Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Single Daffodil

I took a walk at the Japanese Friendship Garden this last weekend.  I hadn't been there in a long time. I thought I'd see if anything was blooming yet.  All I saw was one single daffodil.

There was one little grape hyacinth plant outside the office door, so that and the daffodil were the only things showing any color.

Well, except for a few mallards.  They were sporting their famous shiny green.

Monday, February 27, 2017

African Daisy Season

It's African Daisy season in Phoenix and these perennials are popping up everywhere.  Many people have them in or around their yards and there a few place along roadways where they pop up and brighten the landscape for a few weeks.  I found this group growing in that space between the sidewalk and the street in a residential area.

I decided to try a shot from below looking up.

Odd man out!  I'm not sure where this white one came from.  African Daisies are always yellow and orange.

These beauties are a sign that desert wildflowers are on the way!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday is Dog Day

This billboard makes me smile every time I see it.  It's a billboard advertising dog friendly home games every Sunday during baseball season.  Something tells me that they don't get their own seats but, it's still fun to think about taking your dog to a baseball game.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  The British Museum is featured, inside and out.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Day View, Night View

A perfectly trimmed palm tree makes a great pattern against a blue sky when you shoot straight up from the base of the tree.

If there is enough street light, you can do the same thing against a night sky.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Bola Ties

Yesterday I had a post about a gate that was created by two artists.  One of those artists, Michael Maglich also created another art project located in downtown Phoenix.  It's a series of plaques depicting Bola Ties, called Arizona Bolas.

This one is called High Heel Bola.

Since the Bola Tie is the official neck ware of Arizona (really, we have an official neck ware), Maglich created a series of 59 bola tie plaques as part of the art project for the Phoenix Convention Center.

This one is named Roller Bola.  Those are the rollers you see on chairs and carts.

Each tie represents either an industry that might be found at the convention center or something from Arizona history or our flora and fauna.

This one is Brush Bola.

Here is one of my favorites, Corkscrew Bola.

These all used to be displayed around the Convention Center and now they have been split between the center and a light rail stop nearby.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hidden Away

On the back side of the Phoenix Convention Center is a little seen work of art called the Hohokam Camshaft Gates.  Back in 1994, the city of Phoenix commissioned two artists, Robert Adams and Michael Maglich to create a set of gates for loading area of the convention center.  With a nod to the trucking industry, they designed the spindles on the gate to look like the camshaft of a diesel truck and in honor of the native Americans who were the first urban dwellers of Phoenix, they added the masks on the top of the gate.

The masks were sculpted by C. Matt Thomas and are based on prehistoric figurines crafted by the Hohokam Indians.

It really is a fun piece of art that people seldom see since it's located on the back side of the convention center.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

French Bistro

I've mentioned Vincent Restaurant before with photos of the outside of the main restaurant.  There is another side to Vincent, a more casual place called Vincent Market Bistro.  It's located right behind the main restaurant.  I've gone there often for lunch but, I hadn't been in months so I went recently and enjoyed it once again.

The main restaurant is a fine dining French restaurant.  I've eaten there several times on special occasions like birthday celebrations.  The bistro is smaller and serves classic bistro food at a fixed price for lunch.

The decor in the bistro is truly authentic French bistro.  You really can picture yourself sitting in a tiny cafe somewhere in France.

The lunch includes delicious croissants with homemade strawberry preserves, the lunch entree of your choice and a surprise dessert.  On the day I was there, the surprise dessert was a classic French apple tart.  Delicious!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Commercial Art

I've been wanting to get a photo of this art piece that sits on a very busy corner in downtown Phoenix for ages but, it's in an awkward spot.  There is no nearby, short-term parking, it's a good distance from the common pedestrian part of downtown and the intersection is very busy all the time.  Over the weekend I found myself the first in line at the traffic light so I took my shot.  I had to contend with the heavy traffic but this one turned out with the cars spaced just right.  I don't know who the artist is but, it's been at this location for many years.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Pretty Lady

There is a temporary park set up on a vacant lot near downtown Phoenix and this mural has shown up on the wall at the park.  I'm sure one day, someone will build something on this lot but for now it's set up with a picnic table and this covered shelter.  The mural is by Gennaro Garcia.  I like it!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Stormy Weather

Have you heard about all the rain they are getting in California?  Well a little of it has made it's way over here to the desert.  Not quite as much rain as the coast (yet) but, it was certainly a dull and drippy day yesterday.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's Laundry day in Italy.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Celebrity Chef Sighting

Last Saturday night, I joined some friends to try out a brand new restaurant in Phoenix called Mora Italian.  It's a new restaurant created by celebrity chef Scott Conant, a well known New York restaurateur and one of the judges on the Food Network television show "Chopped".

And, the chef himself was in the house supervising the kitchen staff and overseeing the very crowded dining room.

I had the spaghetti pomodoro which was delicious.  I think everyone at the table tried something different and everyone of us were very pleased with our choices.  I'll be back.

Friday, February 17, 2017

More Art

To wrap up my series from the Celebration of Fine Arts, I have two more art pieces that caught my eye.  Above we have a piece by artist Delmar Pettigrew.  It's an American flag created with flattened soda and beer cans.  What could be more American than that?  Delmar is a painter and sculptor.

I really enjoyed this painting by Pete Tillack called "Bull Market".  I really enjoy looking at Pete's work.  He does gorgeous paintings full of symbolism and expression.  Click his link to get a better looks at some of his works.

You can also click on this link for more about the Celebration of Fine Arts in Scottsdale.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Gedion Nyanhongo

Another artist I visited with at the Celebration of Fine Art is Gedion Nyanhongo.  Gedion lives in Phoenix but, he was born in Zimbabwe.  He creates sculptures in a variety of colorful stones.  I featured posts about Gedion and his work before here and here.

If you click on Gedion's link above, you will see more photos of his beautiful work.

I'm always happy to see Gedion's work around the city and I'm thrilled to see him at work every year at this event.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

More Fine Art

When I was at the Celebration of Fine Art last Friday, I enjoyed meeting Terrell Powell and seeing his whimsical art works.  This colorful tower of birds made me smile.

Terrell told me about a project he's hosting to create colorful benches to be placed in children's hospitals or doctors offices.  It's called the Children's Art Bench Project.

Terrell's art pieces are sure to put a smile on everyone's face.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day

Nothing says Valentines Day like a bunch of roses!  Well, maybe a box of chocolates would also say it.  

So I'll add a photo of some very pretty chocolates that I brought back from my trip to London last fall.  Sadly, they are all gone now.  Roses and chocolates....it all says Happy Valentines Day.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Celebration of Fine Art

Every year around this time I visit the Celebration of Fine Art, the art event that takes place every year between mid-January through March.  It's now in its 27th year.  There are 100 artists from all over the country who gather here to work and sell their art.  And, every year I stop to visit with Sue Averell at her booth at the event.  I first met Sue many years ago at an art event in San Francisco and I've been admiring her work ever since.  She specializes in urban landscape and botanical paintings.  I was astounded by this huge piece she has completed recently.  It has so many elements to it combining painting and sculpture.  I love it!  Click the link above to visit Sue's web site.  You will see more of her work there.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Winter Blooms

Every year when I see these flowering pear trees start to bloom, I think it's way to early for them but, a quick look through my past photos reveals that it's right on time.  In fact, some of my past shots were taken  in late January.

I'm always looking up into these beautiful trees when I take these photos but, this time I was looking down.  I found a tree growing in a courtyard setting so I shot these images from above the tree.

These little white blooms are pretty from any angle.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  If you like beautiful patterns, be sure to check it out.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Bees and The Flowers

The bees seem to love these tiny purple flowers.  They were all congregating around this plant at the Desert Botanical Garden when I was there last weekend.

Since the plant was hanging over the side of a wall, it put the flowers right at eye level so I could zoom in on these busy little creatures.

I hope they enjoy these blooms while they last.  If I remember correctly, this plant blooms early in the season and then is mostly green the rest of the year.

I love the way the garden has used the flowers around the edge of this 6 foot high planter.  It gave me a sort of sweeping view looking up at the tall cactus growing above me.

Friday, February 10, 2017


The shadows of this tree against a white wall was suddenly very appealing to me so I took a few shots.  I was standing in a parking lot at the time.

I can't decide which I like better, the one with the top of the wall showing or the one where I've zoomed in a little to show only the tree, the wall and the shadows.  What do you think?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Aloe Blooms

When I was at the Desert Botanical Garden last weekend, I saw a lot of aloe plants showing off their abundance of blooms.  I love how there is such a variety of blooms to see.

The bees were happy to see these blooms too!

The blooms come in colors ranging from red to orange, to yellow.

Some of them are tall and shapely while others are short and squat.

The yellow ones were just beginning to open up.

These on the Mountain Aloe have a sort of shaggy look to them.
As always, there is a lot to see at the garden even when only a few things are blooming.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Arizona Canal

The Arizona Canal dates back the 1880's and is part of the vast Salt River Project water distribution system in the Phoenix area.  The canal runs 50 miles through Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria and Mesa.  In Scottsdale it serves as the center point for what is called the Scottsdale Waterfront.  I've posted about that before here.  A little bit past the Scottsdale Waterfront area, the canal runs under Scottsdale road and emerges again on the other side.  Many times driving past this intersection, I've noticed the pedestrian bridge across the canal and all the bell-like structures on the side of it.  I finally made a point of taking a closer look.

I really thought I'd hear some tones with the water flowing over these bells but, all I could hear was the gurgling water.

It's an interesting feature that is part of the Scottsdale Public Arts project along the canal.