Sunday, May 31, 2020

Birds, Birds, Birds

Last night I watched a program on our local PBS station about all the places in Arizona where one can bird watch.  They talked about all those I know about but they also listed several places I didn't know about.  When this pandemic business is under control, I may have a visit a few of them.  One of the places they talked about was the Gilbert Riparian Preserve in Gilbert Arizona.  It's been a little over a year since I last visited this place so I decided to check my photos and see if I had any that I hadn't posted.  It turns out I had several so here are a few I picked.  Above are two American Avocet.

Here's a snowy egret admiring his reflection.

A hummingbird sitting on a twig.

A Blue Heron posing quite nicely.

A ring-necked duck.

A black-necked stilt.  Another one with a good reflection.

And, lastly a female ring-necked pheasant.

They had signs all around the area to help with bird identification.  Otherwise I don't think I could have named all of these.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm taking a look at one of my favorite Italian villas.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Passing the Legacy

This sculpture has a place of pride in the center of a round-about traffic circle at the Scottsdale waterfront shopping area.  It's called Passing the Legacy and was created by Herb Mignery.  It pays tribute to the Pony Express which was established in 1860.  It also pays tribute to the Arizona group known as Hashknife Pony Express who since 1958, have revived the tradition with an annual 200-mile relay to deliver mail from Holbrook Arizona to Scottsdale Arizona.  This monument was put up in 2008 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that ride.  I attended the Scottsdale culmination of that ride two years ago and posted about it here.

Friday, May 29, 2020

The Chaste Tree

I first came across one of these trees about four years ago only the one I found then was much smaller than this one.  You can see it here.  Last weekend, I found this one not far from where I live.  This one is obviously much older than the first one I spotted.

I just love those gorgeous lavender blooms.  The Chaste Tree (sometimes called Monk's Pepper) is native to the Mediterranean regions of Europe.  The berries from these trees are still used today as an herbal solution to some female problems like PMS or hormonal imbalances.  Who knew?

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Looking Up

When I was taking photos of that fountain I featured on Tuesday, I also took this shot looking skyward past the tall buildings.  I liked all the palm trees clustered below to add some interest.

When I was getting ready to post the first photo, I found two more photos of the same buildings that I had never posted before.  This one was taken in 2016.

And this one I took way back in 2013.  I guess I've been around these buildings more often than I remembered.  They are an attractive set of buildings and that fountain (pictured on Tuesday) alone makes the place appealing.  It is also home to one of my favorite public art pieces.  You might remember The Code Talker.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Ready for Move-In

Two years ago, I posted a photo of this place while it was under construction.  It's finally ready for people to move-in.  I hadn't been down this way in a while so I was surprised to see the big tall building all ready to go.  The name of this apartment building is The Stewart.

I'm not sure what to think about that bridge-like connection across the top.  It doesn't look like anyplace I'd want to walk.  Maybe it's just for appearances.  However, I have heard that somewhere up there on top is the swimming pool.  I bet there are some great views from up there.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Fountain Called To Me

I had one of those moments yesterday morning when I couldn't stand to be cooped up in my house any longer.  I needed to make an escape.

So I grabbed my camera and got in the car with nowhere in particular in mind.  I drove east to Central Avenue and then headed south into the midtown commercial area.  As I approached Thomas Road, I looked to the left and got a peek at this fountain.

I immediately turned left and found a place to park so I could wander around and take a few photos.  I've featured this fountain at the Phoenix Plaza high-rise complex before but I decided it was time for an update.  I was the only person around so I took my time and photographed it from different angles.  You can barely see those walls that run through the fountain in the top two photos.  You have to get all the way around it to see them.   Two years ago I posted a photo taken from high up in one of the towers looking down so you can see the fountain from above.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day!

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a holiday set aside to honor and mourn all the military personnel who have died serving our country.

I thought this statue on the grounds of the Heard Museum was appropriate for the day.  It's called "He's My Brother" by Michael Naranjo.

The plaque on the statue's base reads:

The scene from "He's My Brother" must have taken place on too many occasions around the world, and although the uniform one wears may be different, the sentiment remains the same.  In combat, close relationships are built as one walks the fine line between life and death and one would readily lay down his life for his brother.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Floral Sunday

On Friday I bought two bouquets of flowers from my local grocery store because I wasn't sure which would look better in the mug I pictured yesterday.  It turned out the roses looked the best.  It also gave me an opportunity to photograph the of my favorite photographic subjects.

I took a few shots of the roses.

Then I took a few shots of the other bouquet.

And, then I decided that today would be a floral Sunday!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm taking another look at some California art.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Holding on to Spring

My Art Challenge Club met last night via "Zoom".  The theme for this meeting was "Spring" and I selected this photo that I took back in March.  I had it printed on metal and then I also had it printed on a mug.  For the meeting, I filled the mug with roses.

Here is the actual photograph.  I took this photo at the Desert Botanical Garden right before they closed up because of the pandemic.  There is just something about this photo that grabbed me immediately after I downloaded it.

Zoom works pretty well for meetings and social events but I for one, can't wait until we can meet in person again!

Friday, May 22, 2020

The View to the North

I was headed for the stairs to go down for my walk yesterday morning when I noticed how the clear air was making the view to the north look very appealing.  I couldn't resist taking a photo.  I love seeing the mountains that are to the north and east of me.  I feel lucky to have some great views to enjoy while having to stay home.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Not Done Yet!

I took my old route on my walk yesterday and got a update on that house they've been working on for the past 6 years.  It looks like they aren't done yet.  Another dumpster bin has replaced the one I pictured being taken away two weeks ago and there were still plenty of construction workers on site.

The other thing I noticed were quite a few statues sitting around the place.  Here's three of them.

And, here's another on the other side of the yard.

These statues look more like they belong in a cemetery than in someone's yard.  This place is getting curiouser and curiouser.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

A Governor and a Founding Father

The former home of Arizona's 4th Governor has been preserved in downtown Tempe.  Governor Benjamin B. Moeur was head of the state of Arizona from 1933 to 1937.  He was also a doctor and was credited with delivering most of the babies born in Tempe for the 36 years of his career.  I have to admit, when I found this place two years ago, I had never heard of him.  It was fun to learn a little bit of Arizona history that I hadn't heard before.

Also in downtown Tempe is this statue of Charles Trumbull Hayden (1825-1900), the founding father of the city of Tempe.  Around the base of the statue are four bas-relief scenes depicting his life's work.

1. Hayden Flour Mill (his business)
2. Hayden's Ferry (he ran a ferry service across the Salt River)
3. Tempe Normal School (now Arizona State University, he lobbied for its creation)
4. Territorial Judge (his years serving as a judge)

He was also the father of Carl T. Hayden, who became a well known U. S. Senator from Arizona.

Hayden was certainly an enterprising man.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Random Musings from Scottsdale

I have a selection of random shots all taken within the city of Scottsdale that have accumulated in my photo files.  It's a disparate collection of odds and ends.  Like this horse statue that sits in front of P F Chang's Restaurant.  They put these horses in front of most of their restaurants so if your city has a Chang's restaurant, you've probably seen these big guys.

There is a nice little rose garden at the Scottsdale Civic Center and it sits right up against the fountain in front of the city hall.  That blue water makes a great background for the pretty roses that bloom there.

That strange looking sculpture above is found sitting in the yard of a home in north Scottsdale.  There were a few other sculptures scattered around making me wonder if the home belongs to the sculptor.

Anybody remember these shiny, reflective balls?  When I was growing up, I used to see them in people's gardens all the time.  I was told they were supposed to keep birds from bothering the plants.  I haven't seen one in ages and then saw this one a while ago sitting in the middle of the cactus growing in front of some shops.

This is a chandelier over a table at the restaurant called Olive and Ivy.  I used to like this big round fixture but lately it has started to remind me of.......well.....a virus of some kind.

And, finally a photo I took back in 2014.  Neiman Marcus, the stalwart retailer of luxury goods had to file for bankruptcy last week.  The economic downturn caused by the corona virus is apparently to blame.  They must have been operating with a very thin margin which seems strange for a place whose tongue-in-cheek nickname is "Needless Markup".

Monday, May 18, 2020

Phoenix For Dummies

I've featured two or three different murals that have been painted on the side of the business called Just Blaze.  It's a business that happens to sell street art supplies so it seems appropriate for the outside to be adorned with murals.  This particular mural has been up there for a long time now.  I did some research and was surprised to find that it was painted by someone who goes by the name Braga Last1, an artist from Marseille France.  The theme is a little dark looking so I'm not quite sure what the message is supposed to be but I do like that "Phoenix for Dummies" book in the foreground.   I wonder if he happened to be here during one of our notoriously hot summers and that influenced this scene.  Apparently, this artist is pretty well known in France.

More murals at ColourfulWorld.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

February May

I take so many photos that never make it on to my blog.  That's probably a good thing especially at times like this when none of us are out and about as much as we used to be.  I took these shots on the last day of February.  I was driving north when I passed a small carnival all set up in a parking lot.  That broken cloudy sky made a perfect background!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's all about art.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

It Seems So Long Ago

It seems like ages ago that I attended the Scottsdale Art Walk back in March.  I think with everything that has happened around the world, memories of when life was "normal" seem off in the distant past.  I mentioned in a post back then that I went on the art walk to try out my brand new iPhone 11 Pro.  These photos were all taken that night, March 5th.

The top two photos are from a little courtyard area off of Main Street that is full of artist galleries and studios.  It was quiet when I got there so a couple of artists are taking advantage of the pleasant evening for a chat.

Above is a painting that I was drawn to.  It was in the Paul Scott Gallery who specialize in Russian artists.  The artist for this is Artem Tolstukhin who was born in 1981.  It reminds me a lot of the works by Gustav Klimt.  I love it!

This last photo was taken later in the evening when I was getting ready to leave.  The theme for this particular art walk was Native American art so there was a group of drummers and native dancers on hand to entertain the crowds.  You can see drummers seated in the circle and a dancer waiting his turn to the far left of the photo.

I can't wait to be able to do another art walk!

Friday, May 15, 2020

Collection of Public Art

While looking through my stash of photos from the town of Fountain Hills, I discovered that I had a few photos of some of the public art that is located all around the complex of municipal buildings.

Above is a humorous sculpture taking the shape of a bench.  It's called "Need a Lift" by Randy Hand.

To the left is a Doug Hyde sculpture called "Santa Clara Wedding Vase Gift".

This sweet sculpture is called "Good News" and it was created by George Lundeen.

And, here's my favorite sculpture.  It's called "Precious Cargo" by sculptor Jason Napier.

The town has quite a collection of beautiful art surrounding it's government and public buildings.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Traveling the Open Road

This might look like I'm headed out on the open road but I'm actually within the city limits of the town of Fountain Hills Arizona.  Fountain Hills is located on the far east side of what we call "the valley" where Phoenix and all the other cities and towns surrounding Phoenix are located.

The town of Fountain Hills has a lot of roads through the rolling hills of this area.  They have a rural feel but they are dotted with the homes of the town's residents.  I did a post about the famous fountain located in Fountain Hills back in 2013.

When I visited here in 2013, I was impressed by the views and the rural feel of this area of town.  In the photo above, I could see the mountain landmark to the east of Phoenix that we call Four Peaks.  It is part of the Mazatzal Mountains which are located within the Tonto National Forest.  The mountains are approximately 40 miles northeast of Phoenix.  In the winter, we sometimes see snow on top of these mountains.