Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Nutcrackers Everywhere

The city of Scottsdale has decorated 5th Avenue in Old Town with a series of life-sized Nutcrackers.
































They have added a festive touch to the street that is full of all kinds of galleries, jewelry and souvenir  shops.






























They are a handsome bunch, don't you think?

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve!  A new decade will soon arrive.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Dressed for the Holidays

The giant white rabbit that lives in Scottsdale has a holiday necklace on.  I bet it wasn't easy getting that wreath around his neck.  After all, he's 26 feet tall.

I first posted a photo of this big guy back in September of 2018 when I discovered him.

I've since learned that the artist for this piece is John Randall Nelson and the piece is called "One-Eyed Jack".
I hadn't noticed that he had only one eye until I learned his name.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Extended Holiday Dinner


I cooked dinner at my house for friends on Friday evening.  (I have to get out the Christmas china at least once a year. 😊)

I made three recipes I had never made before and they all turned out great.  But, the star of the dinner was the dessert, a French Apple Cake.  That cake was outstanding and pretty easy to make also.  Everyone loved it.

Here's a link to the recipe.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  If you liked "Star Wars" check it out.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Oh Christmas Tree


I took these last week but never got around to posting them.  This is Christmas tree at the Desert Botanical Garden.  I zoomed in on one of those big silver bulbs and snapped a self portrait....sort of.

The garden always has a green tree in this location.





























And on the patio they put up a poinsettia tree.






Friday, December 27, 2019

Cooking Christmas Dinner


We cooked up a storm on Christmas Day at Julie and Dave's house.  That's Dave in the background in the chef's coat.  My friends David and Riley are preparing the Brussels Sprouts and AuGratin potatoes.


I made a Beef Wellington with a lot of help from friend Joe above.  Julie and Dave made a German wine soup and friend Theresa made and outstanding salad and delicious home-made dinner rolls.  And Julie and Theresa made wonderful dessert.

It was a lot of cooks in one kitchen but, thankfully Julie's kitchen is big enough to handle a group of cooks.

As you can tell from all the foods I've just listed above, we feasted quite well.  It's always fun to have a group cooking event at Julie and Dave's house.  We all work so well together.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Heard's 90th Anniversary


Today is the 90th Anniversary of the Heard Museum.  It was found on December 26, 1929.  So 90 years ago Maie Bartlett Heard and curator Allie Walling BraMe' along with the help of a small group of friends, spent Christmas day preparing the museum for its opening the next day.


In celebration of this historic event, the museum sent an email to all of its members that included a short video poem recorded and edited by Stephen Yazzie, long time artist and friend of the museum.  It's only 1:47 minutes in length but it is truly beautiful.  I think you all would enjoy it. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas One and All!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas Eve


For our Christmas Eve entertainment today, I have an assortment of Christmas wreaths.  The one above is extremely fancy with the Nutcracker in the center.  After I took this photo, I spotted three more just like it at the same house.


The one above was located in north Paradise Valley.  I'm assuming it lights up at night.  It has a rather commercial look to it.


The one to the left was on the door to Tarbell's Wine store just down the street from me.  I didn't notice the "take it home" sign until I downloaded the photo.

























I love the one with the jingle bells on it.  It seems perfect for the season.  It was at my friend David's house.


And here is the one on my front door.  It's there to say Merry Christmas to all of you!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Giant Reindeer


I was on my way to Scottsdale when I spotted this huge reindeer peeking over a garden wall.  To give you and idea of how big he is, that wall you see in the lower left of the photo is at least 6 foot tall.  I've been back and forth on this road several times over the last week and I didn't see him before so he must have just went up.  He's a big guy to be trapped in someone's yard.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Another Bird Sighting


Yesterday's hummingbird wasn't the only colorful bird I spotted on my walk at the Desert Botanical Garden.  I saw this woodpecker jumping from branch to branch.


I wanted him to look down at me so I could get a shot with that bright red spot on his head but, he just wouldn't cooperate.


He seemed to have other "higher" things on his mind!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns.  I have my annual Christmas time in London shots.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Lucky Capture


I took a walk at the desert Botanical Garden yesterday and while I was trying to capture some butterflies, I spotted movement out of the corner of my eye.  I swung around and focused in on a hummingbird circling some lions tail blooms.


I had to shoot through another plant so there are some hazy spots in each of the images but for the most part, I think I was pretty lucky getting some shots of this cute little guy.


He kept circling the the plant for quite a while before flitting off over my head in the opposite direction. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Trees, Colorful Trees


The trees around here are starting to show their colors.  This one was my favorite because it's beautifully shaped, is glowing in the Arizona sunshine and I was able to photograph the whole thing so you could see the fallen leaves on the ground below.


These two are looking good in two different fall shades.


And, these two seem to be mimicking each other with their golden color.  Fall colors have finally arrived.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Night Time Decorations


I was driving home late one evening and taking my usual short cut when I passed several houses with their holiday decorations glowing in the dark.  All I had with me was my cell phone so I decided to see if I could get the shot.


They turned out better than I expected.  I haven't ventured by the house in my neighborhood that goes crazy with decorations yet.  Maybe I can get by there this weekend.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

More Holiday Decorations



Today I have a few more holiday decorations I've spotted around town.  Above are matching wreaths on the gate and near the front door.

To the left is a wreath on a red door.  With that red door, they almost don't need anything else.
























Above is a leafless tree covered with colorful lights.

To the left is a pretty wreath on the gate to this southwestern style house.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Grand Avenue


Last Friday evening I joined a group of friends for dinner at a restaurant on Grand Avenue near downtown Phoenix.  I was a little early so I took a walk along the Grand Avenue in an area known as the "arts district'.  There are lots of galleries and studios along this street.  There is also a lot of street art to admire.  I love all the hanging planters and sculptures and I really like the knitted covers on many of the tree trunks.  It's a very colorful place.

Monday, December 16, 2019

The Seasonal Flower & More

Poinsettias are the flower of the season.  But here in Arizona, thanks to our climate, there is so much more.

































The roses are blooming at Steele Indian School Park.


And the chilies are bright red and plump.  Imagine that for your front door wreath.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Yosemite Depicted on an iPad


There is a new exhibit at the Heard Museum called David Hockney's Yosemite and Masters of California Basketry.  I was intrigued by the combination of these two vastly different types of artistic expression.  The museum explains how Yosemite has been inspiring to Hockney since his very first visit back in the 1980's.  Native Americans have been inspired by the same place for centuries.

The basket I picture here was created in the 1930's by Tina Charlie using a quail plume design.  It is truly exquisite.











The Hockney prints surprised me.  I didn't know when I went to the exhibit that they were all created on an iPad.  Hockney worked on these iPad drawings in 2010 and 2011.




























They were all printed on four sheets of paper and then mounted together.

































They are beautifully done and certainly bring to life my memories of visiting this incredible place.































The colors are so vivid, they just seem to glow in the gallery.

It was an interesting juxtaposition of two totally different technologies.  The hand weaving technology and the digital technology.



I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It visiting red rock country.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Christmas Browsing


Last weekend I stopped at Berridge Nurseries just to see their collection of decorated Christmas trees.  I stop there every year to see the most recent designs.  They have a professional decorator prepare several trees and they are all so interesting to see.  They also sell ornaments and other eye-catching decorator things like this pewter nativity set.

The trees are hard to photograph because they are so full of ornaments and so close together.  When I download the photos, they always look like a big blob of color.






























Imagine trying to decorate a tree with all those bobs and bits on it. What a job!