Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Dramatic Sky

I was so excited about being able to walk and take photos at the Desert Botanic Garden, that I forgot I had these photos from a recent sunset.  

I was sitting in my living room when I noticed a sort of red glow coming from the windows.  I grabbed my camera and went out to catch a couple of shots.

You would have thought we might have had a touch of rain to go with all those clouds but, no such luck.  I guess the clouds were just passing through.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Wild Rising....Still on View

When I went to the garden last Friday, I was surprised to see the the exhibit called "Wild Rising" was still on view.  I posted about this exhibit a few times last October when it opened.  You might remember the cute meerkats.  Usually, the large exhibits at the Desert Botanical Garden run from October to mid-May.  I see on their website that this exhibit is scheduled to run into November of 2020.  I bet that the travel restrictions associated with the pandemic have extended the stay.  The responsible art group is from Milan Italy.

You also might remember that this elephant was located in a room all to himself and labeled "The Elephant in the Room".  The message was about climate change.  It looks as though the Covid-19 problems have brought him out of his room and into the fresh air.  I found him standing where the Christmas tree is usually located.  

Also enjoying the fresh air and blue skies were these sunflowers.  They always encourage a smile.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Color Purple

When I went on my walk at the Desert Botanical Garden for the first time in three months, I was drawn to lots of purple blooms in different places.  Above are the blooms of the Guayacan shrub.  I always enjoy seeing these blooms.

This one was new to me.  I had to ask a gardener who was near what it was.  She said it was called a purple potato plant.  She said it was a relative of nightshade and I can see a similarity in the blooms.

There were two artichokes in full bloom making a wispy splash of color.

The cape plumbago was also in full bloom.  Lots of pretty flowers in my favorite color.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting a little known historic site.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Surprised by the Blooms

I went on my scheduled walk at the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday morning and one thing I did not expect to see was cactus blooms.  When it starts to get really hot, the blooming starts to slow down but, I was lucky.  I saw lots of cactus blooms.

Yellow ones and red ones.

And, a huge big white one!

And then, on that cluster that tends to bloom all at once, there were several blooms.  I was afraid I had missed seeing any blooms this year so I was pleasantly surprised.  Of course, I have more photos to share over the next week or so.  

I was afraid it might be too hot to enjoy the walk but it was overcast and only 83 when I arrived.  The sun came out after about 30 minutes and by the time I left it was up to 88 but the sun was getting intense.  All in all, it was truly enjoyable.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Windows to the West

I don't get near this sculpture very often because it is located on the far side of the Scottsdale Civic Center park.  I took this photo three years ago and just saw it in my files.  This one is called "Windows to the West" and it's by artist Louise Nevelson.  Nevelson was considered one of the most important American sculptors of the 20th century.  She has large public art works all over the world.  Her body of work is very impressive.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Smooth Curves

This sculpture is located in a public art space behind the Scottsdale Museum of Western Art. The artist is Khang Pham-New and he calls this piece "Curvilinearity".  I did a quick research of the artist and found that he is known for these smooth, abstract, granite sculptures.

It's so smooth that it almost begs to be touched.  It's very hard to resist running your hands over those wonderful curves.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The "Head" Above the Restaurant

Back in April when I took an early morning walk in old town Scottsdale, I snapped this photo of the Los Olivos Mexican Patio restaurant.  When I approached the building, I had completely forgotten about this giant Aztec-like head on the roof.  This restaurant has a history the goes back 70 years and the business is still in the hands of the same family.  A few years ago, I posted a photo of one of their very unique dining rooms inside the restaurant.  Dining in that room makes you feel like you are "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea."

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Misguided Attempt

It appears that someone tried to toss a discarded ironing board into this construction dumpster and they didn't quite make it.  This dumpster showed up in the parking lot where I live last week and maintenance people are using it while one of the units here is being remodeled.  I spotted the ironing board hanging from the side on Sunday when went out.  It made me chuckle.

What makes me chuckle even more is that this was pretty much the highlight of my weekend.  This staying at home business is very, very boring.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Hidden Meanings

This mural appears on the side of some new condominiums located in downtown Phoenix.  The artist, Clyde Thompson calls it "La Musa" which translates to "the muse".  Thompson completed his art studies at ASU and now has murals all over the valley.

The condominiums are called enHance Park Condominiums.  They are located near the Roosevelt Row Arts District on one side and the Margaret T Hance Park on the other side.  Hance Park is a city park named for Phoenix's first female mayor, Margaret Hance.    She was mayor of the city of Phoenix from 1976 to 1983.  Between the name of condominiums and the name of the mural, there is a lot of play on words going on here.

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Art Challenge Meeting

My Art Challenge group met last Friday via Zoom since we are all still self isolating.  This month's challenge was "Health" and here is my entry.  I took a photo that I had from my archives and worked some editing magic on it to produce this.  I call it "Here's to Your Health".

I took this photo several years ago when I saw how I could capture the shadows behind the two glasses.  Next month's challenge is "Hidden".  I wonder what I will come up with for that one.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm featuring all the "old west" places in Arizona.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Celebrating Juneteenth

Yesterday I got another virtual visit email from the Phoenix Art Museum, this time celebrating "Juneteenth" and works of black artists.  If I would have had this sooner, I would have posted it yesterday on the actual day, June 19th.  The "visit" featured 9 pieces of art all by celebrated black artists.   I discovered I had pictures in my archives for 7 of the pieces they featured.  First up is a work by Erica Deeman named "Untitled 18".

The museum has two more of these profile portraits.  They look very striking hung in a row like this.

The next one is a work I featured just a few weeks ago called "Palindrome #1 by Glenn Ligon.  Since the photo I posted a few weeks ago was just of the black and white piece, I decided to use this shot that I took in 2018 when it was surrounded by those black butterflies and moths from the artwork "Black Cloud".

This one is called "The Bitter Nest, Part 1: Love in the School Yard" by Faith Ringgold.  I remember when this one was featured in a show dedicated to female artists a few years ago.

Many of you will recognize the art of Kehinde Wiley.  I believe this painting was the first of his works that the museum acquired.  It's called "Marechal Floriano Peixoto (From the  World Stage: Brazil Series)".  Since this purchase, the museum has acquired a few more of Wiley's works.   The email visit featured the three below.

"Memling: After Memling's Portrait of a Man with a Coin of the Emperor Nero"

"Memling: After Memling's Portrait of Maarten van Nieuwenhove"

"Memling: After Memling's Portrait of a Man in Red Hat"

I do love Wiley's work.  I featured photos from a wonderful exhibit the museum did of his work four years ago.  I especially loved the stained glass "saints".

As always, I'm enjoying the virtual visits that museum has provided via email.  It will be great when I can go back in person.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Architectural Details

Two years ago I had the opportunity to take a behind the scenes tour of the Gammage Auditorium on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe.  I posted some photos from that tour here.  Today I have a few more photos that I took that day.

You might remember that this building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and its design is full of lots of curves and arcs.

Those curves and arcs are mirrored in the carpeting.  The top photo is the central entrance to the auditorium from the lobby.  The middle one is a detail from the ramps that go up to the upper levels and of course, this last shot is a set of stairs in the lobby.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Tall and Narrow

Two different views of the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Phoenix.  The city of Phoenix partnered with the hotel group to get this hotel built.  The city wanted to give our convention business a boost by providing places for visitors to stay within walking distance to the convention center.  It must have worked because our convention center has stayed pretty busy especially in the winter months.

I've been inside this hotel a couple of times and back in 2009, I posted a photo I took when I attended a meeting there.  I haven't been inside for many years now and I'm betting the inside has been totally remodeled since I was last there.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

One of My Favorite Spots

I miss my walks at the Desert Botanical Garden very much.  I can't wait to be able to go back.  One of my favorite 'resting' spots is at this table.  It's almost always available so if I'm in the mood for a breather, I often sit here.  That tree just outside the fence is a Cascalote tree and it blooms during the winter months.

Those pretty yellow blooms are very attractive to bees and small birds so there is always a lot of activity happening in and around the tree during those months.  As you can see from the top photo, those little yellow flowers blanket the ground and the table too.  If I take a macro shot of one of the flowers on that glass top, it looks like the flower is sitting on ice.

There is a lot to see in this spot even if I'm just sitting.

PS:  the garden has reopened for shorter hours and for members only but only with reservations.  I just made a reservation for Friday, the 26th at 7:30AM.  Hopefully it will be cool enough to enjoy a stroll.  I'll let you all know.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020


Here is something else I found while roaming through my photo files.  A few years ago, I took this photo of a grass-like plant.  The photo itself is nothing special but I decided to use this photo to experiment with the "Distortion" tool in my photo editor.

First I tried some waves.  Not bad, it looks like a reflection in some rippling water.

After the waves, I tried the one that makes it look like a fountain. So now it's a fountain of grass.

Here's my favorite of them all.  It's a type of circular feedback.  I've tried this same thing with other photos but this is the only one I've liked.  I love how the circles on the side look like they are striped and the grass looks like it's inside a bubble.  

I haven't done any editing like this in quite a while.  I need to try some again.  Being stuck at home most of the time, I certainly have plenty of time to play around.  

Monday, June 15, 2020

Larger Than Life

Look who appeared recently on the side of that big "glass-box" building I've featured before.  Why it's a jolly looking Teddy Roosevelt.  He certainly livens up that bland glass building.  And sitting as the building does, on the corner of Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street it's a perfect place for "Teddy" to make an appearance.

This is the same building I featured back in February when I found that new painting of a peacock on the parking garage behind it.  You can see it here.  That big glass building is not so plain looking any longer.

Joining Monday Murals!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Cute Critters

While sorting through all those photos over the last few days, I found these photos of some animals in interesting poses.  This little antelope squirrel looks like he's stopped to say a little prayer before proceeding on his scavenging hunt.

Above are a couple of baby roadrunners still in the nest and waiting for their mother to return with some food.

To the left is a Gambel's quail who looks a tiny bit knock-kneed.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm checking out some modern architecture in Paris.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Second Chance Flowers

Over the past two days, I've been weeding out photos from my various folders.  I had 3,500 photos from the Desert Botanical Garden in the year 2014 and I wanted to thin that out.  That was the year that there was a Chihuly exhibit at the garden so I knew there would be more than usual but 3,500 seemed a bit excessive.  So while I was thinning it down to 1,600, I found a number of interesting flower photos that I took that year.  I thought I'd give them a chance to shine on the blog.  Up first is a shrimp plant in bloom.  Those bloom really do look like shrimp, don't they?

Above is an African iris.  These tiny iris blooms pop up every year in the same spot in the garden.

The blooms on a Nightshade plant looked very good against that bright wall.

A big, round Leek bloom is being visited by some bees.

Another bee is visiting this Belleza Gaura bloom.

These Sky Flowers are a favorite of mine.  I love their color.

The blooms of Society Garlic are very pretty even if the root is smelly but tasty.  

I found quite a few really nice photos in that group as I reviewed them.  I'll have to feature some more of them in the future.  I might even do another post of creations from that 2014 Chihuly exhibit.  I love his beautiful glass creations so much.