Sunday, January 31, 2021

On a Grand Scale


I've featured many of the huge mansions I walk past when I take a walk in my neighborhood before on this blog.  Here are two more. 

The yellow one above looks very east coast to me.  

The one to the left is a little more California style.  I do like the fountain with the birds in front. 

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm taking a drive along the southern coast of Maine.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Looking for Color


I was in need of some bright colors today so I searched through some recent photos to find a few colorful shots. These chilis are always hanging outside one gift shop in old town Scottsdale.  Years ago, I had one of these chili ristras hanging on my front porch.

I found this colorful wire-fish hanging outside one of the many Scottsdale galleries.  I thought it was a rather unusual artistic endeavor.  

I went to pick up some take out at a nearby Mexican restaurant and when I parked in back, I spotted this colorful door.  I had never noticed it before but I love the colors.

And, my last spot of bright color comes from this gorgeous poppy I saw it blooming in a decorative pot.  It's a pretty near perfect bloom don't you think?

Friday, January 29, 2021

An Inviting Spot


I visited this little strip of shops years ago when I featured the colorful doors to all the small shops.  You can see them here.  I was happy to see that the center is still looking as inviting as it had 6 years ago.

This is one of those places that has it's own charm.  

I'm just hoping that the businesses here are able to survive these hard times.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Rain in the Desert


We have so few days when we get rain that when the clouds do show up, it's a big deal.  That's why I have two more rain related photos today.  This shot is looking at Camelback Mountain with the clouds hugging it.

This shot of a pretty tree waiting for new leaves to sprout.  The rain will help to urge that process along.  I love everything about desert, winter rains except the cold temperatures.  It is certainly not cold by most of the country's standards but it feels pretty cold to me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Sunshine One Day, Snow the Next


I have two photos today from guest photographers, my good friends Julie and Dave.  They have that wonderful broad view from their perch on the north side of Camelback Mountain.  I mentioned that we had cloudy skies and intermittent rain over the last weekend.  They texted this photo to me on Sunday evening when a break in the clouds lit up the McDowell Mountains to the northeast of the valley.  Usually they are just a blue line of mountains in the distance but this time they were glowing.

Then on Monday, they sent another photo of the same view after we had our freak snow storm.  Now the mountains are covered with a dusting of fresh snow.  Same viewpoint; two different looks.  Both are beautiful!  Thanks Julie and Dave for sharing these great photos.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Exciting Monday Weather


We had a cloudy and raining weekend and Monday started with grey skies and more rain.  Around 2:00 it got a bit crazy for a while.  Wild wind that was rattling my windows and then snow and ice started. The was even a bit of lightening and thunder. I snapped a few photos looking at the street behind me and the pile of snow forming on my balcony.

Looking out from my balcony I could see white covering the ground below and tire tracks in the parking lot.

Julie sent a photo from her house where snow was covering her extensive garden.

And, my friend Glenda sent a photo from her back yard.

It was pretty exciting for a while.  We don't get to see this kind of weather very often.  

Monday, January 25, 2021

Enjoying the View


This is the last of the three murals that I found across the street from the David Bowie murals.  I think this one is my favorite.  That bendable fellow seems to be enjoying the view of the valley below while playing his guitar.  It looks very relaxing.  You can also see a bit more of those mosaics that separate the three murals.  This one also has a signature that looks like Kenny V, but I haven't been able to find any information about a muralist that goes by that name.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

A Little Variety


I have a little variety in my photos today.  Above is a colorful bus stop I saw in the city of Mesa a while ago.  I like the bright colors.

To the left is a fellow I spotted in a shop window in Scottsdale.  I took this back in April on one of my walks just after the first lockdown started.  I thought this guy was a funny parody of life during pandemic isolation.  Luckily, I never succumbed to sitting in front of the TV with plates of food.

Above is a set of spinner chairs that were on the Mesa Art Center grounds.  I wasn't sure what they were until a little kid came running over and jumped in one and started spinning.  I didn't try it.  I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to get out without help.

The photo to the right was taken last January at this time when I met a friend at AZ88 for a martini. day we'll be able to do that again.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting the 'other' Bellagio. 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Desert Wind


I went for another walk at the Desert Botanical Garden and got to see the finished art project I told you about last week.  This piece is called "Wind" and it's by artists Natasha Lisitsa and Daniel Schultz.  It is described as representing the tumultuous wind and dust storms experienced in the desert southwest.  It does look like what is left behind after one of those storms blows through.

It's constructed with plant materials like branches, skeletons of cactus, tumbleweeds and even some live bromeliad plants that you can see peeking out.

The sign says we should be able to walk through it but as you can see they have it staked off right now.  I wonder if that will change.

These artists are known for using live plants and natural materials in their creations. I like the look of this one.  I'll be looking forward to seeing the next two they have planned called "Water" and "Earth".  

Friday, January 22, 2021

Something Cheerful


I'm feeling very cheerful today so I thought some cheerful photos were appropriate.  There is a big sunflower plant growing in the herb and vegetable garden at the Desert Botanical Garden and when I was there two weeks ago, there were quite a few of those big, sunny flowers on it.

The butterflies seemed to be very happy to have the blooms to enjoy.

The flowers were making the bees happy too!

I'm hoping these big, bright blooms make you happy too!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

A Message of Hope and Unity


I had the TV on all day yesterday watching the inauguration of the new President and Vice President and continuing into all the events that followed.  It felt so good to be able to watch leaders who instill a feeling of pride and hope.  (I borrowed the above photo from the New York Times and photographer Erin Schaff.)

I snapped this photo of my TV screen when the ceremonies were just beginning and the dignitaries were arriving.  It was so great to see the Capitol properly adorned with celebratory bunting.  It helps to wipe away the memory of two weeks ago.

And as the evening celebrations started, I did a little celebrating of my own. This event was certainly worth a special bottle of bubbly.  And even though I was home instead of with friends, I took heart in knowing that all my friends were doing exactly the same thing in their respective homes.  We may not be able to celebrate together, but we are all celebrating this event.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Colorful Bubbles and Baubles


I took these photos over a year ago when shopping was an enjoyable pastime.  This is looking in the door of a home decorating store at Kierland Commons in north Scottsdale.  It feels like ages since I've been to that shopping center.  I miss those days when I could meet a friend for a leisurely lunch and an hour or two of just wandering through interesting stores.

Anyway, I liked the look of all those colorful glass bulbs hanging around that fountain. They make a pretty display even if they are not necessarily functional.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Small and the Large


These three quiver trees are growing in containers at the Desert Botanical Garden.  Quiver trees are native to Southern Africa and their official name is Aloe Dichotoma.  

These quiver trees are on display at a landscaping company I've visited many times in Cave Creek, just north of Scottsdale.  They are pretty impressive when they get big like these.  I think they look kind of exotic.  Which do you like better, the little ones or the big ones?

Monday, January 18, 2021

The Tree

Last Monday I told you about the three murals I found directly across the street from the David Bowie murals I featured two years ago. The is the second in that group of three. This is a much more pleasant scene than the first one I posted last Monday.  A bare tree being enjoyed by two birds and fisherman out on the water at sunset.  A very peaceful scene.  As for those mosaics, I think those were on the wall before the mural was painted.  There were strips of mosaics that separated the three murals.  You can see a tiny bit of one all the way to the right.  This one as that "R" emblem at the bottom left but I wasn't able to find any artist who uses that signature.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Friendly Cactus Wren


I was pointing my camera at some purple flowers when this little cactus wren hopped right up to me and gave me a curious look.  It was like he was saying "what are you doing?"

And then he turned to the side and posed that way for a while, as if to say "Oh, you're taking pictures.  Well this is my best side."  Sometimes nature's little critters can be very cooperative.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Driving a Ferrari can get you special treatment.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Sneak Preview


I went for a walk at the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday afternoon and was surprised to see some kind of art installation going up.  When I got home, I went to their website to see if there was any information about it and yes there was.

The exhibit is called Wind, Water, Earth by artists Natasha Lisitsa and Daniel Schultz.  I'm pretty sure that's them up on the platform.  This art exhibit will be done in three phases with this one being first.  The next one will appear in late February and then another will arrive in April.  This first one represents wind and according to the website, we'll be able to walk through it.  I can't wait to see it!

Friday, January 15, 2021

Looking for Some Beauty


It's been an exhausting week here in the U.S.  Politically speaking, that is.  I decided that I'd dedicate my post today to some beautiful things.  It's kind of like breath of fresh air.

I browsed through my photos for some pretty shots and I chose these four.  Above are some pretty iris I photographed at the Japanese Friendship Garden a few years ago.

To the left are some sky flowers that I saw at a local nursery.

Above is a white rose that was once in a bouquet of roses I had at home.  I love this macro shot I took so much that I had it printed on canvas for my house. 

And finally, one more rose growing in the rose garden at Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix.  Ahhh...a big sigh.  That's just what I needed.  

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Stocking the Canal


This is another siting I made on my long walk last Saturday.  Part of the trail I take is next to one of our many irrigation canals.  At one point, I saw this truck struggling to make a tight turn on to the the canal bank. The truck was from Salt River Project, the utilities company that supervises the canal system.  On the back of the container on the truck I saw the word water and then under it "live fish".  That's when I realized that they were going to dump a tank of water and fish into the canal.  I've seen people fishing on the canal many times but I never thought much about how the fish got there.  Now I know.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Reopening in the Spring


When I took that long walk last Saturday, I walked the full loop which brought me right up to the Arizona Biltmore Hotel.  I've featured photos from this historic hotel many, many times on this site, most recently after Christmas in 2018.  That's when I had the opportunity to stay there for two nights right before the holidays.  When the pandemic started last March, the hotel closed temporarily but as this health crisis progressed, they remained closed.  I never saw a sign that said why, just that they were temporarily closed.  The hotel belongs the Hilton Waldorf Astoria hotel group so I knew they would survive.  Now the website says they will open again in the Spring, possibly on March 1st.  It also had pictures of some changes they made like adding a new outdoor bar.  It sounds like they used the time to make some improvements.  If we ever get back to some type of normal, it will be fun to explore there once again.  I'll be looking forward to trying that new outdoor bar.  😊

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A Long Walk


Last Saturday, I took and extra long walk around my neighborhood.  It felt good to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.  

I took several photos along the way that I'll show over the next week or so.  But, first up is my favorite tree.  The last photo I posted of this tree, it was still full of leaves but they were turning brown.  On Saturday it was completely bare.  And, look at the ground under it.  The gardeners must have been busy keeping the grass under that tree clean as the leaves fell.  I'll keep my eye on my favorite tree.  The next time it will have new buds on it.

I took the photo to the left to show as contrast.  The ground below this tree is covered in leaves.  

Monday, January 11, 2021

Strange Character


Two years ago I posted images of a series of murals giving tribute to David Bowie.  You can see them here and here.  They are wonderful murals that depict Bowie's chameleon-like personality.  

Across the street from those murals were three more murals painted by three different artists.  I've been trying to find some information on these murals for a long time with no luck at all.  This one seems to have some kind of symbol painted on the bottom right but I can't tell if it is a kind of signature or a bit of graffiti.  I decided it's time to show you these murals even if I can't give the artist full credit.  This week I'm featuring one with what I think of as a dark fantasy image.  Let's just say it's not a world I'd want to visit.

Taking part in Monday Murals.