Saturday, October 31, 2020

Happy Halloween!


Halloween has arrived and it's sure to be a bit different this year.  I don't think there will be any children going door to door in their creative costumes.  And, there probably won't be many Halloween parties.  On the good side, maybe a few of those anti-maskers will finally actually put on a mask!

Enjoy something sweet!

Friday, October 30, 2020

The Trick or Treat House


This house has pulled out the stops to celebrate Halloween in style.  It looks like they are offering Tricks and Treats at their spooky abode.

This fellow looks like he's willing to crawl out of that coffin to see what kind of treats are on offer.  

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Scarecrows and Spiders


The house above has some very sinister looking scarecrows in their front yard.  I see they've added some lights in front of each scarecrow for night time viewing.

The house to the left has a bit of a problem with insects I think.  It's funny how scary a giant spider can be.  But believe me, the thought of encountering a real live spider that size sends chills up my spine.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Signs of the Time


Back in my old neighborhood, I found quit a few other yards decorated for the season.  This one has a very ghoulish looking character floating about in the yard.

While right next door I saw a group of witch hats floating about.  Who knows where the witches have gone.  😊  Near the house you can see a yard sign.  It reads "No matter where you are from, we're glad you are our neighbor".  It's written in English, Spanish and Arabic.  I saw several of those signs scattered around the neighborhood.  They made me feel good about the people who live here.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Pumpkin Patch


I went for a walk at the Desert Botanical Garden last weekend and I saw the pumpkin patch all ready to go for the evening festivities.  They are hosting Halloween family nights with limited attendance and they sold out the reservations in record time.

The Halloween celebrations at the garden are very scaled down this year for obvious reasons so there weren't as many decorations up as usual.  

However, I enjoyed a stroll through the pumpkin patch to snap a few photos before the kids started taking them away during the evening festivities.  

Monday, October 26, 2020

It's All a Hoax...Until....


When I made yesterday's post, I realized that I hadn't been on a drive around the city in quite a while so I set out to get some photos of seasonal decorations.  My first stop of course was my old neighborhood where I knew my former neighbor was one who put up elaborate Halloween decorations every year.  Well this year he put a little political statement in his skeletal grouping. 

It's not 220,000 skeletons but it's enough to get the message across.  I'm surprised there aren't a couple of MAGA hats on a few of those skulls but I admire my former neighbor for not purchasing any even if they would have been for decoration only.  I always enjoy this guy's Halloween decorations.  This year his skeletal family is mixing the normal Halloween humor with a serious message.  Be safe out there and for heaven's sake VOTE!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Halloween is Getting Close


I'm starting to see signs that Halloween is fast approaching.  I haven't been out as much as previous years but I found one Halloween decoration right from my balcony.  A neighbor has placed some lights within  the trim on his balcony wall to make a jack-o-lantern face.  The funny thing is, he had these on for two nights back around the 10th of the month and he hasn't had them turned on since.  Maybe he'll turn them back on this week.

The second sign I saw was Friday evening when I was leaving and I saw this crow (or is it a raven?) sitting on the carport cover and having a look around.  I've never seen him around here before.  

Just a couple of signs that the "spooky" season has arrived.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm looking through the "Inns of Court" in London. 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

From Office to Condos


There is a large bank building on the corner of Central Avenue and Camelback Road that has lived through name changes and tenants.  However, now it's going through a major change from an office building to condos.  It's a prime location for condos so I'm pretty sure it will be a success.  They are hard at work making the conversion.  It looks like the bank will still maintain some office space on the ground floors but it won't be long before people are living up above.  

I posted a photo with this building in the background back in 2014.  You can see it here.  

Friday, October 23, 2020

Floral Trip Around the Valley


I've found some flowers blooming in a variety of places recently so lets take a trip around different parts of the valley of the sun to see what I've found.  Here we have some very pretty roses blooming next to the fountain at the Scottsdale Civic Center.

Some Globe Mallow blooming in Gilbert.

Pretty yellow poppies blooming over in my old neighborhood.

And finally, some Texas sage blooming along side the road in Paradise Valley.  

Lot's of pretty things to see!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Wild vs. Tamed


In one part of town I saw this tree that has kind of gone wild with branches going in every directions.  It actually looks like it might be trying to crawl away.  

In another part of town, I saw these trees and shrubs that have been trimmed and shaped.  What a difference between them.  One is quite wild looking while these look more like pets.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Eye-Catching Patterns


I took this photo back in December of 2019 on a trip to the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall.  It was a display in the window of the Louis Vuitton store and it caught my eye because of the great pattern.  When I pulled this photo out of my archives, it occurred to me that I haven't been to the mall in over 7 months.  That is certainly a record for me.  

Here is a pattern shot that I took just last Sunday.  I went to Julie & Dave's house for brunch.  Julie served brunch on her huge patio with five of us all spaced out at safe distances.  It felt great to see friends and do something normal for a change.  Julie has a set of really great juice glasses that she bought in Venice years ago. After I drank my juice, I held my glass up to the sky and aimed my cell phono into it to get this shot.  What a great pattern it made!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Crossing Over the Buttes & Spotting Helicopters


One of the routes I take when returning home from a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden is one the climbs over the Papago Buttes.  Those are the reddish-brown piles of rock that surround the garden.  You've seen them in the background of some of my garden photos.  This road goes uphill toward and between the mountains.

Then when you get to the top, you get this spectacular view into downtown Phoenix.  I don't go this way very often but every now and then when I think the air is clear enough for a good view, I'll head this way.

If I would have swung my camera to the right from that vantage point, I would have been looking right over the Army Reserve reservation that I mention a month or so ago when I had the photos of the military helicopters I've seen flying over the garden.  I took this photo of the sign for that base a few months ago.  

I'm not sure what they were up to on Sunday when four in a row flew right over the mountains near my house.  Some type of military exercise must have been going on.  

Monday, October 19, 2020

This One is a Year Old


I've been reviewing all the major art exhibits that I've photographed at the Desert Botanical Garden and now I'm up to date with the most recent show and the one that is still at the garden.  Normally, this show would have ended in May of this year but the pandemic lock-down up-ended the schedule.  The company that put this show together is called Cracking Art, a collective of artists from Italy.  The show is called "Wild Rising" and it features a variety of wild animals all made from recycled plastic with each display having an environmental message.  In the photo above, the meerkats are standing around the Chihuly "Desert Wildflower Towers".  The garden purchased these sculptures after the very first Chihuly exhibit back in 2008 and now they have a permanent home at the entrance to the garden.

You've seen the giant snails I've posted photos of before (here is one) but, I've never posted a photo of one of the small, metallic ones that are scattered about. 

And, the gray wolves are still lurking among the prickly pear cactus.

The penguins are wondering what all those prickly things are all around them while a little cactus wren had decided that penguins make a nice perch.  

I have no idea when this exhibit will be packed up.  Since October is historically when new exhibits go up, I'm guessing this one might need to stay put a little longer.  It could be a while before the normal rhythm of things returns.  

Sunday, October 18, 2020

October Art Challenge


You might remember that my Art Challenge Group challenged us with the topic of 'hummingbirds' when we met last month.  Last Friday night was our group meeting (once again via Zoom) and the picture above was my final entry.  As my readers are well aware, I have many photos of hummingbirds that I have shared over the years.

My first thought was to do a collage of some of my favorite hummingbird photos so I worked on several versions and I liked almost all of them.  Once I got the collages done I decided to work with some of my editing tools.  The photo on top was my favorite of all the things I tried.  My fellow challengers said it looked like a Japanese print and I had to agree. (you can see the original photo in the bottom left of the collage)

Our little Art Challenge Group began meeting in 2010 so we've been at this for 10 years now.  Normally, we only meet during the summer months.  The group was formed to give us something to do during the long, hot summer months.  Late fall, winter and early spring are busy times in the Phoenix area because many events are scheduled during the months with cooler weather.  However, this pandemic has changed the dynamic a bit so, we've decided to continue meeting.  After all, we all are more or less sequestered in our homes while the virus plays out.  The November challenge is "Butterfly".  I certainly have plenty of material to work with on that subject too!  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm stepping back one year to see some fall colors.  

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Electric Desert


In the fall of 2018 a new exhibit was installed at the Desert Botanical Garden.  In review all these exhibits, I noticed that I never posted anything about this exhibit.  That's probably because most of my visits are day time visits and this was a decidedly night time show.  It was called "Electric Desert" and it was a light and sound show by the Klip Collective.

The show consisted of colorful lights that turned the cactus into glowing and moving objects.  While this happened, soft, ethereal music played.  It really was a mesmerizing effect.  

On special nights, they had glowing creatures roaming the garden.  There I am posing with one them.  

One of the places with light effects was the hillside to the south of the garden.  There were chairs set up so people could enjoy that show as the lights roamed over the hillside and all the plants.  I tried to take some photos of it but that one was hard to capture.  

In the daylight hours, the only sign of this show were the many projection devices that were located throughout the garden.  They were mostly hidden by roof lines but these under the screen canopy could be seen but only if you looked up.  

If you would like to get an idea of what it was like there is a 2 minute video on DBG website.  Here is the link.  You can see how the lights moved over the cactus in my first three photos and how the hillside looked with the crawling lights.  It was kind of magical.  

Friday, October 16, 2020

Tanuki & Dango


In the fall of 2017, the new outdoor exhibition at the Desert Botanical Garden was a collection of creations by Jun Kaneko, the Japanese ceramic artist. 

This was just three years ago so some of you may remember when I posted photos from this exhibit.  This circle of "Tanuki" (or raccoon-dogs) was located in a central point in the garden. Everyone seemed to love these sculptures.  I saw both kids and adults posing for photos with the colorful, life-sized creatures.

There were several colorful "heads" scattered around the garden.  All of them were painted differently.

There were also one or two sculptures shaped like a head but without the facial features like the one to the left.

In another place in the garden there was a collection of "Dangos" displayed.  In Japanese "Dango" means dumpling so you might call these colorful dumplings.  I did a post in February of 2018 using these to create some abstract images.  Jun Kaneko is a very well known artist making this another very popular exhibit.  

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Space in Between


I'm not sure what happened in the fall of 2016 because there was no major outdoor exhibit that year.  However this indoor exhibit of work by Margarita Cabrera arrived In October and stayed until February of 2017.  

Ms. Cabrera is a professor of fiber art at Arizona State University who has dedicated herself to collaborative art projects that bring together contemporary art practices with Mexican Folk Art traditions along with U.S. and Mexican border relations.

Participants in this project were all immigrants to the U. S. from Mexico and Central America.  These are sculptural representations of desert plants from the southwest some of them with stories stitched on to them.  The fabric used is from border patrol uniforms.  

Margarita Cabrera has been represented in museums across the United States with shows at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art along with numerous other museums.