that dying house.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Going to waste...

I posted the above photo on February 25, 2011 to show this ranch style house with the wonderful flowering pear trees in the front.  I mentioned that the house was for sale and you can see the sign post on the right side of the photo.

I drove by the house over the weekend was shocked to see it sitting empty with all three of those lovely pear trees dead and that lush green lawn completely gone.  I have no idea what happened at this place but it's certainly sad to see a house just waste away.  I could see straight through the window so I know it's currently empty but there is no "For Sale" sign on the property at this time.  It's located in a very nice upscale neighborhood on a highly visible corner lot so I imagine that the neighbors find this as distressing as I do.  What a shame.